Archive for the 'renewable power' Category

June 20 Energy News

June 20, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “The 10-GW Solar Vision That Could Turn Northern Territory Into Economic Powerhouse” • Australia’s Northern Territory has a multi-billion dollar opportunity to invest heavily in renewable energy, create a new industry exporting hydrogen, and produce thousands of jobs, rather than following the controversial path of fracking vast reserves of gas. [RenewEconomy]

Uluru or Ayers Rock (Ekistica image)

¶ “Trump Administration Weakens Climate Plan To Help Coal Plants Stay Open” • President Trump has thrown his latest lifeline to the ailing coal industry. The EPA released the final version of its Affordable Clean Energy rule. It’s supported by the coal industry, but it is not clear that it will be enough to stop coal-fired power plants from closing. [NPR]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Himalayan Glaciers Are Melting Twice As Fast As Last Century” • Climate change is eating away Himalayan glaciers at a dramatic rate, a study revealed. Spanning 2,000 kilometers and harboring some 600 billion tons of ice, Himalayan glaciers supply around 800 million people with water for irrigation, hydropower and drinking. [CNN]

Himalayan mountain (Neville Gillett)

¶ “Tesla At Least 4 To 5 Years Ahead Of Competition, According To German Auto Industry Expert” • In a review of the Tesla Model 3, Die Welt, a German newspaper, quotes auto industry expert Prof Ferdinand Dudenhöffer as saying, “The technical lead is easily four to five years. Range and driving pleasure are unmatched.” [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “India’s Sixth Biggest City Is Almost Entirely Out Of Water” • The floor of the Chembarambakkam reservoir is cracked open, dry and sun-baked. About 25 km (15.5 miles) away, in Chennai, India’s sixth largest city, millions of people are running out of water. All four of the reservoirs that are used to supplied Chennai are nearly dry. [CNN]

Reservoir measuring tower (Arun Sankar | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “India Issues 1 GW Solar Tender With Domestic Content Restrictions” • India’s largest power generation company, the government-owned NTPC Limited, issued a tender for 1 GW of solar PV capacity. Project developers are required to use only Indian-made solar cells and modules for the projects but may choose sited for the projects. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Xpeng Motors Rolls Off 10,000 Units Of Its Smart G3 EV” • Xpeng Motors continues its steady progress by completing another production milestone. It made the 10,000th unit of its G3 smart EV, just 188 days into its official launch, clenching the title of most EV sales from a new EV manufacturer/startup in China. [CleanTechnica]

Xpeng Motors – 10,000th car

¶ “Australia’s Biggest Manganese Metals Project May Go 90% Renewables” • The developers of what is expected to be Australia’s biggest manganese metals project are looking to source up to 90% renewables for the electricity supply of its operations. They believe it could achieve price parity with Chinese suppliers if it does. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Brussels Approves Italian Renewable Initiative” • A €5.4-billion Italian renewable energy initiative is permissible under the EU’s rules on state subsidies, the European Commission has ruled. Italy’s proposed aid scheme is set to run until 2021 and will extend financial support to renewable sources, including wind, solar and hydropower. [Energy Reporters]

The Dolomites (Wikipedia)

¶ “Norway Just Triggered An Offshore Wind Energy Boom” • Norway proposes to open two new areas in the North Sea with the potential to hold installed capacity of 3.5 GW of offshore windpower. Western Europe’s largest oil producer aims to use its offshore oil and gas expertise to boost the wind power exports of Norwegian companies. [OilPrice.com]

US:

¶ “EPA Rolls Back Obama-Era Plan Limiting Coal-Fired Power Plant Emissions” • The EPA said states can set their own carbon emissions standards for coal-fired power plants. The change is one that the agency itself says could result in 1,400 more premature deaths each year by 2030 than the Obama-era plan it will replace. [CNN]

Coal-fired power plant (George Frey | Getty Images)

¶ “Maine On The Cusp Of A Clean Energy Future” • The list of states committing to power themselves with 100% clean energy could soon include the Pine Tree State. In a bipartisan vote, the Maine Legislature overwhelmingly passed a bill that would increase the state’s renewable energy standard to 80% by 2030, and 100% by 2050. [Environment America]

¶ “Trump UN Pick Kelly Craft Breaks With White House On Climate Change” • President Donald Trump’s nominee for ambassador to the UN differs with him on climate change, saying it “poses real risks.” At her confirmation hearing, Kelly Craft told lawmakers she would “be an advocate for all countries to do their part in addressing climate change.” [BBC]

 

Kelly Craft (US Embassy Canada)

¶ “After Pilgrim Shutdown, New England Progresses On Renewable Electricity” • With Entergy pulling the plug on the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the New England region loses a significant electricity supplier. But several projects are to come online in coming years to offset Pilgrim’s closure. [West Hartford News]

¶ “Pennsylvania Governor Wants To Tie Nuclear Bailout To Joining RGGI” • Democratic Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf asked Republican lawmakers to authorize the state to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative as part of a nuclear bailout deal, according to reports from local media and analysts. The governor’s office did not comment. [Investing.com]

Have an astonishingly fortuitous day.

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If it’s not Sustainable, its Condition is Terminal.

June 20, 2019

Over 7 Years, 2,575 regular daily posts, 33,007 articles

§ The most recent reported status of US nuclear power plants can be found at the US Nuclear Power Report, a distressingly dull account of NRC news, posted on non-holiday weekdays and Saturdays. As of June 20, out of 98 US-licensed power reactors (including Pilgrim, which is now permanently closed), 7 were at reduced output and 2 not operating.

§ Video: Energy Week #322, 06-13-2019: The US energy storage market is up 232% in the first quarter, from last year. GE lost almost $200 billion betting on fossil fuels. The Trump administration blocked testimony of a witness going before the congress. German states are not waiting for grid expansion to roll out new renewables. “We all owe Al Gore an apology.” And there is more.

June 19 Energy News

June 19, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Renewables Are Winning The Economics Battle Against New Coal And Gas, Stunning Study Shows” • Bloomberg New Energy Finance reported that renewables are now the cheapest form of new electricity generation across two thirds of the world. Five years ago, they were cheapest in only 1% of the world, according to BNEF. [ThinkProgress]

Solar panels and wind turbines in Palm Springs (Getty Images)

¶ “Extreme Temperatures Are Melting The Arctic” • If you live in the US or Canada, you may have noticed cool weather lately. Climate scientists say that this is because the mass of cold air usually over the Arctic has been displaced southward by warm that is as much as 40°F higher than normal. There is a cause of this, but the effects are just starting. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Photo Of Sled Dogs Walking Through Water Shows Reality Of Greenland’s Melting Ice Sheet” • A photo of sled dogs ankle deep in a wide expanse of light blue water may be destined to join pictures of starving polar bears, shrunken glaciers, stranded walruses, and lakes turned bone dry in the images evidence of our ongoing climate catastrophe. [CNN]

Sled dogs in northwestern Greenland
(Steffen M Olsen, Denmark Meterorology)

¶ “Boaty McBoatface Makes Significant Climate Change Discovery On First Mission” • The British unmanned research submarine Boaty McBoatface has made an impressive debut in the scientific arena, discovering a significant link between Antarctic winds and rising sea temperatures on its 180 km (112 mile) maiden voyage. [CNN]

¶ “The Poisons Released By Melting Arctic Ice” • In a rapidly warming Arctic, the permafrost is thawing out and revealing its hidden secrets. Alongside Pleistocene fossils in land and soil that has been permanently frozen up to now, however, there are massive carbon and methane emissions, toxic mercury, and ancient diseases. [BBC]

Arctic “mega slump” (Credit: Sue Natali)

World:

¶ “Renewable Energy Investment In 2018 Hit $288.9 Billion” • According to data from BloombergNEF, global investment in renewable energy hit $288.9 billion in 2018. The amount is down by 11% from the previous year, partly due to falling technology costs in solar PVs. Investment in new capacity fired by coal or gas was $95 billion. [Modern Diplomacy]

¶ “Canada Approves $5.5 Billion Oil Pipeline Project” • Canada approved the Trans Mountain expansion project after a federal court sent it back for review last summer. PM Justin Trudeau’s federal Liberals had taken the rare step last year of buying the pipeline for C$4.5 billion ($3.4 billion, £2.6 billion) to help ensure the project’s survival. [BBC]

Trans Mountain project construction site (Reuters)

¶ “India Auctions 1.2 GW Of Solar PVs At 3.66¢/kWh” • The Solar Energy Corporation of India issued the fourth national-level solar PV tender last February, and the technical bidding phase was completed in May. Media reports said that bids came in for 1.9 GW, with the lowest bid at ₹2.54/kWh (3.64¢/kWh). The cap was ₹2.65/kWh (3.80¢/kWh). [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Greece Named Among Top 10 Countries Producing Renewable Energy” • Greece has been recognized as one of ten countries in the world that are producing over 20% of their total electric energy from solar and wind power, according to the Renewables 2019 Global Status Report, which was released this week. [Neos Kosmos]

Wind farm on Panachaiko mountain (Wikipedia)

¶ “South Korea Fires Up On Renewables, To Close More Coal Plants” • In South Korea, coal-fired generation has been the bedrock of the country’s electricity supply. The country is the world’s fourth-biggest coal importer, but it is expected to accelerate targets for green energy in an updated 15-year energy plan later this year. [ETEnergyworld.com]

US:

¶ “The US Solar Power Is Booming This Year Despite Trump’s Tariffs” • A report from the Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables found that the first quarter of 2019 was the strongest in the US solar industry’s history, with 2.7 GW of solar capacity added to the grid. The growth is expected to continue. [Gizmodo]

Solar PVs (Getty Images)

¶ “Power Company Agrees To Pay $1 Billion For Damage” • Pacific Gas & Electric Corp has agreed to pay $1 billion (£800 million, €893 million) to fourteen different local California authorities for wildfire damage blamed on the company. The claims stem from the 2015 Butte Fire, the 2017 North Bay Fires and the 2018 Camp Fire. [BBC]

¶ “Porsche Predicts Plug-In Paradise In Perpetuity” • In an op-ed published by USA Today, Klaus Zellmer, CEO of Porsche Cars North America, predicted that cars with tailpipes would soon be a thing of the past. He believes we are about to hit a turning point, with more Americans experiencing the instant power and sporty handling of EVs. [CleanTechnica]

Porsche Taycan charging

¶ “New York Set To Adopt Aggressive Emission Reduction Goals” • New York would adopt the nation’s most aggressive emission reduction goals under a proposal endorsed by the state Senate. New York would generate 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2040 and reduce or offset all of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. [MyTwinTiers.com]

¶ “Decades Later, Maine Yankee Plant Stuck With Spent Nuclear Fuel As Feds Pick Up $10 Million Tab” • At a cost to the taxpayers of $10 million a year, the owners of the shuttered Maine Yankee nuclear power plant pay armed guards to watch 60 cement and steel canisters loaded with spent nuclear fuel, each weighing 150 tons. [The Journal News | LoHud.com]

Have an especially lovely day.

