Archive for August, 2020

August 31 Energy News

August 31, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Where Will Renewable Energy Be in Five Years?” • Leading renewable energy producer NextEra Energy expects that near-firm wind and solar (ie, with a four-hour battery storage adder) will be cheaper to build than all but the most efficient natural gas power plants within the next five years. This could produce an investment surge. [Motley Fool]

Wind farm (Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “AES Invests In 5B Portable Solar Technology” • 5B is an Australian solar energy company with an innovative new idea. Instead of building a solar system onsite, make it in a factory using preassembled units that are hinged together and fold up like the sides of an accordion. Now AES, a co-founder of Fluence Energy, is among those financing 5B. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “World’s First Foiling Electric Boat” • Electric boats are starting to bloom. Boat maker Candela says it offers the “first electric boats with real range,” by adding hydrofoils. Their speedboat can go quite far – 50 nautical miles at 22 knots, which is 57.54 land miles at 25.3 mph. And it has a maximum speed of 30 knots (35 mph). [CleanTechnica]

Foiling electric boat (Photo via Candela)

¶ “Rigid Sails And Solar Power For Zero Emission Shipping” • Renewable energy is a source of emissions free power and on-board ships it can be harnessed by various means including rigid sails and solar panels. Both have potential to significantly reduce vessel emissions especially as the underlying technologies keep on being improved. [Splash 247]

World:

¶ “The Search Engine Boss Who Wants To Help Us All Plant Trees” • Christian Kroll wants nothing less than to change the world. The 35-year-old German is the boss of search engine Ecosia, which has an unusual but very environmentally friendly business model – it gives away most of its profits to enable trees to be planted around the world. [BBC]

Tree planting project (© Joshi Gottlieb)

¶ “New Record-Low Solar Price Bid – 1.3¢/kWh” • Portugal held a solar power auction, in which one of the bids broke the world record for the lowest solar power price. The lowest winning bid was to supply solar electricity to the grid at a new record price of €0.01114/kWh (1.327¢/kWh). The array will save Portugal €37.2 million per year for fifteen years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Work Underway On Gravitricity Storage Demo” • Winch specialist Huisman has begun on the fabrication of Gravitricity’s €1.1 million energy storage demonstrator, which is due for trial in Edinburgh early next year. The full 16m-high rig will be assembled at a grid-connected site at the port of Leith for testing to begin in spring 2021. [reNEWS]

Gravitricity storage demo (Gravitricity image)

¶ “Korean ESS Companies Ramp Up Overseas Business To Hike Up Revenue By 40%” • South Korean tech heavyweights Samsung SDI Co and LG Chem Ltd are expected to see a boost in market shares as they secure hefty energy storage system orders from overseas markets. Both intend to fortify their global energy storage businesses. [The Korea Economic Daily]

¶ “Renewables Set Power Generation Records In First Half Of 2020” • The latest Drax report shows renewables up 32% year-on-year as biomass, wind and solar set new generation records in Q2 2020. At one point renewable electricity sources were providing 69.5% of Britain’s electricity, the Drax Electrical Insights quarterly report says. [reNEWS]

Installing a turbine blade at Hornsea (Ørsted image)

¶ “Renewables And Covid-19 Combine To Cut Australia’s Greenhouse Emissions” • The continued growth of Australia’s renewable sector and a sharp fall in consumption of transport fuel because of Covid-19 have contributed to a fall in Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. But the fall was 1.4%, and most of the cuts may be temporary. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “China Poised To Overtake US In Nuclear Power By 2030” • China’s total nuclear power generation capacity, including reactors under construction and in planning, was 108,700 MW as of April, more than America’s 105,120 MW, according to the World Nuclear Association. Western countries are tending not to build nuclear plants. [Nikkei Asian Review]

China pushing to lead

US:

¶ “42 Target Stores May Host Tesla Supercharger Stations” • It’s exciting news for lovers of Tesla and Target. Tesla is apparently working to bring Superchargers to 42 more Target stores across the USA. And 42, as we all should know from the Douglas Adams classic (as Elon Musk certainly does), is the answer to life, the universe, and everything. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Wind Power Adds 1800 MW Of Capacity In First Quarter Of 2020” • The US wind industry added more than 1,800 MW of new capacity in the first quarter of 2020, an American Wind Energy Association report says. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories said in a market report that 9 GW of wind capacity were added in 2019. [Industry Leaders Magazine]

Wind turbines

¶ “Dozens Of Shops Are Now Replacing Nissan LEAF Batteries” • A growing number of shops and suppliers are getting into the business of replacing LEAF batteries. Good first-generation batteries now available for as little as $1000. People with an older LEAF can even get newer 62-kWh packs to get over 200 miles of range in the oldest LEAFs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GM Gets Serious About Electric Cars And Autonomous Driving With Help From Corvette Engineers” • There can be no doubt that GM is indeed getting serious about building electric cars and cars that drive themselves after the news this week that it is reassigning some of its best and brightest engineers to create its cars of the future. [CleanTechnica]

Have a fundamentally magnificent day.

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August 30 Energy News

August 30, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Power To The People: Why Clean Energy Must Give More Australians A Slice Of The Pie” • Renewable energy is cheap partly because it requires little human intervention, which means lower electricity prices. It means more money can be given back to the community in other ways. But its jobs rely mostly on new growth, rather than existing projects. [The Guardian]

Wind turbine (David Gray | Reuters)

¶ “Australia Looks To Take The Lead In The Hydrogen Boom” • The EU has big plans for hydrogen, but Australia could soon make the EU’s hydrogen plans seem pedestrian. Australia is single-handedly developing a 15-GW project that will generate hydrogen for export. It could make the world’s driest continent the “Saudi Arabia of renewables.” [OilPrice.com]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change Didn’t Cause Hurricane Laura But It Did Make The Storm Worse” • Laura broke multiple records. At the Mermentau River gauge at Grand Chenier, in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, the gauge topped out at 17.14 feet; the previous high was 13 feet in June 1957. As the planet has warmed significantly, the storms have been worse. [CNN]

Hurricane Laura on August 26 (Chris Cassidy | NASA)

World:

¶ “Panama Cancels Order For Diesel Buses, Will Purchase 195 Electric Buses Instead” • For the past year, MiBus, operator of Panama’s Metrobús system, has tested two electric buses that BYD supplied to it for free. Having done that, MiBus has decided to cancel an order for 160 new diesel buses and purchase electric buses from BYD instead. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Brazil’s Effort To Protect Amazon Rainforest Yeilding Opposite Effect: Report” • After the president of Brazil put the military in charge of protecting the rainforest, Associated Press has reported a decline in the investigation and prosecution of rainforest destruction by ranchers, farmers, and miners, even as this year’s burning season picks up. [Republic World]

Amazon River (AP image)

¶ “ReNew And UN Environment Program To Work Together For Renewables And Energy Efficiency” • ReNew Power and the UN Environment Program entered a partnership agreement to promote increased access to renewable energy and improved energy efficiency. UNEP addresses environmental issues at the global and regional level for the UN. [Mercom India]

¶ “First Solar Offers First-Of-Its-Kind Grid Balancing Services With A 141-MW Solar Project” • First Solar, a US-based solar panel manufacturer, announced that its 141-MW Luz del Norte solar PV project in Chile secured a license to supply ancillary grid services on a commercial basis. The company said it is the first solar project to provide such services. [Mercom India]

Solar project

India:

¶ “Possible To Shift To Renewable Energy: Experts Welcome UN Secretary General’s Advice To India On Combatting Climate Change” • Experts welcomed UN secretary general’s advice to India to phase out fossil fuel to combat climate change. But they said the government needs to ensure a just energy transition and livelihood of workers. [News18]

¶ “India Becoming A Global Force In Renewable Energy” • India is inching towards becoming a major force in the world for tapping and harnessing renewable energy with an increase of 226% in installed renewable energy capacity over the last five years. India stands fifth globally in terms of installed renewable energy capacity. [The Sunday Guardian]

Solar panels

¶ “Is Maharashtra Ready For ‘Renewable Only’ Capacity Creation?” • The Coronavirus pandemic might have achieved what no amount of push from well meaning people did. It is forcing Maharashtra, the most industrialized of India’s states, to consider putting a full stop on fresh thermal energy capacity creation in the state. [Saurenergy]

US:

¶ “Rocky Mountain Power Forges Ahead With $2 Billion Transmission Line In Wyoming” • Rocky Mountain Power, with 146,000 customers in Wyoming, submitted an application to the Wyoming Public Service Commission for regulatory approval, as it seeks to construct $2 billion in energy transmission lines in the state. [Casper Star-Tribune Online]

Moving a transformer (Image: Hitachi | Rocky Mountain Power)

¶ “Ohio House Seeking To End Energy Bill” • State Reps Michael J O’Brien and Michael Skindell will try to push the Ohio House to vote Tuesday to repeal the controversial House Bill 6 that bailed out two failed nuclear power plants and is at the heart of a federal political corruption case. They will try a “rarely used tool” to bypass committee hearings. [Youngstown Vindicator]

¶ “Bill Gates’ Nuclear Venture Plans Reactor To Complement Solar, Wind Power Boom” • A nuclear energy venture founded by Bill Gates said it hopes to build small advanced nuclear power stations that can store electricity to supplement grids powered increasingly by intermittent renewable sources. A 345-MW plant would cost $1 billion. [Daily Times]

Have a fantastically tranquil day.

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August 29 Energy News

August 29, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Hurricanes, Fires, Floods And Locusts: Science Says Climate Change Is Here But The RNC Refuses To Believe” • The US military warned about climate change in 1990, predicting death, desperation, and tension in distant lands. Now the Hurricanes, fires, and floods are here in the US. But watching the Republican National Convention, you’d never know. [CNN]

Damage from Hurricane Laura

World:

¶ “Another Record Month For Plugin Vehicles In Europe” • The European passenger plugin vehicle market is on fire, having scored over 113,000 registrations in July (+213% year over year, the highest growth rate in 5 years). This is the market’s second record performance in a row, after the 93,000 registrations of June. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Xpeng G3 – $21,383 to $29,102 Hot Electric Crossover (in China)” • Xpeng is a young EV startup in China that is getting a lot more attention in the US now that it has gone public on the New York Stock Exchange. We’ve been covering the company for a couple of years, but now we are doing a deep dive on the Xpeng G3, an electric crossover. [CleanTechnica]

Xpeng G3

¶ “Renewable Energy Push Boosts Bets On Wind, Solar In Israel” • On the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, solar energy and renewable power storage stocks are outperforming oil and gas producers. The Israeli government is pledging to spend more on cleaner alternatives, at just the time investors are seeking to diversify away from fossil fuels. [Moneyweb]

¶ “Billionaire Adamant Coal Jobs Will Vanish” • Influential billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes believes Australia needs to be honest with coal workers that jobs in the industry will disappear over the next two decades. Sitting on a panel with government coal supporters, he said it was time for politicians to be straight with coalminers. [Australian Associated Press]

Billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes (Mick Tsikas | AAP PHOTOS)

¶ “Schlumberger New Energy And Thermal Energy Partners Create Geothermal Project Development Company” • A new subsidiary of Schlumberger and Thermal Energy Partners have entered into an agreement to create STEP Energy, which is to develop efficient and profitable geothermal power generation projects. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Distributed And Large-Scale Renewables Improve Reliability Outlook For Australia’s Main Grid” • The reliability of Australia’s power supply has actually improved with the addition of new solar and wind capacity, making summer blackouts less likely, according to the Australian Energy Market Operator in its latest report. [pv magazine Australia]

Renewable energy (Pixabay image)

US:

¶ “California Takes A Big First Step Toward Climate Change Adaptation” • California’s Public Utilities Commission became the nation’s first regulator to require utilities to account better for the impact of climate change on energy infrastructure and services. The PUC ordered them to prioritize it in their planning and operations. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Laura Rapidly Intensified Over a Super-Warm Gulf. Only the Storm Surge Faltered” • Laura will likely cause billions of dollars in damage, but the season’s fourth hurricane avoided major population centers by making landfall between New Orleans and Houston. A last-minute wobble to the east reduced storm surge and flooding where it did hit. [InsideClimate News]

Lake Charles neighborhood (Joe Raedle | Getty Images)

¶ “Volkswagen Says ID.4 Reservations Will Be Accepted Starting September 23” • In an announcement on August 28, Volkswagen of America said the ID.4, the battery electric SUV built on the company’s MEB electric vehicle platform, will be revealed online on September 23. Immediately after that, customers will be able to make reservations. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Bollinger Motors Plans Push Into Electric Delivery Van Market” • Bollinger Motors, a startup EV company making a pickup truck and an SUV, wants to leverage is electric powertrain prowess to offer electric delivery vans as well. The company says it can build Class 2B, Class 3, Class 4, and Class 5 trucks using its all-electric skateboard. [CleanTechnica]

Bollinger delivery van (Credit: Bollinger Motors)

¶ “U.S. Shipments of Solar Photovoltaic Modules Increase as Prices Continue to Fall” • In 2019, US shipments of solar PV modules, or solar panels, reached a record-high 16.4 million kW, 2.9 million kW more than the previous record of 13.5 million kW set in 2016. Solar PV module shipments include imports, exports, and product for US consumption. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Mitsubishi Hitachi Supplying Battery Energy Storage Systems For California Grid” • Hecate Grid awarded the Johanna Energy Storage System project to Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas, Inc. MHPS Americas will provide Hecate Grid battery energy storage systems totaling 20 MW, 80 MWh as part of a multi-year study. [Transmission & Distribution World]

Storage system (Photo by Malpetr, Dreamstime)

¶ “Fort Collins Power Provider Eyes Plan For 90% Noncarbon Electricity By 2030” • Platte River Power Authority appears poised to adopt a plan to achieve over 90% carbon-free electricity for Fort Collins and surrounding areas by 2030, highlighting the possibility that the power provider could fall short of its goal of 100% noncarbon electricity by 2030. [The Coloradoan]

¶ “NRC Gives Final Approval To NuScale’s SMR Design” • The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has completed its Phase 6 review of the Design Certification Application of NuScale Power’s small modular nuclear reactor, the company said. According to NuScale Power, its SMR is the first such reactor to receive NRC approval of its design. [POWER magazine]

Have a very pretty day, indeed.

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August 28 Energy News

August 28, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “685,000 Americans Evacuated This Week. Could Climate Change Be Responsible?” • 685,000 Americans are subject to mandatory evacuation orders this week – 385,000 in Texas, 200,000 in Louisiana, and 100,000 in California according to Forbes. Is it possible that a warming planet had anything to do with either situation? [CleanTechnica]

Hurricane Laura (NOAA – NESDIS, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Pipistrel Ready To Set Seven Electric Aircraft World Records” • Pipistrel, a small electric aircraft company, has a small electric airplane called the Velis Electro. The Velis Electro got its “first type approval” from the EU aviation security authority. Now, it is ready for a 700 km flight from the Swiss Alps to the North Sea that is to set records. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Seaweed: The food and fuel of the future?” • Seaweeds are fast-growing algae. They use energy from sunlight, and take up nutrients and carbon dioxide from the seawater. Scientists suggest seaweed could help fight climate change and offset carbon emissions. Increasing numbers of companies are investigating seaweed culture. [BBC]

Faroe Islands seaweed culture (Adrienne Murray)

World:

¶ “Unmodified Volkswagen ID.3 Travels 531 Kilometers On A Single Charge” • A stock ID.3 First Pro Performance equipped with a 58-kWh battery was driven 531 km from the factory in Zwickau, Germany to Schaffhausen, Switzerland, without recharging. The official range for that model of the ID.3 is 420 km using the WLTP standard. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Rapid Fall To Parity Predicted For Australian Renewable Hydrogen Costs” • Significant cost reductions to solar PV and wind technologies, as well as cost reductions to electrolysers, will mean that the cost of green hydrogen in Australia could reach $A3/kg ($2.19/kg) soon and that a “stretch goal” of $A2/kg could come into reach, a paper says. [RenewEconomy]

Work on a Siemens electrolyser (Image by Siemens)

¶ “GE Renewable Energy Chosen To Deliver 25-MW DC-Coupled Energy Storage System” • Wykes chose GE Renewable Energy to deliver the 25-MW multiple hour duration energy storage systems, the UK’s first DC-coupled battery system. It will be integrated with Wykes’ 60-MW PV plant at the Chelveston Renewable Energy Park. [Solar Power Portal]

¶ “Scottish Nuclear Power Station To Shut Down Early After Reactor Problems” • Hunterston nuclear station, one of the UK’s oldest remaining nuclear plants, is to close down next year, after encountering a series of safety-critical problems in its reactors. EDF Energy had hoped to keep the 44-year-old nuclear plant going until 2023. [The Guardian]

Hunterston nuclear power station (Ian Rutherford | Alamy)

¶ “UN Secretary General Urges India To Phase Out Coal And Embrace Renewable Energy” • UN Secretary General António Guterres called on the Indian government to move away from coal and other fossil fuel fuels and fully embrace renewable energy. Guterres’s remarks were delivered online at The Energy and Resources Institute. [Livemint]

US:

¶ “California Greenlights Electric Vehicle Charging Program For 38,000 New Charging Stations” • The California Public Utilities Commission approved a $437 million EV infrastructure program of Southern California Edison that will support deploying up to 38,000 new charging stations in Southern California over the next four years. The vote was 5-0. [CleanTechnica]

Nissan LEAF charging in California (Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Hurricanes And Chemical Plants Are A Toxic Mix” • Hurricane Laura intensified quickly in the Gulf of Mexico because the Gulf waters were so warm. It took twelve hours after landfall for Laura to weaken to Category 1. Larger and more intense storms come with global warming, and they are hitting a state known for its chemical plants. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Department Of Energy: $33 Million For Carbon-Neutral Hybrid Electric Aviation” • The US DOE announced $33 million in funding for 17 projects as part of two programs run by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. The programs are intended to support development of motors and range extenders for electric aircraft. [CleanTechnica]

NASA X-57 (Image courtesy of NASA)

¶ “The Renewable Energy Industry Weathers Covid” • Since the pandemic began, New Hampshire has lost nearly 1,461 clean energy jobs, according to BW Research Partnership. That is actually an 8.5% decline, the third smallest in the nation behind South Dakota and Utah. Nationally, the clean energy job loss was 14.8%. [New Hampshire Business Review]

¶ “Green Lantern Solar – Repowering Vermont” • Green Lantern has completed nearly 90 projects in Vermont, adding nearly 40 MW of in-state solar power to the state’s grid.  Green Lantern has built projects in 66 towns throughout Vermont. It has recently completed construction of a 150-kW solar array in Bristol, Vermont. [GlobeNewswire]

Sunset at a Green Lantern Solar array in Southern VT

¶ “The US Energy Storage Boom Is About To Begin” • America has the potential to see 100 GW of new energy storage deployed by 2030, the US Energy Storage Association said in a new white paper this month. The increase in energy storage installation is considered critical to ensuring more solar and wind power generation. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “Byron, Dresden Nuclear Plants To Close In 2021” • Exelon Generation has announced that it intends to retire its Byron Generating Station and Dresden Generating Station in Illinois, in fall 2021. Dresden and Byron face revenue shortfalls in the hundreds of millions of dollars because of declining energy prices. [Beloit Daily News]

Have an enchantingly temperate day.

