Archive for the 'nuclear power' Category

February 15 Energy News

February 15, 2019


¶ “Oil And Gas Execs Are Rewarded For Pursuing Stranded Assets That Will Burn Investors” • Even as oil and gas majors announce plans to tie company climate action to employee remuneration, they reward executives for pursuing growth of oil and gas. That will inevitably lead to stranded assets and financial loss for investors. [CleanTechnica]

Oil platform

¶ “Electric Cars Already Cheaper To Own In Europe Than Gas/Diesel Cars” • A report from the International Council for Clean Transportation says electric cars are already cheaper to own than conventional cars. They found the electric version of the VW Golf cost less to own than any model with an internal combustion engine. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Beijing Confirms It Will Implement Stage VI Emissions Rules In 2019” • Beijing will implement Stage VI rules, which will reduce CO₂ and NOX emissions 50% below those of the already strict Stage V level. The Stage VI regulations are based on the ULEV standard, which was put forth by the California Air Resources Board. [CleanTechnica]

Smog in Beijing (China Daily image)

¶ “Hornsea 1 Achieves First Power” • The first turbine installed at the 1218-MW Hornsea 1 offshore wind farm off the UK’s eastern seaboard has started delivering power to the grid. When it is fully commissioned at the end of this year, Hornsea 1 will be the largest wind farm in the world, with 174 Siemens Gamesa 7-MW turbines. [reNEWS]

¶ “Offshore Sun Rising For Orix Off Japan” • Orix, a Japanese conglomerate, is eyeing a push into the country’s nascent offshore wind market. The company already develops onshore projects. Now, it has kicked off a series of seabed acoustic surveys that will examine suitable sites for wind turbines off the coast of Choshi in Chiba prefecture. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbines (reNEWS image)

¶ “Renewables Will Be The Main Source Of Global Energy By 2040, BP Says” • BP says renewable energy will be the world’s main source of power within 20 years. “The pace at which renewable energy penetrates the global energy system is faster than for any fuel in history,” BP said in its latest annual Energy Outlook report. [The Sydney Morning Herald]


¶ “California Leads In Net-Zero Homes As Costs Drop” • Half a dozen California cities are hosting enough net-zero homes to place the state in first place in a trend that is catching on rapidly across the nation. It is expected to accelerate over the coming decade, as the cost of adding net-zero features, including solar, drops by 50%. [CleanTechnica]

Net zero home in Arizona (Zero Energy Project image)

¶ “Renew Nukes? Utilities Use Nuclear Energy To Help Meet Renewable Energy Goals” • Vermont utilities are using nuclear energy to meet renewable energy standards. This is happening under a law meant to encourage conversion from things that use fossil fuel to ones that run on electricity, such as moving from traditional cars to EVs. [Vermont Public Radio]

¶ “Citi Banks On Wind For Texas Operations” • Global banking corporation Citi signed an agreement to use power from the 163-MW Midway wind project for its offices in San Patricio County, Texas. It is to achieve commercial operations in the first half of 2019. Citi will be acquiring 64% of the renewable energy credits generated by the project. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (SXC image)

¶ “The Home Depot Investing In More Wind And Solar Power” • CDP, an environmental impact non-profit, named The Home Depot to its Climate Change “A” List for its actions to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate climate risks. The Home Depot announced initiatives to procure 135 MW of alternative energy by the end of 2020. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Dandelion Energy Closes $16 Million Series A Round To Expand Geothermal Energy” • Dandelion Energy offers homeowners a clean and cost-effective geothermal heating and cooling solution. This week, the company announced the close of a $16 million Series A funding round, bringing the company’s total funding to $23 million. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it. 

¶ “Five Companies Bid To Supply New York With Offshore Windpower” • Five companies, including Norway’s Equinor, Denmark’s Orsted, and France’s EDF have submitted bids to supply 800 MW of offshore wind power to the New York state. The state is planning to develop up to 2,400 MW of offshore wind power by 2030. []

¶ “National Grid To Distribute Energy From Offshore Wind Farm” • National Grid has a twenty-year contract to buy and distribute energy from Revolution Wind, which will become the largest offshore wind farm in Rhode Island. The 400-MW wind farm is expected to reduce electricity costs by $90 million over 20 years. [The Brown Daily Herald]

Offshore wind farm (Courtesy of Kim Hansen)

¶ “Thanks To Its New Democratic Governor, Wisconsin Becomes 20th State To Join US Climate Alliance” • With Wisconsin as the newest member, 40% of all states are part of the alliance to uphold the Paris climate agreement goals. The bipartisan coalition of 21 governors represents 49% of the US population and economies of over $10 trillion. [ThinkProgress]

¶ “Supporters Say Seabrook Nuke Protects Climate; Critics Want More Study Of Concrete Cracks” • Federal regulators still appear poised to re-license Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant, despite requests to delay. An NRC hearing on the issue was packed with industry workers and residents from New Hampshire and Massachusetts. [New England Public Radio]

Have a magnificently fun day.

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February 14 Energy News

February 14, 2019


¶ “The Myth Of The 24/7/365 Power Plant” • The polar vortex caused a nuclear reactor to shut down, drove many coal plants offline, and contributed to a fire at a natural gas facility. Ironically, owners of coal and nuclear plants are arguing for a government bailout because of their supposed resilience in times of extreme weather. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

Start of a snowstorm (Osman Rana, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “China And India Are Making The Planet Greener, NASA Says” • The Earth is facing a climate crisis, but it’s also getting greener and leafier. According to new research by NASA, published in the journal Nature Sustainability, the rise is largely courtesy of China and India, and it is largely the result of increased agriculture and tree planting. [CNN]

¶ “How Climate Will Change In Cities Across The US” • If global greenhouse gas emissions do not decline soon, the climate in Washington, DC, could more closely resemble that of today’s Greenwood, Mississippi, according research by scientists at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and North Carolina State University. [Scientific American]

Cherry blossoms in Washington
(Wendy Harman, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “CaixaBank Partners With EIB To Finance Climate Change Projects” • Spanish banking giant CaixaBank is partnering with the European Investment Bank to launch its first credit line to finance climate action-focused projects. It has launched a new credit line of up to €30 million to promote projects that help to combat climate change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Global Wind Turbine Supply Chain Valued At $540 Billion Over Next Decade” • The global wind turbine supply chain could be worth as much as $540 billion over the next decade, according to new figures published by research firm Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables in its Global wind turbine technology market report 2018. [CleanTechnica]

GE Haliade wind turbine

¶ “UK Onshore Wind Jobs Plummeted 37% In 2017” • Onshore wind employment figures plummeted by 37% between 2016 and 2017 in the UK as the government locked onshore wind projects out from competing in the energy market. This is according to data published by the UK Government’s Office for National Statistics. CleanTechnica]

¶ “‘Every Conceivable’ Renewables Record Fell In 2018, But Drax Warns It Is Not Enough” • The UK is at growing risk of missing legally binding climate targets after the pace of decarbonization slowed last year, new analysis concluded. The warnings come despite the UK seeing “every conceivable” non-hydro renewable energy record broken. [Current News]

Offshore wind turbines (Getty Images) 

¶ “Largest Solar Installation In Baltic States Is Now Operational” • The largest solar panel rooftop installation in the Baltic States opened on the rooftop of a factory in Lentvaris, around 10 km from the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius. The installation’s capacity is 1.4 MW. Lithuania has already met its renewable energy goal for 2020. [Energy Manager Today]

¶ “Spain To Phase Out Nuclear Power Generators By 2035” • In a bid to generate all electricity from renewable resources by 2050, government officials in Spain announced this week that the country’s nuclear power plants would begin shutting down in 2025. The process would continue through a period ending in 2035. [Sputnik International]

Spanish nuclear plant (Gustau Nacarino | © Reuters)

¶ “TEPCO Makes First Contact With Nuclear Debris Inside Fukushima Plant” • TEPCO said it has made first contact with deposits believed to be nuclear fuel debris, a mixture of melted nuclear fuel and parts of the reactor, inside the No 2 reactor containment vessel at Fukushima Daiichi. TEPCO is trying to decide how to remove the fuel. [The Japan News]


¶ “Mayor Of Los Angeles Credits Green New Deal For Decision To Cancel Three Gas-Fired Generating Stations” • Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke about the decision to cancel new gas-fired plants. He said, “Now is the time to start the beginning of the end of natural gas. This is the Green New Deal, not in concept, not in the future, but now.” [CleanTechnica]

Los Angeles

¶ “US Clean Power ‘Rises 19.5 GW'” • Almost 20 GW of new renewable energy capacity was added in the US last year, according to BloombergNEF. In its 2019 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook, BloombergNEF said 19.5 GW was installed in 2018. The figure included  11.6 GW of solar and 7.5 GW of windpower. [reNEWS]

¶ “NextEra Team Unveils 400-MW Hybrid Gant” • NextEra Energy Resources and Portland General Electric Company are developing a wind, solar, and energy storage hybrid project in Oregon. The Wheatridge renewable energy facility in eastern Oregon will include 300 MW of wind and 50 MW each of solar and storage capacity. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (NextEra image)

¶ “Ohio Survey Shows Strong Conservative Support For Renewables” • According to a new poll released by the Ohio Conservative Energy Forum, conservative voters throughout the state overwhelmingly support public policies that encourage greater production of renewable energy. The poll was conducted in January. [North American Windpower]

¶ “Amazon Responds To Greenpeace Report – Remains Committed To 100% Renewables ” • After Greenpeace USA released a report saying Amazon and other cloud computing giants in Virginia’s “Data Center Alley” were failing to meet commitments to 100% renewable energy, Amazon said the report was wrong. [Windpower Engineering]

Have a mystifyingly gorgeous day.

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February 13 Energy News

February 13, 2019


¶ “How Teenage Girls Defied Skeptics To Build A New Global Climate Movement” • Greta Thunberg’s climate activism got her invited from her native Sweden to Davos, Switzerland, where she excoriated a room full of executives, telling them they were to blame for the climate crisis. She is not alone. Young women are rising in many countries. [CNN]

Greta Thunberg, world leader

¶ “Fighting Climate Change May Be Easier Than We Think” • Given the research and the rhetoric, it can be hard to feel at all positive about current efforts to address climate change. But there is good news. We can generate all the electric power we need without fossil fuels. And it may cost less than staying on our current path. [CNN]

¶ “Extinction Rebellion Is Calling You To Join The Nonviolent Civil Disobedience” • Extinction Rebellion is a new movement aligned with the same energy that is powering people led activism around the world, from children taking part in school strikes to young people holding their political elite to account on Capitol Hill. [CleanTechnica]

Extinction Rebellion


¶ “Renewables Make Up 73.6% Of Guatemala’s Power Mix In Week 6” • Renewables accounted for 73.6% of Guatemala’s power mix in the sixth week of 2019, according to the country’s state power regulator Comision Nacional de Energia Electrica. In the first weeks of 2018, the share of renewables dropped below 70% just once. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Iberdrola Selects MHI Vestas As Preferred Supplier For 476-MW Baltic Eagle Offshore Wind Farm” • Spanish electric utility Iberdrola selected offshore wind manufacturing giant MHI Vestas as preferred supplier to supply its 9.5-MW wind turbines for the 476-MW Baltic Eagle project set to be built in German waters of the Baltic Sea. [CleanTechnica]

MHI Vestas 9 MW turbines

¶ “Eleven EU States Already Met 2020 Renewable Energy Target: Eurostat” • Eleven of the European Union’s 28 members have already achieved a 2020 goal of 20% or more of power needs coming from renewable resources, the latest data released by Eurostat show. The 2020 target is a stepping stone to the goal of 32% in 2030. []

¶ “Clean Power Nears 75 GW In India” • India has installed just shy of 75 GW of renewables capacity, figures from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy show. The country’s renewables capacity reached 74.79 GW at the end of 2018, including 35.14 GW of wind, 25.21 GW of solar, 9.92 GW of bioenergy, and 4.52 GW of small hydro. [reNEWS]

Wind farm in India (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “Networks Unveil New Plan That Signals Rapid Decline Of Coal And Gas” • Transmission network companies ElectraNet and Transgrid delivered their final report into their proposal to build a A$1.5 billion link between Robertstown in South Australia and Wagga Wagga in New South Wales. The link will facilitate closing NSW coal plants. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Tonga On Track To Reach Renewable Energy Target” • Tonga’s aim to reach 50% of renewable energy by 2020 is on track, said Tonga Power Ltd CEO, Seti Chen. The 50% target relates to Tonga’s electricity production, to transition the country from imported diesel fuel to renewable sources. The transition will drive cost declines. [Matangi Tonga]

Dancers in Tonga (Tauʻolunga, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Kyushu Electric Power To Scrap No 2 Reactor At Genkai Nuclear Plant” • Kyushu Electric Power Co said it has decided to scrap its aging No 2 reactor at its Genkai nuclear plant in Saga Prefecture. The utility abandoned a plan to restart the unit, which has an output of 559 MW, in the face of the huge costs of safety enhancements. [The Japan Times]


¶ “TVA Tells Trump And McConnell To Take A Hike” • Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell both castigated the Tennessee Valley Authority for its move to close two coal-fired generating stations. But the TVA said retiring both plants in the next 3 to 5 years will “facilitate TVA’s statutory mission to provide reliable power at the lowest system cost.” [CleanTechnica]

Paradise coal plant (TVA Web Team, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “ISO New England Interconnection Queue Has More Offshore Wind Than Gas” • Currently, according to ISO New England’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Vamsi Chadalavada, there are over 20,000 MW of resources seeking interconnection to the system including approximately 10,000 MW of offshore wind. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EDPR Makes 104 MW Colorado Power Play” • Energy provider EDP Renewables will sell electricity from the 104-MW Crossing Trails wind farm in Colorado to Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association under a 15-year power purchase agreement, enabling the project to proceed. It is expected to come online in 2020. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (EDPR image)

¶ “Ørsted Partners With Eversource On Northeast Offshore Wind” • Ørsted announced that it is entering into a partnership with New England’s largest energy company, Eversource, to develop key offshore wind assets in the US Northeast, including two named offshore wind farms and two undeveloped New England lease areas. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “From Kaiser To Vail Ski Resorts, Companies Doubled Their Wind And Solar In 2018” • Across the nation, companies doubled the amount of wind and solar purchase agreements in 2018. One driver was federal tax credits, which are to expire soon. The key driver, however, is investor and customer preference for green energy. [Colorado Public Radio]

Have a resoundingly up-beat day.

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February 12 Energy News

February 12, 2019


¶ “Wall Street Journal Editorial Board’s Anti-Wind Diatribe Is A Swing And A Miss” • The WSJ Editorial Board published an op-ed piece based on experience and numbers from two improperly installed wind turbines. After a review of the two wind turbines’ problems, they concluded, “This green new deal was a bad deal all around.” [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm in Texas

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Climate Change May Affect Winter ‘Weather Whiplash'” • “Weather whiplash” is a sudden shift from one set of weather conditions to another, for example from bone-chilling cold to unseasonably warm. And now, experts are questioning whether the changing climate may affect some kinds of winter whiplash events. [Scientific American]


¶ “Maldives Or Mauritius? No Dilemma For Solar” • In Mauritius, a 16-MW grid-tied solar power plant aimed at reducing coal and oil consumption was commissioned, while in the Maldives the Scaling Up Renewable Energy Program is supporting efforts to commit to clean and inexpensive energies through a 5-MW solar tender. [pv magazine International]

Maldives (PK Niyogi, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “UK Wind Power Hits Record High” • UK wind energy generation hit a new high of over 15 GW on Friday 8 February, according to RenewableUK citing National Grid data. Some 15.32 GW was generated by wind power between 12:15 pm and 1:45 pm, providing 36% of Britain’s electricity demand. The previous record was 15.04 GW. [reNEWS]

¶ “EnergyAustralia To Turn Charities Into Mini-Power Plants” • Electricity company EnergyAustralia is launching a $15 million program to help charities reduce their power bills by installing free solar panels and battery systems, turning them into mini-power plants. It will link the individual systems to form a virtual power plant. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Installing a solar system (Glenn Hunt)

¶ “German Energy Grids Say Plans Ready For 100-MW Hydrogen Plant” • German power and gas grid firms Amprion and Open Grid Europe said they would shortly apply to build the country’s first large hydrogen plant that can convert windpower to alternative fuels that are easier to store and transport. It will have a 100-MW capacity. []

¶ “New Zealand Identifies 11 GW Solar Potential” • New Zealand already uses renewable energy for almost 90% of its electricity demand, according to live transmission data on Transpower’s website, but PV is not even listed among the clean energy technologies in operation. A report says the potential for solar power is huge. [pv magazine International]

New Zealand (Image: Ketan Kumawat | pexels)

¶ “TEPCO To Deploy Robot For First Contact With Melted Fuel From Fukushima No 1 Nuclear Disaster” • TEPCO will use a robot to make contact with material believed to contain melted fuel from a reactor at Fukushima Daiichi. It is to determine whether the melted fuel stays intact or crumbles, so plans can be made to remove it. [The Japan Times]

¶ “Investors ‘Rising To Renewables'” • A report from Octopus Group surveyed global institutional investors with a collective $6.8 trillion of assets under management. It concluded that institutional investors plan to almost double portfolio allocations to renewable energy with almost $210 billion to flow into the sector over the next five years. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Pixabay image)


¶ “Los Angeles Ditches Plan To Invest Billions In Fossil Fuels, Mayor Eric Garcetti Says” • Los Angeles is abandoning a plan to spend billions of dollars rebuilding three natural gas power plants along the coast, Mayor Eric Garcetti said. The city is moving toward a goal of 100% renewable energy and to improve air quality. [Los Angeles Times]

¶ “The Feds Are Spending $48 Million To Move His Village. But He Doesn’t Want To Go.” • Because of rising seas, subsidence, and erosion, 98% of Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana, is gone. The federal government is moving the remaining population, twenty or so families, at a cost of $45 million. It is just the first of such moves. [CNN]

Children of Isle de Jean Charles (Bill Weir | CNN)

¶ “The Latest News From The Tesla Gigafactory 2 In Buffalo Isn’t Good” • Tesla is building Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo, New York, to make solar panels and roof tiles. Now it appears to be a disaster waiting to happen. The state ponied up $750 million to refurbish and equip the factory for Tesla, but former workers say there has not been much progress since. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Putting The Sun In Sunshine State? Florida’s About-Face On Solar Power” • Despite being the Sunshine State, Florida has long lagged when it comes to tapping into the sun’s abundant rays. But now that is changing as utility companies in the state have begun to recognize solar power as a vital component of a diverse energy future. [Christian Science Monitor]

Solar farm in Florida (Alfredo Sosa, CSM staff)

¶ “Look What A Whopping 50,000 Solar Panels Will Do For PATCO Rail Line And Its Commuters” • Solar canopies are to be installed over 10,000 parking spaces at four rail stations in southern New Jersey. They will protect cars from the elements, and they will save the PATCO rail system an estimated $600,000 per year. [Cherry Hill Courier Post]

¶ “Long-Delayed Vogtle Nuclear Plants Want To Delay Reporting How Much Longer They’ll Be Delayed” • Georgia Power started building two Vogtle nuclear reactors in 2009, to be completed in 2016. They were delayed to 2021 and 2022. Now Georgia Power is asking to delay reporting on whether they will be delayed again. [CleanTechnica]

Have an abundantly rewarding day.