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June 18 Energy News

June 18, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “They Want To Create Floating Islands To Convert Sunlight Into Energy” • Researchers in Switzerland and Norway are trying to recycle carbon dioxide to make fuel. In a study published this month, the group proposes to use marine-based floating islands of solar cells to make hydrogen, extract CO₂ from sea water, and react them to make methanol. [CNN]

Solar system on water (Kevin Frayer | Getty Images)

¶ “Flesh-Eating Bacteria In New Jersey Reveal One Possible Effect Of Climate Change, Study Says” • In the past two years, five cases of Vibrio vulnificus, a flesh-eating bacterial infection, have been tied to Delaware Bay. Water temperatures have been rising there in recent years, making favorable conditions for the bacteria, according to a study. [CNN]

¶ “Atlantic Ocean ‘Running Out Of Breath'” • A huge research program has been launched to assess the health of the Atlantic Ocean. The iAtlantic project is the biggest ever mounted in the planet’s second largest ocean. The international program has more than 30 partners and is funded by the EU. Edinburgh University will co-ordinate it. [BBC]

Remotely-operated underwater vehicle (Sid Frisby)

World:

¶ “Norway Updates: Subaru, Mazda, And Ford Sales Plummet, Hydrogen Car Sales Frozen, Tesla Sales Jump” • In Norway, Subaru sales are down 66% in 2019, Mazda sales are down 45% in the last three years, and Ford sales are down 50% over the last ten years. Automakers and dealers slow to electrify are suffering, as Teslas and other EVs sell. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Beijing Opens New Bicycle Expressway” • Beijing opened a bicycle expressway connecting the residential neighborhoods of Huilongguan in Changping District with the rapidly developing high tech industrial zone in the Haidian district just 6.5 km away, according to China Plus. It cuts a commute taking 90 minutes to one of 25 minutes. [CleanTechnica]

Beijing bicycle expressway

¶ “Climeworks Starts Paid Carbon Dioxide Removal” • A Swiss company, Climeworks, is now allowing anyone in the world to turn their travel emissions into stone. Climeworks is taking CO₂ from the atmosphere and sequestering it in stone. They also sell it to industries that use it. These include carbonated beverages, greenhouses, and chemicals. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Sales Of Nissan e-NV200 Electric Vans Up 200% In UK” • For lots of business owners in the UK, the reduced costs to run the Nissan e-NV200 make it the perfect vehicle for their needs. Sales of the small delivery van, which is based on LEAF architecture, are up 200% year on year in the UK, according to a Nissan press release. [CleanTechnica]

Nissan e-NV200 (Nissan image)

¶ “Statkraft Forges UK Storage Links” • Norwegian utility Statkraft is partnering with battery developer Statera Energy to deliver 1 GW of flexible power supply. Under the 15-year strategic partnership, Statera will provide 50 MWh of storage capacity for a UK facility. High efficiency gas reciprocating engines will also be added. [reNEWS]

¶ “German PV Crew Delivers Egyptian Hat-Trick” • German developer Ib Vogt started commercial operations at three solar farms with a combined capacity of over 166 MW at the Benban complex in Egypt. The projects are the MMID 30, Phoenix 50, and BSEP 50. They were awarded under the second round of Egypt’s feed-in tariff program. [reNEWS]

Solar array (Ib Vogt image)

¶ “Ireland Commits To 70% Renewables With New Action Plan” • The Irish government released the country’s Climate Action Plan for 2019. It calls for a 70% renewables share in the total power mix by 2030. It almost triples the current 4.5 GW renewables capacity goal for 2030 as it calls for the installation of 13.2 GW of renewable capacity. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Erratic Policy ‘Stymying’ Renewables Growth” • Erratic policy is holding back renewable energy from its potential for cutting carbon emissions and meeting climate and development targets, according to a report by REN21. The report also said more clean power capacity was installed than fossil fuel and nuclear power combined for the fourth year in a row. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Pixabay image)

¶ “Synthetic Fuels: Supporting Wärtsilä’s Vision Of A 100% Renewable Energy Future” • As Wärtsilä continues to pursue a 100% renewable energy future, one emerging technology that looks set to play a major part in the process is synthetic fuel production, which generates synthetic fuel from excess CO₂ emissions. [Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide]

US:

¶ “Sunrun Brings Brightbox To New Jersey, Expands In New York State” • Sunrun, the leading home solar and battery provider in the US, announced that it was expanding its offerings in two key markets. The company is bringing its Brightbox home solar and battery service to residents of New Jersey, and it is expanding its offerings in New York state. [CleanTechnica]

Sunrun Brightbox installation (Sunrun image)

¶ “Boulder-Based Scout Energy Developing 200-MW Wind Farm In Minnesota” • A renewable energy developer based in Boulder, Colorado, plans to construct a 200-MW wind farm in Minnesota in 2021. At a cost of about $220 million, the Three Waters Wind Farm will have 71 turbines of 2.82 MW each, spread over 45,000 acres. [Boulder Daily Camera]

¶ “After 12 Years, The Oregon House Passes Controversial Carbon-Reduction Bill” • After more than six hours of debate, the Oregon House passed House Bill 2020, a long-awaited effort to meet the state’s carbon emission reduction goals. The bill is called “Clean Energy Jobs Bill” to emphasize the new green energy jobs it may create. [Willamette Week]

Have a thoroughly awesome day.

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June 17 Energy News

June 17, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “EU Leaders Face Pressure To Deliver On Climate Change” • By keeping global warming in the public eye, protests helped Green parties in last month’s European elections. They won 74 seats in the European Parliament, up from 52 seats. Their surge, and the boost for liberal parties in the center, will change EU political dynamics. [BBC]

Climate rally in Paris (Getty Images)

¶ “Want To Fight Big Oil, Pollution, And Corrupt Pollution-Pushing Politicians? Do This One Thing” • The US government is unlikely to do anything significant to weaken and shrink the oil and gas industry, but you can. You can easily pull thousands of gallons of oil off the market by switching to an electric car and slam the oil industry as you do. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Indian Farmers Are Using The Sun To Help Water Their Crops” • Khethworks is trying to fix the problem of drought and heat in India by harnessing one of the causes. The company has developed a solar-powered irrigation system that allows farmers to water their crops without depending on seasonal rains or expensive fuel. [CNN]

Paddy in India (Meena Kadri, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “Honda e Electric Car Details Emerge – 31,000 People Say They Want One” • The Honda e four-passenger urban electric car is scheduled to go on sale in early 2020, with full-production-spec versions to be on display at the Frankfurt auto show in September. Honda says it has already received more than 31,000 “expressions of interest.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Kenya Slowly Warms to Solar As Two New Solar Projects Launch” • In November 2018, Kenya commissioned its first commercial-scale solar power plant, the 54.6-MW Garissa Solar Power Plant, which will supply about 2% of Kenya’s electricity. Its success led to a 40-MW project in Eldoret and a 50 MW project in Nandi County. [CleanTechnica]

Kenya’s first grid connected solar roof (Strathmore University)

¶ “Investors Remain Ready To Back Renewable Projects, Survey Finds” • Sydney-based MinterEllison released a wide-ranging international survey that found that renewable energy investors stand ready to increase their activities over the next two years. Australian renewable projects are attractive, especially with US investors. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Wins Formosa 2 Supply Deal” • Siemens Gamesa secured a conditional order to supply turbines for the 376-MW Formosa 2 offshore wind farm off Taiwan, a Macquarie and Swancor Renewables project. The German-Spanish turbine maker will delivery 47 8.0-167 machines for the project, which will enter construction in 2020. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “South Australia’s Stunning Aim To Be ‘Net’ 100% Renewables By 2030” • The South Australia Liberal government says it expects the state will achieve “net” 100% renewables by 2030. This contrasts with the conservative Liberal Party at the federal level, where the prevailing view is that renewables will kill the economy. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Hydrogen To Drive The Future Of Energy” • Dubai broke ground for what is expected to become the first solar-driven hydrogen electrolysis facility in the Middle East and North Africa. Research has found that hydrogen produced from renewables will become a fuel that can be stored and used for a wide variety of purposes. [Utilities Middle East]

Siemens hydrogen electrolysis unit

¶ “Major Companies Call For Ambitious 2030 Renewable Electricity Targets” • Twenty major companies called on the Japanese government to set an ambitious target of sourcing at least 50% of its electricity from renewables by 2030, more than double its current ambition. Among the companies were Sony, AEON, and Fujitsu. [Mirage News]

¶ “EU Needs More Wind And Solar Power” • A report by the European Court of Auditors says that although both wind and solar power have recorded strong growth since 2005, there has been a slowdown since 2014. It recommends that the European Commission take steps to encourage support for deployment of both technologies. [The Scottish Farmer]

Wind turbines in Germany

¶ “Chiefs Oppose Small Reactors On First Nations Territory” • Chiefs of the Anishinabek Nation, representing 40 Indigenous communities across Ontario, unanimously endorsed a grand council resolution stating their objection to the construction, operation, storage or disposal of small modular nuclear reactors anywhere on their lands. [The Sudbury Star]

US:

¶ “Co-op Elections Show Strengthening Interest In Electrical Transition” • Across mountain valleys of Colorado, from La Plata Electric in the Durango-Pagosa Springs area to Yampa Valley Electric, the co-op that serves the Steamboat Springs-Craig areas, elections of electrical co-op board members have had many real contests this year. [Mountain Town News]

San Luis Valley solar farm (Allen Best)

¶ “New Project To Power 100% Of Arkansas County’s Operations” • Continuing a string of solar project announcements, Scenic Hill Solar of North Little Rock has partnered with Ouachita County, Arkansas, and the city of Camden, the county seat, to provide enough sun energy to power 100% of municipal and county operations. [US News & World Report]

¶ “UC Solar Projects Create Lower Costs, Renewable Energy” • Three big University of California Solar projects are poised to be the next big breakthroughs in low-cost, accessible sustainable commercial and residential energy in California and far beyond. One technology being tested conducts heat away from the solar PV panels. [Merced County Times]

Have an immensely satisfying day.