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August 27 Energy News

August 27, 2020

Hurricane Laura:

¶ “Hurricane Laura Makes Landfall In Southwestern Louisiana Near Texas” • Laura, the most powerful hurricane to strike the US so far this year, made landfall at 1:00 AM (local time) in southwestern Louisiana, just east of the Texas border, as an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 storm with 150 mph winds, the National Hurricane Center said. [Sky News]

Unsurvivable storm surge (CNN image)

¶ “Hurricane Laura Batters Louisiana’s Coast As A Category 3 Storm” • Laura is moving inland as a Category 3 hurricane after making landfall earlier near Cameron, Louisiana, as a Category 4 storm with winds of 150 mph. Water levels along the coast rose rapidly and forecasters warned of devastating winds and an “unsurvivable” storm surge of up to 20 feet. [CNN]

World:

¶ “HelloFresh Begins Delivering Food In Mercedes-Benz Electric Vans” • To an American, a Mercedes delivery vans and heavy-duty vehicles is an odd concept. But if you go to Belgium, you may even see electric Mercedes delivery vans delivering food boxes (prepared meals). They include a special design for keeping the food cool. [CleanTechnica]

HelloFresh refrigerated delivery van

¶ “Iran To Grant IAEA Inspectors Access To Suspected Ex-Nuclear Sites” • During a visit to Tehran by the IAEA’s director general, Iran agreed to give International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors access to two suspected former nuclear sites. A joint statement said Iran was doing so in good faith to resolve issues related to nuclear safeguards. [BBC]

¶ “Indian Railways’ Carbon Emission Will Be Zero By 2030, Says Union Minister Piyush Goyal” • Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said that the Indian Railways has set a target of reducing carbon emission to zero by the end of 2030. The plan is for Indian Railways to use surplus land along its tracks to install 20 GW of renewable capacity. [Zee News]

Metro rail (iMahesh, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “The Green Hydrogen Wave And Implications For Renewable Energy” • A report from Wood Mackenzie says green hydrogen costs will fall by up to 64% by 2040. It says that the announced project pipeline for green hydrogen has grown from 3.5 GW to just over 15 GW in the last ten months. That is enough volume for the nascent market to scale. [Saurenergy]

¶ “China Dominates Global Wind And Solar Output” • China is the world’s largest producer of renewable electricity, according to the International Energy Agency’s Key World Energy Statistics report. With an installed capacity of 184 GW, China has 28.7% of global wind production, and its 175 GW of solar capacity produce 31.9% of global solar production. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Credit: GE)

Australia:

¶ “Queensland-Owned Generator Seals Wind Power Deal” • A government-owned coal-fired station operator signed a power purchase deal with what will be one of the state’s largest wind farms in Central Queensland. Lacour Energy and Goldwind will build the 450-MW wind farm, which will sell nearly 75% of the energy to Stanwell Corporation. [Government News]

¶ “The Renewable Energy Revolution Comes To The Shops In Toowoomba” • Toowoomba’s Grand Central Shopping Center is joining Queensland’s renewable energy revolution, with work underway installing more than 2400 solar panels on the center’s rooftop. The panels of the rooftop syste will generate almost 1 MW of electricity. [Manufacturers’ Monthly]

Rooftop solar system

¶ “Renewable Energy Heat System To Reduce Industrial Gas Use By Up To 80%” • While acknowledging fossil fuels will likely always retain some role in industry, research, and development undertaken by the University of South Australia’s Future Industry Institute suggests the role of gas may shrink over the next few years. [Mirage News]

US:

¶ “Puerto Rico Regulators Set Island On A 5-Year Course To Procure Renewables” • The Puerto Rico Energy Bureau partially rejected the gas-heavy Integrated Resource Plan proposed by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority.  It directed PREPA to procure at least 3.5 GW of solar and 1.36 GW of battery storage by 2025. [Utility Dive]

Puerto Rico (Flickr image)

¶ “Tesla Reveals Details Of Its Fremont Casting Machine – In China!” • A posting on the Tesla China website contains lots of new information on the giant multi-directional high pressure casting machine the company has installed at the north end of its factory in Fremont, California. A single casting replaces 70 individual aluminum stampings. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Waymo Self-Driving Trucks Hit Texas” • Waymo has been working on self-driving trucks for a couple of years. Waymo Chrysler Pacifica minivans have been driving the streets of Texas obsessively in recent months to map everything out in as much detail as possible, and now Waymo is confident enough with what it has to let the trucks loose. [CleanTechnica]

Waymo self driving semi truck

¶ “Latest Survey Shows Increase In Concern About Climate Change Among Voters” • In the arcane world of polling, there is a cohort of people known as the issue public – those who feel an issue is extremely important to them personally. On climate change, the issue public has grown from 13% in 2015 to nearly double that, 25%, today. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Verizon Enters Renewable PPAs For 450 MW Of RE Capacity” • Verizon Communications announced that it has entered into four more long-term renewable energy purchase agreements totaling more than 450 MW of renewable energy capacity as part of its commitment to be carbon neutral in its operations (scope 1 and 2) by 2035. [Saurenergy]

Have a wildly triumphant day.

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August 26 Energy News

August 26, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Electric Trucks Are Coming. Where Should They Go?” • Electric trucks made national headlines earlier this month when a study from Woods Mackenzie projected that 54,000 electric trucks would be on US roads by 2025 – approximately 27 times current stock. We know that electric trucks are coming. But where should they go? [CleanTechnica]

Mercedes eActros (Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz/Daimler)

¶ “Is Nickel The New Gold? Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s Comments Inspire Interest In Nickel” • In the popular imagination, lithium is the element that powers EVs. However, the term “lithium-ion batteries” is something of a misnomer, because they don’t really contain that much lithium. Elon Musk suggests “nickel-graphite” might be a better a name. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Hidden Plants That ‘Bleed’ Nickel” • Even slightly too much nickel can poison and kill most plants. However, nickel hyper-accumulators have the ability to withstand this excess by binding the metal inside their cell walls or storing it in their vacuoles. They could be used to “mine” the metal without ruining ecosystems. [BBC]

Restoration after strip mining (Getty Images)

¶ “Tesla Air? Elon Musk Hints Tesla Could Mass Produce 400 Wh/kg Batteries In Three To Four Years” • Elon Musk suggested on Twitter that Tesla may be able to mass produce batteries with 50% more energy density in three to four years, which could enable electric airplanes. Musk has been interested in pushing electric aircraft for years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Study: Black Turbine Blades Reduced Bird Mortality By 72%” • Bird death from turbine collisions dropped by 71.9% where a turbine blade was black, compared with unpainted turbines at the same wind farm, findings published in the peer-reviewed journal Ecology and Evolution show. Trained dogs have tracked dead birds at the site for ten years. [E&E News]

Wind farm and birds (Peter Franken | Unsplash)

¶ “Wider Wind-Solar Complementarity Would Mean Less Need For Storage” • A study from the Lappeenranta University of Technology in Finland states that a deeper complementarity between solar and wind generation may favor renewables deployment, reducing the need for stronger developments in storage technology. [pv magazine international]

World:

¶ “Aldi Australia Commits To 100% Renewable Power” • Global supermarket giant Aldi is now committing to 100% renewable electricity to power its Australian operations by the end of 2021. It recently procured two ten-year Power Purchasing Agreements with large-scale wind farms, and now it is completing a vast solar installation program. [reNEWS]

Installing solar panels (Unsplash image)

¶ “Renewable Energy Comprises 20% Of Egypt’s Total Electricity: Minister” • Renewable energy now accounts for 20% of Egypt’s electricity production, according to Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker. The percentage reflects the renewable energy production capacity that the country had targeted by 2022. [ZAWYA]

¶ “Scottish Oil Workers Are Happy To Join The Renewable Revolution” • Over three-quarters of oil workers in Scotland have considered retraining to find jobs in the renewables industries. A study found that 77% of oil workers in Scotland are positive about retraining to join the renewables industry, as they see threats to oil jobs from various sources. [OilPrice.com]

Offshore wind farm

¶ “Liberal MPs Say Collinsville Coal Power Plant Will Never Proceed As Renewables Are Cheaper” • Liberals who have been outspoken in their opposition to taxpayer funding of new coal projects predict a new power plant in north Queensland being championed by the Nationals will never proceed because of cheaper renewable alternatives. [The Guardian]

¶ “Onshore Repowering May Be ‘Key To UK Achieving Net Zero’” • Extensions and repowering of existing onshore wind farms could play an important role in helping the UK meet its 2050 net zero target, analysis by Cornwall Insight says. The current 13-GW onshore wind fleet could start to reduce in size from 2027 if repowering is not undertaken. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (ScottishPower Renewables image)

US:

¶ “Storm Damage Prompts NextEra Energy To Shut Duane Arnold Nuclear Plant Early” • NextEra Energy Resources said it will not restart the reactor at the Duane Arnold Energy Center before its permanent closing date. The 622-MW Iowa nuclear plant was scheduled to close on Oct. 30, 2020, but on August 10, it was damaged by a storm. [S&P Global]

¶ “Ancient Redwood Trees Are Burning In California” • The California redwood trees are not just the tallest on the planet. The species is almost as old as the dinosaurs. Some living trees are older than Christianity. They only grow in California. And they have even survived some of the worst of climate change – until now. [CleanTechnica]

Ancient trees (Photo: Andrew Jenkins | Unsplash)

¶ “Dow Jones Throws ExxonMobil Overboard In Massive Index Shakeup” • ExxonMobil has been kicked out of the Dow Jones Industrial Average index and replaced by a technology company that sells software that allows large companies to track sales and other information, Salesforce.com. ExxonMobil has been part of the Dow index for 92 years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Green Party Candidates Likely Won’t Be On Montana Ballots Following Supreme Court Action” • Green Party candidates for key congressional races will likely not appear on Montana ballots this fall after the US Supreme Court declined to take up an emergency petition from the state’s Republican secretary of state. [CNN]

Have magically joyful day.

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August 25 Energy News

August 25, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “For Decades, Oil And Gas Have Been Poisoning The North Sea With Methane” • For decades, as a result of their drilling, the oil and gas industry has been poisoning the North Sea (and, thanks to current, probably every other ocean and sea) as well as heating up our climate for at least 30 years – probably longer – with methane. [CleanTechnica]

IMethane rising up from the seabed (Image © Greenpeace)

¶ “New Energy Storage ‘Water Battery’ Breakthrough” • One of the projects to emerge from the US DOE’s focus on energy storage is a new pumped hydro turbine design from Obermeyer Hydro Inc. Obermeyer’s contribution to the cause involves a new reversible pump turbine design that is slim and compact enough to fit in a well. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Researchers Improve ‘Anti-Solar’ Energy Production” • So-called “anti-solar” panels capture energy by radiating the Earth’s heat at night. Authors of a study published in the journal Optics Express say they have developed a method that, in simulations, has improved energy generation in anti-solar panels by as much as 120%. [Voice of America]

Solar panels in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, France
(Photo: Jean-Paul Pelissier | Reuters)

World:

¶ “Australia Fires: Similar Or Worse Disasters ‘Will Happen Again'” • An inquiry into the recent massive bushfire disaster in Australia has found the country should expect “worse” in the years to come. The review – which looked at New South Wales, the worst-hit state – made sweeping proposals aimed at better preparing for future fire seasons. [BBC]

¶ “The Environment Law That Mobilised Two Million Indians” • In Delhi, officials are sifting through two million emails sent by people venting about a draft environment law. Critics say the draft limits regulation of and public hearings over large projects, exempting some from public consultation, as it promotes profit-generating projects for investors. [BBC]

Polluting power plant (Getty Images)

¶ “Volkswagen Pushes The EV Revolution Forward With New Manufacturing Technology” • Volkswagen news releases show the company is pushing forward with the EV revolution and making significant upgrades to its manufacturing process. Unlike Tesla, which is building brand new factories, Volkswagen is retrofitting existing factories. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Partnership Between UNEP And Renew Power To Increase Access To Clean, Efficient Energy In India” • India’s largest renewable energy company, ReNew Power, and the UN Environment Programme have signed a partnership agreement to promote increased access to renewable energy and improved energy efficiency. [UN Environment]

Wind turbines (Pixabay image)

¶ “JERA Unveils 520-MW Ishikari Bay Project In Japan” • JERA, a Japanese utility, has taken the wraps off the 520-MW Ishikari Bay offshore wind farm off Hokkaido. The company has filed an environmental assessment with the Japan’s Economy Minister for up to 65 turbines in shallow waters. A battery storage facility is also planned. [reNEWS]

¶ “Massive Clarke Creek Wind Farm Inks Deal With Queensland Coal Generator” • The massive Clarke Creek renewable energy project is poised to move to the construction phase after signing a deal with the Queensland government owned Stanwell Corp to buy 348 MW of the electricity generated by the first stage, a 450-MW wind farm. [RenewEconomy]

Goldwind turbines (Image supplied)

US:

¶ “Marco Makes Landfall, Laura Predicted To Be Category 2 Hurricane In Gulf” • A downgraded Tropical Storm Marco made landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River, but people are worrying about a strengthening Tropical Storm Laura. The two storms are hitting the same coast just days apart. With climate change we see more frequent major hurricanes. [NPR]

¶ “Montana’s High Court Rules Utility Cannot Discriminate Against Solar Energy” • The Montana Supreme Court rejected NorthWestern Energy’s attempts to shut out competition from local or customer-owned solar projects that would help meet the state’s electricity needs. The court found the utility discrimiated against such projects illegally. [Earthjustice]

Rooftop solar panels (Matt Mallams for Earthjustice)

¶ “Pattern Energy Turns Sod On 105-MW Texas Solar” • Pattern Energy has started construction of its 105-MW Phoenix solar project in Fannin county, Texas, having received financing from ING Capital and RBC Community Investments. Phoenix Solar has a 12-year Power Purchase Agreement with Digital Reality. It is expected to be completed in mid-2021. [reNEWS]

¶ “A Wyoming Health Care Clinic For All, Powered By The Sun” • Atop the Downtown Clinic in Laramie there are rows of solar panels. The array and its battery will cover 98% of the medical clinic’s electricity costs. That’s a big deal for the clinic, which primarily serves low-income and uninsured patients needing health care. [Casper Star-Tribune Online]

Rooftop solar array (Courtesy of Rocky Mountain Power)

¶ “New Report Finds Rhode Island Has Plenty Of Room To Expand Solar Responsibly” • Rhode Island may be small, but according to a report by Synapse Energy Economics Inc, it has room to generate lots of solar energy without sacrificing the state’s dwindling green spaces, more electricity than the state consumes. [ecoRI news]

¶ “Nuclear Advocates Fret As First Maker Of Small Reactors Encounters Trouble” • NuScale Power, which is expected to be the first in the US to operate a small nuclear reactor, is facing setbacks that have caused supporters to question whether the novel technology will ever realize its potential as a tool to combat climate change. [Washington Examiner]

Have an awesomely entertaining day.

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August 24 Energy News

August 24, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Japan Is Closing Its Old, Dirty Power Plants – And That’s Bad News For Australia’s Coal Exports” • Last month, the Japanese government announced a plan to retire its fleet of old, inefficient coal-fired generation by 2030. That matters a lot to Australia. Last year, Australia shipped about 12% of its total thermal coal exports to Japan. [The Conversation AU]

Unloading coal from a ship in a Japanese port

¶ “Solving California’s Heat-Induced Rolling Blackouts With Clean Energy Innovation” • California had rolling blackouts over the weekend as our fossil-fuel reliant grid failed to respond to soaring temperatures. Many residents had no air-conditioning or access to life-saving medical equipment. A failure of policy was a major cause of the blackout. [Napa Valley Register]

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Wildfire Pollution May Be Harming Your Health” • Smoke from burning forests and peat can linger for weeks in the atmosphere, drifting thousands of miles and harming the health of populations living far away. And since the start of 2020, Russia has seen an estimated 19 million hectares consumed by wildfires [an area a little larger than New England]. [BBC]

Smoke from a wildfire (AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Earth Lost A ‘Staggering’ 28 Trillion Tonnes Of Ice In Just 23 Years” • Scientists from Leeds and Edinburgh universities and University College London analysed satellite surveys of glaciers, mountains, and ice sheets between 1994 and 2017 to identify the impact of global warming. They called the loss of ice that they found “staggering.” [ScienceAlert]

¶ “EAG Reveals Hybrid Electric Airplane Concept” • EAG plans to have the HERA (for Hybrid Electric Regional Aircraft) in service by 2028. The HERA will offer carriers short take-off-and-landing performance, a flexible cabin design for quick change between passenger and cargo configurations, and an operating range of 800 nautical miles. [CleanTechnica]

EAG HERA (Image courtesy of EAG)

World:

¶ “GE Renewable Energy Building Largest Wind Turbine Rotor Test Rig At Netherlands Technology Center” • GE Renewable Energy shared an update on progress to construct the largest wind turbine rotor test rig of its kind. The rotor test rig will allow for verification of the strength and the dynamic behavior of wind turbine rotors. [marketscreener.com]

¶ “Australian Solar Provides Cheapest Energy, Incurs Highest Frequency Ancillary Services Payments” • New calculations by energy analysts Cornwall Insight now find that solar farms are disproportionately shouldering the growing cost of providing frequency control ancillary services in the National Electricity Market. [pv magazine international]

Solar panels (Image: iamme ubeyou | flickr)

¶ “Amazon To Build Wind Farm In Galway To Help Power Its Data Centres” • Amazon is set to double its renewable energy capability in Ireland with a new wind farm project. The 115-MW project in Ardderroo, Co Galway, will support Amazon Web Services data centers in Ireland. It is to begin operations in 2022, with up to 27 turbines on the site. [The Irish Times]

¶ “Israel Moots Plan To Buy Solar Power From Former Enemy Jordan” • Israel is considering buying solar power from its neighbour and former enemy, Jordan, in a potentially historic deal that could help the country meet ambitious new renewable energy targets. Israel has never had an electric tie to any of its neightboring countries before. [The Guardian]

The Ashalim solar tower (Thomas Coex | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Danish Developer Turns Sod On 200 MW Of Subsidy-Free PVs” • Danish renewables developer Better Energy has begun constructing a 200-MW PV project, which will be northern Europe’s largest subsidy-free solar plant when completed next year. The solar plant, in Holstebro municipality, in Denmark, will be operational in mid-2021. [reNEWS]

¶ “Receding Glaciers In Nanda Devi Region Affecting Lifestyle, Agriculture” • The changes in glaciers in the Nanda Devi region of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand in the last three decades have majorly affected the lifestyle, culture and agricultural practices of people living in nearby villages, a study carried out by experts from major institutes says. [Hindustan Times]

Nanda Devi with clouds (Soumyoo, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Iran Nuclear: Fire At Natanz Plant ‘Caused By Sabotage'” • Iran’s nuclear body has said last month’s fire at a major nuclear facility at Natanz was caused by sabotage. But they did not say who they believed was behind the incident. This comes after a number of fires and explosions at power facilities and other sites over the last few weeks. [BBC]

US:

¶ “So Much For Saving Coal Jobs: More Offshore Wind Jobs Waiting In The Wings” • The offshore wind industry is soldiering on despite conflicting signals from US policy makers, and it looks to be weathering the storm. Recent news indicates that the US offshore wind sector is gearing up for more clarity and more confidence in the years to come. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbine off Virginia (Dominion Energy image)

¶ “Study Shows States Can Embrace ‘Green’ Energy And Still Grow” • Every New England state has cut their energy-related carbon emissions while growing their economies in the past two decades, according to a new analysis by the World Resources Institute. This offers proof that climate action can actually be a good return on investment. [ecoRI news]

¶ “After Forty-Eight Years, Democrats Endorse Nuclear Energy In Platform” • In the party platform they released, the Democrats say they favor a “technology-neutral” approach that includes “all zero-carbon technologies, including hydroelectric power, geothermal, existing and advanced nuclear, and carbon capture and storage.” [Forbes] (Disappointing stand – pro-nuclear article)

Have a remarkably inspiring day.