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February 11 Energy News

February 11, 2019


¶ “The Win To Stop The Rocky Hill Coalmine Happened In The Right Place And Just In Time” • As Tasmanian forests burn, Queensland is flooded, and New South Wales suffers drought, the chief judge of an Australian court of superior jurisdiction has found, for the first time, that a coalmine ought to be refused for its impact on climate change. [The Guardian]

Valley saved (David Angel | Alamy Stock Photo)

¶ “The Repression Of Environmental Activists Fuels Climate Change” • Coal enthusiast Poland hosted COP24. The outcomes of the summit were widely criticised for being too little too late. But Poland’s actions also drew attention to another alarming global trend: the repression of environmental and climate defenders. [Eco-Business]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Study Says Massive Insect Decline Could Have ‘Catastrophic’ Environmental Impact” • Insect populations are declining precipitously worldwide due to pesticide use and other factors, with a potentially “catastrophic” effect on the planet, a study has warned. Insect biomass is declining by a staggering 2.5% per year worldwide. [CNN]

Spraying pesticides in the Negev Desert
(Menahem Kanaha | AFP | Getty Images)


¶ “Government Subsidies For Coal Nearly 400 Times More Than Environment Ministry Budget” • Indian government subsidies for fossil fuels, including oil and gas, have decreased by 76% over the three years to 2017. Nevertheless, subsidies for the coal industry have remained stable over the same period, a study has found. [IndiaSpend]

¶ “ETA To Supply Subsea Hub For Scots Tidal” • Subsea engineering specialists ETA is to supply a connection system for tidal turbines of Simec Atlantis’ Project Stroma in the Pentland Firth off northern Scotland. The subsea hub will allow multiple turbines to be connected to a single power export cable, which will significantly reduce the costs. [reNEWS]

Installing MeyGen water turbines (Simec Atlantis Energy)

¶ “Rooftop Solar, Batteries Early Winners In NSW Election Race” • Both of the major political parties in New South Wales have answered calls to get serious about renewable energy and climate policy in the state. The two most important parties both unveiled plans over the weekend aimed at boosting solar and battery storage uptake. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Energy From Coal To Shrink At 1.25 GW Every Year, Says S&P Global” • Energy from coal will shrink at 1.25 GW every year as solar would continue to expand with the deployment forecast of 20 GW every year, according to the International Energy Agency’s Sustainable Development Scenario, S&P Global Platts Analytics said in a recent report. []

Coal loader

¶ “Renewables Generate 42% Of Iberdrola’s Electricity In 2018” • Iberdrola produced a total of 61,754 GWh of electricity from renewables sources in 2018, equivalent to 42% of its output, according to the Spanish utility’s provisional data. While overall generation increased by 5.9%, renewable power generation grew by 21.7% year-on-year. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Russia, China Back Nuclear As A Clean-Power Fix For Africa” • South Africa is the only country on its continent to operate a nuclear power plant. In recent years, however, at least seven other sub-Saharan African states have signed agreements to deploy nuclear power with backing from Russia, despite numerous inherent risks. [Arabian Industry]

Nuclear power plant


¶ “Duke Energy Renewables Buys 100-MW Texas Solar Farm Project” • 7X Energy, Inc sold the 100-MW Lapetus Solar Energy Project in Andrews County, Texas, to Duke Energy Renewables. Construction is expected to begin before the end of March. Duke Energy Renewables will continue development and manage construction. [Power Engineering Magazine]

¶ “A Toxic Crisis In America’s Coal Country” • At some of America’s most controversial coal mines, companies use huge amounts of explosives to blow the tops off mountains. Isolated communities say this poisons their water, and now people must decide if they will fight back against an industry they have relied upon for generations. [BBC]

Removing tops of Appalachian Mountains (Getty Images)

¶ “Puerto Rico Renewable Energy Plan Calls For Solar, Storage, And “Midi” Grids” • Puerto Rico is still struggling to recover from the damage caused by Hurricane Maria, which obliterated its aging and poorly maintained electrical grid. A draft of a plan by the local utility would replace the old grid with new mid-sized power grids. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Green New Deal Backers Rally Outside US Rep Antonio Delgado’s Kingston Office” • Activists gathered at Rep Antonio Degaldo’s office in Kingston, NY, to urge him to support moves to counter climate change. They want work ended on all new fossil fuel projects, 100% renewable electricity by 2035, and a renewable energy economy. [The Daily Freeman]

Have an enchantingly agreeable day.

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February 10 Energy News

February 10, 2019


¶ “Lessons About The Contemporary State Of Fossil Fuels – Venezuela-Style” • Let’s look at Venezuela, which is in trouble despite vast oil resources, and try to understand why it’s suddenly unable to extract them. The lesson from one country may be instructive to other oil-producing countries around the world – like the US. [CleanTechnica]

Oil tanker (Pixabay image)

Electric Aviation:

¶ “Electric Airplane Maker Pipistrel Teams Up With Honeywell To Give Us An Autonomous eVTOL” • Honeywell says it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Pipistrel and the companies will together develop urban air mobility solutions. They will combine their resources to develop an autonomous Pipistrel eVTOL. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “eVTOL Aircraft Are Getting Closer To Flying You Than You Can Imagine” • We are witnessing one of the most incredible moments in the history of transportation as we move away from fossil fuels to electricity, increasing our freedom to innovate for greater mobility. Air taxis are being tested now, and eVTOLs are coming to market. [CleanTechnica]

Rolls Royce flying taxi

¶ “Welcome To The Era Of Electric Airplane Racing – Airbus Becomes Official Founding Partner Of Air Race E” • Airbus is the official founding partner of Air Race E, the new e-plane race that sets to be the Formula E of the air by 2020. Airbus will use the racing series as a test bed for betterment of electric propulsion technology. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Power Plant That Turns Green Waste Into Energy Could Solve Power Reliability In Regions” • The Rainbow Bee Eater group designed and built a power plant in Western Australia that uses biomass to create clean burning fuel gas or electricity in a single step. Developers say it does not need government subsidies or grants to be cost effective. [ABC News]

Kalannie, Western Australia (ABC: Chris Lewis)

¶ “Capturing CO₂ From Wood-Burning Underway At UK’s Drax Power Station” • The UK’s biggest renewable power generator, Drax Power Station, has begun a world-first trial of capturing carbon dioxide from wood-burning at its facility. The bioenergy carbon capture and storage pilot project captures one tonne of CO₂ a day. [Market Business News]

¶ “Scottish Government Launches £10 Million Saltire Fund” • A £10 million prize for the development of technology to harness tidal power has been relaunched in Scotland. The Scottish government said the Saltire Fund will help commercialize clean energy and lower operating costs. An earlier competition ended without anyone claiming a prize. [BBC News]

Pelamis wave energy device

¶ “Don’t Blame Renewables For Blackouts, Energy Experts Say” • A Grattan Institute report says fears that rising levels of renewables will cause blackouts in Austalia are misplaced. It said the conversation on reliable power should focus on correcting network reliability problems and incentivizing investment in generation. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Morocco On Track To Generate 42% Of Its Electricity From Renewable Energies By 2020: CNN” • Morocco is well on track to generate 42% of its electricity from renewable energies by 2020, US TV channel CNN pointed out in an article published on its website. Morocco already gets 35% of its electricity from renewables. [Morocco World News]

Solar plant of Ouarzazate Morocco

¶ “Fire Extinguisher System At Nuclear Plant Freezes” • A fire extinguisher system has broken down at a nuclear power plant in northern Japan due to a record cold weather. Hokkaido Electric Power Company says a worker discovered the problem at its Tomari nuclear plant. The plant’s reactors have been offline since the Fukushima Disaster. [NHK WORLD]

¶ “Insect Pests On Conifers In Eastern Canadian Forests Are Moving North” • The spruce budworm, the main defoliator of conifer trees in Eastern North American boreal forests, is spreading northwards, and climatic factors seem to trigger and synchronize major outbreaks. These results are revealed by analyses in Quebec. []

Trees killed by infestation (Miguel Montoro Girona)


¶ “House Climate Panel Democrats Steeped In Energy Industry Cash” • Democrats named to a newly revived House committee on climate change received more than $238,000 in contributions from the oil, gas, and utility industries, campaign finance data show. The Republican committee members have not been named yet. [Bloomberg]

¶ “Renewables Gain Traction In Wisconsin And Illinois” • Two years ago, the Midwest was a place where Donald Trump banged the drum for coal power. Today, his words sound ridiculous as, one after another, the US states with the highest concentration of coal-fired generating stations are rushing to embrace renewable electric power. [CleanTechnica]

Wind energy in the Midwest

¶ “Department Of Energy Unveils 12 Power Management Projects Worth $35 Million” • The DOE confirmed that it is making $35 million in awards for twelve power projects aimed at finding new ways of harnessing medium voltage electricity for transportation, industry, on the grid, and a number of other applications. [Global4Energy News]

¶ “LVCVA To Consider leaving NV Energy” • The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is considering leaving NV Energy, potentially taking its 3.2 million-square-foot Las Vegas Convention Center out of the utility’s service. The board wants to find an alternative provider to save money and use more renewable resources. [Las Vegas Review-Journal]

Have a thoroughly happy day.

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February 9 Energy News

February 9, 2019


¶ “America’s Green New Deal Is Going To Happen At State, Not Federal Level” • While US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey introduced a resolution for a clean energy package at the federal level, legislation has been tabled in six states aiming to implement 80-100% clean energy by 2050 or earlier. [pv magazine Australia]

Green New Deal (Senate Democrats, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Another Way To Power Electric Cars: ‘Refillable Technology'” • Researchers at Purdue University say they have a new way of powering electric cars, which they call “refillable technology.” It uses one liquid electrolytes and a sacrificial anode that is replaced at 3,000 mile intervals. The technology has been tested and is being commercialized. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Pace Of Global Warming Slows, Says Schroders Climate Progress Dashboard” • Global asset manager Schroders has published the latest update of its Climate Progress Dashboard. It concluded that the pace of global warming has slowed marginally thanks to higher carbon prices and increased political ambition to tackle climate change. [CleanTechnica]

Cloud and sunbeams

¶ “2018 Was One Of The Hottest Years On Record And This Year Could Be Even Hotter” • All five of the hottest years on record have occurred in the last five years, global temperature data released by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows. And signs are that 2019 will fit with that trend. [Phys.Org]


¶ “Drones, Seeds, And Fires: How DroneSeed Plants Trees From The Sky” • DroneSeed is on a mission to “make reforestation scalable,” and it is making progress on the goal. The company has signed a contract with The Nature Conservancy, the world’s largest land conservation organization, to work on rangeland restoration. [CleanTechnica]

Working on a seed-planting drone (DroneSeed image)

¶ “IAEA Urges Patience For Fukushima Nuclear Cleanup” • The International Atomic Energy Agency completed its fourth review of Japan’s efforts in decommissioning and cleaning up the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station since the meltdowns there. It has urged patience and public transparency as nuclear fuel debris is removed. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Grid-Scale Solar Power Tripled In Australia In 2018 As Renewables Met 20% Of Energy Output” • The December, 2018 Renewable Energy Index report from Green Energy Markets is out. It says large scale solar farms in Australia “really jumped out of the blocks in 2018, with generation leaping up by almost 300% on the prior year.” [CleanTechnica]

Concentrating solar (Richard Gifford, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Labor Announces Plan For 500,000 Households To Get Rooftop Solar” • New South Wales Labor announced support for a program to help 500,000 households to install rooftop solar. Owner-occupied households in NSW with a combined income of A$180,000 or less would be eligible for rebates capped at A$2,200 each. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Australia On Track For 50% Renewables By 2024, At “Zero Net Cost”” • Findings published by the Australian National University say Australia is on track to hit 50% renewable electricity in 2024 and 100% in 2032, at a net cost close to zero. The Clean Energy Council warned that federal government policy could squander the opportunity. [pv magazine International]

Wind farm in Tasmania (Ian Cochrane, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “Sunrun Wins Milestone Solar, Storage Contract In ISO New England Auction” • Sunrun Inc has won a bid to deliver home solar and batteries as a source of energy capacity to grid operator ISO New England. It is the first time that home solar and battery storage has participated directly in a US wholesale capacity market, the company claims. [Solar Industry]

¶ “The USPS Takes Delivery Of First Electric Step Van From Motiv Power Systems” • California-based Motiv Power Systems has delivered the first of seven fully electric mid-sized delivery vans to the US Postal Service as part of a California Air Resources Board-funded program. The new rigs are based on Ford’s E-450 platform. [CleanTechnica]

USPS E-450

¶ “Vermont Electric Reports Energy Successes” • The Vermont Electric Cooperative reports it has successfully met, and in some cases exceeded, the first round of statewide renewable energy and fossil fuel reduction requirements under Vermont’s Renewable Energy Standard, which sets targets for reducing use of fossil fuels. [Stowe Today]

¶ “Kids Climate Case Plaintiffs Ask Court To Halt New Federal Fossil Fuel Leases” • The Climate Kids, twenty-one young Americans suing the US government for knowingly exacerbating climate change, have filed a motion to stop the government from leasing out federal land and offshore areas for oil, gas, and coal extraction. [Climate Liability News]

Demonstration (Win McNamee | Getty Images)

¶ “MPSC Approves More Wind For Consumers’ Renewable Energy Plan” • The Michigan Public Service Commission approved a proposal by Consumers Energy Co to add up to 525 MW of new wind facilities to its power production portfolio. Two proposed 175-MW wind projects would begin operation this year and next. []

¶ “Grand Valley Power Sets Goal Of 60% Clean Energy By 2030” • Grand Valley Power, a not-for-profit electric cooperative in Western Colorado, has adopted one of the most aggressive environmental targets of any electric cooperative in the nation. They want to deliver a 60% clean energy mix to for its 18,000 customers by 2030. [KKCO-TV]

Have an incredibly good day.

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February 8 Energy News

February 8, 2019


¶ “Coal Under The Bus, State Of The Union Edition” • There was a total omission of the US coal industry from President Trump’s State of the Union address. Adding insult to injury, he took the opportunity to wax enthusiastic over productivity in the US oil and gas industries. It’s almost like he wanted all those miners to feel the burn. [CleanTechnica]

Open-pit coal mine in Wyoming

¶ “Bill Gates’ Quixotic Quest To Revive Nuclear Power” • Bill Gates has been lobbying Congress to secure federal financial support for nuclear power and for a nuclear company in which he is a large investor. This plea for federal largesse from a deca-billionaire illustrates why further nuclear subsidies make no sense. [GreenBiz]


¶ “Acciona Wraps Up South African Solar Gig” • The 100-MW Kathu concentrated solar plant constructed by Acciona Industrial and Sener in South Africa has started commercial operations. Kathu uses Sener’s parabolic trough collectors and a molten salt storage system, so electricity can be generated during times of the night. [reNEWS]

Kathu solar plant (Acciona Industrial image)

¶ “Hanergy Is Launching The First $1 Billion Solar Industrial Park In The Middle East” • Hanergy Thin Film Power Group has signed an Memorandum of Understanding with Ajlan & Bros to launch the first solar thin-film industrial park in the Middle East with a $1 billion investment. It is to help transform the region into a global leader. [Energy Digital]

¶ “China’s Largest Renewables Hybrid Project Adds 100-MWh Battery” • Chinese li-ion battery manufacturer CATL has delivered a 100-MWh battery storage system to the country’s largest mixed renewables plant. The plant features 400 MW of wind energy, 200 MW of PVs, and a 50-MW concentrating solar system. [pv magazine International]

Solar and wind power (Image: Naturstrom AG)


¶ “Australia Will Fall Short Of 2030 Emissions Target, Says OECD” • A report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development found that despite some progress, Australia remains one of its most carbon-intensive countries and one of the few where greenhouse gas emissions increased over the past decade. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Australia Can Meet Paris Targets If Government Doesn’t Hinder Progress, Report Claims” • An Australian National University report finds Australia is installing renewable energy faster than any other country, a trend that will have country meet its economy-wide Paris targets five years ahead of schedule, unless politics derail the trend. [The Guardian]

Rooftop solar (Dan Himbrechts | AAP)

¶ “South Australian Zinc Mine To Be Converted Into Australia’s First Compressed Air Facility For Renewable Energy Storage” • The Australian Renewable Energy Agency announced $6 million in funding to Hydrostor Australia Pty Ltd for Australia’s first compressed air energy storage project. It is to have a 5-MW/10-MWh capacity. [Mirage News]


¶ “Ocasio-Cortez And Markey Unveil Green New Deal Resolution” • Two Democrats, Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Sen Ed Markey of Massachusetts, unveiled their “Green New Deal” resolution, which outlines the definition of the massive piece of legislation they hope will tackle issues related to the US’ role in climate change. [CNN]

Rep Ocasio-Cortez with Sen Markey (Photo: Alex
Wong | Getty Images North America | Getty Images)

¶ “Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal: What’s In It” • While calling for the elimination of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture, transportation, manufacturing, and construction, the resolution contains no mention of bans or regulation, as other plans have described. Instead, it focuses on a range of green investments. [CNN]

¶ “A Small New York Town Plans A Profitable, 100% Renewable Energy Future” • With advances in technology, the pathways to 100% renewable energy are becoming clear. For the Town of Marbletown, New York, that problem is solving itself. The town’s advantages are a community choice aggregation policy and a lack of natural gas. [Greentech Media]

Hudson River at Marbletown (Photo:

¶ “Cli-Fi On The Big Screen Changes Minds About Real Climate Change” • Rather than lobby naysayers with more facts, perhaps climate scientists should send them to the movies about a new genre, climate change fiction, or cli-fi. Apple TV will run a series called “Losing Earth” this year, and TNT will turn the movie “Snowpiercer” into a TV series. [CNN]

¶ “Driverless, On-Demand Vehicles Will Bring The Grocery Store To You” • Stop & Shop, a supermarket company with more than 400 locations in several states, announced plans to launch autonomous grocery vehicles in the greater Boston area this spring. It is collaborating with Robomart, a startup that creates self-driving stores in vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

Autonomous grocery vehicle (Stop & Shop image)

¶ “Vineyard Wind Fails To Qualify For Bidding In New England Power Auction” • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission took no action on Vineyard Wind LLC’s requests for a waiver and emergency motion to put off New England’s annual power-capacity auction. The developer has failed to qualify in time for the competition. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Duke Energy Carolinas Launching Solar Enrollment Program” • Duke Energy Carolinas is providing another renewable energy option for its South Carolina customers that will let them see real savings in their monthly bills from the output of two new solar facilities in the state. Enrollment will be on a first-come, first served basis. [Solar Power World]

Have an exceptionally fine day.

