Archive for the 'nuclear power' Category

December 21 Energy News

December 21, 2018


¶ “The Farm Bureau: Big Oil’s Unnoticed Ally Fighting Climate Science and Policy” • While big oil and gas companies provided the cash for anti-regulation campaigns, the farm lobby offered up a sympathetic face: the American farmer. For more than three decades, the Farm Bureau has aligned agriculture closely with the fossil fuel agenda. [InsideClimate News]

Agriculture and fossil fuels

Science and Technology:

¶ “‘We Are at War’: New York’s Rat Crisis Made Worse by Climate Change” • City officials report an increasing number of calls from residents complaining about rats, and warn that milder winters help them feed and mate longer into the year. And as winters warm, more frequent outdoor activity by humans adds to the litter rats thrive upon. [The Guardian]


¶ “New Offshore Wind Farms Push UK Renewables to Record” • Almost a third of the UK’s electricity came from renewable sources between July and September, as wind turbines and solar panels helped achieve a quarterly record for green energy. Renewables provided 33.1% of electricity for the quarter, up from 30% the year before. [The Guardian]

Offshore wind farm (Photo: Peter Byrne | PA)

¶ “Renewable Energy Meets over 70% of Scotland’s Needs” • The Scottish Government released data for 2017 showing that renewable electricity sources were able to meet 70.1% of Scotland’s energy demand, up from 54.4% in 2016. The rise is largely attributed to more wind being used to produce renewable electricity in 2017. [Energy Voice]

¶ “Power Bills Drop $28 a Year Thanks to Renewable Policy, Since Dumped by the Government” • A report by the Australian Energy Market Commission expects electricity prices generally to be stable or falling over the next two years due to a pipeline of new renewables. But the federal government is dumping emissions targets. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Wind farm (Photo: Joe Armao)

¶ “Brazil’s Wind Generation Rises 7.3% in Early Dec” • Brazil’s wind power output in the first half of December has increased by to 4,867 average MW, show preliminary figures released by the Power Trading Chamber. Wind power’s share went up to 7.3% from 6.8% a previous year, according to CCEE data published in the InfoMercado Semanal. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Australia to Miss 2030 Emissions Targets by Vast Margin, Coalition’s Projections Reveal” • According to data from the federal government, Australia will miss its 2030 emissions reduction targets, with an emissions reduction by 2030 of 7% from 2005 levels. Australia’s Paris agreement target calls for a 26% to 28% emissions reduction. [The Guardian]

Emissions (Dave Hunt | AAP)

¶ “Households Converting to Solar Power Now Exempt from Self-Produced Energy Tariffs under New European Union Renewable Energy Plans” • To achieve more aggressive targets following COP24, EU lawmakers have urged homeowners to switch from traditional grid-based energy sources to producing their own energy. [AltEnergyMag]


¶ “New Jersey Moves to End Solar RECs, Take Next Steps Toward 100% Renewables” • The next phase of solar development in New Jersey will require a new initiative beyond SRECs, say officials, as part of the state’s goals of moving to 100% renewable energy. The state’s current renewable portfolio standard has a goal of 50% renewables by 2030. [Utility Dive]

Solar array

¶ “Connecticut Favors Revolution” • Connecticut regulators have approved a 20-year power purchase agreement for 200 MW of electricity from Ørsted’s Revolution offshore wind farm. Revolution, which will be located in federal waters between Long Island and Martha’s Vineyard, will also supply 400 MW of power to Rhode Island. [reNEWS]

¶ “LG Electronics Enrolls Five Facilities in Purely Green Sustainability Program” • RPD Energy arranged the supply of wind energy and concurrent Renewable Energy Certificates for five LG Electronics USA facilities in Texas, Illinois, and New Jersey. The LG facilities are served under the Purely Green affinity program. [Windpower Engineering]

Wind turbines

¶ “US Congress Support of Green New Deal Growing with Sunrise Movement Momentum” • With goals to reduce carbon emissions through massive, rapid deployment of zero-carbon generation, the Green New Deal is gaining momentum. Forty 40 members of Congress already signed on and every week more are committing to the effort. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vestas Wins American Tall Order” • Vestas has received an order for an undisclosed 202 MW wind project in the US. The company will supply 56 of its V136-3.45MW turbines in a 3.6-MW power optimised mode. Delivery commences in the third quarter of 2019, followed by commissioning in the fourth quarter of next year. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Vestas image)

¶ “EPA Improves Process to Site Renewables at Formerly Hazardous Sites” • The EPA announced updates to a mapping tool under its RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative, to help communities, developers, and other stakeholders site renewable energy on current and formerly contaminated lands, landfills, and mine sites. [North American Windpower]

¶ “SCANA to Offload Historic Charleston Office, Cayce Land to Pay for Customer Refunds” • Soon SCANA will give up a dozen pieces of property, including a plantation where its executives and directors hunted ducks and held retreats, to refund to its electric customers a fraction of what they paid for two unfinished nuclear reactors. [Anderson Independent Mail]

Have a magically propitious day.

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December 20 Energy News

December 20, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “NOAA’s 2017–2018 Arctic Report Card: Arctic Air Temperatures Warming at Twice Global Rate” • NOAA’s brilliant, visually beautiful, and timely Arctic Report Card for 2018 is an immensely telling work containing the research of over 80 scientists from 12 countries. Since 1900, average temperatures have increased 6.3° Fahrenheit. [CleanTechnica]

Wind-powered, unmanned Arctic Saildrone


¶ “GE Kits Out 300-MW Indian Mega-Farm” • GE Renewable Energy will supply turbines for a 300-MW wind farm being developed by Indian independent power producer ReNew Power. The Gadhsisa project, in Gujarat, will be commissioned in stages, by the end of 2019. GE will supply 120 of its 2.5-132 model, to be made at its Pune factory. [reNEWS]

¶ “Home Solar Lighting Systems Come to Kenya From Azuri and Unilever” • Azuri Technologies and Unilever Kenya have joined together to bring a pay-as-you-go solar home system to off-grid homes in Kenya. The system has a 10-W solar panel, four LED lights, a rechargeable radio, a flashlight, and a USB port for mobile phone charging. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Significant Drop in Energy Use Pushes Down German Emissions in 2018” • Germany’s energy-related CO₂ emissions dropped by more than 6% year-on-year as the country consumed “significantly” less energy in 2018, but with a greater share of renewables than last year, said energy market research group AG Energiebilanzen. [Clean Energy Wire]

¶ “UK Invests $126.62 Million for Renewable Energy Projects in Africa” • The UK government announced $126.62 million (£100 million) funding to build and develop electricity infrastructure for the people in sub-Saharan Africa. The new investment will support up to 40 more renewable energy projects over the next five years. [African Review]

Solar array (Image: Magharebia | Flickr)

¶ “BP Solar Arm to Brew Beer Using 100% Renewable Energy” • Lightsource BP and AB InBev have signed what they describe as the “largest unsubsidised solar energy deal in UK history” to brew Budweiser beer. Once the installation is completed, it will generate enough energy to power the equivalent of 18,000 homes. [Energy Voice]

¶ “TenneT Maps Dutch Renewables Growth Spurt” • Renewable electricity generation in the Netherlands will increase from just over 7 GW today to more than 36 GW in 2033, an annual security of supply report by transmission system operator TenneT says. Two-thirds of the electric generating capacity will be solar, wind, or hydropower. [reNEWS]

Dutch offshore wind farm (Image: Eneco)

¶ “Renewable Energy Company Acciona Adopts Blockchain Traceability” • Acciona, a major Spanish renewable energy company, has announced plans to extend blockchain traceability to its renewable generation globally. The reason it decided to do this is so clients will be able to verify that the energy provided is clean. [Ledger Insights]

¶ “Climate Council Report Reveals 40,000 Australian Businesses Using Renewable Energy, Nectar Farms among Biggest” • A Climate Council report focuses on food and beverage companies that produce their goods using renewable energy. It showed that over 40,000 businesses around Australia have made the move to renewable energy. [Ararat Advertiser]

Nectar Farms design


¶ “Stanford Maps 1.47 Million Solar Roofs in America” • Stanford University researchers created a map of almost every solar rooftop in America, extracting the information from satellite images. A total of 1.47 million solar rooftops were identified in the lower 48 states in the study. It is believed to have identified 93% of solar rooftops. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Wind Energy Could Already Power a Third of US Cars for a Year” • The wind generation already in operation in 2017 would power 75 million US cars for a full year if they were electric. The US wind generation installed in 2018 alone will power about 2 million US electric cars for a year. There are about 276.1 million cars in the US. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm (Pexels photo)

¶ “Northampton Wins $75,000 Grant to Explore Community-Choice Energy Programs” • Northampton, Massachusetts, has been awarded a $75,000 grant to explore Community Choice Energy PLUS, in the hopes of creating a model for the promotion of local renewable energy that could be adopted nationwide. [GazetteNET]

¶ “Ecolab to Offset 100% of Its Electricity Demand in North America with Wind and Solar” • Ecolab Inc, a water and energy technologies provider, signed an agreement supporting a wind farm in Fisher County, Texas. Construction of Clearway Energy Group’s 419-MW Mesquite Star wind farm is to begin in the first half of 2019. [Windpower Engineering]

Wind turbines

¶ “EDF, Shell Swoop for New Jersey Offshore Acreage” • An alliance between EDF Renewables and Shell acquired a lease area off New Jersey that has the potential for a 2.5-GW offshore wind project. The partners have named the venture Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind. They said the site has “steady wind resources in relatively shallow water.” [reNEWS]

¶ “Grand Gulf Nuclear Power Plant Troubles ‘Happening Far Too Often,’ Mississippi official says” • An unplanned outage at Mississippi’s Grand Gulf nuclear plant is adding to regulators’ concerns over reliability problems at the country’s largest single-unit nuclear power plant. It is the plant’s sixth unplanned power decrease in 15 months. [Jackson Clarion Ledger]

Have a quintessentially nifty day.

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December 19 Energy News

December 19, 2018


¶ “Regenerative Cities: An Urban Concept Whose Time Has Come!” • What we need is a city that can serve as a role model, combining the social, economic, and ecological dimensions of sustainability. It should be a city that embeds a vivid cultural life and a culture of creativity in the way it operates. It should be a regenerative city. [CleanTechnica]

Radbahn, Berlin

Science and Technology:

¶ “Floating Device Created to Clean Up Plastic Waste in the Pacific Ocean Is not Doing Its Job” • The Ocean Cleanup System 001, a U-shaped floating barrier created by the organization The Ocean Cleanup, arrived in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in October. But the system has failed to retain plastic, according to the organization. [CNN]

¶ “Report: Incineration Is ‘Neither Clean Nor Renewable'” • While 23 states define municipal solid waste incineration as a renewable energy source, a report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance says burning trash is “neither clean nor renewable.” Advocacy groups are ramping up efforts to shut down local incineration facilities. [Waste Dive]

Incineration facility


¶ “GE Primed for 102 MW Kenya Wind” • General Electric is to supply turbines with a combined capacity of 102 MW to the Kipeto wind farm in Kenya. The project, located in Kajiado south of Nairobi, will feature 60 GE 1.7-103 machines and is expected to come online in 2020. GE will also provide operations and maintenance for Kipeto. [reNEWS]

¶ “Santos to Power Oil Well Operations with Solar-Plus-Storage” • In what is billed as Australia’s first off-grid, 100% renewable energy project to support oil and gas sector operations, Santos will power 56 crude oil pumps with solar and battery storage. The project has won a grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. [pv magazine Australia]

Powering oil production with solar (Santos image)

¶ “BP to Explore Renewables in Oil Rich Azerbaijan” • BP announced that it signed an agreement to explore renewable energy opportunities in oil rich Azerbaijan. The memorandum of understanding between BP and the Republic of Azerbaijan follows the government’s development of a framework plan for renewables. [Energy Voice]

¶ “CEMEX to Use 100% Renewable Electricity in 2019” • ENGIE has been providing electricity to over 150 CEMEX UK sites for more than 10 years. Next year all of the electricity supplied to these sites will come from renewable energy sources, including wind power. CEMEX is in the energy-intensive business of making cement. [Agg-Net]

CEMEX plant

¶ “Solar Households Expected to Give Away Power to Energy Firms” • The government of the UK has confirmed that it expects households that install solar panels in the future will give away unused clean power for free to electric energy firms earning multimillion-pound profits, provoking outrage from green campaigners. [The Guardian]


¶ “The Boring Company Shows Off Its Functional Demo Tunnel in Hawthorne, California” • The Boring Company took the wraps off of its demonstration tunnel in Hawthorne, California. The event opened at the tunnel, which takes the concept up to full scale, working elevators and all. Some event guests rode a Tesla through the tunnel.  [CleanTechnica]

Tesla in a Boring tunnel

¶ “President’s Council Urges Solar and Microgrid Use for Energy Security” • One of the key recommendations in a recent President’s National Advisory Infrastructure Council report on cybersecurity and the grid is that microgrids based on solar power and other renewable energy resources be developed for emergency preparedness. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nuclear Negations Yield Renewable Energy Leverage” • As part of the recently approved settlement negotiations after the failed VC Summer Nuclear Plant expansion in South Carolina, renewable energy has gained both power purchase agreement access and market continuity. Solar developers were already using failed nuclear sites. [pv magazine USA]

Solar array at the abandoned Phipps Bend nuclear plant

¶ “DC Just Passed a Historic Bill Mandating 100% Renewable Power by 2032” • City lawmakers in the District of Columbia unanimously passed legislation mandating 100% renewable electricity in the capital by 2032. The act doubles Washington’s current goal, under which the city would get half its electricity from zero-emissions sources by 2032. [HuffPost]

¶ “Colorado’s Largest Battery Comes Online as the State Pivots to Cleaner Energy” • United Power Cooperative, based in Brighton, Colorado, unveiled the largest battery storage system in the state. The lithium-ion battery cost millions, and could take decades to pay off, but officials expect it to save customers $1 million per year. [Colorado Public Radio]

Tesla battery system in Colorado (Grace Hood | CPR News)

¶ “US Corporate Solar Procurement Knocks It Out of the Park in 2018” • It has been a banner year for US corporate renewable energy. According to the latest numbers from the Rocky Mountain Institute, corporations have signed deals for 6.4 GW of off-site renewable energy contracts this year. Of that, 2.8 GW was for solar power. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Philadelphia Signs Major Commitment to New Solar Energy Facility” • Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has signed legislation that will enter the city into a power purchase agreement with a renewable energy developer to construct the state’s largest solar facility. The city will purchase all of the electricity produced at the 70-MW site. []

Have a wonderfully fun day.

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December 18 Energy News

December 18, 2018


¶ “COP 24 Wrap-Up: Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back” • COP 24 was primarily designed to establish the technical rules that will allow the world community to accurately assess which nations are meeting the carbon reduction commitments they agreed to in Paris 3 years ago and which are not. As such, it can claim some success. [CleanTechnica]

COP 24

¶ “Green New Deal Has Overwhelming Bipartisan Support, Poll Finds – At Least, for Now” • When asked “how much do you support or oppose” the individual of policies in the Green New Deal, 81% of registered voters, including 57% of conservative Republicans, say they either “somewhat support” or “strongly support” them, a survey showed. [HuffPost]

Science and Technology:

¶ “John Deere Unveils an Autonomous, Electric Tractor – With a Really Long Extension Cord” • John Deere is leading the charge into electric tractors with another innovation in partnership with GridCON. For 2018, the company is bringing out a new, fully autonomous, corded electric tractor model. Its power line is a kilometer long. [CleanTechnica]

John Deere autonomous electric tractor


¶ “Goats Cheese, Beer and Brioche Producers Plug-In to PV” • With regional food producers at the coalface of extreme climate conditions, and all Australian businesses impacted by rising electricity costs, many food and beverage companies are seeking future certainty and relief in low-cost renewable energies, a report says. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Vanuatu Threatens to Sue Biggest Carbon Energy Producers” • A tiny Pacific Island nation facing an existential threat due to climate change put the world’s biggest carbon energy producers on notice. Vanuatu’s top diplomat warned that producers of emissions might face lawsuits if they keep polluting. There is a growing trend of climate change litigation. [CNN]

Beach in Vanuatu (Phillip Capper, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Coalition Has an Energy Vision: No More Renewables, or Emission Cuts, Before 2030” • Australia’s Coalition government effectively confirmed what is already suspected – that it expects no further investment in large scale renewables, and no more significant emissions cuts, from 2022 all the way through to 2030 – should it stay in power. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Province Announces New Wind Energy Projects in Region” • The government of Alberta announced five windpower projects as part of the latest phase of the province’s renewable energy program. Their total capacity is 763 MW. One of the projects will be built near Medicine Hat, while two of the projects will be built near Brooks. [CHAT News Today]

Medicine Hat wind turbines (CHAT News Today File Photo)

¶ “Hopes Dwindle for Nuclear Plant Exports as Growth Strategy” • The Abe administration’s last hope of nuclear plant technology exports being a pillar of economic growth appears to be at a crossroads. And the signs are not good, considering Hitachi Ltd’s disclosure that it may have to ditch plans to build a nuclear reactor in Wales. [Asahi Shimbun]


¶ “New York Officially Ups Its Energy Storage Goal: 3 GW by 2030” • An initiative to increase New York’s energy storage targets has been approved by the New York State Public Service Commission. The state is now on a trajectory to deploy 1.5 GW of energy storage by 2025, before doubling and reaching up to 3 GW by 2030. [pv magazine USA]

Niagara Falls (Pixabay image)

¶ “New York Governor Cuomo Calls for 100% Carbon-Neutral Electricity by 2040 via Green New Deal” • Not satisfied with launching the most ambitious initiative for whole scale overhaul of the utility sector through Reforming the Energy Vision, Gov Cuomo announced a carbon-neutral electricity supply by 2040 as one of his legislative priorities. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “Solar on Schools Advances with Open Source Contracting” • School board members in Arlington, Virginia, found that putting solar PVs on rooftops did not negatively impact teacher salaries or getting textbooks? A solar power purchase agreement had no capital cost, and could save on operating costs, meeting any concerns people might have. [pv magazine USA]

Arlington school (Image: Arlington Public Schools)

¶ “Revenue-Neutral Carbon Fee Legislation Draws Bipartisan Support” • New legislation sponsored by three Democrats and two Republicans in Congress would create a revenue-neutral fee structure for carbon emissions. Mark Reynolds, executive director of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, calls the legislation a breakthrough. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Administration Sets Rules for NJ Rejoining Regional Initiative to Curb Pollution” • In New Jersey, the Murphy administration proposed new rules for rejoining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to curb climate-changing pollution from power plants, a top priority that triggered much debate over how steep the cuts should be. [NJ Spotlight]

Power plant

¶ “Black Hills Energy Seeks to Build $57 Million Wind Farm in Wyoming” • Black Hills Energy submitted a proposal to South Dakota regulators seeking approval for a Renewable Ready Service Tariff to offer renewable energy resources. It would offer large customers a way to get 100% renewable energy through subscriptions. [Rapid City Journal]

¶ “Springs to Close Coal-Fired Plant” • Colorado Springs Utilities is joining the energy movement away from coal-fired power. The city-owned utility plans to shut down one of the two remaining turbines at its Martin Drake Power Plant. Some Colorado Springs utility board members now expect that to happen as soon as next year. [Bent County Democrat]

Have a consummately great day.