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June 16 Energy News

June 16, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Renewable Energy Is Now The Cheapest Option – Even Without Subsidies” • New data from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) demonstrate that using renewable energy is increasingly cost-effective compared to other sources, even when it must compete with the heavily-subsidized fossil fuel industry. [Forbes]

Wind farm (Associated Press)

¶ “When Will Renewable Energy Prices Stop Dropping?” • Renewable energy prices have just kept falling for years, and some people wonder when they will stop. Their understanding is that prices are rather unpredictable. In some important ways, they are wrong. To a surprising degree, the price declines are predictable. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Curtailment Is The Easy Answer” • A recent article found that curtailment of renewables may be cheaper than grid scale energy storage. Sometimes, the simplest solution is the best solution. But with the complexity of electrical grids, we should look at all available solutions to make sure we are making the best choice for each application. [CleanTechnica]

Block Island wind farm

¶ “Tesla Now Offers Used Model 3’s – Should You Buy One?” • Maybe the management class in college is where the author learned to be able to argue any side of any issue. Or maybe it was politics. Regardless, a used Model 3 is either a great deal or a bad one. Both cases are presented, as either could be true, depending on your situation. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Memories Of Chernobyl As Acclaimed HBO Series Puts Disaster Back In Focus” • The Chernobyl nuclear disaster has been in the headlines since May, thanks to a television series made by US network HBO. Euronews journalists from Ukraine, Russia, Germany, Poland, Turkey, Iran and Hungary share their memories of the time. [Euronews English]

Abandoned amusement park (Gleb Garanich | Reuters)

World:

¶ “French EV Sales Up 34% In May 2019” • The French plug-in electric vehicle market scored 4,051 registrations in May, up 34% year over year, with fully electric cars (+36%) growing faster than plug-in hybrids (30%). All-electric cars represented 71% of all plug-in sales. This growth is happening as the overall automotive market is stagnating. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Global Heating To Inflict More Droughts On Africa As Well As Floods” • Global heating could bring many more bouts of both severe drought and increased flooding to Africa than previously had been forecast, scientists of the UK’s Met Office have warned. Alternating drought and flooding  could cripple agriculture in the continent. [The Guardian]

Flooding in Africa (Andrew Kasuku | AFP)

¶ “Volkswagen Will Invest €900 Million In Northvolt” • Swedish battery manufacturer Northvolt and Volkswagen have agreed to a new joint venture. Volkswagen will invest €900 million. For that amount, it will own a 20% stake in Northvolt and have one seat on its board of directors. Volkswagen is not alone in taking interest in Northvolt. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Mining Methane In Lake Kivu, Rwanda: An Unusual Source Of Renewable Energy” • KivuWatt, a 34-MW power plant in Rwanda, was devised to help reduce the risk of overpressure gas outbursts at Lake Kivu. Since then, the first-of-its-kind integrated methane gas extraction and production facility has become a critical local power producer. [CleanTechnica]

KivuWatt (Image via ContourGlobal)

¶ “G20 Environment And Energy Ministers Meet In Japan” • Environment and energy ministers from the G20 countries are meeting this weekend in the Japanese resort town of Karuizawa. The ministers will focus on energy security, low carbon energy sources, plastic waste, marine litter, and innovations going on in these areas. [Economic Times]

¶ “Tasmanian Wind Farm Plans Are Not All Hot Air, But How Will They Work?” • Tasmania is going into a new era of energy production, with millions of dollars worth of wind farms being constructed, and plans for billions of dollars of more projects in the pipeline. Renewable energy could make the state 95% self-sufficient by the year’s end. [ABC Local]

Winter at a Tasmanian wind farm (Goldwind Australia)

¶ “Bahrain Banking On Cheaper Renewable Energy” • The global weighted average cost of electricity from concentrated solar power declined by 26% last year, according to an IRENA report. Bahrain is banking on a downward renewable energy cost trend encouraging more people to adopt alternative power solutions in their homes. [ZAWYA]

US:

¶ “EPA Air Chief Gave Presentation At Fringe Climate Denier Event, New Emails Show” • A top EPA official gave a presentation last year at a gathering of some of the most zealous deniers of climate science, emails show. The event highlights the influence a small, fringe movement hawking crank theories now wields in Washington. [HuffPost]

Coal at work (The Washington Post Via Getty Images)

¶ “Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe Details Plans To Move Into Stationary Energy Storage” • Rivian Automotive, LLC is a specialist in sustainable transportation, designing and developing EVs. It has designed its batteries so that they can go from use in a vehicle to being used for stationary storage with no more alteration than flipping a switch. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “‘The Oceans Are Taking A Beating’: Seawater Temperatures On SLO’s Coast Keep Getting Higher” • Ocean temperatures are rising. Last year, buoys off southern California smashed their records. The Scripps Nearshore meters reached 81.3°, breaking the old record 80.4° set during the very strong El Niño event of 2015. [San Luis Obispo Tribune]

Have an exceptionally pleasing day.

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June 15 Energy News

June 15, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “A Digital Solution For Plastic Waste” • It was once a shoreline buried by enough trash to render it invisible, warranting the unfortunate nickname “toilet bowl.” Now the Philippines’ Manila Bay beach is unrecognizably clean compared with a few months ago, a transformation so sudden and extreme that it brought tears to the eyes of residents. [BBC]

Clean-up workers (Credit: Nathan Beer)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Greenland Lost Two Billion Tons Of Ice Yesterday, Which Is Very Unusual” • Over 40% of Greenland experienced melting yesterday, with total ice loss estimated to be more than 2 gigatons. It is highly unusual for that much ice to be lost in the middle of June, and 2019 could once again set records for the amount of Greenland ice loss. [CNN]

¶ “Acid Test For Hydrogen Versus Battery Electric Transport” • The world’s first hydrogen powered ferry boat has been under construction in San Francisco, and there is also a battery powered ferry in the works for New York City. It’s a classic west coast/east coast matchup, and to add a little extra spice the same investor group is behind both vessels. [CleanTechnica]

Hydrogen-powered electric ferry (Image: SW/TCH Maritime)

¶ “New IEA Report Focuses on Hydrogen Use” • According to a report from the International Energy Agency, hydrogen has a vast potential to become a critical part of a more sustainable and secure energy future for the world. The study includes analysis of hydrogen’s current state of play and offers guidance on its development. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

World:

¶ “Alberta Taxpayers Will Get Stuck With $400 Billion+ Oil & Gas Cleanup Bill” • Rob Wadsworth, vice-president of closure and liability for the Alberta Energy Regulator told oil and gas officials privately last September that the cleanup bill for oil and gas wells in Alberta will be over $260 billion. Taxpayers were kept in the dark, however. [CleanTechnica]

Alberta oil wells (Credit: Real News via YouTube)

¶ “EU Approves Italy’s Auction Scheme For Renewables” • A €5.4 billion Italian program is expected to spur new growth in both large scale PVs and rooftop systems. The first technology-neutral clean energy auctions in Italy, which will also provide incentives for projects linked to EV charging, may be held in the months ahead. [pv magazine International]

¶ “France Awards 516 MW Of Onshore Wind And Launches 480-MW Saint-Nazaire Offshore Wind Farm” • In its third onshore wind tender, France’s Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition awarded a total of 516 MW to 21 projects. It has also launched development of the 480-MW Saint-Nazaire offshore wind farm. [CleanTechnica]

Alstom wind energy project in France

¶ “Michael E Mann took climate change deniers to court. They apologized.” • In 2011, renowned scientist Michael E Mann sued a Canadian think tank that published an interview suggesting his work on climate change was fraud. Eight years later, the Frontier Center for Public Policy, which often promotes climate change denial, apologized. [Grist]

¶ “Pope Begs Climate Deniers To Listen To Science” • Pope Francis said that carbon pricing is “essential” to stem global warming. In an address to energy executives at a meeting, he also called for “open, transparent, science-based and standardized” reporting of climate risk and a “radical energy transition” away from carbon to save the planet. [The National]

Pope Francis at the two-day meeting (Reuters)

US:

¶ “NASA Pressured By Trump Official On Climate Change Stance, Emails Show” • Once a skeptic about climate change, Jim Bridenstine came around to the prevailing view of scientists before he took over as NASA administrator. That evolution did not sit well with a Trump environmental adviser, nor a think-tank analyst he was consulting, emails show. [NDTV]

¶ “84-Year Old Tesla Owner Perhaps First To Drive Electric Car To Arctic” • Many still believe electric cars are incapable of road trips due to a lack of EV charging infrastructure. An 84-year old Tesla owner proved the naysayers wrong when he became the first person to drive an electric car to the coastline of the Arctic Ocean. [CleanTechnica]

Seward Highway (Image: David Mark | Pixabay)

¶ “US Imposes Tariffs On Indian Solar Modules” • Expanding upon the trade policies enacted against other countries, the US administration recently announced the end of preferential trade treatment for India on account of its ‘developing country’ status. Indian solar module exports shall now attract a 25% safeguard duty. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Walmart Subscribing To 36 Community Solar Gardens” • Walmart has reached an agreement with the United States Solar Corp to subscribe to 36 of the latter’s community solar gardens in the state of Minnesota. The 1-MW community solar gardens will provide energy to Walmart locations in thirteen Minnesota counties. [Progressive Grocer]

US Solar community solar garden in Wrenshall, Minnesota

¶ “Allete Makes Oklahoma Power Play” • Allete Clean Energy is to supply Smithfield Foods with 75 MW of electricity for 12 years from the 300 MW Diamond Spring wind farm in Oklahoma. Construction on the wind farm will begin by early 2020. In 2016, Smithfield set a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2025. [reNEWS]

¶ “Congressman Hopes Taking DOE Out Of Yucca Process Will Bring Nevada To The Table” • The stalemate over building a national nuclear waste repository in Nevada could possibly be overcome if the DOE was no longer the lead federal agency on the project, experts and members of Congress suggested at a House hearing. [Nevada Independent]

Have an outstandingly pleasant day.

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June 14 Energy News

June 14, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Why Tesla’s Solar Roof Is A Bargain, 53% Of The Price Of A Roof + Electricity” • I priced a new roof for my house, so the numbers are not hypothetical but a comparison of bids and realistic projections of two scenarios over 25 years. The Tesla Solar Roof is 52.7% of the cost of installing a comparable roof and buying power from the utility. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla roof, car, and storage

¶ “As Trump Touts Ethanol, Scientists Question The Fuel’s Climate Claims” • President Trump pushed ethanol in Iowa to show support for farmers. But scientists are questioning the administration’s evidence, and the Government Accountability Office questions whether ethanol mandates deliver any emissions reductions at all. [InsideClimate News]

World:

¶ “Global Renewables Jobs ‘Hit 11 Million'” • The renewable energy industry employed 11 million people around the world last year, according to analysis by the International Renewable Energy Agency. IRENA said that 10.3 million people were employed in the sector in 2017, and the increase came in such key markets as China. [reNEWS]

Solar array (IRENA image)

¶ “Why Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund Is Ditching Fossil Fuels” • Norway is the largest oil producer in Western Europe, and its economy depends on the oil industry. The parliament instructed its sovereign wealth fund to divest fossil fuel holdings to limit the exposure of its public finances to a sector that is challenged by climate concerns. [The Local Norway]

¶ “UK To Be Left With Five Coal Power Stations After Latest Closure” • The UK’s race to increase renewable energy sources has intensified with the announcement of plans to close another coal-fired power station. The news of the plant closing came as last winter was revealed to be the greenest yet for the country’s energy system. [The Guardian]

Fiddler’s Ferry coal-fired power station (Photo: Alamy)

¶ “UK ‘Could Deploy 80 GW Of PV By 2030′” • The UK could install up to 80 GW of solar capacity by 2030, growing from the current 13 GW, a report said. Solarcentury, LUT University, and Energy Watch Group colaborated on the report, which said 80 GW would meet 20% of the country’s electricity demand and could create 200,000 ‘green’ jobs. [reNEWS]

¶ “Sendai Reactor To Stop Due To Delay In Anti-Terror Upgrade Work” • Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority decided to order power companies to suspend operations of their reactors unless anti-terror facilities are completed about a week before set deadlines. The deadline for the No 1 reactor at Sendai will be in March, 2020. [Asahi Shimbun]

Sendai plant (Kyushu Electric Co, Wikimedia Commons)

Australia:

¶ “Household Solar Surge Drives Down Power Sales” • The Australian Energy Market Operator said surging rooftop solar panel installations and improved efficiency will reduce the amount of power sold in South West for the first time since 2006. It predicts power sales will decrease an average 0.4% per year over the next decade. [The West Australian]

¶ “Western Australia power retailer Synergy forecast to lose $180 million over three years as dire finances revealed” • A Synergy spokeswoman admitted the utility’s profitability is threatened, citing a range of factors. Chief among them was the rapid uptake of rooftop solar power by households and businesses looking to reduce their power bills. [ABC Local]

Solar farm (Sarah Tallier | ABC News)

¶ “Australia’s Largest Solar And Battery Farm Opens In Kerang, Improves Energy Security” • Australia’s largest integrated battery and solar farm was officially opened in the north of Victoria. The 50-MW battery system just outside of Kerang stores 100% renewable energy and feeds directly into the state’s electricity grid. [ABC News]

US:

¶ “96% Of National Parks Negatively Impacted By Air Pollution” • The National Parks Conservation Association published a report that has a number of insights about the negative impacts of air pollution at US National Parks. One of these is, “96% of the 417 national parks assessed are plagued by significant air pollution problems.” [CleanTechnica]

Yosemite Valley

¶ “New Florida Law Just Legalized Driverless, Human-Less, Self-Driving Vehicles” • When will regulators approve self-driving vehicles? Well, in Florida, they already have. “More than a month after the Florida legislature passed a bill legalizing the use of autonomous vehicles, Gov Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law,” 10News reports. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Looking To Harness The Ocean Winds With British Help” • The federal government estimates that the coastal waters off of New Bedford, Massachusetts, are among the windiest in the nation. Some bad news is that the US doesn’t know much about building wind turbines, out in the ocean at least. But some good news is that the UK can help with that. [BBC]

Burbo Bank wind farm near New Brighton, UK (Reuters)

¶ “US Senate Introduces Offshore Wind Jobs And Opportunity Act” • A bipartisan senate bill is intended to grow offshore wind industry jobs. The Offshore Wind Jobs and Opportunity Act would create a system for federal grants to help institutions and businesses develop programs preparing workers for jobs in offshore wind. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “US Seeks Offshore Innovators” • The DOE’s National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium has issued a request for proposals to secure funding for research and development in several areas. One area is plant technology advancement, such as improving equipment and its efficiency. Another is developing better systems for installation and supply. [reNEWS]

Have a profoundly good day.

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June 13 Energy News

June 13, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Why networks think battery storage may be smarter choice than more poles and wires” • Transmission companies worldwide are increasingly considering energy storage to supplement a fundamental part of our electric power infrastructure: the poles and wires that carry high-voltage current from power plant to end-users. [RenewEconomy]

Energy storage

¶ “Confessions Of A Climate Activist: Don’t Blame Yourself, Go After The Criminals Who Sold Out Humanity For Profit” • Don’t blame yourself. Out of all the companies in the world, just one hundred have been responsible for 71% of the global emissions that cause global warming since 1998, according to the Carbon Majors Database. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Adani Mine: Australia Approves Controversial Coal Project” • Australia has given the final approval for construction to begin on a controversial coal mine to be built by Indian company Adani. The mine, in Queensland’s Galilee Basin, has been the subject of years of hold-ups over environmental approvals, but it has both state and federal approval. [BBC]

Coal export point (Getty Images)

¶ “India Invites Proposals For Gravity-Based Energy Storage Projects” • India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is looking beyond batteries to push energy storage in the grid balancing and support sector and for renewable energy. It has issued a document calling upon companies to submit proposals for gravity storage projects. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vietnam To See A Gigawatt Of Onshore Wind Installed By 2021” • The Global Wind Energy Council expects Vietnam to install 1 GW of onshore wind capacity by 2021, a move that could make the country a regional wind power leader. The Vietnamese government is said to be considering increasing a wind energy target to 6 GW by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

Wind project in Vietnam (Credit: TSV Investment)

¶ Onshore Wind Farms In UK Could Cut £50 A Year Off Energy Bills” • Government ministers face calls to lift a block on onshore wind farms to help meet the UK’s ambitious climate targets and reduce home energy bills. Some of Europe’s largest energy investors have urged ending an effective ban on new onshore wind farms in England. [The Guardian]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Storage Rocks In Hamburg” • Siemens Gamesa has started operating an electric thermal energy storage system in Hamburg, Germany, that uses about 1000 tonnes of volcanic rock as a storage medium. The pilot project was developed in partnership with Hamburg Energie and Hamburg University of Technology. [reNEWS]

Storage in stone (Image: Siemens Gamesa)

¶ “Renewable Energy Jobs Move South And East, As Industry Shifts To Middle Income Economies” • Currently 39% of all renewable energy jobs are in China. Other important jobs markets include Brazil, the US and the EU, but the most notable trend is the emergence of renewable energy industries in more corners of east and southeast Asia. [Forbes]

¶ “Japan Sets Carbon-Neutral Goal By 2050” • Japan’s cabinet has adopted an new energy policy, which is intended to bring the country to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. It aims to reduce reliance on nuclear energy while also tackling the “reduction of CO₂ emissions from thermal power generation” fired by fossil fuels like coal. [Japan Today]

Mount Fuji (AFP image)

US:

¶ “A Former EPA Chief Says The Trump Administration Is ‘Hamstringing Scientists'” • The Trump administration is “hamstringing scientists and their ability to do their work” to tackle climate change, according to Christine Todd Whitman. She was one of three Republican EPA chiefs who slammed Trump administration policies. [CNN]

¶ “Seven Top Takeaways From Tesla’s Shareholder Meeting” • At Tesla’s yearly shareholder meeting, Elon Musk delivered the company’s “state of the union” for 2019. A few takeaways include that Tesla will make vegan steering wheels and that Elon actually does have a submarine car (though he is not James Bond). But they are not in the top seven. [CleanTechnica]

Teslas (Photo: Megan Gale via Twitter)

¶ “New Jersey 100% Renewable Energy Plan: More Fiber, Less Fluff” • New Jersey has declared it will use only zero carbon energy by 2050. Lots of other states and many municipalities have announced similar goals. The difference, according to PV Magazine, is that New Jersey has an actual plan to make its 100% renewable energy goal a reality. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Up To $9,500 Incentive Offered For EVs Or Hybrid Vehicles In Bay Area” • The Clean Cars for All program is offering up to $9,500 for the purchase or lease of an EV or hybrid vehicle for Bay Area residents who qualify. The $9,500 option is available for certain residents who replace older vehicles (which are dismantled) with plug-in cars. [CleanTechnica]

Charging an EV (Screenshot)

¶ “Target Commits To 100% Renewable Electricity By 2030” • Target says it is taking a major step forward by committing to get 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. The goal applies to all of Target’s domestic operations. It will help power Target’s stores, distribution centers, and offices more sustainably and responsibly. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Renewable Energy Vermont Becomes First SEIA Affiliate In New England” • Solar Energy Industries Association announced that Renewable Energy Vermont is an official affiliate, its 15th state affiliate, and the first in New England, growing a network of organizations committed to advancing solar markets around the country. [Solar Power World]

Have a particularly sweet day.

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June 12 Energy News

June 12, 2019

Media:

¶ “Leonardo DiCaprio Spotlights Urgency Of Climate Crisis In New Film” • Leonardo DiCaprio is weighing in on climate change this week with a documentary he co-produced, “Ice on Fire.” It is a better-than-most film on the topic that gets beyond the dire warnings to contemplating what can actually be done to help turn the tide. [CNN]

Ice on Fire image (Courtesy of HBO)

¶ “Chernobyl Survivors Assess Fact And Fiction In TV Series” • Engineer Oleksiy Breus was a member of staff at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, and he was there on the morning of 26 April 1986. He knew and worked with people depicted in the HBO/Sky miniseries. Appraising it, he spoke about what was true and what was fiction. [BBC]

Science and Technology:

¶ “GE: Hydrogen Trumps CCS In Preserving Gas Turbines In A Carbon-Free Grid” • General Electric sees hydrogen as the key to natural gas’ participation in a 100% carbon-free electric grid, its chief marketing officer said. He said adding increasing amounts of hydrogen to the gas is a better solution than carbon capture and sequestration. [Utility Dive]

GE gas turbine (GE Power image)

World:

¶ “IEA Hails UK As Climate Leader” • The UK has made “major progress” in reducing its energy-related CO₂ emissions and introducing energy policies and reforms to promote sector decarbonization and clean energy technology, the International Energy Agency says. The IEA adds that the UK must now continue its global climate leadership. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “UK Government To Commit To 2050 Target” • Greenhouse gas emissions in the UK will be cut to almost zero by 2050, under the terms of a new government plan to tackle climate change. Prime Minister Theresa May said reducing pollution would also benefit public health and cut National Health Service costs. The UK is the first country to adopt the goal. [BBC]

Cleaning solar panels (Getty Images)

¶ “Taking A Cue From EU, Canada Plans To Ban Some Single Use Plastics” • Plastic trash used to be a problem with a simple solution: Ship it to China. That worked well until China stopped taking plastic waste. Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said his government is considering an alternative solution: Ban some single use plastics. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “China Stands Ready To Become Offshore Wind Powerhouse” • China’s offshore wind turbine manufacturers could grow to be some of the most dominant in the industry without ever having to succeed overseas, according to Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. China’s offshore wind market could add 40 GW of capacity over the next decade. [CleanTechnica]

Project in Jiangsu, China (Goldwind image)

¶ “Queensland Budget Delivers $250 Million To Kick-Start CleanCo” • The Queensland Government has delivered on its promise to allocate $250 million to CleanCo. The new publicly owned electricity generation and trading company has a mandate to build, own and operate new commercial renewable energy generation in Queensland. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Cheap Solar And Wind Can Re-Boot Australia’s Economic Advantage” • Australia’s abundant wind and solar resources will reduce costs for electricity up to 30%, lead to the electrification of much of transport, building and industrial use, and re-position Australia as major manufacturing center, now with low cost and low carbon power. [RenewEconomy]

AGL wind farms

US:

¶ “Climate Change Poses Major Risks To Financial Markets, US Regulator Warns” • A top financial regulator is opening a public effort to highlight the risk that climate change poses to the nation’s financial markets, setting up a clash with a president who has mocked global warming and whose administration continues to suppress climate science. [Forbes India]

¶ “America’s Oil Boom Will Break More Records This Year” • US oil production is on track to spike to a record 13.4 million barrels per day by the end of 2019, according to a report by research firm Rystad Energy. Texas alone is expected to top 5 million barrels per day in oil production, more than any OPEC member other than Saudi Arabia. [CNN]

Pump jacks (Nick Onford | Reuters)

¶ “Electrify America And ChargePoint Enter Into Roaming Agreement” • In a joint press release, Electrify America and ChargePoint announced that they entered into a roaming agreement that will allow the customers of each company to use the other’s charging equipment seamlessly, with no membership or payment hassles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Are Old Midwest Coal Plants Pushing Renewables Offline?” • State utility commissions in Minnesota and Missouri are looking at the way companies run older coal plants, even when those units aren’t the cheapest option. By doing so, they may be squeezing out lower-carbon resources and raising costs for consumers. [E&E News]

Transmission lines (Ian Muttoo | Flickr)

¶ “Utility-Scale Wind Becoming Top Renewable Energy Resource This Year, EIA Says” • The annual power production from wind energy will surpass hydropower and become the top US clean energy resource for the first time this year, the DOE’s Energy Information Administration forecast in an outlook it released. [Power Engineering Magazine]

¶ “Solar-Fueled Oversupplies Drive Record Renewable Energy Waste In California” • As California increases renewable energy use, its primary power grid is wasting more. In this year’s first five months, the state’s ISO curtailed about 37% more available renewable energy than it did in all of 2018, S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis said. [S&P Global Platts]

Have an amazingly cheerful day.

