Archive for July, 2020

July 31 Energy News

July 31, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Flooding From Sea Level Rise Could Cost Our Planet $14.2 Trillion, Study Says” • If the world does nothing to mitigate rising sea levels, it could cost the global economy $14.2 trillion in lost or damaged assets by the end of the century, as larger areas of land, home to millions of people, are inundated, a study in the journal Science Reports says. [CNN]

Florida (Matt Gannon | CNN)

¶ “SK Innovation Will Collaborate With John Goodenough On Solid-State Batteries” • South Korean battery manufacturer SK Innovation announced it will collaborate with Dr Goodenough and Dr Hadi Khani to make his solid-state battery dream come true. The goal is a unique gel-polymer electrolyte for a lithium-metal battery. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “PSA Group Accelerates EV Transition With Dedicated Electric Car Chassis” • PSA Group is building sales of battery electric vehicles while continuing to make money – not an easy task with the Covid-19 market disruptions. The company’s e-208, a battery electric vehicle built on the same chassis as several other models in the 208 family, is selling well. [CleanTechnica]

PSA Group eVMP platform (Courtesy of PSA Group)

¶ “TenneT Plots €5 Billion Annual Investment Drive” • TenneT, a Dutch/German transmission system operator, expects to scale up investments to €4 billion to €5 billion in the next few years. The TSO invested over €1.4 billion in the Dutch and German grids in the first half of 2020, a 30% increase on the same period last year when just under €1.1bn was invested. [reNEWS]

¶ “100+ Ultrafast Charging Stations Coming To Aral Stations In Germany” • Germany, at last, has implemented strong new electric vehicle incentives, and EV market share is thus rising fast, with EV market share nearing 9% in June. Plus, automakers have to sell electric cars or pay big fines, so they’re finally trying to sell EVs. [CleanTechnica]

Aral charging stations (Image courtesy of Aral)

¶ “Singapore Set To Get A New Peer-to-Peer Renewable Trading Platform” • Singapore-based Senoko Energy announced that it had launched a pilot project for peer-to-peer renewable energy trading. The company says the project will allow producers and consumers to trade locally-produced solar energy after they had registered on the platform. [Mercom India]

¶ “Australia’s Trilemma Of Providing Good, Fast And Cheap Energy Finally Has A Clear Solution” • Good, fast, cheap. Pick only two” is a maxim that applies to almost any endeavor. The Australian Energy Market Operator’s Integrated System Plan has put paid to that trilemma, at least for energy in Australia with its vast renewable energy resources. [The Guardian]

Installing solar panels (Lucy Hughes Jones | AAP)

¶ “UK Wind Output Hits Record 64 TWh In 2019” • Total wind generation in the UK rose by 13% in 2019 to a record 64 TWh, the Government’s Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics said. Wind speeds in 2019 were down on 2018, by 0.31 knots on average, but this was more than offset by additional capacity coming online, the government said. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “It’s Time! A Majority Of People In The US Say The Federal Gov’t Should Do More About Climate” • A Pew Research Center study found a majority of US adults want the government to do more about climate change. And not just Democrats. Of those the center calls “Republican leaders,” 83% say climate change is impacting their local community. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it (From Global Change)

¶ “Duke Energy, SustainRNG Partner To Develop RNG On Dairy Farms” • Duke Energy announced partnering with SustainRNG to harness renewable natural gas on dairy farms, starting in the southeastern US. SustainRNG will engineer, finance, construct, and operate Renewable Natural Gas sites in collaboration with dairy farmers. [Biomass Magazine]

¶ “EDPR Reaches 200-MW Harvest Ridge Summit” • EDP Renewables has started commercial operations at the 200-MW Harvest Ridge wind farm in Illinois. The project, located in Douglas County, has long-term power purchase agreements to provide electricity to Wabash Valley Power Alliance, Walmart, and a private offtaker. [reNEWS]

Farm and wind turbines (EDPR image)

¶ “US Lawmakers Urge Change To Icebreaker Shutdown Rules” • A bipartisan group of 32 US legislators, from across north-east Ohio, sent a letter to state authorities requesting reconsideration of operating restrictions placed on the Icebreaker offshore wind project. Last minute conditions imposed by the authorities had made the project unfeasible. [reNEWS]

¶ “Chevron To Build 500 MW Of Renewables To Power Oil And Gas Facilities” • Chevron announced that it will build 500 MW of renewable energy plants to power some of its global facilities. This amounts to a sizable scaling up of clean energy resources for an oil giant that has made comparatively few big investments in renewables to date. [Greentech Media]

Yippee!

¶ “GoMacro To Power Viola With Renewable Wind Energy” • GoMacro, known for its organic, plant-based nutrition bars, says all residences, businesses and schools in Viola, Wisconsin, will be powered by 100% renewable wind energy thanks to a partnership it entered into with the village. The partnership is the first of its kind in the country. [North American Windpower]

¶ “JEA Settles Costly Lawsuit Over Plant Vogtle” • Florida utility JEA announced it had settled its lawsuit with the owners of Plant Vogtle, ending a legal fight that cost Jacksonville ratepayers more than $10 million while failing to free it from a controversial agreement to purchase power from the Georgia nuclear power plant. [The Florida Times-Union]

Have a totally awesome day.

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July 30 Energy News

July 30, 2020

World:

¶ “MHI, CIP Forge Japan Offshore Wind Joint Venture” • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners entered into a joint venture to develop offshore wind projects off the coast of Hokkaido. The 50:50 joint venture will have a team of staff from both owners. MHI already has a joint venture with turbine maker Vestas. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbine installation (Image: MHI Vestas)

¶ “Record EV Sales In Europe” • While the European automotive market is still in recovery mode in June, down 24% year over year, the European passenger plugin vehicle market has returned to the fast track, with almost 93,000 registrations in June, a 95% increase. In fact, it was a record performance – and it came during an industry slump. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewables Covered 50% Of Germany’s Power Demand In H1” • Germany’s Federal Environment Agency said this week that renewables generated around 138 billion kWh of electricity in the first six months of 2020, or roughly 10 billion kWh more than in the first half of 2019. Solar PVs accounted for about 28 billion kWh of the total. [pv magazine International]

Renewable energy (Winsol image)

¶ “Saudi SABIC To Build World’s First Renewable Power Chemical Plant” • SABIC plans to build a chemical plant in Spain fully powered by renewable energy in what is the first project of its kind anywhere in the world. The polycarbonate facility in Cartegena is expected to be fully operational by 2024, powered by a 100-MW PV solar plant. [ZAWYA]

¶ “Power Giant Highlights Potential Of Argyll Renewable Energy Plant” • Energy giant Drax sees great potential in the Cruachan pumped hydro storage power station in Argyll. It is considering a plan for dramatic expansion of the facility, which could provide a big boost to the local economy. It could invest hundreds of millions of pounds in it. [HeraldScotland]

Turbine hall at Cruachan facility (Drax image)

¶ “Shell And Eneco Win Dutch Offshore Wind Tender” • A consortium of Shell and Eneco triumphed in the latest subsidy free Dutch offshore wind auction, securing the right to build the 759-MW Hollandse Kust North project. The CrossWind joint venture will install 69 wind turbines from Siemens Gamesa, each with a capacity of 11 MW. [reNEWS]

¶ “World’s Fastest Energy Transition: AEMO Maps Path To 94% Renewables” • The Australian Energy Market Operator says Australia is in the midst of what is likely to be the world’s fastest energy transition. And it finalised its 20-year blueprint to make sure that the shift from coal to a grid dominated by wind, solar, and storage can happen smoothly. [RenewEconomy]

Wind turbines (Infigen Energy)

US:

¶ “Elon Musk Says Tesla Willing To Share Software And Powertrains With Competitors” • Tesla has been pleading with established automakers for years to please, please, please make competitive electric cars. For all those companies struggling to catch up, Elon Musk has a simple solution. Buy what you need from Tesla. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “China Is Crushing The USA In Electric Bus Growth. Proterra Wants To Change That” • China already has 420,000 e-buses in operation. The US has only about 600. Proterra has developed a battery-leasing program for local governments that brings the upfront investment in an e-bus down to the same level as that of a legacy diesel. [CleanTechnica]

Proterra bus (Courtesy of Proterra)

¶ “Arizona Regulators May Impose Big Boost In Energy Requirements – 100% Clean Energy By 2050” • Arizona utility regulators are proposing a substantial increase in renewable energy requirements, mandating that utilities eventually get all their power from carbon-free sources. This would put Arizona in line with many of its Western neighbors. [AZCentral.com]

¶ “US Department Of Energy Picks Five Projects To Receive Up To $28 Million For Geothermal Energy Research” • The US DOE announced that five projects will receive up to $28 million to promote the advancement of the next generation of geothermal energy technologies. The projects align with the goals of the 2019 GeoVision study. [CleanTechnica]

Geothermal energy (HERO image)

¶ “Renewables set to replace coal-fired San Juan Generating Station” • With a unanimous vote, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission ended part of the debate on the future of coal in the Four Corners region. Utility PNM will rely on 100% renewable energy and battery storage to replace coal-fired San Juan Generating Station. [New Mexico Political Report]

¶ “Texas Utility CPS Energy Kicks Off Search For More Than 1 GW Of Clean Resources” • San Antonio municipal utility CPS Energy is asking for ideas on how it can replace aging fossil-fueled generation with more than 1 GW of solar, flexible capacity, and storage. CPS’ “Flexible Path” plan calls for 80% of its energy to be emissions free by 2040. [Greentech Media]

San Antonio

¶ “ORNL-Produced Plutonium-238 To Help Power Perseverance On Mars” • After a long journey to Mars that starts this summer, NASA’s Perseverance rover will be powered across the planet’s surface in part by plutonium produced at the US DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Nuclear decay produces heat that is used to charge batteries. [Mirage News]

¶ “More Big Batteries Coming To The West, As EDF Renewables Nabs Deal With NV Energy” • EDF Renewables plans to build a 200-MW solar plant with a 180-MW / 720-MWh battery for NV Energy, the developer announced. It is one of a growing list of large solar-and-storage projects under construction in the state and the broader region. [Greentech Media]

Have a really fun day.

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July 29 Energy News

July 29, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Talking About Climate Change: It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It” • You might have found yourself talking to someone about Earth justice and climate change, and suddenly, you notice their eyes have started to glaze over. How do you talk to such a person? The answer lies in messaging, as has been explained by political author George Lakoff. [CleanTechnica]

Sen Whitehouse with US Fish & Wildlife officials (public domain)

Science and Technology:

¶ “World’s Largest Nuclear Fusion Project Begins Assembly” • The world’s biggest nuclear fusion project has entered its five-year assembly phase. When finished, it will be able to generate the super-hot “plasma” needed for fusion power. The £18.2 billion (€20 billion; $23.5 billion) facility has been under construction in southern France. [BBC]

¶ “Believe It Or Not, Forests Migrate – But Not Fast Enough For Climate Change” • We’re all familiar with migration: Wildebeests in Africa, Monarch butterflies in the Americas … but did you know that forests migrate, too? In his new book The Journeys of Trees, science writer Zach St George explores the agonizingly slow migration of forests. [GPB]

Giant Sequoia National Monument (David McNew | Getty Images)

World:

¶ “RBC Becomes First Canadian Bank To Sign Long-Term Renewable Energy Power Purchase Agreement” • RBC has announced signing a formal partnership with Bullfrog Power, a Spark Power company, and BluEarth Renewables for a long-term renewable energy Power Purchase Agreement. It is a first for a Canadian financial institution. [Stockhorse]

¶ “1.4 Million Ugandans To Access Reliable And Affordable Energy Under New Initiative” • Millions of people in villages of Uganda are set to access reliable, cheap electricity for the first time under a new off-grid solar scheme that Fenix International, an ENGIE subsidiary, and the European Investment Bank have agreed on. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Off-grid electricity charging a cell phone (Courtesy of Engie)

¶ “Greenlink Gains Onshore Planning Approvals In Wales” • Pembrokeshire County Council in Wales approved remaining planning applications for onshore works for the 500-MW Greenlink interconnector. The 200 km submarine cable will link the power markets of Great Britain and Ireland. The approval was unanimous. [reNEWS]

¶ “Nearly 3 Billion Animals Killed Or Displaced In Australia’s Fires, Scientists Say” • Nearly 3 billion animals were killed or displaced by the catastrophic bushfire season that scorched tens of millions of acres across Australia in 2019 and 2020, according to experts. They hope the research will demonstrate the urgent need for action to prevent future disasters. [HuffPost]

Animal rescue (John Moore | Getty Images)

¶ “Kayan And Cirata Renewable Power Plant Projects Continue Despite Pandemic” • The development of West Java’s Cirata solar power plant and North Kalimantan’s Kayan hydropower plant is moving forward despite the ongoing pandemic. The two plants are nearing the construction phase, bringing Indonesia closer to a boost in its green energy capacity. [Jakarta Post]

US:

¶ “Why America’s Schools Are Turning Into Solar Power Stations” • On the campus of Galesburg High School in Illinois, there is a football field, a track, eight tennis courts, two baseball and two softball diamonds, and an acre of PVs that can generate nearly 1,800 MWh of electricity per year. The array will knock $40,000 off the school’s energy bill. [HuffPost]

Galesburg High School (Courtesy of Galesburg CUSD 205)

¶ “Solar-for-Coal Energy Swaps Could Facilitate Utilities’ Renewables Transition, Analysis Shows” • Natural gas is often called a transition fuel between coal and renewables, but direct solar-for-coal swaps could enable utilities to skip that step entirely, according to an analysis by Energy Innovation: Policy and Technology LLC. [Morning Consult]

¶ “Study Finds Renewable Energy Has Created 6,300 Jobs In Rural Colorado” • The renewable energy industry has created 6,334 jobs and generates $388.6 million a year in economic activity in eastern Colorado, according to a study from The Western Way, a Denver-based conservative environmental group. [Colorado Springs Gazette]

Wind turbine in Colorado (Christian Murdock | The Gazette)

¶ “Switch Turns To Tesla For Renewable Energy Storage” • Global data center provider Switch has selected Tesla as the battery supplier for a massive solar project at its northern Nevada data center facilities. It is a geographically easy alliance as Switch’s campus is right near Tesla’s Gigafactory Nevada manufacturing facility. [Network World]

¶ “Duke Rolls Out Alternative Lifting Service In US” • Duke Energy Renewables is rolling out an alternative lifting service for turbine repair and maintenance. Duke says its new service is more efficient than traditional wind turbine maintenance, which can require many cranes, a large construction zones and precise scheduling of contractors and equipment. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Duke Energy image)

¶ “Hundreds Of Toxic Superfund Sites Imperiled By Sea-Level Rise, Study Warns” • A new study by the Union of Concerned Scientists concludes that more than 800 hazardous Superfund sites near the Atlantic and Gulf coasts are at risk of flooding in the next 20 years, distributing toxic chemicals, even with low rates of sea level rise. [InsideClimate News]

¶ “Boulder And Xcel Energy Reach A Potential Agreement On Boulder’s Clean Energy Future” • The City of Boulder and Xcel Energy announced reaching a settlement that, if approved by the City Council and Boulder voters, would create new pathways to reach the city’s clean energy and emissions goals and suspend the city’s municipalization effort. [City of Boulder]

Have a manifestly glorious day.

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July 28 Energy News

July 28, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Can India Provide Free Solar-Powered Irrigation To All Its Farmers?” • In India, agricultural irrigation accounts for about 18% of all electricity consumption. Wells supply 60% of the water for irrigation, requiring 21 million electrical pumps and 9 million diesel pumps. Solar pumps may be the country’s best application of solar energy. [CleanTechnica]

Rice farmer in Andhra Pradesh (Image: Water Alternatives)

¶ “Russian Control of US Uranium Is a National Security Threat” • America’s overreliance on uranium from Russia and other former Soviet states may be lost on the average American citizen, but Russian President Vladimir Putin may think about it a lot. Russian law says he can cut off nuclear fuel supplies to the US anytime he sees fit. [theTrumpet.com]

World:

¶ “First Ethiopian-Assembled All-Electric Hyundai Ioniq Rolls Out Of Haile Gebrselassie’s Marathon Motor Engineering Plant” • Marathon Motor Engineering, a joint venture of Hyundai Motor Company and Olympic Champion Haile Gebrselassie, is now assembling the all-electric Hyundai Ioniq in Ethiopia. The first one went to the prime minister. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai Ioniq (Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali via Twitter)

¶ “You Can Now Lease An All-Electric Sedan In Ghana For Just $160 Per Month!” • Driving electric in many African countries is a lot cheaper than driving on combustion engines. Ghana and other African countries have a huge opportunity for consumers to jump straight into the world of EVs, bypassing the Internal Combustion Era Age. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Future Living® Berlin Includes Panasonic’s Energy Management Solution” • Panasonic announced Future Living® Berlin as part of the company’s focus on decarbonizing society. Engineers at Panasonic’s R&D Center in Europe have developed an intelligent energy management solution to optimize the use of energy, including heating. [CleanTechnica]

Future Living® Berlin (Screenshot: Future Living® Berlin)

¶ “SPR Completes Construction At 714MW East Anglia 1” • The 714-MW East Anglia 1 offshore wind farm, off England’s east coast, has completed construction with all 102 turbines now fully operational. Around 20% of the turbine installation and around half the turbine connection work were finished during lockdown, with adaptations for health safety. [reNEWS]

¶ “WindFloat Atlantic Completes Hook-Up Phase” • A final video showing the hook-up of the 25-MW WindFloat Atlantic project off the coast of Portugal, part of a series documenting the installation, was released by the developing consortium. They deployed three 8.4-MW wind turbines, the largest installed on floating platforms to date. [reNEWS]

Floating wind turbine (EDPR image)

¶ “Era Of Subsidy-Free Offshore Wind Turbines Has Arrived, Researchers Say” • Researchers found that the cost of offshore wind farms in some parts of the world is now so low that they are generating ‘negative subsidies’ that leave energy users financially better off. The paper was published in the academic journal Nature Energy. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Clean-Energy Optimism Soars As World Struggles With The Pandemic’s Fallout” • As companies and governments try work to recover from the Covid-19 crisis, leaders in the renewable energy sector say business is chugging along, attracting new money and new players. The momentum is being fueled by falling costs and popular support. [S&P Global]

Solar farm in the state of Chihuahua (Source: NexTracker Inc)

¶ “TSMC Commits To 100% Clean Power, Pressuring Chipmaker Rivals To Follow Suit” • TSMC, the world’s biggest maker of semiconductors, has committed to source 100% of its power globally from renewable sources. This puts pressure on such rivals as Samsung, as well as large power consumers across Asia, to follow suit. [Forbes]

US:

¶ “EPA Watchdog To Review Trump’s Auto Emissions Rule Changes” • The Trump administration’s overhaul of vehicle emission standards is under review by the EPA inspector general to determine whether it met requirements for “transparency, record-keeping, and docketing, and followed the EPA’s process for developing final regulatory actions.” [CNN]

Traffic (Chad Myers NWS)

¶ “US Energy Savings From Light-Duty Plug-In Electric Vehicles Was 44.8 Trillion BTU In 2019” • Due to their efficiency, plug-in electric vehicles use less energy than their counterparts with internal combustion engines. Energy savings in the US due to light-duty PEVs in 2019 are estimated at 44.8 trillion BTU, up 47% from 2018, the DOE says. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Microsoft Tests Hydrogen Fuel Cells For Backup Power At Datacenters” • In a worldwide first that could jumpstart a long-forecast clean energy economy built around the most abundant element in the universe, hydrogen fuel cells have powered a row of datacenter servers for 48 consecutive hours, according to a Microsoft announcement. [Microsoft]

Hydrogen tanks at data center (Credit: Power Innovations)

¶ “Why Utilities In Minnesota And Other States Need To Plan For More Competition” • Many US utilities develop comprehensive resource plans every few years. Utility regulators often defer to the utility and blindly accept utility forecasts. The plans can undercount distributed solar, with significant financial and economic consequences. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Duke Kick-Starts North Carolina PV Double” • Duke Energy has started construction on solar farms with a combined capacity of 94-MW in North Carolina. The projects are the 25-MW Gaston development in Gaston County and the 69-MW Maiden Creek facility in Catawba County. They will generate enough electricity for about 20,000 customers. [reNEWS]

Have an enthusiastically sensible day.