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December 17 Energy News

December 17, 2018


¶ “Understanding the German Energy Transition: From Leader to Laggard” • Germany has come far but is now somewhat stuck in limbo. Its policy-makers are not pushing for ambitious energy policies even though the powerful business community and the country’s large utilities are calling for them to keep the energy transition going. [CleanTechnica]

Grazing under solar panels (Grüne Fraktion Bayern)

¶ “Do Local Weather Insurance Policies ‘Kill Jobs’?” • Climate change will hammer the US economy unless there is swift action to rein in greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels, according to the latest National Climate Assessment report. But President Donald Trump says actions to reduce the emissions are “job-killing.” [Infosurhoy]

¶ “The US Oil Industry’s Dirty Little Secret” • The oil industry engaged in a secret campaign to undermine US fuel economy standards, an investigative report in the New York Times said. A letter to members of Congress said, “With oil scarcity no longer a concern,” Americans should be given a “choice in vehicles that best fit their needs.” [RT]

Sailing past an oil platform

¶ “Future Is Dim for US Nuclear Power Plants” • Three Mile Island, best known for the biggest nuclear accident in US history, is months away from shutting down and throwing nearly 700 people out of work. The decision by Exelon, the owners, to decommission the plant is symptomatic of the broader crisis in the US nuclear power industry. [The National]


¶ “Quebecers Critical of Alberta Oil but Buying More Gasoline, SUVs, Bigger Homes: Report” • Quebec’s premier is quick to reject “dirty” oil from Western Canada in favour of hydro power, but new data indicate the province’s citizens are buying record amounts of gasoline and increasingly purchasing trucks and bigger homes. []

SUVs on sale (Photo: Gene J Puskar | AP)

¶ “The Race Is On: Big Oil Rushes to Supply the 1 Billion Disconnected” • Supermajors are making more commitments to renewable energy, as they prepare for a less carbon-intensive future. Some are going a step further, with such humanist causes as providing green energy to some of the billion people who have no electricity. [Yahoo Finance]

¶ “France’s First Tidal Energy Plant Gets Smarter with DataIintelligence Platform” • French tidal and ocean stream turbine developer Sabella partnered with software firm QOS Energy to improve performance monitoring at its Ushant tidal project. The first 1-MW tidal turbine has been installed at the plant off the west coast of France. [Envirotec]

Sabella turbine installation

¶ “Record Year for UK Offshore” • The UK installed more than 2 GW of new offshore wind capacity in 2018, a record-breaking volume, according to RenewableUK. R-UK said eight new offshore wind farms were opened this year adding 2121 MW of new capacity, which is almost double the previous record of 1154 MW set in 2012. [reNEWS]


¶ “Current Growth in Wind and Solar PV Supports Zero Fossil Fuels by 2032” • In a presentation to the 2018 Asia-Pacific Solar Research Conference, Prof Andrew Blakers of the Australian National University, pointed out that at current rates of growth for wind, solar PV, and electricity demand, fossil fuels could be redundant by 2032. [pv magazine Australia]

Ore processing facility (Image: Fortescue Metals Group Ltd)

¶ “University of Newcastle Inks Deal to Source 100% ‘Firmed’ Renewables” • In New South Wales, the University of Newcastle will meet its target of sourcing 100% renewable electricity by 2020, after signing a seven-year supply contract for a mix of solar, wind and hydro power with the Snowy Hydro subsidiary, Red Energy. [One Step Off The Grid]

¶ “WA Names New Energy Minister, Primes Grid for 900-MW Renewables Rush” • Western Australia opened up its grid for just under 1 GW of new large-scale renewable energy projects, as it works to catch up with the rest of Australia in the transition to low-carbon energy. And it appointed a new energy minister to shepherd the process. [RenewEconomy]

WA windfarm (Terence Doust, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “Trump Administration Statement at COP24 Doubles Down on Backwards Thinking” • The US’ National Statement to COP24 representatives made plain the path the US is planning to take. It reiterated Donald Trump’s intention of withdrawing from the Paris accord and reasserted intentions of including fossil fuels in its energy mix. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “When a Pipeline Threatened National Forests, a Federal Court Invoked Dr Seuss” • A panel of federal judges cited a Dr Seuss character to block construction of a gas pipeline. “We trust the United States Forest Service to ‘speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues,'” the panel’s ruling states, citing Seuss’ orange environmental ambassador. [CNN]

The Lorax, a Dr Seuss character (the little orange guy)

¶ “Sixth Largest US Coal Company Has Filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy” • Westmoreland Coal Co, America’s sixth largest coal company, recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The Denver Post reported the company had $1.4 billion in debt. It has mines in North Dakota, Wyoming, New Mexico, Montana, and Canada. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Comed’s Green Energy Innovation Is Partnering with Historic Bronzeville” • Bronzeville, the home territory of Chicago’s Black Renaissance and the birthplace of Black History Month, hopes to launch its next Golden Age with support from a smart microgrid being installed by utility ComEd. The microgrid will run on green energy. [Medill Reports: Chicago]

Have an incomparably pleasant day.

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December 16 Energy News

December 16, 2018


¶ “UK’s Dream Is Now its Nuclear Nightmare” • A project presented to the world in the 1990s by the UK government as a £2.85 billion triumph of British engineering, capable of recycling thousands of tons of spent nuclear fuel into reusable uranium and plutonium, is shutting down. Proposed to reprocess spent fuel, it is “an asset of zero value.” [Eco-Business]

Sellafield (Image: Simon Ledingham, CC BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Trump Administration Continues its Insane Assault on the Environment” • Donald Trump is responsible for appointing all sorts of lunatics to positions of authority in his government. Many of them act to threaten the health of ordinary Americans directly. Are they guilty of criminal behavior? Here are two recent examples – you decide. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Porsche Commissions MAN Electric eTruck for Green Logistics at Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen” • Porsche commissioned a fully electric MAN eTGM for logistics operations at a factory in Germany. The vehicle is the first of this kind to go into series production in Germany. Both Porsche and MAN are members of the Volkswagen Group. [Green Car Congress]


¶ “COP24 Climate Change Deal to Bring Pact to Life” • In Poland, Negotiators finally secured agreement on a range of measures that will make the Paris climate pact operational in 2020. Rows over carbon markets delayed the end of the conference by a day. And some observers say it is not sufficiently strong, given the urgency of the climate problem. [BBC]

¶ “Erstwhile Powerless Palawan Communities Lit Up for the First Time” • Around 16 million people in the Philippines live in communities without electricity. But now, the Access to Energy program of Pilipinas Shell Foundation is bringing renewable energy to people of one of the most stunningly beautiful places in the world. [Business Mirror]

Hut in Palawan (Torox, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Greens Push Labor to Quit Fossil Fuels” • Bill Shorten, leader of Australia’s Labor Party, promised to make half of the country’s power renewable. But the Greens say Labor will not give up on fossil fuels due to the donations it gets. Data shows gas, oil, and coal companies have given Labor A$1.62 million ($1.16 million) over the past five years. [SBS]

¶ “Aboitiz Power to Build $28 Million Battery Storage” • SN Aboitiz Power Group, a joint venture of SN Power of Norway and Aboitiz Power Corp, plans to build a $28-million battery energy storage system at its Magat hydro-electric power plant on the Philippine island of Luzon. Construction is to begin in 2020, with operations to begin in 2022. [Philippine Star]

Philippine hydro plant (becomingfilipino FB page)

¶ “Solar Could Power Up in 2019” • Work on large scale solar power farms in southeast Alberta could move ahead in 2019, according to developers and industry observers. Reduced capital costs and rising power prices have many considering making final commitments. They may even be ready to forgo stable prices to feed the grid. [Medicine Hat News]

¶ “Taishan Nuclear Power Plant Starts Operations” • One of the reactors of the Taishan nuclear plant in Guangdong province is now operating, its developers announced. The Taishan nuclear plant is the first to use its third-generation Evolutionary Power Reactor. It is about 70 km (43.5 miles) from Macau and 142 km from Hong Kong. [Macau Business]

Taishan nuclear plant


¶ “California Says All City Buses Must Be Emission Free by 2040” • A dire government report about the devastating impacts of climate change has motivated cities and states to act. California is the first state to mandate that mass transit agencies buy fully electric buses only starting in 2029 and have fully electric fleets by 2040. [TechCrunch]

¶ “Fortune 500 Companies Betting on Kansas Wind” • Earlier building surges sprung from tax breaks and from pressure on utilities to wean themselves off fossil fuels. But now, Fortune 500 companies that are new to the electricity business are risking their own money on the straight-up profit potential of prairie breezes. [The Hutchinson News]

Wind turbines (Brian Grimmett | Kansas News Service)

¶ “California Commission Finds PG&E Falsified Records for Years” • The California Public Utilities Commission may penalize Pacific Gas & Electric Co after an investigation found it had been falsifying records for five years. The commission claims PG&E violated California law by failing to locate and mark their natural gas pipelines in a timely manner. [CNN]

¶ “New 12-Acre Solar Garden Promises Big Savings for Western Slope” • Come January, a 12-acre (5-ha) solar garden in Palisade, Colorado, will go online and fully offset electricity costs for the town, saving the it an estimated $1.2 million over the next 20 years. The 2-MW solar array will also provide power for nearby communities. [The Denver Post]

Solar Array (Chancey Bush, Grand Junction Daily Sentinel)

¶ “Renewables in 2018” • Kauai Island Utility Cooperative is celebrating successes in 2018, with a boost in use of renewable energy resources and enhancements to member services. Electricity rates have fallen, and KIUC’s CEO said renewables and favorable purchase power agreement pricing have also helped stabilize them. []

¶ “HELCO Requests 3.4% Rate Increase” • Hawai‘i Electric Light Company proposed an increase of Hawai‘i Island base rates to help pay for rising operating costs, including the use of new tools to modernize the grid and a comprehensive plan for vegetation management to reduce outages. HELCO gets about half of its electricity from renewables. [Hawaii 24/7]

Have a totally awesome day.

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December 15 Energy News

December 15, 2018


¶ “Is Renewable Energy a Path to Peace for the Korean Peninsula?” • South Korea needs more renewable energy to meet its goal of phasing out coal and nuclear power – but has little available land for solar farms and wind turbines. North Korea needs any kind of energy it can get but has sites for big clean energy plants. [Thomson Reuters Foundation]

North Korea


¶ “Countries Increase Climate Financing at COP24” • Countries attending COP24, have made new climate finance commitments, increasing existing commitments to the World Bank Group’s Adaptation Fund and the Green Climate Fund. The World Bank Group’s Adaptation Fund got new commitments from nine contributor governments. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “UN Climate Talks Extended Due to Sticking Points in Poland” • Climate talks in Poland have continued through the night as negotiators try to agree on the next steps forward for the Paris climate agreement. Thousands of delegates worked well past the official deadline for reaching a deal but key some sticking points remain. [BBC]

COP24 (Getty Images)

¶ “15 Leading International Organizations Announce Joint Climate Neutrality Commitment at COP24” • At the COP24, 15 international organizations committed to carbon neutrality by promising to measure their greenhouse gas emissions, reduce them where possible, and compensate the unavoidable ones with credible carbon credits. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EU, Canada, New Zealand, and Developing Countries Vow to Keep Up the Fight” • The EU and scores of developing countries pledged to toughen their commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to enable the world to stay within a 1.5°C rise in global warming. The promise follows increasingly dire scientific warnings. [Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists]

Desert (Image courtesy of cocoparisienne | Pixabay)


¶ “More Than 1,000 Institutions Are Now Divesting from Fossil Fuels” • The global divestment movement has celebrated an important milestone this week as it now boasts more than 1,000 institutions around the world worth almost $8 trillion which have committed to divesting from fossil fuels, according to climate movement [CleanTechnica]

¶ “BYD Electrifies Chile with 100 Bus Fleet for Santiago” • Chile is leading the charge towards sustainable transportation in South America, having taken delivery of the largest pure electric bus fleet in South America. The delivery of the 100 fully electric BYD K9FE buses was marked by a ceremony in the capital city of Santiago. [CleanTechnica]

Chilean President Sebastián Piñera and Minister
of Transportation Gloria Hutt on a BYD bus. (BYD)


¶ “US-Based Corporations View Climate Change as Risk to Bottom Line and Reputation” • Environmental non-profit and investment research provider CDP published a report based on responses from 2,000 US companies on climate change. Growing numbers view it as a risk both to profits and reputation among consumers and investors. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Potential Largest Offshore Wind Farm in the World Auctioned off for Record Price” • The rights to establish wind farms off the Massachusetts coast sold for a record-setting $405 million total, according to federal officials. The area auctioned could generate up to 4.1 GW, enough electricity to potentially power nearly 1.5 million homes. [CNN]

Block Island Wind Farm (Don Emmert | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Shell and EDP Renewables Joint Venture Wins Offshore Wind Auction” • Mayflower Wind Energy LLC is provisional winner of block 0521 in the offshore wind auction hosted by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. Mayflower is a 50/50 joint venture between EDPR Offshore North America LLC and Shell New Energies US LLC. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “After California Fires, PG&E Proposes Raising Electricity Bills to Bolster Precautions” • Pacific Gas & Electric submitted a proposal to the California Public Utilities Commission, asking for $1.1 billion in new revenue in 2020. This includes $576 million for the Community Wildfire Safety Program, $273 million for liability insurance. [CNN]

Camp Fire (Josh Edelson | Getty Images)

¶ “New York Power Authority to Invest $250 Million in Electric Grid for Better Access to Renewables” • NYPA will invest $250 million to upgrade the electric grid to give residents greater access to renewable energy resources, such as wind and solar power. The $250 million investment will add up to 150 MW of grid flexibility projects. [Daily Energy Insider]

¶ “US Utilities Test Distributed Energy Management” • At least 23 US utilities have tested the ability of distributed energy management systems to capture the value to the grid of solar and storage systems. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory selected five utility-led projects to profile, all incorporating PV and storage. [pv magazine USA]

Transmission lines (Flickr image)

¶ “Regulators Approve $255 Million Wind Farm for Alliant Energy” • Wisconsin regulators gave Alliant Energy approval to build a 150-MW wind farm in northern Iowa that the utility says will help meet its renewable energy goals while saving customers money. The Kossuth Wind Project is expected to help save money and stabilize electric bills. []

¶ “The CalETC Prove It! Campaign Puts Influencers into Plug-In Vehicles and Films Their Reactions” • To raise awareness of electric vehicles, the California Electric Transportation Coalition ran a campaign called ‘Prove It!’ that set up week-long plug-in vehicle loaners for influencers in the greater Los Angeles area, filming their reactions. [CleanTechnica]

Have an amazingly satisfying day.

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December 14 Energy News

December 14, 2018


¶ “Two US Electric Utilities Have Promised to Go 100% Carbon-Free – and They Admit It Is Cheaper” • Two US electric utilities recently declared something remarkable: It’s cheaper to tear down their coal plants and build renewable-energy plants than to keep the old boilers running. Get ready for more, as economics and politics come to a consensus. [Quartz]

Renewable energy (Christian Hartmann | Reuters)


¶ “COP24 Draws to an Ignominious Close Amidst Multiple ‘Calls to Action'” • COP24 is drawing to an ignominious close in Katowice, Poland. And despite the attempts of the European Union and other major nations, the fortnight of negotiations is likely to be remembered more for its controversies than for any lasting impact. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “World Bank Calls on Poland to Scale Up Renewable Energy Sources” • Scaling up renewable energy sources in Poland would benefit the economy, reduce serious environmental problems, and improve people’s health, says a new World Bank report. It suggests Poland could have renewable energy provide 50% of its power generation by 2030. [Emerging Europe]

Coal-fired power plant (bigstock)

¶ “German Renewables Share Hits 38%” • Renewable energy is expected to have accounted for 38% of all electricity consumed in Germany in 2018, up two percentage points on-year, according to the Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry. The country is still set to miss its 65% by 2030 renewables goal unless it increases construction. [reNEWS]


¶ “Sydney and Melbourne Vow to Ditch Coal Power” • Australia’s two largest cities committed to phasing out coal in a move at odds with the aggressively pro-coal national government. The cities of Sydney and Melbourne joined an international coalition of states, regions, cities, and businesses committed to ending coal power generation. [Climate Home]

Sydney (Photo: Pavel)

¶ “Enbala to Enable World’s Biggest Residential Solar-Plus-Storage Virtual Power Plant” • Enbala, a start-up based in Denver, Colorado, announced it will provide the “cloud-based control and optimization platform” for AGL’s virtual power plant in South Australia. The 5-MW/12-MWh VPP will have 1,000 home storage systems. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Coalition Tells CEFC to Focus Funding on ‘More Reliable 24/7’ Power” • Australia’s federal government made what may be the most significant change to the investment mandate for the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation to date, instructing it to focus on “more reliable 24/7 power” rather than just wind and solar farms. [RenewEconomy]

Solar farm with a Tesla battery system


¶ “US CO2 Emissions Increase by 3% in 2018, Says Trump’s Own Administration” • The Energy Information Administration published new numbers this week showing energy-related CO2 emissions for 2018 will increase by 3%, undermining its own fragile attempts to highlight the drop in CO2 emissions that happened in 2017. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Bidding Underway for Massachusetts Offshore Prize” • After 24 rounds of bidding by eleven companies for three new Massachusetts offshore windpower lease areas currently priced at a combined $285 million, just four companies are still in the bidding. The offshore wind areas could supply up to 4 GW of power to the grid. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (reNEWS image)

¶ “US Q3 Solar Installations Hit by Tariffs as Utility-Scale Falls Below 1 GW” • Quarterly US utility-scale solar PV installations fell below 1 GW in the third quarter for the first time since 2015 due to the impact of the Section 201 tariffs imposed at the beginning of the year and the uncertainty which surrounded their potential introduction. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewable Energy Is Bringing Good Jobs to the Midwest. Is Anyone in Washington Paying Attention?” • A report by the Natural Resources Defense Council lays out how clean jobs are more numerous than those of fossil fuels just about everywhere in the Midwest. Renewable energy jobs are growing while fossil fuel jobs fall. [CleanTechnica]

Renewable energy on the farm

¶ “Climate Change Comes to America’s Heartland, Putting Farmers at Risk” • Farmers see climate change happening. Climate change is having an impact on farming areas all across America and its effects are threatening to disrupt the way farmers earn their living, according to a research study by scientists at Cornell University. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Congress Passes Farm Bill with Renewables Funding Intact” • The House and Senate have passed the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, keeping intact funding for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in agriculture. The legislation has maintained the Rural Energy for America Program at $50 million per year. [North American Windpower]

Texas farmland

¶ “35 Members of Congress Support 100% Renewable Energy, Green New Deal” • The idea of a Green New Deal, a massive program to reduce emissions, is taking hold since a sit-in at the office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). In early December, 18 house members supported for the movement. That number is now 35. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “Sticker Shock at Santee Cooper as Legal Bills Hit $9 Million” • Lawsuits and investigations tied to the failed VC Summer nuclear project fueled a spike in legal bills at Santee Cooper this year, forcing the utility to cover the shortfall to shore up its budget. A call for contingency funds was made at the board meeting this week. [Charleston Post Courier]

Have an ecstatically joyful day.