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June 11 Energy News

June 11, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Plant Extinction ‘Bad News For All Species'” • Almost 600 plant species have been lost from the wild in the last 250 years, according to a comprehensive study. The number is based on actual extinctions rather than estimates. Scientists say plant extinction is occurring up to 500 times faster than what would be expected naturally. [BBC]

Extinct St Helena Olive (Rebecca Cairn Wicks)

¶ “Trina Tests Half-Frame Solar Panels To Trim Cost By 2%” • Trina Solar is now field testing a half-frame solar panel for use with solar trackers. The company hopes to lower the cost per watt for solar by one cent or about 2% overall, according to Steven Zhu, the president of the company’s America Region, who was speaking in an interview. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Electric Cars And Renewable Energy Could Drive New Outback Mining Boom” • Electric cars and wind turbines could be pivotal to fueling the next outback mining boom. Elements such as lithium, for the batteries in EVs and grid storage, and dysprosium, for the magnets in wind turbines, are becoming the objects of new mining activity. [ABC News]

Lithium ore (Photo supplied by Tawana Resources)

¶ “In A First, Indian Developer Seeks Buyers For 1 GW Of Solar Power Through Auction” • India’s largest power generation company, NTPC Limited, has issued a tender inviting consumers to purchase solar power. This is a first, as to date only consumers or their representatives have issued tenders inviting developers to set up projects. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Costa Rica’s Renewables Produce 99.99% Of Power In May” • Costa Rica obtained 99.99% of its electricity from renewable sources in May, according to the country’s power utility Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad.  Five renewable sources were responsible for the production of 984.02 GWh. Other producers provided 0.17 GWh. [Renewables Now]

Wind farm in Costa Rica (Christian Haugen, CC BY 2.0 Generic)

¶ “MP Power Management Invites Bids For 500 MW Of Grid-Scale Energy Storage” • The MP Power Management Company has invited expressions of interest from private firms for setting up 500 MW with 8 hours of continuous discharge of grid-scale energy storage service and a storage facility in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. [LiveMint]

¶ “NSW Quietly Cancels 200-MW Virtual Power Plant, Redirects Funds To Solar Loans” • The government of New South Wales has quietly cancelled a $50 million program to establish a 200-MW virtual power plant, to cover the costs of an election promise to provide interest-free loans to households for solar and batteries. [RenewEconomy]

New South Wales (Grahamec, Wikimedia Commons)

UK:

¶ “Barclays Commits To 100% Renewable Electricity, Joins RE100” • Barclays, one of the UK’s four “Big Banks,” committed to use 100% renewable electricity for global operations by 2030, with an interim goal of 90% by 2025, and a reduction to its global emissions of 80% by 2025. Barclays has recently been under fire for financing fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “UK MPs Call For End To Support For Overseas Fossil Fuel Projects By 2021” • UK Members of Parliament called on the government to stop financing fossil fuel projects in developing countries by 2021. Fossil fuels only serve to lock countries into dependency and make achieving global warming temperature reductions more difficult. [CleanTechnica]

Air pollution (Getty Images)

¶ “Scotland Will Build A Massive Battery To Store Excess Wind Power” • UK energy supplier Scottish Power plans to launch a massive battery-storage system to capture renewable power from its 214 wind turbines. The 50-MW  lithium-ion battery will allow Scottish Power to store energy when wind speeds are high and release it when they’re low. [Engadget]

US:

¶ “BLP Replaces Canceled Wind Investment With Lower-Cost Solar” • In Grand Haven, Michigan, the Board of Light & Power is banking on renewable energy. When a wind project to which the BLP had committed, was recently canceled. Instead of wind, the local utility will be getting increased solar power. It is the BLP’s second solar project. [Grand Haven Tribune]

JB Sims plant, closing next year (Alexander Sinn | Tribune photo)

¶ “A Vision For Midwest Zero-Carbon Power Starts To Take Shape” • The Midwest’s energy landscape has changed a lot over the last 10 years. Market dynamics have been pushing coal-fired power offline and low-cost utility-scale wind and solar projects are being developed. Also, there has been a surge of consumer interest in PVs. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

¶ “US Renewable Energy Generating Capacity Has Now Surpassed Coal” • According to an analysis by the SUN DAY Campaign, using newly published data from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, US electrical generating capacity of renewable energy sources is now – for the first time – greater that of coal. [Windpower Engineering]

Wind farm

¶ “Puerto Rico’s Latest IRP Increases Solar And Storage Targets” • The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority has filed the latest edition of its 2019-2038 integrated resource plan. It calls for higher deployment of solar and storage, which already rivaled some of the most ambitious plans for the mainland, and more flexibility on natural-gas. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Murphy’s Clean Energy Goals Include Nuclear In Long-Awaited Master Plan” • New Jersey Gov Phil Murphy unveiled his long-awaited energy master plan for the state, calling for more investment in renewable energy, such as solar and wind, and throwing support behind nuclear energy to lower New Jersey’s contribution to global warming. [NorthJersey.com]

Have a manageably glorious day.

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June 10 Energy News

June 10, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Beyond Renewables: How To Reduce Energy-Related Emissions By Measuring What Matters” • Despite the uptick in renewable energy usage, global emissions have grown steadily. John Woolard, of the World Resources Institute, argues that commitments to 100% renewables will not alone curb the worst impacts of climate change. [Eco-Business]

Albany Wind Farm in Western Australia
(Image: Juan Alberto Garcia Rivera, CC BY 2.0)

¶ “Conservatives Should Change How They Think About Global Warming. I Did.” • I worked at a libertarian thinktank for 23 years, arguing against climate action. But my views have changed. I now embrace decarbonization. Why? For one thing, I’ve come to better understand risk management. We need to hedge our bets on climate change. [The Guardian]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Sea-Based Renewable Hydrogen Storage Project Could Fuel Ships” • A renewable hydrogen storage project, known as the Deep Purple project, aims to convert electricity generated from wind into hydrogen. This hydrogen would then be stored on the seabed and supplied to offshore facilities located on Norway’s continental shelf. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

Ocean floor

¶ “Jet Fuel From Plastic Bottles? It’s Possible, Say Washington State University Researchers” • Landfills in the US take in about 28 million tons of plastic waste each year, the EPA says. It could take centuries to decompose. Now, Researchers at Washington State University claim they have created a way to make jet fuel from plastic waste. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Alberta Wildfires Linked To Climate Change, Scientist Says” • Recent fires were connected to climate change in two research papers published by scientists with Environment and Climate Change Canada. Fires like the one near Fort McMurray in May 2016, which forced more than 80,000 people to flee, are much more likely with climate change. [CBC.ca]

Wildfire (Rodney Schmidt)

¶ “Industrial Methane Emissions Far Higher Than Expected” • Methane emissions from US industrial operations have been thought to be just under 9,000 tons. But when researchers from Cornell University and the Environmental Defense Fund decided to do some real world testing, they found their measurements showed much greater amounts. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “How Countries Can Learn From Jordan’s Renewable Energy Pivot” • Jordan, with a total generation capacity of about 4,000 MW, has 285 MW of wind and 771 MW of solar power. It wants to have 2,000 MW of renewable capacity by 2021. Its move toward renewables, started in 2015, is impelled by both economic and humanitarian pressures. [The National]

Jordan’s sunny and windy Wadi Rum

¶ “Hurdles Cleared For 480-MW Saint-Nazaire Offshore Wind Project” • The Conseil d’Etat, the French supreme administrative court, turned down an appeal against the  480-MW Saint-Nazaire wind farm, which EDF Renewables and Enbridge plan for French waters, moving the long-delayed project forward. The permit had been granted in 2016. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Korean Firms Eye Investment In Renewable Energy In Vietnam” • Korean investors hope to work on renewable energy in Vietnam because of the country’s potential and incentives, an official said. Vietnam plans to cooperate with the Korea to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, adapt to climate change, and protect its environment. [en.vietnamplus.vn]

Installing PVs in Quang Ngai province (Photo: VNA)

¶ “900 GW Of Coal To Be Repaced By Renewable Energy – IRENA” • A report from IRENA convincingly concludes that by 2020 the entire world will be able to install renewable energy for considerably less cost than existing fossil fuel plants. Renewable energy has fallen in cost faster than even IRENA had forecast, and the cost keeps declining. [Utilities Middle East]

¶ “Welsh Farming Was Paralyzed For 26 Years After Chernobyl Nuclear Plant Disaster” • The Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster in 1986 released deadly radioactive clouds to drift across Europe contaminating land and livestock. It left Welsh farming paralysed for 26 years with sheep remaining radioactive for years after the explosion. [Kent Live]

Sheep grazing in Wales (Eirian Evans, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Ex-Governor Strickland Frustrated To See Ohio Dumping Renewable Energy Goals” • In 2008, Ohio Gov Ted Strickland signed into law a bill pushing the coal-dependent state toward renewable electricity. The Republican controlled legislature had passed the bill with one negative vote. Now, that law is being undone, and he is not happy. [Toledo Blade]

¶ “Walt Disney World Solar Panels Now Span 270 Acres” • At 50 MW, the Walt Disney World solar array is one of the biggest in Florida, and it generates enough renewable energy to operate two of Disney’s four Florida theme parks. The Walt Disney Company has a 2020 goal to reduce emissions by 50% compared to 2012. [CleanTechnica]

Walt Disney World solar array (Image: Cynthia Shahan)

¶ “Renewable Energy Microgrid To Power Oakland Conference” • The VERGE 19 conference and expo, Oct 22-24 in Oakland, is a platform for companies, cities and communities accelerating the clean economy. The conference will be powered by a renewably powered, fully functional microgrid, a demonstration of radical efficiency and resilience. [GreenBiz]

¶ “Climate Change Causing Lake Michigan To Experience Rapid Shifts Between High And Low Water Levels” • New high water level records were set on Lakes Erie and Superior, and there has been widespread flooding across Lake Ontario for the second time in three years. Only a few years ago, water levels were at a low point. [Milwaukee Independent]

Have a marvelously productive day.