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July 27 Energy News

July 27, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Bolivia Is Ransacking Lithium From Its Indigenous People” • In earlier times, Native American workers in Potosí, Bolivia, were forced to work in the silver mines for silver that they never saw, when colonizers forced them into slavery to mine the silver. Today, for the natives in Potosí, lithium is the new silver, for which they can be exploited. [CleanTechnica]

Potosí (Victor Hugo Cazas Sarmiento, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “The Surprising Blue Chips Demanding A Green Energy Stimulus” • The Hill reported this week, “McDonald’s and Pepsi are calling on Congress to include green energy in the next Covid-19 relief package…” They are not alone in this, with over 30 companies signing the letter. They see the US falling behind on the a major opportunity. [OilPrice.com]

Science and Technology:

¶ “How The World’s Smelliest Fruit Could Power Your Phone” • The lithium-ion batteries in our devices degrade over time and come with a large environmental cost. Are there better ways to store and carry energy that are kinder to the planet? The answer is certainly yes. And there are many better ways to choose from, including making them from smelly fruit. [BBC]

Durian fruit, ready to be made into capacitors (Credit: Alamy)

¶ “A Solar Roof That Only Comes Out When The Sun Is Shining” • Two Swiss companies have partnered to create something more than just a typical solar roof over a parking lot, making electricity while keeping vehicles cool. The solar folding roof can come out when the sun is out, soak up the rays, then go to bed when it’s cloudy, nighttime, or raining. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “What The Heroin Industry Can Teach Us About Solar Power” • Afghan opium growers switched to solar power, and the world supply of heroin increased significantly. Diesel-powered pumps are costly and unreliable. Replacing them with solar panels has allowed increased profits and expanded poppy farms into what had been desert. [BBC]

Solar powered irrigation for illegal poppy farm

¶ “Volkswagen Inks $1.4 Billion Battery Deal With Wanxiang A123” • Ric Fulop, one of the original founders of A123, tweeted that Wanxiang A123 will supply Volkswagen with batteries worth about $1.4 billion for its electric car models in China. The A123 batteries use LiFePO₄ technology, which does not use cobalt and has other advantages. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “World’s Largest Solar Power Plant Moves Forward In Abu Dhabi With Contract Award” • Plans for developing the world’s largest solar power plant in the deserts of the Gulf have been given the go-ahead, with the authorities in the UAE awarding the project to a multinational consortium. The project had been bid at the historic low of 1.35¢/kWh. [Forbes]

Desert PVs (Godong | Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

¶ “UK Power Sector ‘Could Have Negative Emissions By 2033′” • Installing offshore wind capacity of 40 GW in the UK, together with the deployment of bioenergy and carbon capture and storage, could lead to negative emissions in the power sector by 2033, according to research by National Grid ESO. The report looked at several scenarios. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Renewable Energy Provides More Than 25% Of US Electricity In May Of 2020” • Renewable energy produced significantly more electricity than either coal or nuclear power during the first five months of 2020, SUN DAY Campaign analysis shows. In May, renewable sources provided 25.3% of the nation’s electricity, an all-time high. [Renewables Now]

High Lonesome wind farm in Texas (Enel Green Power image)

¶ “Ford Reveals An Electric Mustang Mach-E SUV With 1,400 Horsepower” • Ford has created a one-of-a-kind demonstration version of its Mustang Mach-E SUV with seven electric motors that can produce a total of up to 1,400 horsepower. Next year, Ford will begin selling a street legal Mach-E GT SUV producing 459 horsepower from two electric motors. [CNN]

¶ “Standard Lithium Ramping Up Lithium From Brine Operations” • Standard Lithium, based in British Columbia, is one of the largest producers of bromine, which is extracted from groundwater. Now it has a process that captures lithium from its wastewater. It is developing that process at sites in Arkansas and California. [CleanTechnica]

Standard Lithium facility in Arkansas (Standard Lithium)

¶ “sPower Secures $700 Million In Financing For 620-MW Solar Project” • sPower announced that it closed on over $700 million of loan financing for Spotsylvania Solar Energy Center in Virginia. At 620 MW, this is the largest solar project east of the Rockies. The project is under construction, with phases coming online as they are finished. [Saurenergy]

¶ “How The Nuclear Industry Is Getting Past A Tough US Power Market” • Nuclear proponents are not ready to concede that nuclear power has been priced out of the US electricity market, but they look increasingly at other uses for reactors and other places to sell them. They have hopes for decarbonizing difficult processes, such as making aluminum. [Forbes]

Have a simply charming day.

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July 25 Energy News

July 26, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “To Solve The Climate Crisis, We Need An Investment Revolution” • We depend on our leaders in moments of crisis. We also depend on the tenacity and insights of scientists, the ingenuity and vision of entrepreneurs, and the resourcefulness and boldness of companies to solve big problems. But we also need investors. [World Economic Forum]

Dawn (Karsten Würth | Unsplash.com)

¶ “Recent Gutting Of Regulations Is Inhibiting Adequate Review Of Renewable Energy Projects” • With offshore wind energy activities underway in states along the Atlantic coast, we stand at the start of an exciting offshore wind energy boom. But these states are acting in the absence of federal leadership, and that poses an unnecessary hindrance. [MSN Money]

¶ “Suicide By A Thousand Cuts: Trump’s War On America” • There is a saying, “United we stand, divided we fall.” It comes in many forms, in many languages, including Abraham Lincoln’s “A house divided against itself, cannot stand.” I have no doubt that it is a reason for Vladimir Putin to support the the intentionally divisive Donald Trump. [CleanTechnica]

USS Bryant (DD-665) on its way to the Pacific, one
of my Dad’s ships (US Navy photo, public domain)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Seaweed To The Rescue, From Renewable Energy To Covid-19 Treatment” • Renewable energy researchers have been turning to seaweed as a source of biofuel, and while that’s bubbling up in the background, the COVID-19 crisis brings renewed attention to the all-around sustainability aspect of harvesting renewable resources from the sea. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “New Study Suggests That The EU Carbon Market Won’t Cut Pollution – Including Road Transport” • A study by Cambridge Econometrics found that the EU’s requirement for oil companies to buy EU pollution permits for diesel oil and petrol sold to motorists really won’t make a difference in regards to significant emissions reductions. [CleanTechnica]

Street in Groningen, Netherlands

¶ “VW’s Accra Factory Starts Production, And Toyota And Nissan Also Set To Open Plants This Year. We Hope They Add EVs Soon!” • Ghana’s Automotive Development Policy encouraged VW, Toyota, and Nissan to look into opening assembly plants in the country. VW Ghana’s new vehicle assembly plant has already started production. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “World’s Largest Hybrid Timber Tower Will Be Built In Sydney” • The world’s largest timber hybrid tower is going to be built in Sydney, Australia. This hybrid timber tower is made with a technique known as Mass Timber Construction. MTC has a steel exoskeleton supports the entire structure, largely built of wood and glass. [CleanTechnica]

Inside the MTC structure (Mike Cannon-Brookes | Atlassian)

¶ “WA Premier Mark McGowan unveils $2.7 billion stimulus to boost state’s economy” • The West Australian Government has unveiled $2.7 billion in new stimulus spending designed to boost the state’s economy, with a focus on renewable energy and building maintenance among other areas. A total of 21 sectors have been pegged for stimulus. [ABC News]

India:

¶ “CERC Plans To Ease Norms For Renewable Energy Projects To Get ISTS Connectivity” • India’s Central Electricity Regulatory Commission has eased the requirements for renewable energy projects to get connectivity to the Inter-State Transmission System , according to new draft procedures released on the matter. [The Indian Express]

Transmission lines

¶ “Indian States Announce Plans For 1.2 GW Of New Solar Power Parks” • India witnessed a surge in announcements of renewable energy projects in the past few weeks. Several have been made by states to develop solar parks and floating solar plants. India has an ambitious target of installing 175 GW of renewable generating capacity by 2022. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Azure Power Receives LOA For 2 GW Of Solar Projects With 500 MW Of Manufacturing Capacity” • Azure Power announced receipt of a letter of award for 2 GW of interstate transmission system solar projects under the greenshoe option in the Solar Energy Corporation of India’s manufacturing-linked solar tender. [EnergyInfraPost]

Installing solar panels

¶ “India Proposes Solar Park In Sri Lanka” • According to media reports, NTPC Limited, the largest power generation company in India, has proposed setting up a solar park in Sri Lanka. NTPC had earlier proposed to set up a coal-based power plant in the country, but that proposal was squashed because of concerns for the environment. [CleanTechnica]

US:

Repairs after a microburst (Kelly Presnell | Arizona Daily Star)

¶ “System Upgrades Are Helping Tucson Electric Power Improve Reliability, Reduce Outages” • Tucson Electric Power says it has spent over a billion dollars in recent years to improve its system and make it more resilient. Those investments helped reduce average TEP outage times by more than 15 minutes over the past two years. [Arizona Daily Star]

¶ “Geomega Will Recycle Rare Earths From USA Rare Earth” • Geomega Resources Inc, a cleantech developer for rare earth mining and recycling, is partnering with USA Rare Earth, a funding and development partner of the Round Top Heavy Rare Earth and Critical Minerals Project in West Texas. They are to recycle waste from rare earth production. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Wants To Build Nuclear Power Plants For The Moon And Mars” • The US wants to build nuclear power plants that will work on the moon and Mars. The DOE has put out a request for ideas from the private sector on how to do that. It is looking for a fission surface power system that could allow humans to live for long periods in harsh space environments. [KJZZ]

Have profoundly tranquil day.

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July 25 Energy News

July 25, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Biden Plots $2 Trillion Green Revolution But Faces Wind And Solar Backlash” • Joe Biden’s $2 trillion plan to eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions from the US electricity grid within 15 years has been applauded by climate campaigners, but the enormous overhaul will have to pick its way through a minefield of opposition. [The Guardian]

Wind turbines in Kahuku, Hawaii (Jennifer Sinco Kelleher | AP)

World:

¶ “Britishvolt To Build Battery Gigafactory In UK” • Apparently, the UK is getting a battery gigafactory. A manufacturer called Britishvolt is set to build a 30 GWh battery “gigaplant” in Wales. It will be powered by a 200-MW solar power plant at a former RAF base in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales. Production is expected to begin by 2023. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Indian Module Maker Vikram Solar Announces $700 Million Investment In New Production Line” • Following the Indian government’s appeal to the industry to push for self-reliance and reduce imports, solar energy solutions provider Vikram Solar announced its intent to set up a 3-GW solar manufacturing plant in the state of Tamil Nadu. [CleanTechnica]

Perovo solar farm

¶ “Renewables Giant Iberdrola To Build ‘Europe’s Largest Green Hydrogen Project'” • Iberdrola will build what it calls Europe’s biggest green hydrogen project yet, in a link up with chemicals group Fertiberia. They will spend €150 million to construct a 100-MW solar PV plant, a 20-MWh lithium-ion battery storage system and 20-MW electrolyzer. [Recharge]

¶ “Renewable Energy Push Has Fresh Wind In Its Sails” • Renewable power in looks set to add impetus to Scotland’s economic restart. Onshore wind already has 4 GW of capacity that have achieved planning consent. Another 4 GW of projects are currently in the planning process. Offshore wind too, had 4 GW of projects with planning consent. [HeraldScotland]

Onshore windfarm

¶ “1H20 saw a rise in global renewables investment” • Renewable energy capacity investment showed great resilience in the first half of 2020, in the face of the unprecedented economic shock caused by the coronavirus, according to the latest figures from research company BloombergNEF. Offshore wind financings were up 319% from of last year. [Energy Global]

¶ “Repsol To Purchase 1.6 GW Of Renewable Assets In Chile” • Repsol has agreed to form a joint venturewith Grupo Ibereólica Renovables to manage a portfolio of renewable energy projects in Chile. The projects may generate up to 1.6 GW in 2025, possibly exceeding 2.6 GW in 2030. Repsol will pay $195 million (€168 million) before 2023. [Power Technology]

Wind turbine (Jason Blackeye | Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Nuns Dedicated To Social Justice Create Climate Solutions Fund With Morgan Stanley” • A US-based group of Dominican nuns have partnered with Morgan Stanley to create an impact fund that allows the nuns to invest $110 million (other sources cite $130 million) and change the scope of how sustainable and positive investment is done. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Harvard Profs Plan Geoengineering Experiment, Igniting Ethics Debate” • Two Harvard professors say they are planning to inject about 2 kg (4.4 lbs) of calcium carbonate dust into the air over Arizona to see what effect it has on the amount of solar radiation reaching the Earth below. There are people who do not approve of this type of geoengineering. [CleanTechnica]

Eruption of Mt Pinatubo (Image credit: USGS)

¶ “BYD’s Fully Electric Refuse Trucks Make It Easy To Upgrade Fleets To Zero Emissions” • In partnership with Hudson County Motors, BYD is providing the first fully electric rear loader refuse collection trucks to the East Coast. The new trucks will have sufficient range to run typical full day routes in Jersey City, providing zero emission service. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Sununu Blocks Bill To Expand NH’s Required Renewable Energy Use, Now Lowest In New England” • Gov Chris Sununu handed down another expected veto of a clean energy plan. He rejected a bill that would expand New Hampshire’s Renewable Portfolio Standard and increase how much solar power utilities must use. [New Hampshire Public Radio]

Rooftop solar (Credit Joy Jackson | Unsplash)

¶ “NextEra Energy To Build Its First Green Hydrogen Plant In Florida” • NextEra Energy is closing its last coal-fired power unit and investing in its first green hydrogen facility. In an earnings call, NextEra said it was proposing a $65 million pilot in Florida with a 20-MW electrolyzer to produce 100% green hydrogen from solar power. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Pacific Northwest Utilities Seek Thousands Of Megawatts Of New Renewable And Non-Emitting Energy: A Huge Opportunity For Independent Power Producers” • In the Pacific Northwest, utilities have issued or are issuing requests for proposals that look for a total of roughly 6,000 MW of new renewable generating capacity and storage. [The National Law Review]

Wind turbines in Washington (Umptanum, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “House Bill 6 Repeal Would Address Only Part Of Ohio Lawmakers’ Recent Actions To Slow Renewables” • Lawmakers of both parties are pushing to repeal Ohio’s nuclear bailout bill after this week’s release of a federal criminal complaint. But clean energy advocates are saying that repelaing Bill 6 is just a start of what is needed. [Richland Source]

¶ “US Agency Ends Ban, Will Now Finance Advanced Nuclear Projects Abroad” • The US International Development Finance Corporation has ended a ban on financing nuclear power projects and “will prioritize the support of advanced nuclear technology in emerging and frontier markets,” the federal agency said in a statement. [S&P Global]

Have an outstandingly pleasant day.

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July 24 Energy News

July 24, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “European Renewables Just Crushed Fossil Fuels. Here’s How It Happened” • The EU has seen rosy results for green energy of late. There was a 7% drop in demand due to Covid-19, and plenty of sunny and windy weather. But more lastingly, Austria, Spain, and Sweden closed their last coal-fired power plants, while other countries had large reductions in its use. [Forbes]

Stealing fire from the Gods (DPA | Picture Alliance | Getty Images)

¶ “Nuclear Power: Still A Rip-Off After All These Years” • Nevada politicians, industries, and people fought Yucca Mountain for over three decades. It is interesting to see that the industry trying to ram that waste down our throats is at the heart of this week’s FBI arrest of the Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives on a racketeering charge. [Nevada Current]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Is Underground Farming The Future Of Food?” • Since last September, those who descend underground at Seoul’s Sangdo Station and push through the ticket gate are met with an unusual sight: behind a glass-panelled facade, leafy shoots, sprouts, and microgreens have sprung up from under bright LED lights as part of a subterranean, organic farm. [BBC]

Underground farm

¶ “Tesla’s Efficiency Advantage: Cheap And Abundant LFP Batteries Will Power Mass-Market EVs” • Tesla’s second quarter earnings call just confirmed what may be the hottest technology topic for the EV revolution. Relatively inexpensive and abundant Lithium Iron Phosphate (aka LiFePO₄) batteries can be well suited to affordable mass market EVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Best Case Scenario For Climate Warming Is So Not Happening” • The latest climate report prepared on behalf of the World Climate Research Program looks closely at three climate models and concluded that the best case 1.5°C path is extremely unlikely to happen. It says there is a 66% chance the planet will warm by 2.6°C to 3.9°C. [CleanTechnica]

Clouds (World Climate Research Programme)

World:

¶ “This Simple Rule Change Unleashes Energy Storage Rager Upon UK For Green Covid-19 Recovery” • The prospects for a green recovery look better daily in the EU, and the UK seems not about to be left behind. Its government announced a simple rule change to speed the construction of energy storage facilities for renewables in England and Wales. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EDF Plots Wind Expansion In Chile” • EDF Renewables has approval for the financing of a 60-MW extension to the Cabo Leone 1 wind farm in Chile. EDF is working with Spanish partner Grupo Ibereolica Renovables to bring total capacity up to 175.5 MW. It also won a 40-year concession for land that has potential for about 300 MW of wind capacity. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Image: Infigen)

¶ “Kiwi Power Launches Grid Flexibility Solution In North America” • Energy technology company Kiwi Power launched its distributed energy resource optimisation technology in North America. It offers a combination of its advanced virtual power plant software with expertise that serves energy flexibility in ten countries already. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Tunisia Boosting Renewable Energy Drive” • Climate Fund Managers and UPC Renewables will develop a 30-MW Sidi Mansour wind farm in Tunisia. The project will be among the first independent windpower producers in the country. Climate Fund Mangers is participating as co-developer, sponsor, financial advisor, and E&S advisor. [African Review]

Sidi Mansour Wind Project (Image: Free-Photos | Pixabay)

¶ “World’s Largest Economies Are Still Spending Big On Oil & Gas” • Spending on fossil fuels is still higher than on renewables among members of G20, an update from the Energy Policy Tracker shows. Since the pandemic started, governments have pledged at least $160.95 billion to fossil fuels, versus $123.75 billion to renewables. [OilPrice.com]

US:

¶ “Walhburgers Pilots The Fully Electric Arcimoto Deliverator In Key West, Florida” • Building on early adoption of the Impossible Burger, Wahlburgers continues to lean into sustainability with news of a pilot of Arcimoto’s Deliverator at the burger chain’s Key West location. The pilot is expected to kick off in August when the new location opens. [CleanTechnica]

Wahlburgers’ Arcimoto Deliverator

¶ “Standard Solar Gets $105 Million For US Solar Projects” • Standard Solar announced closing a tax equity commitment for up to $105 million to fund distributed generation PV projects in five states. Grid planners say the new Vermont facility could help relieve a transmission bottleneck without the need for expensive new transmission lines. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nikola Motor Breaks Ground On Factory In Coolidge, Arizona” • Arizona-based Nikola Motor celebrated breaking ground on its new 1,000,000 square foot factory with an event suitably small for Covid-19. It was attended by Nikola leadership, including CEO Mark Russell, and local supporters, including Coolidge Mayor Jon Thompson. [CleanTechnica]

Nikola Motor ground breaking (Image courtesy: Nikola Motor)

¶ “DeWine Reverses Course, Calls To Repeal Energy Law” • Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) reversed course and called for repeal of his state’s nuclear bailout energy law in the wake of a $60 million bribery scandal. He said he continues to support the policy in the bill, but the process that created the bill and the law tainted it irrevocably. [Wheeling Intelligencer]

¶ “In Latest Responsibility Report, Home Depot Sets Renewable Energy Goals” • Home Depot detailed its sustainability progress in its 2020 Responsibility Report. It introduced several new goals, including using 335 MW of renewable energy by 2025. It also provided an update on the company’s response to Covid-19 and social equality issues. [LBM Journal]

Have a demonstrably marvelous day.