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December 13 Energy News

December 13, 2018


¶ “Denmark, UK, and Canada Lead in Using Technologies to Limit Climate Change” • Denmark, the UK, and Canada lead the world on implementing measures to mitigate climate change, according to research published at the COP24 conference, which assessed 25 countries that account for 80% of the world’s population. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm

¶ “Current Climate Targets Put Us on Track for 3.0˚C of Warming by 2100” • The current state of global climate policies has the world on a path to 3.0˚C of warming by 2100, twice the 1.5˚C limit agreed upon in Paris three years ago, according to the Climate Action Tracker’s annual update which was published at the COP24 talks. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Australia’s NSW Plans 24 Pumped Hydro Projects Totaling 7 GW” • The government of New South Wales has launched its ambitious pumped hydro roadmap designed to back renewable energy. Meanwhile, the board of Snowy Hydro has given the green light to its landmark $4 billion pumped hydro expansion project, Snowy 2.0. [pv magazine International]

Shoalhaven pumped hydro power system (Image: ARENA)

¶ “India Has Renewable Energy Projects of 46,500 MW Capacity in the Pipeline” • Economic Times reported that India currently has renewable energy projects of 46,500 MW capacity in the pipeline for capacity addition. This includes projects which are currently under construction and those likely to be offered for bidding soon. [SteelGuru]

¶ “EBRD Approves New Strategy Focused on Decarbonization of Energy Systems” • The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said its board of directors approved an energy sector strategy that rules out financing coal-fired power projects, confirming that the EBRD will not finance thermal coal mining or coal-fired generation. [Renewables Now]

Wind turbines (EBRD photo)

¶ “Machinery Company Signs 2-Year Geothermal Electricity PPA with EDC, Philippines” • The Philippines’ Energy Development Corp signed a two-year agreement to supply Citizen Machinery Philippines, Inc with geothermal energy for the latter’s facilities in Tanauan City, Batangas province. The term of the contract begins this month. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

¶ “TV Network Asahi Claims that Hitachi Could be Prepared to Pull the Plug on Their Investment in a Nuclear Project” • TV network Asahi said plans for the £12 billion nuclear project on Anglesey could be scrapped. Funding is believed to be the biggest hurdle, as Hitachi wants additional investors to share the project’s costs and risks. [North Wales Chronicle]

Artist’s concept of the Wylfa Newydd nuclear plant


¶ “Here Is New York’s Plan for $250 Million in Energy Storage Funding” • The New York Power Authority announced a new commitment to invest $250 million between now and 2025 to accelerate the flexibility of the electric grid to give New Yorkers greater access to renewable energy resources such as wind and solar power. [Solar Builder]

¶ “Airport Switches to Green Power” • Jackson Hole Airport will shift to sustainable energy starting this winter and become the largest organization in the region to go green. With all of its electricity coming from Lower Valley Energy, the airport’s commitment is equivalent to the energy use of 300 average Jackson homes. [Jackson Hole News&Guide]

Jackson Hole Airport (Bradly J Boner | News&Guide file)

¶ “Gov Baker Energy Plan Hinges on Changes in Transportation and Buildings” • Massachusetts’ first energy plan said the state must step up its efforts for energy efficiency in transportation along with heating and cooling if the state is to be able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower costs for ratepayers, and ensure energy reliability. [WBUR]

¶ “Maine Regulators Reverse Gross Metering Decision for Mid-Sized, Large Customers” • Maine’s Public Utilities Commission, which was appointed by Governor LePage, has undone a regressive solar policy it had for a portion of customers, after being confronted with evidence that it was imposing costs on all ratepayers. [pv magazine USA]

Rooftop solar system (Image: Maine Solar Solutions)

¶ “Evanston is First Illinois Municipality to Commit to 100% Renewables” • The Evanston City Council approved its new Climate Action and Resilience Plan unanimously, including a commitment to achieve 100% renewable electricity supply community-wide by 2030. The plan calls for carbon neutrality by 2050. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Smart Grid Upgrades Offer Less Risk, More Flexibility than Power Lines” • An industry report that suggests so-called non-wires alternatives – combinations of storage and distributed generation that do not depend on long-distance transmission – offer a less risky and more flexible option to help utilities avoid overbuilding capacity. [Energy News Network]

Transmission lines

¶ “Solar and Green Jobs are Rising around Chicago’s ‘Toxic Doughnut’” • After years of community demands for investment, green jobs and development are finally coming to one of the poorest neighborhoods in Chicago. The city plans to build ground-mounted solar farms on 30 acres of brownfield land across the city. [Energy News Network]

¶ “Enel Green Power Sells Power from 185-MW Illinois Wind Farm to Corporate Customers” • Enel Green Power North America has begun operation of the 185-MW HillTopper wind farm, its first wind facility in Illinois. HillTopper, which is located in Logan County, is supported by three long-term power purchase agreements. [Windpower Engineering]

Have a fantastically pleasing day.

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December 12 Energy News

December 12, 2018


¶ “Trump’s Losing, Lonely Fight to Save Coal” • President Trump has stood by coal whenever he could. He appointed a former coal lobbyist to the Federal Energy Management Commission. His administration promoted coal at COP 24. And yet the industry has not yet benefited from having an energetic booster in the Oval Office. Nor is it likely to. [Yahoo News]

Xcel Energy project (Joe Amon | Denver Post via Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Unparalleled Warmth Is Changing the Arctic and Affecting Weather in US, Europe” • A peer-reviewed report from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says human-caused climate change is transforming the Arctic. The report highlighted weather of the past year to show how Arctic warming can influence day-to-day weather. [CNN]

¶ “Arctic Reindeer Numbers Crash by Half” • The population of wild reindeer, or caribou, in the Arctic has crashed by more than half in the last two decades, according to a report released at a meeting of the American Geophysical Research Union. Weather patterns and vegetation changes are making the Arctic tundra much less hospitable for reindeer. [BBC]

Reindeer (Kaj R. Svensson | Science Photo Library)

¶ “Wind to Become Bigger and Better under New Technology Investment” • In an effort to continue the downward trend of wind prices around the world, new technology investment will focus on building bigger and better wind turbines, according to new research published last week by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Siemens Gamesa Signs Wind Turbine Supply Contract for 249-MW Mexican Wind Project” • Siemens Gamesa announced that it had signed a contract with Enel Green Power to supply sixty of its new SG 4.5-145 wind turbines with a flexible power rating of 4.2 MW for two projects in the northern State of Coahuila, Mexico. [CleanTechnica]

Siemens-Gamesa 4X wind turbine

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Signs Second Order with Enel for Russian Wind Farm” • Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy secured a second order in Russia from Enel Russia, an independent power producer in that country, to supply 201 MW of wind turbines. The order is for 57 wind turbines for a wind farm in Murmansk region. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Energy Giants Issue Offshore Power-to-X Plea” • Shell, Siemens, and TenneT called on the German government to tender for extra offshore wind power capacity specifically tied to hydrogen production. A study they commissioned found 900 MW of power-to-gas projects driven by offshore wind could be built between 2026 and 2030. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (reNEWS image)

¶ “Vestas Wins 52-MW Jordan Jewel” • European turbine supplier Vestas has signed an engineering, procurement and construction agreement with Abour Energy Company PSC for the 52-MW Abour wind park in Tafileh, Jordan. Turbine delivery is planned for the third quarter of 2019 and commissioning is expected by the first quarter of 2020. [reNEWS]

¶ “Replacing Nuclear with Renewables Would Save France $44.5 Billion” • The French government just announced a plan to power 95% of the country with solar and wind energy by 2060. And by doing so, the government would spend about $44.5 billion (€39 billion) less than it would if it maintained its current energy infrastructure. [Futurism]

Wind farm (Narcisa Aciko | Victor Tangermann)

¶ “Ofgem Clarification Removes Barrier to Battery Storage for 900,000 Solar Homes” • Updated technical guidance by Ofgem on home batter storage has been released. It clarifies the treatment of existing payments for homes that currently export solar power to the grid and that want to install battery storage and smart meters. [Renewable Energy Magazine]


¶ “Zero Hour Nears for Massachusetts Offshore Bonanza” • Nineteen companies will have the opportunity to compete in an auction for three lease areas to develop over 4 GW of offshore wind off the coast of Massachusetts. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will host the auction for the 158,000 hectares of ocean leasing areas. [reNEWS]

Block Island wind farm (Deepwater Wind image)

¶ “Colorado Public Utilities Commission Orders Tri-State to ‘Satisfy or Answer’ Exit Charge Complaint from Delta Montrose Electric” • Delta-Montrose Electric Association formally asked the PUC to adjudicate its exit from Tri-State contracts so it could increase its use of renewable energy. Now, the PUC has ordered Tri-State to respond. [Clean Cooperative]

¶ “Dunedin Joins Renewables Revolution” • There are now 101 American cities committed to shifting to 100% clean power, after the Dunedin, Florida, City Commission voted unanimously to achieve the goal. The resolution will see municipal operations running on renewable energy by 2035, and the community as a whole by 2050. [Innovators Magazine]

Downtown Dunedin (Ebyabe, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Georgia Power Issues RFP for Renewable Energy Projects” • Georgia Power Co has issued a request for proposals for up to 540 MW of utility-scale renewable energy projects. The RFP will fulfill a commitment the Atlanta-based utility made more than two years ago to procure an additional 1,200 MW of renewable power. [Atlanta Business Chronicle]

¶ “City of Cheyenne OKs NextEra Wind Expansion” • According the Wyoming Tribute Eagle, Cheyenne’s city council has voted unanimously to expand a 30-year lease agreement with NextEra from 12,000 to 16,700 acres of land. In total, the wind farm would be situated on 30,000 acres of public and private land in Laramie County. [North American Windpower]

Have an outstandingly bountiful day.

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December 11 Energy News

December 11, 2018


¶ “Australia Only Nation to Join US at Pro-Coal Event at COP24 Climate Talks” • Australia reaffirmed its commitment to coal by appearing at a US government-run event promoting the use of fossil fuels at the US climate talks in Poland. Patrick Suckling, Australia’s ambassador for the environment, spoke on the panel. His nameplate bore a US flag. [CNN]

Event protesters (Photo: Łukasz Kalinowski | Rex | Shutterstock)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change Is Not Only Influencing Extreme Weather Events, It Is Causing Them” • Extreme weather events that spanned the globe in 2017 have been directly linked to – and in some cases were even caused by – continued warming of the planet by human influence, according to a report from the American Meteorological Society. [CNN]

¶ “East Antarctica’s Glaciers Are Stirring” • Nasa says it has detected the first signs of significant melting in a swathe of glaciers in East Antarctica. The region has long been considered stable. But satellites have now shown that ice streams have thinned and sped up. If this trend continues, it has consequences for future sea levels. [BBC]

Glacier in East Antarctica (Michael Studinger | NASA | Icebridge)


¶ “US Undermining ‘Last Chance’ Climate Talks, Experts Charge” • The nations of the world are meeting here to hash out a “rulebook” to help ensure the viability of humanity – preventing runaway global warming from causing even greater calamity. The American delegation came to promote coal. And the kids laughed in their faces. [CNN]

¶ “Luxembourg Makes All Public Transportation Free” • The government of Luxembourg says beginning in 2020 it will make public transportation free for all. The move is expected to reduce congestion in Luxembourg City, which is said to be among the worst in Europe. It will have the additional benefit of reducing air pollution. [CleanTechnica]

Congestion in Luxembourg (Credit: Luxembourg Times)

¶ “EU Forces German Network Operator TenneT to Open the Floodgates for Danish Wind Energy” • Denmark has massive physical grid capacity to export power to Germany, but it is limited to a maximum of 11% usage due to self-imposed rules at the German operator TenneT. But the EU has threatened huge fines over the matter. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Offshore helping ‘Drive 680 GW Global Wind Growth'” • Over 680 GW of new wind power capacity will come online in the next 10 years, with the offshore market accounting for nearly 40% of global generating installations at the end of that time, according to a new report from consultancy Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. [reNEWS]

Offshore windpower (Credit: reNEWS)

¶ “Construction Underway on West Africa’s ‘First Utility-Scale Wind Farm'” • Ground has been broken on the development of West Africa’s “first utility-scale wind power project,” located in Senegal. The 158.7-MW Parc Eolien Taiba N’Diaye is set to be completed in 2020. It will have 46 turbines made by the  Danish company Vestas. [CNBC]

¶ “Costa Rica Is Already 300 Days of Living on Renewable Energy” • Costa Rica broke its own record for running entirely on renewable energy in 2017, when the country managed to hold on to environmentally friendly electricity 299 days. In 2018, that record has been broken, as Costa Rica has run 300 days without using fossil fuels. [The Bobr Times]

San José, Costa Rica

¶ “Building New Nuclear Plants in France Uneconomical: Environment Agency” • Building new nuclear reactors in France would not be economical, state environment agency ADEME said in a study. The position contradicts the government’s long-term energy strategy as well as investment plans of EDF, the state-owned utility. [CNBC]

¶ “Australia’s Renewables Sector Doubles Output in Boom Year” • Australia’s renewables sector has doubled its output over the past 12 months, with more than A$20 billion ($14.4 billion) of projects now under construction, but the current boom will not last without policy certainty, according to the Clean Energy Council. [The Guardian]

Rooftop solar installation (Lucy Hughes Jones | AAP)


¶ “Voices of 100%: Abita Springs Fights for Community Solar in Louisiana” • Abita Springs has claimed the title of the first community in Louisiana and among a select number of towns its size nationwide committed to a 100% renewable energy future. Located in St. Tammany Parish, the community is home to only a few thousand people. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ohio Trucking Terminal Installs a Renewable Energy Microgrid” • Regional trucking and logistics company Pitt Ohio is deploying a renewable energy microgrid at a trucking terminal in Parma, Ohio. The microgrid uses solar, wind power, and a energy storage in a lithium-ion battery to optimize on-site power and distribution. [Microgrid Knowledge]

Trucking terminal with WindStax turbines (courtesy of WindStax)

¶ “Rhode Island Looks to Spare Green Space with Brownfield Solar Projects” • Rhode Island has a new state incentive that offers money to developers who build solar projects on polluted properties instead of forests or farmland. The program could help balance the state’s need for solar power and concerns for preserving green space. [Energy News Network]

¶ “US Must Start From Scratch with a New Nuclear Waste Strategy, a Stanford-Led Panel Says” • The government has worked for decades and spent tens of billions of dollars in search of a permanent resting place for nuclear waste. A study led by Stanford University recommends that the US reset its nuclear waste program and start over. [YubaNet]

Have a significantly marvelous day.

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December 10 Energy News

December 10, 2018


¶ “US, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait Torpedo COP 24 Climate Conference in Poland” • Kuwait, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the US gave notice that they do not intend to lift a finger to prevent Earth’s destruction. Guided by a denier and fossil fuels financing, the US even had the chutzpah to stage a pro-coal exhibit at the COP 24 conference. [CleanTechnica]

Climate change protest

¶ “Want to Solve Climate Problem? Nuclear Isn’t the Answer” • In keynote remarks a COP 24 event, Poland’s Minister of Energy said, “It is nuclear power that will be the main tool to reduce emissions.” There is more than a little irony in that statement. The event was organized by the only country withdrawing from the Paris accord. [Down To Earth Magazine]

¶ “The Technology, and New Thinking, Needed for 100% Renewable Grid” • For much of this decade Ivor Frischknecht was CEO of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. With a unique perspective on Australia’s inevitable clean energy transition, he says it is not so much what renewable technologies dominate, but how we use them. [RenewEconomy]

Infigen Energy’s Lake Bonney wind farm


¶ “Trump Coal Event Overshadowed at COP24” • An event endorsed by the White House is promoting use of fossil fuels at COP 24. But green campaigners are likely be cheered by news that 415 investors managing assets of around $32 trillion are calling for greater action on climate change and an end to coal as a source of energy. [BBC]

¶ “‘Exciting’ North-East Renewables Period Causes Spike in AREG Membership” • Jean Morrison, chairwoman of Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, said big energy projects, including a surge in north-east based wave and tidal projects, have put north-east renewables on the map, sparking fresh membership over the last twelve months. [Energy Voice]

Aberdeen bay wind farm

¶ “Iran’s Renewable Energy Industry Growing Rapidly: Official” • Speaking at a press conference, the director of Iran’s Renewable Energy and Electrical Energy Efficiency Organization said even the “cruel sanctions” could not slow down the growth of the renewable energy industry in Iran, as local investment has now outstripped foreign. [Tasnim News Agency]

¶ “‘Historic’ Month as Wind Power Meets 109% of Energy Demands” • November has been hailed as a “historic month” after over 100% of Scotland’s electricity demands were met by wind power for the first time. Wind production last month broke previous records by generating enough energy for nearly six million homes. [STV News]

Wind turbines (STV image)

¶ “In Mauritius, Sugarcane Means Renewable Energy” • Far out into the Indian Ocean where it is forced to be self-reliant, the island nation of Mauritius is weaning itself off fossil fuels by turning to its main cash-crop sugarcane, for electricity. The sugarcane production waste is burned to reduce the nation’s reliance on coal and oil. [The Tribune]

¶ “Huge Desert Solar Initiative to Make Africa a Renewables Power-House” • Solar projects stretching across the Sahel region are expected to connect 250 million people with electricity by using the region’s abundant solar resource. The details of the “Desert to Power Initiative” have been outlined at climate change talks at COP24. [Brandspurng]

Solar system

¶ “Australia’s Silence During Climate Change Debate Shocks COP24 Delegates” • As four of the world’s largest oil and gas producers blocked UN climate talks from “welcoming” a key scientific report on global warming, Australia’s silence is being viewed as tacit support for the four oil allies: the US, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Kuwait. [The Guardian]

¶ “Strathclyde Experts Call for Government Action on Energy Storage” • Academics at Strathclyde University launched a discussion paper on pumped storage. Advocates believe that government policy design support – not subsidy – is necessary to put it on a par with other solutions to storing energy from renewables. [The National]

Loch Awe

¶ “Looking Beyond Oil” • Petronas is joining a number of large global oil and gas firms looking into renewables, including BP, ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, and Total, all of which are raising investment in cleaner energy. With low oil prices, Petronas has expressed interest over the last year to diversify into renewables, especially solar. [New Straits Times Online]


¶ “Exxon Knows Renewables Are Cheaper, Even if Trump Doesn’t” • At Cop 24, the Trump administration may be touting coal and gas as the energy of the future, but leading US energy companies are doubling down on renewable energy. One large corporate buyer embracing the benefits of renewables is oil major ExxonMobil. [Climate Home]

Wind farm in Texas (Drew Kolb | Flickr)

¶ “Renewable Energy Now Key Component of Development” • As officials from the city of Hastings, Nebraska, have discussed a community solar project to diversify the local energy generation profile, one of the considerations most often talked about is how renewables may enhance economic development prospects and attract new businesses. [Hastings Tribune]

¶ “Falling Renewable Costs Wreaking Havoc on Tri-State” • Tri-State Generation and Transmission, a wholesale electric co-op serving areas of Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Nebraska, is torn by demand for power from renewable sources. Montrose Electric Association wants to pull out, and United Power wants to change the bylaws. [Journal Advocate]

Have a positively rewarding day.

