Archive for September, 2020

September 30 Energy News

September 30, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Two-Fifths Of Plants At Risk Of Extinction, Says Report” • Two-fifths of the world’s plants are at risk of extinction, scientists have warned. Researchers say they are racing against time to name and describe new species, before they disappear. Plants hold huge promise as medicines, fuels and foods, says a report by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. [BBC]

Flower (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew)

¶ “A New Cooling Technology Protects Against Severe Heat And Viral Spread” • Forrest Meggers, an associate professor in the architecture department at Princeton University, together with an international team of researchers, found a way to enable cooling off without just recirculating air. This reduces the risk of spreading airborne viruses. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “DHL Inaugurates Package Delivery In London Using Water Transportation” • Packages arriving at Heathrow airport are taken to a nearby dock on the Thames by electric vehicles. Then DHL takes them by boat down the river to London, where they are unloaded and put on pedal-powered cargo bikes for delivery to final destinations in the city. [CleanTechnica]

DHL cargo boat (DHL image)

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Scores Swedish Hat-Trick” • Siemens Gamesa has signed a new deal for 11 turbines with wind power developer Eolus Vind in Sweden. The wind turbines will be delivered to three different sites: Rosenskog, Dållebo, and Boarp, all located in southern Sweden, close to the city of Jönköping. All are to be installed in 2023. [reNEWS]

¶ “Walmart Canada Triples Tesla Semi Order” • Walmart Canada said it has tripled its order to a total of 130 of the all-electric cargo haulers as part of a commitment to convert 20% of its fleet to electric trucks by the end of 2022. With all those trucks in service, the company will have one of the largest fleets of electric semis in the country. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Semi (Credit: Walmart Canada)

¶ “Global Renewable Energy Jobs Hit Record High” • Global renewables industries supported a record 11.5 million jobs in 2019, but governments will need to “supercharge” the energy transition to keep growth on track with Covid-19, said the International Renewable Energy Agency. Solar dominated growth technologically. [Recharge]

¶ “All Aboard! UK’s First Hydrogen-Powered Train Starts Trial Journeys Today” • The first-ever hydrogen-powered train will run on the UK mainline today. Today’s trials of the train, named HydroFLEX, follow almost two years of development work and more than £1 million of investment by both Porterbrook and the University of Birmingham. [Energy Live News]

HydroFLEX with factory graffiti (University of Birmingham)


¶ “ACT Labor Promise Canberra-Wide Network Of Renewable Energy Batteries If Elected” • A network of ‘big batteries’ with a combined capacity far larger than the massive Tesla battery in South Australia would be built across Canberra, under a new plan from ACT Labor. The plan would build local storage from the current 60 MW to 250 MW. [ABC News]

¶ “Australia’s National Science Agency To Buy Solar Power Under 10-Year PPA” • In Australia, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation announced a 10-year clean energy Power Purchase Agreement with Zen Energy. The deal is set to halve the national science agency’s electricity-sourced CO₂ emissions. [pv magazine International]

132-MW solar farm in New South Wales (Image: Zen Energy)

¶ “Bringing Clean Energy To Regional Victorian Communities” • The Victorian Government is helping local businesses use more renewable energy to reduce electricity costs, create jobs, and support clean power. The Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change announced over $1 million in grants as part of the New Energy Jobs Fund. [Mirage News]


¶ “Ford Mustang Mach-E Price Cut, And 0–60 MPH Times Published” • The Ford Mustang Mach-E just got a bit cheaper. Ford cut the price of some Mustang Mach-E versions, with the price of the Mustang Mach-E Premium down by $3,000, putting it at $47,000 (before the $7,500 federal EV tax credit). Range and acceleration times were also published. [CleanTechnica]

Ford Mustang Mach-E electric

¶ “Total Plug-In Vehicle Sales In United States Reach 1.6 Million Units” • In August 2020, cumulative plug-in vehicle sales in the US reached 1.6 million units, according to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. Fully electric vehicle sales are clearly in the lead among plug-in vehicles, accounting for about 1 million of these sales. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Dominion Unleashes Coastal Virginia” • Dominion Energy commenced started operations at its 12-MW Coastal Virginia offshore wind farm in the US. Ørsted oversaw the installation of the offshore project’s offshore components for the US developer, including turbines and foundations, while Dominion Energy oversaw all onshore aspects. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbine installation (Ørsted image)

¶ “Power Generator Vistra Pumps $850 Million Into Renewables Push In Texas” • Power generator Vistra plans to break ground on six solar projects and a battery energy storage facility in Texas in an $850 million bet on renewables. The clean power sources are expected to add nearly 1,000 MW of capacity to Vistra’s energy portfolio. [The Dallas Morning News]

¶ “Boise Co-Op Locations Now Powered By 100% Renewable Energy” • The Boise Co-op is hoping to make the city greener through a partnership with Idaho Power. The Boise Co-op locations are powered by 100% renewable energy. About 86% of it from hydropower plants, but all power will come from solar and wind beginning in 2021. [6 On Your Side]

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September 29 Energy News

September 29, 2020


¶ “What Is Tesla’s Contribution Toward Sustainability? Let’s Calculate” • Tesla has played an enormous role in pushing our acceleration towards sustainability – not just with vehicles, but also in the energy field. Tesla’s advanced batteries will push us even faster toward the goal of sustainability. Here, we can take a look at the numbers. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla car, Tesla roof, Tesla battery (Tesla image)

¶ “America Is Running Out Of Water?” • National Geographic recently published an article titled, “Why Is America Running Out Of Water?” Could that be? Within the next 50 years, many parts of the US may see their freshwater supply drop by a third. By 2071, half of the rivers and freshwater basins could be unable to meet local demands. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Angelo Campus Electrifies The Renewable Energy Business With BoxPower” • Princeton alumnus Angelo Campus built a business, BoxPower, to ensure those who need quick access to power can find it in a simple configuration: a shipping container equipped with solar panels, a battery for energy storage and a backup generator. [Princeton University]

BoxPower installation (BoxPower image)

¶ “New Study Shows A Vicious Circle Of Climate Change Building On Thickening Layers Of Warm Ocean Water” • Near the surface of the ocean, global warming is creating increasingly distinct layers of warm water that block flows of heat, carbon, oxygen, and nutrients within the water column, and between the oceans and atmosphere. [InsideClimate News]


¶ “ICE-Breaking MG5 Gives Over 200 Miles Real Range And 35 Minute Charging To 80%, For £24,495 – Reserve Yours Quick!” • Initial UK road tests of the MG5 EV show over 200 miles of real world range, and 35 minutes to recharge from 10 to 80%, for the stunning entry price of £24,495, which is on par with rivals, but with much lower running costs. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “$50 Million UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund To Extend Energy Access To Rural Communities In Belize” • The UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund committed to develop Belize’s largest renewable energy rural electrification project. It will bring modern electricity services for the first time to three remote communities in the country. [ReliefWeb]

¶ “Bids Invited For Renewable Energy-Based Power Solutions For The Himalayan Region” • The Solar Energy Corporation of India invited bids to develop renewable energy solutions to meet energy needs in remote high-altitude Himalayan areas. The project will be based on energy sources that can be deployed under hostile climatic conditions. [Mercom India]

Solar array in the Himalayas

¶ “Caribbean Islands Receive $50 Million Clean Energy Boost” • A storm-resistant clean energy plant is to be built in Antigua and Barbuda to help the two-island nation recover from the effects of Hurricane Irma in 2017 and provide sustainable power. To fund the project, the UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Partnership Fund is putting up $50 million. [Energy Digital]

¶ “Renewable Energy Among The Most Pandemic-Resilient Infrastructure Sub-Sectors” • The renewables sector is among the most pandemic-resilient infrastructure sub-sectors, thanks in part to its ability to secure finance as well as government efforts to grow the green economy, according to a white paper from investment firm Foresight Group. [PV-Tech]

Solar farm in Spain (Image: Foresight Group)

¶ “TEPCO: 11-Meter Seawall Completed At Fukushima Plant” • TEPCO, the owner of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, says it has completed an 11-meter-high seawall to protect the defunct facility from tsunami waves. The next move will be for TEPCO to build another seawall measuring up to 16 meters high. [NHK World]


¶ “Cities Announce Massive Fossil Fuels Divestments” • Last week, 12 cities around the world announced a commitment to divest from fossil fuels, looking towards a green and just recovery from COVID-19. Los Angeles and New York City signed the declaration. Importantly, and perhaps surprisingly, so did New Orleans and Pittsburgh. [Triple Pundit]

Pittsburgh (Vidar Nordli-Mathisen | Unsplash)

¶ “Despite Major Health Risks, Trump’s EPA Plans To Leave Millions Of Lead Water Pipes In The Ground” • A draft of the Trump administration’s final Lead and Copper Rule has been leaked. It showed that the EPA will weaken safeguards for keeping lead out of drinking water. It allows lead service lines to remain in use, in some cases permanently. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Optimistic Pueblo Is Outspent In First Attempt At Utility Takeover” • Pueblo, Colorado, in its push for 100% renewable energy, went up against a power monopoly and learned the heavy costs of facing a utility giant. A podcast offers up Pueblo’s story to other municipalization efforts nationwide and speaks of the hope the movement still has. [CleanTechnica]

Pueblo City Hall (David Shankbone, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Ameren Announces Plans To Reach ‘Net-Zero’ Carbon Emissions By 2050, And Spend Billions On Renewable Energy” • Ameren announced that it intends to invest $8 billion in renewable energy projects over the next two decades, and will accelerate its plans to reduce carbon emissions, reaching “net-zero” carbon emissions by 2050. []

¶ “Construction Begins On 100-MW Solar Plant In Arizona” • Salt River Project and sPower have started constucting a new solar plant which will generate $10 million in 25 years of tax revenue and up to 350 construction jobs to Pinal County, in Arizona. The 100-MW project, East Line Solar, is expected to be operating in December. [Energy Digital]

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September 28 Energy News

September 28, 2020


¶ “China’s Carbon Pledge Will Require Complete Inversion Of Existing System” • China has pledged to reduce carbon emissions to virtually zero by 2060. If it succeeds, it could reduce the global heating forecasts by up to 0.3°C. To do this, it will need to rethink its energy supply completely. One projection is for reliance on solar and windpower. [The Guardian]

Workers at a floating PV plant (VCG | Getty)

¶ “Air Pollution: Here For All Seasons?” • An email in my inbox proclaimed, “It’s September and we’re heading into pollution season in many regions.” But does pollution have a season? Of course, there is seasonal variability to certain pollutants, but, unfortunately, pollution lives with us in and outside our homes in every season. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Why Australia’s Hydrogen Industry Should Be Renewables Only” • Environmental leader WWF Australia published a new position paper on hydrogen, which outlines why the technology presents such an enormous economic opportunity for Australia, but also why it needs to be based around renewables rather than fossil fuels. [RenewEconomy]

New South Wales windpower (CSIRO, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Ørsted And Maersk Test Offshore Vessel Charging” • Ørsted and Maersk Supply Service A/S formed a partnership to test an innovative charging buoy that can bring green electricity to offshore wind farm service vessels and potentially to a wide range of maritime vessels. The buoy enables ships to turn off their engines when lying idle. [reNEWS]

¶ “The Ancient Trade Holding Back The Sahara Desert” • With climate change, the Sahara Desert has grown about 100 km southward since 1950, and it is expected to keep growing. Now, acacia trees, whose gum has been prized for its unusual culinary and medical uses, are part of a continent-wide effort to hold back the Sahara Desert. [BBC]

Acacia trees (Getty Images)

¶ “Could Thorium Revive The Nuclear Energy Industry?” • As the Trump administration seeks a bailout of the faltering nuclear industry, technology is promising of less dangerous and cheaper nuclear fuel. It hopes to substitute thorium for some of the more dangerous uranium in nuclear reactors, producing more energy and less waste. [] (Need I comment?)

¶ “UpriseEnergy Demonstrates Rapid-Deploy Wind+Battery Energy Solution In A Shipping Container” • UpriseEnergy has shown a portable wind turbine. The company took a prototype from their 20,000 square foot facility in San Diego, drove it to a site a dozen miles away, set it up, and ran it for an hour, putting out about 6 kWh of electricity. [CleanTechnica]

UpriseEnergy STAR wind turbine on trailer (UpriseEnergy image)


¶ “‘Energy Transition Driving The Need’: Oil Trading Giant Trafigura Turns To Wind And Solar” • Trafigura, one of the largest independent oil traders, plans to build a 2-GW renewable energy portfolio in a joint venture called Nala Renewables, with IFM Investors. The JV wants to have 2 GW operating or in late-stage development within five years. [Recharge]

¶ “Boris Johnson Promises To Protect 30% Of UK’s Land By 2030” • An extra 400,000 hectares of English countryside will be protected to support the recovery of nature under plans by Boris Johnson. He will make the commitment at a virtual UN event. He is joining 65 leaders who pledged to reverse losses in the natural world by 2030. [BBC]

Lake District (Aivin Gast, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “EU’s Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy Taking Shape” • The roadmap accompanying the European Commission’s public consultation leaves little doubt about its intentions: the EU executive wants to leverage “the huge potential of offshore renewable energy deployment” on all of the bodies of sea water around it. [EURACTIV]


¶ “The Best Places For Solar Power If You Want To Clean The US Grid” • Solar power is useful everywhere, and it’s been big news lately that solar power has accounted for so much of US power capacity growth – 27% in the first half of 2020 and 60% in June. However, for cleaning the grid, solar power growth is better some places than others. [CleanTechnica]

California and the Northeast depend less on fossil fuels already

¶ “Elon Musk: “The US Is Moving Toward Sustainable Energy”” • During Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting and Battery Day event, CEO Elon Musk said something that should have dominated headlines: “The US is moving toward sustainable energy.” He noted that eventually everything we do will be done with sustainable energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Climate Change May Spark Serial Washoe Wildfires” • Within 20 years, northern Washoe County, Nevada, may become the epicenter of persistent wildfires driven by higher temperatures and prevalent drought brought about by climate change. That prediction is among several grim conclusions based on analysis of climate research. [Reno News & Review]

Wildfire (Gerd Altman | Pixabay)

¶ “Overwhelming Number Of US Voters Support Climate Action” • In a poll conducted this month by The Guardian, VICE News, George Mason University, and Yale Climate Connection, an overwhelming majority of American voters said they want the federal government to support efforts to address global heating in a meaningful way. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Minnesota Professor Looking To Build Climate Change Hub” • A University of Minnesota professor is creating an extension program to bridge climate research and community outreach. She plans a hub to foster conversations about climate change and help farmers and policymakers implement changes based on their research. [Albany Times Union]

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September 27 Energy News

September 27, 2020


¶ “‘Two-Headed Beast’: China’s Coal Addiction Erodes Climate Goals” • China is already the top global producer and consumer of wind turbines, solar panels and electric vehicles. Chinese factories make two-thirds of all solar cells used worldwide. But in the first half of 2020 China approved 23 GW of new coal power projects. [Yahoo Finance UK]

Coal-burning power plant (Greg Baker | AFP via Getty Images)

¶ “As Climate Displacement Accelerates, Is The US Next?” • From the extreme storms in the Atlantic and Gulf coasts to historic fires in the West, the US is facing the impacts of climate change firsthand. As people flee from ecological disasters, the US faces questions about how to respond to climate displacement, on both short and long term. [The Hill]

Science and Technology:

¶ “It’s Official – Consumer Reports Confirms EV Owners Spend Half As Much On Maintenance” • Consumer Reports did a deep dive into the data from its 2019 and 2020 reliability surveys of electric and gasoline powered vehicles. Based on the numbers, it says “drivers of electric vehicles are saving an average of 50% on maintenance and repair …” [CleanTechnica]

Inside the EV (Credit: US Department of Energy)

¶ “Zombie Storms Are Rising From The Dead Thanks To Climate Change” • “Zombie storms,” which return to life after petering out, are a new addition this year. And undead weather anomalies are becoming more common thanks to climate change. One example was tropical storm Paulette, a hurricane that petered only to return. []


¶ “First 100 Xpeng G3 Electric SUVs On Their Way To Norway” • The first 100 Xpeng G3 cars were put on board a ship in China and the company says it looks forward to seeing them on roads in Norway come November. Xpeng is a young car company, having been founded by He Xiaopeng in 2014, but it has solid financial backing from Alibaba. [CleanTechnica]

Xpeng G3 (Image courtesy of Xpeng)

¶ “NTPC To Stop Land Acquisition For Greenfield Thermal Projects, To Reduce Carbon Footprint Through Renewable Energy Push” • In a big change in its business strategy, India’s largest coal-fired power producer, NTPC, proposes to completely stop land acquisition for green field thermal projects and push renewable energy aggressively. [Swarajya]

¶ “In Siberia Forests, Climate Change Stokes ‘Zombie Fires'” • In a marshy clearing of a sprawling Siberian forest, a small cohort of volunteers battle a winter-resistant, underground blaze. It is a growing problem in Russia. In some places, peat has smoldered underground for around five years, and it can re-emerge, set fire to dry grass, and spread rapidly. [The Japan Times]

Extinguishing a peat fire (Alexander Nemenov | AFP-JIJI)

¶ “Nuclear Power: Suffolk’s Sizewell C Is Too Expensive Says Ed Davey” • Former Energy Secretary Ed Davey has said building a new nuclear power station at Sizewell is “too expensive” and has lost its economic case. Instead the new Liberal Democrat leader argues the government should invest more in renewable energy to help boost the economy. [BBC News]


¶ “Tesla’s New Homemade Batteries Are In Test Cars On The Road Today” • The Battery Day confused some people about the availability of new Tesla batteries. What Elon Musk just clarified on Twitter is that Tesla’s new batteries are in fact in cars on the road today – well, actually, cars that have been on the road for the past several months. [CleanTechnica]

Battery Day presentation (Tesla screenshot)

¶ “Coal Dropped from 26.9% of US Electricity to 17.7% in 3 Years” • Electricity from coal power plants has declined from 26.9% of US electricity generation in the first 7 months of 2018 to 17.7% of US electricity in the first 7 months of 2020. Furthermore, that’s down from 33% in 2015, 39% in 2014, 45% in 2010, and 50% in 2005. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GE Dumps Coal Power and Pivots to Wind” • GE said that it plans to stop building new coal power equipment. The decision didn’t come as a surprise. Coal is going out of favor rapidly in many countries due to its status as one of the dirtiest fuels, along with falling costs for cleaner sources of energy like natural gas, wind, and solar. [Motley Fool]

GE wind turbines (CarstenE, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “USDA Invests More Than $354,000 In Energy Efficiency” • US Department of Agriculture Rural Development State Director for Kansas Lynne Hinrichsen announced that the USDA is investing $558,552 to make energy efficiency improvements and reduce energy costs for farmers, ag producers and other rural-based organizations in rural Kansas. [Salina Post]