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February 7 Energy News

February 7, 2019


¶ “2018: The Year Fossil Fuels Began Their Inexorable Decline” • 2018 will likely go down as the year that fossil fuels in Australian electricity generation began an inexorable decline, with renewable energy making significant in-roads. These will continue into 2019 and 2020, and almost certainly they will go beyond that. [RenewEconomy]



¶ “CDP Report: World’s Biggest Businesses Cut 633 Million Metric Tonnes Of CO₂ From Supply Chains” • With greenhouse gas emissions in supply chains on average 5.5 times those of company’s direct operations, a CDP report shows a step-change in corporate action on environmental impacts in supply chains in the last decade. [Energy Digital]

¶ “UN Warns World On Track To Breach 3°C Rise By 2100” • The UN report said the world was on track to have average global temperatures rise to 3°C by 2100, as record levels of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, mainly from burning fossil fuels, is trapping more heat in the Earth’s atmosphere. The increase is considered clearly dangerous. [ABC News]

Sydney skyline (Mary Lloyd | ABC News)

¶ “Nike Makes New Wind Deal With Iberdrola” • Iberdrola and Nike have entered into their third renewable power purchase agreement in three years, setting their sights on Europe for the first time. In total, on both sides of the Atlantic, the global sporting brand now benefits from the supply of over 200 MW of wind power. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Taiwan Finally Announces 2019 Feed-in Tariff” • Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs has finally announced the 2019 Feed-in Tariff for offshore wind projects revealing new numbers. While the FIT is not what the industry would have preferred and poses some production problems, it is nevertheless not as bad as was originally feared. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind turbines

¶ “Enel Turns Sod On 716-MW Brazilian Giant” • Renewables developer Enel has started construction of a 716-MW wind farm in Brazil, the biggest project of its kind in South America. Enel will invest over €700 million in the Lagoa dos Ventos project in the north-east state of Piaui. The wind farm is expected to enter operation in 2021. [reNEWS]


¶ “Portland Riders Say No Thank You To Buying Cars When They Have Electric Scooters, Detroit Frowns!” • Carmakers did not expect it, but it turns out that, in the end, city dwellers prefer hopping on an e-scooter they can rent by the minute over spending tens of thousands of dollars on a car. Who would have ever thought? [CleanTechnica]

Lime escooters (Pixabay image)

¶ “On Capitol Hill, New Calls For Rapid Action On Climate Change” • President Donald Trump did not mention climate change or environmental work in his State of the Union address. But on the following day, the US House Natural Resources Committee had its first hearing in eight years that focused on climate change. [CNN]

¶ “Florida Public Service Commission Opens The Floodgates For Solar Leases” • Florida residents have a new option for green electricity as the Florida Public Service Commission approved Tesla’s SolarLease option. A sticking point had been whether the program was actually selling electricity to consumers, which is not allowed. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop solar system in Florida

¶ “University Of Delaware Sets Up Courses To Train Offshore Wind Professionals” • The University of Delaware is now giving classes in a new curriculum to train people for wind energy industry jobs. It is the first offshore wind skills training program in the US to focus on professionals and managers seeking to enter the industry. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “LG&E In Kentucky Wants Renewable Energy Proposals” • Kentucky’s largest electric utility is seeking proposals for renewable energy. Louisville Gas and Electric cites growing interest and declining costs for renewable energy. The company is engaging in a formal review and issued a request for proposals from suppliers. [Electric Light & Power]

Wind farm (ELP image)

¶ “Maine Wind Farm Looks To Contribute 250 MW Of Renewable Energy To RI” • EDP Renewables proposed to provide Rhode Island with energy from its Number Nine Wind Farm in Maine. The company says the wind farm could produce up to 250 MW, enough to power about 109,000 average Rhode Island homes. [GoLocalProv]

¶ “100% Renewable Energy Plan For Illinois Tabled Including 6 GW Of Solar” • Illinois State Rep Will Davis announced the “Path to 100 Act,” introducing legislation that would bring the state to a 100% clean energy mix. It builds on the efforts of the Future Energy Jobs Act to spur renewable energy deployment across the state. [PV-Tech]

Chicago (Image: Roman Boed | Flickr)

¶ “Here’s How Corporate US Is Driving The Renewable Revolution” • A Wood Mackenzie Power and Renewables report highlights a 22% share of US renewables power-purchase agreements being made by corporates. It affirms findings that accredit large corporations with driving both the solar and wind industries forward in 2018. [Smart Energy]

¶ “FirstEnergy Preparing To Close Ohio Nuclear Power Plant” • FirstEnergy’s nuclear power unit submitted paperwork to the NRC to proceed with closing its Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station in Ohio by May 31, 2020. Applications were filed to prepare for the permanent removal of nuclear fuel from the reactor and for reduced staffing. [Kallanish Energy]

Have a gloriously lovely day.

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February 6 Energy News

February 6, 2019


¶ “Why Oil Companies Have Suddenly Gone Missing In The Bond Market” • The US shale oil revolution was built on cheap capital from the bond markets. Frackers used tons of borrowed money to make enormous technological advances in drilling, and that sent oil output skyrocketing. But that trend has broken down in recent months. [CNN]

Pumpjack (Photo: Daniel Acker | Bloomberg via Getty Images)

¶ “Ten Mind-Numbing Figures That Define PG&E’s Bankruptcy” • The Pacific Gas and Electric process could take years, with the costs to the company, its consumers, and ancillary industries being almost mind-numbing. It could cost up to $150 billion for PG&E just to comply with court orders, and that’s only one outrageous figure. [Motley Fool]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Does The Climate Shape Social Change?” • Locked inside the wood of Japan’s hinoki trees is an unprecedented 2,600 year-long record of rainfall patterns that are helping to piece together how weather shapes society. By studying ratios of isotopes of oxygen in the cellulose of the logs, scientists can correlate changes in climate and society. [BBC]

Cedar logs


¶ “Volkswagen Continues To Spend Most Of Its R&D Budget On Fossil Fuel Transportation” • While it is exciting that the Volkswagen Group plans to have 50 electrified models in its lineup by 2030, that has to be balanced against another statistic. Over 300 models are under the VW group umbrella, and 250 will not be not electric. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Japanese Energy Companies Scrap 2-GW Coal Project” • Three Japanese energy companies announced that they have decided to scrap plans to build a 2-GW coal-fired power station in the Chiba Prefecture, near Tokyo, saying that the project would not be economically feasible. It is the second coal plant scrapped recently. [CleanTechnica]

Coal plant (Credit: Joel Abroad, via Flickr)

¶ “Granny Smith Gold Mine To Install Renewable Energy Microgrid Onsite” • Gold Fields’ Granny Smith gold mine is set to install one of the world’s largest renewable energy microgrids. It is to be powered by more than 20,000 solar panels, with a total capacity of 8 MW, and backed up by a 2-MW/1-MWh battery system. [Global Mining Review]

¶ “Researchers At University Of Liege Claim Greenland Wind Power Could Help Power Europe” • Researchers at the University of Liège in Belgium say their computer models show wind turbines in southern Greenland could create an abundance of wind energy and feed it into the European grid using HVDC transmission lines. [CleanTechnica]

Katabatic wind in Antarctica (Wikipedia)

¶ “SA’s Big Banks Pull Out Of Funding New Coal Projects” • Reportedly, three of South Africa’s biggest commercial banks have pulled out of funding new coal-fired power projects. This is according to energy expert Chris Yelland, who has reported on the status of these independent power projects over the past several weeks. [BusinessTech]


¶ “WattTime Brings Automatic Emissions Reduction To EV Drivers” • Nonprofit WattTime has automated emissions reduction algorithms that will permit utilities and electricity consumers, including EV drivers, to reduce emissions by shifting flexible power usage to avoid periods when the grid is relying on high emissions sources. [CleanTechnica]

At work (Credit: WattTime)

¶ “ReVision Energy Merger Expands Its Reach In NH And Vermont” • ReVision Energy announced that it plans to merge with Energy Emporium of Enfield, NH. The merger positions ReVision Energy, which completed a number of solar projects in the Upper Valley in New Hampshire and Vermont, for further growth in the region. [Mainebiz]

¶ “Vineyard Passes Muster With Massachusetts” • The 800-MW Vineyard Wind offshore wind farm off the US east coast has passed the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act review process, enabling it to proceed with state, regional and local permitting. The review process allowed the company to hear the concerns of stakeholders. [reNEWS]

Block Island wind project (Deepwater Wind image)

¶ “Penn State: Powered By The Sun” • Lightsource BP and Penn State announced development of a 70-MW offsite solar system to support the University’s Strategic Plan, which cites stewardship of the planet’s resources as a key priority. The project will provide 25% of Penn State’s state-wide electricity requirements. [Penn State News]

¶ “Lawmakers Seek Support For Nuclear Bailout Bill” • Two Pennsylvania representatives circulated co-sponsorship memos asking their colleagues to join them in supporting forthcoming legislation to amend Pennsylvania’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard so it will include nuclear energy as an alternative source. [StateImpact Pennsylvania]

Three Mile Island

¶ “A Draft Plan From Puerto Rico’s Utility Reveals A Huge Shift Towards Solar Power” • A draft version of the 2019 integrated resource plan from the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority shows renewable energy is increasingly appealing for the island. The IRP lays out a proposal for Puerto Rico’s electrical grid over the next twenty years. [ThinkProgress]

¶ “A Look Inside Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station Before Its Reactor Goes Quiet” • Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, Massachusetts, is one of the worst performing power plants in the country. It is scheduled to shut down permanently in four months. For security reasons, only a few people besides employees have been inside. [WCAI]

Have a rollickingly mirthful day.

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February 5 Energy News

February 5, 2019


¶ “Taxpayers Should Not Fund Bill Gates’ Nuclear Albatross” • Even Bill Gates cannot make the numbers work for nuclear power. It is so uneconomical that existing US nuclear power plants are bleeding cash, and in many places it’s now cheaper to build and run new wind or solar farms than to run an existing nuclear power plant. [ThinkProgress]

German nuclear plant (Photo: Sean Gallup | Getty Images)

¶ “Why Disney World Is Betting On Clean Energy” • Climate change is bad for business. But companies that invest in clean energy, engage customers in sustainability efforts and leverage their influence to drive smart policies can turn a downside risk into tangible cost-savings, customer retention and global leadership. [Environmental Defense Fund]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Earth’s Oceans Are Routinely Breaking Heat Records” • Two recently published peer-reviewed studies make clear that the planet’s oceans are continuing to set hottest-yet temperature records nearly every year and, secondly, that the rate of ocean warming is in virtual lockstep with what modern climate models have projected. [Yale Climate Connections]

Argo float measuring ocean conditions (Photo: NASA)

¶ “Climate Change Will Shift The Oceans’ Colors” • By 2100, the ocean as we know it is likely to change color, said a study in the journal Nature Communications that modeled how phytoplankton will change as oceans warm. Unless climate change is addressed, subtropical oceans will be bluer, and oceans in colder regions will be greener. [National Geographic]

¶ “Climate Change Will Melt Vast Parts Of The Himalayas, Study Says” • At least a third of the ice in the Hindu Kush Himalaya region, an area that includes Mount Everest and K2, could melt by the end of this century, a study said. That is even if there is aggressive action to curb greenhouse gases and meet the Paris climate agreement goals. [CNN]

Nepal (Neville Gillette)


¶ “EDF Renewables And SITAC Group Sign Pact For 300 MW Wind Energy Project In India” • EDF Renewables, based in North America, announced its Indian arm signed an agreement to develop 300 MW of wind project along with the UK-based SITAC Group. The agreement arose from a competitive tender process. []

¶ “Global Offshore Wind Capacity To Increase Sixfold, Predicts WoodMac” • Global offshore wind power capacity is expected to increase almost sixfold over the next decade according to a report from Wood Mackenzie Power and Renewables, growing from being deployed in only 7 countries at the end of 2017 to 18 countries by 2027. [CleanTechnica]

London array

¶ “Acciona Dials Up Green Power In Spain” • Renewables developer Acciona agreed to supply Spain’s Telefonica with 345 GWh of clean power in 2019. This is equal to 23% of the telecom giant’s total electricity consumption. According to the contract Acciona will supply 72 points located in Telefonica facilities in the country. [reNEWS]

¶ “Elliott Green Power Opens Susan River Solar Farm, Two More Being Built” • Elliott Green Power has opened its 95-MW Susan River solar farm in Queensland, and the company has two mores solar farms coming this year. Two years ago, the state had only rooftop solar systems and one large renewable project; now it has twenty large projects. [RenewEconomy]

Susan River solar farm (Photo: Supplied)

¶ “UK Turns Away From Nuclear As Poland Prepares To Embrace It” • Nuclear power is touted by many as a clean alternative to coal and natural gas for a world that must dramatically reduce carbon emissions quickly or face the consequences of a warming environment. The history of nuclear power in the UK suggests it will not do. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Volkswagen’s Electrify America To Install Hundreds Of New Tesla Powerpacks” • Electrify America, a Volkswagen subsidiary created as part of the “dieselgate” settlement, announced plans to fit more than 100 of its electric car charging stations with Tesla Powerpack batteries over the course of this year to avoid overloading the grid. [Inverse]

Tesla Powerpack and Electrify America charge point

¶ “New York Power Authority Makes Its First Transaction In Large-Scale Renewables” • The New York Power Authority has awarded a power purchase agreement for a 290-MW wind project to be constructed in Steuben County to procure and accelerate renewable energy and advance New York’s clean energy goals. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Michigan’s New Governor Puts Climate Change at Heart of Government” • Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan signed orders to revamp the state’s environmental policy apparatus, becoming the latest newly elected Democratic leader in an industrial swing state to pick up the reins of action on climate change. [InsideClimate News]

Wind turbines in Michigan (NOAA, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “City Of Warwick Debuts Its Second Solar Array, Via Southern Sky Renewable Energy” • Southern Sky Renewable Energy RI and the City of Warwick, Rhode Island, recently flipped the switch on the City’s second solar array. The array on West Shore Road hosts 2,628 panels that are now producing 1 MW of electricity. [Solar Builder]

¶ “Green New Deal Won’t Call For End To Fossil Fuels” • Legislative text being crafted by Democrats calls for “net-zero greenhouse gas emissions” but does not explicitly call for phasing out oil, gas and coal. Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen Ed Markey are expected to introduce a resolution outlining elements of the plan within days. [Politico]

Have an exultantly gleeful day.

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February 4 Energy News

February 4, 2019


¶ “Energy Storage: Next Game Changer” • Everybody agrees that storage is turning into big business, and soon, but exactly how big and how soon? According to a report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance the global energy-storage market will surge to a cumulative 942 GW by 2040 requiring a hefty investment of $620 billion. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Powerwall installation

¶ “8% Plug-In Electric Vehicle Market Share In China!” • After a 3 month streak of record-breaking sales, plug-in electric vehicles in December just kept on pushing forward. China registered over 180,000 PEVs in December, making it the 4th record month in a row and achieving 70% year-over-year growth. Over 1 million EVs were sold in China in 2018. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Sodium Sulfur Battery In Abu Dhabi Is World’s Largest Storage Device” • Abu Dhabi now boasts the world’s largest storage battery, a 108-MW/648-MWh behemoth that has five times the capacity of the Hornsdale battery installed in Australia by Tesla a year ago. And the battery system in Abu Dhabi does not depend on lithium. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array in Abu Dhabi (MASDAR image)

¶ “South Australia’s Second Big Solar Farm Gets Generation Licence, To Start Production” • The second big solar farm in the already renewables-rich South Australia has won its generation licence from the state’s regulator, and the developers plan to start putting the project into commission, with full production set for mid April. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Canada Adds 566 MW Of Wind In 2018, On Track For 1000 MW In 2019” • Annual wind power capacity additions in Canada totalled 566 MW in 2018 and are expected to be around 1,000 MW this year, the Canadian Wind Energy Association says. Canada’s total installed wind capacity was 12,816 MW at the end of the year. [Renewables Now]

Cartier wind facility (TransCanada Corp image)

¶ “Solar’s Share In India’s Total Installed Capacity Rises To 7.9% At The End Of 2018” • Renewable energy capacity additions continue to increase at a significant pace in India, accounting for approximately 22% of India’s power capacity mix at the end of December 2018. Solar capacity stood at 7.91% of the total at the end of the year. [Mercom India]

¶ “Tokyo Gas Invests Further In Solar And Creates JV For Storage” • The acquisition of a 4.8 MW solar plant in the Kyoto prefecture and creation of a joint venture with Japanese storage specialist Exergy are part of the group’s 2020 plan to diversify its business into renewables. The company plans to acquire 1 GW of renewable capacity. [pv magazine International]

Tokyo sunset (Image: kwkd | Flickr)


¶ “Mynydd Y Gwair Wind Farm Starts Generating” • Mynydd y Gwair Wind Farm has started generating energy. The 16-turbine wind farm in South Wales is expected to produce amounts of renewable electricity equivalent to what is needed to power about 22,600 average Welsh homes, when it is fully operational later this year. [South Wales Guardian]

¶ “Orkney’s Sustainability Revolution” • Orkney used to be a study in how to use energy unsustainably. The archipelago off the northern tip of Scotland bought and imported all its power from coal and gas plants on the Scottish mainland. These days it generates more electricity than it needs from wind turbines and tidal energy. [Noted]

Kirkwall, Orkney (RNZ | AFP)

¶ “Fate Of UK’s Nuclear Plants In Doubt Over Ageing Infrastructure” • Britain’s nuclear power stations recorded a 12% decline in their contributions to the country’s energy system over the past month, as outages at two out of eight plants raised concerns over how long the ageing plants will be able to keep operating. [The Guardian]


¶ “Army To Dismantle Historic Nuclear Reactor In Virginia” • The world’s first nuclear plant to supply energy to a power grid has been defunct for years. SM-1, for stationary medium power plant No 1, was dedicated in 1957. Now, the Army is preparing to break it up, check it for lingering radiation and haul it away piece by piece. [Stars and Stripes]

SM-1 control room (Calla Kessler | The Washington Post)

¶ “EPA’s Wheeler Continues Frequent Meetings With Industry His Agency Regulates” • EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler has kept his predecessor’s custom of meeting with many more industry representatives than nonprofit groups. For over 50 meetings with industry reps, he met with three nonprofit environmental groups. [CNN]

¶ “In Budweiser’s “Wind Never Felt Better” Super Bowl Commercial, Renewable Energy Takes Center Stage” • With renewable energy constantly in the news, is it any surprise that Budweiser is joining the trend? Anheuser-Busch’s Budweiser appealed to a green audience in its Super Bowl LIII ad, titled “Wind Never Felt Better.” [CleanTechnica]

US wind power

¶ “First Draft Of Concord’s Renewable Energy Plan Focuses Big On Efficiency, Electricity” • In New Hampshire, the Concord Energy and Environment Committee has a plan that would have the city’s municipal energy generated locally, houses would be built with rooftop solar in mind, and public transportation would be electric. [Concord Monitor]

¶ “PG&E Renewable Energy Contracts Tied Up In Bankruptcy Battle” • As it begins the long process of reorganizing under bankruptcy protection, Pacific Gas and Electric Co is locked in a related legal fight over possible cancellation of renewable power contracts that involves some of the biggest names in the energy industry. [San Francisco Chronicle]

Have an unmitigatedly enjoyable day.