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December 9 Energy News

December 9, 2018


¶ “Xcel’s Pledge to Be Carbon-Free by 2050 Makes Good Business Sense” • Xcel Energy put out a pledge to be carbon-free by 2050. This is not just because Colorado and Minnesota lean to the left. It is something Fortune 500 companies favor also. And providing what people want is fundamental to what a successful business does. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Xcel Energy wind project (Matthew Staver | Bloomberg)

COP 24:

¶ “Coal for Christmas at the UN Climate Conference” • At the COP24 convention pavilions, delegates found mounds of coal displayed behind glass, like objets d’art, and arrangements of coal-based cosmetics and coal-encrusted jewelry. For some, the coal-stuffed climate summit is completely absurd. One put it “beyond parody.” [The New Yorker]

¶ “Protesters Demand Tougher Action on Global Warming During UN Climate Talks” • Thousands of people from around the world marched through Katowice, the Polish city hosting this year’s UN climate talks, demanding tougher action to curb global warming. Among the protesters were farmers, environmentalists, and students from many countries. []

Climate protest (Martyn Aim | Getty Images)

¶ “COP24 Fails to Adopt Key Scientific Report” • When it was released in October, the IPCC report impacts of temperature rises of 1.5°C had a significant impact. Scientists and many COP24 delegates were shocked as the US, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait objected to the meeting “welcoming” the report and reference to it was dropped. [BBC]

¶ “Thai Farmers Feeling the Heat of Climate Debate” • Many Thai farmers have reported losing crops to irregular weather patterns and unexpected disasters such as drought and flooding. Some even fall into debt due to their income losses. Thailand is to introduce a new climate plan at the COP24 conference in the Polish city of Katowice. [Bangkok Post]

Thai rice farms (Flora-Victoria, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “Lithium Werks Announces Construction of a Battery Gigafactory in China – 8 GWh to Start” • Lithium Werks, a lithium-ion battery manufacturer based in the Netherlands, announced that construction of a battery gigafactory in China is set to start in 2019 and that the factory will have “an initial annual production capacity of 8 GWh.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hanergy Inks $18 Million Deal to Bring HanWall to Australia” • Hong Kong-based Hanergy Thin Film Power Group signed a deal with Australia’s Environmental Technology Solutions to bring HanWall to the Australian market. HanWall is claimed to be the world’s first commercial system for solar PVs into building wall components. [Energy Digital]

City in the sun

¶ “China’s Green Finance Market to Maintain Fast Expansion: JPMorgan Chase” • US financial giant JPMorgan Chase said the fast expansion of China’s green finance market would continue as the government strengthens environmental protection. The market is expected to grow strongly as the government has made environmental protection a top priority. [ecns]

¶ “Australian School Kids Lead Mass Coal Mine Protests” • Australian schoolchildren led thousands of demonstrators in nationwide rallies calling for a suspension of plans by Indian mining company Adani to construct a controversial coal mine in the country’s north-east. The rallies followed student climate change protests of last month. [The Straits Times]

Schoolchildren protesting (Photo: EPA-EFE)


¶ “Tesla Model 3 Completely Crushing US Luxury Car Competition – 10 CleanTechnica Charts” • No one outside of Tesla knows Tesla’s monthly sales figures. For both global and US sales, they can only be estimated. Nonetheless, one thing is obvious: Tesla is completely crushing the competition in the midsize luxury car segment. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Trump’s Great American Forest Liquidation Sale” • Logging Alaska’s mature stands could exacerbate climate change. It could cripple Southeast Alaska’s recreation, tourism, and salmon fishing industries. But the state’s governor petitioned the US Forest Service to remove protection from Southeast Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. [Truthout]

Bear and bald eagle (Photo: USDA | Flickr)

¶ “PRPA Board Unanimously Endorses 100% Non-Carbon Electricity by 2030” • The Platte River Power Authority has officially made a renewable energy future part of its guiding documents. It unanimously approved a policy that calls for Platte River to pursue a 100% non-carbon energy portfolio and to reach that goal by 2030. [Loveland Reporter-Herald]

¶ “SC ratepayers still vulnerable to next billion-dollar disaster” • Another multi-billion dollar disaster could be coming for South Carolina, after the $9 billion fallout from abandoning two nuclear reactors that were being built at the VC Summer site. SCE&G and Santee Cooper customers could end up paying for that debacle for decades. [Charleston Post Courier]

Have a simply magnificent day.

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December 8 Energy News

December 8, 2018


¶ “Monumental Disaster at the Department of the Interior” • This is a tough time to be a scientist in the federal government. The Trump administration is clamping down on science, denying dangerous climate change, and hollowing out the workforces of the agencies charged with protecting American health, safety, and natural resources. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

Scenic area no longer protected

¶ “Renewables, Energy Storage, and Managing the Utility Grid of the Future” • A decade ago, people began saying that one day electricity would be too cheap to meter. That day may come soon. Utilities can use “non-wires alternatives,” to manage energy demand without building new generating facilities and stringing new utility lines. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Envision Energy Says EV Battery Cell Costs Will Fall Below $50/kWh by 2025” • At the Stanford Global Energy Forum Lei Zhang, founder and CEO of Shanghai-based Envision Energy, made an extraordinary pronouncement. He said the cost of manufacturing EV battery cells would fall below $100/kWh, a disruptive price, by 2020. [CleanTechnica]

Battery cells (Image via Morgan Stanley)

¶ “MIT ‘Sun in a Box’ Uses White-Hot Silicon for Energy Storage” • Engineers at MIT have developed a grid-scale energy storage concept known as the “sun in a box,” which they claim would be half the cost of pumped hydro storage. Light from white-hot silicon is captured by highly efficient multi-junction solar cells to generate power. [The Engineer]

¶ “Simple Steps to Climate-Proof Farms Have Big Potential Upside for Tropical Farmers” • Climate-smart agriculture boosts yields, mitigates extreme weather impact and reduces emissions of greenhouse gases. A study by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture shows profitable opportunities for farmers and the environment. [Science Daily]

Drought and salinity-resistant rice at a research site in Vietnam
(Georgina Smith | International Center for Tropical Agriculture)

¶ “Wello Launch Penguin WEC2 for H2020 CEFOW Array” • Finnish wave energy developer Wello Oy launched their newest Penguin wave energy converter model in Estonia, as part of the Clean Energy From Ocean Waves project. Penguin WEC2 will be towed to Orkney for testing at the European Marine Energy Centre. [Renewable Energy Magazine]


¶ “ENGIE Signs Deal to Develop Net-Zero City in Northern Australia” • French multinational electric utility ENGIE signed a 50-year strategic alliance with the city of Greater Springfield in Queensland, Australia, it announced. This will help transition the city to being a zero net energy city by 2038. Greater Springfield bills itself as Australia’s newest city. [CleanTechnica]

Greater Springfield

¶ “Solar Overtakes Fossil Fuels for the First Time” • Data indicate that renewable energy production is growing faster than fossil fuels, and multiple studies predict that this trend will continue to grow. Renewable energy investments grew to $297 billion in 2016, while only $143 billion was spent on fossil fuels and nuclear power. [Digital Journal]

¶ “World’s Largest Distributed Energy Management System to Be Deployed in Western Australia” • Horizon Power, a public utility that supplies electricity in remote regions of Western Australia, contracted with California-based PXiSE Energy for a software solution to manage grid operations and distributed energy resources. [pv magazine Australia]

PVs in Western Australia (Image: Horizon Power)


¶ “EPA Rolls Back Coal Rule Despite Climate Change Warnings” • The Trump administration will reverse an Obama-era coal emissions rule as part of its effort to loosen restrictions on the coal industry, just days after a US government report warned that aggressive action is needed to curb greenhouse gases and ease the impact of global warming. [CNN]

¶ “Tesla Gigafactory Pays Big Dividends for Nevada” • The deal Tesla made with Nevada in 2014 to build the Gigafactory required the company to meet certain performance guarantees. A report from the Nevada Office of Economic Development is out and it gives Tesla high marks for exceeding almost every aspect of the agreement. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “US Energy Storage Project Pipeline Doubles to Nearly 33 Gigawatts in 2018” • The US energy storage project pipeline has doubled in 2018, reaching an impressive 32.9 GW, according to the latest US Energy Storage Monitor published by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables and the Energy Storage Association. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Colorado Co-op Seeks Exit from Coal-Heavy Tri-State to Pursue Renewables” • The Delta Montrose Electric Association asked the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to adjudicate a fair exit price to end its generation contracts with the Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association, which provides power largely from fossil fuels. [Utility Dive]

Colorado power plant

¶ “As Coal Declines, Solar Offers Possible Path for Reclaiming Old Mining Sites” • As US coal use keeps declining, there is growing acceptance that more mine closures are inevitable and that the system meant to help clean up and repurpose the sites is underfunded. Renewable energy provides a ray of hope for reclaiming the sites. [Energy News Network]

¶ “Competitive Procurement for Renewable Energy Yields 3,900 MW in Solar RFPs for the Carolinas” • Duke Energy sought 680 MW of solar capacity for the Carolinas through a Competitive Procurement for Renewable Energy. A total of 78 projects responded with bids, and they represented more than 3,900 MW of renewable energy. [Solar Power World]

Have a thoroughly worthwhile day.

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December 7 Energy News

December 7, 2018


¶ “ExxonMobil’s Renewable Energy Commitments Are in the News – Should We Cheer?” • Media outlets have celebrated ExxonMobil’s renewable energy commitments, which now include an agreement with Denmark’s Ørsted A/S to buy 500 MW of wind and solar power. Should we cheer when fossil fuels are renewably extracted? [CleanTechnica]

ExxonMobil oil rig

¶ “Global Climate Financing as High as $530 Billion in 2017, but Is It Enough?” • Global climate financing has increased over recent years, Climate Policy Initiative research says. It may have reached as much as $510 billion to $530 billion in 2017. Though this is relatively good news, investment in climate action is falling short in key areas. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Human-Induced Climate Change Makes Heatwaves Thirty Times More Likely” • Human-induced climate change has made the UK’s record-breaking 2018 summer heat wave around 30 times more likely than under normal conditions, country’s meteorological body has said. The summer of 2018 was the UK’s hottest on record. [CNN]

Reservoir in northwest England in the summer of 2018


¶ “MHI Vestas to Supply 100 Turbines for Huge Offshore Wind Farm in Scotland” • MHI Vestas announced that it would supply 100 turbines for the Moray East Offshore Wind Farm, a 950-MW offshore wind farm in waters off the northeast coast of Scotland. The “firm turbine supply order” includes a 15-year service agreement. [CNBC]

¶ “Cost Cutting Delivers Turbine Growth Spurt” • Wind turbines will become even bigger and better in order to maintain a downward trend in the levelized cost of electricity, according to a report by consultancy Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. The report expects further innovation up to 2027 that will reduce the LCOE. [reNews]

Wind turbine (Pixabay image)

¶ “Siemens Gamesa to Supply SeaMade Offshore Wind Power Project in Belgium” • Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy received the order for the 487-MW SeaMade offshore wind power project in Belgium from customer SeaMade NV. The order includes supply and commissioning of 58 SG 8.0-167 DD wind turbines. [Intelligent CIO ME]

¶ “Lekela Crosses Start Line in Senegal” • Lekela has broken ground on the Taiba N’Diaye wind farm in the west African country of Senegal. The 158.7-MW project will feature 46 Vestas V126 3.45-MW turbines. It is scheduled to come online in 2020. Among other benefits, it will generate about 400 jobs during construction. [reNEWS]

Taiba N’Diaye wind farm (Lekela image)


¶ “SK Innovation Commits to Battery Manufacturing Plant in Georgia” • Korean battery company SK Innovation announced it will build a factory to make lithium-ion battery cells for electric cars northeast of Atlanta. The projected cost of the factory is $1.67 billion. The company hopes to sell batteries to VW and other car companies. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Trump’s Environmental Rollback Rolls On” • The Trump administration rollback continues to target rules. The Interior Department unveiled plans to allow oil drilling on millions of acres that have been off-limits to protect the greater sage grouse. And the EPA said it would end rules limiting carbon emissions on new coal plants. [BBC]

Greater sage grouse (Getty Images)

¶ “One Hundred US Cities Are Committed to 100% Clean, Renewable Energy” • Cincinnati, Ohio, is the 100th city in the US to set a 100% renewable goal, the Sierra Club said. Cincinnati’s City Council approved a resolution to commit to 100% renewable energy by 2035. The states of California and Hawaii have made similar commitments. [Insurance News Net]

¶ “Miami People Mover – Autonomous, Electric, and Free” • The Miami Metromover covers 4.4 miles without a driver, runs on electricity every day from 5:00 am to midnight, and lets people ride for free. The cars are small, but they run very frequently, so there’s a constant flow of riders. Tens of thousands of passengers ride it each month. [CleanTechnica]

Miami Metromover (Ed Webster, Wikipedia CC BY 2.0)

¶ “Senate Narrowly Confirms Climate-Denying Nominee to Federal Energy Regulator” • The Senate approved the president’s nominee to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, despite evidence that the nominee strongly favors fossil fuels and rejects the overwhelming scientific evidence that human activity causes climate change. [ThinkProgress]

¶ “Facebook Closes Record 200-MW Solar Deal with Georgia Co-Op” • Walton Electric Membership Corporation revealed contract details this week for three solar projects that will supply a Facebook data center in the state with 202.5 MW of capacity. Silicon Ranch will supply 102.5 MW and Strata Solar will build the other 100 MW. [Greentech Media]

Large solar system (Shutterstock image)

¶ “California Gives Final OK to Require Solar Panels on New Houses” • Solar panels will be a required feature on new houses in California, after the state’s Building Standards Commission gave final approval to a housing rule that is the first of its kind in the US. The new standard includes incentives for batteries and is set to take effect in 2020. [NPR]

¶ “Vermont Public Utility Commission OKs Vermont Yankee Sale” • The Vermont PUC approved the proposed sale of Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee to subsidiaries of NorthStar Group Services for decommissioning the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station site. The NRC had already approved the transfer of operating licenses. [The Recorder]

Have an exhilaratingly agreeable day.

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December 6 Energy News

December 6, 2018


¶ “How Energy Companies Will Survive when Renewable Energy Is Free” • Founder and CEO Lei Zhang of Shanghai-based Envision Energy was worried that the cost of renewable energy will continue to drop until it is almost free. With a hard look at the situation, he saw energy companies can find opportunities by managing grid stability. [Forbes]

Shanghai (Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “India’s Wind Power Potential Declining Due to Global Warming: Study” • The warming of the Indian Ocean due to global climate change may be causing a slow decline in India’s wind power potential. A study published in the journal Science Advances found that the Indian monsoon is weakening as a result of warming ocean waters. []

¶ “Greenland Ice Sheet Melt ‘Off the Charts’ Compared with Past Four Centuries” • The journal Nature published a study that provides new evidence of the impacts of climate change on Arctic melting and global sea level rise. “From a historical perspective, today’s melt rates are off the charts,” said one of the study’s co-authors. [Science Daily]

Rivers of meltwater on Greenland’s surface (Credit:
Sarah Das, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

¶ “Burn notice” • The National Climate Assessment’s newest report predicts continued climate change will impede economic growth, decrease water availability, spread diseases, and increase air pollution. The new report, “Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States,” examines climate change topics in ten US regions. [Tucson Weekly]


¶ “Volkswagen Phasing Out Conventional Vehicles, May Build Cars at Ford Factories in US” • At an industry conference in Germany, Volkswagen said it is working on the last generation of conventional cars with internal combustion engines. It also hinted it may manufacture some cars jointly with Ford in that company’s US factories. [CleanTechnica]

VW ID Crozz

¶ “OECD, UNEP, and World Bank Call for “Radical Shift” in Climate Financing” • The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the UN Environmental Program, and the World Bank Group called for a radical shift of investment into low-carbon, climate-resilient infrastructure to limit the impact of climate change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Secures 750 Megawatts of Orders Across Europe” • Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy published two announcements in one week saying that it has been contracted to supply a total of 750 MW of wind turbines to a total of six wind farms across Northern Europe and Turkey and an offshore wind project in Belgium. [CleanTechnica]

SGRE wind farm

¶ “A Little Good News About Climate Change for Once” • The good news from climate scientists is that global economies are growing much faster than their greenhouse gas emissions. The Global Carbon Project said that 19 countries, including the US and the UK, have seen a decade of economic growth and lower carbon dioxide emissions. [BloombergQuint]

¶ “Increasing Fossil Fuel Use Push Carbon Emissions to Record High” • Increasing coal, oil and gas use are pushing global carbon emissions to an all-time high, climate scientists have told the UN climate talks in Katowice, Poland. They said a projected rise in global emissions of more than 2% has due to growth in coal use and use of fossil fuels. [Irish Times]

Sheep grazing near a coal-burning power plant


¶ “‘No Trilemma’: Study Finds Increased Renewables Push Down Power Prices” • Renewable energy drives down wholesale power prices well in excess of subsidy costs and a further expansion of wind and solar would likely push them lower still, according to a study of Australian and European markets by the Victoria Energy Policy Centre. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “South Australia’s Big Battery Slashes $40 million from Grid Control Costs in First Year” • South Australia’s big battery outperformed expectations for its first year, saving almost $40 million in grid stabilisation costs, helping prevent blackouts, and generally restoring confidence in energy supply, project backer Neoen said. [The Australian Financial Review]

Hornsdale battery (Supplied photo)

¶ “Gas Not Renewables to Blame for SA Power Price Surge” • A report from the Victoria Centre for Energy Policy found that the closure of two coal-fired power plants raised wholesale prices in South Australia by A$23/MWh in 2018 from what they would have been. Wind and solar energy, however, reduced prices by A$38/MWh. [The Australian Financial Review]


¶ “Leading US Wind Companies Announce New Wind Wildlife Research Fund” • A group of over two dozen wind energy companies involved in the US announced that they were signing up to back a new fund which will facilitate research speeding the development and deployment of innovative solutions related to wind and wildlife. [CleanTechnica]

Amazon wind farm in Texas

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Is the Number Six Top Selling Car in USA in November (Possibly)” • CleanTechnica estimates that 18,000 Tesla Model 3 cars were sold in the US during the month of November. That estimate makes it the 6th best selling car in the country, in terms of units sold. It also makes it the best selling car by a US manufacturer. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Developer Sues TVA After It Halts Nuke Site Sale” • The completion of a nuclear unit at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s unfinished 1,260-MW Bellefonte plant is in limbo after the TVA refused to complete its sale to Nuclear Development LLC. Nuclear Development filed a breach of contract complaint in federal district court. [Engineering News-Record]

Have a famously cheerful day.

