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]

Have a superbly felicitous day.

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