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February 3 Energy News

February 3, 2019


¶ “How To Change The Minds Of Climate Deniers” • Recent polls have found the number of people who believe climate change is real has increased considerably. What convinced them? To learn more about climate change converts, researchers at Yale and George Mason crunched the numbers from a blend of responses to surveys. [The Guardian]

Converted by experience (Massimo Rumi | Barcroft Images)

¶ “Why NextEra Energy Continues To Bet Big On Renewables” • For NextEra Energy, renewables have long been a source of profitable growth. The company’s early focus on renewables has enabled it to expand its earnings at nearly triple the rate of its peers, which has helped it consistently generate market-beating returns. [Motley Fool]


¶ “BYD Kicks Off European Electric Truck Campaign In Spain” • BYD intends to be a major player in the market for heavy-duty electric vehicles in Europe. Already a leader in the production of electric buses on the Continent, with one factory in France and second factory in Hungary, it now says it is ready to move into electric trucks. [CleanTechnica]

BYD electric vehicles

¶ “Kazakhstan To Launch Sixteen Renewable Energy Facilities In 2019” • Sixteen renewable energy facilities will be launched in Kazakhstan in 2019, the Minister of Energy announced at the reporting meeting with the Community Council under the Ministry, Kazinform reports. The renewable energy sector is attracting investment. []

¶ “Renewables Turning Into A Steady Movement In Iran” • Renewables are steadily gaining traction in Iran. The quest for a cleaner, greener and more self-sustaining future is now turning out to be quite a movement, though needing a harder push. The government is seeking to increase the renewable capacity to 5,000 MW by 2022. [Mehr News Agency]

Renewable energy in Iran

¶ “Utility May Introduce AI For Safety Of Reactors” • A Japanese electric power company is considering introducing artificial intelligence to detect signs of problems at nuclear reactors. The AI-based system is expected to be a solution for the shortage of experienced operators that has developed since plants were closed after the Fukushima Disaster. [NHK WORLD]


¶ “Indiana Is A Top 10 Coal State – And It’s Waving Helloooo There! To Renewable Energy” • Indiana ranks among the top 10 in the US for coal production. Coal also factors heavily into energy consumption in Indiana. That has begun to change since Trump took office. Now, utilities, businesses, and customers are switching to renewables. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines in corn country

¶ “Opposition To Tri-State Brews Among Electric Cooperatives” • In a first-of-its-kind meeting, over fifty member-owners, trustees, and activists from New Mexico and Colorado rural electric cooperatives discussed renewable energy and their co-ops’ working relationship with Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association. [Rio Grande Sun]

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Is Most Loved Car In USA – New Consumer Reports Owner Survey” • Each year, Consumer Reports conducts surveys of car owners. A key metric it uncovers is how satisfied owners are with their cars. The latest of these owner surveys shows that the Tesla Model 3 is now the most loved car in the USA. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 and Tesla Model X

¶ “Glidepath Changes Plans From Fossil Fuel Generators To Battery-Only For Town Of Ulster Project” • GlidePath Development submitted a modified plan for a proposed grid support center in the Town of Ulster, New York. It switches from a hybrid configuration using natural gas and utility-scale batteries to using batteries only. [Mid-Hudson News]

¶ “Climate Misinformation Researchers Throw Support Behind California Communities Suing Fossil Fuel Companies” • Six researchers studying climate misinformation filed one of eight friend-of-the-court briefs in a case before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of communities suing fossil fuel companies for climate damages. [DeSmog]

Rally for science (DeSmog image)

¶ “Wind Powers Employment, Education In West Texas” • West Texas is no stranger to the energy industry; for nearly 100 years, West Texas has been leading the way in oil and gas. Now it has a new opportunity to lead the country. In the West Texas region, few industries are more clearly a crucial player in that future than wind energy. []

¶ “Brown Offsetting All Electric Usage With Solar, Wind Power” • Brown University has finalized agreements with two developers that will produce enough wind and solar power to offset all of the electric usage on its Providence campus. The pair of projects being developed in Rhode Island and Texas will be operating by 2020. [The Providence Journal]

Have a consummately cheery day.

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February 2 Energy News

February 2, 2019


¶ “PA Needs Clean Energy. Why Are Legislators Stuck On Nuclear?” • Reports say Pennsylvania state legislators will soon introduce bills to provide financial support to the state’s nuclear power plants. The NRDC urges the General Assembly to adopt a real clean energy transition policy and reject nuclear plant subsidizes. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

Pennsylvania Capitol (Gov Tom Wolf, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Portland Students Are Rising Up On Behalf Of Solar Energy” • Kids are used to adults not listening to them. Sometimes that leads to conflict over things that are silly. But kids sometimes fight for something that extends far beyond their own lives: their planet. So listen up. It is time to adopt solar power for Portland schools. [Natural Resources Council of Maine]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Zap&Go’s Carbon-Ion Battery Delivers Ultra-Fast Charging & Zero Degradation” • Zap&Go’s new Carbon-Ion battery combines the fast charging benefits of supercapacitors with the energy storage characteristics of a battery. The carbon-based battery does not use any rare earth metals or toxic chemicals, and it can last thirty years. [CleanTechnica]

Zap&Go’s second generation cells (Zap&Go image)


¶ “Ukraine To Hold First Auctions For Wind And Solar Next Year” • The Ukrainian parliament approved at first reading legislation with provisions to help the country move towards a more efficient renewable energy market. The draft document has first auctions to be held for large-scale solar and wind projects next year. [pv magazine International]

¶ “BP Will Link Bonuses For 36,000 Workers To Climate Targets” • BP has pledged to align its business more closely with global climate goals and link the bonuses of 36,000 employees to greenhouse gas reduction targets. The company said that it would support a resolution from the activist investor group Climate Action 100+. [CNN]

Offshore oil rig

¶ “Mining Companies Benefit From A Significant Cost Reduction Potential From Deployment Of Renewables” • In the last few years, more and more mining companies have adopted wind and solar systems to reduce their energy costs at remote off-grid mines. They use a variety of microgrid configurations, as suited to the site. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Monsoon Rains Cause Floods In Queensland” • Exceptional monsoon rains have caused severe flooding in parts of Australia’s north-eastern state of Queensland. The area normally has monsoon rains from December to April, but such flooding is rare. Meanwhile, parts of southern Australian are in the grip of a severe drought. [BBC]

Flooding in Queensland (Reuters image)

¶ “Hanergy To Set Up The Region’s First Thin-Film Solar Power Industrial Park In Middle East” • Hanergy Thin Film Power Group signed a memorandum of understanding Ajlan & Bros for the first solar thin-film industrial park in the Middle East region. The project’s investment will be over $1 billion, and the capacity will be 1 GW. [AltEnergyMag]

¶ “Chinese Manufacturer Opens Danish Door” • Chinese wind turbine manufacturer CRRC Wind Power Shandong opened a research and development office in Copenhagen. It will serve as a hub for advanced product development and as a base for cooperation with local partners, such as universities, and wind projects in Europe. [reNEWS]

Copenhagen (Guillaume Baviere | Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “CATL Ready With 100-MWh Battery For ‘Multi-Mixed’ Energy Demo” • Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd has connected to the grid an energy storage system of 100 MWh as part of a power complex in Qinghai Provence. The complex also contains 400 MW of wind and 250 MW of solar capacity. [Renewables Now]


¶ “Indiana Utility Plans 802-MW Wind Drive” • Northern Indiana Public Service Company is planning to source electricity from three wind farms totalling 802 MW. The move is part of the energy provider’s plans to be coal-free by 2028. Its ‘Your Energy, Your Future’ initiative focuses on delivering a more affordable and sustainable energy mix. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (NextEra image)

¶ “Georgia Power Plots 1-GW Renewables Push” • Georgia Power has filed a resource plan with the Georgia Public Service Commission that includes a request to approve up to 1 GW of new renewable energy resources. If the plan is approved, the company’s renewables capacity would account for 18% of its portfolio by 2024. [reNEWS]

Budweiser Clydesdales (Paul Keleher, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Super Bowl Organizers, Partners Expand Bid To Run Clean Energy Show” • Sunday’s US Super Bowl will score on the clean energy front, with an environmental group and a beer maker for the first time offering to offset greenhouse gas emissions linked to fans’ travel and the host city of Atlanta, according to the organizers. [Reuters]

¶ “Industria Engineering To Install 4-MW/8.2-MWh Solar+Storage Project In Massachusetts” • Massachusetts-based solar installation company Industria Engineering has placed an order for 3.5-MW/8.2-MWh of battery energy storage systems from Storage Power Systems for a solar-plus-storage project in Grafton, Massachusetts. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Nuclear Waste Burial Fund Grows To $43 Billion, But DOE Has Not Buried An Ounce Of Spent Fuel” • A DOE fund to pay for the eventual disposal of nuclear waste has been earning $1.5 billion in interest each year and hit a whopping $43.4 billion in 2018. But millions of pounds of radioactive waste still need a permanent home. [OCRegister]

Have an astoundingly admirable day.

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February 1 Energy News

February 1, 2019


¶ “If The Earth Is Warming, Why Is It So Cold In Chicago?” • The record cold temperatures have prompted the alleged leader of the free world to tweet America could use some good old-fashioned “global waming.” The thing The Donald is incapable of comprehending is that weather and climate are two separate and distinct things. [CleanTechnica]

Temperatures and the polar vortex (NASA image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Solar Power Research Study Investigates Rapidly Declining Costs” • MIT researchers published a paper on the steady decrease in solar PV module costs over the last several decades in the journal Energy Policy. They confirmed, “PV module costs fell by about 20% with every doubling of cumulative capacity since the 1970s.” [CleanTechnica]


¶ “$5,000 Electric Pickup Truck Coming To Europe And US” • China’s Kaiyun Motors says it will bring its Pickman electric pickup truck to Europe and the US this year. The diminutive vehicle is not a gargantuan Rivian and it probably won’t scare the folks at Tesla, but it has something those others don’t – a price tag of just $5,000. [CleanTechnica]

Pickman electric pickup truck

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Scores 567-MW Order From ReNew Power In India” • Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy will supply 270 wind turbines totalling 567 MW for two Indian turnkey projects by local independent power producer ReNew Power, it was announced. The turbines will be installed in the states of Gujarat and Karnataka. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Taiwan’s Government Affirms Commitment To Abolish Nuclear By 2025” • Taiwan will maintain its goal of abolishing nuclear power by May 2025, despite the vote in last November’s referendum, which required the removal of an article of legislation calling for all six nuclear reactors on the island to be shuttered. [The News Lens International]

Protest (Credit: Travis Wise | CC BY 2.0)

¶ “Kudankulam: Nuclear Power Utility Struggles To Repay Russia For Supplies” • Inadequate budgetary support for nuclear energy over the last two financial years squeezed funds for the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited. This resulted in its slipping on its repayment obligations to the Russians for equipment supplies. [The Indian Express]


¶ “Australia Is Sweltering Through Record-Breaking Heat. And The Worst Is Yet To Come” • As the US suffers from record cold, with temperatures plummeting below -32° C (-27° F), Australia is sweltering through an extreme heat wave. Scientists link increasingly hot dry weather to climate change, which they say will bring even worse weather. [CNN]

Making firebreaks (Heath Holden | Getty Images)

¶ “Australian Senate Report Urges EV Push” • The Australian Senate Select Committee on Electric Vehicles report calls for a major initiative to bring electric vehicles to the country. It says Australia could miss out on the environmental benefits a transition to electric vehicles can bring, benefits that include better health for its citizens. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Powering The World’s Largest Telescope” • The Square Kilometre Array’s thousands of dishes and million antennas in the deserts of Australia and Africa will revolutionize radio astronomy, as long as they can be supplied with electricity. Renewable resources offer a way to provide that power inexpensively. [Physics Today]

Radio astronomy dishes (Credit: SKA South Africa)


¶ “UK Government Awards Funding To Carbon-Cutting Rail Projects” • Five projects are to receive £350,000 each from government to adapt their schemes for the rail network. They were chosen for development funding that focuses on innovative schemes that can cut the carbon footprint of the UK’s railway systems. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Renewable Energy Now Accounts For 36% Of North’s Electricity Demand ” • Renewable energy accounted for a record 36% of electricity used in Northern Ireland in 2018 (up from 31% the year before), according to analysis from the System Operator for Northern Ireland. The country is on track to hit its target of 40% in 2020. [The Irish News]

The SONI control center in Belfast

¶ “Flow Battery Tie-Up Targets UK Renewables” • Canadian flow battery provider CellCube has joined forces with local energy storage consultancy Immersa to target opportunities in the UK. According to CellCube president Stefan Schauss, the UK’s capacity driven market, with its solar and wind farms, provide business opportunities. [reNEWS]


¶ “Louisiana’s Cleco Power Plots 1 GW Of Wind” • Louisiana-based Cleco Power announced a proposed integrated resource plan that would reduce the operation of the company’s oldest coal-burning power plant and add up to 1.4 GW of clean energy, the Sierra Club said. The coal plant may be uneconomical to run at all. [North American Windpower]

Sunset at a power plant

¶ “These Dozen States Could Move To 100% Renewable Electricity” • Last year, California set the most ambitious energy goal in the nation: reaching 100% renewable energy in just over 25 years. This year, as many as 13 other states are rearing to join it. The states are signalling they will not wait for the federal government to change course. [CBS News]

¶ “US DOD Wants A Small Mobile Nuclear Reactor That Fits In A C-17 Airlifter” • The Department of Defense wants a portable nuclear reactor the size of a main battle tank that is capable of being lifted to overseas hot spots. The reactor would provide megawatts of power for US forces, making them less reliant on diesel fuel. [Army Recognition]

Have a memorably pleasant day.

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January 31 Energy News

January 31, 2019


¶ “The Key To Winning Victories Against Big Oil? Perseverance” • Vermont’s Middlebury College announced that it was divesting its fossil fuel holdings. That might not seem so newsworthy, as Middlebury is just one of many divesting colleges, but it is one of the first to reverse course. Six years ago the college flatly rejected divestment. [The Guardian]

Solar trackers in South Burlington (Photo: Toby Talbot | AP)

¶ “Those Damn Youngsters Won’t Shut Up About Climate Change. That’s A Good Thing.” • Young people are getting motivated. Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg said, “We need to hold the older generations accountable for the mess they have created, and expect us to live with. It is not fair that we have to pay for what they have caused.” [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “‘American Dying’ Cooled Earth’s Climate” • Colonisation of the Americas at the end of the 15th Century killed so many people, it disturbed Earth’s climate, scientists from University College London say. The disruption that followed European settlement led to agricultural land being replaced by forest, pulling CO₂ from the atmosphere. [BBC]

Ice core used to study historic CO₂ (Heidi Roop | NSF)


¶ “UK Military Base To Go Green With 95% Renewable Energy” • Home to the frontline squadrons of the RAF’s elite Tornado Force, RAF Marham is set to become the first British military base to run nearly entirely on green energy. Over 95% of its electricity is to be fuelled by the anaerobic digestion of locally grown crops. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “1,600 EV Charge Points To Be Installed In Berlin” • An initiative called ‘Sofortprogramm Saubere Luft’ which translates roughly into ‘Immediate Clean Air Program,’ is working to install more than 1,600 EV charge points in the streets of the German capital. It is part of a larger effort to decrease pollution in German cities. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Saudi Arabia Unveils $1.5 Billion Renewable Energy Projects” • Saudi Arabia launched the second phase of its renewable energy program, including seven solar projects worth $1.5 billion, according to a report in Arab News. The total generating capacity will be 1.51 GW, which is enough to power 226,500 households, the report said. [Gulf Digital News]

¶ “Corporate Wind Energy PPAs Are Booming Say WindEurope” • Companies around Europe have now signed nearly 5 GW of power purchase agreements with wind farms, almost equivalent to Denmark’s total wind energy capacity. PPAs give industry long-term energy supply at fixed-prices. Most contracts are around 15 years. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Wind power in the Netherlands

¶ “Murray-Darling River Authority Accused Of ‘Ignoring Climate Science’ For Mass Fish Deaths” • A Royal Commission accused the authority that oversees Australia’s largest river system of “gross negligence,” “maladministration,” and ignoring climate science, as its water was covered with hundreds of thousands of dead fish. [Prothom Alo English]

¶ “Biggest Solar Project Yet Gets Half Billion In Funding” • The US-based Gideon Group announced its intention to invest $488 million in a 135-MW solar plant in Cambodia. Gideon Group’s president said the Kandal solar project is being developed by Inner Renewable Energy (Cambodia) with the support of the government. [Khmer Times]

Solar system (May Titthara | KT)

¶ “Europe’s Transition From Hard Coal To Renewables Accelerating: Report” • Renewable energy is on the increase in the EU, and the use of coal has fallen 30% from what it was in 2012, according to The European Power Sector in 2018 report. Lignite coal, however, is proving more difficult to phase out than hard coal. [Power Technology]


¶ “EDF Signs Contract With NYSERDA For Morris Ridge Solar Project” • EDF Renewables North America signed an agreement with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for its Morris Ridge Solar Project. The 212-MW DC (170-MW AC) project also includes a 20-MW energy storage component. [Power Technology]

Solar panels (Credit: Zbynek Burival on Unsplash)

¶ “NextEra, Nebraska Farmers Aim To Build Largest Solar Farm In The Midwest” • NextEra Energy Resources is seeking an interconnection agreement for a solar project in Nebraska that is to be one of the country’s largest. The 423-MW project is in early stages of development and it depends largely on the cost of  grid connections. [Energy News Network]

¶ “GE ‘Created The Energy Industry’, Now Its Cementing A Place In Its Future” • GE is rebuilding its clean energy business by combining its renewables, energy storage, and grid infrastructure units. The reorganization that it is pursuing makes so much sense that one of the few questions the announcement raises is why did it take so long? [Forbes]

GE wind turbine (Taylor Weidman | © 2016 Bloomberg)

¶ “New Mexico’s New Governor Announces Climate Policy Commitments” • Gov Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-NM, has formally ordered New Mexico to join the US Climate Alliance, fully embracing the goals set by the 2015 Paris Agreement. She also ordered the creation of a New Mexico Climate Change Task Force. [North American Windpower]

¶ “VC Summer Project Officially Dead” • The project to build two additional nuclear reactors in South Carolina is finally dead, officially. The utility’s board had been looking for a new partner to keep the plant going. They voted unanimously to give up the license to build it. It has produced no electricity and has cost $9 billion. [106.3 WORD]

Have a perfectly fortunate day.

