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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