¶ “State: Power Plant Project Needs Juice” • Danskammer Energy says its $500 million proposal to upgrade a power plant in Newburgh, New York, will be able to meet state emissions goals for 2040 by converting to hydrogen or renewable natural gas from waste. The state Public Service Commission wants more details. [Highlands Current]

Danskammer power plant in Newburgh (Photo: Tom Konrad)

¶ “Fourteen New Solar Farms To Be Built In 8 Michigan Counties To Provide 500 MW Of Electricity” • Pine Gate Renewables and Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, LP, announced their first wave of solar projects into Michigan. Its fourteen solar farms in eight counties are part of a larger plan to bring more than 500 MW of renewable energy projects to the state. []

¶ “Suståne Chooses 100% Renewable Energy For Facilities” • Suståne Natural Fertilizer is a Minnesota-based manufacturer and exporter of renewable, organic, and natural slow release fertilizers and soil amendments. It announced recently that its Cannon Falls facilities’ electricity requirements are now powered by 100% renewable energy. [ECM Publishers]

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September 26 Energy News

September 26, 2020


¶ “Electric Vehicles Have Arrived Much Faster Than Anticipated” • Bill Gates said, “Innovation is moving at a scarily fast pace.” Nowhere is that more true than in the world of electric vehicles. Technological progress in the electrification of cars, buses, bikes, scooters, and trucks has advanced and the market for them is growing at an exponential rate. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model X (Carolyn Fortuna | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Doing Something About Global Warming Is Cheaper Than Doing Nothing” • The rallying cry from conservatives for the past 40 years is that doing something about our overheating planet is just too darn expensive. But there are many ways to address climate change, and some of them have important economic side benefits. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Super-Adaptable Chimps That Can Withstand Climate Change” • Chimpanzees, our evolutionary cousins, inhabit landscapes that range from hot and dry to cool and wet, across much of Africa. Like humans, they are capable of remarkable behavioural variability, and this might allow chimpanzees to be highly adaptable. [BBC]

Chimpanzee (Getty Images)

¶ “Airbus Wants ZEROe To Be 1st Zero-Emission Commercial Aircraft In The World … By 2035” • Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury has said, “I strongly believe that the use of hydrogen … has the potential to significantly reduce aviation’s climate impact.” To get these vehicles into operation, hydrogen fueling infrastructure has to be built out. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Tech For Artificial Reefs Increases Marine Life And Vitality” • An artificial reef is a human-made structure that may mimic characteristics of a natural reef for ocean habitats. Several companies specialize in design, manufacture, and deployment of long-lasting artificial reefs. Typically, they are constructed of limestone, steel, or concrete. [CleanTechnica]

Fish at an artificial reef (Image provided by Ocean Habitats)


¶ “First Solar’s Thin-Film PV Modules Chosen For Largest Urban Solar Power Plant In Europe” • A solar power plant that is being built in Bordeaux, France, on a former landfill, is expected to be the largest “urban” solar PV power plant in Europe. The project is using solar modules from the American solar manufacturing firm, First Solar. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hydrogen-Powered Passenger Plane Completes Maiden Flight In ‘World First’” • A hydrogen fuel-cell ZeroAvia six-seater Piper M-class aircraft completed its maiden flight this week, in another step forward for low and zero-emission flight. The next step will be a flight of between 250 and 300 nautical miles, taking off from the Orkney Islands. [CNBC]

Hydrogen powered plane (ZeroAvia image)

¶ “World Bank Approves $450 Million Loan” • The World Bank has approved a loan of $450 million to support Pakistan’s transition to renewable energy. The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Hydropower and Renewable Energy Development project will help shift the national energy mix in the direction of clean energy resources. [The Express Tribune]

¶ “The Netherlands Publishes A Report Ahead Of A Nuclear Consultation” • The Government of the Netherlands published a report on the potential for future nuclear power. It says a new nuclear plant to come online in the Netherlands in 2040 could be expected to provide electricity at a levelized cost about 40% higher than that of offshore wind. [Power Technology]

Doel nuclear plant (Frédéric Paulussen on Unsplash)


¶ “As Fossil Fuel Jobs Falter, Renewables Come To The Rescue” • From June 2019 through June 2020, US crude oil production fell 38% and natural gas production fell 31%. The unemployment rate in North Dakota rose to 11.3% in June. But fossil fuels aren’t the only energy source the state is rich in. It is prime real estate for wind power. [CBS News]

¶ “Six Graphics Explain The Climate Feedback Loop Fueling US Fires” • Wildfires in the Western US, and around the world, are getting worse. Fires in Oregon, Washington and California for the last month are off the charts compared to previous years – and fire season is still not over. Sadly, are just a preview of what’s to come, as we fritter away time. [CleanTechnica]

Cumulative burned area (World Resources Institute)

¶ “Xcel Energy Blows Away Renewable Energy Record With Its Newest Wind Farm In Colorado” • Xcel Energy set a record for its wind energy thanks to 229 turbines at a $743 million, 500-MW project completed last month. Over one hour, nearly 70% of the electricity Xcel Energy produced in Colorado came from the wind. [Denver Business Journal]

¶ “Too Small For Solar, Rikers Island Could Become NYC’S Renewable Energy Storage Site” • A plan to transform Rikers Island into a renewable energy powerhouse would focus on the island’s capacity for storing power to send to the electrical grid when demand rises, according to a panel of policy experts and New York City officials. [Queens Daily Eagle]

Rikers Island (Seth Wenig | AP)

¶ “Governor Cuomo Announces Opening Of Energy And Nature Education Center at Jones Beach State Park” • Governor Andrew M Cuomo announced the opening of the Jones Beach Energy & Nature Center. The center will educate the public about how energy shapes New York’s natural systems, and how it can help combat climate change. []

¶ “The US DOE Announces $80 Million For Innovative Building Technologies And Practices” • The US DOE has announced the Buildings Energy Efficiency Frontiers & Innovation Technologies 2020 Funding Opportunity Announcement. It is to provide up to $80 million for projects that enhance energy demand flexibility in buildings and the electric power grid. []

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September 25 Energy News

September 25, 2020


¶ “The Growing Danger From Gas Pipelines” • The Merrimack Valley disaster in 2018 is remarkable, not just for its scale, but its timing. It came near the end of a decade in which officials set out to make natural gas pipelines safer. But incidents like the one in Merrimack Valley have actually grown more numerous since 2010, regulator data show. [CleanTechnica]

After a 2018 gas fire (Brocken Inaglory, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Fracking Insanity Fueled By Greedy Wall Street Banks. Wells Fargo Tops The List” • According to a joint report by Oil Change International and the Rainforest Action Network, Wells Fargo loaned the most money to fracking companies of any financial institution since the Paris Climate Accords. The report also finds fault with other banks. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Global Warming Driving California Wildfire Trends – Study” • Climate change is driving the scale and impact of recent wildfires that have raged in California, a study says. The analysis finds an “unequivocal and pervasive” role for global heating in conditions for fires, and California has greater fire risks than it had before humans started altering the climate. [CNN]

Wildfire (Getty Images)

¶ “More Green Hydrogen For The ‘Iron Bird’ Of The Future” • If fossil gas stakeholders hope to fuel a future hydrogen economy, they might want to take a reality check. The US firm Plug Power, which bills itself as the biggest purveyor of mobility-oriented hydrogen fuel cells in the world, has committed itself to a green hydrogen transition. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Total Seals 3.3-GW Spanish Solar Deal” • French energy giant Total has signed an agreement with Spanish company Ignis to develop about 3300 MW of solar projects in Spain. The projects, located near Madrid and in the Andalusia region, are expected to start operations in 2022 with the ambition of putting them all into production in 2025. [reNEWS]

Total solar farm (Total image)

¶ “Solar MD’s South Africa Ramp-Up Shows Demand For Battery Storage Is Growing” • In South Africa, load shedding has been an everyday event for years. But if enough home batteries can be installed, it could help reduce the problem. One company that has been quite active in this market is Solar MD, which is based in Cape Town. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Japan Logs Sharp Rise In Renewable Energy Output Amid Pandemic” • In Japan, overall energy production declined due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but renewable energy production rose so much that its contribution to the country’s overall energy generation is currently in line with the government’s 2030 target, new preliminary figures show. [Asahi Shimbun]

Solar facility in Fukuoka Prefecture (Asahi Shimbun image)

¶ “Port Stephens One Of Three New Hunter Councils To Join Cities Power Partnership And Pledge To Tackle Climate Change” • In New South Wales, Port Stephens Council has strengthened its commitment to tackling climate change by signing up to the Cities Power Partnership, Australia’s largest local government climate network. [Port Stephens Examiner]

¶ “German renewables hits ‘almost 50%’ of consumption” • 48% of Germany’s electricity demand was supplied by renewable energy in the first three quarters of 2020, according to preliminary data. This is up five percentage points from the same period last year. Onshore wind output was up 7%, and offshore wind up 10%, from last year in the first quarter. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (reNEWS image)

¶ “Nuclear Power Is The Most Expensive Form Of Generation, Except For Gas Peaking Plants” • The levelized cost of energy from nuclear power rose from about $117/MWh in 2015 to $155 at last year’s end, the World Nuclear Industry Status Report says. The LCOE for solar PVs fell from $65/MWh to about $49, and for wind it fell from $55 to $41. [pv magazine Australia]


¶ “Canoo Shows Off Its Modular Electric Skateboard” • Canoo, a southern California electric car startup, has a different approach to business than its competitors. It has a modular skateboard that can be configured to accept a number of what the company calls “top hats,” or body styles that can range from delivery vans to sports cars. [CleanTechnica]

Minimal adaptation of the Canoo scateboard (Canoo image)

¶ “Tesla “Pilot” Battery Factory Is The 13th Largest Battery Factory in World” • Tesla revealed that it intends to produce 3 TWh of batteries a year by 2030. The forecast from Benchmark Mineral Intelligence had been less than that for all lithium-ion battery producers combined. One Tesla “pilot plant” would be the world’s 13th largest battery factory. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Dynegy Will Power Chicago’s Willis Tower With Wind Energy” • Dynegy entered into a multi-year partnership with Chicago’s iconic Willis Tower to provide 100% renewable electricity to the Tower. The contract with Dynegy ensures that 100% of Willis Tower’s electricity comes from wind power and assures that costs remain constant. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Loop skyline (J Crocker, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Possibility Of Illinois Reaching 100% Renewable Energy By 2050” • Gov JB Pritzker released his plan for transitioning the state of Illinois to 100% clean energy by 2050. His plan includes eight points, ranging from utility company transparency to a phase out of conventional power. All of this hopes to change Illinois’s energy footprint. [FOX Illinois]

¶ “Ohio AG Files Lawsuit To Stop Money Flowing From HB 6” • Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a civil lawsuit over the recently passed HB 6, which created the Ohio Clean Air Program supporting nuclear energy plants. He asked a court to prevent ratepayer money from going to the companies involved in a federal corruption probe. []

Have a perfectly wonderful day.

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September 24 Energy News

September 24, 2020


¶ “The Six Big Takeaways From Tesla’s Battery Day” • The overall content of the Tesla Battery Day presentation might have been overwhelming for those who do not have a technical background in battery development. Given that, it might be a good idea to “pull the lens back” just a bit and discuss the major takeaways. Here are six. [CleanTechnica]

Elon Musk talks batteries (Source: Tesla)

¶ “The Fully Electric VW ID.4 Is A Direct Assault On Internal Combustion Crossovers” • Overall, the Volkswagen ID.4 was designed from the ground up as a solid competitor in the hot global crossover market. It is taking on popular combustion vehicles, inclluding the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and even Volkswagen’s own Tiguan. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Daring Plan To Save The Arctic Ice With Glass” • As ice in the Arctic melts, it loses the ability to reflect warming sunlight away from the Earth. A California-based non-profit Arctic Ice Project proposes to scatter a thin layer of reflective glass powder over parts of the Arctic, in an effort to protect it from the Sun’s rays and help ice grow back. [BBC]

Arctic Ice (BBC image)


¶ “USAID Is Supporting Four Renewable Energy Projects In Afghanistan” • The Afghan government signed agreements with USAID-funded independent power producers to support four renewable energy projects to increase access to reliable and affordable electricity. The projects will add 110 MW of capacity to the Afghan electricity grid. []

¶ “Greenalia Starts 200-MW Gran Canaria Floater Permitting” • Spanish developer Greenalia has begun development of a 200-MW of floating offshore wind projects off the Spanish island of Gran Canaria. Greenalia has filed project and environmental planning applications for the four 50-MW projects, called Dunas, Mojo, Cardon, and Guanche. [reNEWS]

Floating offshore wind turbine (Credit: Lars Christopher)

¶ “SKF Joins Renewable Energy 100 Initiative” • As part of [Swedish manufacturing company] SKF’s goal to achieve carbon neutrality for their global manufacturing operations by 2030, the company has joined Renewable Energy 100, a global initiative uniting the world’s most influential businesses committed to using 100% renewable electricity. [Agg-Net]

¶ “World’s Operating Nuclear Fleet At 30 Year Low As New Plants Stall” • Some 408 nuclear reactors were operating in 31 countries in July 2020, a decline of 9 units from mid-2019 and 30 fewer than the 2002 peak of 438, the annual World Nuclear Industry Status Report showed. Of the 52 new plants being built globally, at least 33 are behind schedule. [BW Businessworld]

Nuclear power plant (Emmanuel Foudrot | Reuters)


¶ “California Governor Wants All New Cars Sold In The State To Be Zero-Emissions By 2035” • California Gov Gavin Newsom made an executive order requiring that all new passenger cars and trucks sold in the state be zero-emission vehicles by 2035. The transportation sector is responsible for more than half of the state’s carbon pollution. [CNN]

¶ “Forty-Six New Electric Buses In Anaheim Get 20-Year Charging-As-A-Service Agreement” • In a world first, 46 new electric buses for the Anaheim Transportation Network will be charged via a 20-year charging-as-a-service agreement. The transit network for the city of Anaheim  intends to be California’s first all-electric bus fleet. [CleanTechnica]

Anaheim electric bus (Photo courtesy of AMPLY)

¶ “Statewide EVolve NY Charger Network To Expand Use Of Electric Vehicles And Make Fast Charging More Accessible And Convenient” • Governor Andrew M Cuomo announced the unveiling of New York’s first electric vehicle fast-charging hub. Four new Direct Current Fast Chargers are located at Tops Friendly Markets in LaGrangeville. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Proposed Renewable Energy Project For Poland Spring Hollis Plant” • Nestlé Waters North America announced that it intends to build a renewable energy project at its Poland Spring bottling plant in Hollis, Maine. This proposed 10-MW AC (12.97-MW DC) solar energy installation is currently in the permit application process. []

Proposed plant (Credit: Nestlé)

¶ “Tesla Officially Enters The Mining Business” • One of the many details revealed at Tesla’s Battery Day event was that it is planning to build its own cathode factory here in North America. Additionally, Elon Musk’s announcement of 10,000-acre lithium clay deposit in Nevada confirmed that Tesla is officially getting into the mining business. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GE Secures 576 MW Of US Orders From Invenergy” • GE Renewable Energy announced 576 MW of orders from Invenergy for 187 of its 2.X onshore wind turbines. The three contracts will power the equivalent of 160,000 American homes across three US states. GE’s 2-MW product platform has a total of more than 15 GW of installed capacity. [reNEWS]

GE wind turbine (Image: GE Renewable Energy)

¶ “Anthem Signs Solar PPA With SunEnergy1 As It Moves To 100% Renewable Energy By 2025” • Health insurance provider Anthem signed a 15-year power purchase agreement with SunEnergy1, a solar developer, owner, and operator of solar projects. The agreement is for the output from a new 20-MW solar field in Virginia. [Solar Builder]

¶ “Maine Company Looks To Tidal Power As Renewable Energy’s Next Generation” • Ocean Renewable Power Company, based in Portland, Maine, is looking to put itself on the map. It signed a memorandum of understanding with the city of Eastport on a five-year plan to develop a $10 million microgrid with primary power from tidal generation. [Energy News Network]

Have an abundantly fruitful day.

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September 23 Energy News

September 23, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Everything You Need To Know About Tesla’s New 4680 Battery Cell” • Tesla didn’t hold back at Battery Day, announcing a new tabless 4680 cell form factor. The battery has increased energy density, thermal characteristics similar to smaller cells, improved the power-to-weight ratio, and lower cost, with its manufacturing streamlined. [CleanTechnica]

“Jelly roll” (Tesla Battery Day Screenshot)

¶ “New Energy Storage System From Building Blocks, For Coal Power Plants” • A team of researchers at the University of Newcastle has come up with a way to use retired coal plant sites for large scale energy storage systems.  The storage system consists of bricks that can hold energy in the form of heat, then discharge it to run steam turbines. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “China Aims For Carbon Neutrality By 2060” • China will aim to hit peak emissions before 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060, President Xi Jinping announced. Mr Xi outlined the steps when speaking via videolink to the UN General Assembly in New York. China is the world’s biggest source of carbon dioxide, responsible for around 28% of global emissions. [BBC]

This year’s low Arctic sea ice minimum (Getty Images)

¶ “New Data From Norway Shows Rapid Transition From Diesel To Electric” • Things have changed. It used to be that diesel Volkswagen Golfs sold fast in Norway, but not any more. Instead, 97% of new Golfs sold in Norway are electrics. The shift is so dramatic that Volkswagen no longer sells the Golf with a diesel engine in Norway. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Giga Shanghai Could Produce 1 Million Cars Per Year Eventually” • One comment by Elon Musk at Tesla’s 2020 Annual Shareholder Meeting was something the Tesla-oriented writers at CleanTechnica thought was new. He said that Giga Shanghai (Tesla’s factory in Shanghai) could eventually produce a million vehicles a year. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Giga Shanghai (Tesla image)

¶ “Auctions Show Indian Renewables Still Primed For Growth” • The positive outcomes of recent Indian renewables auctions demonstrate that the appetite investors have to back clean energy infrastructure is unabated despite Covid-19 disruption, according to a note from the US-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. [pv magazine India]

¶ “Lightsource BP Acquires 100-MW Spanish Solar Farm” • Solar developer Lightsource BP has acquired a 100-MW solar portfolio in Teruel, Spain from renewables firm Forestalia for a sum that is undisclosed. Under the terms of the sale, both parties will work closely together to progress the projects until they reach financial close and begin construction. [reNEWS]

Solar farm (Image: Lightsource BP)

¶ “Swancor Reveals 4.4-GW Formosa Plans” • Swancor Renewable Energy, backed by affiliates of US-based Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, announced plans to develop a 4.4 GW portfolio of offshore wind projects off the coast of Taiwan. Swancor says the three wind farms could generate enough electricity to power over 4.5 million homes. [4C Offshore]

¶ “Nuclear Plants In Arabian Sea Face Tsunami Risk” • A major tsunami in the northern Arabian Sea could severely impact the coastlines of India and Pakistan, which are studded with sensitive installations including several nuclear plants, according to the author of a study recently published in the journal Pure and Applied Geophysics. [PreventionWeb]

Nuclear power plant (©)


¶ “Musk: Cheaper Tesla Ready ‘in About Three Years'” • At a live presentation that Elon Musk labelled “Battery Day” he also teased the possibility of a $25,000 (£19,600), fully-autonomous Tesla “in about three years time.” He also announced  a battery technology, which will provide five times more energy, six times more power, and 16% greater driving range. [BBC]

¶ “Blackstone Sets Up A $250 Million Fund For Distributed Renewable Projects” • Blackstone announced a $250 million distributed and sustainable energy fund. It plans for investments in microgrids, distributed generation, renewable energy with battery storage, energy efficiency, combined heat and power plants, and green transportation. [Mercom India]

Rooftop solar system

¶ “Shell To Fuel Microsoft With Renewable Power In Net-Zero ‘Alliance’ Deal” • Transitioning oil supermajor Shell is to begin supplying Microsoft with renewables-sourced power to help the IT giant reach its 2025 targets for 100% clean energy. The deal is part of a far-reaching “strategic alliance”, the two companies have announced. [Upstream Online]

¶ “Greenbacker Bags Colorado PV-Storage Project” • Greenbacker Renewable Energy has acquired a pre-operational solar-storage project in Colorado. The Rawhide Prairie Solar project comprises a 29-MW solar facility and a 1.3-MW battery. The project, which is in Larimer County, is expected to reach commercial operation the last quarter of 2020. [reNEWS]

Solar farm (APPA image)

¶ “Solar Wins Big In Project Selection To Advance Maine’s Clean Energy Goals” • Maine’s ambitious goals to build clean energy and address climate change reached an important milestone when the state Public Utilities Commission approved contracts for 17 renewable power projects – largely solar, but also wind, biomass, and hydroelectric. [The Bethel Citizen]

¶ “New York Wraps Up First Community PV-Storage Project” • New York State’s first community solar paired with energy storage project has been completed. IPPsolar installed the 557-kW rooftop solar system and 490 kW of Tesla batteries in Westchester County. The installation will reduce the energy costs for approximately 150 household. [reNEWS]

Have an enthrallingly gorgeous day.