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January 30 Energy News

January 30, 2019


¶ “Extreme Cold Gripping Midwest Does Not Debunk Global Warming, Experts Say” • President Trump may believe that a cold snap proves that climate change is not happening, but climate authorities, including those inside his government, said the record-setting cold does nothing to contradict the consensus on climate change. [NBC News]

Winter storm (NOAA image)

¶ “Germany Can End Coal Power Much Earlier Than 2038” • Setting an end date for coal is a welcome first step, and the proposal should quickly be made law. However, the switch away from coal has to be faster if Germany is to maximise its economic and social benefits and deliver its commitment for the Paris Agreement. [Climate Home]

¶ “Meeting The Goals Of The Paris Agreement Could Save A Million Lives Per Year” • Air pollution causes 7 million deaths worldwide every year and costs an estimated $5.11 trillion in welfare losses globally. In the 15 countries that emit the most greenhouse gas emissions, the health impacts of air pollution are estimated at over 4% of their GDP. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “The State of Science in the Trump Era (2019)” • The Trump administration’s pattern of undermining science is damaging our health and safety. However, scientists and their allies are pushing back. A timeline highlights the relentless series of attacks on science by the Trump administration during its first two years in office. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Melting Glaciers In The Canadian Arctic Have Revealed Landscapes Not Seen In 40,000 Years” • Glaciers in the Canadian Arctic have melted enough to reveal land that was hidden for the last 40,000 years or more, researchers say. One researcher said the warming is so great that everything is melting everywhere now. [CNN]

Baffin Island in sunlight (Doc Searls, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “Indian Railways Planning 4 GW Solar Power Capacity” • India’s push to promote domestic manufacturing in the solar power segment may soon get a boost, thanks to the Indian Railways. The world’s fourth-largest railway network is planning to replace almost its entire power supply of thermal power plants with new solar power plants. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewables Shine, Fossil Fuels Suffer As Australia Swelters In Record Heat” • In Australia’s most recent heat wave, fossil fuel powered generating plants failed to deliver. In Victoria, 1.8 GW of capacity was lost when two fossil fueled generating stations went off-line in the record heat. Solar, wind, and battery power kept losses to a minimum. [CleanTechnica]

Renewable power (Credit: PV Magazine Australia)

¶ “KEPCO Set To Continue Pushing Overseas Projects Including Saudi Arabia” • The state-run Korea Electric Power Corporation said it is currently making various efforts to penetrate deeper into overseas nuclear reactor markets, with the firm seeking to win a nuclear generating project in Saudi Arabia through a localized strategy. [Yonhap News Agency]

¶ “Corvus Energy Tapped To Power Five More Electric Ferries In Norway” • Corvus Energy has been selected by Norwegian ferry operator Fjord 1 to supply lithium-ion energy storage systems for five new all-electric ferries. The ships are being built by Havyard shipbuilders and are expected to enter service in January of 2020. [CleanTechnica]

Fjord 1 electric ferry


¶ “China’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rising, Undermining Xi’s Climate Push” • Chinese methane emissions are rising at an alarming rate despite recent government regulations aimed at curbing them, a study released in the journal Nature shows. The increased emissions come primarily from the country’s massive coal mining sector [CNN]

¶ “China Is Exporting Clean Energy With One Hand, Coal With The Other” • China is leading the world in exporting green environmental goods and services and building the globe’s largest renewable energy industry. But China is also funding over a quarter of the coal plants currently under development outside of the country. [CleanTechnica]

Coal trains

¶ “China Readying National Solar Subsidy Program” • Several reports this week have pointed to China’s National Energy Administration restarting its shuttered solar subsidy program for both utility-scale and distributed/residential solar sectors, with a source telling pv magazine that the agency is considering a quota of 3 GW for 2019. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Major Utility Implicated In More Than A Dozen Wildfires Files For Bankruptcy” • California utility Pacific Gas and Electric has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It faces billions of dollars in potential damages and fines stemming from liability in 2017 and 2018 wildfires. PG&E has secured $5.5 billion for operations while it restructures. [Ars Technica]

California wildfire (Karl Mondon | Digital First
Media | The Mercury News via Getty Images)

¶ “The Great Irony Of Climate Change Politics Is Red States Face More Pain” • Climate change will impose the greatest economic losses on Republican-leaning areas of the country that are almost uniformly resisting new efforts to combat it, a sweeping new study from the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program shows. [CNN]

¶ “FPL’s Solar Generation Surpasses 1,000 MW” • Florida Power & Light has fourteen solar plants in commercial operation today, and it has four more solar plants that are just days away from completion. During the early afternoon of Friday, January 25, output of FPL’s solar portfolio reached a record total with 1,000 MW generated. [Energy Digital]

Have a triumphantly joyous day.

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Donate with PayPal
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January 29 Energy News

January 29, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Eggshells May Power The Renewable Energy Revolution” • According to researchers in Western Australia, eggshells may be the key to abundant, inexpensive energy storage. Starting with eggs they bought in a local supermarket, they were easily able to make calcium oxide, which is the basis for their energy storage system. [CleanTechnica]

Eggshells (Credit: Wikipedia)


¶ “India’s Adani Plans World’s Largest Solar-Wind Hybrid Park” • One of India’s leading renewable energy power generation companies, Adani Green Energy, has announced plans to set up the world’s largest solar-wind hybrid park in the country’s western state of Gujarat. The project is based on investment of ₹55,000 crore ($7.7 billion). [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Scotland Might Eliminate Climate Emissions By 2045” • Scotland could confidently end its climate emissions to reach net zero by 2045 according to a report that highlights the country’s abundant natural resources and existing ambition. The report was commissioned by WWF Scotland and conducted by Vivid Economics. [CleanTechnica]

Windfarm in Scotland

¶ “Indian State Of Maharashtra To Add 3.2 GW Of Solar In Next Two Years” • Maharashtra’s power minister recently announced that 3.2 GW of solar power capacity will be installed in the state over the next two years, though 1.4 GW of currently open and recently issued tenders by the state may have been included in the target. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewables Overtake Coal In Key European Markets” • Coal-based power generation was overtaken by wind and solar for the first time in five key European markets last year, according to research by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. The five markets are Germany, France, Italy, Iberia (Spain & Portugal), and the UK. []

Offshore wind turbines

¶ “Corporate Clean Power Purchases ‘Soar'” • Corporate clean energy purchases hit record levels last year, more than doubling to over 13 GW, according to research from BloombergNEF. BNEF said a total of 13.4 GW of corporate power purchase agreements were signed last year, a figure that is up from 6.2 GW in 2017. [reNEWS]

¶ “Offshore ‘Could Be Cheapest Clean Power In UK'” • Offshore wind could surpass the onshore as the cheapest source of renewable energy in the UK by 2028 without changes to planning regulations, new research from consultancy Cornwall Insight said. It used the current load factors of 58.4% for offshore wind and 38% for onshore. [reNEWS]

Dudgeon offshore wind farm (reNEWS image)

¶ “Malaysia Picks ‘Viable’ Renewable Energy Over Nuclear Energy” • Malaysia will eschew nuclear energy in favour of renewable energy, according to Energy, Science, Technology, Environment, and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin. Yeo said price drops in renewable energy technology have made it a viable source of power. [The Malaysian Insight]

¶ “France Confirms Draft Clean Power Plans” • France has confirmed a draft energy plan that would see renewables capacity more than double to as much as 113 GW by 2028, compared with under 49 GW in 2017. The draft plans, now open for consultation, sees 74 GW of clean power installed by 2023 and between 102 GW and 113 GW by 2028. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Pixabay image)


¶ “Ben & Jerry’s Plans End To Plastic Straws, Spoons, & Cups” • Though it has been purchased by Unilever, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream has not forgotten its tree hugging roots. Now it is on a campaign to reduce the amount of plastic it uses in its 600 Scoop Shops. It is stepping through a series of changes from plastic to natural materials. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Maine Governor Calling For More Renewables In State” • Maine’s new Democratic governor is taking steps to install solar panels on the governor’s mansion as she calls for the state to be more welcoming of renewable energy. Gov Mills had said in her inaugural address she would have solar panels installed on Blaine House. [Power Engineering Magazine]

Blaine House

¶ “Google Energy Boss Says Renewable PPAs Make Best Business Sense” • Google’s energy head said the company exceeded its overall goal of 100% renewable energy last year and is now looking to crack some of the toughest markets for renewables, whether they be in southeast Asia, red-state America, or elsewhere. [Power Engineering International]

¶ “Virginia Committee Approves Bill Halting Construction Of Fossil Fuel Power Plants After 2020” • The House Commerce and Labor Committee approved a bill to halt construction of power plants that burn fossil fuels and the fuel pipelines after 2020. The bill requires a plan for switching to 100% renewable electricity by 2036. [Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine]

Coal-burning power plant

¶ “New Hampshire Legislators To Discuss Planning Major Renewable Energy Procurements” • State senators will take a first step toward bringing in large amounts of renewable energy to New Hampshire. The Senate Energy committee is holding a public hearing on a bill that could lead competitive bidding for energy. [New Hampshire Public Radio]

¶ “Lawmakers Pushing To Make Massachusetts 100% Powered By Renewable Energy” • A bill has been filed aiming to have Massachusetts powered by 100% clean and renewable energy by 2045. It is a proposal many lawmakers say is long overdue. House Bill 30-92 is designed to transform the state’s energy sector by using only clean energy. []

Have an utterly delightful day.

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January 28 Energy News

January 28, 2019


¶ “What Would Australia Look Like Powered By 100% Renewable Energy?” • At least nine studies conducted during the decade show how Australia can move from an electricity system based on polluting coal and gas to one powered by the sun, wind, and waves. Each has a different pathway towards 100% renewable energy. [The Guardian]

Concentrating solar PVs (Steven David
Miller | Getty Images | Nature Picture Library)

Science and Technology:

¶ “To Fix Climate Change, Fix The Obesity And Starvation Epidemics, Reports Say” • The world needs to come up with solutions to fight three interrelated pandemics – obesity, starvation and climate change – and it needs to do it fast before the planet is “burning,” according to a report released Sunday in The Lancet. [CNN]

¶ “The Human Element And Our Changing World” • The Human Element satisfies our desire for heroes. While we watch and start to understand what human entanglement with fire has truly become, the film reveals the immense fortitude and courage of the firefighters and foresters dealing with some of the newfound challenges. [CleanTechnica]

Screenshot from The Human Element


¶ “World’s First 100% Solar Powered Airport – Cochin International Airport” • Cochin International Airport, in India, is the first airport in the world that operates 100% on solar power. The airport’s 12-MW solar power plant has 46,150 solar panels. They cover approximately forty-five acres near the airport’s cargo complex. [Market Business News]

¶ “Colombia Launching 1 GW Renewables Auction – An Opportunity For Geothermal?” • Colombia invited offers in a renewable energy tender, offering 10-year power purchase agreement. Selected projects will have to commence delivering power as from December 2022, with production of about 3,443 GWh per year. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

Bogotá, Colombia (Tijs Zwinkels, flickr, creative commons)

¶ “China’s End-2018 Renewable Power Generation Capacity Up 12% From 2017” • China’s total renewable power generation capacity climbed to 728 GW in 2018, up 12% from the end of 2017, the country’s energy administration said. China connected 20.59 GW of wind power capacity and 44.3 GW of solar to its grid in 2018. []

¶ “Iberdrola Launches Cavar Complex Project In Spain” • Iberdrola is launching the Cavar Complex project to boost its wind power in Spain in 2019. Consisting of four wind farms with a total installed capacity of 111 MW, this project is one of the largest wind farms developed in Spain by the energy supplier in recent years. [Energy Digital]

Iberdrola wind farm

¶ “Octopus, Edify Source $450 Million For Local Solar Plant” • Octopus Investments, the largest solar player in Europe, and Aussie renewables developer Edify Energy secured $450 million for what is set to be Australia’s largest solar power station. The Darlington Point solar farm is scheduled to operate from 2020. [Investment Magazine]

¶ “How Pakistan Should Meet Clean Energy Challenges” • Both wind and solar technologies produce electricity in ways that are intermittent with the former having a capacity factor in the range of 30% and the later 20%. Through installing wind/solar hybrid plants, however, the cumulative capacity factor can be increased up to 50%. []

Solar plant in Pakistan

¶ “A Worrying New Report Has Revealed The Three Biggest Threats To The Global Population” • Obesity, malnutrition, and climate change are the three biggest threats to populations globally, a report by the Lancet Commission on Obesity said. Funding and strategies targeting food policy and production are needed urgently.  []

¶ “TEPCO Unveils Device For Handling Nuclear Debris” • The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has unveiled a device that could become the first to directly handle fuel debris inside one of the facility’s crippled reactors. TEPCO showed the device to the media ahead of a survey scheduled for next month. [NHK WORLD]

TEPCO’s device


¶ “Cricket Valley Power Plant On Track For 2020; Protesters Cite Health, Environmental Issues” • As progress continues on the $1.584 billion, 1,100-MW, natural-gas-fired Cricket Valley Energy Center in Dover, New York, local residents protested citing environmental and health concerns. The plant is to be completed in 2020. [Poughkeepsie Journal]

¶ “EPA Nominee Andrew Wheeler Downplays Climate Threat At Testy Confirmation Hearing” • Andrew Wheeler, the former coal lobbyist by President Trump to be the next EPA administrator, downplayed the threat of at his confirmation hearing. He said he believes the climate is changing, but he said he would not call it “the greatest crisis.” [Milbank Monitor]

Wheeler at confirmation hearing

¶ “In Florida, A New Governor Shifts Gears On Environment, And Maybe Climate Change” • Florida’s new Republican governor has moved quickly on several environmental priorities. He has not released a plan to cut greenhouse gas pollution, but even so, environmental advocates give him credit where they say it is due. [InsideClimate News]

¶ “Montana Faith And Science Leaders Call For Moral Courage On Climate” • The first annual Faith, Science and Climate Action Conference, held late 2018, convened more than 200 people from Montana who are deeply concerned about the real and imminent threat from climate change to the earth’s life-sustaining systems. [Billings Gazette]

Have a prodigiously advantageous day.

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January 27 Energy News

January 27, 2019


¶ “Britain’s Flawed Energy Strategy” • Only one nuclear plant is under construction in the UK, and it might be abandoned. The core problem is “nuclear power itself”, reckons Alistair Osborne in The Times. “Where else do you get such a heady mix of last millennium technology, radioactive upfront costs and a chronic clean-up bill? [MoneyWeek]

UK nuclear plant

¶ “The Burning Question: Climate Denialism Is (Almost) Dead, So What Do We Do Now?” • A sea change is underway in the politics of climate change. It turns out that in global warming, as in grief, denial was just a phase. It is a destructive phase, to be sure, but one now coming to an end. And a President in denial does not alter that. [New York Daily News]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Electric Helicopters Are Coming – New Guinness World Record For Farthest Flight” • Tier 1 Engineering has been testing a helicopter it and LungBioTechnology converted to electricity. It recently flew 34.5 miles. When it did that, it set a Guinness World Record for the farthest any helicopter has flown powered by electricity. [CleanTechnica]

Tier 1 Engineering electric helicopter


¶ “Here Comes The Sun, To Help Power Kazakhstan” • Operation of the largest solar power station in Central Asia has just been launched by Kazakhstan, in the central Karaganda Province, the heart of coal country. The 307,664 PV panels have the capacity to generate some 100 MW of power, providing some 145 million kWh annually. [RadioFreeEurope]

¶ “Capacity Of Generating Electricity From Renewables Hits 680 MW” • The capacity of generating electricity from Iranian renewable resources has reached 680 MW, the Energy Ministry announced. Power plants based on clean energy resources with the capacity of 445 MW are currently under construction in the Islamic Republic of Iran. [Tehran Times]

Renewable energy

¶ “Zali Steggall To Challenge Tony Abbott’s Warringah Seat At 2019 Federal Election” • Australia’s most successful alpine skier, Zali Steggall, announced she will stand as an independent against former prime minister Tony Abbott in the next federal election. She wants to address voters’ concerns about climate change and promote renewable energy. [ABC News]

¶ “Germany To Close All 84 Of Its Coal-Fired Power Plants, Will Rely Primarily On Renewable Energy” • Germany, one of the world’s biggest consumers of coal, will shut down all 84 of its coal-fired power plants over the next 19 years to meet its international commitments in the fight against climate change, a government commission said. [Hartford Courant]

Lignite-burning plant in Brandenburg (Patrick Pleul | AP)

¶ “German Climate And Energy Experts Praise Coal Exit Deal, Say Real Work Starts Now” • The agreement by Germany’s coal exit commission to end coal’s use by 2038 is welcomed by climate activists and energy industry representatives alike. But observers point out that the work of implementing the deal still lies ahead. [Clean Energy Wire]

¶ “The Era Of Ultra-Cheap Solar Panels Is Over” • Solar power developers and investors may have to brace for PV costs to start rising after a 30% plunge last year. The party is definitely over, the president of one of China’s largest PV makers, told Reuters. He said prices are expected to rise by 10% to 15% over the next two years. []

Solar array


¶ “Solar PV Installer And Wind Turbine Tech Are Fastest Growing Occupations In US” • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the fastest growing occupation in the US is solar PV installer, with a projected growth rate of 105% from 2016 to 2026. And the number two job for growth is wind turbine service technician. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Disasters Influence Thinking On Climate Change” • The poll by The Associated Press-National Opinion Research Center for Public Affairs Research and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago finds 74% of Americans say extreme weather in the past five years has influenced their opinions about climate change. [Business Mirror]

Smog covering Salt Lake City (Ravell Call/The Deseret News via AP, File)

Salt Lake City (Ravell Call | The Deseret News via AP, File)

¶ “One Surprising Obstacle to Reaching America’s Climate Change Goals” • An analysis of the 16 largest utilities and power generators in the US, with half of the nation’s installed power capacity, shows the sector is on pace to blow away even the most ambitious decarbonization projections. One big obstacle is an accounting mechanism. [Motley Fool]

¶ “Hershey’s To Take Bite Out Of Climate Impacts” • Hershey’s has announced it will establish a new environmental policy, sign the UN Global Compact and join the Science Based Targets initiative. It says it will also launch a program to improve the well-being of cocoa farmers and strengthen economic and ecological resilience. [Energy Live News]

Have a fabulously amusing day.