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December 5 Energy News

December 5, 2018


¶ “Why This Republican Mayor Spoke at Bernie Sanders’s Climate Town Hall” • Georgetown, Texas, went solidly for Trump in 2016, and for Romney in 2012. But last year, the Austin exurb became one of the greenest places in the state: It was the first Texan city to convert to 100% renewable energy to power its grid, and the largest in the US so far. [CityLab]

Oil derrick and wind turbines (Lucas Jackson | Reuters)

¶ “Why Puerto Rico Needs a Green New Deal” • A Green New Deal could radically change the daily lives of Puerto Ricans and the outlook for the island, according to San Juan’s mayor, one of several speaking out. At The Sanders Institute’s inaugural conference, Carmen Yulín Cruz described the island’s desire for a Green Energy Deal. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “China Is Both the Best and Worst Hope for Clean Energy” • The US, led by a president who does not believe in climate change or the scientists who study it, will take a back seat at the COP24 climate summit this month. China, with its massive economy and growing green energy sector, has become the world’s climate leader. [WIRED]

Coal power in China (Kevin Frayer | Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Cost of Carbon Capture Plummets Thanks to Two New Techniques” • There are two kinds of carbon capture. One kind captures the carbon dioxide going up the smokestacks. The other removes some of the carbon dioxide that is already in the air. Advances in both technologies promise a dramatic decrease in the cost of each. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Kenya to Achieve Full Transition to Renewable Energy by 2020, Says President Kenyatta” • Speaking at the inaugural ceremony for an 83.3-MW unit of a geothermal power plant, Kenya’s president said the country will achieve a full transition to renewable power by 2020. Kenya has also stepped up efforts on other forms of renewable energy. [Citizen TV]

Rising steam at the Olkaria Geothermal plant (Courtesy photo)

¶ “Rising Energy Consumption Behind Slowing EU Progress on Renewables and Energy Efficiency” • In the EU, progress on renewable energy and energy efficiency is slowing, according to data from the European Environment Agency. This is due to increasing energy consumption eating away at any gains being made elsewhere. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Portugal aims for 100% renewables by 2050” • Portugal’s Minister of Environment and the Energy Transition João Pedro Matos Fernandes has presented the country’s new plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The government envisages Portugal covering 100% of its total power demand with renewable energy by 2050. [pv magazine International]

Hydroelectric dam in Portugal (Mea, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “50% in Nuclear Industry: Energy Plan for 2030 is ‘Unrealistic’” • Half of the companies in the nuclear industry doubt Japan can have 20% to 22% of its energy supply from nuclear plants by fiscal 2030, according to a survey. Their skepticism relates mainly to difficulties restarting or building reactors under post-Fukushima safety measures. [Asahi Shimbun]


¶ “Batteries Bolster Solar in a First for Minnesota” • The revolution underway in clean energy is taking a big step forward this month as Connexus Energy switches on Minnesota’s first major project pairing solar panels with battery storage. The 10-MW PV system has 15-MW of lithium iron phosphate battery storage nearby. [Finance and Commerce]

Solar plus battery system (Photo: Connexus Energy)

¶ “Xcel Energy Vows 100% Carbon Reduction by 2050” • Colorado’s largest utility announced ambitious new carbon reduction goals beyond their current target of 60% reduction in the state by 2026. Xcel Energy now plans for a carbon reduction goal of 100% by 2050, across the eight states where it provides electric power. [Colorado Public Radio]

¶ “With New State Leadership, a Renewed Vision for Clean Energy in Maine” • A wide-ranging coalition of Maine businesses, nonprofits, clean energy developers, and others are gearing up for the next legislative session with an aim of promoting policies intended to lower emissions and drive down costs of renewable energy. [Energy News Network]

The Maine Statehouse in Augusta

¶ “US Coal Consumption Drops to Lowest Level Since 1979” • Americans are consuming less coal in 2018 than at any time since Jimmy Carter’s presidency, according to an Energy Information Administration report, as cheap natural gas and other sources of energy frustrate the Trump administration’s pledges to revive the US coal industry. [Associated Press]

¶ “Solar Farm in Rhode Island Expected to Save Johnston, Providence Millions” • A solar farm is now up and running in Johnston. The farm is built on top of what was a 32-acre private landfill, which had been capped and closed more than 25 years ago, according to a press release from Southern Sky Renewable Energy RI. [Turn to 10]

Solar farm in Johnston (Southern Sky Renewable Energy RI)

¶ “Natural Gas Prices Fall Below Zero in Texas” • Surging US oil production in the Permian basin has helped crash oil prices. But the Permian is also home to skyrocketing natural gas production, and output is growing so fast that drillers are trying to give it away for free. When they cannot do that, they just burn it off into the atmosphere. []

¶ “How Rural Northern Wisconsin Logged a Record-Setting Solar Group Buy” • While group buys are often arranged by such municipalities as Milwaukee, the all-volunteer citizens nonprofit group Cheq Bay Renewables led a rural effort and worked with Next Energy Solution to arrange a buy with 78 installations totaling 470 kW. [Energy News Network]

Have a fantastically favorable day.

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December 4 Energy News

December 4, 2018


¶ “Should We Subsidize Nuclear Power to Fight Climate Change?” • Nuclear power plants are associated with significantly less carbon dioxide emitted per unit of electricity produced than fossil fuel plants. But building new nuclear plants does not make economic sense, especially since less costly renewable energy is available. [Scientific American]

Nuclear power plant (Getty Images)

¶ “COP24 off to a Rocky Start as Previous Leaders Call for ‘Unequivocal Message'” • COP24 got underway to a bit of a rocky start, even as previous COP Presidents called for it to “send an unequivocal message for enhanced ambition by 2020 that puts the world on a trajectory compatible with the objectives of the Paris Agreement.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Coal Is on the Way Out – Natural Gas Is Next” • As I looked at data on carbon dioxide emissions, I wondered how long it will take for the natural gas industry to follow coal’s steep decline into its own. The answer to this question may be becoming clear, and rather quickly, with a series of developments currently going on in California. [CleanTechnica]

Metcalf Energy Center (Wikipedia)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scientists in Sweden Say Iron Could Replace Noble Metals as Catalyst, Reducing Costs” • A report published in the journal Science by Swedish scientists says they created new molecules based on iron that can perform the same catalytic functions as more costly “noble” metals. There are important implications for energy. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “World Bank Commits $200 Billion over Five Years for Climate Action” • One of the largest sources of funding for developing countries, the World Bank Group, announced that it would increase its current five-year investments to around $200 billion, with a particular focus on projects for climate adaptation and resilience. [CleanTechnica]

Rays of sunlight from behind a cloud

¶ “Shell is First Energy Company to Link Executive Pay and Carbon Emissions” • Royal Dutch Shell said it will establish short-term carbon emissions targets starting in 2020. It plans to link executive pay to hitting the targets. Shell was pressured by investors. Climate Action 100+, with over $32 trillion in assets under management supports the plan. [CNN]

¶ “A Vision of Carbon Neutral Power Around the Globe by 2050” • A scenario in which no additional oil, coal, or nuclear capacity is built and renewables grow at 3% to 4%, would see solar comprise 69% of the global electricity system by 2050. According to an EU think-tank, this would boost manufacturing, creating jobs and prosperity. [pv magazine International]

German solar systems (Markus Braun, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Schneider Electric Deepens Carbon Neutral Commitment at COP24” • Leading global power company Schneider Electric announced it is accelerating its contribution to meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The announcement was made to coincide with COP24, a UN sustainability event taking place in Poland. [Energy Digital]

¶ “India to Achieve Emissions Control Targets Well Ahead of Time” • According to its Environment Minister, India will surpass its commitments on greenhouse gas emission checks and energy transition to renewables made under the 2015 Paris climate pact 10 years ahead of time, making it a world-wide leader in climate action. [India Climate Dialogue]

Renewable energy (Pixabay image)

¶ “Japan to Scrap Turkey Nuclear Project” • A Japan-led public-private consortium is set to abandon a Turkish nuclear power project, Nikkei has learned. The project’s construction costs have ballooned to around ¥5 trillion ($44 billion), nearly double the original estimate, making it difficult to continue with the plans for development. [Nikkei Asian Review]

¶ “Thermal Power Plants Have Now Lost Their Cost Advantage to Renewable Energy” • Up to 62% of the existing coal capacity in India is now running at a cost higher than that of building new solar and wind capacity, according to a world-wide study of 6,685 coal plants by Carbon Tracker Initiative, a think tank based in London. [Quartz]

Waling by a power plant (Jayanta Shaw | Reuters)


¶ “Trump’s Pick for EPA Already Rolling Back Climate Change Protections” • President Trump said he plans to nominate Andrew Wheeler to be EPA administrator. Wheeler is already acting administrator. He had been a coal lobbyist and has been called a “driving force” behind the agenda of Sen Inhofe, who called climate change a “hoax.” [CNN]

¶ “Vestas Secures 220-MW US Order to Surpass 10 GW In 2018” • Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas Wind Systems A/S announced this week that it had received an order to supply 220 MW of wind turbines to a wind project in the US. With the order, Vestas has passed the 10 GW mark for US sales for the third year in a row. [CleanTechnica]

Vestas wind turbines

¶ “US to End Subsidies for Electric Cars, Renewables: White House” • White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the US will end subsidies for electric cars and renewable energy sources. Asked about GM’s announced plant closings and layoffs, he said he expected subsidies for electric cars will end in 2020 or 2021. []

¶ “Stanford to Go 100% Solar by 2021” • Stanford University announced that it will have a new 88-MW solar generating plant in central California. Together with an earlier plant, it will enable the university to use 100% renewable electricity in three years, more than two decades ahead of California’s goal of a carbon-free grid by 2045. [Stanford University News]

Have a spectacularly splendid day.

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December 3 Energy News

December 3, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “Air Pollution Has a Devastating Impact on Children’s Health” • A report from the World Health Organization says 600,000 children died from acute lower respiratory infections caused by polluted air in 2016. About 93% of all children under the age of 15 breathe air so polluted it puts their health and development at serious risk. [CleanTechnica]

Children in Vietnam (Larm Rmah)

¶ “Yet Another Benefit of Renewable Energy: It Uses Practically No Water Compared to Fossil Fuels” • One benefit of using renewable energy sources to produce electricity is that they require “almost no water.” Traditional thermoelectric power generation, which includes nuclear, coal, and gas, is the leading consumer of water in America. [DeSmog]


¶ “Trump Alone on Climate Change as G20 Find Common Ground on Trade, Migration” • A joint statement signed by all twenty member nations said nineteen of them reaffirmed their commitment to the Paris climate accord. The US, which plans to withdraw from the pact under President Donald Trump, is the lone holdout. [Business Insider]

Closing out the G20 summit (Kevin Lamarque | Reuters)

¶ “Climate Talks Kick Off in Poland With Boost from G-20 Summit” • Negotiators from around the world are meeting in the Polish city of Katowice for talks on curbing climate change, three years after sealing a landmark deal in Paris that set a goal of keeping global warming well below 2°C (3.6°F). The UN meeting runs to December 14. []

¶ “Qatar Pulls Out of OPEC Oil Producers’ Cartel” • Qatar announced it is pulling out of OPEC, just days before the group meets in Vienna. Qatar is the world’s biggest exporter of liquified natural gas, has been boycotted by some Arab neighbours over allegations that it funds terrorism. OPEC is expected to cut oil supply at this week’s meeting. [BBC]

Nodding donkeys (Spencer Platt | Getty Images)

¶ “Disneyland Paris Hopes to Get Glow from Solar Power” • Disneyland Paris has revealed that it is considering building a massive solar power plant which would supply 15% of the electricity at its sprawling site on the outskirts of Paris. This follows the recent opening of a similar facility at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. [Forbes]

¶ “Dutch Delight at Budel Solar” • The 44-MW Budel solar farm near Eindhoven in the Netherlands has started commercial operations. It was developed by the Dutch province of Noord-Brabant, the commune of Cranendonck, and UK company Solarcentury on land that had previously been used by the Nyrstar zinc smelter. [reNEWS]

Budel solar park (Solarcentury image)

¶ “India Could Generate All of Its Power from Renewables by 2050” • An entirely renewable energy system is technically possible and economically viable for India in 2050, a report says. One scenario has the levelized cost of electricity falling from the current €58/MWh (₹4,626/MWh, $68.72/MWh) to €52. Another has it go to €46. [pv magazine India]


¶ “Green Light for 800-MW Oz Giant” • The federal government has given planning approval to the 800-MW Clarke Creek wind farm in Queensland. Developer Lacour Energy is partnering with Goldwind on the A$1.5 billion ($1.11 billion) project, which will be integrated with a solar and battery storage facility 150 km north-west of Rockhampton. [reNEWS]

Goldwind turbines at a wind farm (Goldwind image)

¶ “Two Million Australian Households Now Have Rooftop Solar – and They Vote” • One of Australia’s hottest renewable energy sectors, residential solar, has hit another major milestone, with the number of households to have installed rooftop PV passing the two million-mark, according to a Clean Energy Council announcement. [One Step Off The Grid]

¶ “Pernod Ricard Winemakers Going 100% Renewable Energy” • By the middle of 2019, Pernod Ricard Winemakers will be sourcing all of its electricity from renewable sources, largely with a power purchase agreement, though its own 2.8-MW solar installation project will be the largest combined winery solar installation in Australia.  [Foodprocessing]

Grapes and wine (AdobeStock image)


¶ “Trump Denial of Climate Science Product of Decades-Long Lobbying and Grooming, Report Claims” • Where does Donald Trump’s denial of climate science come from? According to a new Axios report, “a small but influential set of organizations and people have been pushing misinformation for years, and Trump has been listening.” [The Inquisitr]

¶ “‘We Gave No Choice'” • At a Maui Electric Co forum on energy resilience, Prof Chip Fletcher of the University of Hawaii and vice chairman of the Honolulu Climate Change Commission told the audience that new data indicate we have “less time than previously thought” to prepare for climate impacts. And the signs of that are already here. [Maui News]

Kaheawa Wind Power (Photo: Matthew Thayer | The Maui News)

¶ “An Audacious Goal for Leelanau County” • Northport Energy was founded a decade ago with a singular mission: to make the tip of Leelanau County, Michigan, completely green. Upon their 10th anniversary, they embarked on an even more ambitious goal: Power all of Leelanau County with 100% renewable energy within a decade. [Traverse City Ticker]

¶ “Solar Congress Helps South Florida Homeowners Figure Out How to Harvest Clean Energy” • A movement to take advantage of solar power is building in Florida, and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava said it is at a tipping point. “We are the sunshine state, and we’ve been a little in the clouds,” Cava laughed. “It’s time to come out.” [WLRN]

Have a charmingly agreeable day.

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December 2 Energy News

December 2, 2018


¶ “Portrait of a Planet on the Verge of Climate Catastrophe” • As politicians gather for the annual UN climate conference, climate catastrophe looks inevitable. We have simply left it too late to hold rising global temperatures to under 1.5°C and so prevent a future of drowned coasts, ruined coral reefs, spreading deserts, and melted glaciers. [The Guardian]

South Beach, Miami, if temperatures rise by 2°C (Image:
Nickolay Lamm | Climate Central |

¶ “Build a Bridge, Not a Wall: US Companies Have Renewable Energy Opportunities in Mexico” • Mexico has a renewable energy goal of 35% nationally within 5 years and 50% by 2050. That means a lot of renewable energy construction contracts will be awarded south of the border. And US companies are welcome to participate. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “APS May Have Won This Fight, but the Clean Energy War Is Not Over, Tom Steyer Says” • You would be hard pressed to find a utility company more hostile to clean energy, more politically connected, or more brazen in wielding those connections than Arizona Public Service. Well, that’s exactly why we chose to get involved in Arizona. []

Power from the sun and wind

¶ “Backstory: Macron to Close Multiple Nuclear Reactors, but Why Now?” • Wind, solar, a continent-scale grid, and open economic borders all contributed to the death of the French nuclear dream. It became time for France to wake up and join the future, and it has. It voted in a politician who promised to reduce France’s nuclear fleet. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Houston Cannot Afford to Accept Trump’s View of Climate Change” • It may serve President Donald Trump politically to ignore science, but his willful ignorance comes with a price that others will be left to pay. Ignoring climate change means ignoring the role it played in the severity of Hurricane Harvey and other violent storms. [Houston Chronicle]

Flooding after Hurricane Harvey


¶ “New Report Outlines Investor Risk of Supporting Coal Power” • In the US, coal sputtered when nuclear energy came on the scene, and then cheap natural gas and renewable energy have been bumping coal to the curb. Now a new report shows that in the rest of the world, coal is also slipping down the same slide of doom. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Trump Administration Plans COP24 Coal Sideshow” • According to Reuters, “three people familiar with the matter” had told them that the Trump Administration is planning to set up a side event (read: sideshow) promoting the use of fossil fuels at the upcoming COP24 UN climate talks to be held in Katowice, Poland. [CleanTechnica]

Coal trains

¶ “NZ Makes Solar Power Accessible to All” • Solar power is now available to all New Zealanders through online subscriptions. The Climate Change Minister is backing the worlds first virtual solar power plant. SolarCity is connecting communities to a national solar power grid while cutting electricity costs and reducing carbon emissions. [Māori Television]

¶ “Green Energy Financing Blooms as Investors Look Beyond Profits” • Environment-friendly finance is blooming thanks to investors willing to weigh profits against ecology, but decisions about meaningful investments can be complex. Debate rages over which technologies are worthy of green investor money, and which are not. []

Offshore wind turbines

¶ “India to Float Its Largest Solar Tender by 15 December for 23,000 MW Ultra Mega Solar Projects in Leh, Ladakh” • As part of initiatives under the National Solar Mission, India’s renewable energy ministry launched an ambitious plan to implement 23 GW of solar projects in the Leh and Ladakh regions of Jammu and Kashmir, The Hindu reported. [Swarajya]


¶ “Climate Change Clobbers Colorado and the West, Unfurling Fire, Drought, Insects, and Heat” • The impacts of global warming, wildfires, invasive species, declining snowpacks, and drought intensifying across Colorado and the West with costs in the billions, have happened precisely as scientists have been predicting. [The Denver Post]

Home rebuilt after a fire (Helen H Richardson | The Denver Post)

¶ “Exxon Will Use Wind, Solar Power to Produce Crude Oil in Texas” • Under 12-year agreements with Denmark’s Orsted A/S, Exxon will buy 500 MW of wind and solar power in the Permian Basin, the fastest growing US oil field. It is the largest ever renewable power contract signed by an oil company, according to Bloomberg NEF. [Independent Online]

¶ “Connecticut Preps for Weather Extremes, Flooding Highlighted in Climate Report” • One ecologist focused on Connecticut’s coastal habitats hopes students learn at least two basic lessons: Before buying a property, find out if it’s in a flood zone; and don’t get Lyme disease. But preparations for climate change go far beyond that. []

Have a comfortably cozy day.