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September 22 Energy News

September 22, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Airbus Wants To Build Zero-Emission Planes By 2035. Here’s How” • Airbus has unveiled its plans for bringing the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft into service by 2035. Boeing’s European rival revealed three aircraft concepts that will explore different options for using hydrogen as a primary source of power to fly planes. [CNN]

Airbus ZEROe blended-wing body design (Airbus image)

¶ “The Arctic Sea Ice Has Shrunk To The Second Lowest Number Ever Recorded, And Scientists Say It Will Get Worse” • Scientists believe the Arctic sea ice, or the floating ice cover of the Arctic Ocean, has reached its minimum extent for the year, after shrinking to the second lowest extent since record-keeping began in 1978. [CNN]


¶ “UK Considers Moving ICE Ban Forward To 2030, May Encourage Small Nuclear Reactors” • The Guardian reports the UK government has a proposal under consideration to bring the existing ban on vehicles powered by gasoline and diesel internal combustion engines forward to 2030. That’s ten years earlier than previously planned. [CleanTechnica]

Citroen Ami electric cars

¶ “Global Wind And Solar Power Electricity Generation Doubled In Last Five Years” • As wind power and solar power grow, it is possible for nations around the world to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and nuclear power. Dave Jones, a Senior Electricity Analyst with EMBER, answered some questions about this trend for CleanTechnica. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nigeria’s Economic Recovery Plan And A Million-Dollar Bet On Renewable Energy” • The Central Bank of Nigeria recently announced plans to strengthen the drive for renewable energy in Nigeria. The initiative, the bank states, is part of the country’s economic sustainability plan, a policy response to the effect of the pandemic. [Techpoint Africa]

Tiny solar-powered microgrid

¶ “Dogger Bank Wind Farm Places Record-Breaking Turbine Order” • Dogger Bank Wind Farm and GE Renewable Energy announced contracts confirming the 13-MW Haliade-X turbine for two phases of the world’s largest offshore wind farm. The order is for 190 Haliade-X 13-MW turbines to be installed off the north-east coast of England. [Sea News]

¶ “Engie Inks Norther Power Offtake” • Engie has signed a power purchase agreement to supply chemicals company Ineos with electricity generated by a portion of the Norther offshore wind farm off Belgium. The 10-year PPA is for 84 MW of capacity and starts on 1 January 2021. The contract will be used for facilities in the port area of ​​Antwerp. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (MHI Vestas image)

¶ “Shell Likely To Increase Focus On Renewable Energy And Power Markets” • Shell is reportedly planning to move its focus towards renewable energy and power markets by cutting 40% of its oil and gas costs. The savings from the strategy will contribute towards Shell’s $4 billion target set after the Covid-19 outbreak, sources said. [Power Technology]

¶ “Coles Inks Deal With CleanCo To Power Queensland Operations With Solar And Wind” • Australian supermarket chain Coles will soon source nearly all of the electricity for its Queensland stores from locally generated solar and wind, after signing a 10-year contract with Queensland’s government-owned generator and retailer CleanCo. [RenewEconomy]

Acciona solar farm, Queensland


¶ “Tropical Storm Beta Makes Landfall In Texas Late Monday Night” • Tropical Storm Beta made landfall near the southern end of the Matagorda Peninsula around 10 pm CDT Monday, according to a special update from the National Hurricane Center. Beta’s slow-moving approach is expected to produce rain over a long period, causing flooding. [CNN]

¶ “All Eyes On New York State’s First-Of-Its-Kind Opt-Out Community Solar Deal” • A new kind of community solar project is brewing in New York State, and if all goes as planned it will lead to more PV installations. Instead of forcing ratepayers to jump through hoops for solar power, it will automatically put solar credits onto their utility bills. [CleanTechnica]

Modes of community solar for New York (US DOE image)

¶ “Climate Clock Goes Live In New York City” • The Metronome that hangs in Union Square, New York City, usually shows the hours, minutes and seconds between midnight yesterday and midnight today. Now, two artists and a team of makers and scientists have reprogrammed it to show how much time is left to deal with climate change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hawaiian Electric To Quit Coal Power And Add Solar And Battery Storage” • Hawaiian Electric, the primary provider of electricity to the Hawaiian Islands, has submitted contracts for new solar and storage projects that will end the use of coal on the Islands and represent 300 MW of solar energy and nearly 2 GWh of energy storage. [RenewEconomy]

Kohala coast, Hawaii (George, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “The RPM Act – How A Multi-Billion Dollar Industry Is Trying To Ruin Our Air” • Aftermarket parts manufacturers and dealers, under their trade association, are fighting for passage of the Recognizing Protection of Motorsports Act, a bill which would cripple EPA’s ability to go after people who tamper with vehicle emissions controls. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “PepsiCo To Source 100% Renewable Electricity By 2030” • PepsiCo has plans to source 100% renewable electricity across all of its company-owned and controlled operations globally by 2030, and across its franchise and third-party operations by 2040. The transition could to reduce about 2.5 million tonnes of GHG emissions by 2040. [Plastics in Packaging]

Have a gracefully well-planned day.

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September 21 Energy News

September 21, 2020


¶ “Climate Intelligence Is Business Intelligence” • Politicization of climate change is clouding public perspective on the subject. Nevertheless, some leaders in the “real economy” are aligning with policymakers and civil society on the urgency of quickly slowing humanity’s contribution to accelerating climate change. We have a tool to support that. [CleanTechnica]

Solar system at Disney World (Cynthia Shahan, CleanTechnica)

¶ “Trump Vs TikTok Teenagers Doesn’t Help The Americans Displaced By Climate Change” • Trump’s war on TikTok has been odd to watch, and it just shows that he is more concerned about Gen Z-ers hating him than he is about Americans who lost their homes in the California wildfires or the hurricane-slammed people of Lake Charles. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Is The World Approaching Green Architecture All Wrong?” • Instead of focusing on mitigating and reducing emissions, two architects based in Miami, Andrés Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, propose a shift to a new type of green architecture where adaptation and resilience readies communities for the changes wrought by the climate crisis. [CleanTechnica]

Green architecture (Image retrieved from

¶ “New Peer-Reviewed Study Shows Climate Change Impact Reduction By Making EV Batteries From Deep-Sea Rocks” • Research published in the Journal of Cleaner Production shows a carbon footprint reduction for minerals that are critical for EV batteries of up to 90%, if they come from deep-sea polymetallic nodules. [Renewable Energy Magazine]


¶ “While Decisionmakers Quarrel, Danes Just Buy Electric Vehicles” • The latest numbers on the Danes’ hunger for electric vehicles suggests that the revolution is well underway, without any change in the country’s policies. According to the Danish Motorist Association FDM, sales of vehicles with a plug are surging more than expected. [CleanTechnica]

Audi e-tron display (Photo: Jesper Berggreen)

¶ “World Split On Urgency Of Tackling Rising Temperatures, Poll Suggests” • There’s growing concern among citizens all over the world about climate change, a new global poll shows. But while big majorities in poorer countries want to address climate change with the same vigour as Covid-19, support for swift action is more muted in rich countries. [BBC]

¶ “Alberta Could Lead Canada In Wind And Solar Power By 2025” • Growth in Alberta’s renewable energy sector should continue its upward trend, experts say, with one forecast anticipating a surge of projects that could have the province poised to be the Canadian leader in utility-scale wind and solar capacity as soon as 2025. []

Solar farm with pump jack (Kyle Bakx | CBC)

¶ “Direct Current Microgrids To Be Tested In Europe’s Power System” • The potential of DC microgrids to advance Europe’s green energy ambitions will be shown in the project TIGON. The project is focussed on deploying DC-based grid architectures that can improve the reliability and resilience of a decentralized, renewables-based system. [Smart Energy]

¶ “Museum Memorializing Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Opens In Futaba” • A museum that archives and exhibits items related to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster opened Sunday in the northeastern Japan town that hosts the stricken power plant, helping to preserve memories and pass on lessons to future generations. [Kyodo News Plus]

Fukushima museum in Futaba (KYODO image)

¶ “Greece Breaks National And European Renewable Energy Records” • On September 14th, according to WindEurope, the wind provided 40% of Greece’s energy, the highest percentage covered by wind power in Europe. National data showed that wind, solar, and hydroelectric sources provided for 57% of the country’s needs on that day. [Greek Reporter]


¶ “Wildfires, Coronavirus And An Earthquake Collided For California’s Terrible Week” • The Golden State has been trying to contain the summer’s surge of coronavirus cases while dozens of wildfires burn and smoke is making it hard to breathe. Then, as if there were not enough crises colliding, Southern California had an earthquake. [CNN]

Covid-19 testing (Kevin Winter | Getty Images)

¶ “Nuvve And Blue Bird Combine To Create Electric School Buses That Are V2G Enabled” • Nuvve Corporation, based in San Diego, and Blue Bird, the largest US school bus supplier, joined to produce electric school buses equipped with vehicle-to-grid technology. America has 480,000 school buses, and they could make up a huge virtual power plant. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Michigan’s New House Bill 6233 Wants To Ban EV Automakers From Doing Business” • Michigan politicians are trying to block any new EV makers from doing business in the state. The “Motor Vehicle Franchise Act” was created specifically to block Tesla from doing business there, an obvious favor to the state’s car dealerships. [CleanTechnica]

Rivian R1T (Ben Moon | Rivian)

¶ “72% Of Impossible Burger Sales Displace Animal-Derived Foods” • The increase of plant-based burgers in grocery stores across the US has produced a surprisingly new trend: most sales of the plant-based Impossible Burger come at the expense of animal-derived meat. That data comes from the analytics company Numerator. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Companies Ask Insurers To Say No To Fossil-Fuel And Support Renewable Businesses” • Sixty US companies, including Unilever, Patagonia, and Ben & Jerry’s, told insurers in a letter, “As insurance customers, we are expressing our desire for insurance coverage … that isn’t tied to supporting fossil fuels and actively supports renewable energy.” [Mercom India]

Have a memorably lovely day.

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September 20 Energy News

September 20, 2020


¶ “Clearly, Biden Has Grasp On Threat Climate Change Poses” • There is near universal consensus among scientists that human activity is warming the planet. While Trump has dismissed man-made climate change as a “hoax,” Biden has put forward a $2 trillion plan to have the electricity sector free of carbon pollution by 2035. [San Antonio Express-News]

Refinery at Port Arthur, Texas (Photo: Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg)

¶ “Can Biden Decarbonize The US Power Sector In 15 Years?” • Is it feasible to completely decarbonize the power sector by 2035? A recent report by Wood Mackenzie mentioned that the US is currently on a path that would achieve 87% clean energy in the US power grid by 2050. Recent history suggests that the target is not totally unrealistic. []

¶ “A Climate Reckoning Is Coming, We Can Address It” • We will deal with the problems that climate change creates, and we will emerge at the other end. The real question is how well we deal with it and in what shape we emerge. Climate change impacts are already here, and we’re dealing with them poorly, but renewables are now cheap. [San Antonio Express-News]

Wind farm in Texas (Photo: CPS Energy)

¶ “How The Oil Industry Made Us Doubt Climate Change” • In 1981, an Exxon scientist created one of the first computer models that predicted the effects of man-made climate change. With his work, and work of others like him, Exxon continued for decades to say publically that scientists did not know. Now they are being sued for their deception. [BBC]

Science and Technology:

¶ “This Wireless Power Technology Could Change New Zealand’s Transmission System” • Emrod, a technology startup based in New Zealand, announced that it had developed new long-range, high-powered wireless power transmission technology that could substitute existing copper lines. It uses electromagnetic waves to transfer power over long distances. [Mercom India]

Wireless technology (Emrod image)

¶ “With Solid State Energy Storage, Oil-Rich Texas Hits Clean Tech Trifecta” • If all goes according to plans laid out by the startup EnergyX, Texas will lay claim to birthing disruptive solid state energy storage technology that shepherds more renewables onto the grid while making electric vehicles go farther, charge faster, and cost less. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Cyclone Ianos: Two Dead As ‘Medicane’ Sweeps Across Greece” • Hundreds of people were trapped in flooded buildings as Cyclone Ianos, a Mediterranean hurricane, a type of storm called a “medicane,” battered areas north of Athens. Medicanes, tropical-like cyclones, have been categorised by meteorologists only in the past 40 years. [BBC]

Battered boat in Kefalonia (Reuters image)

¶ “Uber Is Working With Renault And Nissan To Electrify Transport In Europe” • Top app-based taxi companies Uber and Lyft have been making strong strides toward electrification. And thank goodness! When Lyft and Uber drivers switch to electric cars, they cut pollution 3 times more than when a normal driver switches to an electric car. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “First DEEP Geothermal Well In Saskatchewan Exceeds Expectations” • Deep Earth Energy Production is a Canadian company that wants to use the hot water located beneath the Deadwood Formation in Saskatchewan to produce geothermal energy. The temperature of the brine sequestered beneath the surface averages 122° C. [CleanTechnica]

DEEP geothermal operation in Saskatchewan (DEEP image)

¶ “Wind Energy Is The Cheapest Renewable Source In Brazil” • The cheapest renewable generation in Brazil is wind energy, according to a survey undertaken by the Electric Power Chamber of Commerce, which analyzed five years of data. The cost of windpower has fallen from R$231/MWh (4.3¢/kWh) in 2016 to R$195/MWh (3.6¢/kWh) today. [REVE]


¶ “Wildfire-Weary Californians, ‘Tired Of This Being Normal,’ Consider Uprooting Their Lives” • It’s not just the nearly 7,900 wildfires that have consumed more than 3.4 million acres and claimed 26 lives in California that have Arthur Gies looking online for a New York apartment. He realized this is not the new normal, but a prelude for what’s coming. [CNN]

Wildfire (Nancy Hamilton | Golden Eagle Films)

¶ “Tesla Giga Texas Will Be Colossal, Plans Start Trickling Out” • Tesla is planning to create not just another Gigafactory in Austin, but a massive one. For weeks, construction has been going on to build the $1.1 billion factory. And just recently, Tesla filed a site plan that gives us a glimpse of just how large this new factory will be. It will be gigantic. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NJ Solar Project Designed To Keep Natural Gas Pipeline Flowing To Be Completed This Fall” • The Lambertville Solar Project will provide power for a compressor station to keep natural gas flowing in the Texas Eastern Transmission Pipeline. The 8,835 mile pipeline moves natural gas from Texas and Louisiana to the Northeast. [] (Demented)

Lambertville Solar Project (Courtesy of Enbridge)

¶ “Rivian Completes Hot Weather Towing Test Of Its R1T Electric Pickup Truck” • The Society of Automotive Engineers has an official protocol for measuring towing capacity. A vehicle must tow a trailer up a steep grade on Arizona over a route 11.4 miles long, when the temperature is at least 100°F, maintaining at least 40 mph. Rivian had a pickup do it. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Utah Lawmakers Seek Details On Planned Nuclear Plant In Idaho” • With the date approaching for cities to choose whether to maintain commitments, Utah lawmakers are seeking more details on NuScale Power’s Small Modular Reactor plant. The project is 30% subscribed, and some cities that had interest in it have said they are stepping away. [Deseret News]

Have an inconceivably worthwhile day.

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September 19 Energy News

September 19, 2020


¶ “How Does The US Retire 236 GW Of Coal And 1,000 Gas Peaker Plants?” • We’ve reached a massive milestone in the global energy transition. Right now, American renewable energy sources and energy storage have the ability to match or beat the price of power from natural gas-fired peaker plants and coal-fired generators. [pv magazine USA]

Moss Landing, now a battery site (David Monniaux, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Shocking News! Plug-In Hybrids Are No Damn Good If You Don’t Plug Them In!” • Greenpeace, together with Transport and Environment, conducted a study of how plug-in hybrid cars are used in real world driving. They came to the startling conclusion that plug-in hybrids are no damn good at lowering emissions if drivers don’t plug them in. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Having Killed Coal, US Department Of Energy Aims Energy Storage Dart At Gas & Oil” • Under the watchful eye of President Trump, the US coal industry died, thanks partly to the US DOE’s pursuit of clean tech. Now, the DOE is taking aim at Oil & Gas, as it gives funding to Natron Energy’s low-cost sodium-ion energy storage into mass production. [CleanTechnica]

Natron Energy technology (Natron Energy image, cropped)


¶ “China Seeking To Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions And Increase Use Of Renewable Energy” • China, the world’s biggest polluter, is considering plans to move towards more clean energy over the next five years in an effort to reduce its GHG emissions. Government leaders will meet to develop a comprehensive energy strategy. [International Business Times]

¶ “BP’s Plan To Dominate The Solar Industry” • BP is on track to be a very different energy company by 2030, with a massive portfolio of renewables. Today, the oil-turning-energy giant has 16 GW of solar energy in the pipeline. That’s enough to rival even the world’s biggest solar operator, China’s State Power Investment Corp. [Business Insider] (Scroll down.)