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July 23 Energy News

July 23, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “We Break It Down: How Renewables Will Be The Answer To The Economic Rebuild” • Australia is uniquely positioned to capitalize on renewable energy. While 2020 has seen disastrous bushfires and Covid-19 devastate local economies, renewables may provide the opportunity for us to come out of this crisis better than before. [The Guardian]

Renewable energy (Xuanyu Han | Getty Images)

¶ “Renewable Energy Is Seizing Market Share During The Pandemic” • Renewable energy has surged to capture a record share of global electricity generation, seizing more market share during the coronavirus downturn. In the downturn in demand, gas and coal were pushed out of the market because renewables have no variable costs. [OilPrice.com]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Key To Better Batteries Is Soft Solid Electrolytes, Say Researchers” • Dendrites grow in batteries, causing problems. Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, with help from others at Carnegie Mellon University, claim the way to conquer dendrites is soft yet solid electrolytes made from both polymers and ceramics. [CleanTechnica]

VTOL aircraft (Credit: Joby Aviation)

World:

¶ “Oil And Gas And Renewable Tech Firms Form Energy Transition Alliance” • The Energy Transition Alliance is a five-year collaboration to deliver next generation energy technologies and accelerate the UK’s transition to net zero. It was formed by the Oil & Gas Technology Center and the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult. [Energy Live News]

¶ “CEC Says Thousands Of Renewable Jobs At Stake In Queensland Election” • The Clean Energy Council says that Queensland has a chance to seize an enormous economic opportunity presented by an expanded clean energy sector, and has called on the state’s political parties to embrace renewables head of a looming state election. [RenewEconomy]

Solar farm in Queensland

¶ “Renewable Energy Revolution Underway In Ipswich” • Queensland’s renewable energy revolution is kicking in at Ipswich, with the city’s first solar farm approved and a solar-powered car park in operation. It is following businesses and homes in this, as over 26,000 private rooftop solar systems are already installed and operating. [Mirage News]

¶ “Flexible Energy Systems For Africa Accelerated By Crises” • In South Africa, responding to the department of mineral resources and energy’s first budget speech since a departmental merger, Standard Bank Group says the Covid-19 crisis highlights that Africa needs to develop flexible energy systems, renewables and decentralized. [ESI Africa]

Solar array (Featured image: Stock)

¶ “Ball Corporation Inks Power Purchase Deals For 93.4 MW Of European Wind Energy” • Ball Corporation as struck two major wind power deals in Spain and Sweden to provide almost two-thirds of the electricity load required by its European aluminium beverage packaging plants, it announced. The projects are set to come online next year. [businessgreen.com]

¶ “Offshore Wind ‘Critical’ To UK Covid-19 Recovery” • The UK expects the offshore wind sector to play a critical role in the country’s economic recovery post Covid-19, according to BEIS director of clean power strategy and deployment Declan Burke. He said, there are enormous opportunities for the local wind turbine supply chain. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbines (SPR image)

US:

¶ “Enel Green Power Starts Construction Of Its First Renewables + Storage Project In North America” • Enel Green Power started building the Lily solar + storage project, its first hybrid project in North America, integrating renewable energy with storage. It will have 146 MW of PVs and a 50 MW battery. Enel plans for 1 GW of battery storage in the US. [AltEnergyMag]

¶ “Tesla Tripled Solar Roof Installations In Q2 2020” • Tesla released what was perhaps the most highly anticipated quarterly earnings letter to date. While much of Tesla’s business was flat quarter on quarter due to coronavirus, we learned Tesla was able to triple the number of Solar Roof installations in Q2 compared to Q1 of this year. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Solarglass Roof installation (Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Confirmed: Tesla’s Giga Texas In Austin, Texas, Will Build Cybertruck, Semi, Model 3 And Y” • In Tesla’s quarterly earnings letter, CEO Elon Musk confirmed the location of the new factory. It will be Giga Texas, built just outside Austin. It will produce the Cybertruck, but also the Tesla Semi, Model Y, and Model 3 for customers in the Eastern US. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Ramping Up Fremont Factory’s Production of Model 3 And Y To 500,000 Per Year By End Of 2020” • Tesla said to help meet demand, it is increasing production capacity for the Model 3 and Model Y at its Fremont, California factory from the current annualized production rate of 400,000 vehicles to 500,000 by the end of 2020. [CleanTechnica]

Model 3 bodyshop in Fremont (Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Money From Pacific Power Program Helps Portland Nonprofit With Costs Of Housing For Veterans” • The Robert J Breitung Veteran Building in Northeast Portland is soon to become home to 28 previously houseless veterans. The nonprofit Do Good Multnomah funded the project with some help on operation costs from rooftop solar panels. [KGW.com]

¶ “Diablo Canyon Employees, Contractors Tested Positive For Covid-19” • At least ten employees of Diablo Canyon Power Plant have become infected with Covid-19 since the pandemic began in March, according to a Pacific Gas & Electric spokeswoman. There were eight PG&E employees and two contractors among them. [Santa Maria Times]

Have a thrillingly agreeable day.

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July 22 Energy News

July 22, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Nakhchivan: The World’s Most Sustainable Nation?” • As a result of regional conflicts, residents of Nakhchivan, an enclave of Azerbaijan, developed an unwavering sense of self-sufficiency born from scarcity and necessity. They began producing their own goods and planting their own food, based strictly on a pesticide-free, all-organic food policy. [BBC]

Nakhchivan countryside (Credit: Anar Aliyev | Getty Images)

¶ “How Big Is The Anti-Cleantech Propaganda Industry?” • As it turns out, anti-cleantech PR and influence peddling is a bonafide industry. It’s shadowy as it can be, and it’s impossible to tell how big or how deep it goes, but estimates put it in the $9 billion per year range. If only we would see that sort of investment in clean energy news sites! [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Revolutionary Boat Powered By The Ocean” • The Philippines’ traditional three-hulled boat is being redesigned, to draw its power not from fossil fuels, but from the energy of the waves. The hybrid trimaran’s use of wave energy could be a significant step toward reducing the need for environmentally damaging fuels. [BBC]

Traditional Philippine boats (Credit: Getty Images)

¶ “Link Between Air Pollution And Vascular Damage, Study Finds” • A link between exposure to air pollution and vascular (heart) damage has been found in a new study, which was led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health. The cross-sectional study that analyzed more than 3,000 people living in 28 villages south of Hyderabad, India. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Green Power Beats Fossil Fuels For First Time In Europe” • About 40% of the electricity in the first half of 2020 in the 27 EU countries came from renewable sources, compared with 34% from plants burning fossil fuels, the London environmental group Ember said. As a result, CO₂ emissions from the power sector fell 23%. [Yahoo Canada Finance]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “‘Coal Has No Place In Covid-19 Recovery Plans,’ Says UN Chief” • UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has urged countries to stop financing the coal industry, to deliver a sustainable future following the pandemic. “Coal has no place in Covid-19 recovery plans,” he said during an online summit hosted by the International Energy Agency. [CNN]

¶ “Green Energy Ratchets Up Power During Coronavirus Pandemic” • Renewable power has taken up a record share of global electricity production since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a Reuters review of data, suggesting a transition away from polluting fossil fuels could be accelerated in the coming years. [marketscreener.com]

Water released at a dam (Russell Cheyne | Reuters File Photo)

¶ “Global Offshore Pipeline Grows By 30%” • The global pipeline of offshore wind energy projects that are operational, under construction, consented, or being planned has soared by 30% in the last twelve months from 122 GW to 159 GW. RenewableUK’s latest Offshore Wind Project Intelligence report shows that the UK has retained its top spot. [reNEWS]

¶ “Hydrogen Part Of UK Heat Decarbonisation Strategy” • A new commission set up by the UK Government to advise on heat decarbonisation has identified hydrogen as one of the options to help achieve net zero. Its report said hydrogen needs “significant market building” in the UK in order to drive down production costs. [reNEWS]

Hydrogen cylinders (Colin Keldie | EMEC)

¶ “India To Have 60% Renewable Energy By 2030: Power Minister RK Singh” • India will have around 60% of its installed electricity generation capacity from clean sources by 2030, its Power and New & Renewable Energy Minister said. He also exuded confidence that the renewable energy capacity would touch 510 GW by 2030. [Business Standard]

¶ “Ireland’s Renewable Electricity Scheme Gets EU Approval” • Ireland’s Renewable Electricity Support Scheme has passed EU state aid rules, allowing it to take provided funding for future renewable projects. The scheme’s targets include making 70% of its energy from clean sources by 2030, while contributing to the EU renewable energy target. [Power Technology]

Wind farm (Karsten Würth | Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Crowdfunding For Clean Energy – Raise Green Launches New Marketplace” • An impact investment company set up “the first crowdfunding platform for investment in clean energy projects nationwide.” Its first listing, the National Energy Improvement Fund, is a Certified B Corporation® specialized energy efficiency and resilience lender. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New York State Announces 4 GW In Renewables Solicitations” • New York State Governor Andrew M Cuomo has announced 4 GW of renewable energy solicitations and a multi-billion dollar port strategy. This will include a second solicitation of offshore wind, seeking up to 2.5 GW of projects, said to be the largest in the nation’s history. [reNEWS]

Governor Andrew M Cuomo (Image: NYSGO)

¶ “Environmental Groups Want Controversial Ohio Nuclear Bailout Bill Reexamined; HB6 Now At The Center Of FBI Investigation” • Ohio House Bill 6 bailed out two FirstEnergy power plants and gave subsidies to coal plants, while dismantling mandates for clean energy. Now, it is the centerpiece of a federal bribery investigation. [cleveland.com]

¶ “Progress On Our Goal To Be Carbon Negative By 2030” • In January, Microsoft launched its environmental sustainability initiative with an announcement that it will be carbon negative by 2030. It also committed to providing updates on our progress. Today, Microsoft is announcing seven important new steps on our path to be carbon negative by 2030. [Microsoft]

Have an enchantingly superb day.

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July 21 Energy News

July 21, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Climate Change Is A Hoax, And These Books Prove It!” • A viable industry is built on denying that climate change is real, thanks to the Koch Brothers’ funding of a bevy of crackpots and a slew of so-called “institutes” designed to spread the message that pumping billions of tons of carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere is actually good for us. [CleanTechnica]

World Turtle (Public domain image via Wikipedia)

¶ “More Bad News For Oil & Gas: Plastic Recycling Targeted By University of Delaware” • The US DOE has earmarked $11.6 million for a new high-impact R&D effort called the Center for Plastics Innovation. It is to lead to a high value, high efficiency plastic recycling stream that will undercut the use of virgin oil and gas in the chemical industry. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Polar Bears Could Be Lost By 2100” • Polar bears will be wiped out by the end of the century unless more is done to tackle climate change, a study predicts. Scientists say some populations have already reached their survival limits as the Arctic sea ice shrinks. The carnivores rely on the sea ice of the Arctic Ocean to hunt for seals. [BBC]

Bears on thin ice (Katharina M Miller)

¶ “55.3% Of The World’s Population Exposed To Increasing Air Pollution” • A study led by Professor Gavin Shaddick at the University of Exeter shows that over half of the world’s people are exposed to increasing air pollution. The findings show that global efforts to improve air quality aren’t working as well as they are intended to. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Red Sea Corals’ Heat Tolerance Offers Hope For Climate Crisis” • Reefs from Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea survived when scientists cranked the heat above the lethal threshold and waited for them to die. The scientists said corals taken from the Gulf of Aqaba appeared untroubled by an increase in temperature of seven degrees. [The Guardian]

Coral (Photo: Maoz Fine)

World:

¶ “And The Award Goes To … Greta Thunberg” • Greta’s been named Time magazine’s Person of the Year and is among Forbes’ list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women of 2019. She has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Now, she’s won a major prize for humanity, with a €1 million award – which she’s donating to charity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ghana Pushes For Adoption Of EVs To Soak Up Excess Electricity Generation Capacity” • Ghana has found itself in the admirable position of having excess generation capacity. The installed generating capacity is about 4,990 MW, but the peak load is around 2,612 MW. To use excess electricity, Ghana is pushing a switch to EVs. [CleanTechnica]

Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV in
Accra, Ghana (Image courtesy of Accraine Ghana)

¶ “EDF Renewables Strengthens Development Of Wind Energy In Chile” • EDF Renewables announces two important advances in wind energy in Chile. The first relates to the 60-MW extension of the Cabo Leones I wind farm located in northern Chile. The second relates to the allocation of land that allows up to 300 MW of wind power capacity. [REVE]

¶ “France Seeks Input On Brittany Floaters” • France’s National Commission for Public Debate has kicked off a five-month consultation on plans to build up to 750 MW of floating wind off the south coast of Brittany. The government is looking to put up 250 MW of capacity for auction in 2021, with a second tranche of 500 MW from 2024. [reNEWS]

Floating wind turbine (Image: Ideol)

¶ “In Remote Canadian Communities, Renewable Energy Projects Have Doubled Since 2015” • Remote communities have long relied on diesel power. But a report from Pembina Institute found that the number of renewable energy projects in Canada’s remote communities nearly doubled from 2015 to 2020, and use of diesel is declining. [Yahoo News Canada]

US:

¶ “Chevron Will Buy Noble Energy For $5 Billion – The Biggest Oil Deal Since The Pandemic” • Chevron announced it would acquire Noble Energy for $5 billion. It’s the biggest energy deal since the Covid-19 pandemic decimated the oil industry. The shareholders of Noble will receive Chevron stock in this all-stock transaction. [CNN]

Noble Energy “thumper trucks” setting off seismic waves
used for oil exploration (BLM Nevada, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “VP Mike Pence On Biden: “Biden Would Destroy Our Fossil Fuel Industry”” • Vice President Mike Pence made it clear that the Trump administration favors the fossil fuel industry. He uses Biden’s approach to clean energy to paint him as a job destroyer, even though clean energy has created far more jobs than fossil fuels in recent years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “States Claim EPA Illegally Eased Off Mercury Pollution Standards” • A coalition of 20 states asked the DC Circuit to review the EPA’s determination that it is not necessary to limit emissions of mercury and other hazardous materials. The standards helped reduce power-plant mercury emissions by 86% between 2006 and 2017. [Courthouse News Service]

Apartments and a coal-burning plant (John Raby | AP file photo)

¶ “Co-op Power Raises The Bar For Community Solar” • An effort to address renewable energy goals and make renewable energy accessible to everyone is growing in the Northeast. Co-op Power is on the front lines, coordinating community power and buildng valuable policy resources to change legislation and the lives of many nationwide. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “DOE Targets End To US Reliance On Russian Nuclear Fuel, Revived Domestic Capability” • The DOE is working to end US reliance on Russia for nuclear fuel, Secretary Dan Brouillette told members of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy. The DOE plans to begin processing US uranium into high-grade fuel at a DOE facility. [Utility Dive]

Have a preposterously beautiful day.