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June 9 Energy News

June 9, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Arctic Melt: Threat Beneath The Ice” • The Arctic is heating up twice as fast as the global average, causing massive melting of sea ice. While we know climate change is warming the Arctic air, there is a lot more happening under the ice that we don’t fully understand. We have known the ice was melting, but the effects on microflora may be far-reaching. [CNN]

Arctic ice (Brice Laine | CNN)

¶ “Cautioned Urged Over Modular Nuclear Reactors” • Energy heavyweights are urging caution over the idea that small modular reactors can replace cancelled and decommissioned UK nuclear power projects. National Infrastructure Commission chief economist James Richardson sited the industry’s past failures to deliver on technology promises. [New Civil Engineer]

¶ “New Delivery Drone Focuses on Efficiency, Stability, And Safety” • The latest Prime Air drone can do vertical takeoffs and landings like a helicopter. It can fly with an airplane’s efficiency. As a hybrid, it transitions easily between the two modes, from vertical mode, to airplane mode in sustained forward flight, and back to vertical mode. [CleanTechnica]

Prime Air drone

World:

¶ “Tesla Outsold Porsche And Jaguar Globally In First Quarter” • In the first quarter of 2019, for the third quarter in a row, Tesla outsold Porsche and Jaguar globally. Jaguar and Porsche sell several more models than Tesla, but as Tesla expands its vehicle lineup, its sales consistently grow. The lower-cost Tesla Model 3 exploded Tesla’s sales. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “UK Village Considers The Unfathomable: Tearing Itself Down Before Nature Does” • Fairbourne, a village in northwest Wales, was built on a natural flood plain. The reinforced embankment that protects it from flooding was upgraded after a flood 2014 at a cost of £6.8 million ($8.7 million), but it will only hold for so long, as the sea keeps rising. [CNN]

Fairbourne, northwest Wales (CNN image)

¶ “India Offers $360 Million Subsidy For 5,000 Electric Buses” • The Indian government plans to incentivize cities to include electric buses to their public transport fleet through financial subsidies. It will offer subsidies worth ₹2,500 crore ($360 million) for the deployment of 5,000 electric buses in a total of 40 large cities. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EnBW pumps up Austrian hydro” • EnBW and Vorarlberger Illwerke have opened the 360-MW Obervermunt 2 pumped hydro storage plant in Austria. The project in Montafon took four and a half years to build and has two turbines and two pumps. Obervermunt 2 uses existing water reservoirs, Lake Silvretta and Lake Vermunt. [reNEWS]

Obervermunt 2 (Image: Vorarlberger Illwerke)

¶ “Renewable Energy Capacity Target Of 175 GW Will Be Achieved: Power Minister R K Singh” • Indian Power and New and Renewable Energy Minister Raj Kumar Singh has expressed confidence that the renewable energy target of 175 GW by 2022 will be achieved. He said 80 GW is already in place and another 24 GW is being installed. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “New Rules Give Households Right To Sell Solar Power Back To Energy Firms” • Britain’s biggest energy companies will have to buy renewable energy from customers under new laws to be introduced this week. Homeowners who install new rooftop solar panels from 1 January 2020 will be able to sell the energy they do not need to their supplier. [The Guardian]

Solar installation (Photo: David Pearson | Alamy)

¶ “Russia Wants An Alternative Ending To HBO’s Show On The Nuclear Accident Of Ukraine” • The Hollywood Reporter reports that the Russian state TV network NTV is developing its own, more pro-Russia version of the 1986 nuclear disaster. The NTV drama will reportedly alter history to claim that the CIA was involved in the disaster. [News Nation]

US:

¶ “Volkswagen Does Something No Other Manufacturer Is Doing – Advertise Electric Cars” • Volkswagen of America kicked off an ad campaign designed to promote electric cars and rehabilitate the company’s image. It will be featured during the NBA playoffs. It is the first time a car company promoted in EV in the US. But some people aren’t buying it. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen Lemons and Lemonade (Volkswagen image)

¶ “US Automakers Warn Of Dire Consequences If Trump Takes A Sledgehammer To Emissions Rules” • The Trump administration is getting set to release less restrictive exhaust emission rules, but California and the 13 other states that subscribe to stricter rules are not about to relax their standards. That puts the car makers in a real bind. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “‘We All Owe Al Gore An Apology’: More People See Climate Change In Record Flooding” • A string of natural disasters has hit the central US in recent weeks, from tornadoes to heavy rainfall that floods fields, inundates homes and threatens levees. For many people, there is a clear connection between new weather patterns and climate change. [WAMU 88.5]

Floodwaters in Arkansas (Nathan Rott | NPR)

¶ “White House Blocks Testimony Calling Climate Change ‘Possibly Catastrophic’ Because It Didn’t ‘Jibe’ With Trump Administration Views” • The reason written testimony from an intelligence staffer was barred from being submitted to congress was that it didn’t “jibe” with Trump administration views, news reports say. [Newsweek]

¶ “Bankruptcy Court Asserts Sole Authority Over PG&E Power Contracts” • In a sharply worded ruling, a federal judge scolded a federal regulator for its “power play,” without statutory or Supreme Court authority, to claim jurisdiction over Pacific Gas and Electric’s power supply contracts after the embattled utility declared bankruptcy. [Courthouse News Service]

Have an utterly charming day.

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June 8 Energy News

June 8, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Faster, Better, Cheaper – Fraunhofer Dry Film Battery Electrode Process Revealed” • Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Materials and Beam Technology IWS developed a way to make lithium-ion batteries using a dry film. It is a better, cheaper battery that is kinder to the environment. And it is already in small scale production! [CleanTechnica]

Dry film battery electrode (Credit: Fraunhofer Institute)

World:

¶ “After The Sun, Delhi Metro To Source Power From Waste” • Delhi Metro Rail Corporation is India’s largest subway system and one of the world’s largest. DMRC is the first metro project in India to source power from a waste-based power plant. It also uses a large-scale solar power project in Madhya Pradesh and 28 MW of rooftop PV systems. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GreenWay Reaches 100 EV Fast Chargers In Poland!” • The Slovakian EV fast charging leader, GreenWay, has populated the country of Poland quickly with 100 EV fast chargers. GreenWay opened its first Polish fast charger in December of 2016. Its hundredth charging station in Poland is at a large shopping mall in Warsaw. [CleanTechnica]

Charging EVs in Poland

¶ “Grenergy Closes Financing On Two Wind Farms In Peru” • Grenergy, a Spanish renewable energy company, signed a financing agreement of $40 million (about €35.5 million) for the construction and development of two wind farms in Peru. The Duna and Huambos wind farms will have an installed capacity of 36.8 MW. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Santiago (Chile) Adding 200 Electric Buses In 2019” • This summer, 183 more BYD electric buses will arrive in Santiago, Chile, the Minister of Transport and Telecommunications said. They will join the 100 electric buses that BYD and local partner Enel brought to the capital last December. And 25 more will arrive in the fourth quarter. [CleanTechnica]

BYD buses in Santiago in 2018 (BYD image)

¶ “German States Say Renewables Roll-Out Need Not Wait On Grid Expansion” • Germany’s federal state premiers agreed to push ahead with the renewables roll-out without waiting for grid improvements, an article in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitungreport said. Green power can be used locally to produce hydrogen, synthetic fuels, or heat. [Clean Energy Wire]

¶ “Japan Plans Carbon Emission Cuts, More Nuclear Energy” • Japan is calling for further efforts to cut its carbon emissions by promoting renewable energy while also pushing nuclear power despite its 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant disaster. An energy policy paper adopted by the cabinet sited an urgent need to reduce carbon emissions. [Japan Today]

Unit 4 reactor building at Fukushima Daiichi (AP file photo)

¶ “Glasgow And Edinburgh Could Be Contaminated With Radiation If EDF Decides To Reopen Two Nuclear Reactors With 400 Cracks In The Core Walls, Experts Warn” • Dr Ian Fairlie, an independent consultant on radioactivity in the environment, and Dr David Toke, of the University of Aberdeen, both warn against attempts to reopen the reactors. [Daily Mail]

US:

¶ “White House Blocked Intelligence Aide’s Written Testimony On Climate Change” • White House officials barred a State Department intelligence staffer from submitting written testimony this week to the House Intelligence Committee warning that human-caused climate change could be “possibly catastrophic.” [The Philadelphia Inquirer]

Melting ice (Rodrigo ABD | AP, file)

¶ “Automakers, Fearing Prolonged Regulatory Uncertainty, Tell Trump To Cut A Deal With California On Emissions” • A group of 17 world automakers wrote to President Trump asking him to abandon his plans to scrap the emissions standards. Instead, they want a compromise with California and the other states that use its tougher standards. [CNN]

¶ “Hot! Tesla Opens First Public 250-kW Supercharging Station In Fremont, California” • Tesla opened up its first public 250-kW Supercharging V3 with the addition of 8 V3 stalls at its Fremont, California, factory. The V3 stalls were opened to the public just 3 short months after Tesla’s first announcement of the 250-kW charging standard. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Fremont factory

¶ “Campaigns Go Public With Anger At Democratic National Committee As First Debate Looms” • The Democratic National Committee’s rules on debates have made some presidential candidates angry enough to complain publicly. Qualification for debates is an issue, but some candidates are angry that there will be no debate on climate change. [CNN]

¶ “Hydropower Project – Carson Dives Into Water-Generated Energy” • In Colorado, leaders at Fort Carson signed to purchase water-powered electricity starting in May 2019, increasing the installation’s commitment to investing in renewable energy. The electricity is generated at a new 7.5-MW power facility at Pueblo Dam. [fortcarsonmountaineer.com]

Power plant at Pueblo Dam (Photo courtesy of Chris Woodka)

¶ “Consumers Energy Starts New Era For Renewable Energy In Michigan with Approval Of Clean Energy Plan” • Consumers Energy received approval from state regulators for its Clean Energy Plan. It puts Consumers Energy on a path to eliminate coal and reduce carbon emissions over 90% by 2040 through use of clean energy resources. [EnerCom Inc]

¶ “Crown Chooses Wind Power In Long-Term Renewable Energy Initiative” • Crown Holdings, Inc signed a 15-year Virtual Power Purchase Agreement with Longroad Energy to use wind power in all of its US and Canadian beverage can plants, starting July 1, 2020. The electricity will come from a wind farm in Knox County, Texas. [Windpower Engineering]

Have a dazzlingly brilliant day.