Lightsource BP’s floating PVs (Lightsource BP via Reuters)

¶ “EU Raises Emissions Reduction Goal Following Renewables Progress” • The EU has raised its 2030 emissions reduction target by 15 percentage points after solid levels of renewable energy deployment mean the bloc is on track surpass its previous goal. A plan was put forward to reduce emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. [PV-Tech]

¶ “Mühleberg Plant Enters Permanent Decommissioning Stage” • The Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate announced that the operating licence of the 373-MW Mühleberg nuclear power plant has been replaced with a decommissioning order. The boiling water reactor at the Mühleberg nuclear plant went into operation in 1972. [World Nuclear News]

Fuel rod storage at Mühleberg nuclear plant (Image: BKW)


¶ “American Lung Association: Switch To EVs By 2045 Could Save 6,300 American Lives” • A study from the American Lung Association, Road to Clean Air, showed that if Americans would electrify their transportation, it could save $72 billion in health costs and 6,300 lives [annually]. It could also prevent 93,000 asthma attacks. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “San Diego Gets Largest Airport Electric Shuttle Deployment” • ACE Parking has received 18 electric shuttle buses for the San Diego International Airport, and another 11 are due to arrive by the end of 2020. This is the largest electric shuttle order for an airport in US history according to Endera, the EV company supplying the electric shuttles. [CleanTechnica]

Electric shuttle at San Diego (Endera image)

¶ “Amazon Makes Major Investment In Redwood Materials” • JB Straubel, who was the CTO at Tesla for many years, knows a lot about batteries. He has created a new company called Redwood Materials that he describes as a “Gigafactory in reverse,” meaning it is designed to recover most of the raw materials needed to make lithium-ion batteries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Icebreaker Offered Night-Time Shutdown Lifeline” • Ohio Power Siting Board has given a lifeline to the 21-MW Icebreaker offshore wind farm on Lake Erie. The board voted in favour of drafting an amendment to remove the night-time shutdown clause in the OPSB’s approval of the project. The revised ruling has yet to be drafted and voted on. [reNEWS]

Simulated image of wind farm (LEEDCo image)

¶ “Politics Disrupts San Diego’s Pursuit Of An Energy Transition Partner Amid Dissatisfaction With SDG&E” • Conflict among city leaders over San Diego’s energy future has left potential bidders for rights to be the city’s utility, including incumbent San Diego Gas and Electric and Berkshire Hathaway Energy, wondering what to offer. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Colorado Springs Utilities And juwi Sign Power Purchase Agreement For One Of The Largest Battery Storage Projects In Colorado” • Boulder-based juwi Inc and Colorado Springs Utilities announced they signed a power purchase agreement for a 175-MW solar project coupled with a 25 MW, four-hour battery energy storage system. [Utility Dive]

Once completed in 2023, the Pike Solar Project could look like this.

¶ “Anthem Signs 15-Year PPA On 20-MW Virginia Solar Project” • Insurance provider Anthem has committed to a 15-year power purchase agreement with SunEnergy1, a US solar developer, owner and operator of utility-scale solar projects, for the output from a new 182-acre, 20-MW solar field located in Hanover County, Virginia. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Easton Announces New Electricity Program With Lower Rate” • Following approval of a community aggregation plan at town meeting, Easton, Massachusetts, has announced a municipally approved electricity program that strives to secure lower costs for residents and small business owners and includes a 100% green product option. [Wicked Local Easton]

Have a fascinatingly untroubled day.

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September 18 Energy News

September 18, 2020


¶ “The Climate Alarms Are Blaring – Are People Not Hearing Them?” • One has to wonder – are we unable to perceive the climate’s warning signs? As human beings, we have the ability to learn that for every action, there is a reaction. However, it seems that we as a species are choosing to be ignorant, pretending that we aren’t destroying the planet. [CleanTechnica]

Air quality (James from D7 via Twitter)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Electric Ford F-150 Will Offer Fleets Game-Changing 40% Lower Cost Of Operation” • The electric F-150, which is to go into production in mid-2022, will have more power and torque than its gasoline-powered counterparts. Ford also promises lower costs for the new F-150, with a total cost of ownership far lower than its combustion competition. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “You Need To Know About Nitrogen Pollution” • Farmers apply nitrogen to the soil in the form of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer. Roughly half of the synthetic nitrogen fertilizer goes unused by the crop and is lost to waterways, where it feeds harmful algae instead of crops and results in red tides and hypoxic dead zones. And that is just for starters. [CleanTechnica]

Farming (Screenshot from Pivot Bio media)


¶ “EU Recharges Climate Plan But Risks Letting Countries Off The Hook On Transport” • Clean transport group Transport & Environment welcomed the European Commission’s new CO₂ targets that include phase-out of engine cars and action on cleaning up ships and planes. But  is not happy with inclusion of road transport in the EU carbon market. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EU Parliament Tells VdL To Make Shipping Polluters Pay” • The European Parliament voted for ships to be required by EU law to cut their carbon emissions. MEPs said that for the first time shipping industry polluters must pay for their emissions in the EU carbon market. The requirements will come into effect gradually to 2030. [CleanTechnica]

Estraden Norsepower hybrid shipping vessel
(Image used with permission of Norsepower)

¶ “Rising Gas Prices Sway Asia’s Power Generators Toward Renewables” • Renewable energy generation in Asian countries may accelerate if, as expected, gas becomes a more expensive fuel for power generation in the years ahead. Liquefied natural gas prices have doubled to $4 per million BTU from a record market low in June. [Stockhead]

¶ “Teck Copper Mine In Chile Switches To Renewable Energy” • Teck Resources has signed a long-term agreement that will provide its Carmen de Andacollo copper operation in central Chile with 100% renewable power, eliminating 200,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually, the equivalent of taking 40,000 cars off the road. [The Northern Miner]

Carmen de Andacollo copper operation (Credit: Teck Resources)

¶ “Rajasthan Could Add 22.6 GW Of New Renewable Energy Capacity To The Grid Within A Decade” • The Indian state of Rajasthan could add 22.6 GW of renewable energy to the grid by the end of FY2029-30, according to a report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. This would include 18 GW of new solar capacity. [pv magazine India]

¶ “‘No Higher Cost Energy’: Nuclear Has Drained Germany Of More Than €1 Trillion To Date” • Development of the nuclear energy industry has led to more than €1 trillion ($1.18 trillion) in costs to the German society, and is wrongly portrayed as an inexpensive power source, according to a study by the Forum for an Ecological-Social Market Economy. [Recharge]

Grafenrheinfeld nuclear plant (Sean Gallup | Getty Images)


¶ “Solar Power Costs Dropped Dramatically In 2018” • According the US Energy Information Administration, data from 2018 show annual capacity-weighted average construction costs for new US utility-scale solar PV and onshore wind systems continued to fall. They contrasted with natural gas generator costs, which declined only slightly. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Rain May Help Fight Wildfires In Oregon, But May Bring Other Problems” • Twelve fires have destroyed over 938,000 acres in Oregon, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. But there are flash flood watches posted for some areas where the vegetation has been stripped by the fire, and the rains could bring mudslides. [CNN]

Oregon (Amanda Ray | Yakima Herald-Republic | AP)

¶ “NRDC And Partners Go To Court On EPA’s Methane Surrender” • NRDC is going to court, with environmental and state partners, to stop the EPA’s dangerous rollback of methane emissions standards in its tracks. We’re asking the US Court of Appeals in Washington, DC, for an order blocking the EPA rollback from going forward. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Boeing, SRP Enter Into Renewable Energy Agreement For Mesa Campus” • Boeing and the Salt River Project utility have signed a multi-year agreement to power Boeing’s Mesa, Arizona, site with renewable solar energy. Boeing’s Mesa site will receive about 25% of its electricity needs from this plant over the next 15 years. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Solar farm (SRP image)

¶ “‘Game-Changer’ FERC Order Opens Up Wholesale Grid Markets To Distributed Energy Resources” • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has passed a long-awaited order to open up the country’s wholesale energy markets to distributed energy resources like rooftop solar, behind-the-meter batteries and electric vehicles. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Cuomo Proposes Regulations To Speed Up Renewable Siting, Construction” • New York Gov Cuomo announced proposed regulations to implement the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act. The draft regulatory framework will greatly speed up siting and construction of major renewable energy projects. [Solar Industry]

Have an entertainingly serene day.

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September 17 Energy News

September 17, 2020


¶ “How Scotland’s Green Hydrogen Plan Crushes The Fossil Hydrogen Dream” • Scotland has come up with a plan to pivot its vast wind power riches and other renewables in the service of producing the zero emission hydrogen fuel and other sustainable hydrogen products. Green hydrogen fuel can be made when demand for electricity is low. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind turbines (Courtesy of Scottish Power Renewables)

¶ “Stronger, Cheaper, Smarter: Can Coalition Ignore Benefits Of A Renewables-Led Recovery Plan?” • A Covid recovery plan based around wind, solar and energy efficiency would deliver a stronger economic recovery for Australia, with higher living standards, lower unemployment, and contained government debt, an analysis found. [RenewEconomy]

Science and Technology:

¶ “This Marine Biologist Wants To Use The World’s Toughest Corals To Save Dying Reefs” • The Earth’s coral reefs support a quarter of the world’s marine life, but half of them are gone. Some scientists fear climate change could wipe out all of what is left of them by 2100, but marine biologist Emma Camp believes we can still save what remains. [CNN]

Emma Camp studying corals (© Franck Gazzola | Rolex)

¶ “Volocopter Opens World’s First Electric Air Taxi Flight Reservations” • Volocopter opened up reservations for the first commercial electric air taxi rides in an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. The “VoloFirst,” as the company is calling one of these planned rides, will cost about $300 and can be reserved for 10% of that, $30. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Regulator Says Corporate Demand Is To Push Australia Renewables To 30% By Year End” • According to a report from the Clean Energy Regulator, Australia is on track to increase its total share of renewable electricity generation to 30% by the end of 2020. The market for corporate power purchase agreements is a big driver for added capacity. [RenewEconomy]

Sheep and solar power (Neoen image)

¶ “Reaching Energy And Climate Goals Demands A Dramatic Scaling Up Of Clean Energy Technologies” • A major effort to develop and deploy clean energy is urgently needed to meet energy and climate goals, especially to reduce carbon emissions from such areas as transport, buildings, and industry, according to an IEA report. [Modern Diplomacy]

¶ “Scott Morrison’s ‘Gas-Led Recovery’: What Is It And Will It Really Make Energy Cheaper?” • Australia’s prime minister announced that expanding the use of gas natural beyond its use in electricity generation, for heating and as feedstock in some manufacturing, is central to plans to restore a strong economy after the coronavirus recession. [The Guardian]

Gas flare (Angus Mordant | Reuters)

¶ “GreenYellow Supplying More Renewable Power To Brazilian Telcos” • French energy solutions firm GreenYellow is expanding its renewable energy footprint in the Brazilian telecom industry. Telco Oi, based in Rio de Janeiro, signed a R$44 million ($8.38 million) contract with GreenYellow. The project includes leasing capacity from PV plants. [BNamericas English]

¶ “Excelsior Wind Farm Connects To South Africa’s Power Grid” • The 33-MW Excelsior wind farm, located in the Western Cape province, is now connected to the South African power grid, having commissioned its thirteen wind turbines. The developer, BioTherm Energy, noted that this is the first wind farm in the Western Cape. [ESI Africa]

Turbine in the Excelsior wind farm (BioTherm Energy image)

¶ “Renewable Energy In Chile Gets More Attractive With Its Major Capacity Build-Up During 2019-30, Says GlobalData” • The Chilean renewable capacity is around 47% of the capacity mix, with the rest being fossil fuels. Chile is expected to see a major increase in renewables by 2030, to reach over 70% of the capacity, says GlobalData. []


¶ “Hurricane Sally: Deadly Storm Leaves 550,000 Without Power In US” • Tropical Storm Sally has left more than half a million Americans without power as its torrential rains and storm surges lashed the US Gulf coast. The storm has brought “four months of rain in four hours” to Pensacola, Florida, that city’s fire chief Ginny Cranor told CNN. [BBC]

Overturned truck in Mobile, Alabama (Reuters image)

¶ “Some Of Glacier National Park’s Glaciers Have Lost As Much As 80% Of Their Size In The Last 50 Years” • Glacier National Park, one of America’s original 10 national parks, could lose its glaciers completely within decades. What would the park look like in the next century then, without the glaciers that feed the wildlife, farms and people who depend on it? [CNN]

¶ “General Motors To Produce Its Own Electric Drivetrain Components And Motors” • Tesla has bucked the conventional wisdom of the car industry by building many of the parts that go into its vehicles itself. Now GM says it wants to do the same thing with the electric vehicles it builds. Its Ultium brand will be on a number of drive trains. [CleanTechnica]

GM EVgo3 (General Motors image)

¶ “Scientific American Endorses A Presidential Candidate For First Time In Its 175 Year History” • Scientific American is the oldest continuously published magazine in the US. For 175 years, it has provided its readers with news and information about the world of science. It never allowed itself to stray into politics, until now. It endorsed Joe Biden. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Olivia Campbell-Andersen: Renewables Increase Resilience” • Here in Vermont, we spend around $1.5 billion per year to buy out-of-state fossil fuels. If we invested those dollars in efficient local renewable energy, Vermont families would net $323 million per year. This is the equivalent of every Vermonter saving $518 every year. [Brattleboro Reformer]

Have an inexpressibly awesome day.

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September 16 Energy News

September 16, 2020


¶ “US West Coast Fires: Is Trump Right To Blame Forest Management?” • President Trump has sought to highlight forest management rather than climate change as the key factor explaining the wildfires burning across California, Oregon, and Washington. But most of the forests in those states are owned by the federal government. [BBC]

First the fire, then grieving (Getty Images)

¶ “Renewable Energy Continues To Eat Away At Fossil Fuel Dominance” • Recent data and analyses suggest that renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power and increased penetration of EVs are becoming increasingly competitive with the dominant energy sources of the 20th century, oil, coal, and natural gas. []

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Himalayan Invention Powered By Pine Needles” • In the western Himalayas, a local inventor discovered an unusual use for pine needles that is reviving the local economy, and the forest floor. Instead of being a fire hazzard and making the forest floor inhospitable to many species, the pine needles are providing jobs and generating electricity. [BBC]

Himalayan landscape (© Alamy)

¶ “The Climate Crisis Could Be Making Hurricane Sally Worse. Here’s How” • Scientists believe global warming is influencing hurricanes and making their impacts worse. And Hurricane Sally looks to be checking all their boxes. Hurricanes are intensifying faster, moving more slowly, and producing more rain than they had before climate change. [CNN]


¶ “First Floating Solar Power Plant In Belgium Goes Up With 17,250 Floating Solar Panels” • The floating solar technology choice has been growing and growing, with both larger and larger plants and broader application, including geographically. The latest country to add a floating solar power plant is Belgium, home of the European Commission. [CleanTechnica]

New floating PV plant in Belgium (Photo courtesy of Sibelco)

¶ “The World Set A 2020 Deadline To Save Nature But Not A Single Target Was Met, UN Report Says” • In 2010, leaders from 196 countries gathered together in Japan and agreed on the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, goals to save the Earth. We’ve reached the deadline, and the world has collectively failed to fully achieve a single goal, a report from the UN says. [CNN]

¶ “Sudan: Unlocking Renewable Energy To Expand Energy Access” • The UN Development Programme released a roadmap to unlock the potential of Sudan’s renewable energy and expand energy access. The roadmap was developed through a series of consultations organised by the UNDP, which were requested by the Republic of Sudan. [ESI Africa]

Solar power in Sudan (Image: UNDP)

¶ “Federal Government Fast Tracks Three Energy Projects” • The Australian Federal Government has fast-tracked three energy projects: Marinus Link, Project Energy Connect interconnector, and Victoria to New South Wales Interconnector. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said they would creating over 5,000 jobs, reduce prices, and keep the grid reliable. [Energy Magazine]

¶ “Scottish Green Hydrogen Scheme Gears Up To Fuel Ferries, Buses And Trains” • Scottish Power’s wind and solar farms will soon help produce green hydrogen to run buses, ferries, and even trains as part of a pioneering strategic partnership to develop the UK’s nascent hydrogen economy. Hydrogen can be used in place of natural gas. [The Guardian]

Whitelee windfarm (Photo: Murdo MacLeod | The Guardian)

¶ “Mike Cannon-Brookes Ready To Take On PM’s Energy Challenge – Without A Gas-Fired Plant” • After Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Government would pursue a gas-fired power station unless the energy industry came up with a way to generate 1,000 MW of power, Mike Cannon-Brookes said he could do that, without natural gas. [ABC News]

¶ “Hitachi Scraps Plans For £20 Billion Nuclear Power Plant At Wylfa Newydd On Anglesey” • Plans for a £20 billion nuclear power plant on Anglesey in north Wales have been scrapped, the developers behind the project have confirmed. Horizon Nuclear Power said it will cease its activities to develop a project at Wylfa Newydd. [ITV News]

Nuclear plant (Credit: ITV Wales)


¶ “What’s The Secret Sauce Behind New “Forever” Solar Panels?” • Violet Power, a startup based in Oregon, looks to build the first modern, integrated PV factory in the US, producing both solar components and finished solar panels instead of relying on imported components. The company said it will back its PVs with by a 50-year warranty. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Duke University Buys 101 MW Of Solar From Duke Energy” • Under the terms of a deal with Duke Energy, Duke University will purchase roughly 101 MW of solar capacity from three solar facilities in North Carolina. That power, combined with other efforts, is projected to result in a 69% reduction in the university’s carbon emissions by 2022. [pv magazine USA]

Duke University (Duke University image)

¶ “Minnesota Clean Cars Will Save Money & Cut Pollution, New Study Shows” • An independent consultant report confirmed that Minnesota’s efforts to adopt a clean cars program will cut air pollution significantly, benefit public health, and save consumers money. The study is a step for Minnesota to join 14 other states that have clean cars programs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Developer Turns Sod On 200 MW Of Texas Storage” • Broad Reach Power has started constructing 200 MW of battery storage capacity in Texas. The two 100-MW projects will supply power in the ERCOT wholesale power market. BRP expects to have a total of 100 MW online in the state by year-end and 350 MW online in 2021. [reNEWS]

Have a stupendously useful day.