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August 23 Energy News

August 23, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “The Observer View On The Climate Catastrophe Facing Earth” • Thirty years ago this week, first assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned us that we faced a threat of unprecedented magnitude. Greenhouse gas emissions would be triggers of dangerous climate change. We have recklessly ignored that warning. [The Guardian]

Greenland (Andrew Bossi | Goddard Space Flight Center | NASA)

¶ “How Can Humankind Find A Sustainable Future In The Midst Of Climate Change? This Scientist Has Some Ideas” • In a new book, F Stuart Chapin, an emeritus professor of ecology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, has an optimistic argument for a grassroots movement leading away from the Earth’s destruction to sustainability. [Anchorage Daily News]

Science and Technology:

¶ “2020 Is Proving Another Disastrous Year For Our Earth’s Climate” • The year still has more than four months to go, but 2020 already has proven itself to be another eventful one in terms of natural disasters, rising global temperatures and threatening environmental outlooks. Here’s a look at just some of the anomalies we’ve faced so far in 2020. [HuffPost]

Grain bins damaged by wind (Daniel Acker | Getty Images)

World:

¶ “Porsche Announces It’s Investigating Suspected Gas Engine Manipulation” • Porsche announced that it had launched an internal investigation into suspected engine manipulation, Bild am Sonntag reported. It informed KBA, Germany’s automotive watchdog, the Stuttgart prosecutor’s office, and authorities here in the US of the matter. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Saudi Arabia’s Renewables Sector Could Generate Up To 750,000 Jobs By 2030, Report Says” • The development of Saudi Arabia’s renewable energy sector could result in the creation of up to 750,000 jobs over the next decade as the kingdom pushes to generate 7% of its total electricity output from renewables by 2030, according to a study. [The National]

Solar field

¶ “Nuclear Giants Team Up To Develop Reactors In Ontario And Saskatchewan” • Canada’s leading nuclear industry players have announced an inter-provincial corporate partnership to support the launch of a research center for developing small modular reactors for use in Saskatchewan. SMR capacities range from 50 MW to 300 MW. [The Battlefords News-Optimist]

US:

¶ “Adirondacks Seeing A Push For Green Energy” • The trees, solar arrays, dams, and wind turbines of the Adirondacks all have roles in meeting the demands of a climate protection law that the state of New York touts as the nation’s most aggressive. But the environmental ideals of wildland preservation and carbon-free energy sometimes compete. [Albany Times Union]

Adirondack Mountains (R khot, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Trump Administration Invests In Renewable Energy” • The Trump Administration announced that the US Department of Agriculture is investing nearly $400,000 to support rural small business, farm, and ranch energy efficiency upgrades and renewable energy installations in Montana through the Rural Energy for America Program. [kxlo-klcm] (not enough – ghh)

¶ “‘Driest I’ve Seen’: Without Summer Rains, Arizona Cattle Ranchers Confront Tough Choices” • At this time of year, dark clouds are usually rolling in over Arizona’s pastures, arriving with thunder and lightning. The storms douse the land and nourish the grasses. But this year, the monsoon hasn’t come, and the rangelands have been left parched. [AZCentral.com]

Cow in a drought (Thomas Hawthorne | The Republic)

¶ “Gov Pritzker Announces Eight Principles For A Clean And Renewable Illinois Economy” • Governor JB Pritzker announced eight principles that will begin transitioning Illinois to a clean energy economy. The Governor’s principles focus on utility accountability, clean energy jobs in Illinois, reducing harmful emissions, and low costs. [RiverBender.com]

¶ “Xcel Looks At New Nuclear Options As It Moves To Carbon-Free Power Goals” • Xcel had announced plans to extend the life of its Monticello nuclear plant by at least 10 years, and now Xcel CEO Ben Fowke said the utility would like to do the same at Prairie Island. The company also is looking at smaller, advanced nuclear reactors. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Prairie Island (Glen Stubbe | Star Tribune file photo)

¶ “Energy Offset And Renewable Power Developer Arcadia Pitches Clean Power As An Employee Benefit” • Arcadia is known as a company that gives homeowners and renters a way to offset their carbon footprints through renewable energy credits and clean power developments. Now, it is pitching its services to businesses as an employee benefit. [Inventiva]

¶ “Entergy Arkansas making headway in solar power generation” • Entergy Arkansas’s commitment to solar energy has been relatively overlooked. Entergy Arkansas is the largest solar power provider in the state based on generation capacity. And by 2023, solar PVs will comprise 6.4% of the capacity available to the company. [NWAOnline]

Have an indefatigably perfect day.

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August 22 Energy News

August 22, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Bad Policy, Not Renewables, Are To Blame For California Blackouts” • Opponents of climate science, particularly the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, were quick to condemn renewable energy for the blackouts. So did Donald Trump. But they are both wrong, according to Stephen Berberich, head of California’s power grid operator. [CleanTechnica]

LS Power Gateway battery (Credit: LS Power)

¶ “Radiation Detections In Northern Europe: What We Do And Don’t Know” • Nuclear experts are still puzzling over an event in June, when several monitoring stations in northern Europe detected extremely small quantities of radionuclides in the atmosphere. We may not know what it was, but the finger points to Russia. [Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Alaskan Salmon Are Decreasing In Size Thanks To Climate Change And Competition, Study Says” • Alaskan salmon are getting smaller due to climate change and competition, a study says. The authors researched over six decades of data from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, from 1957 to 2018, on over 12.5 million fish. [CNN]

Salmon (Andrew Hendry | Handout | Reuters)

¶ “New Low-Cost Flow Battery Could Sustain A Future Powered By Renewable Energy” • The EU-funded VR-ENERGY project has developed a new version of vanadium redox flow technology. At the core of VR-ENERGY’s technology is a proprietary ‘single-cell’ design in which each cell operates independently, with its own operational parameters. [Cordis News]

¶ “Greenland’s Ice Sheet Melted Faster Than Ever Before In 2019, Study Says.” • Research published in the journal Communications Earth and Environment found that in 2019 Greenland’s ice sheet lost an annual record of 532 billion tons of ice. By comparison, between 2003 and 2016 the ice sheet lost an average of about 255 billion tons per year. [CNN]

Greenland (Sean Gallup | Getty Images)

¶ “Solar Technology Could Increase Global Access To Drinking Water” • Access to clean drinking is a challenge in some parts of the world. As the population grows and resources shrink, the issue gets even more pressing. New solar technology provides a possible solution by desalinating saltwater with minimal energy consumption. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

World:

¶ “50-MW Spanish Solar Plant Gains Grid Connection” • The 50-MW Guzman solar power plant in Spain is now connected to the grid, Foresight Group LLP announced. It has been exporting electricity since 19 August from its 150,000 solar panels. They are expected to generate around 85 GWh every year, contributing significantly to Spain’s emissions targets. [reNEWS]

Solar plant (Foresight Group image)

¶ “India Wants To Cut Reliance On Chinese Solar Parts” • India’s push for renewable energy has slowed because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the country isn’t considering eliminating its tariffs on inexpensive solar parts from China. In fact, it’s extending them. And India’s goal of installing 100 GW of solar power by the year 2022 is way behind. [Karma]

¶ “South Korea To Invest $46 Billion In Renewable Energy By 2030” • South Korea currently relies on coal and gas for two-thirds of its power. However, currently planned investments in renewable energy companies will be used to create 800 MW of new solar power capapcity and 16,500 MW of additional wind power capacity. [Energy Digital]

Wind farm in South Korea (socialwalker, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Covid Is ‘Restart Button’ For Climate Action, Royal Institution Christmas Lecturers Say” • Covid-19 provides an opportunity to make changes to tackle climate change, experts behind this year’s Royal Institution Christmas lectures have said. They believe as countries deal with economies, there are new opportunities to act on climate change. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ “California Wildfires: 560 Blazes Have Scorched More Acres Than There Are In Rhode Island” • Almost every firefighting resource in California is battling hundreds of blazes, including two of the largest wildfires in the state’s history, Gov Gavin Newsom said. About 96% of the state’s firefighting engines have been assigned, according to a spokesman. [CNN]

Lightning (Santa Rosa Fire Department)

¶ “California Fires: Governor Asks Australia For Help” • Gov Gavin Newsom said California is struggling to contain huge wildfires burning forests and homes, as more than 12,000 fire-fighters battle the blazes that have killed six people. Help is on its way from several US states, and Gov Newsom put in a plea for assistance from Australia and Canada. [BBC]

¶ “Tulane University Has Launched A New Degree Program In Renewable Energy” • Tulane University’s AB Freeman School of Business has a new program, aiming for a Master of Management in Energy degree. It offers students a deep dive into the business of renewables to better prepare energy professionals for the changing marketplace. [Newswise]

Students at a solar array (Image courtesy of Entergy)

¶ “Pritzker Wants Illinois To Be A Completely Renewable-Energy State By 2050” • Illinois Governor JB Pritzker provided a look at how he wants the state to be powered completely by renewable-energy by 2050. It would have tighter controls on the utility companies. This comes amid an influence-peddling scheme involving ComEd. [Herald & Review]

¶ “Goldman Sachs Renewable Power Buys California Solar-Plus-Storage Plant” • Goldman Sachs Renewable Power acquired a 100-MW solar PV plant with a 50-MW battery storage facility now under development in San Bernadino, California. GSRP had earlier bought the 123-MW American Kings Solar project in California. [Energy Storage News]

Have a clearly superior day.

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August 21 Energy News

August 21, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Natural Gas Is Not All It’s Fracked Up To Be” • If we have learned anything from climate science, it is that humanity must stop burning fossil fuels. Full stop. There is no other way to keep the Earth from heating to the point where humans can no longer survive on its surface. If we are to reduce climate emissions to zero by 2050, natural gas must go. [CleanTechnica]

Natural gas facility in Perth, Australia (Strike Energy image)

¶ “How a Plan to Save the Power System Disappeared” • In August, 2018, Joshua Novacheck, a research engineer for the US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, was presenting the most important study of his nascent career. He couldn’t have known it yet, but things were about to go very wrong, as Trump officials worked to block it. [The Atlantic]

¶ “UK Nuclear Power: The Next Huawei?” • Once a key part of the UK’s energy plans, nuclear power faces cheaper renewables, rising costs, and domestic opposition. It also finds itself at the center of a row between London and Beijing that could prove fatal. London’s relations with China were hailed as entering a “golden era” only four years ago. [Deutsche Welle]

Nuclear plant (M Cardy | Getty Images)

World:

¶ “NIO Launches Battery-as-a-Service To Make EV Ownership Even Easier” • The battery is the most expensive component in an EV, so removing the battery from the initial purchase event makes electric vehicles more affordable for new owners. For NIO, leasing batteries is a new business line, and it makes NIO EVs more affordable. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volvo Buses Inks New Electric Bus Orders In Norway” • Of all nations, Norway is one of these most actively cutting carbon emissions. That means putting significant incentives in place for EVs, be they passenger vehicles, trucks, ferries, or buses. One of its policy initiatives calls for all urban buses in the country to be battery electric by 2025. [CleanTechnica]

Volvo bus, charging (Credit: Volvo Buses)

¶ “Pakistan’s Government Plans To Introduce Renewable Energy Entrepreneurship” • The federal government is planning to introduce renewable energy entrepreneurship in the country to promote the renewable energy share in the national energy mix. The formula would provide cheap, clean, and green energy solutions to the country. [Business Recorder]

US:

¶ “Lucid Air Will Be Fastest Charging Production Electric Car In The World” • Lucid Motors says its first production car, the Lucid Air, will charge faster than any other production car on Earth, making it able to add 300 miles of range in as little as 20 minutes using a Level 3 DC 350 kW fast charger. Lucid has a partnership with Electrify America. [CleanTechnica]

Lucid Air (Credit: Lucid Motors)

¶ “News From The SUN DAY Campaign” • According to a review by the SUN DAY Campaign of data just released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, renewable energy sources, including biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, and wind, dominated new US electrical generating capacity additions in the first half of 2020. [Green Energy Times]

¶ “Burlington YMCA’s Rooftop Solar To Provide 25% Of Energy Needs” • Encore Renewable Energy and the Greater Burlington YMCA announced the completion of a new rooftop solar array in downtown Burlington. The solar project is on a new YMCA facility that was built on a redeveloped property in downtown Burlington, Vermont. [Vermont Biz]

New YMCA facility in Burlington (Credit: Ryan Bent)

¶ “Chicago Urban Farming Project To Use Anaerobic Digestion To Mitigate Food Waste, Produce Renewable Energy” • Illinois Gov JB Pritzker joined Chicago-based Green Era to announce a $3 million state investment that will help transform a vacant brownfield parcel into a new Green Era Urban Farming Campus on Chicago’s South Side. [Waste Today Magazine]

¶ “Duke Energy Renewables Taps Goldman Sachs For $109 Million Investment” • Duke Energy Renewables has closed an investment of $109.4 million from Goldman Sachs to fund a portfolio of renewable energy projects. The money will be used over 18 months to support around 75 MW of solar and battery storage projects in several states. [Energy Live News]

Solar array (Duke Energy Image)

¶ “Vineyard And Mayflower Wind Agree Staging Port Leases” • Vineyard and Mayflower Wind signed lease agreements to use the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal as the primary staging and deployment base. The facility will be used for the construction and installation of offshore wind projects in federal waters south of Martha’s Vineyard. [reNEWS]

¶ “Consortium Unveils NY Offshore Wind Port Upgrade” • A New York consortium unveiled plans for an offshore wind hub in the state. A consultancy said its Port of Cortlandt site is one of eleven projects competing for up to $200 million in grants and loans funding to develop port infrastructure to help deliver New York’s 9-GW offshore wind target by 2035. [reNEWS]

Port of Cortlandt (AKRF image)

¶ “Anzode Receives $1.7 Million Grant For Developing Non-Lithium Ion Energy Storage” • Battery startup Anzode, Inc, has received a $1.7 million award for a three-year effort to develop battery technology, as part of a California Energy Commission grant funding opportunity for developers of non-lithium battery energy storage. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Logan Withdraws From Nuclear Power Project Seen As Cutting-Edge But Risky” • In Utah, a hesitant Logan City Council agreed to follow staff recommendations and voted to leave a nuclear power project based on small modular reactors. The project has been characterized by ballooning costs and funding uncertainties. [KSL.com]

Have a wholesomely enriching day.

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August 20 Energy News

August 20, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “How Corporate America Is Becoming A Powerful Ally For Clean Energy” • The fossil fuel industry has historically steered American energy and environmental policy. Now, retail and technology companies are grabbing at the wheel. Hundreds of companies, including Apple, Ikea, Facebook, and Google have committed to going 100% renewable. [HuffPost]

Wind farm (wmaster890 via Getty Images)

¶ “Citi CEO: Banks Must Have The Courage To Walk Away From Deals That Are Bad For The Climate” • By transforming energy systems, industrial processes, land use, buildings, transport and other infrastructure so they are more sustainable, we could simultaneously create thousands of new jobs and help propel a post-pandemic recovery. [CNN]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: The Animals At Risk From Alaska Oil Drilling” • Oil industry bosses insist they have a well-established record of environmentally responsible development of Alaska’s energy resources. But environmentalists say the US government has not adequately considered the risks to wildlife and local communities. [BBC]

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (Getty Images)

World:

¶ “Japan Invests In Wind And Solar Power Plants” • Over $100 billion of investment in wind and solar power plants are expected to push the renewables share to 27% of Japan’s generation mix by 2030, exceeding the country’s target of up to 24%, says Wood Mackenzie. Last year, renewables made up 19% of the country’s power generation. [Energy Global]

¶ “DeepRoute And Cao Cao Rolling Out Robotaxis In Hangzhou, China” • Plans for robotaxi trials seem to be heating up. The latest news is that DeepRoute, an autonomous driving startup based in Shenzhen, is partnering with Cao Cao Mobility, a ride-hailing platform, to put hundreds of robotaxis on the streets of Hangzhou by 2022 at the latest. [CleanTechnica]

CaoCao and DeepRoute robotaxi in Hangzhou, China.

¶ “Vestas toasts 443-MW Viking victory on Shetland” • SSE Renewables has placed a 443-MW turbine order with Vestas for the Viking wind project on the Shetland Islands North of Scotland. The deal comprises 103 V117 turbines. Deliveries are expected to begin in Q1 of 2023, with commissioning taking place that same year. [reNEWS]

Australia:

¶ “Neoen Files Plans For $3 Billion Wind And Solar Farm With Battery Ten Times Bigger Than Hornsdale” • French developer Neoen filed a development application for a $3 billion wind, solar, and storage project in South Australia. It includes a proposed big battery, nearly 10 times as big as the expanded “Tesla big battery” at Hornsdale. [RenewEconomy]

Hornsdale Power Reserve

¶ “Palaszczuk Announces Investment In Three Queensland Renewable Energy ‘Corridors’” • Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that Queensland will establish three new renewable energy ‘corridors’ as part of a $145 million investment in new transmission infrastructure to unlock new wind and solar investment in the state. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “NFF Calls For Net Carbon Zero By 2050” • Australia’s peak farm body has thrown its weight behind an economy-wide target of net carbon zero by 2050. At an online meeting, Members of the National Farmers’ Federation voted in favor of the landmark policy, which includes strict caveats regarding economic viability and fair implementation. [Beef Central]

Cattle in NSW (Gregory Heath, CSIRO, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Capital Dynamics, Tenaska Forge 2-GW Battery Partnership” • Asset manager Capital Dynamics has signed an agreement with US power company Tenaska to develop approximately 2 GW of battery storage projects in California. They will develop nine battery projects to be located throughout California’s highest electrical load centers. [reNEWS]

¶ “Biden Campaign Reaffirms End To Fossil Fuels Subsidies” • Joe Biden was against subsidies for fossil fuels a month ago, but with passing time, the language in his platform opposing them suddenly disappeared. Now it’s back, after the Huffington Post noticed the change and environmental groups fought to get the language restored. [CleanTechnica]

Calling to end fossil fuel subsidies (Oil Change International)

¶ “MCAS Miramar Uses Renewable Energy To Prevent Blackouts” • Marine Corps Air Station Miramar unleashed the potential of their renewable energy powered grid to support San Diego during a heat wave. For over a decade, the base has been working on a microgrid powered by solar, landfill gas, and a power plant using natural gas and diesel. [10News]

¶ “Three Signs That US Defense Dept Is Gung Ho For Renewable Energy And Microgrids” • The current Commander-in-Chief may not be a big fan of renewable energy, but the DOD has been soldiering on into the sparkling green future. Three recent developments point in the direction of an accelerating transition to solar power and energy storage. [CleanTechnica]

Army installation with a microgrid (Xendee Corporation image)

¶ “Pocono Manor Investors Seeks To Build 630-Acre Solar Project” • A proposal is in the works to provide solar energy to residents of Pocono Township, Pennsylvania. Pocono Manor Investors has partnered with Apex Clean Energy in hopes of building a 80-MW solar project on 630 acres of private land in Pocono Manor. [Pocono Record]

¶ “TVA’s Biggest Customer Eyes Split With Federal Utility” • The Tennessee Valley Authority will have to compete with other wholesale power suppliers to keep its biggest customer beyond 2025. The TVA still uses nuclear reactors and older coal and gas plants, and Memphis Light Gas & Water is looking for cheaper options. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

Have an incredibly advantageous day.