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June 7 Energy News

June 7, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Large Ebola Outbreaks New Normal, Says WHO” • The world is entering “a new phase” in which large outbreaks of deadly diseases like Ebola are a “new normal,” according to the World Health Organization. Climate change, rainforest exploitation, emerging diseases, population pressures are among the issues making outbreaks worse. [BBC]

Grave of an Ebola victim (Getty Images)

¶ “Global Aquaculture Poses Serious Risks To The Environment” • Global aquaculture, one of the fastest growing food sectors on the planet, is putting lots of seafood on our plates these days. Scenarios of change require that the aquaculture industry design effective and efficient use and protection of the oceans if it is to be sustainable. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “France Among Members Putting EU 2020 Renewables Target At Risk” • France is one of six EU nations unlikely to hit their 2020 renewable energy targets, putting the EU’s 20% goal at risk, a report from the European Court of Auditors says. The French goal is to source 23% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Renewable energy

¶ “All New British Columbia Light-Duty Vehicles Will Be Zero Emissions By 2040” • The government of British Columbia passed the Zero-Emission Vehicles Act, requiring all new light-duty vehicles like cars and trucks sold there be zero emissions vehicles by 2040. A BC Energy, Mines and Petroleum division representative answered questions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Atlassian Is First Australian Tech Company To Join RE100 Initiative” • Atlassian, an enterprise software company, is the first Australian tech company to join RE100, a global corporate initiative bringing together businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity. Its new goal is to be 100% renewably powered by 2025. [Architecture and Design]

Interior of Atlassian Sydney office

¶ “Europe’s Second Hybrid Renewable Power Park Opens On Off-Grid Greek Island” • Greece’s Public Power Corp launched Europe’s second hybrid renewable energy park, combining wind and hydroelectric power, on the Aegean island of Ikaria. The 6.9-MW project will replace part of the power now produced by an oil-fired station. [ETEnergyworld.com]

UK:

¶ “Renewables Offer UK ‘Nuclear Gap’ Insurance” • Increasing renewable energy capacity would provide an insurance policy against a possible ‘nuclear gap’ in the UK’s low-carbon power pipeline caused by early closure of ageing reactors, according to a new report, “Cracks in the System,” by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (reNEWS image)

¶ “Fossil Fuel Pain Increases For Auto Makers As Ford Shutters Bridgend Engine Factory” • Nothing shows the approaching disaster for traditional automakers more clearly than having to close an engine making facility due to lack of demand for internal combustion engines. And lack of demand is why Ford is closing an engine factory in Wales. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Northern Ireland On Brink Of Meeting 40% Green Energy Target” • Northern Ireland is closing in on a target of generating 40% of all electricity from renewable sources by next year. Data from the Department for the Economy indicate that 38.6% of the country’s electricity came from homegrown green sources over the 2018-19 fiscal year. [Belfast Telegraph]

Wind turbines (Giuseppe Milo, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “GM Claims It Can Sell Affordable Electric Cars That Are Profitable” • GM president Mark Ruess told an audience at the UBS Global Industrials and Transportation Conference that GM will soon be able to sell electric cars at “very average transaction prices.” He said GM’s EVs are being engineered to make money at low cost. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GE Bet On Fossil Fuels, Lost Nearly $200 Billion Misjudging Renewable Energy Transition, Study Says” • General Electric’s profitability collapse over the past few years can be largely attributed to the company’s inability to judge the accelerating pace of the global energy transition away from fossil fuels and toward renewables, a study claims. [Electrek]

GE Haliade-X turbine

¶ “Michael Bloomberg Promises $500 Million To Help End Coal” • Michael R. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, will donate $500 million to a new campaign to close every coal-fired power plant in the United States and halt the growth of natural gas, his foundation said. The campaign will focus on state and local governments. [The New York Times]

¶ “US Offshore Wind Race Heats Up, Now Connecticut In The Mix” • All that lies between The Constitution State and 2,000 MW of clean electricity is Governor Ned Lamont’s signature, and it looks like he’ll sign the state onto offshore wind just in time to knock Connecticut’s Millstone nuclear power plant out of the picture. [CleanTechnica]

Block Island wind farm (Photo, cropped, via Ørsted)

¶ “Navajo Tribal Utility Authority To Receive $94 Million Loan Supporting Renewable Energy” • The Navajo Generating Station is expected to close in December 2019, and the Four Corners region is transitioning from coal to renewables. A $94 million loan from USDA to build a solar farm should help the transition. [Utah Public Radio]

¶ “US Senators Collins, King Announce $200,000 in Grant to Ocean Renewable Power Company” • Susan Collins (R) and Angus King (I), the US Senators from Maine, announced a $200,000 DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy grant to the Ocean Renewable Power Company, based in Portland. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Have a magically superb day.

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June 6 Energy News

June 6, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Engie’s HomeBiogas Turns Household Waste Into Renewable Natural Gas With Ease” • Engie invested in HomeBiogas in the middle of last year and is now working with its team to grow the business. HomeBiogas sells its products directly to consumers, so Engie’s global reach and significant capital represent huge opportunities. [CleanTechnica]

Homebiogas unit

World:

¶ “Low Margins, Cheaper Modules Make India Lowest-Cost Producer Of Solar PV” • IRENA issued a report, Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2018, comparing costs of solar installations in 19 countries. The report finds India as the country with lowest cost. The cost of installations in India was $793/kW, compared to $1,427/kW in the US. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Sydney Opera House Has Star Ambitions With Renewable Energy PPA And Sustainability” • The Sydney Opera House might have “sustainability in its DNA” but there is still a huge energy bill to take care of every year. Now with a new power purchase agreement (PPA), that energy bill will be both stabilized and renewable. [The Fifth Estate]

Sydney Opera House

¶ “Spain’s Iberdrola Seeks To Build Europe’s Largest Solar Farm” • Iberdrola SA is working to build what it says will be Europe’s largest solar farm at a cost of €300 million ($337 million). The Spanish utility said it has started the process with the country’s Ecological Transition ministry to build a 590-MW farm in the Western region of Extremadura. [Bloomberg]

¶ “Jaguar Land Rover And BMW Will Collaborate On Electric Car Powertrains” • Driven by the need to develop efficient, affordable electric car powertrains, convergence in the auto industry continues. Jaguar Land Rover and BMW are the latest companies to say they will work together to create EV technologies that both will share. [CleanTechnica]

Jaguar i-PACE

¶ “Nation’s top solar university commits to 100% renewable energy” • Australia’s top solar university research hub, the University of New South Wales, has announced it will switch to 100% renewable energy by 2020. The university underpinned the goal with a 15-year PPA with the Sunraysia solar farm in western NSW. [Energy Matters]

¶ “Household Energy Bills ‘Subsidizing’ Scotland’s Nuclear Submarines” • The cost of energy in the UK is inflated partly because it subsidizes nuclear submarines, academic research suggested. Experts told MPs the UK government remains committed to civilian nuclear power as it cross-subsidises the country’s nuclear deterrent. [The Scotsman]

Nuclear submarine at the Firth of Clyde

¶ “African Wnd Pipeline ‘Hits 18 GW'” • Africa’s wind project pipeline stood at 18 GW at the end of the first quarter of 2019, according to a report by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. Some 6.5 GW is at an advanced stage of development, although the report noted that the project realization rate remains low in the region. [reNEWS]

¶ “Home Solar Panel Installations Fall By 94% As Subsidies Cut” • The UK’s Labour party has accused the government of “actively dismantling” the solar power industry after new installations by households collapsed by 94% last month. The accusation is that the government is prioritizing fracking over household costs, jobs, and emissions cuts. [The Guardian]

Installation (Ashley Cooper | Global Warming Images | Alamy)

US:

¶ “Inslee Unveils Plan To Combat Climate Change Through Foreign Policy” • Democratic presidential candidate Jay Inslee released a plan that looks to reimagine American foreign policy to combat climate change. The plan is the third policy roll out from Inslee’s campaign that aims to link a range of issues to climate change. [CNN]

¶ “US Energy Storage Market Grows 232% In First Quarter” • The US deployed a total of 148.8 MW of energy storage in the first quarter of 2019, making it the strongest quarter ever for energy storage. It broke the previous record, set in the previous quarter, by 6% and grew 232% over the amount deployed in the first quarter of 2018. [CleanTechnica]

Energy storage (GE Renewable Energy image)

¶ “Value Of Solar Debate Accelerates In Minnesota” • The total value of residential solar installations for utilities consists of two parts: the value of generated electricity to the grid, and the value of avoided infrastructure costs. That second part is difficult to assess, but the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is trying to learn what it is. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Anheuser-Busch Signs 310-MW PPA With Recurrent Energy To Secure 100% Goal By 2021” • Anheuser-Busch signed a PPA for the electric output of a 310-MW solar farm to be built in West Texas. The Maplewood solar project is to be operational by 2021, at which point 100% of Anheuser-Busch’s electricity will be from renewable energy sources. [CleanTechnica]

Anheuser-Busch graphic (Anheuser-Busch image)

¶ “Madison-Backed Rural Solar Energy Projects To Begin Operations” • The first of five new rural solar energy projects getting financial support from the city of Madison, Wisconsin, will begin operations in Argyle by mid-June, city officials said. The city is investing $1.4 million to support the five new solar PV systems. [Madison.com]

¶ “Solar Park Of 340 MW To Power Pegasus’ Arizona Data Center” • Pegasus Group Holdings, a renewable energy project and technology infrastructure developer, plans to build a 340-MW solar park in Arizona to power a new data center in Mohave County. The solar-powered data center is touted as the largest facility of its kind globally. [Renewables Now]

Have a remarkably exhilarating day.

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June 5 Energy News

June 5, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “How Utility Schemes Make Customers Pay $1 Billion A Year To Bail Out Dying Coal Plants” • Big electric utilities are cooking their books to get customers to bail out old plants, as they push to keep operating costly, dirty, and dangerous coal, nuclear, and natural gas plants instead of using less costly clean renewable energy. [Environmental Working Group]

Coal-burning power plant

Science and Technology:

¶ “Global Carbon Dioxide Measurements Spike To Record High” • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced that global carbon dioxide concentrations measured last month were the highest since it started recording them more than half a century ago. CO₂ peaked at 414.7 parts per million in May. [HuffPost]

¶ “Climate Change Is Seriously Threatening Human Health” • Climate change poses a major threat to human health and is already having global impact by spreading infectious diseases and exacerbating mental health problems, a report warned. Extreme heat and more frequent floods increase the risk of diseases and injuries. [CNN]

Children playing (Yasuyoshi Chiea | AFP | AFP | Getty Images)

World:

¶ “Climate Change Will Cost Companies $1 Trillion. It Also Means Huge Opportunities” • A CDP study says that climate change is likely to cost the world’s largest public companies nearly $1 trillion over the next five years. But the opportunities for new products and services to reduce environmental damage could be worth much more. [CNN]

¶ “Row Over Chinese Coal Plant Near Kenya World Heritage Site Of Lamu” • Kenyan campaigners who fear their country is turning its back on its green goals hope to stop construction of a coal plant that would increase Kenya’s greenhouse gas emissions by 700%. The coal-fired plant they are protesting would be the country’s first. [BBC]

Lamu, proposed site of coal-burning plant (Getty Images)

¶ “Chile’s Cheap Power – Sign Of A Solar Future?” • In Chile, Spain’s Solarpack Corp Tecnologica has begun installing the solar panels at its Granja Sola plant. The plant is due to be online by the end of this year. When it is, it will become the cheapest generator of electricity anywhere in the world, at $29.10/MWh, or 2.91¢/kWh. [Forbes]

¶ “Swedish Electric Autonomous Truck Now In Operation Through 2020” • T-Pod, a fully autonomous electric truck, is operating on Swedish roads, with approval from government authorities. German logistics company DB Schneker and Swedish transport company Einride, a specialist in self-driving vehicles, are behind the project. [CleanTechnica]

T-Pod autonomous truck (Photo courtesy of Einride)

¶ “Concentrated Solar Power Costs Fell 46% From 2010 To 2018” • According to IRENA, the weighted average levelized cost of energy (LCOE) of CSP projects in 2018 was 18.6¢/kWh, down 26% from 2017 and 46% lower than in 2010. IRENA said the main reason behind the decline in the LCOE is improved supply chain in China. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewable Hydrogen Getting Cheaper, Australia Could Lead Global Market” • Some of Australia’s leading energy experts say that renewable hydrogen is beginning to reach cost parity with some fossil fuel equivalents. Hydrogen could emerge as a high potential export industry for Australia, worth tens of billions of dollars. [RenewEconomy]