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September 15 Energy News

September 15, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Atlantic Remains Busy As Sally Gets Stronger” • There were five named storms in the Atlantic on Monday before Rene dissapated. This is only the second time on record this has happened. Hurricane Sally strengthened Monday evening to a Category 2 hurricane as it makes its way towards a landfall late Tuesday or early Wednesday. [WLTX]

Messy weather (Credit: WLTX)

¶ “Reducing Emissions From Cement And Steel Production” • Combined, the cement and steel industries, both central to the construction industry, produce about 15% of the world’s CO₂ emissions. The opportunities to lower the amount of CO₂ they create are significant. Fortunately, leaders in both industries are finding new ways to do that. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Where Does The Heat Go?” • Reporting in the journal Earth System Science Data, the group of over 30 researchers from world scientific institutions tracked and quantified global heat storage from 1960 to 2018 to answer the question, “Where does the heat go?” The new study represents the most accurate, state-of-the-art heat inventory study to date. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.


¶ “Green Paradox: Green New Deal To Boost Kepco’s Role In Renewable Energy Market” • The ruling Democratic Party of Korea recently prepared a bill to allow Korea Power Corp to directly generate electricity with renewable energy sources as part of ways to foster President Moon Jae-in’s Green New Deal initiative. [The Korea Herald]

¶ “Lithuanian Crew Selects Ocean Winds For Offshore Bid” • Lithuanian energy company Ignitis Group selected Engie and EDPR joint venture Ocean Winds as a strategic partner to develop up to 700 MW of offshore wind farms off the coast of Lithuania. The partners plan to participate in the first auctions for offshore wind in Lithuania. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind construction (EDPR image)

¶ “Google To Create Easier Renewable Power Purchase Pathways” • Google, in a recent update on its climate action efforts, revealed that it aims to run all of its data centers and corporate campuses worldwide on entirely carbon-free power by 2030. It said it has brought its lifetime net carbon footprint to zero by using “high-quality” carbon offsets. [pv magazine International]

¶ “DNV GL To Lead UK Offshore Grid Project” • National Grid ESO has picked DNV GL to lead an offshore transmission project in the UK. The Offshore Coordination Project aims to “advise and shape the future national strategy” to develop the offshore grid in Great Britain. The UK has an installed capacity of over 10 GW of offshore windpower. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Nicholas Doherty | Unsplash)

¶ “Renewable Energy Surges In EU Power Mix On Trajectory To Reach 60% By 2030” • Renewable energy’s share of the power generation mix across the EU surged by almost 10 percentage points to 40% during the first half of 2020, and it could reach as much as 60% by the end of the decade, according to European utility federation Eurelectric. [Recharge]

¶ “China Ditches US Nuclear Technology In Favour Of Home-Grown Alternative” • China has switched from the American AP1000 nuclear technology, designed by Westinghouse Electric Company, to Hualong One, a domestically developed alternative. This comes as worries over geopolitical uncertainties and energy security increase. [South China Morning Post]

Chinese nuclear reactor (Photo: Xinhua)


¶ “Trump Baselessly Questions Climate Science During California Wildfire Briefing” • President Trump asserted that climate change is not playing a role in the catastrophic wildfires overtaking forests across the west, contradicting an official briefing him who pleaded with him to listen to the science. He said the main problem is forest management. [CNN]

¶ “Renewables Sector Saw Gradual Job Growth In August, With Employment Still 14% Below Pre-Pandemic Levels” • The clean energy sector continues to feel the pain of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the economy, adding just 13,600 jobs in August. Overall losses since the pandemic’s start hover just under half a million at 490,341. [Morning Consult]

Work at a solar farm (Getty Images)

¶ “Climate Change Denier Hired For Top Position At NOAA” • David Legates, a University of Delaware professor of climatology who has rejected the scientific consensus that human activity is causing climate change, confirmed with NPR this weekend that he was hired as NOAA’s deputy assistant secretary of commerce for observation and prediction. [Yahoo News]

¶ “Groups Say Duke Energy’s 15-Year Plan Fails To Lower Costs, Address Climate Change” • Environmental and social justice groups say a new 15-year energy plan filed this month by Duke Energy doesn’t do enough to keep down costs for low-income customers or to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy. [WFAE]

Duke Energy natural gas plant (Duke Energy image)

¶ “Daimler To Pay $1.5 Billion Over Emissions Cheat Claims In US” • German carmaker Daimler, which owns Mercedes-Benz, has agreed to pay $1.5 billion (£1.2 billion) to resolve the US government’s claims that it designed its diesel vehicles to cheat air pollution tests. US officials said they hoped the fine would deter future misbehaviour. [BBC]

¶ “Report: 47 US States Could Meet 100% Of Electricity Needs Using In-State Renewables” • A report from the ILSR, “Energy Self-Reliant States 2020: The Third Edition,” has mapped out the state-by-state renewable generation potential of rooftop solar, onshore and offshore wind, conventional geothermal, and small hydro. [CleanTechnica]

Have a magnificently happy day.

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September 14 Energy News

September 14, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Applying the Pareto Principle: Conversion of Commercial Transportation to Reduce Effects of Climate Change” • With a commitment to just 20% of a set of clean practices, it is possible to reduce a carbon footprint by 80%. That’s what’s known as the Pareto principle. If we apply that to commercial transportation, it could make a big difference. [CleanTechnica]

Port of Barcelona (Andy Mitchell, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “United In Science 2020 Report: Climate Change Has Not Stopped For Covid-19” • Covid-19 has not slowed climate change. Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are at record levels and are increasing. Emissions are heading toward pre-pandemic levels following a temporary decline caused by the lockdown and economic slowdown. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NREL Scientists Estimate Global Potential Of Hydro-Linked Floating PV At Up To 7.5 TW” • Researchers at the US National Renewable Energy Lab said that linking solar with hydro in full hybrid systems may result in deployment of up to 7,593 GW for an estimated annual power generation of 10,616 TWh with a 20% reservoir coverage. [pv magazine International]

Hydro site


¶ “Climate change: Warmth shatters section of Greenland ice shelf” • A big chunk of ice has broken away from the Arctic’s largest remaining ice shelf – 79N, or Nioghalvfjerdsfjorden – in north-eastern Greenland. The ejected section covers about 110 square km. “The atmosphere in this region has warmed by about 3°C since 1980,” said Dr Jenny Turton. [BBC]

¶ “Nordex Installs First N149/5.X Turbine” • Nordex has installed the first of its next-generation 5-MW series turbine near Potsdam at the Genshagener Heide wind farm. Mean wind speeds are 6.4 m/s at the hub height, making  the site good for testing the 5.7-MW turbine. Nordex said the N149/5.X unit will start operation on schedule this month. [reNEWS]

Nordex turbine (Nordex image)

¶ “BP Says Oil Demand May Have Peaked Already” • BP Plc said the relentless growth of oil demand is over. This makes it the first supermajor to call the end of an era many thought would last for another decade or more. Oil consumption may never return to levels seen before Covid-19 crisis took hold, BP said in a report that breaks from orthodoxy. [Energy Voice]

¶ “I don’t know why they don’t get it.’ Lynham laments Taylor blindspot on renewables” • Queensland state energy minister Dr Anthony Lytham says Australia’s states and territories all agree that the future of Australia lies in renewable energy, and he can’t understand why the federal government is the only one that does not accept it. [RenewEconomy]

Angus Taylor at meeting (Richard Wainwright | AAP)

¶ “Australia’s Renewable Power Generation Set To Overtake Fossil Fuels” • Renewables are set to overtake coal and gas as Australia’s main source of electricity generation, analysis from Rystad Energy says. It says demand for coal and gas for power has peaked, with solar and wind to overtake both fossil fuels for power generation by 2026. [Upstream Online]

¶ “Ireland To Miss 2030 Clean Power Goal” • Ireland will fail to meet its target of 70% renewable energy by 2030 because its planning system is “broken,” a report says. “Building Onshore Wind,” published by the Irish Wind Energy Association, called for urgent changes to reform the planning system and boost the post-Covid economy. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Image: Irish Wind Energy Association)

¶ “16-Meter Seawall Planned For Fukushima Daiichi” • The operator of the damaged nuclear power plant in Fukushima plans to build a taller seawall to help protect against future high seismic sea waves. The move comes in response to the projection made in April by a government panel on the scale of a potential future tsunami. [NHK World]

¶ “Investors That Manage $47 Trillion Demand World’s Biggest Polluters Back Plan For Net-Zero Emissions” • Climate Action 100+, which represents investors that manage assets totalling over $47 Trillion, has demanded the world’s biggest corporate polluters back strategies to reach net-zero emissions and, it promised to hold them to public account. [The Guardian]

Extinction Rebellion (Barcroft Media | Getty Images)


¶ “US West Coast fires: Wind warning prompts fears of further spread” • The US National Weather Service has issued a “red flag warning” for areas of the West Coast, as high winds threaten to spread devastating wildfires still further. Gusts of up to 40 mph (64 km/h) are expected in parts of southern Oregon, with no rain. Fires have been raging for three weeks. [BBC]

¶ “The Mosquito Apocalypse And The Aftermath Of Hurricane Laura” • The aftermath of Hurricane Laura continues for many in Louisiana. Now, they are dealing with a mosquito apocalypse, while Louisiana has been all but forgotten by the national media. Walt Handelsman, a cartoonist for The Advocate, a Baton Rouge paper, shared an image. [CleanTechnica]

Walt Handelsman cartoon

¶ “Correction: Solar Power Equaled 37% Of New US Power Capacity In 1st Half Of 2020” • Last week’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission report on new generating capacity does not include small installations, such as home systems. Now, we have a report that includes those. It shows 37% of H1 installations were solar. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Connecticut Targets Lower Income Buyers With New Clean Vehicle Subsidies” • Connecticut has drafted its Electric Vehicle Roadmap. It gives more residents than ever incentives for buying an EV. The draft is an attempt to find a best way to incorporate used vehicles into its existing program, and it also is to attract purchasers who have limited means. [CleanTechnica]

Have a swimmingly copacetic  day.

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September 13 Energy News

September 13, 2020


¶ “Five Key Reasons To Stop The Mountain Valley Pipeline” • It’s time to stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline and its dangerous attempts to transport dirty fracked gas across Appalachia. This massive dirty energy project would  jeopardize sensitive rivers and streams, drinking water sources, the climate, and people in local communities. [CleanTechnica]

Blue Ridge Mountains (Ken Thomas, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Is BP Finally Committing To Ambitious Climate Action? Or Is It About To Fool Us Twice?” • BP plans to unveil more details its climate strategy at a virtual investor meeting on September 14th. The company’s history of false-starts on climate action and misleading clean energy advertising provides plenty of fodder for justified skepticism. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Think 2020’s Disasters Are Wild? Experts See Worse In The Future” • Freak natural disasters seem to be everywhere in the crazy year 2020. And most of them have what scientists say is a likely climate change connection. But experts say we’ll probably look back and say those were the good old days, when disasters weren’t so wild. []

Firefighter battling the Creek Fire (Noah Berger | AP, File)

¶ “We Can’t Wait Any Longer To Eliminate Fossil Fuels And Convert To Renewables” • South Korea’s recent record-breaking monsoon season, a slew of powerful typhoons, and Covid-19 all point to the same thing: Climate change has reached a critical stage where it can no longer be ignored. We need to address this crisis. [The Hankyoreh]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Kites Of Renewable Energy Generate Wind Power By Flying Through The Air” • A German startup is bringing kites to green energy production by building small flying wind turbines that use a tenth of the material at half the cost of traditional options. The kite has small onboard wind turbines and finds where to fly by using smart algorithms. [Good News Network]

Kite with wind turbines (KiteKraft image)

¶ “Why Wildfire Smoke May Be Harming Your Health” • Rising up to 14 miles (23 km) into the air, well into the stratosphere, plumes of smoke from large wildfires can spread all over the globe thanks to air currents. Its tiny particles can penetrate lung membranes when inhaled, damaging the respiratory system and passing into the blood stream. [BBC]


¶ “Indian Solar Module Manufacturer Lands $105 Million US Order” • Waaree Energies reported that it has landed an order to supply 300 MW of solar modules from an undisclosed American solar company. These modules will be used at a project that is being developed in California. The project is expected to be fully commissioned by late next year. [CleanTechnica]

Solar panels in India (Prashanthns, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Adani Green Says It Is On Track To Have 25 GW Of Capacity By 2025” • Adani Green Energy currently has 14 GW of projects that are operational, awarded, or under development. Adani Green reported consolidated net profit of ₹21.75 crore ($3.269 million) in the June quarter, as against a loss of ₹97.44 crore in the same quarter a year ago. [EnergyInfraPost]

¶ “UAE’s Abu Dhabi To Produce A Third Of Its Power From Clean Energy In Four Years” • Abu Dhabi, an oil-rich emirate in the UAE, plans to get a third of its power from “clean energy,” including nuclear reactors, in four years, a government official said. The country will diversify its energy mix and frees up oil and gas for export. [S&P Global]

Abu Dhabi (Davide Mauro, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Australian Youngsters Take Legal Action To Stop Coal Mine Expansion” • A group of young Australians filed a lawsuit in the name of all children to block a coal mine’s expansion. The case argues that Australia’s Environment Minister, Sussan Ley, has a legal duty to protect young people, and so she should reject the expansion proposal. [VOA Learning English]


¶ “28 People Have Been Killed And Dozens More Are Missing As Fires Ravage The West Coast” • Deadly wildfires have blanketed swaths of the states on the West Coast with unhealthy smoke, complicating the efforts to fight the blazes and find dozens of missing people, and compounding the misery of thousands who have been displaced. [CNN]

Fighting wildfires in the West (Nic Coury | AP)

¶ “Elon Musk Explains Why Tesla Solar Power Is So Cheap” • While researching the falling costs of solar power, I was struck to see that the average cost of a rooftop solar power system in the US is $2.19/watt, but Tesla is now offering rooftop solar power for $1.49/watt across the country. So, I asked Tesla CEO Elon Musk about it. And he told me. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Lease A 2020 Chevy Bolt From Costco For Just $154 A Month” • Savvy US shoppers can now lease a new 2020 Chevy Bolt for as little as $154 a month through COSTCO. There are terms and conditions, of course, but if you qualify you could be driving an electric car for less than what some people pay to fill their cars with gas each month. [CleanTechnica]

Chevy Bolt (Zach Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Solar Energy Helps Power Oil Field Service Provider At Local Halliburton Facility” • A solar array being built at oil field services giant Halliburton’s local headquarters in Kern Co, California, is the latest sign of conventional and renewable energy coming together. The 1.6-MW solar array is to provide power for the facility. [The Bakersfield Californian]

¶ “Despite Efforts, Trump Fails To Turn Coal Fortunes” • Pres Trump spent more than $1 billion in taxpayer funds, rolled back environmental rules, and tried to stop power plant closings to fulfill a vow he made to West Virginia coal miners in the 2016 campaign. But US coal production is expected to be down 31% this year from 2016 levels. [Beckley Register-Herald]

Have an unfashionably perfect day.

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September 12 Energy News

September 12, 2020


¶ “Should Food’s Environmental Damage Be Included In Its Purchase Cost?” • What would food cost if its environmental damage were to be factored into its actual retail price? If grocers and manufacturers took into account the environmental impact of meat, milk, cheese, and other foods, they would actually cost much more than they do. [CleanTechnica]

Farm at Green School in Bali (Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

¶ “For Nuclear Plants Operating On Thin Margins, Growing Climate Risks Prompt Tough Choices” • It is becoming clear that the relationship between nuclear power and climate change is a two-way street: While nuclear’s role in the energy mix can decrease CO₂ emissions, consequences of climate change are influencing nuclear power itself. [Utility Dive]


¶ “Baidu Launches Apollo Go Robotaxis In Beijing, Cangzhou, And Changsha” • The Apollo Go Robotaxi service is the first robotaxi service to operate in Beijing. It’s not a door-to-door service, but has 100 pickup/drop-off locations. The service was first launched in Changsha, on Earth Day, April 20. It also began operations in Cangzhou in August. [CleanTechnica]

Baidu Apollo Go King Long Minibus

¶ “France To Invest Over $35 Billion To Boost The Economy Through Renewables” • France announced its plans to invest €100 billion ($118.4 billion) to restore the economy after the damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. As part of its “France Relance” plan, the government allocated €30 billion ($35.51 billion) for green energy. [Mercom India]

¶ “Shanghai Electric Wind Power Orders Soar 505%” • Shanghai Electric reported orders for wind power equipment were up over 505% in the first six months of 2020, compared with the same period last year. The company signed a licensing agreement with Siemens Gamesa in 2018 to produce and sell the latter’s 8.0-167 DD turbine in China. [reNEWS]

Shanghai Electric wind turbine (Shanghai Electric image)

¶ “The Tiny Central American Nation With Big Renewable Energy Plans” • El Salvador will take a leading role in renewable energy development as it accelerates plans to wean itself off fossil fuels and hydropower, a senior official said. Geothermal energy will be a major area of focus, as El Salvador aims to be a “training center” for Latin America. [BNamericas English]

¶ “‘Turning A Brown Site To Green’ – Communities Are A Focus Of The Latest Renewable Energy Scheme” • The final results of Ireland’s first Renewable Electricity Support Scheme auction have been announced. It will result in support being provided for the development of 63 onshore solar farms and 19 wind farms across the country. [Agriland]

Irish wind farm (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Germany, Australia Ink Green Hydrogen Alliance” • Germany and Australia signed an agreement to carry out a feasibility study of potentials for closer collaboration and future development of a hydrogen supply chain between the two countries. The study will compare current technology and research supply chain readiness levels, among other things. [reNEWS]

¶ “Japanese Energy Giants Join Offshore Wind Project” • Japan Renewable Energy Corporation announced that Tohoku Electric Power Co and ENEOS Corporation agreed to invest in the Happo Noshiro offshore wind project. The project aims to construct and operate offshore wind turbines with a combined capacity of 155 MW off Akita Prefecture. [4C Offshore]

Hywind turbine (Lars Christopher, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “Solar Power Was 60% of New US Power Capacity in June” • In June, 60.1% of all new power generating capacity added in the US was solar power plants. Another 37.5% was wind power plants. And 2.4% was hydropower. A quick look at the math on that shows that 100% of new power capacity came from renewable energy sources in June. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Fires Raging Out West Are Unprecedented. They’re Also A Mere Preview Of What Climate Change Has In Store” • Over 3 million acres have burned in California. Three of the five largest fires in state history are burning now, as are huge swaths of Oregon and Washington. In most years, this would be when the fire season gets active. [CNN]

Fire coloring everything (Photo: Eric Risberg | AP)

¶ “US Hydroelectric Generation To Increase In 2020 Despite Drought Conditions” • The Pacific Northwest, generated 47% of US hydroelectric power in the first half of 2020. Most stations in the eastern half of the Columbia River basin reported 70% to 130% of normal precipitation, and some stations in the western half have reported less than 50%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Engineer Investigates Use Of Navy Ships For Emergency Power” • Disasters such as hurricanes and tropical storms can cut electric power to coastal communities for days or weeks. But a University of Texas at Dallas engineer is working to create large-scale mobile marine microgrids aboard US Navy ships to provide power in emergencies. [University of Texas at Dallas]

PCU Virginia (US Navy photo, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “US Showers Tiny Wind Turbines With Big Love” • A recent development for the turbine cost-cutting is that NREL selected seven US wind firms for funding through its Competitiveness Improvement Project. The CIP funding will enable a Vermont company, Star Wind, to take steps toward certifying its uniquely styled 45 kW turbine. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “8minute Secures PV Plus Storage PPA In California” • 8minute Solar Energy is to sell electricity from the 400-MW Rexford 1 solar+storage project in California to the Clean Power Alliance under a 15-year agreement. The project in Tulare County will also include 180 MW of energy storage, so it can deliver energy to the grid day or night. [reNEWS]

Have an incomprehensibly glorious day.