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July 20 Energy News

July 20, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Coronavirus, EVs Put Pressure On Dealer Sales Model” • Dealer franchise laws were originally created to protect dealers from unfair competition. Today, those dealer franchise laws have a new purpose – preventing car makers like Tesla from selling directly to the public. Now, with customer pressure, car makers are looking into new models. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen ID.3 test fleet (Volkswagen image)

¶ “German Coal Power Exit Deadline Already Looks Dated” • A German coal phase-out law that came into effect in July requires the country’s 40-GW fleet to close by 2038. It already looks dated given the currently-weak outlook for coal-fired generation in Europe, incentives for early plant closures, and political pressure building for a faster phase out. [ICIS]

¶ “Africa Can Become A Renewable Energy Superpower – If Climate Deniers Are Kept At Bay” • African prosperity will not come if it is shackled to the outdated dirty energy infrastructure of the past. Rather than following in the paths of European countries, Africa can leapfrog to the clean, cheap and renewable technologies of the future. [The Guardian]

Technicians in Rwanda (Tom Gilks | Alamy Stock Photo)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Road Microplastics Are Polluting The Oceans And Heating The Planet” • Those minuscule particles of plastics produced by car tires and brakes can’t do much damage, right? They’re so tiny and nearly imperceptible. Road microplastics produce more than 200,000 tons of minute plastic particles that blow into the oceans every year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Lithium Can Be Extracted From Groundwater At Geothermal Installations” • Scientists at the KIT Energy Center, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, say there is enough lithium dissolved in the groundwater extracted by German geothermal heating and electricity plants to meet the needs of most, or possibly all, of Germany’s battery manufacturers. [CleanTechnica]

Lithium chloride (Amadeus Bramsiepe | KIT)

¶ “Air Pollution Linked To More Covid-19 Cases – Study” • Research has shown that long term exposure to pollutants such as fine particulate matter, NO₂, and SO₂ can cause a persistent inflammatory response even in relatively young people. This leads to increases in the risks of infection by viruses, including the coronavirus that causes Covid-19. [Inverse]

World:

¶ “Coronavirus And Deforestation Rip Through Brazil’s People And The World’s Lungs” • Brazilian President Bolsonaro is a climate denier who ran on a promise not to protect indigenous land. The Amazon is one of Earth’s most vital carbon sinks and a keystone of biological diversity. Under his watch, the Amazon is being destroyed at record rates. [CNN]

Forest cleared for farms (Julian Quinones | CNN)

¶ “Gas Companies Dominate Shortlist For ARENA Green H₂ Funding” • Gas companies have dominated the shortlist of companies seeking a share of $70 million in federal government funding to expand Australia’s renewable H₂ production capacity. At least two will receive funding, with projects to be put under construction in 2022. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Uganda-Based Bodawerk’s Electric Tractors, Motorcycle Conversion Kits, Threshing And Milling Machines Look Set To Transform Lives” • Bodawerk is looking to transform lives in Africa, starting in Uganda with its electric products powered by upcycled old laptop batteries. Bodawerk has run pilot programs, including one for an electric plow. [CleanTechnica]

Bodawerk’s electric plow (Image courtesy of Bodawerk)

¶ “Choppy Water Ahead As Residents Battle Energy Giant Over Proposed Pump Storage Facility” • TC Energy announced a proposal in 2019 to build a hydroelectric pumped storage plant on the shore of Georgian Bay. Whether the plan is vital for Ontario’s power grid or a threat to the pristine bay depends on who you ask. [OrilliaMatters]

¶ “Campaigners Press For Full Testing Of Nuclear Plant Sediment In Effort To Halt Dumping Off Cardiff Coast” • There are plans to dump mud from the construction of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station into the sea off Cardiff Bay. Some campaigners say there is evidence of plutonium contamination. They say the plan should be halted. [Nation.Cymru]

Construction at Hinkley Point (Nick Chipchase | CC BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Blockchain Plays Leading Role In Germany’s Renewable Energy Evolution” • Germany is ending coal and nuclear-based energy generation in a switch to renewable energy.  Blockchain’s Distributed Ledger Technology is gradually becoming the foundation for several systems developed for the German switch to its renewable future. [Business Blockchain HQ]

US:

¶ “Leeward CC Becomes UH’s First Net-Zero Campus” • Hawaii’s Leeward Community College has become one of the first virtually net-zero campuses in the country. It is generating 97% of its energy through on-site PV systems, including solar shade canopies and energy storage. It has also implimented efficiency measures. [UH System Current News]

Leeward Community College

¶ “US Scientists Rebuke Trump Over Coronavirus Response And Other Affronts” • In an unusual move for a community that tends to avoid politics, more than 1,200 members of the US National Academy of Sciences rebuked Donald Trump’s “denigration of scientific expertise.” The open letter they signed seeks to “restore science-based policy in government.” [The Guardian]

¶ “In Utah, A Debate Stirs Over Estonian Radioactive Waste” • In southeast Utah, nerves are frayed over a pile of radioactive material parked 5,000 miles away in Estonia. Regulators are weighing whether a local uranium company can import the material for processing at a mill near the border of a Native American reservation. [Fiji Times]

Have a delightfully refreshing day.

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July 19 Energy News

July 19, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “The End Of Fossil Fuels: Is It Here Yet?” • Peak oil has been a topic of heated conversation for decades. The usual definition describes it as the theorized point in time when the maximum rate of extraction of petroleum is reached, after which it enters into terminal decline. It may be here already, driven by climate change and a coronavirus. [CleanTechnica]

Oil field in China (Yoshi Canopus, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Trump Rewrite Of Longstanding Environmental Law Pushes Climate Change Aside” • A deep dive into President Trump’s rollback of a bedrock environmental law shows how much the administration is narrowing the scope of government reviews for major projects by setting aside consideration of climate change and other impacts. [The Hill]

World:

¶ “Time Running Out To Prevent Oil Spill From ‘Ticking Time Bomb’ Tanker In Yemen, UN Warns” • Time is running out to prevent a decaying tanker off the coast of Yemen from dumping its load of 1.1 million barrels of oil into the Red Sea, sparking an environmental catastrophe, the UN has warned. The vessel is under the control of Houthi rebels. [CNN]

Stranded ship (SEPOC image)

¶ “NIA On Renewable Energy: Four Hydropower Sites, Pilot Floating Solar Project Already Operating” • In the Philippines, the National Irrigation Administration said four hydropower sites, ranging from 500 kW to 8.5 MW and with a combined capacity of 11 MW, have been put into operation, along with a 200-kW floating solar system. [Manila Bulletin]

¶ “First Solar Power Plant In Armenia” • The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group; and the EU agreed to support development of an Armenian solar plant. The 55-MW plant is the first utility-scale solar system in the Caucasus, where Armenia is located. [Energy Industry Review]

Solar plant in the mountains

¶ “Explosion Hits Central Iranian Power Plant Few Weeks After Natanz Nuclear Site Blast” • An explosion took place at a power plant in Iran’s central Isfahan province, the IRNA news agency reports. The blast occurred a few weeks after an explosion ripped through Iran’s Natanz facility for enriching uranium, reportedly caused by a bomb. [Sputnik International]

US:

¶ “GM Says 12 New EVs Coming, Including Full Size Pickup Truck With 400 Mile Range” • Buried within General Motors’ sustainability report is some information about its EV plans. Globally, GM will have 20 electric models available to customers by 2023, many of them aimed at the Chinese market. At least 12 models will be sold in the US. [CleanTechnica]

Buick Enspire concept (Courtesy of Buick)

¶ “Renewable Energy Showing To Be Growing Cost-Effective Alternative For Indiana” • In a study published by Ball State University’s Center for Business and Economic Research, researcher Michael Hicks found that using a greater mix of renewable energy, like wind, solar and biomass, will result in lower power costs. [KPCnews.com]

¶ “NOAA Gives UM Up to $310 Million To Continue Leading Climate And Ocean Research” • In Florida, the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, a research institute at the University of Miami that has done research on climate change, hurricanes, and sick reefs is getting up to $310 million from NOAA to continue its work. [WUSF News]

Studying the impact of warming oceans on reefs (CIMAS image)

¶ “We Now Know How Many Billions Of Gallons Of Water Colorado Will Save By Closing Coal-Fired Power Plants” • An analysis by the Energy and Policy Institute found that closing 30 coal-fired generating units in the West could free up over 76 billion gallons of river and groundwater a year in the increasingly parched region. [Steamboat Pilot and Today]

¶ “Pentagon Is Working To Develop Detection System For EMP Blasts” • The Pentagon is researching better ways to detect and respond to electromagnetic pulse weapons, which could disable or destroy electronic devices. A massive atmospheric nuclear blast could produce an EMP sufficient to wipe out the entire nation’s electricity grid. [Daily Mail]

Have an awesomely cool day.

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July 18 Energy News

July 18, 2020

World:

¶ “Italy’s BEV Sales Doubled In First Half Of 2020 – The Only Way Is Up” • Italy’s EV market is finally getting hot. Following months of unprecedented growth and despite an incredibly adverse time in history, electric mobility has now reached the halfway point of this infamous year with outstanding figures, doubling sales from 2019. [CleanTechnica]

Renault Zoe

¶ “Council’s Green Tariff Scheme Help Households Save £258 On Power Bills” • The Essex County Council organised an energy switching scheme to help residents reduce costs; registration was free and the eligible tariffs provided 100% renewable electricity. Participating households are expected to see gas and electricity bills reduced by £258. [Energy Live News]

¶ “NKT To Supply SSE’s Shetland Link” • SSEN Transmission has awarded NKT the contract to deliver and install a high voltage DC interconnector to the Shetland Isles. It is worth about €235 million. The turnkey order is for two 320-kV HVDC cables, installation by the cable-laying vessel NKT Victoria, and protection of the cables. [reNEWS]

Cable-laying vessel NKT Victoria (NKT image)

¶ “The London Underground Could Soon Run On 100% Renewable Energy” • The London Underground could soon be entirely powered by renewable energy. The move is part of a plan to make the city’s famous rail network zero-emissions by 2030, and have the entire city become carbon neutral by 2050. The Tube consumes 1.2 TWh per year. [Euronews]

¶ “Vodafone Claims Its Entire European Network Will Be Powered By Renewable Electricity By July 2021” • Mobile phone giant Vodafone said it will create a green network for customers in 11 European markets using only wind, solar, or hydro power sources by no later than July 2021. This is more than four years earlier than its previous renewable target. [Daily Mail]

Wind turbines in Germany (Husky22, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Risen Energy Seals 250-MW PV Deal In Vietnam” • Chinese company Risen Energy is to provide engineering, procurement, and construction services for a 250-MW solar farm in Vietnam. It is being developed by Xinghai Group in Loc Ninh and will have the first shipments of modules in December. The project is to reduce local energy costs. [reNEWS]

¶ “Wind Energy Will Play An Important Role In Making Renewable Energy The Base For Japan” • Japan will build more offshore wind farms as part of its shift away from fossil fuels, industry minister Hiroshi Kajiyama said. Japan will aim to add capacity to generate 1 GW each year, eventually reaching a combined 30 GW by 2040. [REVE]

Jack-up ship building offshore wind turbines

India:

¶ “India’s ReNew Power Aims At 20 GW Of Renewable Capacity” • ReNew Power aims to double its power generation capacity to 20 GW in five years. The expansion would require an investment of about ₹40,000-50,000 crore ($5.3-6.6 billion). This amount may vary depending on the location of the projects and cost of the land involved. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Government Move To Encourage Solar, Wind Energy Projects” • The AP state government announced the Andhra Pradesh Renewable Energy Export Policy-2020. The policy targets to generate 120 GW of energy. The policy was aimed at encouraging, promoting, and developing renewable energy projects to export energy outside AP. [The Hindu]

Wind turbines (Photo Credit: RVS Prasad)

¶ “20% Duty On Solar Power Equipment To Cut Imports: Anand Thakur” • The Indian government is considering a proposal to impose 20% basic customs duty on solar modules to provide an edge to domestic manufacturers and discourage solar imports, particularly from China, according to Anurag Thakur, Minister of State for Finance. [Saurenergy]

¶ “MNRE to examine bid for powering city transport from renewable sources” • The minister of new and renewable energy, RK Singh, said he asked the ministry to examine an innovative bid which would involve generating renewable energy to make hydrogen fuel and for charging batteries to power the transport of an entire city. [EnergyInfraPost]

Solar array

US:

¶ “EV Charging Juiced By Millions Of Federal Dollars, Silicon Edition” • The basic challenge of speeding up electric vehicle charging times is to balance performance with cost. Under the Trump administration, the DOE has continued an aggressive program of support EV R&D, with a sharp focus on battery cost and performance. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Solar Will Kick Most Of Texas’s Remaining Coal Fleet Offline” • The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis published a report showing the growth in PV production and it’s rapid changes to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas market. Solar now provides 3% of electricy, compared to 8% for nuclear and 16% for coal, and it is growing. [CleanTechnica]

ERCOT energy sources, May 4, 2020

¶ “Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company Reports On Progress For Solar Project On Landfill In Brattleboro, Vermont” • The 5.73-MW solar array at Windham Solid Waste Management District’s closed landfill in Brattleboro provides electricity to 17 subscribers, mostly towns and schools. In 2019, it saved them an estimated $470,000. [EnerCom Inc]

¶ “City Moves Forward On Local Power Work Plan In Parallel To Xcel Energy Negotiations” • The City of Boulder’s parallel actions to determine its energy future moved forward with the release of a request for proposal that seeks power supply and innovative financing for the city’s potential local electric utility. Responses are due by August 14. [City of Boulder]

Have a magnificently happy day.

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July 17 Energy News

July 17, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Low Cost Perovskite Solar Cells Breathing Down The Neck Of Coal, And Fossil Gas, Too” • Perovskite solar cells have hurdles to overcome, but their advantages keep researchers looking for ways to perfect them. One advantage is that they can be printed. Another is that they are cheap. They may soon pose threats to fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

Perovskites in custom colors (Photo via NTU)

World:

¶ “Brazil’s Beef And Soy Exports To The EU Linked To Illegal Deforestation, Study Finds” • A study shows that around half of Brazil’s beef exports and almost a quarter of soy exports to the EU could be linked to illegal deforestation in two of Brazil’s most ecologically important regions. This has serious implications for both the climate crisis and trade. [CNN]

¶ “Vestas Delivers 101-MW Vietnamese Second Helping” • Vestas secured a 101-MW turbine order for the second phase of the B&T wind farm in Vietnam. The contract is with AMI AC Renewables Corporation, a joint venture of AC Energy and AMI Renewables. Vestas will supply, transport, install, and commission 24 V150-4.2MW turbines. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines in Vietnam (Vestas image)

¶ “Ofgem Green Lights 600-MW Shetland Link” • Ofgem has given SSE approval to build a 600-MW HVDC interconnector between mainland Scotland and the Shetland Isles by Q1 2024. The decision will also enable SSE Renewables to move forwards with building the 443-MW Viking wind farm on Mainland, Shetland’s largest island. [reNEWS]

¶ “NTPC And NIIF Sign Pact To Attract Investment For India’s Renewable Sector” • Indian electric power producer NTPC Limited said it entered into a memorandum of understating with the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund to explore new opportunities for investment in areas of power distribution and renewable energy. [Mercom India]

Renewable energy

¶ “Korean Government Aims To More Than Triple Renewable Energy-Based Power Generation” • The government of South Korean released details of its Green New Deal project. It will more than triple the capacity of renewable power generation sources, and greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by 12.29 million tons by 2025. [BusinessKorea]

¶ “Offshore Boost ‘Needed To Meet German Hydrogen Goal'” • Germany will need to find new areas to develop offshore wind capacity if the sector is to deliver 3 GW to support production of  green hydrogen under the country’s national strategy for the gas, according to a group of renewable energy organisations in the country. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (EWE image)

¶ “EDF Unveils Design Center In The UK Focused On Nuclear Engineering Advancements” • Project owner EDF unveiled a new engineering design facility in Bristol to support the next phase of construction at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. By 2021, some 700 engineers will be working at the UK EPR Design Center. [Power Engineering Magazine]

Australia:

¶ “New South Wales To Add Second Renewable Energy Zone” • When New South Wales announced its renewable energy zone, it was looking for 3 GW of clean energy. It got proposals for an unexpected 27 GW. Nothing succeeds like success, they say, and so, less than a month later, NSW is back with another zero emissions proposal. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array (Credit: Downer Group)

¶ “University Of Queensland Hits 100% Renewables With Warwick Solar Farm Opening” • The University of Queensland is one of Australia’s first universities to switch to 100% renewables, with the opening of the 64-MW Warwick solar farm. The $125 million project is supplying power to university campuses, along with two other solar projects. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Central Sydney Now Runs 100% On Renewable Energy” • Sydney is sourcing clean energy from wind and solar farms in New South Wales, and the central part of the city is now running on 100% renewable energy. The move is estimated to reduce CO₂ emissions by about 20,000 tonnes every year, and it will save around A$500,000 per year. [Happytrips]

Sydney Opera House (Diliff, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “A Third Of US Workers Want To Stop Commuting And Work Remotely” • A study by Morning Consult found that a third of Americans surveyed want to work from home. The majority say it has given them more time during the day, improved their health, and brought them closer to their family members – all without impacting productivity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “P&G Invests In ‘Natural Climate Solutions’ But Ignores Boreal Forest Protection In New ‘It’s Our Home’ Campaign, Critics Say” • Procter & Gamble joined other consumer-product businesses with an updated climate-change campaign, agreeing that the next decade is a critical time for action. Natural-resource groups are not satisfied. [Cincinnati Business Courier]

Forest in Brazil (Getty Images)

¶ “FERC Overhauls Carter-Era Law Promoting Renewable Power” • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a final rule overhauling the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, that has served since 1978 to support putting more renewable energy on the grid. Those opposed to the rule say it amounts to “gutting the heart of PURPA.” [E&E News]

¶ “New York To Invest $750 Million In EV Infrastructure, Including Building 50,000 Charging Stations, Cuomo Says” • New York is investing $750 million to build infrastructure supporting EVs, including over 50,000 charging stations, in an attempt to cap emissions in the long-term, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced. [Yahoo News]

Have a wholesomely celebratory day.

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July 16 Energy News

July 16, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Why Transmission And Distribution Are The Clean Energy Transition’s Secret Weapons” • As the world pushes towards the Great Reset, there is considerable talk about powering our future with renewable energy. Increasing energy generation from clean sources demands an increase in transmission and distribution networks. [World Economic Forum]

Texas farmland (Lucas Jackson | Reuters)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Lasers Etch An Efficient Way To Address Global Water Crisis” • A third of the world’s population does not have reliably clean water to drink. University of Rochester researchers have now found a way to address the shortage of potable water by using sunlight to evaporate and purify contaminated water with greater than 100% efficiency. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The World’s Methane Emissions Are At A Record High, And Burping Cows Are Driving The Rise” • Methane emissions are at their highest level ever, with agriculture and fossil fuels the biggest drivers, new research from the Global Carbon Project says. Climate models suggest that methane could drive global temperatures increase by 3-4°C by 2100. [CNN]

Cattle (David Gray | Bloomberg via Getty Images)

¶ “UNSW Research Disproves Outdated Claim That Energy Transition Is An Economic Hindrance” • Research from the University of New South Wales disproved claims by fossil fuel advocates, nuclear power supporters, and mercenary economists that the transition to renewable electricity would hinder the global economy. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Climate Change: Siberian Heatwave ‘Clear Evidence’ Of Warming” • A record-breaking heatwave in Siberia would have been almost impossible without human-caused climate change, a study has found. The Russian region’s temperatures were more than 5°C above average for the period between January and June of this year. [BBC]

Land surface temperature anomalies, 3/19 to 6/20 (NASA)

¶ “Small Lab Makes Big Breakthrough In Nuclear Fusion Tech” • Nuclear power has had high hopes for nuclear fusion, but high development costs have kept the goal out of reach for decades. A company in New Jersey, Lawrenceville Plasma Physics, Inc, may soon be leading the way in transitioning over to nuclear fusion through dense plasma focus. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “World Population Could Peak Decades Before UN Forecast, Study Says” • UN demographers projected a peak of 10.9 billion people in the world by century’s end, compared with roughly 7.8 billion now. But a study published in the Lancet asserted that the global population could peak at 9.7 billion by 2064 and decline to 8.8 billion by 2100. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Earth (NASA image via AP)

World:

¶ “Belgian school selling solar power to neighbors” • The energy regulator for the greater Brussels area has granted market and pricing exemptions to support development of a pilot project for selling energy in a local community. It will come from 34.7-kW solar sysem on a school building and a 2.4-kW system on the roof of a nearby homeowner. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Fossil Fuel Companies Are Losing Value Globally” • A paper published by the Australia Institute details how fossil fuels are the worst-performing sector on the ASX 300 and have been for the past decade. $100 invested in the S&P ASX 300 Energy Index back in 2010 was only worth $104 by January 2020. It dropped to $51 with COVID-19. [CleanTechnica]

S&P 500 vs S&P 500 Energy (Australia Institute)

¶ “Hoti: 105-MW Wind Park Bajgora In Kosovo To Come Online By April” •  Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti of Kosovo visited the future site of a wind farm in the municipality of Mitrovica. The project is a joint venture with investors from Israel and Germany. Hoti said the 105-MW wind park is scheduled to be completed by April. [Balkan Green Energy News]

¶ “Greenlink Interconnector Wins First Consent” •  A proposed 500-MW, 200 km Ireland-Wales Greenlink Interconnector was awarded the first of several consents the project needs to secure before it can start construction by Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority. This marks the first step in a series of planning consents required for the link. [reNEWS]

Big spool on a ship (DeepOcean image)

US:

¶ “Trump Weakens Environmental Law To Speed Up Infrastructure Projects” • President Trump has announced alterations to a landmark environmental law, in a controversial move to allow projects to go ahead with less oversight. Mr Trump touted changes to the National Environmental Protection Act as a “historic breakthrough.” [BBC]

¶ “Key Trends To Disrupt The US Renewables Market In The Next Six Months” • A Deloitte study examines the key trends, challenges, and opportunities that may affect the US renewable energy industry in the second half of 2020. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the US renewable energy industry’s long-term growth trajectory appears intact. [Smart Energy]

Renewable energy (Image credit: Stock)

¶ “Biden Plans Massive Electric Car Push” • Details about Joe Biden’s environmental plans are beginning to emerge, and they include a massive push for electric cars and trucks. According to Car and Driver, part of the plan is a program that offers financial incentives for Americans to trade in their gas guzzlers, replacing them with efficient EVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “FERC Data Shows Fossil Fuels Are Failing” • Currently the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has four commissioners, all Trump appointees. They have been seen as pushing a fossil fuel agenda. Nevertheless, for the first time, FERC is projecting a net decline of US fossil fuel generating capacity over the next three years. [CleanTechnica]

Have terrifically entertaining day.