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January 26 Energy News

January 26, 2019


¶ “Climate Change: The More We Know, The Worse It Seems” • It should not be surprising that each new climate-related news headline seems to be worse than the last. The last time carbon dioxide levels were as high as they are now, sea levels were 30 meters higher. At that level all major coastal cities in the world would be drowned. [CNN]

Church (Jes Aznar | Getty Images | AsiaPac | Getty Images)

¶ “‘Feel The Fear:’ Climate Change Is Now The Talk Of Davos” • Has business finally woken up to the enormous challenges posed by climate change? Climate was a major theme at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, where panel discussions on everything from global warming to ocean sustainability and biodiversity drew large crowds. [CNN]

¶ “UK And EU Continue Massive Fossil Fuel Subsidies, Claims Study” • A report from the European Commission claims the UK provides more subsidies to fossil fuel companies than any other country in Europe. The UK government hotly denies the charge. Who’s right and who’s wrong? It depends on how you define “subsidies.” [CleanTechnica]

Protest (Ashley Cooper | Images From A Warming Planet)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Boeing Is One Step Closer To Electric Air Taxi – Successful Passenger Air Vehicle Test Flight” • Boeing completed its first successful take-off and landing with its electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) air taxi, also called a “personal air vehicle” (PAV). It tested the vehicle’s autonomous functions and ground control systems. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Canada Announces Funding For “Novel” Solar Farm In Alberta” • The Canadian government will provide funding for the 23-MW Suffield Solar Project. The project is intended to demonstrate the potential of two-sided solar panels. Energy is captured on both sides of the panels to increase energy efficiency by 10% to 15%. [Power Technology]

Solar farm (Credit: Green Energy Futures)

¶ “Caribbean Island Bonaire Balances Solar, Wind, And Diesel With Storage” • Caribbean island Bonaire is adding a 6-MW energy storage system to help balance its solar and wind assets with backup diesel generators, opening up the potential for greater renewable penetration. Additional solar will expand on a 2015 pilot project. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Germany To Stop Using Coal By End Of 2038: Commission” • A government commission has agreed that Germany should phase out all coal-fired power plants by the end of 2038. The government is already planning to shut down nuclear power plants over the next three years. The agreement came after talks lasting 21 hours. [Deutsche Welle]

Stop sign (© image photothek)

¶ “French Study Warns Against ‘Massive’ Reactor Extensions” • French plans to extend the lifespan of reactors on a “massive” scale may eventually force the government to introduce a subsidy mechanism to keep ageing units in service, a study warned. The move would also stunt the growth of renewables and harm the French economy. [Montel]


¶ “Vermont Says Charging Stations Shouldn’t Face Same Rules As Utilities” • Vermont’s EV charging stations should not be regulated like electric utilities, state utility regulators concluded. The Vermont Public Utility Commission recommended that state law be clarified to allow charging station owners to set their own pricing. [Energy News Network]

Charging an EV

¶ “US Floating Solar Could Generate 10% Of Annual Electricity Production” • Installing floating solar PV projects on the more than 24,000 existing man-made US reservoirs could generate approximately 10% of the national annual electricity production, according to a report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Maryland Sea Level To Increase Dramatically, Report Says” • A report by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science warns that if emissions continue to rise, sea level in Maryland would likely increase 2.0 to 4.2 feet by 2100. There is even an outside chance the rise could exceed 5.2 feet, the report said. []

Why did the crab cross the road? Because it could.
(Bay Journal photo by Dave Harp)

¶ “Milwaukee Leaders Have Choice Words For Utility In Solar Standoff” • Since 2017, Milwaukee has sought to develop the 1-MW solar project through a third-party ownership agreement with solar developer Eagle Point. Utility We Energies told the city it would consider such an agreement as acting illegally as a public utility. [Energy News Network]

¶ “Here’s How Local Governments Are Replacing California’s Biggest Utilities” • Three wind turbines seventy miles north of downtown Los Angeles are at the heart of a revolution in California’s energy industry, which for millions of people, homes and businesses could mean an end to buying power from monopoly utilities. [Los Angeles Times]

Wind turbines (Brian van der Brug | Los Angeles Times)

¶ “Federal Regulator Sides With Power Suppliers In PG&E Contracts” • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission says it shares authority with a bankruptcy court over any requests to cancel or renegotiate power contracts by PG&E. FERC’s position is a win for companies that supply PG&E with solar and wind power. [Seeking Alpha]

¶ “Hundreds Of Pennsylvania Jobs On The Line As Bailout Deadline Looms For Struggling Nuclear Plants” • Pennsylvania lawmakers are expected to introduce legislation in the coming weeks that would provide financial support for nuclear power, paid for by every Pennsylvania electric customer. The cost is yet to be decided. []

Have a totally cool day.

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January 25 Energy News

January 25, 2019


¶ “Renewable Energy: Will China Be The Superpower?” • Having led the International Renewable Energy Agency over the past eight years with an insider view of the energy transition, I have become convinced that a new geopolitical reality is taking shape. The result will be a fundamentally different map of energy geopolitics. [Newsweek]

PV system in Songxi, China (Feature China
| Barcroft Images | Barcroft Media | Getty)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Cigarette Filters Are The No.1 Plastic Pollutant … And Don’t Prevent Cancer” • Plastic straws and bags have received widespread attention as pollutants. But another, even bigger, plastic problem has been slipping under the radar – cigarette filters. Cigarette butts containing plastic filters are the most littered item in the world. [CNN]

¶ “Here’s How A 100% Renewable Energy Future Can Create Jobs And Even Save The Gas Industry” • Natural gas can be replaced increasingly with hydrogen and renewable methane produced with energy from solar power and wind turbines. Renewable forms of gas can play a significant role in the energy mix using existing gas power plants. []

Gas tanker (Credit:


¶ “Siemens Gamesa Lands 128-MW Brazil Prize” • Wind turbine maker Siemens Gamesa won deal to provide turbines to the 128-MW Ventos da Serra do Mel 2 wind project in Brazil. French developer Voltalia in Rio Grande do Norte will use 36 turbines for the project, each with output of 3.55 MW, which is to be commissioned in 2020. [reNEWS]

¶ “Australia Shaping Up To Be World’s Largest Residential Energy Storage Market In 2019” • Australia is expected to be the world’s largest residential energy storage market in 2019, according to a note published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. It will account for 30% of global demand as household storage demand triples. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Big Oil Is More Talk Than Action On Renewables – Iberdrola” • The world’s largest wind-power producer, Iberdrola SA, brushed off Big Oil’s embrace of renewable energy as “more noise” than action. Major oil and gas firms are spending around 1% of their 2018 budgets on clean energy, a study by research firm CDP shows. []

¶ “Coal Plants In Mix For Coalition’s Electricity Guarantee But Victoria Attacks New Bid” • A mix of coal power plants, pumped hydro, and gas-fired power was presented to the federal government as options for its program to underwrite new electricity generation. Included is $6 billion to build two new coal-fired power plants. [The Guardian]

Coal-fired power plant (Julian Smith | AAP)


¶ “Polluters See Lowest Level Of EPA Fines, According To Washington Post Report” • Polluters pay historically low fines under the Trump administration, an analysis of the EPA’s civil penalties shows. It was performed by a former head of the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance for the Washington Post. [CNN]

¶ “Ski Resorts Turn To Renewable Energy To Cut Carbon Emissions And Costs” • The ski industry is increasingly embracing new innovations in energy-efficient technology, combined with existing technologies such as wind and solar energy and LED lighting, to reduce its carbon footprint and improve its bottom line. [Axios]

Skiers on a lift (Photo: EyesWideOpen | Getty Images)

¶ “Low-Income Solar Is The Goal Of 225-MW New Jersey Community Solar Program” • New Jersey has firmly embraced the concept of solar for all with its new 225-MW community solar program, within which 40% of all capacity is earmarked for low- and moderate-income consumers. It is designed to serve up to 30,000 homes. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Bill Making Virginia Completely Reliable On Renewable Energy Advances” • An aggressive bill that would make Virginia completely reliant on renewable energy for its electricity has advanced in the General Assembly with bipartisan support. The bill would have Virginia power companies generate only clean electricity by 2036. [WTOP]

Solar panels at dawn (Pixelci | iStockphoto | Getty Images)

¶ “Quiet Clean Energy Revolution Scored Strong Growth In USA Last Year” • US public perception of US energy has shifted greatly. In a recent survey, 70% of respondents said America should get 100% of its electricity from renewable energy sources; more than half thought renewables were a good idea even if they raise energy bills. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Consumers Energy Dedicates First Ever Solar, Battery Storage Systems On Grand Rapids’ West Side” • Consumers Energy dedicated Michigan’s first rooftop solar array with battery storage in Grand Rapids. Nearly 1,800 solar panels were installed with a 500-kW battery to make the energy both reliable and cost effective. []

Consumers Energy system in Grand Rapids

¶ “Coal Ash Standoff Could Make Coal Power Plants Hit Kill Switch” • Under Trump, US coal power plants have dropped like flies. Now it looks like those left standing could all wink out at the same time. A group of coal power stakeholders has threatened to turn off the lights, due to a regulatory clash over the storage of coal ash. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Decision Postponed On Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant Extension” • The Nuclear Regulatory Commission postponed its decision on a 20-year license extension for the Seabrook Station nuclear power plant following a request from New Hampshire’s congressional delegation to hold more public information sessions. [NH1 News]

Have a magically beautiful day.

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January 24 Energy News

January 24, 2019


¶ “US Taxpayers On The Hook For Insuring Farmers Against Growing Climate Risks” • The Federal Crop Insurance Program is flawed in many ways. It has a number of policies that discourage farmers from adopting practices that will help address climate change. And it keeps taxpayers on the hook for the ever-growing tab. [InsideClimate News] (Thanks to Bob Oeser.)

Flood (Staff Sgt Daniel J Martinez | US Air National Guard)

¶ “Now That UK Nuclear Power Plans Are In Tatters, It Is Vital To Double Down On Wind And Solar” • Now that Japanese giants Toshiba and Hitachi have walked away from UK nuclear power projects that had previously been abandoned by others, the government is forced to reassess the pro-nuclear bias of its energy policy. [Phys.Org]

¶ “An All-Renewable Grid Is Economically Superior To Mixed Generation” • One of the arguments that those forces opposed to dealing with climate change make is that transitioning the grid entirely to renewables and away from fossil fuels would be economically devastating. It would not, and it is worth examining the reasons why. [CleanTechnica]

Renewable energy

¶ “Why Excluding Nuclear, Fossils With Carbon Capture, And Biofuels From The Green New Deal Makes Financial And Climate Sense” • Here is why nuclear, fossils with CCS, and biofuels should be excluded. They raise costs, slow solutions to global warming and air pollution, and create risks that are not present with renewables. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Sweden Will Ban Sale Of Gasoline & Diesel Cars After 2030. Germany Lags Behind” • Swedish prime minister Stefan Löfven announced a ban on the sale of cars powered by gasoline or diesel oil in his country after 2030. Sweden joins a growing list of countries with bans on cars with internal combustion engines by that date or earlier. [CleanTechnica]

Charging a Tesla in Sweden

¶ “World’s Greenest Companies Are Consistently Outperforming Their Non-Green Peers” • The greenest and most sustainable companies in the world were highlighted in two reports with the common thread. It showed the consistently superior economic performance of companies committed to addressing climate change and environmental issues. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “France And Spain Regulators Reject €3 Billion STEP Gas Pipeline” • Energy regulators in France and Spain announced they had rejected the controversial Franco-Spanish South Transit East Pyrenees natural gas pipeline, the first stage in the larger Midi-Catalonia gas pipeline, citing costs and that the pipeline was not necessary. [CleanTechnica]

French western Pyrénées (Credit: Nicolas Guionnet)

¶ “Google’s Clean Energy Project Expands To Asia” • Google signed a long-term renewable energy agreement in Taiwan, expanding its clean energy project in Asia, with the intention to “make clean power more accessible.” The long-term agreement was signed to purchase the output of a 10-MW solar array in Tainan City. [Innovation Enterprise]

¶ “Renewables Turn Emissions Tide And Rooftop Solar Shoulders Heatwave Load” • The Australia Institute’s first emissions audit of 2019 shows renewables pushing coal aside to reduce Australia’s emissions 20% below the peak recorded in 2008, and the load of January’s high temperatures has been mitigated by rooftop solar. [pv magazine Australia]

Rooftop solar in New South Wales (Image: Verdia)


¶ “Wind-Powered Beer To Be The Toast Of Super Bowl LIII” • The virtues of renewable beer will be broadcast to more than 100 million viewers this coming Super Bowl, with US label Budweiser using its million-dollar advertising spot in the Big Game to promote its commitment to sustainable, wind-powered brewing. [One Step Off The Grid]

¶ “US Coal Retirements In 2019 To Hit At Least 6 GW” • The latest S&P Global Market Intelligence data shows that a total of 49 GW of new power generation capacity will be added in the US in 2019, but the year will also see the retirement of nearly 6 GW of coal. Over 14 GW were retired or converted to use natural gas in 2018. [CleanTechnica]

US coal-burning power plant

¶ “Wind Farms Proposed For Steuben, Schuyler, Chenango Counties” • One of 20 sustainable energy projects approved by New York state is a 290-MW wind project with 20 MW of energy storage. Invenergy will build the wind farm, which is large enough to supply about 50,000 homes depending on seasonal demand. [Press & Sun-Bulletin]

¶ “Landmark Offshore Wind Agreement Protects Right Whales” • Under an unprecedented agreement with three environmental groups, Vineyard Wind is to protect the highly endangered North Atlantic right whale during the construction and operation of an offshore wind farm it will build 14 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

Right whale and calf (Credit: NOAA Fisheries | Christin Khan)

¶ “Forefront Power Completes 27 MW Of New York Community Solar” • ForeFront Power announced that the company’s first community solar projects in New York are now operational and providing electricity to subscribers across National Grid and Rochester Gas & Electric service territories. The nine projects have 27 MW of capacity. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Massachusetts City Hopes To Reinvest Energy Savings Into More Energy Savings” • Northampton is a college town with about 29,000 year-round residents. It plans to implement community choice aggregation, a model in which municipalities buy power for residents from a supplier other than the local utility company. [Energy News Network]

Have an excitingly satisfactory day.

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January 23 Energy News

January 23, 2019


¶ “How Free Markets Are Embracing Renewable Energy” • Instead of offering subsidies or incentives for renewable energy, Chile amended its laws to allow wind and solar technologies to compete in electricity capacity auctions. It let the market work, the cost of renewable power fell sharply, and fossil fuels could no longer compete. [Reaction]

Wind turbines in Chile (AdobeStock image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “No Alternative To 100% Renewables” • Transition to a world run entirely on clean energy, combined with implementing natural climate solutions, is the only way to halt climate change and keep the global temperature rise below 1.5°C, according to yet another significant study. It is based on “most detailed energy model to date.” [pv magazine International]

¶ “Agrivoltaics: Solar Panels On Farms Could Be A Win-Win” • A dual-use solar installation is sometimes called agrivoltaics. The system uses a PV array raised far enough off the ground and spaced in such a way that some crops can still grow around and beneath the panels. It enables farmers diversify their income by generating renewable energy. [Civil Eats]

Agrivoltaic system (Photo courtesy of Hyperion Systems)


¶ “Blockchain Goes Big: 55,000 Rooftops Eyeballed For Peer-To-Peer Solar Trading” • Japan has been restarting its nuclear fleet again after the Fukushima Disaster, but that might not last for long. A blockchain-enabled pilot project to link 100 solar rooftops in the country is planned to grow to include 55,000 rooftops within two years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Brazil’s Wind Generation Rises 30% In Early January” • Brazil’s wind power output in the first half of January has increased by 29.9% year-on-year to 5,826 MW average, show preliminary figures released by the Power Trading Chamber. Wind power’s share of electricity generation went up to 8.5%, from 7% in the previous year. [Renewables Now]

Osorio wind farm in Brazil (Photo: Elecnor)

¶ “China Becomes Major Backer Of Coal Power Plants In Overseas Markets” • China is a significant financial supporter of coal-fired power plants around the world, funding over 25% of all new facilities elsewhere despite its reducing use of polluting fuel at home, a study by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis says. [Power Technology]

¶ “Provinces Swap Coal For Renewable Energy” • Two of China’s most coal-rich provinces, Shanxi and Heilongjiang, are stepping up their development of new energy in a bid to reduce coal consumption and curb air pollution. The two provinces have enacted a series of measures to increase installed wind and solar power generating capacities. [ecns]

Solar plant workers (Feng Yongbin | China Daily)

¶ “German Minister Sketches Out Energy Transition Without Nuclear And Coal” • Germany is the only industrial country in the world that has decided to phase out of “both nuclear as well as coal power in parallel,” while increasing the share of renewable energy’s contribution, economy minister Peter Altmaier said at the Handelsblatt energy summit. [Xinhua]

¶ “Australian Energy Milestone: Renewable Energy Sources Displacing Black Coal” • Sources of renewable energy are displacing black coal power in Australia’s National Electricity Market, according to an emissions audit by the Australia Institute. It reports that the share of renewable electricity supplied to consumers rose to 21.4%. [Energy Matters]

Australian wind farm (Pacific Hydro image)


¶ “8minutenergy Boasts Solar + Storage Pipeline In Excess Of 10 GW” • The largest US private solar and storage developer, 8minutenergy, announced last week that it has entered into a joint venture with JP Morgan Asset Management to support 8minutenergy’s current 10.7 GW pipeline of solar + storage projects. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Record Number Of Americans ‘Very Worried’ About Climate Change, Report Finds” • More Americans now say that climate change is a real threat to themselves and others. According to a climate report by researchers at Yale University and George Mason University, 29% are very worried, and 73% say they believe global warming is happening. [CNN]

Ghost forest created in Louisiana by salt intrusion
from rising sea levels (John Rubenstahl | CNN AIR)

¶ “Arizona Unlocks Solar Rooftop Regulations” • Arizona has finally begun loosening regulatory shackles from solar hopefuls, proposing new rules for installing solar, energy storage, and other clean energy systems. The Arizona Corporate Commission filed a draft rulemaking, after studying interconnection standards for 13 years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Colorado Power Companies Bet Big On Net-Zero Emissions As State Debates 100% Renewable Energy Future” • Colorado Gov Jared Polis has a goal of 100% renewable energy on the grid by 2040. The utilities have opted for a net-zero carbon emissions goal instead. Platt River would achieve it by 2030, and Xcel Energy by 2050. [The Colorado Sun]

156-MW Comanche solar array, with the coal-burning Comanche electric plant behind (Mike Sweeney, Special to The Colorado Sun)

156-MW Comanche solar array and coal-burning Comanche electric plant (Mike Sweeney, Special to The Colorado Sun)

¶ “‘Science Is back’: New Governor Aims For Renewable Boom” • For eight years, renewable and environmental advocates in Wisconsin wrangled with Gov Scott Walker (R) in their efforts to accelerate the state’s energy transition and tackle climate change. Now there is a new governor, Tony Evers, who says, “Science is back in Wisconsin.” [E&E News]

¶ “New England Tries A New Way To Help The Grid Survive Winter” • This year, grid operator ISO New England is using a new method to ensure the system can work reliably through cold, snow and ice. “Pay for Performance” is a market system that rewards power generators for efficiency, and punishes them for poor execution. [Vermont Public Radio]

Have a surpassingly glad day.