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September 11 Energy News

September 11, 2020


¶ “Should People Be Prevented From Living In Fire And Flood Prone Areas?” • A recent survey by Bo MacInnis and Jon Krosnick on behalf of Resources For The Future finds there is broad public support for doing something about natural disasters. According to the New York Times, 57% of those surveyed support making it illegal to build in risky areas. [CleanTechnica]

Quechee Vermont (Stephen Flanders, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Could Exxon Be … Running Out Of Cash?!” • Could Exxon be running out of cash? An article by Yahoo! Finance reported that ExxonMobil Corp faces a $48 billion shortfall through next year. This year alone, Exxon needed to borrow $23 billion to pay its bills. Instead of expanding as planned, Exxon is now reviewing where it can cut expenses. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “South Korea’s Green New Deal Shows The World What A Smart Economic Recovery Looks Like” • As Covid-19 devastates the global economy, there’s an opportunity for governments to support a green-led recovery. Some countries, such as South Korea, are using the crisis to kickstart economic growth that is environmentally sustainable. [UNSW Newsroom]

Wind turbines in South Korea (Yonhap | AAP)

¶ “Managing Climate Risk in the US Financial System” • The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s report on climate risk to the US economy is a first of-its-kind effort from a US government entity. Approved in subcommittee by a 34-0 vote, including representatives from banks and oil giants, it calls for urgent action on climate change. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Remarkable Floating Gardens Of Bangladesh” • Much of Bangladesh is prone to floods and waterlogging, and agriculture suffers from floods. In one part of Bangladesh, a traditional method of cultivation uses floating vegetable gardens. Now farmers are reviving this old practice to reduce the vulnerability they have from climate change. [BBC]

Garden rafts (©Fahmida Akter)

¶ “Scientists Predict Heavy Flood Events In The Sierra Nevada Will Become More Extreme Under Future Climate Warming” • California is on track to get drier over the coming decades. But in a new study, researchers at UC Santa Barbara and UCLA warn that flooding potential associated with extreme precipitation events is set to increase sharply. [YubaNet]


¶ “Tens of thousands of fires are pushing the Amazon to a tipping point” • Fires continue to rage at high levels through the Amazon in Brazil for the second year in a row, raising concerns among scientists that the rainforest’s destruction could eventually reach a point of no return. And the government of Brazil is doing little to curb illegal fires. [CNN]

Fire in the Amazon (Christian Braga | Greenpeace)

¶ “MG5 Touring Wagon With 214 Mile Range Available In UK Q4 2020 For Under £24,000” • MG Motor will bring the MG5 full battery electric touring wagon to the UK starting from the fourth quarter 2020. With a WLTP rated range of 214 miles, and an excellent 7 year warranty, the price of £23,995 (after incentives) seems like a great value. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Mega-Projects And Mini-Prices: Latin American Renewables Tipped For Huge Growth” • Analysts at Rystad Energy expect Latin America renewable energy capacity to more than double as soon as 2025. They say power prices are dropping, in some areas to below $25/MWh, and they expect auctions to move forward in most countries despite Covid-19. [Recharge]

Wind farm

¶ “One Of The Oldest LNG Deals Is Unraveling” • An agreement almost 50 years old for Japanese utilities to buy Indonesian fuel is set to expire at the end of this year. At least one of six Japanese utilities in a buyers’ consortium won’t renew its contract, and others may join it. There is a glut of natural gas and nuclear reactors are restarting in Japan. [Rigzone]


¶ “With PPA Signed, Geothermal Project In Unalaska, Alaska Moving Ahead” • Chena Power and Ounalashka Corp, an Alaska Native village corporation, have signed a 30-year power purchase agreement for the planned 30 MW Makushin geothermal power plant in Unalaska, a fishing community. The developer hopes the plant will be online in 2023. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

View of Unalaska (umnak, creative commons | flickr)

¶ “BP Invests In Offshore Wind To Power 2 Million American Homes” • BP is moving into offshore windpower for the first time with a $1.1 billion investment in the US. BP plans to make major investments into bioenergy, hydrogen, and carbon capture and storage. It aims to raise $25 billion by selling oil and gas assets over the next five years. [CNN]

¶ “Oregon Wildfires: Half A Million People Flee Dozens Of Infernos” • More than half a million people in Oregon are fleeing deadly wildfires that are raging across the Pacific Northwest, authorities say. Governor Kate Brown said at least four fatalities have been confirmed. More than 100 wildfires are currently scorching 12 western US states. [BBC]

A girl and her bike (Reuters image)

¶ “US Energy Department And Other Federal Agencies Launch the Federal Consortium for Advanced Batteries” • The US DOE, Department of Commerce, Defense Department, and State Department launched the Federal Consortium for Advanced Batteries to speed development of a robust, secure, domestic industrial base for advanced batteries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Walmart and Schneider Electric Announce Groundbreaking Collaboration To Help Suppliers Access Renewable Energy” • Walmart Inc and Schneider Electric announced a collaboration called the Gigaton PPA Program. It will provide increased access to renewable energy for Walmart’s US-based suppliers, enabling them to lead on climate action. []

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September 10 Energy News

September 10, 2020


¶ “While Trump Commission Warns Of Climate Risk To Financial System, Recommendations ‘Fall Short Of Direct, Immediate Action’ Required” • Climate campaigners welcomed a federal report showing dangers of the human-caused planetary emergency pose to the US financial system. But they warned that it falls short in its recommendations. [Common Dreams]

Firefighters (David Arkush via Twitter)

¶ “Natural Gas Is Losing Its Luster As A “Bridge Fuel” To Renewable Energy” • A few years ago, natural gas was hailed as vital for a transition toward an economy that runs on renewable energy. But sentiment is changing and the fuel is going the same way as coal, its dirtier sibling shunned by governments, utilities and investors. [WorldOil]

¶ “After 2011 Disaster, Fukushima Embraced Solar Power. The Rest Of Japan Has Not” • A wave of enthusiasm for renewable energy followed the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Nuclear power, which once produced nearly a third of Japan’s electricity, ground to a halt. The people who lived in Fukushima have not forgotten, and some have built solar arrays. [Iowa Public Radio]

Solar array on damaged land

Science and Technology:

¶ “Wildlife In ‘Catastrophic Decline’ Due To Human Destruction, Scientists Warn” • Wildlife populations have fallen by over two-thirds in less than 50 years, a major report by the conservation group WWF says. It warns that “catastrophic decline” shows no sign of slowing, and nature is being destroyed by humans at a rate never seen before. [BBC]


¶ “Tesla Puts Emphasis On Becoming An Electricity Supplier In Germany” • Tesla conducted a survey in Germany to find out if its customers would be interested in a plan that would allow the company to tap some of the electricity stored in the batteries in their cars and feed it back into the grid, making sure they have enough range for their needs. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla virtual power plant in South Australia (Tesla image)

¶ “EDF Renewables Turns Sod On 87-MW Taza Phase 1” • EDF Renewables and its Japanese partner Mitsui began construction of the 87-MW first phase of the Taza wind project in Morocco. Phase one, consisting of 27 wind turbines, will enter service in early 2022. EDF Renewables and Mitsui will both retain interests in the project. [reNEWS]

¶ “Election 2020: Labour Pledges 100% Renewable Power By 2030” • The Labour Party aims to make 100% of New Zealand’s electricity generation renewable by 2030, five years ahead of the current Government target. If elected, it will ban construction of coal or gas power plants, boost solar power, and speed renewable energy projects. []

New Zealand hydro dam

¶ “Retiring Old Coal Plants Could Save ₹53,000 Crore For Power Distributors” • If 54 coal plants that are 20 years or older, located in 11 states, could be shut down over the next two years, it would yield savings of up to ₹53,000 crore ($7.2 billion) over five years for the states’ electricity distribution companies, an analysis by Climate Risk Horizon says. [IndiaSpend]

¶ “GE Scoops 157-MW Austrian Turbine Deal” • GE Renewable Energy was selected by the Püspök Group to provide turbines for two wind farms in Burgenland, Austria. They have a total 157 MW capacity. The deal will have 30 GE Cypress machines with 158 meter rotors installed at the repowering projects, and it includes a multi-year service contract. [reNEWS]

GE turbine (GE image)


¶ “BP Joins Financiers In Call For US To Tax Greenhouse Gas Emissions” • The US government should start making businesses pay for their greenhouse gas emissions to help combat global warming, according to a powerful group of finance and energy titans. The businesses include Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and BP. [WorldOil]

¶ “Trump Courts Florida Voters With Moratorium On Offshore Drilling” • President Trump expanded a moratorium on drilling off Florida’s coast in an attempt to court voters in a must-win battleground state. He said he would block drilling in coastal Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, and painted himself as an environmentalist. [MSN Money]

Offshore oil rig (© iStock)

¶ “Charleston Sues 24 Fossil Fuel Companies For The Costs Of Surviving Climate Change” • The third anniversary of Hurricane Irma’s flooding that devastated Charleston is approaching, and now officials have filed a lawsuit in South Carolina state court to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for the costs of adapting to the impacts of climate change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Developer Signs PPAs To Power Facebook Data Center” • DE Shaw Renewable Investments has signed PPAs with Facebook to power its Eagle Mountain Data Center with energy supplied from its Rocket and Horseshoe Solar projects in Utah. The new projects are expected to generate a total 155 MW, through PPAs with Rocky Mountain Power. [reNEWS]

Solar array (American Public Power Association | Unsplash)

¶ “As Historic Heatwaves Cook California, Tesla Activates Its Distributed Army To Save The Grid” • Tesla enabled its fleet of deployed Powerwalls in affected areas of California to charge up from the grid by activating the Storm Watch function on the Powerwall in advance of the rolling blackouts that slammed California over the last two weeks. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “FERC Order On NYISO Proposal Again Draws Future Of Capacity Market Into Question” • A Federal Energy Regulatory Commission order rejecting the New York grid operator’s efforts to accommodate the state’s aggressive climate goals has added to tensions that could sway the state to take back resource adequacy responsibility. [S&P Global]

Have an unusually flawless day.

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September 9 Energy News

September 9, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Trickle Of Green Hydrogen Turns Into Flood Of Good News For Renewables” • Wind and solar developers are eyeballing green hydrogen as a pathway for future growth, and it looks like they won’t have to depend on the transportation sector for sole support. Hydrogen has many other uses, aside from being used to power fuel cell EVs. [CleanTechnica]

Shipping turbine blades (Infinite Blue Energy)

¶ “Thwaites: ‘Doomsday Glacier’ Vulnerability Seen In New Maps” • Antarctica’s colossal Thwaites Glacier is melting at a rapid rate, dumping billions of tons of ice in the ocean every year. A UK-US team surveyed the deep seafloor channels in front of the glacier that almost certainly provide the access for the warm water that is melting it. [BBC]

¶ “The Buildings Warmed By The Human Body” • The building at Number 2 Rue de Beaubourg in Paris looks modest. Though you wouldn’t know it from the outside, it nevertheless has an unusual design. Since 2015, the building has been drawing its warmth from the hustle and bustle of human body heat in a nearby metro station. [BBC]

Building on Rue de Beaubourg (Credit: Paris Habitat)


¶ “Uber Says It Will Offer Rides Only In Electric Vehicles In US, Europe By 2030” • Uber plans to offer rides exclusively in EVs by 2030 in US, Canadian, and European cities, and be entirely free of emissions by 2040. Uber also issued a report acknowledging that its vehicles are less climate efficient than the average vehicle because of the way they are used. [CNN]

¶ “The Volta Zero Electric Truck – Targeting 2022 Production” • Volta Trucks is showing off what it calls “the world’s first purpose-built full-electric 16-tonne commercial vehicle.” It was designed for urban deliveries. The first pilot trucks are due for sometime in the first half of 2021, and real production and deliveries are scheduled to start in 2022. [CleanTechnica]

Volta Zero commercial electric delivery truck in London

¶ “Why Germany May Pull Plug On Russian Pipeline” • “I hope the Russians don’t force us to change our position on Nord Stream 2,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said, as the row with Moscow intensified over the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. The pipeline is contravercial because it increases German dependence on Russia. [BBC]

¶ “Australia’s Largest Solar Garden Offers “Plots” For 333 “Solar Gardeners”” • Australia is a top country in terms of rooftop solar power adoption, but even in Australia, an estimated 35% of the population is unable to install rooftop solar power. The news this week on this topic is that Australia is about to launch its largest community solar garden. [CleanTechnica]

Community solar gardeners (Haystacks Solar Garden image)

¶ “Equinor, JERA and J-Power target Japan offshore” • J-Power, JERA, and Equinor have joined forces to submit a joint bid for offshore wind power projects in Japan. The three companies believe that by bringing together their respective expertise, they will be able to build world-class offshore wind power generation projects. [reNEWS]

¶ “Study Explores Feasibility Of North India’s Transition To 100% Renewable Energy” • A study by Finland’s Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology and Delhi-based Climate Trends found it is technically and financially feasible for North India to switch to renewable energy by 2050 completely. The change would see 2 million additional jobs. [PV Magazine India]

Solar array and flower (gerhardt12 | Pixabay)

¶ “Portugal Is No Longer Extracting Fossil Fuels After Canceling Two Remaining Contracts” • Portugal’s last two fossil fuel extraction contracts were just canceled, meaning the European country is officially no longer drilling for oil and gas. This is definitely exciting news, but it doesn’t mean that Portugal is entirely free of fossil fuels. [Green Matters]


¶ “Trump Admin Document Reportedly Warns of Financial Disaster of Climate Change” • In the report, “Managing Climate Risk in the Financial System,” the authors forecast that business-as usual emissions will cause immense chaos in US financial markets. The report came from president Trump’s Commodity Futures Trading Commission. [New York Magazine]

Flood damage in Iowa (Getty Images)

¶ “General Motors To Manufacture Nikola Badger As Part Of New Strategic Partnership” • Nikola Motor and GM are forming a new strategic partnership. For a $2 billion equity stake in Nikola and the right to nominate one director to the Nikola board, GM will engineer, validate, and manufacture the battery and fuel cell variants of the Nikola Badger. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “California Wildfires: Fire Chief Says Dozens Of Major Blazes Have State In ‘Dire Situation'” • The chief of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Thom Porter, said the 25 large wildfires raging in his state after an extreme heat wave made the situation “dire.” Many fires will be “uncontrollable until we have a weather change.” [CNN]

Fire in wine country (Noah Berger | AP)

¶ “California Offshore Winds Show Promise As Power Source” • As California aims to provide 60% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030 and 100% by 2045, a study from California Polytechnic State University provides some good news. Offshore winds along the Central Coast increase in the evening, the same time of day that more energy is needed. [Science Daily]

¶ “How Duke’s Unique Energy Landscape Dictates Its Path to Net Zero” • Duke Energy will pursue its unique path to net zero carbon emissions. Among its options are some that are largely untested in the US, such as offshore wind power, and the next-generation small modular nuclear reactors, which have yet to be proven in any market. [Greentech Media]

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September 8 Energy News

September 8, 2020


¶ “Listen Up! Dr. James Hansen Has A Message For The Citizens Of Earth” • Dr James Hansen sent an email about a paper on the Earth’s energy imbalance. The Earth has an energy imbalance of 0.75 ± 0.25 W/m2. That number, while small, is equivalent to the heat of 400,000 nuclear explosions like the one at Hiroshima – every day! [CleanTechnica]

Sunrise, not a nuclear bomb (Radi1981, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “Oil Company Total And Groupe PSA Form Automotive Cells Company” • Four years ago, we covered the news that Total acquired Saft, a battery company. Now we have the news that Total/Saft has partnered with Groupe PSA/Opel on a new joint venture, a battery company. The company’s name is Automotive Cells Company. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “ACT Secures Two Big Batteries For Canberra And Record Low Price For Wind” • Canberra is set to be host to two big battery projects. The Australian Capital Territory government disclosed that two companies that will supply 200 MW of wind power to the national capital at record low prices. And both will build big batteries within the ACT. [RenewEconomy]

Parliament House, Canberra (Unsplash image)

¶ “Australia’s Biggest Renewable Energy Hub To Deliver Low-Cost Power For ACT” • The proposed $3 billion Goyder project will have 1200 MW of wind, 600 MW of solar, and 900 MW, 1800 MWh of storage. The hub is to be the biggest of its kind. The first contract is for 100 MW at A$44.97/MWh ($33/MWh or 3.3¢/kWh) for 14 years. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “New Initiatives To Boost The Organic Farming Sector” • The European Commission has launched a public consultation on its future Action Plan on Organic Farming. This sector will play an important role in achieving the European Green Deal ambition, and reaching the objectives set out in the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies. [Modern Diplomacy]

Organic farming

¶ “Green Hydrogen Could Generate £320 Billion In The UK” • A report by the Offshore Wind Industry Council and the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult says green hydrogen industry could create 120,000 jobs and deliver £320 billion for the UK by 2050. It says the UK has the industrial base, research organizations, and wind potential to do this. [reNEWS]

¶ “SSE Finalises Plans For Seagreen O&M Base” • The Montrose Port Authority and SSE Renewables have finalized plans for the operations and maintenance base for the 1075-MW Seagreen offshore wind farm to be built off the east coast of Scotland. SSE Renewables is leading the development and construction of the offshore wind farm. [reNEWS]

Port of Montrose (Montrose Port Authority image)

¶ “Irish Trader Makes 200-MW Battery Breakthrough” • Irish energy and trading services firm ElectroRoute struck a deal to provide trading solutions to what will be one of the EU’s largest battery portfolios. Construction is already under way on the 200-MW portfolio being developed by Korean firm Hanwha Energy Corp and Ireland’s Lumcloon Energy. [reNEWS]

¶ “Asia Pacific Renewables Represent $1 Trillion Opportunity” • Solar and wind represent a $1 trillion (€850 billion) investment opportunity in Asia Pacific through 2030, equivalent to a 66% share of the region’s power market, according to new data from Wood Mackenzie. Investments in renewables have overtaken fossil fuel power since 2013. [reNEWS]

Solar PVs in Thailand (Kyocera image)

¶ “Germany And Norway Exchange First Renewable Energy” • The NordLink interconnector has transmitted power between Norway and Germany for the first time. Nexans reported that in a system test, 70 MW of electricity was transferred between the two countries. NordLink is the first interconnection between Germany And Norway. [Offshore WIND]

¶ “Baltic States Form Energy Pact Against Belarusian Nuclear Plant” • The Baltic states have issued a joint boycott of energy produced by a new Russian-built nuclear plant in Belarusia. They will require proof that electricity they import in the future isn’t coming from the facility. The plant features two reactors, built on a $10 billion loan from Russia. [Bellona]

Control room in a nuclear power plant (Getty Images)


¶ “LA County Records Highest-Ever Temperature” • Los Angeles County recorded its highest-ever temperature on Sunday, Sept 6. Dave Bruno, a senior meteorologist for the National Weather Service, said, “We reached 121°F in Woodland Hills, California. That is the highest-ever temperature at a station, beating 119°F on July 22, 2006.” [CNN]

¶ “Wildfires Force Evacuation Of Entire Town In Central California” • Authorities issued evacuation orders Monday for the entire town of Auberry, a mountain community of 2,500 in central California, as the Creek Fire continued to burn out of control. The Creek Fire has grown to nearly 80,000 acres in size and is 0% contained. [CNN]

California Wildfire (KGTV image)

¶ “Floating Solar Panels To Get Army-Tested At Fort Bragg’s Camp Mackall” • The US Army is installing a floating PV array at Fort Bragg. The 1.1-MW array will be set up on the Big Muddy Lake, at the remote Special Forces training site Camp Mackall. It is designed to provide emergency backup power and supplement grid-supplied electricity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Climate Connections: Napa County’s Progress Towards 100% Renewable Energy” • Every yearow, wildfires in California open our eyes to the immediate and terrifying realities of climate change. The County of Napa is actively confronting this crisis and addressing the urgent need to reduce the heat we add to the atmosphere. [Napa Valley Register]

Have an extraordinarily merry day.