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July 15 Energy News

July 15, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Hydrogen: The Great Energy Hope, Or A Whole Lot Of Hype?” • It’s likely that every Asian country will want to be as energy independent as possible. Locally produced wind and solar is one solution, but many Asian countries are not as suited to mass deployment of solar or wind as Australia. And this brings up the question of hydrogen. [RenewEconomy]

Ørsted offshore wind farm (Ørsted image)

¶ “Green Hydrogen Is Tomorrow’s Oil” • Germany’s Strategy considers that only hydrogen produced using renewable energy with no CO₂ emissions will be sustainable in the long term. And putting hydrogen firmly at the center of their national strategy will open up new economic opportunities for German businesses at home and abroad. [Energy Voice]

¶ “The Move To Renewable Energy Must Be Swift But Inclusive” • The time for thinking about a low-carbon economy is over. The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association welcomes the statement by the mineral resources and energy minister that SA’s shift from a high-carbon to a low-carbon economy needs to be both just and systematic. [Business Day]

Solar array (Fabian Andres Cambero | Reuters)

World:

¶ “Revealed: Fisker Ocean Will Be Built On Volkswagen MEB Chassis” • Now it appears that the first production car to use the MEB chassis from Volkswagen will not be a Ford, but rather the Fisker Ocean electric SUV. Fisker, which is planning to go public soon, says it is in talks with Volkswagen about using the MEB chassis. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Johnnie Walker Whisky Will Be Sold In Paper Bottles Next Year” • Starting next year, Johnnie Walker fans will be able to pour their whisky from a planet-friendly bottle. Diageo, the British spirits company that owns the brand, announced the development of a paper-based spirits bottle made from sustainably sourced wood. [CNN]

Making a whisky barrel (Diageo Reserve)

¶ “Plan To ‘Repower’ North West Minerals Province Could Create Thousands Of Jobs, Company Claims” • The CopperString 2.0 project, a 1,000 kilometer transmission line in Queensland between Townsville and Mt Isa, could create thousands of jobs and pave the way for renewable energy in the state’s North West Minerals Province, the developer says. [ABC News]

¶ “Indian Prime Minister Modi Inaugurates “Landmark” 750-MW Solar Park” • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has formally inaugurated the country’s ultra mega Rewa solar park, a 750 MW capacity plant situated in the state of Madhya Pradesh, on the 10th of July 2020. The Prime Minster inaugurated the solar park via video conferencing. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array (Zach Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Solar Farm Planned For North Of Whitehorse” • Yukon Energy and Solvest Inc signed a 25-year PPA for energy from a solar farm the developer is planning. With a capacity of 1 MW, it is the first large solar project in Whitehorse and the second such agreement under the Yukon’s Independent Power Production policy. [Whitehorse Star]

¶ “Floating Wind JIP Report Addresses Technology Challenges” • The Carbon Trust has released its latest summary findings on floating windpower. “The Floating Wind Joint Industry Project – Phase II summary report” outlines the technology challenges prioritized by developers to accelerate the commercialization of floating windpower. [Offshore Oil and Gas Magazine]

Floating wind turbines (Courtesy Carbon Trust)

¶ “Senior MP Calls For Safeguards Over Proposed Chinese-Built Nuclear Power Station” • Following the decision to ban Huawei from involvement in the UK’s 5G telecoms network, a senior Conservative MP has called for changes to the law to safeguard a proposed nuclear power station from “malign foreign influence” from China. [The Independent]

¶ “Renewable Energy Giant Unveils Plans For Two New Wind Farms” • Vattenfall has unveiled plans to build two more wind farms in Scotland. Their combined output would be enough electricity to supply annual needs for around 300,000 homes. If the developments go ahead, each will be built with an energy storage battery plant. [STV Edinburgh]

Wind farm (Pixabay image)

US:

¶ “Sonoma And Mendocino Counties To Get $6.75 Million For EV Chargers” • The Sonoma Coast Incentive Project will provide $6.75 million in incentives for the installation of electric vehicle chargers in Sonoma and Mendocino counties over the next three years. California has set a goal of getting 250,000 EV charging stations by 2025. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Biden Rolls Out Massive New Renewable Energy Subsidies” • Joe Biden is proposing today to commit another $2 trillion to subsidies for renewable energy during his first four years in office, as reported by Bloomberg Green. This would represent an acceleration of the $1.7 trillion in new subsidies over 10 years that had proposed during the primary season. [Forbes]

Work on a wind turbine (Getty Images)

¶ “Pinnacle Renewable Energy Plans $95 Million Wood Pellet Plant In Alabama” • Gov Kay Ivey announced that a subsidiary of Pinnacle Renewable Energy, based in Canada, plans to invest $95 million to build a production facility in Demopolis. The Alabama Pellets facility is expected to have an annual production volume of 360,000 metric tons. [Alabama NewsCenter]

¶ “Trump Administration Has Been Underestimating Costs Of Carbon Pollution, Government Watchdog Finds” • The Trump administration has been systematically undervaluing the cost of CO₂ pollution, a report from the Government Accountability Office says. It reduced the value from $50 per metric ton cost to a $7 per metric ton figure. [The Hill]

Have a magically prepossessing day.

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July 14 Energy News

July 14, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “The Most Powerful Renewable Energy” • Last year, the world’s hydropower capacity reached a record 1,308 GW. But like other energy sources, hydropower is not without environmental costs. Is it possible to make clean, renewable energy from rivers while actually restoring wildlife and the wider habitat? There are many solutions to the problem. [BBC]

Nature’s dam builder (© Getty Images)

¶ “Clarifying The Biden Climate Plan” • Several Cleantechnica readers questioned its reporting, saying they thought the Biden energy plan included a pledge to transition the United States to 100% renewable energy by 2035. It does not, at least not at the present time. These things are a work in progress, however, and the pivot to clean energy continues. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Solar Flow Battery Efficiently Stores Renewable Energy In Liquid Form” • An international team led by University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists has created a new version of solar flow batteries that is efficient and long-lasting. The system has a silicon/perovskite tandem solar cell. The team recorded 20% efficiency, which is up there with the best. [New Atlas]

Solar panel and flow battery

World:

¶ “Ocean Investment Could Aid The Post-Covid-19 Economic Recovery” • Money invested in a sustainable ocean economy can yield at least five times the return in benefits, according to a report commissioned by the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy. Investment in ocean intervention could help aid economic recovery. [CNN]

¶ “Italy Set To Increase EV Incentives To €10,000 – Are The Carmakers Ready?” • The Italian government is preparing new measures for economic recovery, after months of lockdown at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic. Current incentives for low-emission vehicles are set to be increased by at least 50% from August for the rest of the year. [CleanTechnica]

Fiat 500e La Prima

¶ “Government Hopes Cut In Red Tape Will Triple UK’s Battery Capacity” • Government ministers hope to triple Britain’s energy storage capacity by relaxing the planning rules. Developers of large batteries will be able to apply for permission to build their energy storage projects using local planning rules, which are quicker and easier to manage. [The Guardian]

¶ “McCain Foods Builds Renewable Energy System At Ballarat Site” • McCain Foods has started construction of an 8.2-MW renewable energy system at its Ballarat food processing facility. It will cut CO₂ emissions by over 27,000 tonnes per year and will reportedly be Australia’s largest “behind-the-meter” renewable energy system. [Inside FMCG]

McCain Foods’ renewable energy system

¶ “UK And Denmark To Share Renewable Electricity Through 765 km Interconnector” • Construction has started on the world’s longest electricity interconnector, which will link the UK and Denmark. The £1.8 billion Viking Link project is a joint venture between the National Grid and the Danish electricity system owner and operator, Energinet. [E&T Magazine]

¶ “North Sea Operators Investigating Wider Roles For Renewable Energy” • Some offshore oil and gas operators see renewable energy as a way to extend the lives of platforms on fields that are being depleted, converting them for new uses. Others are looking into alternate energy sources to power platforms and subsea installations. [Offshore Oil and Gas Magazine]

Offshore oil platform (Courtesy Neptune Energy)

¶ “Investment In Renewable Energy Capacity Grows 5%: BNEF” • Investment in new renewable energy capacity (excluding large hydro-electric dams of more than 50 MW) rose 5% to $132.4 billion in the first half of 2020 from a revised $125.8 billion in the same period of 2019, the latest figures from research company BloombergNEF show. [Greentech Lead]

¶ “IEA Summit Urges The World’s Energy Ministers To Adopt Ambitious Green Recovery Plans” • The International Energy Agency is urging governments to pursue spending programs that speed up investment in zero-emission energy systems while they spur economic recovery. The IEA is backed by the International Monetary Fund in this. [Corporate Knights Magazine]

Wind turbines in morning fog

¶ “Nuclear Gulf: Experts Sound The Alarm Over UAE Nuclear Reactors” • Nuclear energy specialists are sounding the alarm over the potential problems new UAE reactors could produce. What they describe is not one risk, but layers of them, from an environmental disaster, to theft of radioactive materials, to a regional nuclear arms race. [Aljazeera.com]

US:

¶ “New McDonald’s Flagship Runs 100% On Renewable Energy” • McDonald’s completed its first net zero energy restaurant, near Disney’s All-Star Resorts in Orlando, Florida, according to a company press release. The global flagship restaurant is designed to create enough renewable energy on-site to cover 100% of its energy needs annually. [Restaurant Dive]

New McDonald’s restaurant (Courtesy of McDonald’s)

¶ “Lion Electric And Boivin Evolution Start Selling Electric Garbage Truck” • The Lion8 chassis plus “fully automated side load bodies” from Lion Electric and Boivin Evolution will be used by Waste Connections in Florida and Washington. They can collect trash without noise, air pollution while reducing costs for fuel and maintenance. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “VW Settlement Funds To Pay For Two Electric Cranes And Electric Drayage Trucks At Port Of Virginia” • Virginia decided to use $14 million of the $93.6 million in funds it got from the Volkswagen diesel cheating scandal settlement to help the Port of Virginia purchase two electric container cranes and a number of electric drayage vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

Have a marvelously fulfilling day.

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July 13 Energy News

July 13, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Whoosh! Wind Power Wins, Pipelines Implode In Fossil Fuel Week From Hell” • Last week, a 4000-MW transmission project to move power from Kansas wind farms to Illinois won the green light for a go-ahead. It was probably the last thing oil and gas stakeholders wanted to hear on top of a huge triple loss on three fossil fuel pipeline projects. [CleanTechnica]

Power lines in Illinois (formulanone, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Global Leaders Must Act Fast To Ensure A Green Recovery” • A broad consensus is that wind and other renewable energy can play an important role in helping economies recover in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. But failure to act promptly risks missing an investment opportunity worth hundreds of billions of dollars. [World Economic Forum]

¶ “How Fighting Climate Change Could Tackle Australia’s Job Crisis” • With Australia’s coal-fired power stations set to close in the next two to three decades, Australia has the potential and opportunity to become a renewable energy superpower. But this depends in no small degree on the financial support and backing of business. [UNSW Newsroom]

Wind turbines on a cattle farm (Image: Shutterstock)

¶ “Nuclear By Stealth: New Generation Reactor Development Plans Snuck Back Onto The Table” • South Africa has an onerous debt burden, and yet a new 2,500-MW nuclear build program has been snuck back onto the table while we were all distracted by the Covid-19 pandemic. What’s behind this, when there are far more attractive alternatives? [Daily Maverick]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Poison Ivy Likely To Become More Abundant And More Potent With Climate Change” • A six-year study by researchers at Duke University found that elevated levels of CO₂ not only increased the growth of poison ivy but those high CO₂ receiving plants produced a more potent form of urushiol, the oil that causes the skin inflammation. [BayToday]

Poison ivy (Submitted photo)

World:

¶ “Indian Railways Accelerates Toward A Solar Future With New Tenders” • Indian Railways has taken some significant measures over the last few weeks that will cement its place as one of the single largest clean energy users in India. According to a 2017 study, Indian Railways has a potential to set up 5 GW of solar power capacity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “France’s Recent Order Liberalizing Retrofits Of Old ICE Vehicles Supercharges Phoenix Mobility” • The transition to EVs is happening much faster than we expected. Affordable mass EV conversions will put this transition into Ludicrous mode. An EV conversion firm in France, Phoenix Mobility, is looking to scale up its B2B fleet conversion business. [CleanTechnica]

Converted Kangoo in Grenoble (Phoenix Mobility image)

¶ “120 GW Renewable Capacity, €340 billion Investments. The Numbers Behind The EC’s Hydrogen Move” • The European Commission has finally shared some more details of its ‘Green Deal’ plan. Using energy from hydrogen is a key plank of the plan, with the energy to electrolyze hydrogen coming from solar and wind energy. [Saurenergy]

¶ “Rail Solar Projects Pave The Way For Renewables” • A British solar power company is working on technology that could enable railways all over the world to be powered by renewable energy. Riding Sunbeams is the company behind a project of the same name that is already delivering power to trains on Network Rail’s Wessex route. [E&T Magazine]

Train at Conwy Station (David Dixon, Wikimedia Commons)

Australia:

¶ “Renewables-Dominated South Australia Delivering Cheaper Power Than Victoria, NSW” • South Australian consumers are starting to reap the benefits of the state’s world-leading renewable energy grid, with falling wholesale electricity prices in the state now delivering cheaper power than either Victoria or New South Wales. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Northern Territory Reveals Renewable Hydrogen Strategy” • The Northern Territory unveiled a Renewable Hydrogen Strategy in a bid to be seen as a leader in renewable hydrogen. The paper shows the Territory’s hope to be an “international scale” renewable hydrogen technology research, production, and downstream manufacturing center. [H2 View]

Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa NP (Sharyn.carr, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “GE Signs Agreement To Develop 500-MW Pumped Hydro Project In NSW” • Global energy giant GE signed an agreement to co-develop a 500-MW pumped hydro storage project at Dungowan Dam in the New England region of New South Wales. Dungowan is part of the 4,000-MW renewables and storage hub being set up by Walcha Energy. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ “100% Carbon Free by 2035. The Democrat Offer For Renewable energy” • Laid out by the Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s task force, the recommendations for climate-change mitigation  call for carbon-free power production by 2035, net-zero emissions for new buildings by 2030, and accelerated adoption of zero-emission vehicles. [Saurenergy]

Joe Biden, in a time when masks were not needed

¶ “‘All Energy Matters,’ US Energy Secretary Tells Global Conference” • Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette told the IEA Clean Energy Transitions Summit on July 9 that the US favors an “all of the above” strategy. Loosely translated, that means the US opposes the push to make renewable energy the central focus of economic recovery strategies. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Blockbuster Sunrun-Vivint Merger Challenges Tesla Solar Ambitions” • The rooftop solar industry in America was shocked last week to learn that Sunrun was buying Vivint Solar for $1.46 billion in stock. In addition, Sunrun is agreeing to assume about $1.8 billion in debt owed by Vivint. “Sunrun will be freaking big,” analyst Joe Osha said. [CleanTechnica]

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July 12 Energy News

July 12, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Shockingly Simple: How Farmland Could Absorb An Extra 2 Billion Tonnes Of CO₂ From The Atmosphere Each Year” • Adding crushed rock dust to farmland could draw down up to two billion tonnes of CO₂ from the air per year and help meet key global climate targets, according to a major study led by the University of Sheffield. [SciTechDaily]

Crushed rock dust on farmland (Credit: Dr Dimitar Epihov)

¶ “Less Impact From Wildfire Smoke On Climate” • Research done at Los Alamos National Laboratory revealed that tiny, sunlight-absorbing particles in wildfire smoke may have less impact on climate than widely hypothesized because reactions as the plume mixes with clean air reduce its absorbing power and climate-warming effect. [Science Daily]

World:

¶ “EV Drivers In Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, And Romania Getting Boost From MOL And Driivz” • Gas station companies have two options as the EV era arises: transform, or die. MOL Group, a major oil and gas company based in Budapest, has gas stations in countries across the region. It is leaning toward the former. [CleanTechnica]

MOL EV charging station

¶ “India’s Largest Building Integrated Vertical Solar System And The Road Ahead” • In 2019, U-Solar Clean Energy Solutions Pvt Ltd installed India’s largest building-integrated vertical solar PV system in Mumbai. The system has a capacity of about 1 MW with integrated solar panels on all four walls, covering over 5000 square feet of facade area. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Audi Snubs EVs, Says Will Continue To “Massively” Invest In Combustion Engines” • Audi, a Volkswagen Group subsidiary, plans to keep on investing in combustion engines. Its CEO believes that the engines will be “alive for a very long time. This is why we continue to invest massively in the development of combustion engines.” [CleanTechnica]

Audi e-tron in Portugal (Jose Pontes | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Excess Power Capacity Puts Financial Burden On Bangladesh” • Not long ago, Bangladesh was plagued by power shortages, but it has developed in the last decade to the point that it has built a generating capacity far in excess of what it needs. And now, the government of Bangladesh is set to install 14 coal-fired power plants, funded by China. [NewsIn.Asia]

¶ “Statkraft To Seek Approval For €25 Million Solar Farm” • Statkraft Ireland, a renewable energy developer and subsidiary of Norwegian state-owned company Statkraft, intends to apply for planning permission for a €25 million solar farm in County Meath. The company said the solar farm would be operational for 35 years. [Independent.ie]