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December 1 Energy News

December 1, 2018


¶ “Polluters in the Room: Big Energy ‘Undermining’ UN Climate Talks” • Oil and coal giants are exploiting a lack of conflict-of-interest protection at UN climate talks to push for continued fossil fuel use, several sources have told AFP. Just days before COP 24, host country Poland announced three state-run coal giants would sponsor it. [Yahoo News]

Coal-burning power plant

¶ “Renewables Power Ahead, but Emissions Still Rising” • In Australia’s National Energy Market, renewable generation set its fifth consecutive monthly record high in November, having new solar farms online, an audit shows. However, evidence coming from the Federal Government reveals a continuing upward trend in emissions since 2013. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “State and Regional Governments Responding to Climate Change Faster than National Governments” • A report by The Climate Group and others shows that leading states and regions worldwide are committed to emissions reductions of 6.2% per year, 3.2% faster than G20 governments and just short of the rate needed for a 2°C pathway. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm

¶ “EGPE Begins Construction of Three New Spanish Solar Plants” • Enel Green Power España, a renewable energy division of utility company Endesa, has begun construction of three Spanish solar plants with a combined capacity of around 127 MW. The three solar facilities will be built with an investment of nearly €100 million. [Power Technology]

¶ “Germany to Increase Wind and Solar Power Production” • Germany intends to increase energy production from wind and solar farms by a further 8 GW over the next three years as the government tries to compensate for its decision to abandon strict emissions targets. This is in addition to the 5 GW Germany is adding each year. []

Renewable energy

¶ “Japan Approves Offshore Plans” • Japan’s parliament approved a new law to promote offshore wind projects, according to the Japanese Wind Power Association. The association said the law should come into effect next spring, following three months for “fixing detail ordinances”, with the first auction in the spring or summer next year. [reNEWS]


¶ “Party Time at Rampion” • EON has officially opened the 400-MW Rampion offshore wind farm off the south coast of England. The project features 116 MHI Vestas V112 3.45-MW turbines located between 13 km and 20 km off the coast of Sussex. Rampion has taken three years to construct, with 750 people working on the project at peak times. [reNEWS]

Rampion turbines (Photo: EON)

¶ “BT Rings Up Renewables to 94% of the Business” • BT, a telecommunications giant in the UK, signed two deals enabling 96% of its global operations to be powered entirely by clean sources of electricity. Mobile network EE, which is part of BT, is now powered by 100% certified renewable sources such as wind farms and solar plants. [Energy Live News]

¶ “Windy Weather Carries Britain to Renewable Energy Record” • Storm Diana brought strong winds that helped set a renewable energy record. Wind farms supplied about a third of the UK’s electricity from 6:00 pm to 6:30 pm, peak demand time, on November 28. Output hit a high of 14.9 GW, beating a previous record of 14.5 GW. [The Guardian]

EON’s Rampion windfarm (Darren Cool | EON | PA)


¶ “More Americans and Most Republicans Now Believe in Climate Change” • A growing number of Americans believe that climate change is happening, a shift in public opinion from three years ago. About 8 in 10 Americans, including two-thirds of the Republicans, believe the climate is changing, causing extreme weather. [CNN]

¶ “The US Could Cut Emissions by 80% for Less than the 2018 Federal Budget” • As President Trump continues to dismiss the all-but-irrefutable scientific consensus on climate change, multiple federal reports make it clear that failing to rein in greenhouse gas emissions will cost the US far more in the long run than tackling the crisis head-on. [HuffPost]

Mendocino fire (Noah Berger | Associated Press)

¶ “Renewables Account for 18% of US Electricity Generation” • The Energy Information Administration published data showing that renewable energy sources provided nearly 18% of the country’s electrical generation through the first nine months of the year, while solar and wind grew substantially from the same time a year ago. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “A Solar Bonus is the Latest Clean Energy Incentive for Massachusetts Farmers” • A solar incentive launched this week in Massachusetts is the state’s latest effort to make it easier for farmers to adopt renewable power and become more energy efficient. The incentive promotes PV projects that coexist with agricultural uses. [Energy News Network]

Harvesting hay in Montague, Massachusetts

¶ “Coal Boss Who Pushed for Industry Bailout Doubts Trump Will Deliver” • Bob Murray, CEO of Murray Energy, who pushed the Trump administration for a coal bailout that would have cost consumers billions of dollars a year, has admitted the president probably won’t be able to keep his campaign pledge to save the dying industry. [Common Dreams]

¶ “TVA Scraps Bellefonte Sale to Haney” • Franklin L Haney said he is ready to complete a $111 million purchase of the unfinished Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant. The Tennessee Valley Authority, however, says it cannot complete the sale because Haney did not get a necessary NRC approval to transfer the plant’s construction permits. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

Have a perfectly fabulous day.

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November 30 Energy News

November 30, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “Owls Roost at Scottish Wind Farm” • Planning conditions attached to the Crystal Rig wind farm’s consent required an ornithological monitoring plan, which specified the requirement for artificial nesting baskets for long-eared owls. Three pairs of nesting barn owls have successfully bred at the wind farm in the Scottish Borders, producing 12 hatchlings. [reNEWS]

Barn owl, still too young to fly (Natural Power image)

¶ “Kia Niro Electric Crossover Debuts in Los Angeles – 239 Mile Range” • A new, fully electric version of the Kia Niro is coming to North America early in 2019. The Niro EV will come with a 64-kWh lithium polymer battery and an EPA range rated at 239 miles. Just so you can see what is coming, here is a list of its basic specifications. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Australia On Track for 50% Renewables by 2030” • Australia would reach 50% renewable energy by 2030 even if installations were cut two-thirds, Green Energy Markets estimates. At current installation rates for windpower, solar farms, and rooftop solar, about 78% of Australia’s power will be from renewable energy by 2030. [The Australian Financial Review]

Wind farm

¶ “Australian School Children Defy Prime Minister with Climate Strike” • Thousands of Australian children skipped school in defiance of the prime minister to protest for greater action on climate change. Organizers estimated around 15,000 left their classrooms in 30 locations across the country, including Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. [CNN]

¶ “Taiwan Ponders Offshore FIT Cut” • Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs proposed a 13% cut to its offshore wind feed-in tariff. FIT rates set by the government are used to determine power purchase agreements between state utility Taipower and the developers of the 3,836 MW of projects awarded capacity in April in the FIT tender. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind power (Formosa image)

¶ “Ivory Coast Aims to Generate 150 MW of Solar Power by 2020” • Ivory Coast plans to generate 150 MW of solar power by 2020, a senior official said, to integrate more renewable energy into the power sector. Ivory Coast has West Africa’s largest economy, and it produces most of its 2,200 MW of power from oil and gas. []

¶ “Belgian Nuclear Plant May Breach EU Law, Says Top Judge” • A European Court of Justice advocate-general has cast doubt on Belgium’s decision to extend the life of one of its ageing nuclear power plants, suggesting that environmental impact assessments may not have been carried out properly and that  EU rules “have been infringed.” [EURACTIV]

Doel nuclear power plant (RockerStocker | Shutterstock)

¶ “More than 40% of World Coal Plants Are Unprofitable” • Over 40% of coal plants are operating at a loss due to high fuel costs, and that could to rise to nearly 75% by 2040, according to a report by environmental think-tank Carbon Tracker. The risk of stranded assets has institutional investors increasingly divesting from fossil fuel companies. [Reuters]


¶ “Nissan Using Vehicle-to-Grid Technology to Power US Operations” • Nissan is a major supporter of V2G technology. It recently won approval from German regulators to trial its V2G system in that country. Now it says it will use V2G to partially power its factory in Franklin, Tennessee and its design center in San Diego. [CleanTechnica]

Nissan V2G system

¶ “Panasonic Solar Builds Out National Residential Installer Network” • Panasonic Eco Solutions, home of the HIT solar panel, is aggressively building out its residential solar installer network on a national basis in the US, seeking to compete more evenly with the likes of Tesla, SunRun, SunPower, Vivint and others. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Hampshire Democrats Look to Override Governor on Clean Energy” • With election wins, New Hampshire Democrats are getting set to push a clean energy agenda. Proposals are coming on solar net metering, a renewable electricity standard of 50% by 2040, and bolstering small hydro, offshore wind and energy efficiency. [Energy News Network]

New Hampshire Statehouse

¶ “US Energy Industry Urges Congress to Fix ITC Eligibility for Energy Storage” • A broad coalition combining energy trade and advocacy organizations filed a letter to the US Senate and House leaderships this week, urging them to modify the tax code to include energy storage as an eligible technology for the country’s Investment Tax Credit. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Maui’s First Two Large Scale Energy Projects Blessed” • Two large scale solar farms were blessed in separate ceremonies on Maui. The Ku’ia solar farm in Lahaina can offer up to 2.87 MW to Maui Electric’s grid at 11.06¢/kWh. The project on Haleakalā Ranch pasture land in South Maui also offer up to 2.87 MW at the same price. [Maui Now]

Ku’ia solar farm (Kamehameha Schools and Kenyon Energy)

¶ “US Solar Generation up by Over 30% in First Three-Quarters of 2018” • The Energy Information Administration’s “Electric Power Monthly” (with data through September 30, 2018) reveals that solar and wind both had strong growth with utility-scale solar expanding by 30.3% and wind by 14.5% compared to the first nine months of 2017. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Fight Brewing over Prospect of Nuclear Power Plant Shutdowns” • Pennsylvania lawmakers sympathetic to nuclear power plants are making a push for state action to rescue plants at risk of being shut down by their energy company owners. This is spurring a debate over why Pennsylvania ratepayers should foot the cost of rescuing nuclear plants. [Associated Press]

And Please Don’t forget about the VECAN Conference:

Kia Niro EV

¶ “At the VECAN Conference: an Afternoon Workshop” • “Transportation Efficiency & Electrification – New Tools, Programs and Funds” There is much buzz about leveraging the state’s VW settlement funds to expand EV use. Learn how to support and expand transportation choices. Here is more information and a link to register. [Green Energy Times]

Have a conspicuously gorgeous day.

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November 29 Energy News

November 29, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change: Last Four Years Are ‘World’s Hottest'” • The year 2018 is on course to be the fourth warmest on record, a report from the World Meteorological Organization says. The State of the Climate report says that the 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years, with the 2015-2018 making up the top four. [BBC News]

Sunset at a dried lake bed (Getty Images)

¶ “Climate Change Is Already Here, and Heat Waves Are Having the Biggest Effect, Report Says” • Climate change is already having effects on our health, with extreme heat in particular also having effects on productivity, disease transmission, and food supply, according to The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change report. [CNN]


¶ “Twilight of the Taj” • Pollution has other effects in addition to being ruinous to public health. The damage it is doing Taj Mahal is becoming clear. A combination of pollution and neglect is threatening its existence. Sulphur dioxide, along with other pollutants, are combining with moisture in the atmosphere to cause acid rain. [BBC]

Cracks in the Taj Mahal

¶ “Hungary Plans to Ditch Coal by 2030 and Become Fully Reliant on Renewable Energy” • Following yet another hike in the European Union’s emissions trading system in its fight against climate change, Hungary has announced that it aims to phase out its use of coal and be fully reliant on renewable energy sources by 2030. [Open Access Government]

¶ “Ørsted Plans $30.2 Billion Investment in Renewables by 2025” • Danish energy group Ørsted A/S unveiled plans to pour some kr200 billion ($30.2 billion, €26.8 billion) gross into green energy projects by 2025, as it aims to grow its installed capacity by further expanding into the wind, solar, energy storage, and bioenergy markets. [Renewables Now]

Borkum Riffgrund 2 offshore wind park (Matthias Ibeler, Ørsted)

¶ “India Is Now the Largest Renewable Energy Auctions Market in the World” • India has become the largest market globally for auction of new renewable energy generation projects and the second-largest destination attracting clean energy investments, according to the latest report by Bloomberg NEF, Climatescope 2018. [ELE Times]

¶ “Renewables Surpassed Fossil Fuels Capacity in Germany Last Year” • Germany’s Federal Network Agency and the Federal Cartel Office analyzed the figures for 2017 and found renewables capacity had grown to exceed that of conventional sources. Renewable sources are expected to supply 39% of the electric power this year. [pv magazine International]

Coal and solar plants (Image: Eifeler Presse Agentur)

¶ “Vattenfall Pilots High Temperature Steel with up to 48 Hours of Energy Storage Duration” • Technology now being trialled in Germany by Vattenfall can store energy in steel structures for up to 48 hours. The system will absorb power generated by local renewables plants and store it at a claimed cost of less than €0.02 per kWh. [Energy Storage News]

¶ “A Massive New Solar Power Station Has Come to Life in the South African Desert” • The 100-MW Kathu Solar Park is a massive 4.5 square kilometer concentrated solar power plant, with the ability to pump electricity into the national grid even when the sun isn’t out. It was sited in the Kalahari Desert near the town of Kathu. [Business Insider South Africa]

Kathu Solar Park (Image SENER and Acciona)


¶ “Air Liquide to Build $150 Million Liquid Hydrogen Plant to Supply California Demand” • French-owned industrial gas producer Air Liquide announced plans to spend $150 million on the construction of a liquid hydrogen plant in California. The plant will produce liquid hydrogen for the fuel cells used to power electric vehicles. [Energy Digital]

¶ “DC Votes in Favor of the Nation’s Most Aggressive 100% Renewable Energy Target” • The city council of Washington, DC, voted to provide initial approval of the nation’s most aggressive renewable energy target. With final approval, the city’s utility would have to source 100% of the city’s electric power from renewables by 2032. [pv magazine USA]

Washington DC (Wikimedia)

¶ “Military’s Push for Solar Backup Power Loses Speed under Trump” • It is no longer clear that the Pentagon will be able to make use of all of the solar farms installed both to combat global warming and to enhance national security. President Donald Trump has all but eradicated the words “renewable energy” from the agenda. [Charlotte Observer]

¶ “Illinois Wind to Fuel Starbucks Brew” • Exelon company Constellation is to supply electricity to Starbucks stores in Illinois from Enel Green Power’s 185-MW Hill Topper wind farm. The deal have 340 Starbucks stores operating with 100% renewable energy. Constellation made a deal with Enel for 14 MW from the wind farm. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine on an abandoned farm (Enel image)

¶ “Renewable Energy Laggard ExxonMobil to Power Oil Exploration with Wind and Solar” • ExxonMobil will run its operations at a Texas oil field with power from wind and solar projects. The contracts for the Permian filed in West Texas will be fulfilled by Ørsted, a Danish state-run energy company that has divested itself of fossil fuel assets. [Forbes]

¶ “Data Shows Nuclear Plant Decommissioning Costs Falling” • A research group providing information to institutional investors said cost estimates to decommission US nuclear plants fell in 2017 for the first time in a decade. The Callan Institute report said decommissioning cost estimates dropped by 2.5% last year, to $88.8 billion. [POWER magazine]

And Please Don’t forget about the VECAN Conference:

SunGen Sharon Solar Farm in Sharon (Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “A Morning Workshop at the Vecan Conference” • Municipal solar energy is an important cost- and carbon-saving option for many municipalities. This workshop will cover the current state policy framework and lay-of-the-land for municipal solar in Vermont, including an update on the state’s net metering rule and the state’s preferred siting criteria. [Green Energy Times]

Have a monumentally groovy day.

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November 28 Energy News

November 28, 2018


¶ “Zambia Targets 200 MW of Solar Power to Reduce Hydro Dependency” • Zambia is seeking proposals from potential developers of solar power projects with a combined 200 MW capacity as it tries to diversify its energy mix away from hydroelectric power. The 200 MW is to be split into projects of less than 20 MW. []

Solar system

¶ “Another Coal Myth Busted as Developing Nations Turn to Renewables” • A study put an end to the myth that the world’s developing nation’s are maintaining a dependence on coal. It showed that emerging economies are the renewable energy investment and development leaders and have reduced their new coal plant builds by nearly half. [Daddyhood]


¶ “Sydney Storms: Hundreds Call for Help amid Flash-Flooding” • Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, had its average monthly rainfall within just two hours, meteorologists said. More than 500 people called for emergency assistance after the storm it the city and nearby regions, causing floods, power cuts, and flight delays. [BBC]

Flood (Reuters image)

¶ “Queensland Bushfires: Thousands Told to Flee ‘Catastrophic’ Threat” • More than 130 bushfires are burning in Queensland, fuelled by strong winds, a heat wave and dry vegetation. The state has raised its fire danger warning to “catastrophic,” the highest level, for the first time ever, and told thousands of people to evacuate. [BBC]

¶ “Australia Adds 351.8 MW of Small-Scale Renewables in Q3” • Australia has put on stream 351.8 MW of small-scale renewable energy capacity in the third quarter of 2018, with solar PV plants being on top of the list. Australia now has 3.1 million small-scale renewable power plants, with a cumulative capacity of 7.59 GW, government data show. [Renewables Now]

Solar array (Photo: h080)


¶ “France Announces Cuts to Nuclear and Coal, Boost for Wind and Solar” • In a speech on ecology and energy, French President Macron promised support for renewable energy capacity additions. He made a promise to triple the amount of onshore wind by 2030 and to increase the country’s solar PV capacity by a factor of five. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “French Renewable Energy: €600 Million for Solar Innovation” • As President Macron makes a push for French renewable energy advances, the European Commission has approved €600 million to support solar power innovation in France. The funding will support innovative solar installations with capacities from 5 kW to 100 kW. [Government Europa]

Small solar array (iStock image)

¶ “France’s Macron Tries to Ease Popular Anger over Gas Prices” • French President Emmanuel Macron tried to defuse protests over rising fuel taxes by explaining in his speech what his plans were to wean the country off fossil fuels and promising to shift out of cheap nuclear energy more slowly. But the protests are expected to continue. [Yahoo News]

¶ “France Takes the Lead as Top G20 Market for Renewable Energy Investments” • For the third year, Allianz, Germanwatch and NewClimate Institute examined the investment climate and investments made for renewable energy in all G20 countries. France climbed two positions to the top, while Germany dropped to second place and the UK to third. [WebWire]

Wind farm


¶ “Trump Administration Climate Change Report is Dead Wrong, Says Trump Administration” • After reading “some” of the National Climate Assessment Report, Trump said “I don’t believe it.” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders explained that it is “not based on facts,” adding, “We’d like to see something that is more data-driven.” [CNN]

¶ “California’s Community has Chosen 2 GW of Renewables” • Community choice aggregators in California have now signed over 2 GW of power purchase agreements for renewable energy projects. Of the 59 projects, 43 of them were solar power facilities totalling 1,360 MW and ranging in size from 60 kW through 200 MW. [pv magazine USA]

Solar installation (Swinerton Renewable Energy)

¶ “General Motors is Cutting 14,000 Jobs and Focusing on Self-Driving and Electric Vehicles” • GM is shuttering plants, but this is a step toward a new corporate focus on producing electric and autonomous vehicles. Its new motto is “Zero Crashes, Zero Emissions, Zero Congestion,” as it increases spending on new-technology vehicle programs. [Vox]

¶ “World’s Largest Pork Company to Convert Pig Manure into Renewable Natural Gas” • Smithfield Foods and Dominion Energy announced a joint venture partnership to trap methane from hog waste and convert it into power for heating homes and generating electricity. The gas will be sent to processing centers and converted into natural gas. []

Natural gas worker (Getty Images)

¶ “New Jersey Hits Milestone for Installation of Solar Energy Projects” • New Jersey hit a milestone when the number of solar installations in the state hit 100,000. The growth of solar capacity has largely been due to a combination of net metering, a solar renewable portfolio standard, and a solar renewable energy credit market. [Daily Energy Insider]

¶ “Senate Panel Votes to Advance McNamee to US FERC Despite Renewables Comments” • The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted to advance the nomination of Bernard McNamee to the fifth slot at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, despite statements he had made last winter about renewable energy. [S&P Global Platts]

And Please Don’t forget about the VECAN Conference:

Solar Power at Scott Farm, Dummerston, Wikimedia Commons

One morning workshop addresses smart growth for land use as a cornerstone for decarbonizing our communities. At the center of climate friendly communities is the integration of good land use policies, the creation of transportation choices, the consideration of location efficiency and, importantly, housing, including affordable housing. [Green Energy Times]

Have a vastly superior day.