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September 7 Energy News

September 7, 2020


¶ “How A Tesla And Volkswagen Collaboration Could Help The Environment” • After a meeting between Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess and Tesla’s Elon Musk, I wonder about how the world might benefit if Tesla and Volkswagen were to become partners. Remember, Tesla is not just about cars; its objective ties everything together. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 charging at Volkswagen

¶ “Voodoo Economics And Lithium – Lithium Supply Is 15% of 2023 Global EV Sales Target” • LG Chem’s plans for producing batteries require huge amounts of raw materials. It has a massive order book from automakers and a goal to produce 220 GWh of batteries in 2022, but RK Equity said it has less than 20% of its materials needs secured. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Way The World Needs To Move Forward On Climate Action: Climate Alignment” • India, China, and the US may appear as individual entities in the climate dialogue, but their steel, chemicals, and cement industries have a lot in common. To solve the climate crisis, industries have to work differently. Our current approach is not enough. [CleanTechnica]

Fossil fuels (Cynthia Shahan | CleanTechnica)


¶ “Elon Musk Visits With Herbert Diess, Drives An ID.3 During Visit To Germany” • Elon Musk went to Germany to inspect construction of Tesla’s Berlin Gigafactory, where he praised the team building the factory for their work. Then he flew to the the Braunschweig to meet with Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess for a two-hour chat. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “First Up For Mingyang At 300-MW Chinese Offshore” • The first turbine has been installed at the 300-MW Fujian Fuqing Haitan Strait offshore wind farm in China. MingYang Smart Energy will deliver a total of 22 wind turbines to the project, each with a rated power of 7 MW. The project is being developed by the China Huadian Corporation. [reNEWS]

Fujian Fuqing Haitan Strait site (Mingyang Smart Energy image)

¶ “Off-Grid Power Takes Off In Africa” • With its lower costs and improved reliability, Africa’s leaders are learning to love off-grid renewable energy. What used to be seen as an adjunct to large-scale thermal and hydro-based national grid supply is now being recognised as a major weapon in the drive to provide electricity access to all Africans. [African Business Magazine]

¶ “Foresight Acquires Spanish Solar” • Foresight Solar has announced the acquisition of its first Spanish solar asset, the consented 26.1 MW Virgen del Carmen solar farm, based in Huelva. Construction of the project is expected to start at the end of September 2020, with operations targeted to start in the third quarter of 2021. [reNEWS]

Solar farm (Foresight image)

¶ “Consultants Challenge EDF Over Economic Benefits And Jobs Sizewell C Will Bring” • Consultants from the independent firm Development Economics have challenged the jobs and economic benefits that EDF said building a nuclear power station on the Suffolk coast will bring. They labeled the claims as “exaggerated” and “unrealistic.” [East Anglian Daily Times]


¶ “Renewable Revolution: Queensland To Put $500 Million Into Clean Energy Fund” • The Queensland government announced a renewable energy fund of A$500 million to build wind and solar projects as a centerpiece of its post-pandemic economic recovery plan. The announcement marks one of Australia’s first significant green recovery projects. [The Guardian]

Australian wind farm (Mick Tsikas | AAP)

¶ “ESB Puts “Coal Exit Strategy” At Center Of Energy Market Shakeup” • The Energy Security board is calling for feedback what is likely to be the biggest shake up of electricity markets in decades, including asking regulators to actively prepare for the phase out ageing coal and gas generators and establishing two-way electricity markets. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Naturgy JV Seals Australian Wind PPA” • Following the signing of a power purchase agreement with Snowy Hydro, Global Power Generation, a joint venture of Naturgy Energy Group and the Kuwait Investment Authority, is to build a 218-MW wind farm in Australia. Operations at the Ryan Corner project are expected to start in the second half 2022. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Credit Master Wen | Unsplash)

¶ “Tesla Secures Funding For Australia’s Largest Virtual Power Plant” • The Australian Renewable Energy Agency issued A$8.2 million in funding for development of what may be Australia’s largest virtual power plant. Tesla Motors Australia will install solar PV systems with battery storage for 3,000 home in South Australia. [Power Engineering International]


¶ “California Sets New Record For Land Torched By Wildfires, As 224 People Escape By Air From A ‘Hellish’ Inferno” • This has become the worst year in history for California’s wildfires, in terms of the amount of land scorched, and it’s only September. More than 2,094,955 acres have burned across the state this year, CAL FIRE Captain Richard Cordova said. [CNN]

California wildfire (Eric Paul Zamora | The Fresno Bee | AP)

¶ “Solar PV Panels Were 12 Times More Expensive In 2010, 459 Times More Expensive In 1977” • The website PVInsights says the average price for a polycrystalline solar PV module last week was $0.167/watt. That means the price of about $2/watt in 2010 was close to 12 times as high as it is today. And the price in 1977 was $76.67/watt, 459 times as high. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tucson Electric Power Nears Completion Of Huge Wind Farm In New Mexico” • Tucson Electric Power is nearing completion of its biggest renewable energy resource yet, the 250-MW Oso Grande Wind project near Roswell, New Mexico. Oso Grande is expected provide enough energy for 90,000 Tucson area homes by the end of November. [Arizona Daily Star]

Have an outstandingly fun day.

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September 6 Energy News

September 6, 2020


¶ “Q&A: Why Women Leading The Climate Movement Are Underappreciated And Sometimes Invisible” • The American scientist Eunice Newton Foote theorized in 1856 that CO₂ in the atmosphere could produce global warming. That was three years before Irish physicist John Tyndall did research often cited as the beginning of climate science. [InsideClimate News]

Youth Climate Strike (Felton Davis, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Microgrids Are The Future Of Energy” • The vision of a household with a solar rooftop, a battery pack, and an EV in the garage is not just Elon Musk’s vision of the future of energy. It is a vision that many proponents of the renewable shift share, and it may be growing increasingly more realistic, as information technology improves. []

Science and Technology:

¶ “New Evidence Shows Rising Temperatures Accelerating Frequency And Intensity Of Northern California Wildfires” • As California’s fire season is getting longer, it is getting clearer that even modest increases in temperature dramatically ratchet up wildfire risk, according to climate scientists, meteorologists and fire experts. [Santa Rosa Press Democrat]

San Francisco Bay (Noah Berger | Associated Press)

¶ “Massive Mystery Holes Appear In Siberian Tundra – Could Be Linked To Climate Change” • Scientists are studying a crater in Siberia. It is 30 meters deep and 20 meters across, and it is the region’s ninth to appear since 2013. They believe the crater is linked to an explosive buildup of methane gas, an unsettling result of warming temperatures. [CNN]


¶ “First 100+ Seat Aircraft To Cross Atlantic Powered By 100% Renewable Energy Will Win Freedom Flight Prize” • Carbon Footprint Ltd set up the Freedom Flight Prize, a competition focused on crossing the Atlantic Ocean 100% powered by renewable energy with seating for 100. The prize is growing as new sponsors put up money. [CleanTechnica]

Wright Electric EasyJet (Courtesy of Wright Electric)

¶ “European Trio Working On Solar Canopy For Highways” • A trio of European technology leaders – the Austrian Institute of Technology, Fraunhofer ISE, and Forster Industrietechnik – is working to develop a solar canopy system for highways in order to tap into the vast, under-utilized road network for generating clean electricity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ireland: Some Residents Replace School Buses With Bike Buses” • In Ireland, someone found a brilliant alternative to packing kids off to school in a bus during the Covid-19 era. It even looks like a ton of fun, contributes to student health (physical and mental), and cuts pollution. It’s a bike bus, or “school bus of bikes.” [CleanTechnica]

Bike Bus (Screenshot from RTÉ News)

¶ “Gas Authority Of India Has Several Renewable Projects In The Offing” • The Annual Report for 2019-20 of the Gas Authority of India Limited sheds light on its ambitions and accomplishments in renewable energy. Its total renewable energy portfolio consists of 118 MW of wind power capacity and 12.3 MW of solar power capacity, and it is expanding. [Mercom India]

¶ “With record new solar and wind installed, Australia’s clean energy is booming – for now” • Data from the government’s Clean Energy Regulator suggests 6.3 GW of new solar and wind energy will be installed in Australia this year. But investment in renewable energy has not only stalled; it has slumped in a way likely to be felt in the years ahead. [The Guardian]

Australian wind farm (David Gray | Reuters)

¶ “Farming Family Backs $110 Million Yass Solar Farm” • A farming family in Yass, New South Wales, has agreed to lease agricultural land to a solar farm estimated to cost $110 million and to produce 80 MW of electricity. The project proposed by Tetris Energy also includes a 20-MW battery storage facility and small control room with parking. [About Regional]

¶ “Rolls-Royce To Supply Battery Storage For Microgrid On Cook Island” • Rolls-Royce has won a contract to supply three 40-foot storage batteries for a microgrid on Cook Island. The batteries have a storage capacity of 4,268 kWh and an electricity output of 4,800 kW in total and will enable the increased use of renewable energy. [Energy Live News]

Solar field and batteries (Rolls-Royce image)

¶ “China Turns Back To Nuclear Power As Concerns Over Energy Security Rise” • With renewed focus on energy security, China approved two new nuclear power projects, the first in over a year. The country is still heavily dependent on coal and other fossil fuels, but the State Council stressed the need to develop different sources of energy. [Yahoo Singapore News]


¶ “Susquehanna Recognized As Top University For Renewable Energy” • Susquehanna University has been recognized as one of Pennsylvania’s leading universities when it comes to renewable energy, according to the report, “America’s Top Colleges for Renewable Energy 2020,” by the PennEnvironment Research & Policy Center. [Newsroom]

Sheep under solar panels (Susquehanna University)

¶ “New York Utilities, Enel X, And Uplight Launch Smart EV Charging Program” • Ratepayers of Central Hudson Gas & Electric and Orange & Rockland got a cool new offering. Those utilities have partnered with Uplight and Enel X to get more smart EV chargers into people’s homes and help them charge on 100% renewable energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “SoCalGas Introduces Contactless Enrollment Option For Energy Savings Assistance Program” • Southern California Gas Company announced a virtual enrollment option for the Energy Savings Assistance Program, which continues to provide eligible customers with an average of $705 worth of energy-efficiency home upgrades at no cost. [Orange County Breeze]

Have a transcendentally convivial day.

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September 5 Energy News

September 5, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Earth’s ‘Lost Species’ Only The Tip Of The Iceberg” • Based on the current threat status of species, scientists’ computer-based simulations predict large increases in extinction rates by the year 2100. They say the extinctions that occurred in past centuries only represent the tip of the iceberg, compared with the looming extinctions of the next decades. [BBC]

Mammoth skull at auction in New York City (Getty Images)

¶ “Planned Obsolescence Leads To Resource Depletion, Overflowing Landfills, And Climate Change” • Manufacturers nearly allways build their “durable” white and brown goods with planned obsolescence. They are designed to fail instead lasting of for the longest possible lifetime. Most come with warranties, but that is for the sake of marketing. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Energy Storage Takes On Weird New Forms As Sparkling Green Future Takes Shape” • The energy storage facilities of the sparkling green future will run the gamut from massive infrastructure projects to hand held devices. Two examples just popped up on the radar this week, and they demonstrate how diverse the technologies be. [CleanTechnica]

Parts of a gravity energy storage system (Gravitricity image)

¶ “Disordered Rock Salt And Transition Metal Anodes – Engineering The Batteries Of The Future” • People like to say nothing is sure but death and taxes. But there is something else we can be sure of – announcements about blockbuster new battery technologies that promise higher energy density and shorter charging times. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Present And Future of Vehicle-to-Grid Technology” • By 2050, up to 45% of households will actively provide vehicle-to-grid services, according to National Grid Electricity System Operator’s Future Energy Scenarios, published in July 2020. But will the average EV driver be able to use V2G charging over the next few years? [CleanTechnica]

Ready to charge (Electric Nation V2G UK)

¶ “Protecting Half The Planet Could Help Solve Climate Change And Save Species” • A study argues that nations can help avert the biodiversity and climate crises by preserving the roughly 50% of land that remains relatively undeveloped. The researchers mapped out the area they call a “Global Safety Net,” in a study published in Science Advances. [Science News]


¶ “European Commission Announces Actions to Make Europe’s Raw Materials Supply More Secure And Sustainable” • The European Commission presented an Action Plan on Critical Raw Materials, the 2020 List of Critical Raw Materials, and a foresight study on critical raw materials for strategic technologies and sectors, looking towards 2030 and 2050. [CleanTechnica]

Resource map (Please click on the image to enlarge it.)

¶ “Iran’s Enriched Uranium Stockpile ’10 Times Limit'” • Iran has over 10 times the amount of enriched uranium permitted under an international agreement, the UN’s nuclear watchdog says. The International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran has 2,105 kg of enriched uranium. Iran insists its nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes. [BBC]

¶ “Community Windpower Is Now Flush For Aikengall Trio” • Community Windpower secured finance from KfW IPEX-Bank for three Aikengall wind farms near Dunbar, East Lothian. Their combined capacity is almost 200 MW. Aikengall 2a will be one of the largest subsidy-free developments in Scotland using 19 Siemens Gamesa 4.3-MW turbines. [reNEWS]

Wind farm in Scotland (Community Windpower image)

¶ “GE Renewable Energy Strengthens Position In Vietnam’s Wind Sector” • GE Renewable Energy has announced that it has secured two 30 MW contracts to supply a total of 12 units of GE’s 5MW-158 Cypress wind turbines to support construction of the Quoc Vinh Soc Trang and Lac Hoa Soc Trang wind farms, in southern Vietnam. [Energy Global]


¶ “Oregon Communities Using Municipal Waste To Create Their Own Clean Energy Futures” • Leaders across Oregon are making innovative investments so their communities can create more of their own clean energy, help control costs for residents, and save taxpayers millions. They’re turning their water resource recovery facilities into energy resources. [Portland Business Journal]

Salem’s Willow Lake Water Pollution Control Facility

¶ “Climate Group Partners With The United Nations Race To Zero Campaign For Critical Climate Week NYC Opening Day Event” • Climate Week NYC (September 21–27), now in its twelfth year, takes place annually alongside the UN General Assembly. And COP26 and The Zero Carbon Growth Agenda is to reaffirm the urgency of climate change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Chicago Launches $200 Million RFP To Power City Facilities By Renewable Energy” • The City of Chicago has released a $200 million request for proposals for a contract to procure renewable energy for all city-owned buildings. Under the contract, all city-owned buildings, streetlights and other facilities would run on renewable energy starting in 2022. [Utility Dive]

Chicago Skyline (Alan Light | Flickr)

¶ “Wind’s AWEA And US Power Giants Plan New Industry Body ‘To Make Renewables Dominant'” • The American Wind Energy Association plans to merge into a new clean energy industry body that will also include such utilities as NextEra Energy and Berkshire Hathaway Energy, in a bid to make renewables “the dominant power source in America.” [Recharge]

¶ “Dominion Seeks To Keep North Anna Nuclear Plant Operating Into 2060” • Dominion Energy applied with the NRC to renew the operating license for its North Anna nuclear power station for 20 more years. The renewal would have the reactor units be licensed to operate through 2058 and 2060, when they would be over 80 years old. [Virginia Business Magazine]

Have an altogether delightful day.