Solar farm (Photo: PA)

¶ “40 Ministers From Around The World Gather To Address The World’s Energy And Climate Challenges” • The International Energy Agency summit had representatives from countries with over 80% of the world economy. They discussed how to bring about a sustainable and resilient recovery from Covid-19 and reduce CO₂ emissions. [Modern Diplomacy]

¶ “Turning On Lights For 450,000 People In Rural Myanmar” • More than 450,000 people in rural Myanmar are expected to gain access to clean energy for the first time after the World Bank Group and the Government of Myanmar signed an agreement on grants. Funding will support a new business model led by the private sector. [Modern Diplomacy]

Myanmar

¶ “Japan To Limit Financing Of Overseas Coal Power Plants” • Japan said it would tighten rules for investment in foreign coal-fired power stations on environmental grounds, though it stopped short of ending government funding. The move comes with the world’s third-largest economy under fire for financing projects to build coal plants. [Macau Business]

¶ “Renewable Energy Key To Inclusive Recovery In Africa: Report” • Greater uptake of cleaner energy technologies is key to hasten inclusive economic recovery in Africa after devastations caused by COVID-19 pandemic, a report published in Nairobi says. Africa’s ability to restart economies hinges on investments in cleaner sources of power. [Independent]

Solar plant in Gomba

¶ “Britain To Invest £40 Million In Small Nuclear Reactor Projects” • The British government said it will invest £40 million ($51 million) in developing and supporting small nuclear reactor projects. It said £30 million of funding will go to support three advanced modular reactor projects in the counties of Cheshire, Oxfordshire, and Lancashire. [Yahoo! Voices]

US:

¶ “Could Japan’s Plan To Retire 100 Coal Units Hurt The Powder River Basin?” • Miners in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin hoped to export coal to Asia for years. But the dream of exporting coal to one of the world’s leading importers of coal was dashed when Japan said it is considering phasing out 100 coal-fired power plant units by 2030. [Casper Star-Tribune Online]

Black Thunder Coal Mine (Josh Galemore | Star-Tribune)

¶ “Unpacking The Ridin’ With Biden Plan For Earth Justice, Social Justice, And Racial Justice” • Joe Biden has engaged with people and organizations over the past few weeks to figure out what his plan for governing America will be. Let’s first take a look at the two parts of that plan that relate to climate change and renewable energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Seniors Are At Risk From Heat During Climate Change” • A report by Climate Central looks at how heat and a warming climate are endangering the health of the aging US population, a threat exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. The study, done in April 2020, showed dramatically increased estimates of both current and future deaths. [CleanTechnica]

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July 11 Energy News

July 11, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Is Honda Waking Up?” • Honda has formed a “comprehensive strategic alliance” with CATL, one of the world’s top three EV battery producers. This is not just a contract for batteries, but a rather deep and broad partnership. Honda was one of the leaders in hybrid technology, and now seems interested in moving to all battery electric vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

Interior of the Honda e (Maarten Vinkhuyzen | CleanTechnica)

¶ “A Pink Glacier In Italy Is Not Good News” • Presena glacier is turning pink due to algae, and this will make the ice melt even faster. The color is due to presence of algae, which are more abundant this year than usual. It is just one of many signs of a warming world. Numerous reports say this year will be among the warmest on record. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “How Australia’s State Energy Ministers Are Turning The Tables On Angus Taylor” • Angus Taylor, the federal minister for energy and emissions reductions, is famous for being no fan of renewable energy or meaningful emissions reduction targets. On electricity, state energy ministers, across the political spectrum, are charging ahead without him. [The Guardian]

Wind turbine (David Gray | Reuters)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Super White Paint Helps Keep Buildings Cool” • The good news about global warming is that it will take a lot less energy to keep buildings warm. The bad news is that it will take a lot more energy to keep buildings cool. Materials scientists at UCLA say they have a super white paint that reflects up to 98% of incoming heat from the sun. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “London Electric Vehicle Company Rolls Out New Electric Delivery Van” • London Electric Vehicle Company is well known for its iconic London taxis, which are now range-extended EVs. Based on that experience, the company has just rolled out an electric van as well. It has similar styling, but more cargo space and other modifications. [CleanTechnica]

Electric delivery van for the Royal Mail (Photo courtesy of LEVC)

¶ “Investment In Renewable Energy Transition Could Act As A Powerful Recovery Mechanism From Covid-19, Says GlobalData” • As the global economies try to mitigate the Covid-19 impact, investment in new renewable energy becomes an important cog in the wheel towards the economic recovery journey, according to GlobalData analysis. [InvestorIdeas.com]

¶ “Time We End Import Reliance For Solar Equipment, Says PM Modi” • Calling on Indian manufacturers to ramp up production of solar cells and modules, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a pitch for self-sufficiency in the sector, at a time the government implements measures to reduce its dependency on China for power equipment imports. [The Indian Express]

Aerial view of the 750-MW solar project in Rewa (PTI)

¶ “Renewables Produce 65.8% Of Colombia’s Power In June” • Colombia’s renewables, mostly hydropower, generated 65.82% of the country’s electricity in June, Colombian grid operator XM Compania de Expertos en Mercados said. Renewable power production rose by 5.28% month-on-month to an average 117.10 GWh per day. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Intros SG 3.4-145 Wind Turbine In India” • Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy has introduced its next generation wind turbine, the SG 3.4-145, in India. The wind turbine supplier has two blade factories, a nacelle factory, an operations and maintenance center, and an R&D center, in various parts of India. [Greentech Lead]

Siemens Gamesa SG-3.4-132 wind turbine

US:

¶ “Report Says Asset Sales And Debt-Driven Dividends Show Fossil Fuel Industry Cannot Be Saved” • A report says major fossil fuel companies such as ExxonMobil and BP, “are racking up debt to maintain their shareholder payments and sustain an image as sound investments.” Others are selling assets. Their actions show they are failing. [Common Dreams] (Thanks to Tom Finnell.)

¶ “Rivian Reaps $2.5 Billion In Latest Funding Round As EV Investments Soar” • Rivian is an EV startup headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan. For its initial funding, it raised raising $2 billion, much of which came from Amazon and Ford. Now it has gone for more money, and it has raised a further $2.5 billion in a funding round led by T Rowe Price. [CleanTechnica]

Rivian electric truck (Rivian image)

¶ “‘Enormous Step’ For Energy Storage As Court Upholds FERC Order 841, Opening Wholesale Markets” • In a victory for the energy storage industry, a federal appeals court upheld the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Order 841, clearing the way for transmission grid operators to open their markets to energy storage. [Greentech Media]

¶ “US Businesses Face Increased Energy Management Pressure” • The Deloitte Resources Study, “Energy Management: Paused by Pandemic, but Poised to Prevail,” found that Covid-19 might actually be partially responsible for driving increased efforts to manage energy use, reduce CO₂ emissions, and address climate change. [Environment + Energy Leader]

Transmission lines (American Public Power Association | Unsplash)

¶ “Ford Aims To Power All Plants With Local Renewable Energy By 2035” • Ford aims to power all its manufacturing plants with local renewable energy by 2035, including the Chicago Assembly Plant in Hegewisch and Chicago Stamping Plant in Chicago Heights. The automaker is striving to become completely carbon neutral by 2050. [nwitimes.com]

¶ “US Senators Urge Agency Not To Allow Funding Of ‘Risky’ Nuclear Projects” • Senators Edward Markey, D-Massachusetts, and Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, in a July 10 letter, jointly urged US Development Finance Corp, not to “waste American tax dollars on risky international nuclear projects.” They said the projects are not cost-competitive. [S&P Global]

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July 10 Energy News

July 10, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Silence Before The Storm At Chibwe Primary School – An Example Of Rural African Energy Development” • The pace of development in rural Africa has gone from extremely slow to very slow, but don’t be fooled by the seemingly flat end of an exponential curve, because the steep end will present the slow and fast end of the curve. [CleanTechnica]

School in Chibwe, 2014 (Photo: Jesper Berggreen)

Science and Technology:

¶ “International Energy Agency: Electric Vehicle Battery Tech Rapidly Improving” • The IEA’s “Global EV Outlook” report says battery capacities are going up, and battery costs are going down. The IEA Expects global EV battery capacity to grow from around 170 GWh per year today to 1.5 TWh per year in 2030 – or 3 TWh, if we are to meet climate goals. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Amazon Greening German Cities, Volkswagen Reforesting Australia” • The global economy, our increasingly integrated global society, is an interesting phenomenon. Amazon, based in the US, committed to greening cities in Germany by planting a lot of trees and bushes there. Now, Volkswagen Group, based in Germany, is reforesting Australia. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen reforesting Australia (Courtesy Volkswagen Group)

¶ “69% of Autos Sold in Norway in 2020 Have a Plug” • Norway continues to be a shining star in the electric vehicle world. In the first half of the year, 48% of automobiles sold in the country were fully electric, a global record for EV market share. Total plug-in EVs also set a global record at 69% of auto sales, and the sales split is particularly interesting. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Sales Surge Ahead In China” • China has seen a decline in new car sales so far this year, but that hasn’t stopped sales of Tesla’s Model 3 from climbing dramatically from month to month. In April, Tesla sold 3,635 Model 3s, according to the China Passenger Car Association. In May, that number rose to 11,095. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 in Hong Kong (Image via Twitter)

¶ “‘Coal Has No Place In Covid-19 Recovery Plans,’ Says UN Chief” • UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged countries to stop financing the coal industry, to deliver a sustainable future following the pandemic. “Coal has no place in Covid-19 recovery plans,” he said during an online summit hosted by the International Energy Agency. [CNN]

¶ “NSW Sets Itself For Biggest And Quickest Transition From Coal To Renewables” • The New South Wales state government confirmed it will seek a massive 8,000 MW of wind, solar, and storage projects, setting itself up for what will be the biggest and most rapid transition from coal to renewables in the country, if not the world. [RenewEconomy]

Silverton wind farm (Courtesy of PARF)

¶ “Enel Green Power Is Partnering With Norfund To Set Up Renewable Projects In India” • Italian renewable energy company Enel Green Power announced a long-term, joint investment partnership with Norwegian private equity fund Norfund to set up renewable energy projects in India through Enel subsidiary Enel Green Power India. [Mercom India]

¶ “PM Modi To Inaugurate Asia’s Largest Solar Power Plant In MP Today” • A solar power plant project in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, is to be inaugurated today by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It has three solar generating units of 250 MW each on a 500-hectare plot of land in a solar park, with a total area of 1500 hectares. [Hindustan Times]

Solar power (Citizenmj, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “EU Must Reach 100% Renewables By 2040 In Order To Reach Net Zero Economy By 2050” • The European Union must greatly increase its climate ambition if it is to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 and meet targets set by the Paris Agreement and the European Green Deal, according to a report from the German Institute for Economic Research. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ “Michigan Commission Approves DTE Plans To Keep Stable Electric Rates Until 2022 And Achieve 2021 Renewable Energy Goal” • DTE Electric received approval from the Michigan Public Service Commission for an innovative plan to keep electric rates unchanged from today until 2022. DTE’s Renewable Energy Plan was also approved. [GlobeNewswire]

Solar farm in Michigan

¶ “Massachusetts Expands EV Rebates To Nonprofits, Business Fleets” • Massachusetts took a big step forward by including nonprofits and business fleets in the state’s electric vehicle incentives. The move hopes to maximize the environmental impact of the EV incentive program during a time when the economy has slowed. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ørsted Makes 227-MW Solar Swoop In Alabama” • Ørsted has acquired a 227-MW PV project in Alabama from its developer, Longroad Energy. The Muscle Shoals solar project is expected to come online in third quarter 2021. Longroad Energy will manage the construction, and First Solar is supplying the modules for the project. [reNEWS]

Solar panels (First Solar image)

¶ “PacifiCorp Opens 4.3-Gigawatt Renewables And Storage Procurement” • PacifiCorp is soliciting bids for up to 4.3 GW of solar, wind, and battery storage projects, part of a massive clean-energy growth plan that will open the utility’s six-state territory to third-party renewable energy developers. Projects must be operating by the end of 2024. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Federal Judge Approves $192 Million Shareholder Settlement Over Failed SC Nuclear Project” • A federal judge signed off on a $192.5 million legal settlement between the former shareholders of SCANA Corporation and the company’s new owner Dominion Energy. The deal stems from the failed VC Summer nuclear expansion project. [Charleston Post Courier]

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July 9 Energy News

July 9, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “‘Rising Chance’ Of Exceeding 1.5°C Global Target” • The World Meteorological Organisation says there’s a growing chance that global temperatures will rise more than 1.5°C over the next five years, compared to pre-industrial levels. It puts the  chance the threshold will be broken in one year at 20%, and the chance it will be broken in at least one month at 70%. [BBC]

Child cooling himself in a heatwave in Gaza (Getty Images)

¶ “Tiny Little Shrimp Could Spark A Huge Energy Storage Breakthrough” • Low cost, large-scale energy storage is the key to accelerating the renewable energy revolution, and now shrimp have been enlisted in the cause. The aim is to push down the cost of flow batteries by using bio-based materials such as those found in shrimp shells. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Volkswagen And Porsche Push Ahead With Converting Factories To Make EVs” • Volkswagen Group is walking the walk when it comes to being part of the EV revolution. While other manufacturers promise some plug-in hybrids and a few battery EVs some day, Volkswagen is finishing work on factories that will build their EVs. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen Emden factory (Image credit: Volkswagen)

¶ “CFM Partners With AMPYR Energy To Set Up 138 MW Of Onshore Wind Farms In Karnataka” • Climate Fund Managers and AMPYR Energy announced a partnership to develop 138 MW of onshore wind farms in the Indian state of Karnataka. CFM is a Dutch investment manager, and AMPYR Energy is a renewables developer based in Singapore. [Mercom India]

¶ “NSW To Call For Wind, Solar And Storage Proposals For Second Renewable Zone” • New South Wales’ Coalition state government is preparing to announce the second phase of its renewable energy zone program, with a call-out for up to 8 GW of wind, solar, and storage projects in a new zone in the north of the state. [Renew Economy]

One wind turbine and more coming (Epuron, White Rock)

¶ “IEA To Help Indonesia Accelerate The Energy Transition” • Indonesia’s Ministry of Energy and the International Energy Agency are partnering with utility PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara to launch a joint project on electricity and renewable energy. The partnership is to encourage private investment in Indonesian renewables. [Power Engineering International]

¶ “Queensland Attracts United Green Majority Stake Investment In Rodds Bay Solar Farm Despite ‘Wet Blanket’ Federal Policy” • A “majority” stake of the 300-MW shovel-ready Rodds Bay Solar Farm in Queensland has been purchased by UK investment firm United Green. The move comes in spite of the policy vacuum at the federal level. [pv magazine Australia]

Solar farm (Image: Australian National University)

¶ “EU Unveils 40-GW Green Hydrogen Vision” • The EU will support development of up to 40 GW of green hydrogen projects by 2030, according to the EU Hydrogen Strategy. From 2020 to 2024, the EU will support the installation of at least 6 GW of renewable hydrogen electrolyzers, and the production of up to 1 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen. [reNEWS]

¶ “Elgin Energy Finds Greek Partner For 76 MW Of UK PV” • Elgin Energy is partnering with the renewables and energy storage arm of Greek company Metka EGN Mytilineos to develop 76 MW of unsubsidised solar farms in the UK. Three projects are covered by the deal, a 49.9-MW facility in England and two in Scotland totalling 26 MW. [reNEWS]

Solar array (American Public Power Associatin | Unsplash)

¶ “Air Products Announces $5 Billion Renewable Hydrogen To Ammonia Investment” • US chemical business Air Products announced a $5 billion joint investment Saudi generator ACWA Power and tech accelerator city Neom for a power-to-hydrogen-to-ammonia production plant in Saudi Arabia powered by 4 GW of renewable energy. [Power Technology]

¶ “China To Build 6-8 Nuclear Reactors A Year From 2020 To 2025 – Report” • China will build six to eight nuclear reactors a year between 2020 and 2025 and raise total capacity to 70 GW, up 43.5% compared to the end of May, China Daily said. The country’s total installed nuclear capacity is expected to stand at 52 GW by the end of 2020. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Nuclear power plant

US:

¶ “2.3 GW Of USA Wind And Solar Projects Get Investment From ENGIE And Hannon Armstrong” • News from Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital and ENGIE highlight how attractive the US is for renewable investment. They have committed to investing into a massive 2.3 GW wind and solar power pipeline in the US. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Capital Dynamics Signs 4.8-GW Deal To Increase Portfolio In The US” • Capital Dynamics announced that its Clean Energy Infrastructure business signed an agreement for 4.8 GW with Tenaska. The transaction comprises 24 solar projects in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator and Southeast Reliability Council markets. [reNEWS]

Solar array in the American countryside (Capital Dynamics image)

¶ “Facebook Used 86% Renewable Energy Last Year” • Two years ago, Facebook pledged that it would power the entirety of its operations with clean energy by the end of 2020. It appears that the company is on track to meet that goal. Facebook’s first-ever sustainability report says that 86% of the electricity it used last year was from renewable sources. [The Burn-In]

¶ “Bank Of America Blows Out Its Solar Energy Commitment With Ten Deals In Three States” • Bank of America signed ten agreements to buy solar electricity for its operations in three states, including its headquarters in North Carolina. The deals are with Duke Energy, NRG Energy, 3Degrees, NativeEnergy and Birdseye Renewable Energy. [Solar Builder]

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July 8 Energy News

July 8, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “June Matched Historic Temperature High” • Globally last month was on a par with 2019 for the hottest June on record, with temperatures 0.53°C above the 1981 to 2010 average, and Europe saw its joint second warmest June on record. Arctic Siberia was exceptionally warm, C3S experts said, at 10°C (18°F) above average for the month. [The Ecologist]

Wildfire in Arctic Siberia (Pierre Markuse | Flickr)

¶ “Plastic-Eating Bacteria Could Be Small Step Toward Tackling World’s Pollution Crisis” • Products made with polyurethane, a synthetic chemical compound, typically end up buried in a landfill. Now scientists discovered a strain of bacteria, the first of its kind, that can degrade the harmful compounds in products made of polyurethane. [CNN]

World:

¶ “Siberia Had Its Warmest June Ever As Wildfires Raged And Carbon Dioxide Emissions Surged” • Siberia had the warmest June on record. And in June, an estimated 59 megatonnes of CO₂ were released across Siberia by wildfires that are raging across the vast Russian region, according to scientists at the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service. [CNN]

Siberian wildfire (Yevgeny Sofroneyev | Tass | Getty Images)