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November 27 Energy News

November 27, 2018

National Climate Assessment Report:

¶ “Donald Trump Buried a Climate Change Report Because ‘I Don’t Believe It'” • President Donald Trump dismissed a study, produced by his own administration, warning of the potentially catastrophic impact of climate change. Why, you ask? “I don’t believe it,” Trump told reporters on Monday, adding that he had read “some” of the report. [CNN]

California wildfire (Image: Joel Angel Juarez | ZUMA Wire)

¶ “Here’s How Climate Change Will Impact Your Part of the Country” • The lengthy National Climate Assessment includes detailed information about how specific regions of the US will be impacted. Here’s what else you need to know. For example, one of several effects in the Northeast is that we would see 650 excess deaths per year from heat. [CNN]

¶ “Climate Change Threatens Traditions of Indigenous People – National Climate Assessment” • The report states, “The impacts of climate change on water, land, coastal areas, and other natural resources, as well as infrastructure and related services, are expected to increasingly disrupt Indigenous peoples’ livelihoods and economies.” [CleanTechnica]


Science and Technology:

¶ “Concentrated Photovoltaics Achieve Solar Conversion Efficiency Record of 41.4%” • Concentrated PV uses lenses or mirrors to concentrate sunlight on a special type of PV cell. A research consortium led by the Fraunhofer Institute of Solar Energy Research, announced that it had made a CPV with a solar conversion efficiency of 41.4%. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Poland Awards Nearly a Gigawatt of Wind Energy in Latest Renewable Energy Auction” • Poland’s Energy Regulatory Office announced last week that it has awarded nearly 1 GW of wind energy in a mixed renewable energy auction at prices so low experts believe the country could award a further 850 MW of capacity. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines in Poland

¶ “European Utilities Begin Investing In Energy Storage” • A report published by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, Europe Energy Storage Landscape 2018, highlights the recent trend among major European utilities which has seen them begin investing in the region’s relatively new energy storage market over the past two years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Greenpeace Energy Wants to Buy Germany’s RWE Coal Business, and to Replace It With 8.2 GW of Renewables” • The Hamburg-based green electricity provider wants to shut down RWE’s coal power plants and replace them with 8.2 GW of wind and solar power plants. Approximately €7 billion will be invested in the new facilities. [pv magazine International]

Coal-burning power plant in Germany (Greenpeace image)

¶ “Europe’s Power Could Be Carbon-Free by 2045 with Further Investment in Renewables” • The European power sector could be fully decarbonized ahead of the 2050 targets set in the Paris Agreement if enough effort is put into electrification and into deployment of renewable energy, according to a study from Eurelectric. [Offshore Wind Journal]

¶ “The Changing Coal Landscape” • The Integrated Resource Plan 2018, which recently concluded its 60-day window period for public comment, has laid out a clear path for reducing coal generation in South Africa from approximately 70%, to around 44.6% of the total energy mix within the span of only 12 short years. [Independent Online]

Renewable energy (IOL file photo)

¶ “France to Close 14 Nuclear Reactors by 2035: Macron” • President Emmanuel Macron said that France would shut down 14 of the country’s 58 nuclear reactors currently in operation by 2035, of which between four and six will be closed by 2030. He also said that France would close its remaining four coal plants by 2022. [Phys.Org]

¶ “Developing Nations Now Leading on Global Clean Energy” • Higher energy demand, lower technology costs, and innovative policy making allowed developing nations to seize the mantle of global clean energy leadership from wealthier nations, according to a comprehensive new study from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Solar trackers and sheep


¶ “RIP: GM Will Close Five Assembly Plants in North America, Eliminate 15,000 Jobs, and Cease Production of Chevy Volt” • GM announced it will cease production at five assembly plants, four of which are in the US and one in Canada. Three of the plants build cars, and the other two make driveline components for passenger cars. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Boulder and Pueblo Could Be the Next Cities to Create Their Own Utilities in Pursuit of 100% Renewable Energy” • Municipal utilities could lead the 100% renewable charge. Six communities, from Burlington, Vermont, to Kodiak, Alaska, have reached the 100% renewable electricity target. Five of those are municipal utilities. [The Colorado Sun]

Solar array

¶ “Change the Rules, Add Power Lines to Let Renewables Plus Storage Aim for 90% of the Grid” • Grid Strategies has published a report commissioned by the Wind Solar Alliance. The purpose of the report is to suggest refinement to the rules that govern the day-to-day electricity markets across the US to foster renewable energy and efficiency. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “SCANA Settles $2 Billion Lawsuit over VC Summer Project’s Failure” • SCANA Corp agreed to a $2 billion settlement with the South Carolina customers it charged for a failed nuclear plant. The settlement, however, is not a done deal, as it still requires approval from a judge and the South Carolina Public Service Commission. [Greenville News]

And one more thing, don’t forget the VECAN Conference:

People’s Climate March 2014 (Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “At the VECAN Conference: an Afternoon Workshop” • Michael Shank’s workshop, “Communicating Beyond the Choir: Persuading Policy Makers and More People to Act,” offers a unique opportunity to get an in-depth training from a leading national communications expert about what works to inspire far more people to act. [Green Energy Times]

Have an intriguingly flawless day.

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November 26 Energy News

November 26, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “In Mount Everest Region, World’s Highest Glaciers Are Melting, Receding” • For many tourists, a trek to Mount Everest Base Camp, is an adventure of a lifetime. But what is stunning scenery to tourists is for climate scientists an apocalyptic sight. They see dramatic evidence all around of a rapidly warming atmosphere. (Photos) [InsideClimate News]

New glacial lake (Credit: Kunda Dixit | Nepali Times)


¶ “Drier Summers and Wetter Winters Could be Coming to the UK” • Environment Secretary Michael Gove is warning that world-leading new science shows more extreme weather is ahead. In a speech in London, Mr Gove will say that the survival of the planet can only be safeguarded if scientific warnings are heeded more keenly. [Sky News]

¶ “Nigeria Loses $6 Billion from ‘Corrupt’ Oil Deal Linked to Fraud” • A court in Milan is considering corruption charges against Eni and Shell in a controversial oil deal that led to Nigeria losing an estimated $6 billion. Eni and Shell are accused of knowing the money they paid to Nigeria would be used for bribes. They deny any wrongdoing. [BBC]

Nigerian oil workers

¶ “Argentina Signs 161.5 MW of RenovAr 2 Contracts” • Argentina has signed contracts for 161.5 MW of green projects that were selected in the first stage of the country’s renewable energy auction program RenovAr Round 2. Power purchase agreements were signed for two wind, one biogas and one small hydropower plant. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Solarcentury Gets Go-Ahead for Four Solar Power Projects in Seville” • British solar power company Solarcentury has received the go ahead from the regional government in Andalucia to construct four solar parks. The projects, to be located in Alcala de Guadaira, Seville, Spain, will produce enough electricity to power 105,000 households. [Energy Digital]

PV system

¶ “UK’s Drax Starts Pilot of Europe’s First Bioenergy Carbon Capture Project” • Britain’s Drax said it has started a pilot project to capture and store carbon dioxide emissions at its biomass plant, the first of its kind in Europe. Emissions from the power plant will be captured and stored for industrial applications such as making drinks fizzy. []
(Sorry, Drax, carbon capture for fizzy drinks will not help. GHH)

¶ “Robots Come to the Rescue After Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster” • Since the fuel melted in three reactors at Fukushima Daiichi, it burned through steel walls and concrete floors. No one even knows quite where it is. No human can go inside to look for it, so the Japanese company that owns the crippled plant has turned to robots. [CBS News]

Six-legged robot


¶ “AGL Builds Its Own Solar Power Trading Market” • AGL is the latest Australian company to develop its own solar trading platform, so households can ensure their excess solar power is not wasted and their solar systems earn as much as they can. The system pays customers for excess power with tokens that can be traded. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Queensland Bushfires: Evacuations amid ‘Highly Unusual’ Conditions” • About 40 bushfires are burning in Queensland in weather conditions that are described as “unprecedented.” The largest fire is about 50 km (30 miles) long. Intense fire conditions are very unusual in Queensland in late November because it is the wet season. [BBC]

Queensland fires (Queensland Ambulance Service image)

¶ “Australian Vintage Signs Ground-Breaking Renewable Energy Deal” • Australian Vintage Limited has signed a large-scale hybrid Renewable Corporate Power Purchase Agreement, which will ensure that 90% of consumption at its largest site is met by solar and wind power. AVL’s Buronga Hill facility is the third largest winery in Australia. [The Shout]


¶ “Despite Trump, The Shift from Coal to Renewables Continues Unabated” • If you were only paying attention to White House public statements, you would likely think that coal had seen a magnificent revival in the nearly two years since Donald Trump became President. In reality, what is happening in the country is completely different. [Triple Pundit]

Coal-fired power plant

¶ “Hawaiian Electric, Eurus Ink 46.8-MW Wind PPA” • Hawaiian Electric Co signed a power purchase agreement for the output of a 46.8-MW wind project on Oahu island, the electric utility said. The Palehua wind farm is planned to be built on the Waianae Range and use 13 turbines. It will supply enough power for about 25,000 homes. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Connecticut Likely to OK Millstone for Zero-Carbon RFP” • Dominion Energy is getting closer to the finish line in a two-year marathon to win subsidized energy contracts for its Millstone nuclear plant. Its near-term goal is special consideration in the Connecticut solicitation for up to 12 million MWh of zero-carbon electric power. [RTO Insider]

One more thing – Don’t forget the VECAN Conference:

Pollution (When this image was new, a Google search I did on it guessed it was Donald Trump. – GHH)

¶ “At the VECAN Conference: a Morning Workshop” • At one of the morning workshops you can learn about effective use of digital tools to attract new people to the cause. At GET, we think that the VECAN Conference is one of Vermont’s best renewable energy events. We recommend that everyone interested in the future consider attending. [Green Energy Times]

Have an invigoratingly exquisite day.

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November 25 Energy News

November 25, 2018

National Climate Assessment Report:

¶ “Climate Change is Already Hurting US Communities, Federal Report Says” • Climate change is already causing more frequent and severe weather across the US, and the country is poised to suffer massive damage to infrastructure, ecosystems, health, and the economy if it is allowed to continue, the 4th National Climate Assessment said. [WBFO]

Neighborhood in Paradise, California (Noah Berger | AP)

¶ “Climate Change Will Shrink US Economy and Kill Thousands, Government Report Warns” • The Fourth National Climate Assessment delivers a dire warning about climate change and its devastating impacts, saying the economy could lose hundreds of billions of dollars – in the worst-case scenario, more than 10% of its GDP – by the end of the century. [KNWA]

¶ “Al Gore Calls Out Trump for ‘Burying’ Climate Change Report by Releasing it on Black Friday” • Al Gore has lashed out at the Trump administration accusing it of seeking to ‘bury’ a US government report on climate change by releasing it on Black Friday, when people’s minds would be focused on sales starting the Christmas shopping season. [Daily Mail]

Flooded neighborhood

¶ “White House Says Dire Climate Report Based on ‘Extreme Scenario'” • The Trump administration is downplaying the 4th National Climate Assessment. It said the study was largely based on “the most extreme scenario” and does not account for innovations that could diminish carbon emissions and the effects of climate change. [Voice of America]

¶ “3 Big Takeaways from the Major New US Climate Report” • Climate change is here, it’s expensive, and it’s deadly, according to a dire new report. The risks are not just down the road. The report connects climate change to current issues from declining water levels in the Colorado River Basin to the spread of ticks carrying Lyme disease. [Vox]

Searching for human remains in California (Umair Irfan | Vox)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Superconducting Tape Could Lead to Lower-Cost Wind Power” • Wind turbines can need about a ton of rare earth metals each, and that is costly. But the EU-backed EcoSwing project upgraded a wind turbine in Denmark with superconducting tape that reduces the required amount of rare earth metals to as little as 1 kg (2.2 lbs). [Engadget]


¶ “Amazon Rainforest Deforestation ‘Worst in 10 Years’, Says Brazil” • You would think that with all the warnings about deforestation and its impact on climate change, deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest would continue its decline. But according to the government of Brazil, it has grown much worse. And the outlook is not good. [Digital Journal]

Brazil’s Amazon rainforest and deforestation
(CIAT International Center for Tropical Agriculture | flickr)

¶ “Government Threatens to Cut Solar Power Subsidies” • The Japanese government is threatening to cut existing solar power project subsidies angering the power producers and investors that say the cuts will undermine their profitability and violate earlier agreements. Japan’s feed in tariffs are currently among the highest in the world. [Japan Today]

¶ “NKT, Boskalis Win Ostwind 2 Export Prize” • A consortium of NKT and Boskalis secured a €550-plus deal to supply and install the grid wire for the Ostwind 2 connection in the Baltic Sea. The Danish cable manufacturer will deliver 270 km of offshore and 8 km of onshore wires for the grid hub, which will connect two offshore wind farms to shore. [reNEWS]

NKT cable production in Sweden (NKT image)

¶ “Pro-Nuclear Activists Win Landslide Electoral Victory in Taiwan” • In a surprise victory, Taiwanese voters on Saturday decisively rejected the government’s phase-out of nuclear power, 59% to 41%. The referendum also required a vote with over five million in favor of its passing, and its support was well over that number. [Forbes]


¶ “Mills Administration: Energy Policy to Change ‘180 Degrees'” • Eight years of Maine’s Gov Paul LePage and Republican allies working to encourage natural gas and transmission lines will end as a Democratic government shifts Maine’s energy policy to boost local, green-power development and blunt the impacts of a warming climate. [Lewiston Sun Journal]

Wind farm in Maine (Michael Surran, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Fayetteville Moves Toward 100% Renewable Energy, Saves $6 million in Future Energy Costs” • In Arkansas, the Fayetteville City Council unanimously voted to approve an agreement with Ozarks Electric Cooperative and Today’s Power Inc for the development, construction, and operation of Arkansas’s largest solar power system on municipal land. [KATV]

¶ “Attorneys to Drop Nuclear Lawsuit Against SCE&G if State OKs Latest Dominion Deal” • If state utility regulators approve Dominion Energy’s latest plan to buy South Carolina Electric & Gas, their decision would also wrap up a contentious class-action lawsuit demanding refunds for the power company’s customers, according to attorneys. [Charleston Post Courier]

One More Thing, Keep the VECAN Conferance in Mind:

Georgia Mountain wind farm (

¶ “One Afternoon Workshop at the VECAN Conference, an Afternoon Workshop:” • “Beneficial Electrification: A Key Decarbonization Strategy” Beneficial electrification replacing direct fossil fuel use with clean electricity in a way that reduces overall emissions and energy costs, such as conversion to electric vehicles and heat pumps. [Green Energy Times]

Have a sublimely beautiful day.

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November 24 Energy News

November 24, 2018


¶ “Scientists Prescribe a Healthy Dose of Sulphate Particles to Promote Global Cooling on the Cheap” • A report published in Environmental Research Letters claims we could solve global warming easily by geo-engineering. But some scientists and environmental groups consider such an action dangerous and unnecessary. [CleanTechnica]

Is cooling the Earth as volcanoes do a good idea? (USGS photo)


¶ “Neoen Begins Full-Scale Operation of Largest Solar Farm in Australia” • Neoen, the leading French producer of renewable energy, announced that full-scale operation of its Coleambally Solar Farm has begun. The Coleambally facility, which is in New South Wales, is the largest fully operational PV installation in Australia. [Energy Digital]

¶ “Central Philippine Bishops all Fired Up Against Coal” • In the central Philippines,Catholic bishops have attacked proposals to build coal-fired power plants in their areas. Prelates from four dioceses in the island region urged Catholics to “safeguard the gains and successes” achieved so far in improving renewable energy sources. [UCA News]

Climate activists dressed as dinosaurs (Photo: Jimmy Domingo)

¶ “UK Regulator Reveals Power Companies Owe Almost £63 million to Renewable Energy Obligation Pots” • Ofgem named four major electricity suppliers that missed payment deadlines to meet renewable energy buying obligations. The suppliers will face penalties. Some small-scale generators also failed to meet payments. [pv magazine International]

¶ “NWT Hydro Communities to No Longer Receive Funding for Solar Panels” • The government of the Northwest Territories said it is phasing out funding to solar projects in communities that are connected to hydroelectricity. Instead, funding will be diverted solely to communities that rely on diesel generators for their electricity. []

Solar panels in Canada’s Northwest Territories

¶ “Victoria Votes for Solar Power: Labor’s Election Win Unlocks New Rebates for Solar Panels and Batteries” • Labor’s Victorian State Election win is good news for Victorian citizens looking to install rooftop solar panels and home batteries. The Victorian election result means that the Victorian Solar Homes scheme will expand. [Energy Matters]

¶ “DEEP Begins Drilling at its Geothermal Power Plant in Saskatchewan” • DEEP Earth Energy Production Corp has begun drilling for a geothermal power facility located in southeastern Saskatchewan. This well will be part of a 5-MW power facility that will generate renewable baseload electric power from a hot (120˚C) aquifer. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Drilling in Saskatchewan (DEEP image)

¶ “Germany Greenlights 8 GW of Additional Onshore Wind and Solar Capacity” • Under an agreement reached by Germany’s Cabinet in early November, the federal government will hold auctions to procure 1 GW each for onshore wind and solar in 2019, increasing to 1.4 GW for each in 2020 and 1.6 GW for each in 2021. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Mauritius Opts for Floating PV” • Mauritius is planning to deploy a 2-MW floating solar power plant at its Tamarind Falls reservoir, which is 6.3 km long. A tender was issued by the UN Development Programme to select consultants for a feasibility study for the project. The deadline for submission of proposals is December 6. [pv magazine International]

Indian Ocean from Mauritius (Image: Ludovic Lubeigt | Flickr)

¶ “Poland Plans to Launch First Nuclear Power Plant in 2033 – Energy Ministry” • Poland plans to launch its first nuclear power plant in 2033 as part of the low-carbon energy policy, a white paper published by the Energy Ministry says. The ministry expects to build a new nuclear reactor every two years to reduce dependence on coal. [UrduPoint News]


¶ “Climate Change: Report Warns of Growing Impact on US Life” • The US government’s 4th National Climate Assessment says climate change is “presenting growing challenges to human health and safety, quality of life, and the rate of economic growth.” The warning is at odds with the Trump administration’s fossil fuels agenda. [BBC]

One report warning: more wildfires (EPA photo)

¶ “Salisbury to Roll Out Community Choice Electricity Program” • A new green energy program in Salisbury, Massachusetts, could save residents an average of 19% on their electric bills this winter. The Salisbury Community Choice Power Supply Program will buy the power from renewable sources. [The Daily News of Newburyport]

¶ “California Set to Build the World’s Largest Battery System” • The California Public Utilities Commission has approved a proposal from Pacific Gas & Electric to build a battery system that will be the world’s largest when it is completed. The system’s four separate energy storage projects will replace plants powered by natural gas. [Interesting Engineering]

Wind farm and Tesla batteries

¶ “GE Renewables Boss Calls for Storage Revolution” • GE renewable energy chief executive Jerome Pecresse said systems combining intermittent clean energy generation with storage are critical to future renewables growth. In a piece published on LinkedIn Pulse, he said renewable energy is a smart, profitable, long-term investment. [reNEWS]

¶ “Pilot Program Uses Solar Power to Reduce Energy Costs” • In Tahlequah, Oklahoma, a pilot program is using solar energy panels on several Cherokee Nation citizens’ homes to save on their monthly utility costs. So far, families living in the energy-efficient homes have saved an average of 50% on their monthly electric bills. [Muskogee Daily Phoenix]

One More Thing:

Vermont State House (Wikipedia)

¶ “At the VECAN Conference, a Morning Workshop: The 2019 Legislative Look Forward” • A morning work session on legislative activity will be presented by Senator Becca Balint, Senator Christopher Bray, and Lauren Hierl of the Vermont Conservation Voters. Early registration is still $40. On November 26th, it will increase to $50. [Green Energy Times]

Have an exquisitely comfortable day.