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August 19 Energy News

August 19, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Climate And Extinction Crises Require Urgent Change” • The US is fighting a battle on many fronts: a public health crisis, an extinction crisis, a climate crisis. Each of these is compounded by policies that declare some people, species, and places disposable. Experts warn that we could see worse crises unless we act quickly to protect habitat and wildlife. [The Hill]

Grizzly bears

¶ “It’s A Bizarre Time For Trump To Open Alaska’s Arctic Refuge Up To Oil Drilling” • The world has excess oil. Crude prices are weak. Oil companies are starving for cash. Climate change fears are palpable. It’s a bizarre time for the Trump administration to move forward with controversial plans to open Alaska’s pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge up to drilling. [CNN]

¶ “What Rural Alaska Can Teach The World About Renewable Energy” • Alaska has more than its share of problems arising from climate change. Nevertheless, in Alaska, says Piper Foster Wilder, deputy director of the Renewable Energy Alaska Project, “Economics, not the environment, are driving the shift to renewables.” [Red, Green, and Blue]

Alaskan wind turbines (Photo © Adina Preston Photography)

¶ “Trump’s Attacks On Science Will Hasten Climate Catastrophe” • We are, in these dog days of summer, so consumed with the bleak coronavirus data and Trump administration efforts to bend the science to its political needs that we risk forgetting the long list of other ways in which science is being muzzled by the Trump gang. [The Nation]

Science and Technology:

¶ “How To Grow Tomatoes In The Arabian Desert” • Dubai-based Pure Harvest is introducing technologies to help people source food locally in a more sustainable and efficient way. Founder and CEO Sky Kurtz believes his startup can solve the challenge of feeding a growing population by growing food in the unlikeliest of places, the Arabian Desert. [CNN]

Sky Kurtz (Pure Harvest image)

¶ “Smaller, Cheaper Reactor Aims To Revive Nuclear Industry, But Design Problems Raise Safety Concerns” • Even as an NRC review of NuScale small modular reactor culminates, design problems have come  up. One may undermine NuScale’s claim that in an emergency, its SMR would shut itself down without operator intervention. [Science Magazine]

World:

¶ “Seabed Surveys Start On 560-MW Danish Nearshore Duo” • European Energy has begun seabed inspections as part of development activity on 560 MW of nearshore wind projects in Denmark. The Danish developer notified energy authorities of its plans to enter their next phase. The projects are expected to connect to the grid by 2023. [reNEWS]

Nearshore wind project (Rachel Cooper | Unsplash)

¶ “World’s Largest Miner Backs Away From Coal Projects” • BHP, which is based in Melbourne, Victoria, said it will try to sell its 80% stake in the BHP Mitsui Coal joint venture. The sale would include two Queensland mines that produce coking coal used for steelmaking. BHP is also looking to offload its thermal coal assets in Australia and Colombia. [CNN]

¶ “How Queensland Could Become A Renewable Energy Superpower” • Queensland could become a renewable energy superpower, providing 78,000 job-years of construction in solar and wind projects to more than 5200 workers over 15 years, according to a report by the Australian Conservation Foundation and Green Energy Markets. [Brisbane Times]

Windy Hill Wind Farm (Leonard Low, Wikimedia Commons)

Germany:

¶ “German State Requires Solar Panels On New, Non-Residential Buildings” • It seems that people who build large buildings often don’t even think about rooftop solar. But the German state of Baden-Württemberg is requiring that all new non-residential buildings have solar panels on them starting in 2022, a little more than one year from now. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hamburg Will Get 530 Electric Buses In 2021–2025” • The city of Hamburg is one of the first in Europe or the Americas to follow the lead of Chinese cities and switch over 100% to buying electric buses, rather than gas, diesel, and natural gas buses. In the coming five years, it plans to get 530 new buses, all of which will be 100% electric. [CleanTechnica]

Solaris electric bus in Hamburg (Image courtesy of Solaris)

¶ “RWE Raises €2 Billion To Fuel Renewables Spree” • RWE has increased its share capital by €2 billion and will use the proceeds to expand its renewables investments beyond previously stated plans. This is on top of the German company’s plan to grow its renewables portfolio to more than 13 GW and to invest €5 billion by the end of 2022. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Renewable Energy Project Online Near San Angelo” • The Rambler Solar Project, occupying roughly 1,700 acres west of San Angelo, contains more than 733,000 high-efficiency solar panels or bifacial modules. It is estimated the Rambler Solar facility will power the equivalent of 40,000 homes when operating at full capacity. [San Angelo Standard Times]

Rambler Solar Project (Duke Energy image)

¶ “Electric Cars Can Save Billions … And Prevent Thousands Of Premature Deaths Annually” • A study published by researchers at Northwestern University found that if EVs replaced 25% of the combustion engine cars currently on US roads, the country would save about $17 billion annually by avoiding damages from climate change and air pollution. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “California Renewable Energy Providers Urge Investments In A More Diverse, Reliable Mix Of Clean Energy To Prevent Future Capacity Shortfalls” • The American Wind Energy Association of California released a statement on behalf of Director Danielle Osborn Mills, following this week’s rotating power outages in California. [AltEnergyMag]

Have a wonderfully worthwhile day.

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August 18 Energy News

August 18, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “The First Undeniable Climate Change Deaths” • July 23 saw hottest temperature ever recorded in Japan. In the Tokyo suburb of Kumagaya, the temperature was 41.1°C (106°F). But the record was more than a statistic. It was a tragedy. Over the course of a few hot weeks, more than a thousand people died from heat-related illnesses. [Grist]

Fuji-san on a hot day (Tomohiro Ohsumi | Getty Images)

¶ “Fossil Fuels Are So, So Screwed” • The fossil fuels industries are suffering from increasingly effective competion. Even gas-fired electricity is too expensive to be competitive. Both climate change and ethics argue agains them.  When you have science, the market, and religion all against you, a purchased government is just one more stranded asset. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Worse Than Acid Rain? Agricultural Sulfur Is Wreaking Havoc On Our Ecosystems” • Coal-fired power plants used to be the greatest source of reactive sulfur to the biosphere. A study shows that that fertilizer and pesticide applications to croplands have overtaken coal as the most significant source of sulfur to health and the environment. [CleanTechnica]

Farmland (Image retrieved from PA Dept of Agriculture)

¶ “Propelling The Transition: Green Hydrogen Could Be The Final Piece In A Zero-Emissions Future” • Renewably generated electricity and battery energy storage can eliminate most power system greenhouse gas emissions, especially in the near term. But for nearly everything else, green hydrogen can provide whatever fuel is needed. [Utility Dive]

World:

¶ “Green Recovery Or ‘Nightmare’ For Trade? Europe Wants To Tax Emissions From Ships” • The European Commission is proposing to extend its Emissions Trading System to shipping as one of a series of measures to help pay for rebuilding the EU economy, and to promote a green recovery from the crisis. Some fear the plan could be counterproductive. [CNN]

Container ship (Lynne Sladky | AP)

¶ “Utility Taps Tesla Megapacks For Qatar’s First Energy Storage Installation” • Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation tapped Tesla for the country’s first energy storage installation. The new 1-MW, 4-MWh Tesla Megapack installation will supply power at peak consumption and provide power during off-peak periods. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “CATL Working On Batteries With No Nickel And No Cobalt” • At a conference hosted by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers in Shanghai, Meng Xiangfeng, a senior executive at Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd, said his company is working a new type of battery that would operate with no nickel or cobalt, Reuters reported. [CleanTechnica]

CATL IAA Booth

¶ “Vestas Lands 86-MW Turnkey Job At Lincoln Gap” • Vestas has been appointed as the EPC contractor on the 86-MW expansion phase of the Lincoln Gap wind farm in South Australia. Nexif Energy, the developer, is proceeding with the expansion phase of the 126-MW Lincoln Gap wind farm, outside of Port Augusta, to bring its capacity to 212 MW. [reNEWS]

¶ “SeaRoc, JBA To Support Choshi Wind Farm Project Offshore Japan” • TEPCO commissioned SeaRoc and JBA Consulting to support the development of the Choshi offshore wind farm, a 370-MW project off the coast of Choshi City, Chiba Perfecture, Japan. If approved, the wind farm is to reach operational stage after 2024. [Offshore Oil and Gas Magazine]

Offshore wind farm (Courtesy of JBA Consulting)

¶ “Campaigners Claim Hiroshima Ruling Underlines Dangers Of Hinkley Point Mud Dumping” • Campaigners against plans to dump mud from the construction of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station into the sea off Cardiff Bay say a legal decision in Japan highlights the potential risk to public health and wildlife posed by the proposal. [Nation.Cymru]

US:

¶ “‘Highest Temperature On Earth’ As Death Valley, US Hits 54.4°C” • What could be the highest temperature ever reliably recorded on Earth – 130°F (54.4°C) – may have been reached in Death Valley National Park, California. It comes amid a heatwave on the US’s west coast, where temperatures are forecast to rise further this week. [BBC]

Death Valley, California (Getty Images)

¶ “Facebook Is Rejecting Clean Energy Ad Campaigns” • While Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, believes that publications tied to white supremacist meet a rigorous fact checking standard, Facebook’s ad policy seems to be that clean energy is the bad guy. Facebook is filled with false information and extreme conspiracy theories. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “California Power Grid Operator Cancels Rolling Blackouts” • in California, widespread blackouts to reduce pressure on the grid, like those over the weekend, have been averted. Pleas for people to leave their air conditioners at higher temperatures and avoid using their washing machines and other major appliances seemed to have worked. [ABCcolumbia.com]

Hot day (John Antczak | AP Photo)

¶ “Investment Into Renewable Energy In New Mexico Continues To Grow” • The Energy Transition Act in 2019, increased New Mexico’s renewable energy goals. The state is required to have 100% carbon free electricity generation by 2045. Utilities and other companies are looking at increasing investments in green energy. [Albuquerque Business First]

¶ “Northrop Grumman Enters Solar Deal With Dominion Energy” • Northrop Grumman Corp is contracting with Dominion Energy Inc to buy solar energy to offset 100% of its manufacturing and office operations in Virginia. The 62.5-MW Madison Solar facility in Orange County will supply the electricity. [Virginia Business Magazine]

Have an outrageously leisurely day.

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August 17 Energy News

August 17, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “The European Green Deal Offers Massive Opportunities For Green Business” • The European Green Deal is a set of policy initiatives that are all targeted at transforming the 27-country bloc to a climate neutral economy by 2050. One of the pillars of the European Green Deal is to stimulate innovation-based competitiveness. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind farm (Zach Shahan | CleanTechnica)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Using Liquid Air For Energy Storage And For Maritime Propulsion” • In the area of renewable energy vessel propulsion, the scale of maritime vessel technology allows for application of grid-scale energy storage technologies that would be impractical for land vehicles. Initiatives are underway to provide maritime vessels with liquid air. [The Maritime Executive]

¶ “10,000 Die Each Day From Fossil Fuel Air Pollutants” • A changing climate is not the only significant consequence of fossil fuel burning. Polluted, toxic air is also. A recent study has found that 10,000 people die each day from fossil fuel air pollutants. The research was published in the journal, Cardiovascular Research. [Nature World News]

Power plant (Pixabay image)

World:

¶ “Hydrogen Buses, Microgrids, Share In $22 Million Of Western Australia’s Funding For Renewable Hydrogen” • Nine projects will share $22 million in grants by the Western Australian state government. Support will go to the state’s first hydrogen vehicle refuelling station, expanding use of hydrogen for transport in the resources sector, and elsewhere. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Danske Commodities Signs Dogger Bank Offtake Deal” • The energy trading house Danske Commodities has signed a 15-year power purchase agreement for 480 MW of the 3600-MW Dogger Bank offshore wind farm now under development. Dogger Bank, which is owned by Equinor and SSE Renewables, is 130 km off the coast of Yorkshire. [reNEWS]

Energy Traders (Image: Thomas Priskorn | Danske Commodities)

¶ “Make In India Renewable Energy To Help Govt Not Just Meet, But Exceed Power Target, Says Minister” • After India’s lockdown, economic activities and demand for energy will boom, Minister of Power and New and Renewable Energy RK Singh said. As to renewables, he said, “We will not only meet our commitment, we will exceed it.” [Financial Express]

¶ “Indonesian Renewable Energy Reforms To Drive Geothermal Development” • Indonesia is preparing regulations on renewable energy pricing to gain the investors’ trust in the sector. While the move will benefit the whole renewable energy landscape, it will be particularly helpful for the geothermal sector, according to GlobalData. [Power Engineering International]

Geothermal energy

¶ “Southeast Asia Faces More Severe Effects Of Climate Change Than The Rest Of The World, McKinsey Says” • Southeast Asia could potentially face more severe consequences of climate change than other parts of the world, according to the business and economic research arm of consulting firm McKinsey. Up to $4.7 trillion of annual GDP is at risk. [CNBC]

US:

¶ “US Wind Industry Enjoys Record Q2 With Over 2.5 GW Of New Installs” • The US saw a record 2,546 MW of new wind farms commissioned in the second quarter of 2020, keeping the wind industry’s activity resilient in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis. In last year’s second quarter, just 899 MW of new wind turbine capacity was brought online. [Renewables Now]

Pattern Energy facility (Source: Pattern Energy Group, Inc)

¶ “Covid-19 May Speed Up Low-Carbon Shift, Google Says” • In a Q&A with BloombergNEF, Google’s Jeff Hamel shared his thoughts on how the pandemic may speed up the low-carbon shift. He thinks that while the clean energy industry is hurting in the short term, it isn’t being hit as hard as others, and we may see a boom coming out of this. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Procter & Gamble Plans To Go 100% Recyclable By 2030” • P&G is the parent company of many, many brands that we all use. Downy, Bounce, Pampers, Tide, Gain, Gillette, Dawn dish detergent, Vicks vapor rub, and Mr. Clean are just some of them. The company announced that it is aiming for 100% recyclable packaging by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

Screenshot of P&G website

¶ “Xcel Energy Has A Bold Plan To Put 1.5 Million Electric Cars On The Road By 2030” • Xcel Energy has 3.3 million electricity customers in 8 states – Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Texas, and New Mexico. It has announced plans to help put 1.5 million electric cars on the road in those states by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vermont Clean Energy Jobs Have Plateaued, Report Says; Dropping In Pandemic” • Vermont has lost 408 solar jobs since 2017, including 20 in 2019, the Vermont Clean Energy Industry Report found, despite growth nationally in the solar sector over the last two years. But the report does not account for jobs lost during the coronavirus pandemic. [vtdigger.org]

PSEG Essex Solar Center (Courtesy photo)

¶ “Plant Vogtle Opponents Seeking Faster Review Of Cost To Customers” • Georgia energy regulators are expected approve $674 million that Georgia Power has spent on the Plant Vogtle nuclear expansion during the last half of 2019. Opponents of the $25 billion project say the PSC should examine how much the reactors will cost customers. [The August Chronicle]

¶ “Chevron Invests In Nuclear Fusion Start-Up Zap Energy” • Chevron Corporation made a Series A investment in Zap Energy Inc, a Seattle-based start-up company developing what it claims is a next-generation modular nuclear reactor with an innovative approach to advancing cost-effective, flexible, and commercially scalable fusion. [Green Car Congress]

Have a day to make a mother proud.

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August 16 Energy News

August 16, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Renewable Energy Proves A Sound Investment For Nebraska” • With abundant windpower potential, Nebraska has appreciable room to grow to meet both corporate and residential energy needs. Windpower is now meeting nearly 20% of our state’s total electricity demand, and an additional 1,000 MW are under construction. [Omaha World-Herald]

Grande Prairie Wind Project (The World-Herald)

Science and Technology:

¶ “This Startup Wants To Turn Dubai’s Desert Into Farmland” • At the beginning of March, a team from a Norwegina company, Desert Control, traveled to Dubai and planted zucchini, pearl millet, and watermelon in a plot of desert. Five months later, the arid land is filled with rows and rows of green leaves, punctuated by freshly grown fruits and vegetables. [CNN]

¶ “CEO Of DeepGreen Metals Talks Mining Nickel And Other REEs From The Seafloor” • DeepGreen is a deep-sea mining company with a vision of a zero-carbon, circular economy. Its goal is to source metals with the least environmental and societal impact. I had an opportunity to interview DeepGreen’s CEO, Gerard Barron. [CleanTechnica]

Polymetallic nodule from the ocean floor

¶ “The Arctic Could Be Free Of Sea Ice By 2035, Latest Climate Model Predicts” • An international team of researchers headed up by the British Antarctic Survey estimate that the Arctic could be sea-ice free by as soon as 2035. Their estimate was developed using a cutting-edge climate modelling system developed at the UK Met Office’s Hadley Center. [BBC Focus Magazine]

¶ “Science Has A New Tool In The Fight Against Climate Change: Good Data” • The Integrated Carbon Observation Systems is a network of 130 carbon-measuring stations, with expertise centers and laboratories, for measuring concentrations of greenhouse gases, as well as how carbon fluxes between the atmosphere, the Earth, and the oceans. [Wired.co.uk]

Measuring station (Konsta Punkka)

¶ “Scientists Fear Climate Change May Bring Back Dormant Viruses” • Climate change, already wreaking havoc with 1°C of warming, is also emerging as a driver of common infectious diseases. Climate change could also emerge as a driver of such diseases as smallpox, malaria, dengue, and zika virus as a result of global warming, scientists say. [Geo News]

World:

¶ “India Extends Crucial Incentive For Solar And Wind Power Projects” • As India struggles to achieve its ambitious 160-GW solar and wind power target by 2022, it has once again extended a crucial incentive. Projects commissioned before 30 June 2023 will not be required to pay any inter-state transmission charges for a period of 25 years. [CleanTechnica]

Solar farm

¶ “India Auctions 1.2 GW Of Solar Capacity At 3.24¢ Per Kilowatt-hour” • India saw another competitive solar power tender with participation from major project developers, floated by NTPC Limited, its largest power company. It sought bids tp develop of 1.2 GW of PV capacity. The maximum allowed tariff bid was ₹2.78/kWh (3.71¢/kWh). [CleanTechnica]

¶ “One Sun, One World, One Grid: All You Need To Know About Mega Solar Plan” • OSOWOG is a plan floated by Indian Prime Minister Modi in 2018 to connect 140 countries to a common grid to transfer solar power. In June, the ministry of new and renewable energy issued an RFP to hire consultants for turning this idea into policy. [Business Standard]

Large solar array

¶ “One Of England’s Last Coal Mines To Close Near Durham” • This week, one of the few remaining UK coal mines is closing in Bradley near Durham. The owner of the surface mine, the Banks Group, said Bradley will extract its last coal on Monday 17 August, two months after its sister site in Northumberland ended its own coal production. [The Guardian]

¶ “‘Costly And Dangerous’ – Brideshead Revisited Actress Diana Quick On Why She Opposes Sizewell C” • Actress Diana Quick, well known for her work on “Brideshead Revisited,” may have one of her most important roles yet – as a leading campaigner against Sizewell C, a £20 billion nuclear power station on the coast of England. [East Anglian Daily Times]

Diana Quick (Photo: Sarah Lucy Brown)

US:

¶ “Bill McKibben Sees ‘Vivid Possibilities For A Rapid Energy Transformation'” • Bill McKibben describes the current state of energy as if we were at a precipice. He says we can make sure the planet’s a hospitable place for future human habitation. To do so, he beckons us to develop a stronger collaboration toward the common good. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “This Renewable Energy Company Sees A Bright Future For Solar” • Brookfield Renewable has 7.9 GW of hydropower plants, accounting for 64% of its cash flow. Its 4.7 GW of wind capacity contribute 27% of its cash flow. But management believes that solar energy could soar past them in importance to the company in the coming years. [Nasdaq]

Solar array in the late afternoon (Getty Images)

¶ “Kansas Leaders Embrace Wind Energy” • Governor Laura Kelly issued a statewide proclamation announcing this week as American Wind Week. Kansas is ranked second in the US for its share of electricity coming from wind. State and industry leaders took part in a virtual panel discussing the many ways wind is helping build the future in Kansas. [FortScott.Biz]

¶ “Apollo To Acquire Stake In Renewable Energy Developer US Wind For $265 Million” • Apollo Global Management Inc said that it agreed to invest $265 million in offshore wind developer US Wind Inc, the private equity firm’s first foray into the field. The investment is to fund construction of an offshore wind project off the coast of Maryland. [EnergyInfraPost]

Have an utterly super-duper day.