¶ “Italy Throws Launch Party For Fiat’s 100% Electric “New 500”” • The good news out of Italy this year (forced by EU regulations no doubt) is that the Fiat 500 is becoming fully electric. Italy is no longer continuing the fossil fueled versions of the small car (“city car,” as some people call it), which is just now turning 63 years old. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “In A World First, Hyundai Fuel Cell Semis Ship To Customers” • This could be big for Hyundai. Investors are always looking for “the next big thing.” The first examples of its hydrogen fuel cell semis are on their way to Switzerland. This is especially big news because neither Tesla nor Nikola has delivered a single truck so far. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai fuel cell truck (Hyundai courtesy image)

¶ “Denmark’s Ørsted, Taiwan’s TSMC Sign World’s Largest Renewable Corporate Power Deal” • Denmark’s Ørsted said that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co agreed to buy all of the energy from its second offshore wind farm in Taiwan, under a 20 year PPA. The Greater Changhua 2b & 4 wind farm will have a capacity of 920 MW. [Reuters Africa]

¶ “Orange Connects To Boralex Wind In France” • Canadian energy company Boralex is to supply electricity to the French arm of telecommunications company Orange from the 39-MW Ally-Mercoeur wind farm in France. Under the terms of the PPA, Orange France will receive 67 GWh of electricity per year from the project. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Boralex image)

¶ “Cost Of Renewable Power Is Falling, Share Is Growing In Power Sector” • REN21’s “Renewables 2020 Global Status Report” indicates that there has been significant growth over the last five years in renewable energy. Nevertheless, renewable energy needs to expand beyond the power sector to the heating, cooling, and transport sectors. [IISD Reporting Services]

¶ “Global Utilities ‘Failing Climate Test’” • Only four of the fifty most influential utilities in the world have defined a clear target to provide green energy aligned to the Paris Agreement, the World Benchmarking Alliance’s second “Climate and Energy Benchmark” says. The four are Ørsted, Enel, EDP, and the US utility AES Corporation. [reNEWS]

Building a wind farm (EDPR image)

¶ “Massive 340,000-Panel Solar Farm Planned For Edmonton International Airport” • Edmonton International Airport said it has plans to build a 627-acre, 120-MW solar farm on the west side of its lands as part of an agreement with Alpin Sun, a renewable energy company based in Europe. It will provide enough energy for 27,000 or 28,000 homes, [Edmonton Journal]

¶ “Vestas wins 166-MW order in Poland” • Vestas won a 166-MW order for two projects awarded at the Polish wind-solar-energy auction in December 2019. The Debnica Kazubska and the Bialy Bor wind projects will have six and 42 V126-3.45MW turbines respectively. Deliveries and commissioning are expected to begin in the third quarter of 2021. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Vestas image)

US:

¶ “University of Minnesota Morris now carbon neutral on electricity” • The U of M, Morris says it now is net-zero CO₂ for electricity use. The west-central prairie campus is known for its commitment to renewable energy and sustainability, and now, on balance, the electricity used by the university is from clean energy sources. [Minnesota Public Radio News]

¶ “Xcel Plans Renewable Power Project At Ryan’s Ford Site Redevelopment” • Xcel Energy Inc has a plan to power the Ford site redevelopment in St Paul with solar and hydro. Xcel and site developer Ryan Cos aim to have 100% renewable energy for the site’s 3,800 housing units and 415,000 square feet of retail and office space. [Minneapolis / St Paul Business Journal]

Ford Site in St Paul (Image: Ryan A+E Inc)

¶ “Duke Energy Renewables Brings Its Largest Solar Project On Line In Texas” • The largest solar project in Duke Energy Renewables’ fleet has come on line in Texas. The 200-MW (AC) Holstein Solar farm began commercial operation June 1. It spans about 1,300 acres in Wingate, Texas, which is in the west-central area of the state. [Charlotte Business Journal]

¶ “Longroad To Build 105-MW Solar Project In Maine” • US renewables developer Longroad Energy is developing a $190 million (€166 million) 109-MW PV project in Maine. Project construction of the Three Corners solar project in Kennebec County will start in 2021, and commercial operation is expected to begin in 2022. [reNEWS]

Have an excitingly exuberant day.

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July 7 Energy News

July 7, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “As Fossil Fuel Pipelines Fall To Opposition, Utilities See Renewable Energy As Safe Bet” • Legal challenges have halted several major pipeline projects across the US in recent days, underscoring a seismic shift facing the US utility industry: the rise of renewables as a potentially less costly and less risky alternative to fossil fuels. [Greentech Media]

Light at the end of the pipeline (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Gigantic Atlantic Coast Gas Pipeline Done In By Humble Household Heat Pump” • Dominion Energy and Duke Energy cancelled the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. They may not know it, but activists and land owners who fought against the project did them a favor by giving a message for all fossil fuel stakeholders: Get out now while you have a chance. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “‘World-Leading’ Machines In Moray To Ease Renewable Power Into UK Grid” • Two “world-leading” machines are to be installed in Moray, Scotland, in a £20 million project to make using renewable energy in the electricity grid easier and cleaner. The “Rotating Stabilizer” will provide stability of supply without fossil fuel-powered generation. [Energy Voice]

“World-leading” machine

World:

¶ “The Law That Could Make Climate Change Illegal” • The short-term cycles of government can be a real problem for climate change. But the Danish Parliament passed what could turn out to be one of the closest things yet to a law that would make climate change – or at least the lack of effort to stop it – genuinely illegal. [BBC]

¶ “Solar Farm Fitted With Batteries To Meet Grid Output Control Requirements Goes Online In Japan” • One of the first large solar farms in Japan with battery storage to meet the requirements of a local grid operator and utility, has been completed on the island of Hokkaido. The 64.4-MW Tomatoh Abira Solar Park 2 has 19 MWh of battery storage. [Energy Storage News]

Solar park fitted with battery storage (Image: Softbank)

¶ “Odisha Plans Solar Power Projects To Ramp Up Renewable Energy Generation” • The government of the Indian state of Odisha is planning several solar power projects in the state, officials said. To meet its renewable energy goals, the state needs 1,500 MW of solar power by 2022. It has 474 MW now and 460 MW in the pipeline. [Republic World]

¶ “Baywa Sells ‘Largest Floating PV Park Outside China’” • The German renewables company Baywa re has announced the sale of the largest floating solar project outside China. The developer did not reveal the sale price agreed for the 27.4 MW Bomhofsplas project, which it said yesterday had taken only seven weeks to install. [pv magazine International]

Bomhofsplas project (Image: Baywa re)

¶ “Rwanda’s Green Energy Sector Could Create 31,000 Jobs Annually – Report” • With ambitions of investing in renewable energy in Rwanda in the build-up to 2030, a report has noted that the sector could lead to the creation of around 31,000 direct jobs every year. The report was prepared by Global Green Growth Institute. [The New Times]

US:

¶ “Judge Orders Temporary Shutdown Of Controversial Dakota Access Pipeline” • The Dakota Access Pipeline must shut down by August 5 as an in-depth environmental review is carried on for the controversial project, a district court ruled Monday. The pipeline will remain closed during the review, which will take about thirteen months. [CNN]

Dakota Access Pipeline (Tony Webster, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Supreme Court Deals Major Blow To Keystone XL Project” • On Monday, the Supreme Court cleared the way for several pipeline projects to proceed under a fast-track permitting process that allow projects to go ahead while the environmental reviews are done, but it excluded the Keystone XL expansion from the ruling, forcing major delays. [CNN]

¶ “Tucson Electric Power Plans To End Use Of Coal-Generated Electricity By 2032” • Tucson Electric Power says it will stop using coal to generate electricity by 2032 and will increase its share of renewable energy to over 70% by 2035. It will stop buying electricity from its two units at its coal-fired Springerville Generating Station by 2032. [Arizona Daily Star]

Wind farm (David Sanders | Tucson Electric Power)

¶ “Climate Denial Spreads On Facebook As Scientists Face Restrictions” • Facebook allows groups that reject climate science to promote misleading theories global warming. But it restricted the ability of one of the country’s most visible climate scientists, Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University, to share information and fact checking. [Scientific American]

¶ “New Turbines Go Online, Tripling Northern Colorado’s Wind Power” • The Roundhouse Renewable Energy Project, Northern Colorado’s largest source of wind energy to date, is now online. The project comprises 83 new turbines scattered along the state line, as well as a transmission cable that carries the electricity that it produces south. [KUNC]

Roundhouse project (Courtesy Pete Arnold, Cheyenne, Wyoming)

¶ “MA Lawmakers Still Working To Reach 100% Renewable Energy By 2050” • The goal is to power Massachusetts using 100% renewable energy sources by 2050, and the elected officials who have signed on in support of this plan have outlined how they intend to make it happen. The legislature has two major energy bills before them. [WWLP.com]

¶ “US Report Recognises Nuclear As Zero-Carbon Energy Source” • The US House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis majority staff report says nuclear power is a zero-carbon source of electricity. However, the report also notes that nuclear power is not pollution-free, as it generates radioactive waste that lasts for thousands of years. [Nuclear Engineering]

Have an ineffably agreeable day.

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July 6 Energy News

July 6, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Humans Are Altering The Tides Of The Oceans” • Over the course of decades, engineers have dredged parts of the Ems River, on the Dutch-German border, so ships could navigate it from a shipyard upriver. Now, the tidal range has quintupled from what it was in 1900. Changing tidal patterns add complexity to the problems of rising sea levels. [BBC]

Thames Barrier, protecting London from tides (Credit: Alamy)

¶ “Could Paying Farmers To Store Carbon Help The Climate And Save Farms?” • Scientists estimate the earth’s soil holds two to three times more carbon than the atmosphere. If farmers could coax their fields to suck up more CO₂ and deposit it as organic carbon underground, it could go a long way toward mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. [Mother Jones]

World:

¶ “Tesla Begins Taking Cybertruck Orders In China, Will Drive One Across America” • If reports are true, the Tesla Cybertruck may be the most eagerly anticipated new vehicle in history. Back in February, 532,000 people around the world were reportedly on the waiting list. Now people in China are signing on, and there is a plan to drive one across America. [CleanTechnica]

Cybertruck on Tesla’s Chinese website (Credit: Tesla China)

¶ “LG Chem Secures Bigger Tesla Battery Contract” • Global battery giant LG Chem has reportedly secured a bigger order of batteries from Tesla due to higher demand and an inability for Tesla to produce enough batteries for its cars on its own. At least, that’s the news out of Korea, where LG Chem is based, according to Reuters. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vestas Wins Wind Turbine Orders Worth 429 MW In North America” • Global wind major Vestas has announced that it has received orders worth 429 MW for the supply of wind energy turbines for projects under development in North America. Of that, 151 MW will be installed in Alberta, and 278 MW will be constructed in the US. [Saurenergy]

Vestas Wind turbines

¶ “Iran’s Renewable Energy Capacity Reaches 825 MW” • Iran’s renewable power capacity has reached 825 MW, according to the data by Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Organization. The data also revealed that the number is expected to double, as other projects with a combined capacity of 821 MW are currently under construction. [Mehr News Agency]

¶ “From Dusted-Off Bikes To Electric Dreams: UK Green Economy Booms On Back Of Covid-19” • Butternut Bikes just one business set to profit from a green economic boom in the wake of the pandemic. The government faces growing pressure to unveil a climate friendly stimulus package, but the economic green shoots can already be seen. [The Guardian]

Electric bike rentals (London Time | Alamy)

¶ “NTPC And Indian Oil To Set Up A Waste-To-Energy Project In Delhi” • The South Delhi Municipal Corporation, Indian Oil, and NTPC signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a demonstration waste-to-energy project at a Delhi landfill. The project will use gasification to process about 17,500 tons of fuel derived from refuse per year. [Mercom India]

¶ “Study: Three Quarters Of U K Businesses Feel Threatened By Climate Crisis” • Three quarters of UK businesses feel threatened by the climate crisis, yet only one in ten has undertaken climate risk assessments and regard the issue as a priority. These data were revealed by a news study of over 500 businesses by Earth Science AI company Cervest. [www.businessgreen.com]

Up a tree (David Vig | Unsplash)

¶ “China’s Mega-Dams Are Giving Way To Cheaper Renewable Energy” • China Three Gorges Corp turned on the first set of generators at the massive Wudongde hydropower plant. And Baihetan, the last of the massive hydro projects, is scheduled to go into operation next year. But with low-cost renewable energy, no more are coming. [Aljazeera.com]

¶ “Iran Nuclear: Natanz Fire Caused ‘Significant’ Damage” • A fire at a key Iranian nuclear facility’s centrifuge assembly workshop caused “significant damage,” a spokesman said. He added that the machinery destroyed by the fire would eventually be replaced by more advanced equipment. Some Iranian officials have blamed possible cyber-sabotage. [BBC]

Damaged building (Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation)

US:

¶ “Berkshire Hathaway Will Buy Natural Gas Assets From Dominion Energy In $10 Billion Deal” • Berkshire Hathaway is purchasing certain natural gas assets from Dominion Energy in a deal worth nearly $10 billion. Dominion is moving away from the gas transmission business to become a “pure-play” regulated clean energy utility company. [CNN]

¶ “One Year Later: Police Chief Loves The Tesla Model 3” • It makes sense for police departments all across America to make the switch to EVs. And Tesla, with its affordable Model 3, is a prime candidate. A number of departments have already started running Teslas, and those that have them love them. Numbers on cost reductions will come soon. [CleanTechnica]

A wish for Tulsa (Mayor GT Bynum via Twitter)

¶ “US Energy Companies End Atlantic Coast Pipeline Project” • Dominion Energy and Duke Energy announced that they have canceled the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which had faced opposition from landowners, activists and environmental advocates. The pipeline was meant to run from West Virginia to Virginia and North Carolina. [Voice of America]

¶ “Coal everywhere: Union Pacific train derailed in Oostburg; no reported injuries” • A Union Pacific coal train was derailed in Oostburg, Wisconsin. Officials said there were no reported injuries when 13 cars derailed near County Road A and Town Line Road, where the tracks cross the Black River. Coal spilled in the area as a result. [fox6now.com]

Have a stunningly successful day.

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July 5 Energy News

July 5, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Zero-Emissions Trucks Are The Future: Let’s Do This” • California’s zero-emissions rule is a timetable for eliminating emissions from trucking. Instead of fighting the rule, the trucking industry has an historic opportunity to tackle the problem of emissions from freight and transform its operations into a clean supply chain. [CleanTechnica]

Fuso eCanter London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (Daimler image)

¶ “How To Retire Early: Making Accelerated Coal Phaseout Feasible And Just” • It Is cheaper today to build new renewable energy capacity including battery storage than to continue operating 39% of the world’s existing coal capacity. And the cost of coal-based power is not going down the way renewable energy’s costs are. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “How New Flood Risk Maps Could Undermine Marginalized Neighborhoods” • New flood maps illustrate a racial disparity: In two-thirds of states, minority neighborhoods shoulder more undisclosed flood risk than the state average. That gap could have significant ramifications for citizens in those areas to access financial resources. [Quartz]

Flood (Dan Anderson | Reuters)

¶ “Natural Gas As A Bridge Fuel To The Future? Not Anymore” • Natural gas is being done in by low prices for renewables and storage, which is precisely how capitalism is supposed to work. Now we need to eradicate the torrent of money the industry receives from federal and state subsidies. That fight is not over yet, but the end game has begun. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Study: Driving Tesla Model 3 Is Whole Lot Cheaper Than Driving Petrol Vehicles In 23 African Countries” • AfricaNEV looked at the costs of “fueling” the Tesla Model 3 versus some popular fossil fueled models in each of 23 countries, examining electricity tariffs and petrol prices. The Model 3 wins, and it’s not even a contest. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 in Florida (Zach Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Domestic Manufacturing Only Meets Half Of India’s Solar Equipment Demand: Power Minister Rk Singh” • India’s solar PV manufacturing capacity meets just half of the country’s demand, according to union power and renewable energy minister RK Singh. India’s solar cell manufacturing capacity is at 2.5 GW, but it has 5 GW more under construction. [EnergyInfraPost]

¶ “Record Low Tariff Bidding For New Solar Projects, Due To Chance Coming Together Of Many Positives” • A chance coming together of several positives led to a new record low tariff bid in a tranche of auctions of the Solar Energy Corporation of India, according to CRISIL Research. The new record is ₹2.36/kWh (3.2¢/kWh), down from ₹2.44 /kWh. [EnergyInfraPost]

Solar array

¶ “MP Helps Launch Bradford Community Energy Initiative” • In West Yorkshire, Bradford Community Energy has launched a major new initiative to help community centers in the district develop and finance renewable energy assets. It allows residents to invest from £100 up to £22,000 in local renewable energy projects. [Bradford Telegraph and Argus]

¶ “Tepco To Reuse Chinese EV Batteries For Energy Storage” • Japanese utility Tokyo Electric Power Co Holdings will launch a storage battery business utilizing used electric-vehicle batteries from China, Nikkei has learned. The plan is to assemble used batteries into a containerized energy storage system to assist renewable-energy plants. [Nikkei Asian Review]

Bank of batteries

¶ “Europe’s radioactivity due to nuke reactor – UN” • Slightly higher levels of radioactivity detected in northern Europe last week are likely linked to a nuclear reactor, the UN nuclear watchdog said, stressing it posed no risk. The International Atomic Energy Agency said it could not yet determine where the reactor was located. [The Manila Times]

US:

¶ “US Opposition’s Big Climate Plan Includes Studying The Risky Idea Of Blocking Out The Sun” • Democrats on the US House Select Committee for the Climate Crisis put out their big old climate plan. One thing the plan includes is geoengineering. Controversially, that could mean using tiny particles to reflect sunlight back into space. [Gizmodo UK]

Twilight (Featured photo: Wikimedia)

¶ “Green Hydrogen Bubbles Up Under US Distributed Wind Scheme” • The DOE is determined to stimulate more activity in the area of distributed wind power, and if all goes according to plan that could mean good news for fans of green hydrogen. The hydrogen angle could help smaller-scale wind owners squeeze more energy from their turbines. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Efficiency Maine Trust Has A 10-Year Record Of Energy-Saving Success” • Efficiency Maine Trust was established on July 1, 2010, as an independent, not-for-profit, quasi-state agency to advance the best interests of Maine’s energy consumers. Since then, “Efficiency Maine” has served the state’s customer groups, business sectors, and communities. [Press Herald]

Have thoroughly enjoyable day.

