February 7 Energy News

February 7, 2022

Opinion: 

¶ “Is California Becoming Anti-Solar?” • Is California becoming an anti-solar state? It sure seems that way considering its recent desire to start charging homeowners with solar $8 per kW. The state’s utility commission also wants to cut its rooftop solar energy incentives after many years of success. There has been a tremendous backlash. [CleanTechnica]

Googleplex solar rooftops (Steve Jurvetson, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Hydropower For A Resilient Grid – Why We Need It” • The US power grid is more vulnerable than ever before because of a shift in power sources and an uptick in natural disasters. When part of the grid goes out, it can cause a ripple effect across entire regions if not quickly corrected. Hydropower is a valuable resource for addressing that problem. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Making Designer Crystals? It’s Easier With A New Targeted Particle Bonding Strategy” • Colloids are microparticles evenly distributed in a fluid. Crystals made from colloids are valuable in a wide range of applications such as batteries, fuel cells, sensors, solar cells, and catalysts. Scientists have learned how to use them to form a crystal structure. [CleanTechnica]

Crystals made from colloids (Image courtesy of Energy.Gov)

¶ “Corals Doomed Even If Global Climate Goals Met: Study” • An average increase of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels would see more than 99% of the world’s coral reefs unable to recover from ever more frequent marine heat waves, they reported in the journal PLOS Climate. A 2°C increase means mortality will reach 100%, according to the study. [Phys.org]

World:

¶ “Cyclone Batsirai: Whole Villages Swept Away In Madagascar” • At least ten people have been killed and nearly 50,000 were displaced after Cyclone Batsirai brought strong winds and rain to Madagascar. Batsirai – the second major storm in two weeks – made landfall on the east coast, with gusts of 235 km/h (146 mph) and high waves hitting coastal areas. [BBC]

Track of Cyclone Batsirai (Meow, placed into public domain)

¶ “Climate Change: Top Companies Exaggerating Their Progress – Study” • Google, Amazon, Ikea, Apple, Nestle, and other big companies are failing to meet their own targets on tackling climate change, according to a study of 25 corporations. They also routinely exaggerate or misreport their progress, the New Climate Institute report says. [BBC]

¶ “Investors Submit 34 GW Of Wind, Solar, And Storage For Renewables Zone In Australia” • The state government of New South Wales has reported a “huge” response to the registration of interest process for the South-West Renewable Energy Zone. Over 34 GW of wind, solar PV, and energy storage proposals were received, after 3 GW had been sought. [PV Magazine]

Limondale 349-MW (DC) solar farm (RWE image)

¶ “GE Renewable Energy Announces New Renewable Hybrids Factory In India” • GE Renewable Energy announced that it has opened a new renewable hybrids factory near Chennai in India, for the manufacture of Flexinverter and Flexreservoir systems. The factory will be able to fully produce and integrate systems at the site. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Operating Coal-Fired Power Plants More Expensive Than Switching To Renewables – Research” • A paper by Ravi Silva, Director of the Advanced Technology Institute at the University of Surrey, says solar energy typically has a cost comparable to or lower than other energy sources, including coal and nuclear, even as far north as Britain. [Mining.com]

West Burton power station (Richard Croft, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Ratch Australia To Build 70-MW Solar Park In Victoria” • Ratch Australia, an Australian electricity generation company and a subsidiary of Thailand power producer Ratch Group, has secured planning permission for construction of a 70-MW solar park in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley. The Morwell Solar Farm is to be operational by 2024. [Energy Digital]

¶ “The Opposition Demands New Nuclear Power” • For the first time, the party leaders of the four Swedish political parties are now writing a joint debate article in which they draw up the guidelines for a new energy policy. The parties agree to lift the current ban on building new reactors at locations other than the existing nuclear power plants. [California18]

Nuclear power plant (Lukáš Lehotský, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Boulder Sued Big Oil For Climate Damages, Then The Marshall Fire Happened” • Four years ago, Boulder, Colorado, sued ExxonMobil and Suncor Energy for climate change-related damages and adaptation expenses. They estimated the damage at over $100 million by 2050. They vastly overestimated the time and underestimated the price. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “California Utilities Shutting Off Power For Fewer People, But Too Many Still In The Dark” • The practice of shutting off power to prevent utility equipment from starting wildfires is much less prevalent in the news recently. But is that because the events are now less frequent, or have Californians just become accustomed to power outages? [CleanTechnica]

Dixie Fire (Joe Bradshaw, Bureau of Land Management)

¶ “New Gas Plant For Electrical Co-Ops Draws Fire, Highlights Bumpy Path To Renewable Energy” • A gas-fired power plant proposed for Iberville Parish, Louisiana, is an important part of a plan by five rural Louisiana electrical cooperatives to provide reliable, cheap electricity through 2045, backers say. Critics say it would lock in emissions until 2045. [The Advocate]

¶ “Elon Musk Agrees With Keeping The California Nuclear Power Plant Open” • CEO and billionaire Elon Musk stated he agrees to keep a nuclear power plant in California open amidst the issues it faces with continuing its service. Musk agreed that the nuclear plant should not close down but instead focus on continuing its service for the public. [Tech Times]

Have a reliably fabulous day.

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