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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