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August 15 Energy News

August 15, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Trump Administration Completes Climate Dismantling with Methane Rollback” •  The final rollback of Obama-era methane rules was announced by EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler during a trip to Pittsburgh. The move marked the culmination of a 3 ½-year struggle by the Trump administration to undo the Obama emissions rules. [Scientific American]

Pump jack and refinery (Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Last Decade Was Earth’s Hottest On Record, Exposing Grim Reality Of Climate Change” • The State of the Climate in 2019, a report published by the American Meteorological Society, says 2019 was among the warmest years on record, this decade is the hottest since records began in the mid-1800s, and the warmest six years on record were all in the last six years. [CNN]

¶ “Greenland’s Ice Sheet Has Melted To A Point Of No Return, According To Study” • Greenland’s ice sheet has melted to a point of no return, and efforts to slow global warming will not stop it from disintegrating, according to a study by researchers at Ohio State University. Over 280 billion metric tons ice melt from Greenland each year. [CNN]

Melting Greenland (Steffen M Olsen, Danmarks Meteorologist)

¶ “UK Firm’s Solar Power Breakthrough Could Make World’s Most Efficient Panels By 2021” • Oxford PV claims the next-generation solar panels will generate almost a third more electricity than traditional silicon-based solar panels by use of a thin layer of perovskite. The company plans to sell them to the public within the next year. [The Guardian]

World:

¶ “Tesla Had 28% of World’s Fully Electric Vehicle Sales in 1st Half of 2020” • Among fully electric vehicle sales, Tesla’s has a 28% market share, while Volkswagen Group and the Renault-Nissan Alliance each had 10%. BYD and Hyundai-Kia round out the top five with 7% each. The top five accounted for 62% of EV sales in the first half of 2020. [CleanTechnica]

VW ID3 cars (Image courtesy of Volkswagen)

¶ “Mexico’s Renewables Fiasco Keeps Getting Worse” • Investor interest in Mexico’s emerging renewables market was at an all-time high when Andrés Manuel López Obrador came to power. Less than halfway through the his term, expectations have hit rock-bottom, the market is in tatters, and the Covid-19 pandemic is making things worse. [Greentech Media]

¶ “NSW To Fund Four New Big Battery Projects As It Flicks Switch On Transition From Coal” • The New South Wales Liberal government has announced funding support for four new big battery projects in the state as it flicks the switch on the transition from coal to a grid dominated by “on demand” renewables and storage. [RenewEconomy]

Sapphire wind farm (Supplied)

¶ “Khairy Says Nuclear Energy ‘Not On The Table’ For Now, Focus On Renewable Energy Sources” • Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the idea to develop nuclear energy will be a last option for Malaysia, as there are many other sources of energy in the same category which the country has yet to explore. [Malay Mail]

¶ “Batteries To Help Alice Springs Secure Its Renewable Energy Future” • Alice Springs is turning to battery storage to overcome its grid challenges and facilitate its transition towards a future dominated by renewables. Under the Alice Springs Future Grid project, the town is looking to address the challenges it has with its isolated grid. [pv magazine Australia]

Epuron’s Uterne Solar Farm in Alice Springs (CEFC image)

US:

¶ “Michigan Building the Road of the Future between Ann Arbor And Detroit” • Gov Gretchen Whitmer announced an initiative to develop an innovative corridor for connected and autonomous vehicles. The first phase of the project will test technology in a driverless vehicle corridor of over 40 miles between downtown Detroit and Ann Arbor. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Study Shows Air Pollution Has Decreased In The US – Mostly In Rich, White Communities” • A study shows that fine particulate concentrations in the US have declined around 70% since 1982. But the areas that were the most polluted in 1982 are still the most polluted in 2020, and they are largely low-income and minority communities. [CleanTechnica]

New Orleans French Quarter (Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Tesla Continues To Ramp Up Solar Roof Installations Across The Country” • After two iterations of the solar roof tiles, Tesla finally ramped up production of version 3 of the Solar Roof tiles in late 2018 and through 2019. This week, a story confirms Tesla continues to rapidly expand its installation area across the state and into new areas of the country. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Generac Power Systems and Momentum Solar Forge Strategic Relationship” • Generac Power Systems and Momentum Solar, the largest privately-owned US residential solar installer, forged a strategic relationship to accelerate residential adoption of solar plus storage. They will give homeowners a source for solar plus back-up power. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Home solar system (Courtesy of Momentum Solar)

¶ “Analysis: States’ Renewable Mandates Continue To Grow” • States in the US continue to boost renewable energy goals, with Virginia and Colorado recently joining the growing number with 100% clean energy targets. At the same time, multiple others, including Ohio and New Hampshire, are in heated political battles over state energy needs. [S&P Global]

¶ “Malibu CPA Customers Will Receive 100% Green, Renewable Power Starting October 2020” • Last October, the Malibu City Council approved the selection of 100% Green Power as the default electricity choice for Clean Power Alliance customers in the City. Starting in October 2020, that plan is going into effect, saving customers money. [Patch.com]

Have a conspicuously serene day.

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August 14 Energy News

August 14, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Look Over There! Jason Kenney’s Phoney Nuclear Power Distraction” • When Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says small nuclear reactors “could be a game changer in providing safe, zero-emitting, baseload power in many areas of the province,” as he did this week in a tweet, he’s pulling your leg. These nuclear reactors make no economic sense. [TheTyee.ca]

Small modular nuclear reactor (NuScale Power image)

¶ “The End Of Oil & Gas: A Different View” • I have come to believe that the end of Oil & Gas could look very different than what people expect, even appearing to defy the accepted law of supply and demand. If I am right, loss of demand in the face of continued availability of the resources could drive retail prices up instead of down. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Green Practices Can Negate Climate Emissions On NY Farms” • In New York, agriculture can mitigate its own greenhouse gas emissions, two Cornell researchers say in a report commissioned by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. The 65-page report addresses carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. [Cornell Chronicle]

Manure cover and flare (Tim Fessenden, provided)

World:

¶ “Over Seven Million BMW Plug-In Vehicles By 2030” • The BMW Group already offers the world’s widest selection of premium automobiles with electrified drive systems. With a ten-year plan for sustainability, the BMW Group is underscoring its commitment to the goals of the Paris climate agreement with a focus on expanding electric mobility. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Over 150 Solaris Electric Buses Now In Poland” • Despite the difficulties and challenges for Europe brought by the pandemic, Solaris managed to use the past few months very productively. This was an extremely busy time, in particular with regard to the performance of contracts for the delivery of electric buses in Poland. [CleanTechnica]

Solaris Urbino electric bus (Solaris image)

¶ “AES Subsidiary Plans 863-MW Chile Hybrid Scheme” • South American developer AES Gener has filed plans for an 863-MW wind, solar, and battery storage hybrid project in Chile. The $750 million Parque Terra Energia Renovable project will consist of a 350-MW wind farm, 513 MW of solar power and two energy storage banks of lithium batteries. [reNEWS]

¶ “Why Chile’s Mining Firms Are Switching To Renewable Power Supply” • As international markets are starting to demand clean certification for mining products, Chile’s mining companies are looking to switch to clean energy sources. Mining giant BHP is to terminate coal-fired supply contracts early with Chilean power at a cost of $840 million. [BNamericas English]

Solar array in Chile

US:

¶ “In A Move That Could Be Catastrophic For The Climate, Trump’s EPA Rolls Back Methane Regulations” • The US EPA announced a long-anticipated rollback of methane emission regulations for the oil and gas industry, marking the latest in a long series of attacks on federal climate policy by the Trump administration. [InsideClimate News]

¶ “JB Hunt’s First Delivery With Fully Electric Freightliner eCascadia” • JB Hunt, one of the largest US shipping companies, made its first Intermodal delivery using an all-electric Class 8 truck. The 120-mile haul for Walmart kicked off a three-month testing phase. JB Hunt plans to integrate the eCascadia with its fleet operations in Los Angeles. [CleanTechnica]

Intermodal eCascadia (JB Hunt image)

¶ “EDPR Provides Benefits For Communities In Indiana” • EDP Renewables North America committed $300,000 to support the Chalmers, Brookston, Reynolds and Wolcott communities near its six-phase 801-MW Meadow Lake wind farm in Indiana. The four towns, all in White County, will receive $75,000 each to put toward projects of their choice. [reNEWS]

¶ “Masdar And EDF Renewables Agree To Partner In Eight Renewable Energy Projects In The US” • EDF Renewables North America and Masdar announced Masdar’s second strategic investment in the US. Masdar will acquire a 50% stake in a 1.6-GW clean-energy portfolio that EDF Renewables has under construction in Texas and California. [REVE]

EDF Renewables wind farm

¶ “New Solar Farm To Power New Facebook Data Center In Tennessee” • Silicon Ranch is building the Tennessee’s biggest solar array. The new complex in Jackson, Tennessee, is to supply the energy needs for a new $800 million Facebook data center. It will be nearly ten times as big a huge array Silicon Ranch built in the state in 2012. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

¶ “Tesla Begins Construction Of World’s Largest Energy Storage Facility” • Tesla and PG&E recently broke ground on a record-setting energy storage system in Moss Landing, California that will be the largest such installation in the world, when it is complete. The battery park will be able to dispatch up to 182.5 MW for four hours. [Forbes]

Drawing of Tesla’s 1-GWh battery (Tesla image)

¶ “Renewable Properties starts work on largest community solar project in Marin County, California” • Renewable Properties, a developer and investor of small-scale utility and community solar energy projects in the US, has started construction on the Silveira Ranch Solar Project, the largest community solar array in Marin County, California. [Solar Power World]

¶ “US utility goes to market for 1.3 GW of new renewables” • CenterPoint Energy has opened a request for proposals for wind, solar and solar-storage projects in Indiana. Southern Indiana Gas and Electric Company, a CenterPoint Energy subsidiary, put the RFP out, for up to 1000 MW of solar and solar-storage as well as 300 MW of wind. [reNEWS]

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August 13 Energy News

August 13, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “This Hydrogen-Powered Supercar Can Drive 1,000 Miles On A Single Tank” • Hyperion, based in California, has unveiled a hydrogen-powered supercar. The Hyperion XP-1 will be able to drive for up to 1,000 miles on one tank of compressed hydrogen. Its motors will will generate over 1,000 hp, and it will do 0 to 60 in just over two seconds, the company said. [CNN]

Hyperion XP-1 (Hyperion image)

¶ “Continued Climate Change Will Lead To Future Flooding In SoCal, UCLA Study Says” • Global warming will increase extreme rainfall and reduce snowfall in the Sierra Nevada by the 2070s, a UCLA study says. This double whammy could overwhelm the Southern California’s reservoirs and heighten the risk of flooding in much of the state. [NBC Southern California]

¶ “Why The Mauritius Oil Spill Is So Serious” • The amount of oil spilled from MV Wakashio, the Japanese-owned ship that ran aground near coastal areas and lagoons of south-east Mauritius, is relatively low compared to the big oil spills the world has seen in the past, but the damage it will do is going to be long-lasting because the area is especially sensitive. [BBC]

MV Wakashio (Greenpeace image)

World:

¶ “Wind And Solar Double Global Share Of Power In Five Years” • Wind and solar energy doubled their share of the global power mix over the last five years, moving the world closer to limiting the worst effects of global warming. The sources of renewable energy made up nearly 10% of power in most parts of the world in the first half of this year. [Bloomberg]

¶ “Wind And Solar Generation Are Cutting Down Coal Use” • Climate think tank Ember’s new half-year analysis of global electricity use shows wind and solar energy generation increased in most countries to the point where it is reducing the use of coal. Global generation from coal fell 8.3% in the first half of this year, compared to last year. [ESI Africa]

Wind turbines at dawn (Dirk Ingo Franke, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Suppliers Commit To Achieving 100% Renewable Apple Production” • As Apple seeks to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, 71 of its suppliers have committed to using 100% renewable energy for the company’s products. Manufacturing emissions account for about three-quarters of Apple’s overall carbon footprint. [The Chemical Engineer]

¶ “Cheap Electric Vehicles More Affordable Than Petrol Cars In UK” • If you don’t think cheap EVs exist, DriveElectric can show you five. The examples are vehicles that motorists can drive today – with zero tailpipe emissions and all the other benefits that electric cars offer, including being virtually silent, very refined, and easy to drive. [CleanTechnica]

Renault ZOE (Renault image)

¶ “AGL Targets 1.2 GW Of New Battery Storage By 2024, Plans Tender” • AGL Energy has set a goal of installing 1,200 MW of new battery storage and demand response capacity by 2024. And the company is tying the bonuses for its executives and senior management to hitting growth targets for its clean energy and storage portfolio. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “France’s Golfech 2 Reactor Offline As Heatwave Lifts River Temperatures” • France’s 1.3-GW Golfech 2 reactor was taken offline August 12 for a second 24-hour outage as a heatwave lifted river temperatures in the Garonne in Southern France, operator EDF said. High temperatures and low water levels have affected other plants, as well. [S&P Global]

Golfech (Julian Nitzsche, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Renewable Energy Is Fueling Rural Texas Economies” • Texas rural counties are realizing dramatic financial benefits from renewable energy projects, a study from Powering Texas and Conservative Texans for Energy Innovation says. The analysis focused on county tax revenue and landowner payments from wind and solar projects. [Alice Echo News-Journal]

¶ “Lucid Air Could Have An EPA Range Of 517 Miles” • Recently Lucid Motors sent a pre-production Lucid Air to FEV North America for independent testing. The car was put through the standard range testing protocol, and FEV verified an estimated EPA range of 517 miles on a single charge, confirming the Lucid Air as the longest range EV to date. [CleanTechnica]

Lucid Air EV (Image: Lucid Motors)

¶ “America Could Go Fully Electric Right Now” • Complete electrification and close to 100% renewable energy generation: this is a vision of the US 15 years from now. According to the a report released by Rewire America, this objective is completely possible to achieve, and the transition to it would be painless. The report says it is all about scale. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “US Coal Power Generation Plummets 30% In 2020, EIA Says” • US coal power generation plunged by 30% in the first half of 2020 off an already-depressed base, shoved out by natural gas and renewables amid low energy prices linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to figures from the Energy Information Administration. [Greentech Media]

Stack Emissions (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Living In The Dark: Native Reservations Struggle With Power Shortages In Pandemic” • The pandemic has exacerbated already severe energy and economic inequalities in Indian country. In the face of these challenges, Native people are increasingly turning to renewable energy to help their tribes achieve energy and economic independence. [The Guardian]

¶ “Lightsource BP Appoints Bighorn Solar Contractor” • The EPC contractor for the 300-MW Bighorn Solar project in Pueblo, Colorado, will be McCarthy Building Companies, Lightsource BP announced. Construction is set to begin this autumn. It will be the country’s largest on-site solar facility for a single customer, which is EVRAZ Rocky Mountain Steel. [reNEWS]

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August 12 Energy News

August 12, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “So, It’s Kamala Harris For Veep – What Are The Pros And Cons?” • For months, Kamala Harris has been appearing in the photons and sound waves of CleanTechnica. Her climate change plan was assessed when she was putting herself forward for the presidential nominee, and it was ranked #1 on CleanTechnica after thorough analysis. [CleanTechnica]

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris (Courtesy Biden campaign site)

¶ “The Economics Of Small Nuclear Reactors, Touted By Jason Kenney As A ‘Game Changer,’ Just Don’t Add Up” • For economic and technical reasons, the Alberta Premier’s idea that small nuclear reactors “could be a game changer in providing safe, zero-emitting, baseload power in many areas of the province,” is unlikely to be realized. [albertapolitics.ca]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Rolls-Royce And Tecnam Electrifying Air Transport: High Power, High Scalability, Hybrid Powertrain – H3PS” • Rolls-Royce, with aircraft manufacturer Tecnam, and engine producer BRP-Rotax, has been developing a parallel-hybrid electric aircraft powertrain to reduce fuel use without compromising endurance and performance. [CleanTechnica]

Hybrid airplane

¶ “Powerhouses: Nanotechnology Turns Bricks Into Batteries” • A new technology exploits the porous nature of fired red bricks by filling the pores with tiny nanofibres of a conducting plastic that can store charge. The first bricks store enough electricity to power small lights. The bricks are supercapacitors, operating without chemical change. [The Guardian]

World:

¶ “Tesla May Offer German Customers Energy Options As Well As Cars” • Tesla has already taken steps to become an electric power supplier in the UK. Now, according to a report by PV Magazine, it is surveying potential customers in Germany to gauge their interest in a range of Tesla energy products and services. [CleanTechnica]

House with Tesla solar system and Powerwall battery

¶ “Seoul: Dirty Diesel Vehicles Banned From Public Fleets In 2025” • The city of Seoul, South Korea, is taking a half-step toward vehicle electrification with a new plan to phase out diesel vehicles from its public fleets by 2025, including mass transit fleets. Seoul will be one of the largest cities in the world to implement such a ban. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Net-Metering Gaining Favour Throughout Middle East And Africa” • Countries in the Middle East and Africa are increasingly developing solar PV systems to increase their energy capacity while reviewing greenhouse gas emissions. Data and analytics company GlobalData says the countries are specifically starting to implement net-metering schemes. [ESI Africa]

Sunset (Pixabay image)

¶ “China’s LONGi To Power Global Operations With 100% Renewables By 2028” • The world’s largest mono-crystalline PV products manufacturer LONGi set an 8-year roadmap to 100% renewable energy use for its global operations. The group has jointly launched RE100 China Initiative with renewable energy leaders in China. [Power Engineering International]