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November 23 Energy News

November 23, 2018


¶ “Peak Oil and Drastic Oil Shortages Imminent, Says IEA” • With the current lack of new exploration, peak oil will be hit well before 2020, according to the International Energy Agency. This means that a collapse of oil supply to half of its current size within only six years simply cannot be compensated by new oil discoveries. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it

¶ “Trump Confuses Climate Change with Weather, Prompting Widespread Despair” • Donald Trump again confused weather with climate change, suggesting cold weather means global warming is not real. ‘I have never had a student dumb enough to make the kind of inference Trump is making,’ one professor and former Bush adviser says. [The Independent]
(Thanks to CC Reilly)

¶ “Foratom: ‘Balance of Power in the EU is Shifting Against Nuclear’” • Eastern EU countries have a positive opinion of nuclear energy while others like Belgium and Spain are shifting against, says Yves Desbazeille. The big question for the industry is whether Germany will turn even more anti-nuclear than it already is, he says in an interview. [EURACTIV]

Abandoned Satsop nuclear plant (sharkhats | Flickr)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Are Wind Farms the New Environmental Apex Predators?” • A study found that wind turbines and wind farms have the potential of acting as a new apex predator in a given ecosystem, but its authors are quick to point out that this is not an argument against wind energy, but rather an argument for more informed decision-making. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Solid-State Airplane with No Moving Parts Takes Flight” • An airplane with no moving parts flew 60 meters. Is that a big deal? It is if you consider that in 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright’s first airplane changed the world after it flew only 37 meters. What new ideas could an airplane with no jet or internal combustion engine lead to? [CleanTechnica]

Solid state airplane

¶ “Treatment for Climate Change Surprisingly Inexpensive, Study Finds” • A fleet of 100 planes making 4,000 worldwide missions per year, spraying tiny sulphate particulates, could help save the world from climate change. Also, it may be relatively cheap. Those are the conclusions of a peer-reviewed study in Environmental Research Letters. [CBS News]

¶ “Global Carbon Dioxide Levels Hit a New Record in 2017, UN Says” • The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere hit a new record last year with emissions showing no sign of slowing down, the UN World Meteorological Organization said. The annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin dashed hopes for a slowdown in emissions of CO2. [Reuters UK]

Smog in Beijing (Jason Lee | Reuters)


¶ “Queensland Trial to Power a Remote Farm with Solar and Battery ‘Pod'” • A Belgian-made renewable power “pod” that combines solar, battery storage, and a generator will be installed on a farm in Queensland, as part of a bid backed by the state and local governments to offer cheaper and more reliable electricity for rural properties. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “China-Backed Coal Projects Prompt Climate Change Fears” • Environmental groups say China is not only building more coal-burning power plants but also backing dozens of coal projects far beyond its borders. Chinese-supported coal projects are under way or planned as far afield as South America, Africa, southeast Asia, and the Balkans. [BBC]

China-supported coal plant construction

¶ “Engie Doubles Pp with Latin America PPAs” • Engie signed two power purchase agreements in Mexico and Chile. With a solar farm set to be online at the end of 2019, Engie will exceed 1000 MW of renewable capacity running or under construction in Mexico. Engie also made a deal with the operator of the Santiago de Chile airport. [reNEWS]

¶ “Spanish Government Invests in Re-Skilling Miners for Clean Energy Jobs” • Spain’s future of 100% renewable electricity will end jobs for coal miners, but its government agreed with mining unions to divert €250 million to re-skilling coal workers in clean energy jobs, environmental restoration, and early retirement plans. [Open Access Government]

Solar installer (© Lisa F Young)

¶ “Business Council Excoriates Coalition’s ‘Ad Hoc and Extreme’ Energy Policies” • The renewable energy sector is not alone in opposing the Morrison government’s energy plan. The Business Council of Australia has blasted it, saying it will exacerbate risks, interfere with market outcomes, and discourage investment in critical infrastructure. [The Guardian]


¶ “‘Absolute Disgrace:’ When No One Looking, White House Plans to Dump Major Climate Report on Black Friday” • Environmental groups, journalists, and climate scientists are reacting to a White House decision to release a major climate report on Black Friday. Some call the move an effort to bury a science-packed assessment. [Common Dreams]

Camp Fire destruction (Justin Sullivan | Getty Images)

¶ “Colorado Joins California Low Emission Vehicle Program in Rebuke to Trump” • Under the Clean Air Act, only California got a waiver permitting it to impose stricter vehicle emissions rules than the federal standard, though other states are free to adopt the California rules if they wish to. Colorado is the thirteenth state to do so. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Maryland Puts Value of Solar at $7 Billion over 10 Years” • As part of a broader investigation begun in 2016, the Public Service Commission of Maryland issued its final report on the benefits and costs of solar resources in Maryland. It found economic returns of over $7 billion over the coming decade, if new solar keeps up its growth drive. [CleanTechnica]

One more thing:

Michael Shank, PhD

¶ “At the VECAN Conference, Michael Shank, the afternoon keynote speaker will present ‘From Apathy to Action: Motivating the Masses on Climate'” • Dr. Michael Shank is Communications Director for the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance. You can still register early for $40. On November 26th, registration will increase to $50. [Green Energy Times]

Have a wildly wonderful day.

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November 22 Energy News

November 22, 2018


¶ “The Great Oil Crash of 2018: What’s Really Happening” • In the span of mere weeks, crude prices went from a four-year high to a full-blown bear market. The oil crash – crude is down almost 30% from its recent peak – was triggered by a series of factors that combined to spook traders who once saw $100 oil on the horizon. [CNN]

Nodding donkey

¶ “Cascading Climate Change Events Could Resemble “A Terror Movie” by 2100” • Warmer global temperatures spawn stronger storms with higher winds and more rain, droughts, wildfires, rising ocean levels, scarcity of clean water, flooding, and heat waves. But we ain’t seen nothin’ yet, warns a study in the journal Nature Climate Change. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Tesla Has 20% Battery Cost Advantage on Competition, Says UBS Analyst” • According to a report by the Financial Times, UBS conducted an analysis of battery production costs for various manufacturers and found that Tesla, with batteries costing $111/kWh, has a 20% advantage over its closest competitor, LG Chem, at $148 per kWh. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla battery cell production

¶ “100% Renewables? No Problems” • Some Australian academics criticized studies that claim it will be possible to supply 100% of global power, or even all global energy needs, from renewables. Australian academics Mark Diesendorf and Ben Elliston have challenged their views in turn, presenting a strong case that 100% is possible. []


¶ “Electrons on The High Seas – The Zero Emissions Maritime Report” • The zero emissions revolution in transportation is gradually spreading to boats and ships. From personal watercraft to the ferries and cargo ships that ply coastal waters, the change to electric motors instead of diesel engines is happening quite quickly. [CleanTechnica]

The passenger catamaran Legacy of the Fjords

¶ “Labor to Offer $2,000 Battery Rebates for Homes in Energy Plan” • Australia’s Labor opposition promised to help 100,000 householders buy batteries as part of an energy plan in major conflict with the Coalition on climate and energy policy. If elected, it will invest $200 million to subsidise the installation of home batteries on homes with solar panels. [SBS]

¶ “Endesa Aims at 8.4 GW of Renewables in 2021” • Spanish utility Endesa SA expects to add close to 2 GW of renewable energy generating capacity by 2021, bringing it to a total of 8.4 GW, according to a new presentation by the company. Wind and solar power will account for the entire 30%-plus increase in renewables over the period. [Renewables Now]

Spanish wind farm (petter palander, CC-BY-SA 2.0 Generic)

¶ “Bill Shorten Unveils $15 Billion Energy Plan to Help Tackle Climate ‘Disaster'” • Australia’s Labor Party leader Bill Shorten unveiled a $15 billion program to drive transforming Australia’s energy system to low-emissions sources, declaring climate change is no longer an emergency, “it’s a disaster.” He aims for 50% renewable electricity by 2030. [The Guardian]


¶ “Rugeley Coal Plant to Be Transformed into a Sustainable Village” • An old UK coal power station is set to be transformed into a “sustainable village” of 2,000 homes powered by solar panels. French firm Engie said it had decided against selling off the Rugeley site and would instead build super efficient houses on the 139-hectare site. [The Guardian]

Rugeley power plant (Photo: | Alamy)

¶ “National Grid to Pull Plug on £2.8 Billion Electricity Connection Project Following Moorside Demise” • Controversial plans for a £2.8 billion electricity connection along Cumbria’s coast,erecting 50-meter pylons through swathes of the Cumbrian countryside, are to be scrapped because of the demise of the Moorside nuclear power station project. [in-cumbria]

¶ “UK “Energy Revolution” Could Result in Two-Tier Economy” • A study by the Imperial College London and E4Tech showed that businesses and families in London and Scotland are better placed to take advantage of the so-called “energy revolution” underway in the UK, but residents of parts of England and the East Midlands lag behind. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm in Scotland


¶ “Puerto Rico Pledges to Go All-Renewable by 2050” • Puerto Rico has ambitious plans to transform its hurricane-battered electric grid to rely entirely on renewable energy by 2050. The move is part of a program to reduce the US territory’s carbon footprint and make it more climate resilient, according to Gov Ricardo Rosselló. [Scientific American]

¶ “Video Shows FERC Nominee Bernard McNamee’s Bias Against Renewables” • Bernard McNamee said he would be “fair, objective, and impartial” in written testimony to the Senate, as it considers his nomination to serve on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. But a newly resurfaced video confirms bias for fossil fuels. [pv magazine USA]

Sherco power plant (Tony Webster, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Juhl Energy, GE Build Solar-Wind Hybrid Project in Minnesota” • Juhl Energy, GE Renewable Energy and Bank of America are partnering for what they call the first commercial, integrated solar-wind hybrid power generation project in the US. The project will use one GE 2.0-116 wind turbine supported by 0.5 MW of solar PVs. [Solar Industry]

¶ “Keller: 100% Renewable Energy Goal in Sight” • Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller announced a plan that would move the city toward what he called 100% renewable, clean energy within four years. Part of the plan is to team with Public Service Company of New Mexico for a new solar generating station supporting city-owned facilities. [Albuquerque Journal]

One More Thing:

Bill McKibben

¶ “At the VECAN Conference, Keynote Speaker Bill McKibben Will Present ‘A Global Crisis: A State and Local Fight'” • Bill McKibben is an author and environmentalist who in 2014 was awarded the Right Livelihood Prize, sometimes called the ‘alternative Nobel.’ He is one of the world’s best known climate activists. [Green Energy Times]

Have an exceptionally fine day, and a happy Thanksgiving.

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November 21 Energy News

November 21, 2018


¶ “Swedish Mining Equipment Manufacturer Will Be 100% Electric in 5 Years” • After its first generation electric mining vehicles logged 60,000 hours, Swedish mining equipment manufacturer Epiroc launched its second generation. It said it will electrify its entire lineup in the next 5 years, including some of the planet’s largest EVs. [CleanTechnica]

Epiroc mining equipment

¶ “Google Invests $700 Million in Danish Data Center, Secures Green Energy” • Google will invest almost $700 million in a Danish data center powered by the abundant green energy of the Nordic region. Google said it would sign a power purchase agreement for the new Danish data center to ensure it is powered by renewable energy. [Reuters]

¶ “E.ON To Build One of Europe’s Biggest Onshore Wind Farms in Sweden” • German energy company E.ON announced that it is set to build one of the largest onshore wind farms in Europe, the 475-MW Nysäter project in Sweden. German wind turbine manufacturer Nordex will supply 114 wind turbines, each of 3.9 MW to 4.4 MW. [CleanTechnica]

Swedish wind farm

¶ “Blue Shark Takes to African Tide” • French outfit Blue Shark Power System sealed a deal to provide 495 240-kW tidal turbines with a total capacity of 120 MW for projects in Djibouti. The company is carrying out preliminary studies and will test a turbine in a river in Djibouti next year. The first delivery of 80 turbines is planned for 2020. [reNEWS]

¶ “Clean Power ‘Engine’ Driving Enel Growth” • Enel is planning to add 11.6 GW of new renewables capacity between 2019 and 2021, as clean power becomes the Italian company’s “engine for industrial growth.” Enel plans to invest about €10.6 billion, to see renewables account for 62% of the its output by 2021, up from 48% in 2018. [reNEWS]

Wind farm in France (Enel image)

¶ “Renewables Made Up 48% of Welsh energy Use in 2017” • Almost half of Wales’ electricity last year came from renewable sources, a report said. The equivalent of 48% of the electricity used in 2017 came from renewable sources, up 5% from 2016. The Welsh Government has a goal to get 70% of its electricity from renewables by 2030. [BBC News]

¶ “Islands Ditching Diesel in Favor of Renewables” • Residents on two of Scotland’s remotest islands are celebrating securing a sustainable, 24-hour electricity supply, after years of living with diesel generators that shut down every night. The 55 inhabitants of Fair Isle and 15 on Canna are running on wind, solar, and energy storage. [pv magazine International]

PV system on the Scottish isle of Canna (Image: Wind & Sun)

¶ “EU Parliament Approves New Rules to Meet 2030 Renewable Energy Target” • The European Parliament signed off on new renewables and energy efficiency regulations, including the approval of a renewable energy target of at least 32% for 2030. The renewables target would be binding throughout the European Union. [AltEnergyMag]

¶ “Closure Urged After 350 cracks Found in Nuclear Reactor” • More than 350 cracks have been discovered in an ageing nuclear power reactor at Hunterston in North Ayrshire, breaching an agreed safety limit and prompting calls for a permanent shutdown. Experts have warned that the cracks could lead to a “catastrophic accident.” [The Ferret]

Hunterston (Photo: Thomas Nugent)


¶ “New Governors May Bring Gigawatts of Renewable Additions Across America” • Democrats took seven governorships from Republicans. The results of those elections may open a path for higher renewable portfolio standards and gigawatts of solar and wind deployments, analysis from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables says. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Zinke Rips ‘Radical Environmental Groups’ over California Fires” • Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke put blame on “radical environmental groups” for the spreading California wildfires. He criticized “lawsuit after lawsuit by, yes, the radical environmental groups that would rather burn down the entire forest than cut a single tree or thin the forest.” [CNN]

California wildfire destruction

¶ “Boring Company Has a Breakthrough – Literally!” • On November 16, Elon Musk tweeted a video of the boring machine breaking through to the first station in a planned network of tunnels under Los Angeles. It is in a residential parking garage. The Boring Company plans to build a series of tunnels under Los Angeles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Goldman Shines for Engie in the US” • An investment by the Goldman Sachs’ Alternative Energy Investing Group will enable deployment of up to 75 MW of distributed solar-plus-battery systems across multiple US states. The deal also gives Engie a simplified way to raise long-term capital for future development of its US portfolio. [reNEWS]

Solar farm

¶ “Environmental Group Sues NorthWestern Energy, Regulators over Renewables” • A Montana environmental group is suing the state’s Public Service Commission and its largest utility company, claiming the PSC illegally gave NorthWestern Energy a pass on buying enough energy from Community Renewable Energy Projects. [MTPR]

¶ “Nuclear Subsidy Program Given Green Light by BPU” • The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities approved a Zero Emission Credit program for nuclear power plants that will close within three years without financial help. It also approved an application process for nuclear plant owners and immediately opened the application window. [Press of Atlantic City]

Have a mind-bogglingly delightful day.

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November 20 Energy News

November 20, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “Palm Oil Was Supposed to Help Save the Planet. Instead It Unleashed a Catastrophe.” • The tropical rain forests of Indonesia have large amounts of carbon trapped within their trees and soil. However, slashing and burning the existing forests to make way for oil-palm cultivation had a perverse effect: It released more carbon. [New York Times]

Remains of an Indonesian rain forest cleared for palm oil
(Photo: Ashley Gilbertson for The New York Times)

¶ “Penn State Research Could Double The Life of Lithium-Ion Batteries” • One of the persistent issues that bedevils lithium-ion battery cells is growth of dendrites, unwanted hairlike formations within the cells. Researchers at Penn State University say they may have found a solution, and it could double the lives of the batteries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Landscape of the US Could Be Part of Its Climate Solution” • This year, as storms battered the East and fires engulfed the West, the specter of climate change has grown impossible to ignore. Keeping it at bay will require a swift transition away from fossil fuels. But part of the solution also lies in the ground beneath our feet. [Los Angeles Times]

US farm land (Brian Maffly | Salt Lake Tribune)


¶ “Wind, Solar Are Now the Cheapest Sources of Power Generation” • Thanks to falling costs, unsubsidized onshore wind and solar have become the cheapest sources of electricity generation in nearly all major economies in the world, including India and China, according to a new report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. []

¶ “Importing Gas to Replace Domestic Supply Could Push Emissions Up 20%, AGL says” • Controversial plans would import liquefied natural gas into Australia to fill a shortfall as domestic gas is exported to Asia. AGL, which is proposing building import terminals, conceded that the plan would significantly increase greenhouse gas emissions. [The Guardian]

LNG tanker (Photo: Bloomberg | Bloomberg via Getty Images)

¶ “Solar Triumphs in Berlin Clean Power Sale” • Solar energy projects have secured all the 201 MW of capacity on offer in Germany’s second combined onshore wind and PV tender. Winners were 36 solar projects with an average support price of €0.0527/kWh (6.02¢/kWh). Successful prices ranged upward from a low of €0.0465/kWh. [reNEWS]

¶ “Australia Accredits 3 GW Under Renewables Target in 10 Months” • Large-scale capacity accreditations under Australia’s Renewable Energy Target topped 3 GW in the first 10 months of 2018, the Clean Energy Regulator said. Australia is well on the way to treble RET capacity accreditations this year from the 2017 record of 1.09 GW. [Renewables Now]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Corporates Make EU PPA Plea” • Microsoft, Google, and other major corporations are calling on European governments to remove barriers for them to invest in renewable energy. Around 100 organisations called for improving investment conditions by removing regulatory and administrative restrictions on corporate clean power sourcing. [reNEWS]

¶ “France to Cut Nuclear Energy Reliance by 2035 – Minister” • France aims to reduce the share of electricity produced by nuclear reactors to 50% from 75% now by 2035, its Environment Minister said. The French government has long outlined plans to shrink the country’s reliance on nuclear energy to 50%, but had not set a date. []

Fessenheim nuclear plant ( Florival fr, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “Exelon Opposes Trump Mercury Rule Rollback” • After the Trump administration proposed a plan to roll back a rule limiting the amount of mercury coal generating stations can release into the environment, Exelon, one of the country’s largest electricity generators, sent representatives to meet with EPA officials in opposition of the plan. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “StorEn’s Vanadium Flow Battery Has Arrived at Stony Brook University” • A prototype StorEn Technologies vanadium flow battery will undergo extensive independent validation at the Advanced Energy Research & Technology Center at Stony Brook University in New York. StorEn raised funds through equity crowdfunding. [CleanTechnica]

StorEn’s vanadium flow battery

¶ “California Utility Proposes Subscription Model for Commercial EV Charging” • PG&E proposed a new set of rate plans to the California Public Utilities Commission that would offer a new subscription model for commercial electric vehicle charging. The new plans would offer tiered subscription pricing for charging for commercial EVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Minnesota is on Track to Meet its Renewable Energy Goals” • Minnesota is on its way to hitting its renewable energy goals, at no extra cost to taxpayers. A study by MN Solar Pathways predicts that Minnesota will be able to produce 70% of its power from solar and wind by 2050 at costs comparable to natural gas generation. [Scientific American]


¶ “Eleven Renewable Energy Suitors for Rhode Island” • Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo’s goal of 1 GW of renewables by the end of 2020 has taken a 400 MW step. The state’s 400 MW Request for Proposals received a total of 41 project bids from eleven developers. The projects were cumulatively 2.5 GW of capacity. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “Report: Outdated Electricity Market Rules Prevent Full Renewable Energy Participation” • Record low costs and consumer demand are driving growth in American wind and solar energy, but outdated wholesale market rules are preventing the two technologies from further reducing prices for consumers, a report says. [AltEnergyMag]

Have an enchantingly lovely day.

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