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September 4 Energy News

September 4, 2020


¶ “How Does The Tesla Solar Roof Stack Up To A Traditional Solar System After 6 Months?” • Earlier this year, Tesla activated our Tesla Solar Roof system with two Powerwalls in the garage for storage. After 6 months of playing with the system, I’m excited to look at the pros and cons of the system and see if I would do it all over again. [CleanTechnica]

Our new home (Credit: Chuck Field for CleanTechnica)

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Wind Turbines That Stand Up To The World’s Worst Storms” • Challenergy, a Tokyo-based start-up, has designed and built a wind turbine specifically for typhoon-prone areas. For Atsushi Shimizu, founder and chief executive of Challenergy, the ideal places for these robust wind turbines are where reliable electricity is scarce. [BBC]


¶ “Summer 2020’S Arctic Wildfires Set New Emission Records” • Arctic wildfires are setting records for CO₂ emissions, according to scientists at the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service. Based on data from the CAMS’ Global Fire Assimilation System, they estimate that CO₂ emissions from Arctic fires have increased by more than a third, compared to 2019. [CNN]

Arctic wildfire (Yevgeny Sofroneyev | TASS | Getty Images)

¶ “Renault Zoe Van And Kangoo ZE Buyers In UK Get ‘Free’ Home Charging Wallbox” • If you buy a new Renault Zoe Van or Renault Kangoo ZE in the UK, you get a nice little bonus – a home charging wallbox worth £450. You have to order this month for the deal, though. You also have to get the vehicle(s) through Renault Contract Hire. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “CN To Buy 50 Lion Electric Trucks” • The Lion Electric Co has had more than its fair share of orders in the early electric truck market, and this week it notched a big one. The large Canadian transport company CN signed a memorandum of understanding with Lion Electric to buy 50 of its zero-emission, fully electric trucks. [CleanTechnica]

Lion Electric Co electric truck

¶ “Germany Tells Elon Musk That Tesla Will Get Government Support For Giga Berlin” • Reuters reported that Elon Musk met with Germany’s economy minister, Peter Altmaier, who told him that Germany will help in whatever way is needed to help get Giga Berlin running as fast as possible. Other officials have also offered support.  [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Victoria Calls For 600 MW Of New Renewables To Lift Its Economy” • Victoria is turning to renewables to help drive its economic recovery from Covid-19. Lily D’Ambrosio, Minister for Energy, the Environment, and Climate Change, will test industry interest and capacity for 600 MW of new solar, wind and other renewable energy projects. [EcoGeneration]

Putting  up a turbine mast

¶ “China’s Energy Giants Tiptoe Into Renewables” • China’s state energy producers PetroChina, Sinopec, and CNOOC outlined initiatives to develop hydrogen and wind power after their earnings slumped along with the oil price in the first half of the year. But they are being cautious, and their renewables projects could take years to materialize. [Nasdaq]

¶ “Apple Invests In Aussie Renewable Energy Projects” • In an exclusive interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Apple VP of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, Lisa Jackson, said the tech giant was preparing to invest more in renewable energy in Australia in “the very near future.” Apple is committed to be 100% carbon neutral in 2030. [ChannelNews]

Wind turbines in twilight (Screen Shot)


¶ “BYD Is Selected For California Purchasing Contract” • BYD is a global leader in electric bus sales. It has sold more electric buses in the US than any other company. Despite being a Chinese company, it has a factory in California. California has selected BYD as one of the companies that can participate in California’s purchase contract. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vermont Solar Expands State’s Pollinator Habitat” • Bee the Change, a Middlebury-based REV Member, teamed up with REV Member Green Lantern Solar to install its twentieth pollinator-friendly solar field on a 4.5 acre site in New Haven, Vermont. The site will soon host many species of plants that attract pollinator insects and beneficial bird species. [Green Energy Times]

Solar panels and bees (Mike Kiernan at Bee the Change)

¶ “Sunrun, SunPower, Engie, And Others Launch ‘Local Energy For All’ Campaign In USA” • Rooftop solar power has come down in price tremendously in the past decade, as they had for decades before. Solar panels were about nine times as expensive in 2006 as in 2019. Now, solar companies are pushing to make it cheap enough for everyone. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New renewable energy resource provided to Sioux Center” • Sioux Center, Iowa, has added a new renewable energy resource added to its power supply with the dedication of a hydroelectric generating stationt. Missouri River Energy Services, the Sioux Center Municipal Utilities energy partner dedicated the project on September 2. [KCAU 9]

Hydro dam (Courtesy of the City of Sioux Center)

¶ “100-MW Ventura Energy Storage On The Way To Helping California Grid” • Construction has begun for the 100-MW, 400-MWh Ventura Energy Storage battery, near Oxnard, California. With the capacity to serve 80,000 Southern California Edison customers, the project will provide critically-needed reliability services for the grid. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Utah Co-Op Wants To Build 12 Small Nuclear Reactors In Idaho” • Now that the NRC has approved the design for NuScale’s small nuclear reactor, a Utah energy cooperative wants to build 12 of them in Idaho. The Utah Taxpayers Association has come out against the plan, saying costs will soar as they have current reactors. [The Daily Herald]

Have an amazingly beautiful day.

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September 3 Energy News

September 3, 2020


¶ “Can Community Microgrids Fill The Gap In California’s Plans For 100% Renewable Energy?” • Southern California’s Goleta load pocket is a 70 mile stretch of coastline with 220,000 residents. It is served by one 220-kV transmission line snaking its way over 40 miles of mountainous terrain. One activist says microgrids could make it resilient. [pv magazine USA]

Rooftop solar systems (Image: The Solar Revolution, S-5!)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Electric Vehicles ‘Have Significantly Lower Impacts On The Climate,’ New In-Depth Report Finds” • There are often repeated concerns that EVs may not be as clean as we would like. A study by environmental consulting firm Ricardo was undertaken for the European Commission. It showed EVs have significantly reduced climate impacts. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Citroën Launches Low-Cost Ami With Healthy Dose Of Art” • Citroën has launched a tiny little electric car, the Ami. It started the model off by sprinkling twenty of the cars around Paris, all covered in art. More than 100 Ami electric cars will soon be in the Free2Move fleet, but only these initial 20 will have the special designs. [CleanTechnica]

Citroën Ami in Paris

¶ “France Hits 10.5% EV Market Share In August – Up Four Times Year On Year” • Europe’s second largest auto market, France, saw a plugin passenger electric vehicle market share of 10.5% in August 2020, a growth of four times in share from August 2019. Bestsellers this year include the Renault Zoe, Peugeot e-208, and Tesla Model 3. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GE Commissions 85 MW In Turkey” • GE Renewable Energy has commissioned wind farms with a total of 85 MW of capacity in Turkey. The 53-MW Kirazli and 32-MW Meryem wind farms are part of a bigger order placed one year ago by a local joint venture between Turkerler and RT Enerji, for 158 MW for five wind farms in total. [reNEWS]

GE wind farm in Turkey (Image: GE Renewable Energy)

¶ “Norway In August – Over 70% EV Market Share And Heading Higher” • Clean transport transition leader Norway hit a huge 70.2% plugin passenger vehicle market share in August, up from 49% a year ago. Pure battery electrics alone took 53% of the market. September is already showing signs of being a record breaking month. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewables Through The Roof, As Small-Scale Solar Heads To Stunning New Highs” • Australia is on track to add a stunning 6.3 GW of new renewable energy capacity in 2020, thanks largely to a rooftop solar market that has defied the odds of the Covid-19 pandemic and is headed to a record total of just under 3 GW for the year. [RenewEconomy]

Rooftop solar systems (Image: Dan Himbrechts | AAP)

¶ “BigMoon Clinches Canadian Tidal Slot” • BigMoon Power has been awarded its second contract with the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, which will see it provide 4 MW of tidal energy, after an open competition. The power purchase agreement and license will also give BigMoon a berth at FORCE in Nova Scotia and will pay it C$475/MWh. [reNEWS]

¶ “Australia Is Leading The World In Deploying Renewable Energy” • Australia continues to lead the world in the per capita roll out of energy generated by solar and wind, resulting in lower greenhouse gas emissions and falling electricity prices, according to an analysis from The Australian National University based on Clean Energy Regulator data. [Science at ANU]

Wind farm (Harry Cunningham | Unsplash)


¶ “The $999 Lectric XP Is An Affordable Folding Fat Tire eBike” • One year old Lectric eBikes was founded to develop and deliver an affordable yet functional electric bike to customers around the world. The result the effort of co-founders Levi Conlow and Robby Deziel is a folding fat tire electric bike that is first and foremost affordable. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Forms Coastal Virginia O&M Team” • Siemens Gamesa is working with marine and subsea solutions provider Acteon to provide a fully integrated operations and maintenance package for Dominion Energy’s 12-MW Coastal Virginia offshore wind pilot project. The pilot features two Siemens Gamesa 6.0-154 turbines. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine installation (Dominion Energy image)

¶ “EPA Report Shows Onsite Renewable Energy Growth Among Worship Facilities” • The US EPA has released a 15-page report summarizing data on the self-reported use of onsite renewable energy among a subset of US commercial buildings. The report’s information comes from the EPA’s ENERGY STAR® program. It is the first report of its kind. [Church Executive Magazine]

¶ “Ørsted, The World’s Offshore Wind Giant, Gets Serious About Solar” • Ørsted is currently building two huge solar arrays, one in Texas and one in Alabama, totaling nearly 700 MW. Particularly striking is the 460-MW Permian Energy Center in West Texas, which will sell its solar power to ExxonMobil and includes a 40-MW battery system. [Greentech Media]

Permian Energy Center (Photo: Ørsted)

¶ “‘Threatening Hoboken’s very existence’” • A 146-page suit, filed in Hudson County Superior Court on September 2, seeks, among other things, compensatory, punitive, consequential, and treble damages from the defendants for a decades-long campaign of misinformation related to climate change and its impact on Hoboken. [The Hudson Reporter]

¶ “Two Cities Back Out As Critics Line Up Against Utah-Supported Municipal Nuclear Power Project” • Warning of the potential for cost overruns and other risks, opponents continue to line up against a nuclear power project that has the backing of a number of Utah municipalities. There is a Sept 30 deadline to back out of the project. [Salt Lake Tribune]

Have a fabulously superb day.

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September 2 Energy News

September 2, 2020


¶ “What It’s Like To Live In A City That’s Had Three ‘Once In A Lifetime’ Climate Disasters In Twelve Years” • In 2008, Cedar Rapids was completely underwater in a flood considered to be one of the country’s worst natural disasters. But a similar flood came in September, 2016. Last month brought 140 mph winds of a Category 4 derecho. [HuffPost]

Author by a tree in her neighborhood of Cedar Rapids, Iowa

¶ “The Sitting President Has No Climate Plan. Why Isn’t That Headline News?” • As hurricanes and wildfires sweep through the US, the president offers no ideas, and journalists have been giving him a pass. Too often, the press meets the president on his terms, failing to interrogate something that is unacceptable from the nation’s leader. [The Nation]

¶ “The Bright Hope Of Cleantech” • The coalescence of climate change, Covid-19, and economic catastrophe has brought about a malaise that seems unbreachable. And yet, in fact, there is hope. Cleantech has offered glimpses of the future that are downright cheerful. And the change to the better future that hope offers is already under way. [CleanTechnica]

Have a sunny day (CleanTechnica image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Global Survey Using NASA Data Shows Dramatic Growth Of Glacial Lakes” • Researchers using 30 years of NASA satellite data found that the volume of these lakes worldwide has increased by about 50% since 1990 as glaciers melt and retreat due to climate change. Their study, published in Nature Climate Change, was the largest ever done on glacial lakes. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Plastics Will Be Toast, Thanks To Moonlighting Microbes” • Oil & Gas stakeholders may see plastics as a path to the future, but researchers have discovered that certain microbes can moonlight as refineries. They can make ethylene, a building block for all sorts of plastics and chemicals that currently rely on oil and gas. [CleanTechnica]

Help, beneath our very feet (image via ORNL)


¶ “Russia’s ‘Slow-Motion Chernobyl’ At Sea” • Nuclear reactors lost at sea could rust away and lose their radioactive materials. President Vladimir Putin started an initiative to lift two Soviet nuclear submarines and four reactor compartments from the bottom of the Arctic Ocean, reducing the amount of radioactive material in its waters by 90%. [BBC]

¶ “Volkwagen Trademarks “e-Thing” In Europe” • Germans have a reputation for being among the best engineers, but they are not known for their humor. Nevertheless, there is a group of folks within the Volkswagen Group who do seem to appreciate a bit of whimsy. Volkswagen has filed for a trademark in Europe for the name “e-Thing.” [CleanTechnica]

1973 Volkswagen Thing (Courtesy of Volkswagen)

¶ “TenneT Inaugurates Dutch Wind And Solar Substation” • TenneT is inaugurating a high-voltage substation on Middenweg in Eemshaven was built entirely for wind and solar energy. The company laid a 9-km underground cable connection from the new 110-kV substation to the existing Eemshaven Robbenplaat HV substation. [reNEWS]

¶ “Saft Tech Helps Gold Fields Make The Renewable Energy Switch At Agnew” • In Saft’s first project for EDL, a lithium-ion battery energy storage system has been installed in a hybrid solar-wind-battery microgrid with an installed capacity of 56 MW. This is the first microgrid to incorporate wind power on a large scale at an Australia mine. [International Mining]

Gold Fields microgrid

¶ “BHP Signs Wind And Solar Deal To Help Power Queensland Coal Mines” • Global mining giant BHP has signed a five year contract to use wind and solar to deliver up to half of the power needs for its coal mining operations in Queensland. It’s the first big renewable energy off-take agreement signed by BHP in Australia. [RenewEconomy]


¶ “Trump Admin Pushes Oil Drilling In National Forests” • The Trump administration took the wraps off a new rule that will make it easier to drill for oil and gas in national forests. This is happening just as communities are suffering from dirty air and the dangers of a warming planet, from wildfires and heat waves to hurricanes and derechos. [CleanTechnica]

National Forest in Montana (US Forest Service)

¶ “Trash From Baltimore County To Be Used To Produce Renewable Energy” • Trash from Baltimore County will now be used to produce renewable energy. Instead of burning methane gas off with a landfill flare, Energy Power Partners will collect gas produced by the Eastern Sanitary Landfill in White Marsh to create power with on-site generators. [CBS Baltimore]

¶ “DTE Energy Plans Major Two-Year Solar Energy Buildout To Meet Corporate Demand” • DTE Energy plans to significantly expand its solar energy portfolio in the next two years to support growing corporate demand for renewable energy contracts. The Michigan utility announced that it expects to bring 420 MW of new solar capacity online by 2022. [MiBiz]

Solar array

¶ “Austin Community College Becomes First Community College In Texas To Use 100% Renewable Energy” •  Two Austin Community College campuses now use 100% renewable energy, the college announced. The switch to clean energy makes ACC the first community college in Texas to have campuses that are entirely powered by the sun and wind. []

¶ “Enel Green Power Begins Operating Largest Solar Plant In Texas” • Enel Green Power has started operations at the 245-MW second phase of its Roadrunner solar plant in Upton County, Texas. With a total capacity of 497 MW, the Roadrunner project is the largest operational solar farm in Texas and the company’s largest in the US. [REVE]

Have a totally cool day.

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September 1 Energy News

September 1, 2020


¶ “Cheaper, Cleaner, And More Reliable: How Renewables Are Winning Energy Trifecta” • The three business lobby groups cheered loudly when Australia repealed the carbon price in 2013. Now they have joined up with unions, super funds, and research groups to urge the same Coalition government to aim for a zero emissions target by 2050. [RenewEconomy]

Hornsdale wind farm and batteries

¶ “There Is A Humanitarian Crisis In Louisiana And No One Is Talking About It” • Just days ago, a Category 4 hurricane tore through Louisiana. The mainstream media has already moved on, almost as fast as the storm did. I can not stress this enough: People are facing Covid-19 without power, running water, shelter, and food. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Power Companies ‘Hindering’ Move To Green Energy” • A study suggests that power companies are dragging their feet when it comes to embracing green energy sources such as wind and solar. Only one in 10 energy suppliers globally prioritizes renewables over fossil fuels. Even those that are spending on greener energy are still invest in fossil fuels. [BBC]

Workers at a solar array (Getty Images)

¶ “Recovery Money Spent On Fossils Is Twice As Much As Has Been Spent On Renewable Energy” • While delivering the 19th Darbari Seth Memorial Lecture this year, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pointed out that twice as much recovery money has been spent on fossil fuels as clean energy in G20 recovery packages. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “First Electric Armored Money Transporter” • Truck and van maker MAN said its MAN eTGE electric van would be available as an electric armored transporter, with initial delivery to the security company Prosegur. MAN called the van a “world first.” Prosegur vehicles require only short range of 60–70 km (37–44 miles), but weight is a design issue. [CleanTechnica]

MAN eTGE electric money transporter (Image courtesy of MAN)

¶ “Frost & Sullivan: $3.40 Trillion To Be Invested In Renewable Energy By 2030” • The 2020s will be crucial for all participants in the power industry as the transition toward renewable energy is expected to increase, while coal takes a downturn in most developed markets, according to recent analysis by consulting firm Frost & Sullivan. [Solar Industry]

¶ “Computational Method Shows Italy May Install 144.5 GW Of PVs By 2050” • Polytechnic University of Milan researchers have developed a model to find the best spatial distribution of sources of renewable energy for an electricity system. Only PVs and storage were found to be “vital components” for Italy’s plans to decarbonize by 2050. [pv magazine International]

Church of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice (Zoltán Vörös | flickr)

¶ “Apple Is Fueling A Renewable Boom In Taiwan” • Apple is seemingly everywhere these days. From its headline-grabbing stock split to its industry-leading carbon-neutral push, the tech giant is truly showing that it is worth its $2 trillion valuation. And now, it’s ramping up the pressure on its suppliers to commit to going green, as well. []

¶ “Influx Of Renewables Sees Coal Power Plants Run Well Below Capacity, Increasing Chance Of Closures” • Coal power plants in New South Wales are running less than 60% of the time. An analysis also found coal generation in Queensland had dropped to less than 70% of capacity as more cheap solar and wind farms came online. [The Guardian]

Coal-fired power plant (Bloomberg | Bloomberg via Getty Images)

¶ “Vattenfall Fires Up Fossil-Fuel Free Steel Plant” • Vattenfall, SSAB, and LKAB have inaugurated the Hybrit pilot plant in Sweden, which aims to be a step towards fossil-free steelmaking. Tests will now be carried out at the Hybrit plant in several stages for the use of hydrogen in the direct reduction of iron ore, with water emitted instead of carbon dioxide. [reNEWS]

¶ “Hunterston B Nuclear Power Station To Close In 2021” • EDF confirmed that it will close its Hunterston B nuclear station next year, at least a year earlier than scheduled. Decommissioning will begin no later than 7 January 2022. The nuclear power plant in North Ayrshire, Scotland, has regulatory approval to operate until March 2023. [Greenwise Business]

Hunterston B nuclear plant


¶ “Biden: ‘I Am Not Banning Fracking'” • Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said he would not ban fracking in the US if he were elected president, refuting repeated false claims by President Donald Trump about his stance on the issue. Some former Democratic presidential candidates had called for a nationwide ban on fracking. [CNN]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Scores 325-MW Texas Order” • Siemens Gamesa has won turbine orders for two wind projects in Texas. Their combined installed capacity will be 325 MW. The projects, which are being developed by an undisclosed client, will have 65 SG 5.0-145 wind turbines. Both wind farms are expected to be operational in 2021. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Siemens image)

¶ “Plant-Based Foods Rise Sharply In Popularity” • In 2017, according to the Good Foods Institute, the plant-based food market yielded $3.9 billion in sales. By 2019, that market has increased 29% to $5.0 billion. In the meanwhile, dollar sales of conventional animal foods have grown only modestly or actually declined. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Sunrun And GRID Alternatives Will Provide Free Residential Storage Batteries For Those At Risk From Wildfires” • GRID Alternatives is a rooftop solar company with a twist. It focuses on bringing solar power and jobs to underserved communities. It has long partnered with Sunrun, and now that parnership has expanded in an extraordinary way. [CleanTechnica]

Have a comprehensibly grand day.

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