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July 4 Energy News

July 4, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Koalas, Under Stress From Wildfires And Climate Change, Could Become Extinct In One Part Of Australia” • Ravaged by wildfires and habitat loss, Koalas could become extinct in New South Wales by 2050, a government report says. The prediction is based on a year-long study launched just a few months before recent devastating wildfires. [The Weather Channel]

Koala in a tree (Douglas Paul Perkins, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Early Exposure To Traffic-Related Air Pollution Linked To Increased Risk Of Neurodevelopmental Disorders” • Researchers at the University of California, Davis have released a study, based on rodent models, that corroborates previous epidemiological evidence showing the effects of traffic-related pollution on the brains of developing young.  [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Climate change is hitting home gardens. Here’s how to adapt” • Every year now, gardeners should rethink what they grow and where because of climate change, experts say. A longer growing season can deliver bigger harvests, but conditions are changing in ways that offset that, with new weather patterns, invasive species, and other problems. [Christian Science Monitor]

Plant in extreme weather (Dean Fosdick | AP)

World:

¶ “Octopus Identifies Renewable Energy Targets In Ireland” • Last year, Octopus, a UK renewable energy company, acquired its first asset in Ireland, a 15-MW wind farm in Donegal. Now, it is looking at Ireland, along with ten other countries, for places to make additional investments. Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust expects to invest £2.2 billion. [Independent.ie]

¶ “With Much Of The World’s Economy Slowed Down, Green Energy Powers On” • The fallout from the coronavirus pandemic has many businesses reeling. The oil and gas industry in particular has been forced to drastically cut production and lay off workers. But producers of clean energy are pushing hard to get their projects up and running. [bdnews24.com]

East Anglia One wind project (Suzie Howell | The New York Times)

¶ “45,000 Renewables Jobs Are Australia’s For The Taking – But How Many Will Go To Coal Workers?” • As the global renewables transition accelerates, the future for Australian coal regions has become a big worry: Can renewables create the right jobs in the right places to employ former coal workers? A study says that in many cases, they can. [Australian Times]

¶ “Lord Bamford And Son Develop Construction Industry’s First Hydrogen-Powered Excavator” • JCB chairman Lord Bamford and his son Jo, who runs Ryse Hydrogen and Wrightbus, have spent two years working on the construction industry’s first ever hydrogen-powered excavator and then a further year testing the prototype. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Bamfords and their hydrogen excavator (Ryse Hydrogen image)

¶ “Turkey To Offer ‘Green Only’ Power Tariff As Of August” • Turkey will start offering a “green only” power tariff as of August for electricity consumers interested in purchasing clean, renewable energy, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez said in a statement. Turkey’s electricity production is about 50%. [Daily Sabah]

¶ “India Plans To Halt $2.8 Billion Import Of Power Equipment From China” • India will stop power equipment imports from China, power minister Raj Kumar Singh said, amid simmering border tensions between the two neighbors. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is asking companies to look for Indian suppliers to spur economic recovery. [ThePrint]

Solar panels and wind turbines (Bloomberg image)

¶ “SP Energy Networks Funds Scottish Community PV” • SP Energy Networks’ Green Economy Fund has provided money for 14 community solar projects, with more than 200 kW of total capacity, in Scotland. The electricity distributor has supported the installation of solar panels on community halls, churches, schools and sports clubs. [reNEWS]

¶ “Germany Is First Major Economy To Phase Out Coal And Nuclear” • German lawmakers have finalized the country’s long-awaited phase-out of coal as an energy source, backing a plan that environmental groups say isn’t ambitious enough and free marketeers criticize as a waste of taxpayers’ money. The last coal-fired power plant will close by 2038. [Sumter Item]

Bucket wheel digging for coal (Martin Meissner | AP file photo)

¶ “Singapore To Retain Focus On Long-Term Goals To Create Jobs: Masagos Zulkifli” • Singapore should continue to work on its long-term goals like sustainability and digital transformation even while it deals with near-term priorities brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, its Minister for the Environment and Water Resources said. [The Straits Times]

US:

¶ “Duke Energy Florida Plans To Double Its Solar Power Capacity” • Perhaps managers at Duke Energy finally noticed that solar power is cheaper than nuclear, coal, or natural gas. They submitted a proposal to the Florida Public Service Commission requesting approval for a plan to build 750 MW of new solar capacity at a cost of $1 billion. [CleanTechnica]

PVs (ASCOM Prefeitura de Votuporanga, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Black Hills Energy Proposes New 200MW Solar Project; Forecasts Customer Savings Of About $66 Million” • Black Hills Energy is proposing to lower customer energy costs by about $66 million over 15 years with a 200-MW solar project to be built in Pueblo County, Colorado, under the company’s Renewable Advantage plan. [Canon City Daily Record]

¶ “Portland General Electric Looks To Create 4-MW VPP With Batteries” • Portland General Electric announced plans to start a pilot program aimed at creating a virtual power plant with a capacity of 4 MW out of residential energy storage batteries. PGE will offer incentives to customers in its service area, to participate in the VPP. [Renewables Now]

Have a supremely splendid day.

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July 3 Energy News

July 3, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Warming Temperatures Threaten Hundreds Of Fish Species The World Relies On, Study Finds” • As the planet’s oceans and rivers warm, increased heat could pose a grave threat to the fish populations the world depends on by the end of this century. That’s the alarming conclusion of a study published in the journal Science. [CNN]

Vulnerable fish (Nobuo Matsumura | Alamy)

¶ “Covid-19 Has Shown The Huge Cost Of Slow Political Action, Warn Climate Scientists” • Writing in the journal Current Biology, a team of scientists and policy experts from the UK and US say that the lessons learned the hard way in containing COVID-19 should also be applied at the heart of averting environmental catastrophe. [Science Business]

World:

¶ “Volvo Penta Begins Field Trials Of Battery-Electric Fire Truck” • Volvo Penta has been working with Rosenbauer, a European maker of fire trucks, to develop an electric drivetrain for those vehicles. Rosenbauer will soon begin real-world customer testing with fire departments in Berlin, Amsterdam, and Dubai, a Volvo Penta press release says. [CleanTechnica]

Rosenbauer fire truck (Volvo Penta)

¶ “IKEA Unveils Even More Solar Energy Projects” • Australia has already seen Swedish brand IKEA roll out of its retail solar solutions, known as Solstråle. Now, IKEA is investing more into renewables with storage. This will see the company transform one of its superstores into the first of its kind to be 100% powered by renewable energy. [Energy Matters]

¶ “Enel Wins 420-M W Solar Prize In India” • Enel Green Power, through its Indian renewable subsidiary EGP India, has secured an energy supply contract for a 420-MW solar farm in the state of Rajasthan. Commercial operations are expected at the end of 2021. The investment will come to about $180 million (€160 million), Enel said. [reNEWS]

Solar panels (Enel image)

¶ “Germany’s Renewable Power Share Surges To 56% Amid Covid-19 Impact” • The share of renewable energy in Germany’s power generation surged to 55.8% during the first half of 2020 amid a lower demand due to the decline in industrial activity caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and favourable weather, data from the Fraunhofer Institute shows. [Recharge]

¶ “First SeaMade Turbine Starts Spinning” • The first turbine installed at the 487-MW SeaMade offshore wind project off the coast of Belgium has generated first power. DEME Offshore recently installed the first 8.4-MW Siemens Gamesa turbine at the project in the Belgian North Sea, using its DP2 offshore installation vessel Apollo. [reNEWS]

Blade installation (DEME image)

¶ “50Hertz Aims To Deliver 100% Renewable Electricity By 2032” • German grid operator 50Hertz unveiled plans to deliver 100% renewable electricity in its service territory by 2032. The “60 to 100 by 2032” initiative covers areas in eastern Germany and the city states of Berlin and Hamburg, where 50Hertz now delivers around 60% renewable power. [reNEWS]

¶ “Greens Launch Plan To Lead Victoria Out Of Recession Through Renewable Energy” • The Victorian Greens launched a renewable energy-led recovery plan for Victoria that, if adopted, would create thousands of jobs, lead us out of recession and help solve the climate crisis all at once, mainly through energy and efficiency upgrades. [pv magazine Australia]

Wind farm in Victoria (Rolandg, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Nuclear Energy Not For Countries Looking At Economic Development” • If India is looking at development by increasing power consumption, it is essential that it opts for cheaper forms of energy, stated nuclear expert M V Ramana, at a webinar ‘The future of nuclear energy’. He stressed that in such a case nuclear is not the right choice. [Free Press Journal]

US:

¶ “Vigor Chooses ABB Battery Electric Power For New Ferries In Washington” • Washington State operates the one of the largest ferry fleets in world. It burns about 20 million gallons of diesel fuel a year, making it a major polluter. Three of its biggest ferry boats, each burning about 5 million gallons, are being converted by Vigor Shipyards to run on electricity. [CleanTechnica]

Ferry on Puget Sound (Vigor image)

¶ “New York City Is Getting 20 Miles Of Bus Lanes & Car-Free Busways” • New York City has a plan that centers around buses. The city will provide 20 miles of bus lanes and car-free busways. Mayor de Blasio said that implementation of the plan across the city is already starting. This is the start for a larger plan for 60 miles of bus lanes and busways. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Plot Brewing To Blanket US In Solar Panels And Pollinator-Friendly Plants” • A change is under way. Solar arrays that once sat on barren ground are now festooned with plants that attract bees, birds, and butterflies. Even the DOE is getting into the act. Here is a look at four new solar power plants built to benefit our pollinators. [CleanTechnica]

Agrivoltaics in Vermont (Green Lantern via Global Newswire)

¶ “Thirteen Towns Join Electricity Aggregation Program” • In Massachusetts, a dozen Franklin County communities and the town of Huntington have joined together to develop municipal electricity programs with the goal of combating climate change and increasing renewable energy use. Customers will see a small drop in rates. [The Recorder]

¶ “AEP To Proceed With Wind Projects Investments, Despite Texas Commission Decision” • The Public Utility Commission of Texas denied an approval, but American Electric Power received the other states’ regulatory approvals needed to acquire 1,485 MW of North Central wind generation. The projects are to be completed over the next two years. [Saurenergy]

Have an abundantly fruitful day.

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July 2 Energy News

July 2, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Banks Love Renewable Energy, But Their Boardrooms Are Still Linked With Fossil Fuels Corporations” • Big banks are talking the talk about clean, renewable energy and sustainability, but many of their board members have major ties to large fossil fuel corporations. These ties can affect banking decisions in ways that favor fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

Deepwater Horizon (US Coast Guard, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “House Climate Crisis Committee Report Offers Strong Foundation For Climate Action” • The House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis released a Climate Crisis Action Plan. The plan underscores that climate change is not just a science issue. It is also an issue for health, economic, racial justice, housing, and food security. [Red, Green, and Blue]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change Threat To Tropical Plants” • Tropical plants closer to the equator are most at risk from climate change. The region is expected to be too hot for many species to germinate in the next 50 years, University of New South Wales researchers found. The research was published in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography. [UNSW Newsroom]

Tropical vegitation (Shutterstock image)

World:

¶ “Norway June EV Market Share At 66%, Overall Autos Down 25% YoY” • June saw electric vehicle pioneer Norway achieve 66% plug-in electric vehicle market share, up from 62% last year in the same month. The overall passenger auto market was down 25.5% year on year, which is a significant recovery from May’s drop of almost 40%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Arrival Rolls Out Slick, Sleek, Smooth Electric Bus” • With investment from Hyundai and Kia since January 2019, the British transportation company has been getting to work designing and developing great looking EVs for commercial segments. UPS has already ordered 10,000 electric vans. Now, Arrival has a cool new electric bus. [CleanTechnica]

Arrival electric bus (Image courtesy of Arrival)

¶ “Toyota Suspends Production Of RAV4 Prime After 3 Weeks” • Just three weeks after the start of production for the RAV4 Prime, Toyota announced it won’t build any more for a while. It seems orders for the car have far exceeded Toyota’s plan to make 4,000 RAV4 Primes. Reports are that Toyota failed to line up enough batteries for more than that. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hydrogen For High-Speed Crafts And Other Coastal Vessels” • Statkraft, TrønderEnergi, and Hyon are collaborating to launch compressed hydrogen as an alternative fuel for vessels and heavy vehicles. They will work to offer complete solutions in the tender processes that the local authorities will initiate in 2020 and onwards. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Hydrogen powered boat (Courtesy of Statkraft)

¶ “Atlas Renewable Energy And Dow Sign A Solar Energy Agreement” • Atlas Renewable Energy signed a large-scale solar power purchase agreement with material science multinational company Dow in Brazil. The Jacaranda PV  solar plant in the state of Bahía, will have a capacity of 187 MW and will supply energy over the 15-year PPA. [Power Technology]

¶ “Asia Offshore Potential Almost 1500 GW” • Asia offers the potential for almost 1500 GW of offshore wind capacity, Wood Mackenzie research shows. The analysis said the bulk of the capacity would be in China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and Vietnam. Wood Mackenzie said it expects 38 GW of new capacity to come online in China by 2029. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbine installation (China Three Gorges image)

¶ “Japan Aims To Shut Down 100 Inefficient Coal Plants Within Decade” • Japan’s government plans to phase out about 90% of the nation’s 114 low-efficiency coal-fired power generation units over the next decade as it looks to reduce carbon emissions. It will shift toward renewable energy and reopen more nuclear plants. [The Japan Times]

US:

¶ “Montana’s Largest Solar Project Secures Local Energy Cooperative” • A 1,100-acre solar project in Montana just secured a contract to sell power to Basin Electric Power Cooperative and its members. The project, Cabin Creek Solar Project, will be the largest of its type in the state and will supply power to the co-ops for 15 years. [CleanTechnica]

Montana (David Mark | Pixabay)

¶ “Tesla’s Market Value Overtakes Exxon In Historic Paradigm Shift” • Bloomberg said, “Tesla Inc’s market value has surpassed Exxon Mobil Corp’s in a sign that investors are increasingly betting on a global energy transition away from fossil fuels.” It touted the turning point as a shift that could signify a seismic transformation in the sector. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vail Resorts Says It’s Near Its Renewable Energy Goals” • Vail Resorts committed to purchase 310,000 MWh of wind energy annually from the new 82-turbine Plum Creek Wind project. The PPA will address more than 90% of the electricity use across its 34 North American resorts. Vail Resorts has a goal of reaching 100% renewable electricity by 2030. [Vail Daily News]

Wind turbines (Denver Post file photo)

¶ “More Utilities Bypassing Natural Gas Bridge And Going Straight To Renewables” • Utilities moving away from coal are starting to view the natural gas “bridge” to renewable energy as an unnecessary step. Utilities in Arizona, Colorado, and Florida have announced plans to close coal plants without adding any gas-fired generation. [pv magazine International]

¶ “CIP To Deliver 400 MW To AEP From Panther Grove” • AEP Energy signed a long-term power purchase agreement with an affiliate of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners for the output of the 400-MW Panther Grove wind farm in Illinois. Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2021, with commercial operation expected in late 2022. [reNEWS]

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July 1 Energy News

July 1, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Is The Hydrogen Tech ‘Revolution’ Hope Or Hype?” • In his speech on the planned economic recovery, the prime minister said hydrogen technology is an area where the UK leads the world. He hopes it’ll create clean jobs in the future. But is the hydrogen revolution hope or hype? Hydrogen has come a long way, but it’s by no means trouble-free. [BBC]

Hydrogen powered train

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Have Expectations For Useful Life Of Utility-Scale PV Plants In The US Changed Over Time?” • Useful life expectations of US PV projects have increased and lifetime operating expenses estimates have declined. Those conclusions emerge in a new report from Berkeley Lab. It determined that the useful life of PV projects exceeds 30 years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Beavers Are Gnawing Away At The Arctic Permafrost, And That’s Bad For The Planet” • The beaver may be an unlikely agent of climate change, but they are transforming the Arctic landscape in a way that could exacerbate global warming, a study has suggested. They are moving into new areas, and their lakes  contribute to permafrost thawing. [CNN]

Beaver (Ken Tape | University of Alaska, Fairbanks)

World:

¶ “‘County Electric’ Minibus Is Hyundai’s Next Electric Play” • Though it is far from being the company that leads the world in sales of EVs, Hyundai is highly regarded for its competent EV design. The company is now using its talents in the minibus market. Hyundai Motor Company just released its “County Electric” minibus. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Chile Orders 150 Electric Buses From BYD!” • Chile just order 150 electric buses from BYD to transport people in its capital city of Santiago. This brings BYD electric buses up to a total of 455 in Chile. Santiago alone plans to get up to nearly 800 electric buses by the end of 2020, with a goal to have its transportation system fully electric by 2040. [CleanTechnica]

New electric buses in Santiago, Chile (Image courtesy BYD)

¶ “Samsung And Bloom Energy Want To Make Zero Emissions Cargo Ships” • Samsung Heavy Industries is a prominent global shipbuilder. SHI has formed a joint venture with Bloom Energy to design and develop zero emissions ships. Taming marine emissions would be an important step forward in ridding the world of pollution. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “City Of Adelaide Switches To 100% Renewable Electricity” • In a first for a South Australian council, operations for the City of Adelaide will be powered by a solar-wind blend as it partners with electricity retailer Flow Power. This will bring Adelaide a step closer to its goal of becoming one of the world’s first carbon-neutral cities. [pv magazine Australia]

Rooftop solar system (Image: Vicinity Centers)

¶ “Vestas Makes 588-MW End Of Q2 Surge” • Danish turbine manufacturer Vestas booked a further 588 MW of turbine orders in Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and the US as the second quarter of the year came to an end. The US order is for V150-4.2MW hardware totalling 278 MW with delivery to begin in the second quarter of 2021. [reNEWS]

¶ “City Of Sydney Completes Switch To 100% Renewable Supply” • The City of Sydney has officially made the switch to 100% renewable electricity, with its power supplies now flowing from wind and solar projects from across regional New South Wales. The city secured a power purchase agreements worth around $60 million. [RenewEconomy]

Sydney Town Hall solar (Credit: City of Sydney)

¶ “Global Transition From Coal To Clean Energy Has Reached A Financial Tipping Point” • A report from the Sierra Club, the Carbon Tracker Initiative, and the Rocky Mountain Institute concluded that replacing the entire global fleet of coal plants with clean energy plus battery storage could be done at a net annual savings as early as 2022. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Renewables Surge In European Power Mix” • Data for the period from 1 January to 16 June 2020 shows that wind, solar, and biomass generation in Europe has grown by 7% over 2019 levels, while overall power generation declined by 6.1% from last year. The reduction was almost entirely absorbed by gas, coal, and nuclear power. [Petroleum Economist]

Jack-up ship

US:

¶ “US Department of Energy Aims to Help Secure EV Battery Supplies” • Despite the Trump administration’s clear fossil fuel bias, the US DOE has been paying a bit of attention to the EV revolution. It is looking to help secure critical battery supplies in the global battery supply chain and setting the foundation to do so. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “You Can Now Drive 100% Electric Across The USA Using Electrify America” • The big Electrify America news is that it has completed its first cross-country route, going from Washington, DC, to Southern California. A second cross-country route will also soon be completed, going across the southern part of the country to Southern California. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Renewable Energy Industry Sees Job Losses Nationally And In Vermont” • The renewable energy industry has taken a big hit from the Covid-19 shutdowns. Nearly 600,000 people who work in the clean energy sector nationwide have lost their jobs since the crisis began in March, according to renewable energy groups, and Vermont has not been spared. [vtdigger.org]

¶ “Democrats Say They Have A Bold Climate Plan – But The Republicans Have Other Plans” • House Democrats released an ambitious and wide-ranging climate crisis plan on par with what scientists say the world will have to do to avert catastrophic warming. Some Republicans agree that there is a problem, but that is about as far as agreement goes. [The Guardian]

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