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January 22 Energy News

January 22, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “‘The Only Thing We Can Do Is Adapt’: Greenland Ice Melt Reaching ‘Tipping Point,’ Study Finds” • Climate change is causing Greenland’s massive ice sheets to melt much faster than previously thought, a study found, and it may be “too late” to do anything about it. The findings could have dire implications for the planet’s low-lying islands and coastal cities. [CNN]

Tasiilaq, Greenland

¶ “New Carbon Capture Research Emphasizes Recycling, Not Sequestration” • Carbon capture and sequestration is much too expensive, but a team of researchers at South Korea’s Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology could change that. They can add value with a new system that produces electricity and hydrogen from water. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Rocks Off The UK Coast Could Be Used For Renewable Energy Storage” • Scientists from the Universities of Edinburgh and Strathclyde developed a process for compressed air energy storage. They believe porous rocks off the UK coast could store about one and a half times the UK’s average electricity demand for January and February. []

Rocks off the coast

¶ “World To Miss 2020 Climate ‘Turning Point’, Analysis Shows” • Even as Earth is buffeted by superstorms, droughts and flooding made worse by rising seas, and as greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise globally, an analysis by the World Resources Institute showed that current efforts to limit temperature increases are falling well short. [Malay Mail]


¶ “The Battle On The Frontline Of Climate Change In Mali” • Mali is lurching between droughts and floods. They inflict a huge cost on crops and livestock, so farmers and nomadic herders, who are from different ethnic groups, face off over shrinking resources. Islamist groups are worsening the unrest by meddling in the situation. [BBC]

Mali (Getty Images)

¶ “74% Of India’s New Power Capacity Addition In 2018 Was Renewables” • India added a total (net) of 17.6 GW of power generation capacity in 2018, and a record 74% of that capacity was renewable, primarily solar power. The huge renewable capacity coming online made 2018 the greenest year so far, in terms of new capacity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Clean energy investment exceeded $300 billion in 2018” • Global clean energy investment reached a total of $332.1 billion in 2018, down 8% on 2017, but it was the fifth year in a row in which investment exceeded the $300 billion mark, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said. Solar saw record capacity additions on 24% less investment. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Solar system

¶ “Labor Promises To ‘supercharge’ Hydrogen Industry As Green Groups Say ‘No Role For Coal'” • Labor announced a plan to use A$1.1 billion ($784 million) to build Australia’s hydrogen industry. This has been welcomed by environmental groups, who add that they want to be sure the hydrogen is generated using renewable energy. [The Guardian]

¶ “Germany Needs ‘Urgent Action’ On Offshore” • Germany needs to take urgent action this year to boost offshore wind development, according to five industry organisations. BWE, BWO, Stiftung Offshore-Windenergie, VDMA Power Systems, and WAB called on the government to start by organising a special tender of at least 1.5 GW. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (reNEWS image)

¶ “Greenpeace Slams Japan’s Plan To Dump Radioactive Fukushima Water Into The Ocean” • Greenpeace slammed a plan by the Japanese government and TEPCO to release into the ocean highly radioactive water from the devastated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, saying in a report the decision was “driven by short-term cost-cutting”. [Yahoo News]


¶ “Massachusetts Bill Would Set New Emissions Requirements” • A bill filed at the Massachusetts Statehouse seeks to help speed the state’s transition to renewable forms of energy. The bill would update state emissions requirements: 50% below 1990 emissions levels by 2030, 75% below by 2040, and net zero emissions by 2050. [Electric Light & Power]

Back Bay neighborhood of Boston

¶ “Solar And Wind Are Booming, While Coal Keeps Shrinking” • The boom in solar and wind power in the US will deal a fresh blow to coal country in the next few years. Renewable energy, led by solar and wind, is projected to be the fastest-growing source of US electricity generation for at least the next two years, according to a DOE report. [CNN]

¶ “Report: Renewable Energy Could Replace Economic Loss From Closure Of San Juan Generating Station” • Closing the San Juan coal-fired power plant and mine does not have to doom the town of Waterflow, New Mexico, according to an economist’s report. The site is an excellent candidate to be redeveloped for green energy production. [KRWG]

Four Corners Power Plant (Courtesy of
Ecoflight and San Juan Citizens Alliance)

¶ “New York Governor’s Green New Deal Starts With 1 GW Of Large-Scale Solar” • New York state has awarded 1 GW of solar and 614 MW of wind. Three of the 20 renewable energy projects commissioned are paired with energy storage. Invenergy, EDF, and NextEra are each set to build solar projects with capacities greater than 100 MW. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Platte River Power Authority Plans For Zero Carbon Emissions By 2030” • The Platte River Power Authority board of directors passed a policy for zero carbon emissions by 2030, after Colorado State University, Fort Collins, and Longmont set goals of 100% renewable electricity by the same year. The policy has broad local support. [Rocky Mountain Collegian]

Have a highly valuable day.

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January 21 Energy News

January 21, 2019


¶ “How Orkney Leads The Way For Sustainable Energy” • Orkney’s community-owned wind turbines generate their power. Islanders drive nonpolluting EVs. It is a test site for devices that can turn the energy of the waves and the tides into electricity, and in the near future, Orkney’s ferries will be fuelled by hydrogen. The list goes on. [The Guardian]

Wind turbines (Michael Roper | Alamy Stock Photo)

¶ “Sexy Or Not, Here Comes Energy Efficiency For Buildings” • Energy efficiency technology may not provide the visceral thrill of a smooth zero emission ride in a next-generation EV, but if decarbonization is to proceed quickly then the low hanging fruit of the future’s low-carbon economy will be plucked at millions of today’s vintage buildings. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ten Hot Trends Shaping Australian Clean Energy” • Between record levels of clean energy and businesses recognising the value of low-cost renewables to cut their operating costs, we are starting to see a whole-of-economy energy transformation taking place. It’s amazing and inspiring to watch the changes in real time. [RenewEconomy]

Tesla battery system at Hornsdale

¶ “‘Not Too Late’: Australians Develop Carbon Model With DiCaprio’s Help” • Renewable energy can supplant fossil fuels across the global economy, and Australia is one of three regions best placed to benefit because of its solar and wind resources, a study funded by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation’s One Earth project says. [The Sydney Morning Herald]


¶ “Namibia: InnoSun Energy Inaugurates Phase One Of Ombepo’s Wind Farm” • The strong winds on the Namibian coast can be used as an advantage, and the Franco-Namibian company InnoSun Energy Holding did just that at a 5-MW wind farm. One major challenge was that the wind turbines had to stand up to strong winds. [AFRIK 21]

Wind turbines (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Two Upcoming Mumbai Metro Lines To Tap Into Solar Energy” • The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, the Metro’s nodal authority, plans to install rooftop solar panels at the stations of two new Metro lines. The lines are to be operational next year, with 35% of their total power needs met by solar energy. [Hindustan Times]

¶ “Solar Project Has ‘Life Changing’ Impact In Rural Malawi” • Only 12% of Malawi’s 18 million population is connected to the main electricity grid. The figure drops to 2% in rural areas. A solar power project to connect villages in Malawi, led by Strathclyde University researchers, has had a “life-changing” impact for rural communities. [BBC News]

Business in Malawi (Strathclyde University image)

¶ “China Approves 24 Offshore Wind Projects” • The Chinese government approved 24 offshore wind projects off Jiangsu Province. Local media reports that the projects will have a total capacity of 6.7 GW and will involve an investment of around $18 billion. The wind farms are expected to be operational by the end of 2020. [The Maritime Executive]

¶ “EU Approves France’s Plan To Replace Nuclear Plant With 300 MW Of PV” • The European Commission gave the green light to a tender mechanism the French government conceived to enable the construction of solar plants with 300 MW of capacity at the Fessenheim nuclear power plant, the country’s oldest nuclear facility. [pv magazine International]

Fessenheim (Florival fr | Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Tamil Nadu One Of The World’s Top 9 Green Power Markets” • A 2018 report lists the Indian state of Tamil Nadu as one of the top nine renewable energy markets in the world. Today, 14.3% of all the energy demand in the state is met by renewable energy, primarily solar and wind. But that is changing has stagnation has set in. [Down To Earth Magazine]


¶ “Electric Co-op Sets Ambitious Goal To Cut Carbon By 50%” • La Plata Electric Association set ambitious goals last week to cut its carbon footprint by 50% and keep costs lower than 70% of its peer cooperatives in Colorado. LPEA gets 95% of its electricity from Tri-State Generation and Transmission, which is heavily dependent on coal. [The Durango Herald]

Installing a solar system (Durango Herald file photo)

¶ “Clean-Energy Agenda Sees Power Surge In Augusta” • After running as a Democrat and winning a House seat in November in a heavily Republican district that includes her hometown of Nobleboro, Chloe Maxmin is following her environmental convictions as the lead sponsor of a bill to create a Green New Deal in Maine. She is not alone. [Press Herald]

¶ “SF moves toward public power and a ‘local version of a green new deal’” • San Francisco’s push to move to a public power system after PG&E said it will file for bankruptcy is not the only big energy plan in the making. Supporters of the city’s renewable energy program are calling for the city’s own “local version of a green new deal.” [San Francisco Examiner]

Sunset Reservoir (Gil Riego Jr | Special to The SF Examiner)

¶ “Michigan Power Plant Owner Seeks Fuel-Burning Permit” • Convergen Energy, the owner of a Michigan power plant is seeking a long-term permit to use engineered fuel pellets made from paper and plastic waste, creosote railroad ties, and fuel derived from tires. The state considers the fuel renewable, but residents are concerned. [Hastings Tribune]

¶ “Wind Farm Expansion To Power Local Homes” • The wind in the western Massachusetts town of Hancock is bringing power to several communities in the central parts of the state. The Brodie Mountain Wind Power Project is starting phase two construction, adding two 2.3-MW turbines to the existing 10-turbine, 15-MW system. [Worcester Telegram]

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January 20 Energy News

January 20, 2019


¶ “A Local Blueberry Farmer’s Perspective On Climate Issues” • Farmers are accustomed to challenges … Organic growers like Jubilee Orchards must combat heat, insects, weeds and plant diseases without using pesticides or herbicides. But increasingly climate issues pose our biggest challenge and the deepest risk to our fruit. []

Blueberry flowers (Rob Duval, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “It’s Up To California To Save Us From This Trump Rollback” • As President Donald Trump races to gut the auto mileage and emissions program of the Obama administration, the California Air Resources Board, an agency little known outside the state, could help protect us from the rollback. At stake are the health of the world and US competitiveness. [CNN]

¶ “The Observer View: The Hitachi Fiasco Confirms That Our Energy Policy Now Lies In Ruins” • Last week’s decision by Hitachi to stop building its £20 billion nuclear plant at Wylfa in Wales, soon after Toshiba withdrew from a nuclear project in Cumbria, was a major blow to Britain’s prospects for effective energy policy. [The Guardian]

Wylfa nuclear plant (Christopher Furlong | Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Everything You Need To Know About The Tesla Powerwall 2 (2019 Edition)” • Tesla has created a Powerwall Overview and Welcome Guide, but many features of the Powerwall simply do not come through in a simple pamphlet. Digging deeper, the Tesla AC Powerwall Owner’s Manual provides significantly more information. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Addressing The Microgrid Stability Challenge With MVDC” • Microgrids are generally isolated from one another. As their numbers increase, the opportunity for them to be mutually supportive increases. Medium voltage direct current technology makes it possible to connect microgrids together with precise control. [Transmission and Distribution World]

Siemens microgrid

¶ “New Study Reveals Local Drivers Of Amplified Arctic Warming” • An international team of researchers, including Professor Sarah Kang and DoYeon Kim in the School of Urban and Environmental Engineering at UNIST, has shown that local greenhouse gas concentrations appear to be attributable to Arctic Amplification. [Science Codex]


¶ “In 33 Years, India Struggled To Exploit Just 12% Of Its Wind Energy Potential” • The latest wind energy potential study carried out by Chennai-based National Institute of Wind Energy estimates 302 GW at 100 metre above ground level. India has only 35 GW of windpower installed, so the country has a sizable untapped potential. [Down To Earth Magazine]

Wind turbines (SuyogJoshiPhotography, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “ACT Leads The Way In Rooftop Solar Uptake, Doubling Capacity In 2018” • Rooftop solar for homes and businesses is growing faster in the Australian Capital Territory than in any other state or territory. The ACT added 22.8 MW of PVs last year. Data from Green Energy Trading shows that home installations grew 104.4% year-on-year. [The Canberra Times]

¶ “Iran To Construct 3000 New Small-Scale Solar Plants In Rural Areas” • Iran’s Deputy Energy Minister said 3000 new small-scale solar plants are going to be constructed in the country’s underprivileged and rural areas by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20, 2019). He said this adds to 2000 plants already operating. [Al-Bawaba]

Small solar system (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Abu Dhabi’s Energy Summit Tackles Urgency Of Climate Change” • The aim in the UAE is to increase the amount of clean energy in the total energy mix from 25% to 50% by 2050, reduce the country’s carbon footprint of power generation 70%, increase consumption efficiency 40%, and save close to $190.6 billion over the next 30 years. [The Arab Weekly]

¶ “Frustration Over Feed-In Tariff Pushes Tasmanian Solar Producers Towards Batteries ” • There are about 28,500 Tasmanians with home PV systems. Over half of them installed their PVs before September 2013, when the feed-in tariff was about 28¢/kWh. Now that the FIT is dropping to 8.5¢/kWh, many are getting batteries. [ABC News]

Jeff Jennings, set for loss (Michael Brooks | ABC News)

¶ “China’s PV Power Capacity Up 34% In 2018” • China’s PV capacity grew by 34% year on year in 2018. The PV capacity surpassed 170 GW at the end of 2018, as 43 GW were added over the year, the China PV Industry Association said. PVs accounted for over 9% of the country’s power generation capacity over the course of 2018. []


¶ “Bringing Hydroelectric To Dams Like Newburgh Just Got Easier” • Last year, Rep Larry Buschon successfully guided legislation through Congress to make developing hydropower easier. He hopes it will renew interest in developing hydropower at the dams in Newburgh, Indiana, and Union Town, Kentucky, along with others. [Evansville Courier & Press]

Power plant at Barber Dam in Idaho

¶ “34% of Americans Expect to Buy an Electric Vehicle in Next 10 Years” • CarGurus recently published results of a survey of American adult consumers regarding their interest in electric vehicles. The main findings were that 15% said they were probably going to own an EV in the next 5 years, and 34% said it would probably be in 10 years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Montana Debates Future Sources For Power Generation” • Renewable energy and fossil fuel advocates made their cases to Montana regulators for how to boost the state’s generating capacity to make up for expected drops in the region’s power supply. Area coal-fired plants with 3,500 MW in capacity are to shut down in coming years. [New Jersey Herald]

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January 19 Energy News

January 19, 2019


¶ “Blast At Leaking Mexico Pipeline Kills 21 And Injures Dozens” • An explosion at a leaking oil pipeline killed at least 21 people and injured 71 in Mexico. Local residents were scrambling to steal some of the leaking oil when they were engulfed in flames, Hidalgo’s state governor said. Dozens of people were taken to hospitals with burns. [BBC]

Pipeline fire (Getty Images)

¶ “China Flexes Its Muscle – Go BEV Or Go Home” • China is using a standard for new cars based on the zero emissions vehicle standard introduced in California. Different cars earn their makers credits, with the highest number going to battery electric vehicles (BEV). The system is pushing car makers toward electric cars. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewables, An Antidote Against Volatile Electricity Prices For The EU” • A European Commission report, Energy Prices and Costs in Europe, draws the conclusion, “Renewable energy growth also plays a direct role in mitigating and diminishing the negative impact of uncertain global fossil fuel prices and exchange-rate risks.” [pv magazine International]

Transmission tower (Image: analogicus | Pixabay)

¶ “Policy Headwinds Knock UK Onshore Activity” • In 2018, the UK onshore wind industry recorded its worst year for new installations in almost a decade, with 598 MW of new projects coming online in the 12 months, according to new figures from RenewableUK. RenewableUK blamed government policy changes for the poor results. [reNEWS]


¶ “San Diego Has Vast Solar Parking Lot Potential” • San Diego has an untapped 500-MW solar potential at commercial sites within the city, with parking lots representing three-quarters of the total, according to a new survey by the Clean Coalition. The San Diego Solar Siting Survey identified 120 sites that could host at least 1 MW of solar. [CleanTechnica]

San Diego Zoo parking (Credit Greentech Advocates)

¶ “Lawmakers Lambast Pentagon Climate Report” • The “Report on Effects of a Changing Climate to the Department of Defense” has important omissions that are just one reason lawmakers greeted the Congressionally mandated report with eviscerating criticism. The report even didn’t meet some basic requirements mandated by law. [CNN]

¶ “Energy Aggregation Brings Renewable Energy To More Companies” • Big companies can enter into power purchase agreements, reducing energy costs. Now smaller companies can do the same, with aggregation. LevelTen Energy, based in Seattle, provides this through what it calls “sort of like a matchmaking service.” [CleanTechnica]

Solar array (LevelTen Energy image)

¶ “Port Authority’s Community Solar Power Plan Advances With Approval Of New York Public Service Commission” • The New York State Public Service Commission approved the Port Authority’s request to proceed with renewable solar power projects at John F Kennedy International Airport. Low-income residents can benefit. []

¶ “Vermont’s Largest Solar Canopy Comes Online” • Vermont’s largest solar canopy, Encore Renewable Energy’s 156-kW solar carport in Burlington, has begun producing electricity at the ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain. Built in 2003, the science and nature center was the first LEED-certified building in Vermont. [CleanTechnica]

ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain

¶ “DC Mayor Signs Historic Climate Legislation For 100% Renewables” • DC Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the “Clean Energy DC Omnibus Act of 2018,” which the DC Council had passed unanimously in December. The District is leading on climate action by requiring a 100% renewable electricity supply by 2032. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Tesla Semi Trucks, Powerpacks, And Solar To Be Used In New Near Zero-Emission Frito-Lay Facility” • Tesla is partnering with PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay to design a “near zero-emission” distribution facility. It will have a fleet of Tesla Semi electric trucks, other electric vehicles, a charging system, Tesla energy storage, and a solar array. [Electrek]

Screen shot of a Tesla Semi electric truck

¶ “Coal Ash Is Contaminating Groundwater In At Least 22 States, Utility Reports Show” • A clear picture of coal ash contamination in the US is emerging, as utilities report serious groundwater contamination in at least 22 states. In many cases, immediate environmental action has been required, and several states are moving on this. [InsideClimate News]

¶ “Keene, NH, Commits To 100% Renewable Energy Goal” • The city council of Keene, NH, voted 14-1 to adopt a goal of moving to 100% renewable energy, the Sierra Club has announced. Keene joins four other New Hampshire communities, Concord, Cornish, Hanover, and Plainfield, that have established the 100% renewable goal. [North American Windpower]

Fall foliage

¶ “Idaho’s New Governor: ‘Climate Change Is Real’” • Idaho Gov Brad Little has broken with Republican Party leaders on climate change, declaring unequivocally that the phenomenon is real. He said, “I’m old enough that I remember feeding cows all winter long in deep snow … boy, back in the old days when I was a kid, we had winters.” [High Country News]

¶ “Trump Signs Another Bipartisan Law To Boost Advanced Nuclear” • President Donald Trump signed a bill into law aimed at accelerating development of a new generation of advanced nuclear reactors. The bill was passed with cooperation between the two parties, the second instance of cooperation on advanced nuclear in four months. [Greentech Media]