¶ “Beer That Went Unsold During Australia’s Coronavirus Lockdown Has Been Turned Into Renewable Energy” • During Australia’s Covid-19 lockdown, bars and restaurants shut down, leaving breweries with huge inventories of unsold beer. Instead of going to waste, some of the stale beer in South Australia will be used to power a water treatment plant. [KTVE]

Draft beer (Saeed Khan | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Gupta Flags 3,000 MW New Renewables For Whyalla ‘Green Steel’ Plans” • Sanjeev Gupta, the UK steel billionaire, has flagged the potential investment of another 3,000 MW of renewable energy projects in South Australia to support his plans to turn his Whyalla Steelworks into an internationally competitive “green steel” hub. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Mining City Broken Hill To Host One Of World’s Biggest Renewable Micro-Grids” • The iconic mining city of Broken Hill in the far west of New South Wales is set to host one of the world’s largest renewable mini-grids, powered almost entirely by solar, wind, and grid scale storage. The proposal comes from the transmission company Transgrid. [RenewEconomy]

AGL’s Silverton wind farm (Courtesy of PARF)

¶ “Corporate Clean Power Demand Outstripping Supply” • The demand among corporates worldwide for renewable electricity is exceeding the supply, according to analysis by BloombergNEF. The shortfall in RE100 clean electricity demand is now projected to reach 224 TWh in 2030, up from BNEF’s previous estimate of 210 TWh. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “House Panel Asks Watchdogs To Investigate Army Corps Of Engineers’ Review Of Alaskan Mine Project” • The House Oversight Committee called for two inspector general offices to investigate the Army Corps of Engineers’ recent environmental review of the controversial Pebble Mine project proposed for Bristol Bay, Alaska. [CNN]

Bristol Bay (echoforsberg, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Renewables in 2020 Will be Fastest Growing Source of Electricity in the US: EIA” • In 2020, the fastest-growing US source of electric generation will be renewables, the US Energy Information Administration has forcast. It expects the power sector to add 23.2 GW of new wind capacity and 12.9 GW of utility-scale solar capacity this year. [Saurenergy]

¶ “New Guidebook For Zero-Emission Bus Deployment” • The Center for Transportation and the Environment has released a Guidebook for Deploying Zero-Emission Transit Buses. It is the first comprehensive document that highlights key considerations for zero-emission bus deployments and infrastructure, according to the CTE. [CleanTechnica]

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August 11 Energy News

August 11, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “New 6-Bladed Vertical Axis Wind Turbines Can Power Your Off-Grid Home For 30 Years Safely” • The Icelandic renewable energy company IceWind is now launching its innovative six-bladed wind-powered turbines for home use in the US. The new Freya model from IceWind, which starts at $3,200, is an entirely different design. [Forbes]

¶ “The Stronger Rains In A Warmer Climate Could Lessen Heat Damage To Crops, Says Study” • Intensified rainstorms predicted for many parts of the US as a result of warming climate may have a modest silver lining: they could more efficiently water some major crops, and this would at least partially offset yield declines caused by the rising heat. [Science Daily]

World:

¶ “Hyundai Ioniq To Become Dedicated EV Brand With 3 New Models Coming Soon” • Hyundai introduced the Ioniq in 2016, as a smallish car that came as a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or battery electric. Hyundai has now announced it will make Ioniq into a separate brand for EVs. Apparently the battery electric Ioniq will continue in production. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai concept car (Hyundai image)

¶ “Australia’s Covid Commission Downplays ‘Green Recovery’ And Confirms Gas Push” • The head of Scott Morrison’s Covid advisory commission says some business leaders want to use the recovery from the pandemic to lock in low-emissions energy, but his organisation is recommending building gas pipelines as part of the response. [The Guardian]

¶ “Plummeting Renewable Energy, Battery Prices Mean China Could Hit 62% Clean Power And Cut Costs 11% By 2030” • A study shows plummeting clean energy prices mean China could run its grids reliably on at least 62% non-fossil electricity generation by 2030, while cutting costs 11% compared to a business-as-usual approach. [Forbes]

Construction at Yuxia wind farm (VCG via Getty Images)

¶ “Renewables Company Proposes ‘Grid-Strengthening’ Battery For Rockhampton” • A renewable energy developer wants to build a 75-MWh lithium-ion battery project in Queensland. The executive director of Genex Power said the company would see 10 to 15 modules connected to a substation near Rockhampton, at a total cost of about A$50 million. [ABC News]

¶ “‘Profound Implications’ For Livestock As EU Works On New Methane Policy” • The European Commission is setting new standards on methane, including those from agriculture. It is being urged by some independent climate scientists to embrace science that shows it can achieve carbon neutrality goals without destroying animal agriculture. [Beef Central]

Cattle (Oxford University)

¶ “Facebook Signs 806 MW Of Renewable PPAs In Ireland And US” • Facebook has signed eight wind and solar power purchase agreements that will provide a total 806 MW of additional power when they are completed. Back in 2018, the social media and advertising company pledged to be fully renewably powered by the end of 2020. [DatacenterDynamics]

US:

¶ “Nikola Books Order For 2,500 Electric Refuse Trucks” • As Nikola’s first factory is going up in Arizona, it announced that it signed an agreement with Phoenix-based Republic Services for 2,500 zero emissions all electric refuse trucks, with possibly 2,500 more at a later time. Republic is the second largest refuse hauler in the US. [CleanTechnica]

Nikola truck (Nikola image)

¶ “BYD Electric Buses: 13 Million Zero-Emissions Miles In USA” • A new milestone for BYD is particularly uplifting. BYD electric buses sold to customers in the US have travelled more than 13 million miles – all emission-free. BYD is a Chinese company, but it has an electric bus factory in California, and it is “proudly Buy America compliant.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “A ‘Major Gas Explosion’ In Baltimore Has Killed One Person, Injured Seven” • A “major gas explosion” destroyed three houses in northwest Baltimore, killing a woman and critically injuring seven people as at least three dozen firefighters continue to search for people buried in the rubble and debris, the Baltimore Fire Department said. [Forbes]

Explosion scene (Baltimore Fire Department via Twitter)

¶ “After Scrapping Gas Pipeline, Duke Looks To Plug Hole With Renewables, Grid Investments” • Duke Energy reported a $1.6 billion charge related to abandoning the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The utility also showed how its plans for renewable energy and grid modernization will fill in the capital-investments hole left by the canceled pipeline project. [GreenTech Media]

¶ “Vestas, The First To Service 100 GW Of Wind Turbines, Is Concerned Over Transmission Line Permitting” • Chris Brown, the head of sales and service in the US and Canada for Vestas. has called for streamlining the permitting process for high voltage interstate transmission lines, to bring renewable energy from rural areas to high demand centers. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm (Enel Group image)

¶ “FERC Staff To Congress: HV Transmission Essential To Reducing Carbon, Deploying Renewables” • Federal regulators have sent a report to Congress outlining opportunities and barriers around transmission development, in a move clean energy advocates see as a “strong endorsement” of the need for large scale transmission. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Army Finally Tearing Down Fort Belvoir’s Nuclear Plant” • Northern Virginia’s very own nuclear reactor facility at Fort Belvoir, a product of our country’s initial research into nuclear power generation, is finally going to be torn down next year. The SM-1 was the first nuclear generating plant in America to feed into an electrical power grid. [Inside NoVA]

Have an agreeably uncomplicated day.

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August 10 Energy News

August 10, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Solar-For-Coal Swaps Could Turbocharge Clean Energy Revolution” • US coal power plants have been retiring at an average of 10 GW per year. That is not nearly quick enough to avoid trouble. Energy Innovation has identified 179 GW of coal plants that can’t compete on cost with solar, and focused on 22.5 GW of these. [CleanTechnica]

Solar panels (Image: US DOE, EERE)

¶ “Does BP’s Conversion Signal The End Of Big Oil?” • The plunge in oil demand caused by the pandemic won’t fix the climate crisis. But it could force the oil industry to accelerate a shift away from fossil fuels as executives try to carve out a future in clean energy. BP has said it is moving away from Oil and Gas, toward renewables. Others could follow. [CNN]

¶ “Electrification of the Mining Industry” • In this episode of our CleanTech Talk podcast interview series, Zach Shahan chats again with Alf Poor, CEO of Ideanomics, Inc, about the electrification of the mining industry, and the benefits of choosing electric power for the large and site-specific heavy-duty equipment that’s needed at the mining sites. [CleanTechnica]

Heavy truck (Image courtesy of Ideanomics)

¶ “Nuclear-Free World Is Crucial For Sustainable Development” • Dr Udayakumar is a writer and anti-nuclear activist from Tamil Nadu, India. He points out that as source of power, nuclear energy is very unstable and gives way to catastrophic results if misused or mishandled. In fact it can be, and has been, used to kill people in wars. [The Island.lk]

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Fish Stocks Will Change In Warming Seas” • A study conducted in the UK highlights the future effects of climate change on important fish stocks for south-west UK fisheries.The study suggests changes that could have important implications for fisheries management, and for the future fish diets of the British public. [Science Codex]

Fishing boat (Image: Katherine Maltby)

World:

¶ “World Bank Grants $300 Million To Promote Electricity Trade In West Africa” • The World Bank announced that it would provide $300 million to International Development Associations to accelerate reforms to help the countries of Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, and Sierra Leone move toward regional power market. [Mercom India]

¶ “Shanghai Electric: 5G And IIoT Essential To Wind Power Strategy” • Shanghai Electric is riding the growing momentum of China’s 8-MW offshore turbine market, which is expected to see the grid-connected wind power surging to 26 GW by the end of 2025. It is considering 5G and industrial internet of things for integrating renewable energy systems. [FutureIoT]

Shanghai Electric 8-MW turbines

¶ “Grid Scale Stationary Battery Storage Market To Hit $40 Billion By 2030, Says Global Market Insights, Inc” • Global grid-scale stationary battery storage market is poised to surpass $40 Billion by 2030, said a study by Global Market Insights, Inc. Growing use of renewable energy sources and curbs on carbon emissions will boost storage. [GlobalNewswire]

¶ “ARENA-Backed Origin Energy Trial To Demonstrate The Value Stack Of EVs” • Origin Energy is getting behind electric vehicle uptake in Australia, approaching EVs and their chargers as possible flexible sources of distributed energy. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency said that it would provide a grant of $838,000 for a trial. [pv magazine Australia]

Charging an EV (Moixa image)

¶ “Renewable Energy Is Now The Least-Cost Option In The Power Sector” • Switching to renewable power is a no-brainer, but progress is slow in the two larger sectors, heating/cooling and transport. Governments still subsidise fossil fuels and maintain regulatory frameworks that support centralised, high-carbon energy production and consumption. [REVE]

¶ “Engie Renewable PPA Starts Greening Australia’s Mining-Industry Supply Chain” • Weir Minerals Australia, a supplier of engineered solutions to the mining industry, achieved electricity price stability and savings, and it took a first big leap towards sustainability, with an innovative power purchase agreement with energy provider Engie. [pv magazine Australia]

Workers at Weir Minerals Australia (Engie image)

US:

¶ “Citi Announces $250 Billion Environmental Finance Goal” • Citi announced its five-year 2025 Sustainable Progress Strategy to help transition to a low-carbon economy. It includes a $250 billion goal to finance climate solutions globally. This builds on Citi’s 2015 goal of $100 billion, completed last year over four years ahead of schedule. [Smart Energy]

¶ “Apple Plans To Go 100% Carbon Neutral – Including Supply Chain – By 2030” • Apple announced on its website that it’s already carbon neutral for corporate emissions globally and that it wants to bring its entire carbon footprint to “net zero.” If it succeeds in doing this by or before 2030, it will be 20 years earlier than the IPCC goals of 2050. [CleanTechnica]

Montague wind farm in Oregon (Image via Apple)

¶ “Trump Pledged To Bring Back Coal. He Didn’t” • Trump first promised to bring the coal industry back in 2016. But coal has not come back under Trump. It’s continued to decline. In 2016, the US had 48,900 coal-mining jobs, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Now, the same agency says there only about 43,800 coal-mining jobs left. [Roanoke Times]

¶ “EPA Finalizes Rules Of Coal Ash” • The Trump administration extended by six months a deadline for utilities to stop dumping coal ash from power plants into unlined basins and ponds, Kallanish Energy reports. The rule impacts about 400 facilities. The initial deadline, April 2019, had been pushed back before. The new deadline is April 11, 2021. [Kallanish Energy]

Have an unprecedentedly exuberant day.

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August 9 Energy News

August 9, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Drawdown Review 2020: How To Address Global Warming In A Responsible Manner” • Three years later publishing Drawdown, Project Drawdown published Drawdown Review, which suggests humanity can manage the climate crisis effectively using only the tools available today. Of course, that assumes we start acting like responsible adults. [CleanTechnica]

Solar trackers (Image credit: Project Drawdown)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Argonne National Lab Breakthrough Turns Carbon Dioxide Into Ethanol” • According to ANL, its researchers, working with partners at Northern Illinois University, have discovered an electrocatalyst that converts carbon dioxide and water into ethanol with very high energy efficiency, high selectivity for the desired final product, and low cost. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Denmark’s 300-Year-Old Homes Of The Future” • On the Danish island of Læsø, houses are thatched with thick, heavy bundles of silvery seaweed that have the potential to be a contemporary building material around the world. The eelgrass used for thatching has some interesting properties. For example, it makes a roof that cannot burn. [BBC]

Houses thatched with eelgrass (Carstenbrandt | Getty Images)

World:

¶ “56 Countries Gather Online In Their Quest To Fix Climate Change” • Despite Covid-19, green entrepreneurs across the globe continue to create positive climate impact and economic opportunities. A record 3,000 startups from 56 countries entered this year’s edition of ClimateLaunchpad, a global competition for green business ideas. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Pakistan Pushes Renewables Amid Coal Projects” • This week, Pakistan set in motion a plan to boost the share of its electric power that comes from renewables to 30% by 2030, up from about 4% today, government officials said. That will include mainly wind and solar power, but also geothermal, tidal, wave and biomass energy. [The Express Tribune]

Coal (AFP image)

¶ “India’s Coal Import Drops 43% In July Owing To High Stockpile At Pitheads, Plants” • India’s coal import fell 43.2% to 11.13 million tonnes in July this year on account of high stockpile of the dry fuel at pitheads, plants and ports. The country had imported 19.61 MT of coal in July 2019, according to data in a provisional compilation. [The New Indian Express]

¶ “Broad Prospect For Renewable Energy Cooperation Between China, Pakistan” • China has wind and PV generating technology, and it has capital. Pakistan needs to develop renewable energy. So there is a great potential for cooperation between China and Pakistan in the field of renewable energy, according to Professor Cheng Xizhong. [Associated Press of Pakistan]

Rooftop solar system (Smilingsaifi, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Alberta Latest Region To Leverage Nuclear To Fight Climate Change” • Alberta Premier Jason Kenney signalled intent to add his signature to the Memorandum of Understanding to advance the development and deployment of small modular reactors. The MOU was signed in December 2019 by premiers of Ontario, Saskatchewan, and New Brunswick. [EnerCom Inc]

¶ “Is This The End For ‘King Coal’ In Britain?” • According to figures released last week, a mere 8 million tonnes of coal were incinerated in UK factories and power plants last year. That is roughly the same amount that was burned nationally in 1769, when James Watt was patenting his modified steam engine. It has been an extraordinary transformation. [The Guardian]

English coal miners ca 1925 (Photo: Hirz | Getty)

US:

¶ “Eli Zero Comes Back To Life” • We covered the cute, fun, little tiny Eli ZERO electric concept car in 2017 and 2018. But after a while, Eli dropped off the radar. Did another one bite the dust? Did the ZERO get run over by a Cybertruck? Apparently not. The Eli team just shared an update. Marketing had been paused for engineering updates. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US DOE Clobbers Fossil Fuels With $$$ For Bioenergy And Solar Fuel R&D” • The DOE is putting up more than $97 million to extend federal support for bioenergy alternatives to fossil fuels, $68 million to improve bioenergy crop production with a focus on marginal lands, and another $100 million to re-up a solar fuel research hub. [CleanTechnica]

Energy research (Dennis Shroeder | NREL)

¶ “Lake Erie’s Toxic Green Slime Is Getting Worse With Climate Change” • As the summer winds down, much of western Lake Erie stinks. Green goo, miles and miles of it, floats on the surface, emanating a smell like rotting fish as it decays. The scum isn’t just unpleasant. It’s dangerous. And the blooms are worsening with climate change. [InsideClimate News]

¶ “Solar Energy Facility With Potential To Power Laramie Could Come To Monolith Ranch” • The Laramie City Council voted unanimously to approve a lease agreement and MOU between the city and Boulevard Associates, LLC, Delaware, an affiliate of Next Era Energy, for the development of a solar energy center on the Monolith Ranch. [Laramie Boomerang]

Have an undemandingly wonderful day.

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August 8 Energy News

August 8, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Five Lessons From The Pandemic To Tackle The Climate Crisis” • In the wars against coronavirus and the climate crisis, we have met the enemy and the enemy is us. Such is the sentiment of virologists and climatologists alike as they point out how much the pandemic can teach us about the fight for the survival of life on Earth. [CNN]

Power plant

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Costs Of Owning A Conventional Car Are Far Higher Than People Think” • A study published in the journal Nature found that the majority of people greatly underestimate the total cost of conventional car. When they learn the truth, a significant proportion of them say that knowledge makes them more likely not to use cars. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Swarm Of Tiny Robots Could Help Eliminate Pesticides” • Imagine a future of foods free of harmful chemicals, where crops still grow strong and dense in the absence of choking weeds, but bees and other pollinators buzz and frolic among the crops. At Clint Brauer’s farm in Kansas, that future is very nearly a reality, thanks to autonomous robots. [CleanTechnica]

Autonomous robots (Image courtesy of Greenfield Robotics)

World:

¶ “Ship Aground Off Mauritius Begins Leaking Oil” • The island nation of Mauritius has declared a state of emergency after a vessel offshore began leaking oil into the ocean. MV Wakashio ran aground on a coral reef off the Indian Ocean island on 25 July and its crew was evacuated. But the ship has since begun leaking the 4,000 tons of fuel it has aboard. [BBC]

¶ “Hyundai And Urban-Air Port Working On Urban Air Mobility Infrastructure In UK” • Hyundai Air Mobility and Urban-Air Port teamed up to “explore new, purpose built, multifunctional, and scalable infrastructure for urban air mobility.” Hyundai plans to invest $1.5 billion over 5 years to develop an air vehicle and the broader urban air mobility ecosystem. [CleanTechnica]

Urban-Air Port (Image courtesy of Hyundai Air Mobility)

¶ “Nissan And E.ON Partner On Large UK Vehicle-To-Grid Project” • Nissan formed a new partnership with E.ON and a number of other organizations. They have deployed 20 V2G chargers to get a sense for how fleets of EVs could support the UK electricity grid in a financially sensible way for both business fleets and the grid. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “German Utility RWE Inks Solar PPA With Direct Energy” • German utility RWE has signed a power purchase agreement with Direct Energy Marketing Limited to supply electricity from a solar plant in Canada. The 25-MW Canadian Hull solar plant in Southern Alberta is expected to supply up to 50,000 MWh of electricity annually. [Energy Live News]

Solar array (RWE image)

¶ “European Renewables Are Growing Despite Pandemic” • In Europe, renewables grew during the pandemic despite an overall reduction in energy consumption, according to Fitch Ratings. This supported the earnings of renewables-focused utilities. Renewables generation grew by 8.4% over 2019 in Q2, while total energy generation fell 9.7%. [Fitch Ratings]

¶ “Facebook, Brookfield Renewable Announce New Wind Farm” • Facebook and Brookfield Renewable announced a new onshore wind farm for County Tipperary. The Lisheen III collaboration includes a long-term corporate power purchase agreement to produce and supply 100% renewable energy to the national electricity grid. [TechCentral.ie]

Irish wind farm

¶ “Fukushima’s Contaminated Wastewater May Be A Bigger Problem Than Realized” • TEPCO is considering dumping the wastewater from the Fukushima Disaster into the ocean slowly, after treating it chemically to remove most of the radioactive elements. A study published in the journal Science shows this is riskier than had been assumed. [IFLScience]

US:

¶ “AAA Adds 55 Electric Vehicles As Part Of Sacramento’s Green City Initiative” • AAA is adding 55 VW eGolf EVs to its vehicle subscription service in Sacramento, in support of Electrify America’s Green City Initiative. Electrify America is subsidizing the additional EVs for the AAA program to promote the benefits of driving electric vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

VW eGolf (mage courtesy of Electrify America)

¶ “The Value Of Rooftop Solar Power In Michigan: 24 Cents Per kWh” • The Solar Energy Industries Association discovered that the value of rooftop solar in Michigan is 24¢/kWh, well above what is paid to net-metered customers with solar power. It is less costly to serve residential customers with solar than those without it. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Verdant Power Progressing Tidal Energy Project In New York” • Verdant Power is moving ahead on installation of three, fifth-generation tidal power turbines on its TriFrame mount at its Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy Project site in the East River in New York City. The turbines have been mounted in preparation of a move to the site. [Offshore Oil and Gas Magazine]

Tidal turbines (Courtesy Verdant Power)

¶ “In Renewable Energy Boom, Great Lakes States Struggle To Kick Fossil Fuels” • Coal still dominates power generation in many Great Lakes states like Indiana, Illinois and Ohio. But they are beginning to embrace renewable energy. And some believe that the region has the potential to become the next hot spot for renewable energy development. [S&P Global]

¶ “Gideon Offers Climate Change Agenda, Decries Washington Inaction” • After touring a ReVision Energy facility, Maine’s Democratic US Senate challenger Sara Gideon proposed a climate change agenda focused on reducing carbon emissions that cause global warming and investing more in such renewable energy sources as solar and wind. [WMTW Portland]

Have a perfectly relaxing day.

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August 7 Energy News

August 7, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “How Falling Solar Costs Have Renewed Clean Hydrogen Hopes” • The world is increasingly banking on green hydrogen fuel to fill some of the critical missing pieces in the clean-energy puzzle. For decades, researchers have heralded a new “hydrogen economy,” but it’s barely made a dent in fossil fuel demand, so far. Now, that might change. [MIT Technology Review]

H2FUTURE green hydrogen plant (Voestalpine image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “UK Peat Emissions Could Cancel Forest Benefits” • A peat bog is a Jekyll and Hyde thing. A wet, pristine peat bog soaks up CO₂ and, unlike trees, has no limit to the amount of carbon it can capture. Trees only capture CO₂ until they are mature. But a dry, degraded bog is a big source of CO₂ as the carbon in the bog oxidises. [BBC]

World:

¶ “Northvolt: $3 Billion For 2 Battery Gigafactories In Europe” • Northvolt raised another $1.6 billion in debt, bringing total debt and equity raised to $3 billion. This and the previously raised $1.4 billion are for two battery gigafactories, one each in Sweden and Germany, along with “investments in R&D, industrialization, and recycling.” [CleanTechnica]

NorthVolt Labs (NorthVolt image)

¶ “Sembcorp Commissions 800 MW Of Wind Power Projects In India” • Sembcorp Energy India Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore-based Sembcorp Industries, has announced the completion of three 800 MW wind energy projects in India. Together, the projects will provide enought electricity to power more than 600,000 homes. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Mercedes-Benz And CATL Team Up” • One of the largest EV battery producers on the planet, CATL, and a luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz have teamed up to “lead in battery technology.” In particular, they are combining their R&D efforts. The batteries they produce are also intended to be manufactured in a such a way as to be CO₂-neutral. [CleanTechnica]

Mercedes EQS (Image courtesy of Daimler/Mercedes Benz)

¶ “JinkoSolar Will Run Entirely On Renewable Energy By 2025” • JinkoSolar announced that it will be 100% powered by renewables by 2025. It has unveiled its RE100 roadmap, which provides details on its approach. The company has crystalline silicon solar module manufacturing facilities in China, Malaysia, and the US state of Florida. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Borssele 3&4 Delivers First Power” • First power has been achieved from the Blauwwind consortium’s 732-MW Borssele 3&4 offshore wind farm in the Dutch North Sea. The developer said 36 of the 77 MHI Vestas 9.5-MW turbines are now installed, and it is expected that one additional machine will become operational each day. [reNEWS]

Blauwwind wind turbine (Blauwwind image)

¶ “Korea May Let KEPCO Generate Power Directly, But Only From Renewable Sources” • A bill before South Korea’s National Assembly would allow state-run utility firm Korea Electric Power Corp to generate power directly for the first time in 20 years. The new power would be restricted to renewable sources, under the government green drive. [Pulse News]

¶ “Offshore Wind To Reach Over 234 GW By 2030 Led By Asia-Pacific” • Global offshore wind capacity will surge to over 234 GW by 2030 from 29.1 GW at the end of 2019, led by the exponential growth in the Asia-Pacific region and continued strong growth in Europe, according to a report from the Global Wind Energy Council. [Power Engineering International]

Offshore wind farm (David Will | Pixabay)

¶ “US ‘Scrutinizing’ Saudi Arabia’s Nuclear Program After Chinese Help” • Saudi Arabia was reportedly close to completion of building its first nuclear reactor in 2019. It has also built a facility for extracting uranium yellowcake from uranium ore with Chinese help, a Wall Street Journal report says. It cites Western officials with knowledge of the site. [Haaretz]

¶ “Aker Offshore Wind Unveils Norway Floater Plans” • Aker Solutions’ new offshore wind spinoff is planning to develop floating and deepwater wind projects, totalling 1700 MW, in the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Aker Offshore Wind said one project, Sorlige Nordsjo 2, could potentially be the site of the 1.2-GW Sonnavindar project. [reNEWS]

Floating offshore windpower (Principle Power image)

US:

¶ “First Solar Joins RE100 And Pledges To Power 100% Of Global Operations Renewably By 2028” • First Solar Inc makes thin-film PV modules and provides EPC services. The company, based in Tempe, Arizona, committed 100% renewable power for its global PV making operations by 2028. US operations are to use carbon-free electricity by 2026. [Semiconductor Today]

¶ “Lawsuit Challenges Trump’s Overhaul of Environmental-Review Law” • A legal battle with far-reaching consequences for industry and ecosystems has kicked off with a federal lawsuit over the Trump administration’s revamp of a longstanding law that requires extensive environmental reviews for road, industry and building projects. [Courthouse News Service]

Yellowstone National Park (Chris Marshall | Courthouse News)

¶ “Invenergy Reaches Financial Close On Oregon Solar” • Invenergy and CoBank have completed construction financing for two solar projects totalling 100 MW, the Prineville and Millican Solar Energy Centers. The two projects in Crook County, Oregon are under construction and scheduled to be operational at the end of 2020. [reNEWS]

¶ “Facebook To Purchase Power From Apex’s 300-MW Lincoln Land Wind Project” • Apex Clean Energy has announced that Lincoln Land Wind executed a power purchase agreement with Facebook for about 170 MW of renewable power from the Illinois project. This makes Facebook the largest corporate customer of Apex by megawatt. [Citybizlist Real Estate]

Have an amusingly care-free day.

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August 6 Energy News

August 6, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Toxic Chemicals From Burning Fossil Fuels Poison Dolphins And Whales On East Coast” • High levels of toxic chemicals have been found in stranded dolphins and whales along coast of the the southeastern US, according to a study. Arsenic, mercury, and other chemicals from burning fossil fuels and mining were found in their bodies. [CNN]

Bottlenose dolphin (NASA, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “UK’s July EV Market Share At 9% – Up Almost 4× Year On Year” • The UK saw plugin electric vehicle market share hit 9.0% in July 2020, which is up significantly from 2.5% in July 2019. Overall, the auto market has seen a very strong recovery from this year’s Covid-19 downturn, growing 11.3% compared to the same month last year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Germany’s EV Market Share Hits All-Time Record, 11.4% in July – Up 4× Year on Year” • Germany, Europe’s largest auto market, saw record 11.4% plugin electric vehicle market share in July, up over 4× from the same month last year. For the overall auto market, sales in July 2020 sales were down 5% from July 2019, as the market recovers. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen e-Golf (Image courtesy of Volkswagen)

¶ “Vestas Hits 100 GW Service Milestone” • Vestas has claimed it is the first wind turbine supplier to have a portfolio of more than 100 GW under service. As installed capacity has grown, Vestas has expanded its service business, from a new business unit with a “high potential” in 2014 into a “strong and highly profitable” division today, the company said. [reNEWS]

¶ “China Promotes Grid Price Parity For Renewable Energy” • China will strengthen the construction of projects that facilitate wind and photovoltaic power to connect to the grid with price parity, China’s National Energy Administration said. The country will implement subsidy-free projects for wind and PV power to increase installed capacity. [ecns]

Installing PVs (Yao Feng | For China Daily)

¶ “Tender Announced For A Battery Energy Storage System In South Africa’s Western Cape” • Eskom Holdings SOC Limited, a South African power utility, has floated a tender for a battery energy storage system with a minimum of 80 MW / 320 MWh usable capacity at South Africa’s Skaapvlei substation, in Western Cape, Vredendal. [Mercom India]

¶ “Opportunities For Coastal Communities To Become “Project Shareholders” In Renewable Energy, Report Says” • A study by Eirwind showed that Ireland has more offshore wind resources than energy demand and could be exporting hydrogen. The report emphasized the importance of such stakeholders as rural communities and the fishing industry. [Afloat]

Offshore wind turbines (Andy Dingley, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Vestas Becomes First Renewable Energy Manufacturer With Verified Climate Targets In Line With 1.5°C Scenario” • Vestas is the first renewable energy manufacturer to have its targets validated by the SBTi as consistent with a 1.5°C scenario. The target validation follows Vestas’ announcement in January 2020 to be carbon neutral by 2030. [REVE]

¶ “Statkraft Secures 330 MW In Irish Auction” • Statkraft has secured capacity totalling 330 MW in Ireland’s first clean power auction, which awarded almost 1300 MW in total. The projects that were successful for Statkraft are the 34-MW Cloghan and 24-MW Taghart wind farms and the 78-MW Blundeltown and 198-MW Gallanstown solar parks. [reNEWS]

Mathias Kjellsson, Statkraft

US:

¶ “Covid-19 Bankrupts 19 Energy (Oil & Gas) Companies” • A total of 19 energy companies have filed for bankruptcy this year. These are not the only recent ones in the US industry, though. There are around 225 bankruptcy cases across the country in the energy sector that are still pending in federal bankruptcy courts as of May 31, 2020. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Underground HVDC Line To Connect Renewables, Other Generators In MISO, PJM Markets” • The developer of the SOO Green project announced a solicitation to allocate transmission capacity rights on a first-of-its-kind project co-locating electric transmission underground with a railroad corridor running from Iowa to Illinois. [Power Engineering Magazine]

Co-location of rail and power line (Image: Direct Connect)

¶ “Berkeley Lab Scientists To Help Advance Geothermal Energy Thanks To California Energy Commission Grants” • Deep under California’s Imperial County sits an immense reserve of critical metals, dissolved in brine. Among them is a huge amount of lithium. They are becoming available because of geothermal energy production. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “RWE, Mitsubishi Corp JV Joins Maine Floater Team” • A joint venture of Mitsubishi Corporation’s Diamond Offshore Wind and RWE Renewables is joining with the University of Maine to develop the Aqua Ventus 1 floating offshore wind demonstration project. The project will have one commercial turbine with a capacity of up to 12 MW. [reNEWS]

Floating wind turbine (Image: University of Maine)

¶ “Denver Looks To Install 15 MW Of Community Solar Gardens” • The City and County of Denver will host up to 15 MW of community solar gardens on municipal rooftops, over parking lots, and on vacant land as part of a Master Services Agreement signed with McKinstry, GRID Alternatives, and Unico Solar Investors. [Solar Power World]

¶ “City Council Weighing Investment In Nuclear Power Project” • Members of the Logan City Council are weighing whether to cut their losses or bet the bank on an increasingly expensive nuclear power project. As a member of the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, Logan City owns a partial interest in a proposed first-of-its-kind nuclear plant. [Cache Valley Daily]

Have a resoundingly successful day.

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August 5 Energy News

August 5, 2020

World:

¶ “Yamaha Creating High Performance Electric Motors For Mainstream Manufacturers” • The EV revolution keeps pushing forward, and Yamaha has turned its attention to designing and building high output electric motors that are as small and light as possible. It will soon offer a range of motors ranging from 35 kW (47 HP) to 200 kW (268 HP). [CleanTechnica]

Yamaha electric motor for cars (Image credit: Yamaha)

¶ “BP To Cut Oil Production 40% By 2030, And Invest Billions Into Green Energy” • BP announced that it is planning to cut oil and gas production by 40%, and it will invest billions of dollars into clean energy. This is part of a major strategic plan that was unveiled along with a gigantic second-quarter loss and a cut in dividends. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “RWE, Vattenfall To Feed Bosch Solar Power In Germany” • RWE Supply & Trading is to supply 50 MW of electricity to German technology and service company Bosch from solar power projects. And Vattenfall will also supply 10 MW. The solar farms can be built based on power purchase agreements, so they do not rely on subsidies. [reNEWS]

Solar farm (RWE image)

¶ “Japan’s Industry Ministry Reviewing Power Line Rules To Bolster Renewable Energy” • Japan is reviewing grid priorities that prioritize energy from coal. With most nuclear power plants still offline after the Fukushima Disaster, Japan gets 32% of its electricity from coal, compared with just 17% from renewable resources. [The Japan Times]

¶ “Green Power Auction Wins For 19 Wind Farms And 63 Solar Projects” • Nineteen new wind farms, totalling 479 MW, and 63 solar power projects, totalling 796 MW, won contracts under Ireland’s Renewable Electricity Support Scheme. Average contracts in the “general pot” of the auction were priced at €74.08/MWh. [The Irish Times]

Renewable energy (iStock image)

¶ “Ireland May Allocate 796 MW Of Solar In First Renewables Auction” • The Irish government announced provisional results of its first auction for large scale renewables. If the results are confirmed, they will have more than doubled the ambition of generating 1 TWh of clean energy, with 2,237 GWh of generation facilities allocated. [pv magazine International]

Australia:

¶ “Global Gold Miner Sets Sights On “Realistic” 99% Renewables Share On Mining Projects” • A gold mine in Western Australia recently shifted to a more than 50% mix of wind, solar, and battery storage. Now the global resources company behind that says it could aim much higher and has set its sights on a target of 99% renewables. [RenewEconomy]

Goldfields solar array

¶ “Goldwind To Deliver Turbines To Oz Hybrid Scheme” • Two turbines totalling 9 MW will be supplied by Goldwind Australia to a hybrid energy project in Western Australia that combines wind, solar, and battery storage. The project comprises the wind energy portion plus a 4-MW solar farm, a lithium-ion battery, and gas generators. [reNEWS]

¶ “GE Renewable Energy Wins 209-MW Australian Turbine Contract” • GE Renewable Energy announced contracts for the construction and operation of the 209-MW Murra Warra II wind farm in Victoria, Australia. The wind farm will use 38 GE Cypress 5.5-158 wind turbines. Victoria’s renewable energy target is 40% by 2025. [Power Engineering International]

GE Cypress prototype

¶ “GE Co-Develops Pumped Hydro Storage To Underpin 4-GW Wind And Solar Complex In Australia” • GE Renewable Energy signed an agreement with Australia’s Walcha Energy for joint development of the 500-MW Dungowan pumped hydro storage project in New South Wales. The project is to enable construction of a 4-GW wind and solar complex. [Recharge]

US:

¶ “Siemens Seeks To Optimize Microgrid Solutions With New Building Management System Integration” • Siemens is pushing into microgrid development with the launch of a microgrid test bed at its New Jersey R&D facility. It is a ‘living lab’ to explore the integration of a wide range of traditional microgrid components with the building itself. [CleanTechnica]

New Jersey R&D facility solar array (Courtesy of Siemens)

¶ “Connecticut’s Largest Ever Renewable Energy Investment Nears Final Approval” • Connecticut ratepayers are one step closer to funding the state’s largest ever purchase of renewable electricity, an offshore wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts. It is expected to provide 14% of Connecticut’s electricity once it’s completed in 2025. [Hartford Business]

¶ “Wind Powers Minneapolis Data Center” • US data center services company DataBank is powering a facility in Minneapolis with 100% renewable electricity from wind. The company signed an agreement with Dakota Electric Association to purchase 100% renewable energy to meet all 6 MW of critical IT load for the MSP2 data center for the next five years. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Abby Anaday | Unsplash)

¶ “Irish Solar Developer’s Projects In Maine Attract $100 Million Investment” • A global solar-electric development company from Ireland, BNRG Renewables, is partnering with a Maine firm, Dirigo Solar LLC, to develop eight large-scale projects over the next year. The enterprise has attracted roughly $100 million in private capital investment. [Lewiston Sun Journal]

¶ “Utah Taxpayers Association Calls On Cities To Back Out Of Nuclear Power Project” • Citing the potential for cost overruns, the Utah Taxpayers Association is calling on the 27 of the state’s municipalities that are involved in a small nuclear reactor project to back out ahead of a September deadline that will commit them to further costs. [Salt Lake Tribune]

Have an appropriately ecstatic day.