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January 18 Energy News

January 18, 2019


¶ “EPA: New Air Pollution Plan Worse Than Doing Nothing” • Andrew Wheeler, former coal industry lobbyist, will soon be the official head of the EPA, the agency charged with protecting the environment. A study by the Harvard School of Public Health suggests the plans Wheeler has proposed will be only make things worse. [CleanTechnica]



¶ “Melbourne Today Powered By 100% Renewable Energy” • The City of Melbourne is the first major city in Australia to be 100% powered by renewable energy. This comes of the construction of the 80 MW wind farm at Crowlands. Crowlands is a small agricultural community, also in Victoria, about 128 miles (206 km) from Melbourne. [Market Business News]

¶ “UK ‘Should Plug Nuclear Gap With Renewables’” • Various renewables organisations have urged the UK government to plug a 9-GW hole in its low-carbon energy policy with “shovel-ready” wind and solar capacity after Hitachi suspended its nuclear development program. Nuclear plants plans are being shelved because of high costs. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines in Scotland (reNEWS image)

¶ “Reason Australian Households Are Paying An Extra $200 A Year For Electricity” • Privatisation of the electricity industry has not delivered what it promised, a report has found. A report, from the Australia Institute, says customers now pay $100 to $200 per year extra to cover the costs of things like advertising, sales, and marketing. []

¶ “Eight Ways China Is Encouraging Zero-Subsidy Renewables” • Amid speculation that subsidies will be phased out from the end of 2020, the Chinese National Energy Administration has released a package of enticements this month for developers willing to bet on subsidy-free solar and wind projects over the next two years. [Greentech Media]

Solar repair worker in China

¶ “RWE To Spend €1.5 Billion Annually On Renewables” • RWE AG intends to invest about €1.5 billion ($1.7 billion) in renewables each year to grow an already imposing portfolio, to be formed through the pending merger of assets held by Innogy SE and E.ON SE. The portfolio already includes 8.6 GW of renewable capacity. [Renewables Now]

¶ “UK Signals Shift From Nuclear To Renewables” • The UK’s government has signalled a big shift away from nuclear energy and towards renewables after Hitachi announced it was scrapping work on a new reactor because of the plummeting costs of offshore wind and solar power. Only one nuclear plant is still being developed in the UK. [The Week UK]

Wind turbine (Christopher Furlong | Getty Images)

¶ “Ørsted, TEPCO Forge Alliance For Japan Offshore Push” • Ørsted and TEPCO formed a partnership to pursue offshore wind projects in Japan. The partnership comes after Japan’s government committed to passing laws to support large-scale offshore wind development. Tokyo has a 10-GW wind target, including onshore, for 2030. [reNEWS]


¶ “Energy Dept Tackles Challenge Of Rooftop Solar & Income Inequality” • Economic justice advocates are taking note that rooftop solar power deployment in the US has a taken on a racial tinge, with significantly more penetration in predominantly white neighborhoods. The DOE is acting to take on part, though not all, of that issue. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop solar systems in a low-income neighborhood

¶ “Ford Says An Electric F-150 Is Coming” • Speaking to the press at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Ford’s president of global markets, said, “Here’s what’s going to happen next to future-proof that global juggernaut of commercial vehicles. We’re going to be electrifying the F-Series, both battery-electric and hybrid.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Scout Lassos Cash For Ranchero” • Scout Clean Energy, part of Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners, closed construction financing on the 300-MW Ranchero wind farm in Crockett County, Texas. The project, developed from inception by Scout Clean Energy, will use 120 of the latest generation GE 2.5-MW wind turbines with 127 meter rotors. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Pixabay image)

¶ “AG Healey Endorses Version Of ‘Green New Deal’ – 100% ‘Renewable’ Energy” • Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey committed herself to an ambitious new clean energy goal as part of a broader plan included a promise to fight gun violence and reduce barriers to mental health treatment, among other issues. [NewBostonPost]

¶ “Prominent US Economists Call For Taxing Carbon Emissions” • A bipartisan group of prominent American economists has written a letter and op-ed appearing in the Wall Street Journal calling for a tax on carbon emissions. They are in favor of sharing the tax revenue with US households through recurring dividend checks. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Coal-burning power plant in Utah

¶ “Brown University Heads Toward 100% Solar And Wind” • As a major part of a campus-wide effort to cut greenhouse-gas emissions, Brown University in Providence, RI, has finalized agreements for two renewable energy projects that are expected to produce enough combined solar and wind power to offset all on-campus electricity use. [Solar Industry]

¶ “Bloomberg, Salesforce Among Companies To Form The Corporate Renewable Energy Aggregation Group” • The Corporate Renewable Energy Aggregation Group, formed by five companies, closed 42.5 MW of a 100-MW North Carolina solar project. The aggregated virtual power purchase agreement they signed is a first. [Energy Manager Today]

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January 17 Energy News

January 17, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “World’s Coffee Under Threat, Say Experts” • The first full assessment of risks to the world’s coffee plants shows that 60% of 124 known species are on the edge of extinction. Though only two species are used for the coffee we drink, scientists say the figure is “worrying”, because wild coffee is critical for sustaining the global coffee crop. [CNN]

Coffee harvest (Getty Images)


¶ “250,000 Deaths A Year From Climate Change Is A ‘conservative Estimate,’ Research Says” • Grim analysis from one of the authors of a report in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests rising global temperatures could lead to many more deaths than the 250,000 a year the World Health Organization predicted just five years ago. [CNN]

¶ “Climate Is The Biggest Risk To Business (And The World)” • Companies and investors are waking up to the dangers of climate change. Business leaders and experts surveyed by the World Economic Forum said extreme weather, migration caused by climate change, and natural disasters are the three risks they are most likely to face in 2019. [CNN]

California wild-fire (David McNew | Getty Images)

¶ “World’s Largest Wind Turbine Prototype, GE’s 12-MW Haliade-X, To Be Installed In Rotterdam” • A prototype of the world’s largest announced wind turbine, GE Renewable Energy’s 12-MW Haliade-X, will be installed in Rotterdam during the middle of 2019 for five years of testing. It will be installed onshore for certification. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “What Do Companies Owe The Environment? Natural Capital Risk Assessment At Davos” • As the 2019 World Economic Forum in Davos approaches, the Natural Capital Finance Alliance launched the world’s first step-by-step guide to conduct a rapid natural capital risk assessment, giving financial institutions a new perspective on risks. [CleanTechnica]

Ocean and cliffs

¶ “50Hertz Salutes New Wind High” • A new wind energy generation record of over 16 GW was set on 13 January in the area of Germany covered by transmission system operator 50Hertz. It said the 16 GW was theoretically enough to cover the whole of the TSO’s region (the former East Germany) and provide power for export elsewhere. [reNEWS]

¶ “Siemens, Gamesa Launches 10-MW Offshore Wind Turbine” • Siemens Renewable Energy Gamesa has launched its first offshore wind turbine with over 10 MW of capacity, the SG 10.0-193 DD, building on the experience of its previous generations of turbine. The new turbine has direct drive and a rotor diameter of 193 meters. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Offshore wind turbines (Photo: Walt Musial | NREL)

¶ “Renewables Now Most Competitive Form Of Power Generation In GCC Countries” • The most competitive forms of power generation in Gulf Cooperation Council countries (all Arab countries on the Persian Gulf except Iraq) are renewable, according to a report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency. [Windpower Engineering]


¶ “US Wind To Exceed Hydropower In 2019 For First Time” • The latest US government energy and electricity forecasts have predicted that wind energy will outperform hydropower for the first time in 2019. The DOE’s Energy Information Administration projections suggest 11 GW of windpower capacity will be added this year. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm in Texas

¶ “EPA Nominee Calls Climate Change ‘A Huge Issue,’ But Not ‘The Greatest Crisis'” • Andrew Wheeler, acting administrator of the EPA and nominee to lead it, said he gives climate change an “eight or nine” on a one-to-ten scale of concern but thinks it is not the greatest crisis. He is still reviewing the EPA’s climate change report of two months ago. [CNN]

¶ “New York Governor Cuomo Announces Mammoth Offshore Wind And Distributed Solar Increases” • In his annual State of the State address, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans to significantly upgrade the state’s renewable energy targets, including quadrupling its offshore wind target to 9 GW by 2035. [CleanTechnica]

Governor Andrew Cuomo (Credit: Governor Andrew Cuomo)

¶ “Florida Utility Unveils Solar Surge” • Florida Power & Light has unveiled the ’30-by-30′ plan to install 30 million solar panels in the US state by 2030. The company said it has secured sites throughout Florida for the projects. FPL also said it has already has started pairing battery storage technology with solar PVs at its solar power plants. [reNEWS]

¶ “Pine Gate Renewables completes 57-MW Peony Solar project in South Carolina” • Pine Gate Renewables, a national utility-scale solar developer, owner, and operator, energized its Peony Solar project in Orangeburg County, South Carolina. Sitting on 334 acres, Peony is a 57-MW site and can generate more than 97,400 MWh per year. [Solar Power World]

Solar array (Pine Gate Renewables image)

¶ “Google’s New US Data Centers Will Run On 1.6 Million Solar Panels” • Google will amp up its expansion in the southeastern US with millions of solar panels. Google wants the electricity consumed by its new data centers in Yum Yum, Tennessee, and Hollywood, Alabama, to be “matched with 100% renewable energy from day one.” [CNET]

¶ “Former NRC Head Disagrees With Bill Gates, Says Nuclear Not A Safe Bet For Combating Climate Change” • In his latest book, Confessions of a Rogue Nuclear Regulator, Dr Gregory Jaczko says that we should be thinking more about the consequences of nuclear power, and we should be way more concerned about it than we are. [GeekWire]

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January 16 Energy News

January 16, 2019


¶ “One Simple – But Really Hard – Solution to Stop Climate Change” • The time to act on climate change and limit its human causes is now, as many studies have shown. A report in the journal Nature Communications maps out what it may take to get there. It is to phase out its “carbon-intensive infrastructure” at the end of its design lifetime. [CNN]

Carbon emissions on the rise (CNN)

¶ “Trump’s Nuclear Revival? It’s a ‘Black Box'” • More than a year after President Trump promised a “complete review” to revive the country’s domestic nuclear energy sector, the effort remains shrouded in mystery. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have said they know little, or even that they cannot get answers from the administration. [E&E News]


¶ “Kenyan Electrification Plan Could Achieve Universal Access by 2022” • About 75% of Kenyans have access to electricity, the World Bank says, but its government wants to increase that to 100% by 2022. The Kenya National Electrification Strategy references mini-grids, independent solar power plants, and off-grid technology as options. [CleanTechnica]

Kenya (Image: Masai29, Wikipedia, Public domain)

¶ “Octopus, Edify Energy Provide Finance for 333-MW Darlington Point Solar Farm” • After being waved through by the News South Wales government mid-December, the Darlington Point solar+storage project has reached another milestone, as the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac will jointly provide for finance. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Abu Dhabi Pumps $2.2 Billion into Renewable Energy Sector” • The total for investments by Abu Dhabi government in the renewable energy sector has surged to Dh8 billion ($2.17 billion), thus reflecting positively on the sustainability of the industry for future generations, according to a senior official of the UAE government. [ZAWYA]

Shams 1 power plant (Ben Job | Reuters)

¶ “Saudi Auction Secures Record-Low Price for Wind Energy” • A consortium of renewable energy developers EDF Renewables and Masdar won the tender to build the 400-MW Dumat Al Jandal wind farm at a record-low price of 2.13¢/kWh. The project will be Saudi Arabia’s first wind farm and the largest in the Middle East. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “WindFloat Atlantic Lifts Dutch Anchor Maker” • Netherlands-based Vryhof will supply mooring technology for the WindFloat Atlantic floating offshore wind project off the Portuguese coast. The EDP Renewables-led WindPlus consortium developing WindFloat Atlantic ordered three V164-8.4 MW turbines for the project from MHI Vestas. [reNEWS]

Vryhof vessel (Vryhof image)


¶ “US Coal Retirements in 2018 Could Be as High as 15.4 GW” • A total of 16.9 GW of US power capacity was retired in 2018, including 11.8 GW worth of coal-fired power capacity, figures from S&P Global Market Intelligence say. But data from other analyst figures suggest US coal retirements in 2018 could have been as high as 15.4 GW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New York Gov Launches ‘Green New Deal’ with Accelerated Clean Energy Targets” • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the launch of a “Green New Deal” initiative. Cuomo’s 2019 Justice Agenda calls for a ramp-up in renewable energy deployments as New York seeks to have 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040. [Greentech Media]

New York City

¶ “Green Energy Could Be a Casualty as PG&E Enters Bankruptcy” • Gas and electricity consumers will see no changes right away when PG&E files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the face of liability problems from two historic fires. But both consumers and environmentalists might be in for rocky rides as PG&E tries to weather the storm. [UC Berkeley]

¶ “Volkswagen Chooses Chattanooga for EV Manufacturing, Looks to Ford for Light and Medium-Duty Trucks” • VW opened an assembly plant in Chattanooga in 2011. In September, VW said it was looking for a site for a US EV plant, and now, the company has announced it will invest $800 million to add an EV assembly line to the Tennessee plant. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen EV

¶ “Trump Flips – Changes His Mind on Electric Vehicles (for the Moment). Now EVs Are “A Big Win!”” • President Trump recently criticised GM for aiming to increase its focus on electric vehicles. But when VW announces plans to invest $800 million in EV production in Chattanooga, suddenly Trump is cheerleading the move as “A big win!” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EDF Powers Up in New York” • EDF Renewables North America has commissioned the 80-MW Copenhagen Wind project in Lewis County and Jefferson County, New York. The wind farm will supply electricity to National Grid subsidiary Narragansett Electric Company. Vestas supplied the 40 turbines for the project. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Vestas image)

¶ “Tri-State Members Increasingly Unsatisfied as the Rise of Distributed Resources Upends the G&T Model” • Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association is the latest utility power supplier caught by changing power system economics. Buying and using new renewables now can cost less than running existing coal generation. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Regulators to Allow Seabrook Nuclear Plant to Run Through 2050” • The Seabrook nuclear plant is expected to get approval this month to continue operating through 2050, after regulators finished determining the facility is safe to remain open. Activists concerned about the facility’s safety say the decision is premature. [New Hampshire Public Radio]

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January 15 Energy News

January 15, 2019


¶ “How to Convince a Conservative That Climate Change Is Real” • A newly published report by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication reveals that 8% of participants in three separate surveys said they had changed their mind on the topic over the previous year. Of those, 84% said their level of concern had been increased. [City Watch]

Lab bench

Science and Technology:

¶ “Antarctica Ice Melt Has Accelerated by 280% in the Last Four Decades” • A pair of studies, one published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the other in the scientific journal Nature Geoscience, share a same ominous message: Our planet’s ice is melting at an alarming rate, which is bad news for global sea levels. [CNN]

¶ “What Warmer Oceans Mean for the Planet” • Our oceans are much warmer and are heating up faster than we previously thought, driven by climate change caused by humans, according to a study published in the journal Science. Its authors said 2018 would be the warmest year on record for oceans. So what does that mean? [CNN]

Gas platform (David McNeil | Hilton Archive | Getty Images)

¶ “Researchers Create a 3-D Printing Process That Is 100 Times Faster than Normal” • If 3-D printing has one drawback today, it is that it is s..l..o..w. Researchers at the University of Michigan say they have created a new process that speeds things up by a factor of 100. Their entire report is available for free online at Science Advances. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “As the World’s Oceans Warm, Their Waves Are Becoming More Powerful” • Scientists at the University of California, Santa Cruz have revealed that as the surface of the world’s oceans continues to warm, there is a direct association with increased wave energy globally. Their study was published in the journal Nature Communications. [IFLScience]

Wave (irabel8 | Shutterstock)

¶ “Today’s Children Will Inherit a Climate-Changed Planet. Can They Handle It?” • We know a warming planet, left unchecked, will violently transform ecosystems and profoundly impact the physical and mental health of humans. But we know far less about how climate change will impact children’s inner landscapes or how professionals should help them. [Scienceline]


¶ “Italy Plans 50 GW PV, 18.4 GW Wind to Meet 2030 Target” • Italy will aim to reach 50 GW of solar PV capacity by the end of 2030 under its new climate and energy plan. The target for wind is 18.4 GW. The Italian goal is to have renewable energy reach a 30% share in gross final consumption by 2030. In 2017, that share was 18.3%. [Renewables Now]

Solar panels in Italy (Image: TerniEnergia)

¶ “Tesla Proposes Microgrids with Solar and Batteries to Power Greek Islands” • Tesla has met with the Greek government to propose ways to modernize the electric grid of the country’s many Mediterranean islands with a combination of microgrids and renewable energy. This is to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and to save money. [Electrek]

¶ “Iberdrola Uses Blockchain to Track Renewable Energy Supply” • Iberdrola said it completed an experiment using blockchain to track renewable energy in real time. For the experiment, electricity from two wind farms and a hydropower plant was tracked to the point of use, so the customer could know where its energy came from. [Renewables Now]

Hydropower plant in Galicia (Iberdrola image)


¶ “President Trump Can’t Stop US Coal Plants from Retiring” • Coal plants are still closing, despite Trump’s efforts. Generators said they plan to shut around 8,422 MW of coal-fired power and 1,500 MW of nuclear in 2019, while adding 10,900 MW of wind, 8,200 MW of solar and 7,500 MW of gas, according to Reuters and EIA data. [CNBC]

¶ “After a Boom Year for New Natural Gas Plants, Renewables Set to Retake the Lead” • In 2019, the majority of energy added to the grid will be renewable, according to estimates by the Energy Information Administration. That had been the trend between 2013 and 2017, though last year new natural gas-fired power plants outpaced renewables. [Ars Technica]

Wind turbines in Colorado (Getty Images)

¶ “How Low Cost Wind and Solar Push the Market for Renewable Hydrogen” • Wind and solar already beat natural gas on price in some parts of the US, a trend that is likely to spread. And renewable hydrogen could quickly replace natural gas in two other major markets, fuel and fertilizer production, with help from wind and solar power. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Electric Buses Coming to Hawaii, New York City, and Estonia” • The Chinese city of Shenzhen, has converted its entire fleet of buses, more than 16,000 in all. And they are appearing in lesser numbers on the streets of London, Katowice, Brasilia, Jerusalem, and many other cities. Now, they are to be used in Hawaii and New York City. [CleanTechnica]

Proterra bus

¶ “Two Rural Electric Cooperatives Overcome Barriers to Clean, Local Energy” • During the 20th century, rural communities formed rural electric cooperatives as a way to get energy where no one else would provide it. In the 21st century, some cooperatives have found an additional economic benefit from pursuing local renewable energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “SC Regulators Change Course and Call Out SCANA for Withholding Info” • South Carolina’s utility regulators had a change of heart, altering an earlier order to condemn SCANA Corp officially for willfully withholding information about the VC Summer nuclear project as it failed. The order will not change customers’ bills. [Charleston Post Courier]

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