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August 4 Energy News

August 4, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “It’s Time For American Leaders To Wake Up To The Threat Of Climate Change For The Good Of The Planet And Business” • If left unchecked, the impact of climate change will alter our world, reshaping our coastlines and coastal cities, accelerate extinctions, devastate agriculture, cause famine, ravage our economy, and threaten our health. [TIME]

Wind farm in Texas (Paul Harris | Getty Images)

¶ “Is Energy Still A Natural Monopoly?” • In the past it made sense to monopolize utility services, but does it make sense now? Considering the ever-increasing access to solar energy, co-op and neighborhood power, and independence from electrical utilities, where can we afford to compete? Scott Hempling addresses these integral questions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Road Revenue Plummets – New Ways To Fund Infrastructure Projects Needed” • With Covid-19, traffic has been reduced to a fraction of what it had been. As road revenue plummets because of low sales of gasoline and diesel oil, road infrastructure projects that keep our labor force on the job and support the economy are in real jeopardy. [CleanTechnica]

Lonely truck (Image from Transportation.gov)

¶ “Watching The Baseload Paradigm Fail” • A nuclear power plant being used for load-following may be a symptom of an inexorable move away from baseload power toward a new paradigm built around less expensive combinations of renewable power with storage. The new technologies are also more reliable, more secure, and far more flexible. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “The ‘Solar Canals’ Making Smart Use Of India’s Space” • One of the main challenges in building solar farms in India is finding good places to build them. The high population density makes it hard to find sites for solar arrays. Rooftop solar is used, but roofs are inadequate for the need. In Gujarat, the answer has been to cover its canals with solar panels. [BBC]

Irrigation canal covered with solar panels (Getty Images)

¶ “Coastal Erosion: The ‘Forgotten’ Community Left To Fall Off A Cliff” • Across England in the next decade, it is estimated that up to 2,000 homes could be destroyed due to coastal erosion, which is expected to be accelerated by climate change. While other properties have been protected by costly coastal defences, these are not considered worth saving. [BBC]

¶ “Tesla Has 19% of Global Plugin Vehicle Market” • According to data from EV Volumes, in H1 of 2020, Tesla was #1 in terms of plugin vehicles sold globally, with just slightly more sales than the combination of the next three, Volkswagen, BMW, and BYD. Overall, Tesla took home 19% of the world’s plugin vehicle sales in the first half of 2020. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 (CleanTechnica image)

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Success Convinces Hyundai To Accelerate Transition To Electric Cars” • According to a report by Reuters, South Korea’s Hyundai plans to introduce two production lines dedicated to making electric vehicles, one next year and another in 2024. Reuters says the information was seen by its reporters in an internal union newsletter. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Melbourne’s Gigantic Solar Farm To Power On In January” • Melbourne Airport announced it will finish construction of its enormous solar farm next month, ready for it to be switched on in January. The panels will generate 17 GWh of electricity per annum, which will be sufficient to cover 15% of the airport’s electricity needs. [Australian Aviation]

Melbourne Aiport solar system under construction

¶ “World’s Largest Solar Farm And Battery To Export Green Energy” • A plan to build a huge solar farm and battery in the Northern Territory to supply power to Singapore and Indonesia was granted “major project status” by the Australian government. The project could provide Singapore with enough electricity to meet 20% of its demand. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “France’s Revolutionary Nuclear Reactor Is A Leaky, Expensive Mess” • A revolutionary French reactor design is 10 years overdue and nearly four times over budget. The country’s new energy minister has called the European pressurized reactor, which is being built at the Flamanville nuclear power plant, “a mess” in public interviews. [Popular Mechanics]

Flamanville construction (schoella, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Is Hydrogen The Future For US Power Companies?” • The US DOE has unveiled the H2@Scale initiative, through which a handful of companies will receive $64 million in government funding for hydrogen research projects. The companies include Cummins Inc, Caterpillar Inc, 3M Company, Plug Power Inc, and EV startup Nikola Corp. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “$4.5 Million Federal Grant Looks To Upgrade Borrego Springs Microgrid To 100% Renewable Energy” • A San Diego Gas & Electric’s microgrid in the desert town of Borrego Springs got a $4.5 million grant from the DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office. The grant is for upgrades so the microgrid can run 100% on renewable energy. [The San Diego Union-Tribune]

Borrego Springs microgrid (San Diego Gas & Electric)

¶ “San José Clean Energy, Peninsula Clean Energy Launch Joint Request For Offers For Renewable Energy + Battery Storage” • San José Clean Energy and Peninsula Clean Energy launched a joint Request for Offers for the purchase of 1,000 GWh annually of new, long-term renewable energy or renewable energy-plus-battery storage resources. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Report: ‘Total Decarbonization’ Would Create 25 Million Jobs” • “Rapid and total decarbonization” of the US economy, by tripling the size of the electric grid and replacing nearly every fuel-burning machine with an electric one, would create 25 million US jobs, according to a report. Its authors compare the effort with that undertaken for World War II. [E&E News]

Have a majestically gorgeous day.

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August 3 Energy News

August 3, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “How To Build A Nuclear Warning For 10,000 Years’ Time” • The Waste Isolation Pilot Project, which was built over 2,000 feet down through stable rocks beneath the desert of New Mexico, is a huge complex of tunnels and caverns designed to contain the US military’s most dangerous nuclear waste. It will be lethal for hundreds of thousands of years. [BBC]

Drums of nuclear waste

¶ “Just How Much Does Tesla Get In Subsidies Anyways?” • A common theme Tesla critics have focused on from time to time for years regarding Tesla is subsidies. The idea from critics is that Tesla is getting billions of dollars of subsidies and that’s why it’s a viable company. Let’s take a look at that thought and see how accurate it really is. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Who Will Own The Hydrogen Future: Oil Companies Or Power Utilities?” • Within the span of a week, major utilities Iberdrola, Uniper, and NextEra all made big moves into the hydrogen market. But whether utilities will have the ability – or need – to compete with oil companies in the emerging hydrogen market remains an open question. [Greentech Media]

Gas storage facility of German utility Uniper (Credit: Uniper)

World:

¶ “Is Mexican Utility CFE Entering The Solar Business?” • Mexico’s Federal Electricity Commission is seeking approval to develop 350 MW of solar in Baja California. The arrays will be co-sited with the 820-MW Cerro Prieto geothermal project. It remains unclear whether this marks the company’s formal entry into the solar business. [pv magazine International]

¶ “OPEC Struggles To Manage ‘Permanent Demand Destruction'” • The last year has been hard for the oil industry. An oil glut, a coronavirus pandemic, and competition from EVs are all doing their parts to undermine oil. A report by Reuters says some people in oil-producing nations wonder whether we are seeing “permanent demand reduction.” [CleanTechnica]

Ships at anchor, full of oil (PO3 Aidan Cooney | US Coast Guard)

¶ “Envision Commissions Peninsula Wind Farm Project” • Green tech company Envision Group has commissioned the Peninsula Wind Farm project in the Yucatan, with a total installed capacity of 90 MW. The wind farm  is jointly owned and developed by Envision Energy, Mexican developer Vive Energia and Spanish conglomerate ACS. [North American Windpower]

¶ “More Coal Power Generation Closed Than Opened Around The World This Year, Research Finds” • The size of the global coal power fleet fell for the first time on record over the first six months of the year, with more generation capacity shutting than starting operation, according to Global Energy Monitor, a US research and advocacy group. [The Guardian]

Coal (Robert Cianflone | Getty Images)

¶ “China’s Renewable Energy Capacity Up In H1” • China saw a robust growth in renewable energy capacity in the first half of the year, data from the National Energy Administration showed. The generating capacity of PV power increased 20% year on year to 127.8 billion kWh, while that of wind power rose 10.9% to 237.9 billion kWh in H1. [China.org.cn]

¶ “Open Up Offshore Windfarm Subsidy Scheme, Urges Scottish Power” • One of Britain’s biggest wind power developers called on the government to scrap the limit on its next offshore wind subsidy auction to push a green economic recovery, claiming it will not lead to a rise in energy bills but will deliver a “huge wave” of investment and jobs. [The Guardian]

Offshore wind farm (Darren Cool | E.On | PA)

¶ “251 GW Of New Chinese Wind Expected This Decade” • China is expected to add 251 GW of new wind capacity through 2029 but additions will take a 16% hit from next year due to the end of subsidies, according to Wood Mackenzie. The country’s wind power market could reach a cumulative grid connected capacity of 461 GW by the end of the decade. [reNEWS]

¶ “Ireland ‘On Track’ To Meet 2020 Clean Power Goal” • Ireland is on track to reach its 2020 renewable energy target to get 40% of its electricity from clean power, after a strong second quarter saw wind energy alone deliver 28.5% of the country’s electricity. That is up from 26.1% in the second quarter of last year, and new wind farms are coming online. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Jonathan Mitchell | IWEA)

¶ “Murra Warra 2 Reaches Financial Close In Oz” • RES and Macquarie’s Green Investment Group have reached financial close for the second stage of the 209-MW Murra Warra Wind Farm near Horsham, Western Victoria, with its sale to global private markets investment manager Partners Group. GE will provide 38 turbines, each of 5.5 MW. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “As Activists Push NJ To Divest From Fossil Fuels, State Turns To Green-Energy Fund” • New Jersey’s public-worker pension system is committing up to $100 million of its assets to the Stonepeak Global Renewables Fund, a private-equity fund that will invest solely in renewable-energy infrastructure projects around the globe. [NJ Spotlight]

Solar array (Credit: Samuel Faber | Pixabay)

¶ “NextEra Energy Sees Hydrogen As A Zero Emissions Alternative To Natural Gas” • The parent company of Florida Power & Light, NextEra Energy, is eyeing a technology that may help it eliminate all emissions related to the electricity it sells. Hydrogen may be made by electrolysis using renewable energy that would otherwise be curtailed. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “July Was Hottest Month On Record In Portland, Weather Service Says” • July was the hottest month on record in Portland, Maine, sparking conserns about heat related health issues. Portland averaged 73.7°F during the month, 4.6° above normal and 0.6° above July 2019, the previous hottest month, according to the National Weather Service. [Press Herald]

Have an altogether untroubled day.

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August 2 Energy News

August 2, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “‘Getting Back To Normal’ Is The Last Thing Governments Should Be Doing” • Normal is a society with 99% of the wealth owned by 1% of the people. Normal is pollution that kills more Americans each year than Covid-19. Normal is a Senate that funds fighter jets before human beings. America may not be able to survive more a return to normal. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.
(Image: European Society of Cardiologists)

¶ “Trump Is Emboldening Other Countries’ ‘Bad Behavior’ On The Climate Crisis” • Donald Trump’s of withdrawal from the Paris Agreement will take effect on November 4. The divisions his stance opened up within the US have also been starkly in evidence at the annual UN climate talks, where two different US groups have been showing up for three years. [Grist]

¶ “The (Renewable) Power And Politics Fueling The UAE’s New Nuclear Plant” • The United Arab Emirates’ Barakah nuclear power plant, a first for the Arab world, successfully started up Saturday in a region grappling with conflicts. Here are some facts about the nuclear plant in a country with vast oil reserves that is investing heavily in renewables. [The Times of Israel]

Barakah nuclear plant (Arun Girija | WAM via AP, File)

¶ “Realistic Proposals Needed To Deal With Coal’s Decline” • State and local governments in coal-producing areas must plan for what budgeting will be like as revenues from coal severance taxes and income taxes from businesses that depend on coal decline. The problem has been around for years, but it needs to be better addressed. [Huntington Herald Dispatch]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Rasberries Can Grow Under Solar Panels!” • What may have been a crazy idea a few years ago, it turns into a project in the Netherlands. A Dutch farm had 10,250 solar panels deployed across 3.2 hectares of raspberry crops to provide renewable energy for the area and create a more sustainable environment for the raspberries to grow in. [Energy Live News]

Raspberries under solar panels (Image: BayWa re)

World:

¶ “France EV Market Share Hits 9.5% In July – And 4× Volume Growth Year-on-Year” • July saw France’s plugin passenger vehicle market share hit 9.5%, compared to 2.5% in July 2019. While the overall auto market in France was up 3.7% from last year, plugin sales grew impressively; 16,967 were sold in July 2020, up from 4,258 in July 2019. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Largest Floating Solar Park In Europe Connected To Grid In Netherlands” • The largest floating solar power park outside of China was recently completed in the Netherlands by BayWa re’s Dutch subsidiary GroenLeven. It is expected to provide energy for 7,200 homes. It has 72,000 solar panels. And it was built in just seven weeks. [CleanTechnica]

Zonnepark Bomhofsplas (Energiefonds Overijssel image)

¶ “Lower-Range BEVs Are Seeing Strong Sales In Europe” • Will consumers buy BEVs with less than around 250 miles of range based on the EPA test cycle? Elon Musk doesn’t think so. But for the first 6 months of 2020, European sales of EVs were led by the Renault Zoe, which has a WLTP range of 245 miles (219 miles under the EPA test cycle). [CleanTechnica]

¶ “India’s Shift To Renewable Energy Driven By Lower Costs” • Sustainability goals, consumer awareness, and, especially, lower costs are spurring India to shift to using renewable energy. Indian companies are switching to clean energy sources for more than altruistic reasons, according to speakers at a webcast held by the Global Wind Energy Council. [EnergyInfraPost]

India (ReNew Power image)

¶ “Deutsche Bank To Discontinue Lending To Coal Miners” • Deutsche Bank announced that it would discontinue doing business with companies that are most exposed to coal mining by 2025 at the latest. Deutsche Bank also said it would cease financing of new projects in the Arctic and of oil sand projects immediately. [EconoTimes]

¶ “Ottawa Taps The Brakes On Huge Coal Mine Expansion Near Jasper National Park; Alberta’s UCP Stays Mum For Now” • Federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson tapped the brakes on the Vista coal mine expansion near Hinton with an announcement Ottawa will take a look at the environmental impact of the project after all. [albertapolitics.ca]

Coal mine near Hinton, Alberta (Photo: Bighorn Mining)

US:

¶ “Xpeng Motors Ready For IPO In USA” • Xpeng Motors, a popular EV startup in China that has unabashedly followed Tesla’s lead, that used patents that Tesla opened up for anyone to use, and that designed and developed cars that clearly resemble Teslas (yet do have their own design language) is readying for an IPO in the US. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Report Details The Promise Of Plum Island” • A 72-page report, “Envision Plum Island,” lays out a road map for turning New York’s Plum Island into a prized public jewel under state and local ownership. The report is from the Preserve Plum Island Coalition, 110 organizations seeking to prevent its sale by the US government to the highest bidder. [theday.com]

Lighthouse on Plum Island (Day file photo)

¶ “Climate Change Deniers Get More News Coverage Than Scientists, Study Proves” • A study found that climate change deniers get far more news coverage than climate scientists and activists. This helps explain why the US seems to have such a hard time accepting science. We are allowing the coverage to be skewed by corporations. [The Ring of Fire Network]

¶ “WEC Pledges To Be Carbon-Neutral By 2050” • WEC Energy Group, which owns We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service, is pledging to go carbon-neutral by 2050, joining a growing list of companies that are looking to step up their carbon reduction goals. It has set a new goal to reduce carbon emissions 70% in the next decade. [Urban Milwaukee]

Have an extraordinarily rewarding day.

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August 1 Energy News

August 1, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “China’s Three Gorges Dam Is One Of The Largest Ever Created. Was It Worth It?” • Three Gorges Dam is the largest hydropower project ever. It was designed to generate electricity for China’s breakneck economic growth. It was also to tame China’s longest river, shielding millions of people from fatal floods. But it hasn’t quite worked out that way. [CNN]

Releasing water from the Three Gorges Dam

Science and Technology:

¶ “Tesla Autopilot Accidents: 1 Per 4,530,000 Miles; US Average: 1 Per 479,000 Miles” • Tesla released its quarterly “Tesla Vehicle Safety Report.” The Tesla Q2 figure for accidents was far better than the US average – about 10 times better when the Autopilot is engaged. The figures clearly show that Tesla’s safety features are impressively effective. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “CRI Successfully Demonstrates Chemical Storage With Renewable Methanol” • Carbon Recycling International has shown that its renewable methanol can be used to store surplus renewable energy chemically. CRI developed a process to convert captured CO₂ and hydrogen directly into methanol by use of catalysts. [The Chemical Engineer]

CRI installation in Germany (CRI image)

¶ “Tata Power To Raise Green Energy Portfolio To 50% With Focus On Renewables” • Indian utility Tata Power will focus on renewable resources for future growth, and it aims to raise its green energy portfolio to 50%. Its growth is to concentrate on renewables, distribution, and transmission of power along with new and value-added business. [Business Standard]

¶ “Águas De Portugal Group To Go Energy Self-Sustaining With 100% Renewable Power” • Águas de Portugal Group has set out its ZERO Energy Neutrality Program. AdP Group is moving to achieve energy neutrality within ten years by reducing levels of consumption and raising its own production of 100% renewable energy. [WaterWorld]

Solar powered facility (Águas De Portugal Group)

¶ “Solar Project Set To Break Ground Will Produce Up To 39 MW” • According to BluEarth Renewables, a utility-scale solar project will begin construction this month southwest of Medicine Hat, Alberta. BluEarth announced that it has signed a PPA with Bullfrog Power to “directly support the construction” of the 39-MW project. [Medicine Hat News]

¶ “Enel Enters Into 164-MW PPA In Guatemala” • Enel Green Power signed a PPA with the Guatemalan energy distributor, Comercializadora de Energia para el Desarrollo, for the supply of renewable electricity over the next 10 years. The deal is for 1.26 TWh of power that will be generated five hydro plants owned by by Enel Green Power Guatemala. [reNEWS]

Enel Green Power facility (Enel Green Power image)

¶ “UAE Launches Start-Up Operations At First Nuclear Power Plant” • The United Arab Emirates began start-up operations in the first unit of the Barakah nuclear power plant, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation said. It is the first nuclear power plant to operate in the Arab world. It was originally due to open in 2017 but faced delays. [TheChronicleHerald.ca]

¶ “Fossil Fuel Industry Engaging In ‘Pervasive Fraud’ That Threatens Global Economy, Report Warns” • A report from the National Whistleblower Center says deception on the financial risks of climate change by fossil fuel executives is widespread and is likely actionable fraud. Further securities fraud lawsuits against fossil fuel companies can be expected. [DeSmog]

Pumpjack (Penn State via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

US:

¶ “News Corp: Rupert Murdoch’s Son James Quits Company” • James Murdoch, son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, resigned from the board of News Corporation citing “disagreements over editorial content.” The exact nature of the disagreements was not detailed, but Mr Murdoch has previously criticised News Corp outlets for climate change coverage. [BBC]

¶ “100% Renewable Energy For 2,700 New EV Fast Charging Stations In USA” • GM paired with the leading fast charging company EVgo to install more than 2,700 public EV fast charging stations across the country, all running through clean power contracts. The plan aims to ramp up EV sales by making more fast chargers. [CleanTechnica]

Chevy Bolt (Photo: Tina Casey)

¶ “GM’s Ultium Battery Factory Is Sprouting Up In Ohio” • When you think of a US automaker building a large EV battery factory, Tesla tends to come to mind, but it’s worth remembering that GM is doing this as well. The company proudly showed off some pictures from the site, to remind people of its progress and cheer on its employees and contractors. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Oil Giants Post Historic Losses As COVID-19 Obliterates Demand” • With a pandemic and a crude oil glut, the country’s two largest oil giants posted their steepest losses in modern history. ExxonMobil posted a $1.1 billion loss in the year’s second quarter. Chevron Corporation lost $8.3 billion, including a $5.2 billion write-down on assets. [HuffPost]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “CMS Energy Takes Control Of 525-MW Texas Aviator” • US company CMS Energy has bought a majority stake in the 525-MW Aviator wind farm in Texas for an undisclosed price. Aviator will be operated by CMS Enterprises, a subsidiary of CMS Energy that develops, owns, and operates renewable energy facilities. It is to be online this year. [reNEWS]

¶ “Xcel Energy Temporarily Stops Load Following At Prairie Island After NRC Inspection” • Xcel Energy temporarily stopped load following operations at Prairie Island in Minnesota after NRC determined that plant procedures should have required further analysis of such operations due to their long-term effects on safety. [S&P Global]

Have a monumentally mirthful day.

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