Hydrogen plant

¶ “Chile To Close Eight Coal-Fired Power Stations Amid Renewables Push” • Chile announced it would close eight coal-fired power stations over the next five years as part of a plan to switch to 100% renewable energy by 2040. Chile had been increasing reliance on coal, as imports of natural gas from Argentina stopped. [Buenos Aires Times]

¶ “Wind To Help Drive Finnish Carbon Neutral Plan” • Finland is planning to cut taxes on wind turbines as part of a national plan to go carbon neutral by 2035. Policy measures would include reducing property tax on wind turbines and eliminating double taxation of electric energy for both pumped storage and smaller batteries. [reNEWS]

Ajos wind farm in Finland (OX2 image)

US:

¶ “Wall Street Issues ‘Peak Car’ Warning” • A number of Wall Street cognoscenti have begun warning that the world has reached the “peak car” point. Last week, John Murphy, managing director of Bank of America, told a conference, “The industry is right now staring down the barrel of what we think is going to be a significant downturn.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Judges Give Both Sides A Grilling In Youth Climate Case Against The Government” • In the case of Juliana v United States, three federal judges heard arguments about whether young people have a constitutional right to be protected from climate change. They pushed skeptically on the arguments of both sides of the issue. [The New York Times]

Lead plaintiff Kelsey Juliana greeting supporters outside the Portland Oregon courthouse (Andrew Selsky | Associated Press)

¶ “Warren Kicks Off Midwest Swing With Plan For What ‘Green New Deal’ Might Look Like” • Sen Elizabeth Warren rolled out a multifaceted plan that offers new insight into how she would implement the Green New Deal, ahead of a two-day Midwest presidential campaign swing aimed at repudiating President Trump’s economic policies. [CNN]

¶ “Arizona’s Salt River Project Utility Challenged On High Rooftop Solar Rates” • The Center for Biological Diversity took legal action in Arizona federal court this week to challenge the Salt River Project, an Arizona utility, for ongoing discrimination against residential solar customers who had their rates bumped up 60% in 2015. [CleanTechnica]

Have a comfortably glorious day.

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June 4 Energy News

June 4, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “UK And Trump Miles Apart On Climate Change” • The British parliament declared a ‘climate emergency’ in May, and a day later the government’s chief advisory committee on climate change recommended cutting the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. Meanwhile, Trump mocks science and promotes fossil fuels. [CNN]

Protest (Chris J Ratcliffe | Getty Images Europe | Getty Images)

¶ “500 Gas Car Fires Per Day – Can We Please Get Serious About Electric Car Battery Fires?” • A recent FEMA report said that in the US fires in conventional vehicles give us an “annual average of 345 deaths; 1,300 injuries; and $1.1 billion in property loss.” But the headlines we read and the news we hear focus on the few fires that happen in EVs. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Environment Insurance Risk Assessment In The Face Of Climate Change” • The last few years have seen increases in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. Adverse atmospheric events are poignant reminders of how vulnerable our society is across a broad range of threats posed by extreme environmental events. [Advanced Science News]

Storm

World:

¶ “Greenko Raises $495 Million In Equity Funding For 2.4 GW Of Storage Projects” • Renwable energy company Greenko Energy Holdings secured Equity Commitment for two Storage Projects, each with a capacity of 1.2 GW. The projects are expected to be constructed and operational in 2022, with a capital outlay of $2 billion. [The Hindu BusinessLine]

¶ “Electric Vehicle Sales Up 70% In Europe” • The European passenger plug-in vehicle market saw 37,000 registrations in April, growing 30% compared to the same period last year. It was a good performance considering that the overall market is still in the red (-1% in April). And April’s fully electric vehicles jumped 70% year over year. [CleanTechnica]

Renault ZOE

¶ “70% Of India’s Top 100 Corporates Are Moving Towards Renewable Energy” • A new WWF-India report, ‘Renewable Energy Demand in India: Corporate Buyers’ Perspective’, says corporates constitute over 50% of India’s electricity demand. And about 70% of the top 100 companies on the NSE are already procuring renewable energy. [India Today]

¶ “The Winds Of Change Blow For Japan’s Energy Mix” • Japan was once thought of as a nuclear pioneer. Then the Fukushima Disaster made it scramble to import fossil fuels. Now, the fossil fuels are being replaced with renewable energy. A recent report produced by Wood Mackenzie says offshore wind could increase 62-fold over the next decade. [Power Technology]

Wind farm (Credit: Σ64)

¶ “Gupta Secures China EPC Contract For $350 Million Cultana Solar Farm” • Sanjeev Gupta’s 280-MW Cultana solar farm, near his Whyalla Steelworks in South Australia, is a step closer to construction. His majority-owned Simec Energy Australia signed a partnership agreement with Shanghai Electric to build and complete the plant. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “South Korea Confirms Plans To Step Up Shift To Renewable Power” • Asia’s fourth-largest economy is shifting towards clean energy amid growing criticism of its air quality. South Korea’s energy ministry said it finalized plans to raise the share of the country’s power output generated from renewable sources to as much as 35% by 2040. [The Indian Express]

Air pollution

¶ “Germany Goes 47% Renewable So Far This Year” • So far this year, renewables have produced 47% of all electricity supplied to the public grid in Germany, according the Fraunhofer Institute’s Head of Department New Devices and Technologies. This is significantly above last year’s clean energy’s share, which was 40.6% of generation. [Energy Live News]

¶ “Coal And Defence Leaders Demand ‘Drastic’ Climate Action” • The end of human civilization could come as soon as 2050, a report warns. It was written by David Spratt, a Research Director at the Melbourne center, and Ian Dunlop, former chairman of the Australian Coal Association and an international oil, gas and coal industry executive. [The Mandarin]

Climate change (Getty Images)

US:

¶ “Joe Biden Unveils ‘Middle-Ground’ Climate Plan With 2050 Target, Room For Fossil Fuels” • Joe Biden promised to reverse the Trump administration’s deregulatory effort and set the US on course to hit net-zero emissions by 2050 with a plan he released as an alternative to the Green New Deal. His plan is short on details, however. [HuffPost]

¶ “Wisconsin Solar Dispute Goes To Court After Regulators Punt” • Five years after a victory on a similar issue in Iowa, Barry Shear, the owner Iowa-based Eagle Point Solar LLC, sued We Energies and the Wisconsin Public Service Commission. The utility had refused to let solar arrays on Milwaukee city buildings connect to its power grid. [E&E News]

Solar energy system (Eagle Point Solar image)

¶ “Teen Activists Face US Government In Crucial Hearing Over Climate Trial” • Youth activists are facing off with the US federal government in an Oregon courthouse, where their attorneys will petition a panel of judges to let their climate case go to trial. Until it does, their attorneys will argue, fossil fuel development should be halted on public lands. [The Guardian]

¶ “Three Waters To Flow For Minnesota Agency” • Scout Clean Energy is to supply electricity to the Minnesota Municipal Power Agency from the 200-MW Three Waters wind farm in Jackson County. The project will feature up to 71 GE 2.82-MW turbines spread across about 18,200 hectares. Construction is slated for 2021. [reNEWS]

Have a simply magnificent day.

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June 3 Energy News

June 3, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “China Is Eating Our Lunch, And What We Can Do About It” • Solar, wind, batteries, and their industrial mass production use common raw materials and processes that are available in most countries. There is nothing in them that is exclusive to China. And rare earth metals are not all that rare. But we cannot afford to be complacent. [CleanTechnica]

Clean resources (NRDC courtesy photo)

¶ “Ohio Utilities May Do Politics Better Than Electricity” • Ohio electric companies seem to spend as much time on politics as on electricity. Consider House Bill 6, which the Ohio House passed 53-43. It’s a ratepayer-funded bailout of two nuclear plants, pushed by electric companies that only recently had panted for “deregulation.” [cleveland.com]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Some Of Pennsylvania’s Iconic Tree Species Might Not Survive Climate Change” • Thousands of acres of the mountain maple, American beech, balsam fir, paper birch, and quaking aspen that produce some of Pennsylvania’s most vibrant spring, summer, and fall scenes are at risk because of climate change, a state agency said. [The Philadelphia Inquirer]

Trees in Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry)

World:

¶ “China Electric Vehicle Sales Up To 5.4% Market Share” • After a first quarter with surging sales, April saw the Chinese plug-in EV market cool down a little, to some 100,000 registrations. That means it was up only 34% year over year. With the mainstream market still in the red, the April plug-in EV share reached an amazing 6.2%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “PM To Challenge Trump’s Approach On Climate” • Theresa May will raise the issue of climate change with Donald Trump during his upcoming visit to the UK, Downing Street has told BBC News. The confirmation coincides with UK climate researchers asking the prime minister to “robustly challenge” President Trump on the topic. [BBC]

Protest (Jim West | Science Photo Library)

¶ “MNRE Invites Preliminary Proposals For Gravity-Based Storage Project” • India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy requested proposals for projects that store energy by gravity or  that make hydrogen from seawater by use of PVs. The ministry believes that with growing renewable generation, more energy storage will be needed. [Mercom India]

¶ “Vena Commissions 95-MW Solar Park In South Australia, Plans Extension, Storage” • Vena Energy Australia said it has opened its 95-MW Tailem Bend solar park in South Australia. It is working on a similar-sized second phase project and a battery storage plan. The PV park is expected to supply enough for about 40,000 homes. [Renewables Now]

Solar park (Image: Equis Pte Ltd)

¶ “Total Inaugurates 2nd Solar Power Plant In Japan” • Natural gas and low-carbon electricity provider Total started up commercial operation of its second solar power plant in Japan. The 25-MW solar power plant in Iwate Prefecture on Japan’s Honshu Island, will generate enough energy to serve over 8,000 typical Japanese households. [Smart Energy]

¶ “Energy Prices Drop In Europe As Cheaper Renewable Energy Fights For Market Share” • Gas and coal prices are plunging in Europe, hurt by the relentless threat of ever-cheaper clean energy that’s gaining market share and pushing out the fossil fuels in the process. [The National]

Burbo Bank wind farm (Reuters)

US:

¶ “Lyft Offers Portland Drivers Free EV Charging” • Until Lyft and Uber can replace all of their traditional cars with robotaxis, both are encouraging drivers to use plug-in hybrid or battery electric cars. According to Mashable, Lyft drivers in Portland, Oregon, will be able to recharge their plug-in hybrid or fully electric cars for free, starting in July. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Massachusetts Officials Recommend Another 1.6 GW of Offshore Wind” • Massachusetts officials have recommended that the state double down on its offshore wind program and sign contracts for another 1,600 MW of capacity in two solicitations to be held in the early 2020s. They were encouraged by low bids in recent auctions. [Greentech Media]

Building the Block Island wind farm

¶ “Illinois Solar Energy Association Announces 2019 Tesla Model X Raffle” • The Illinois Solar Energy Association has been hosting annual fundraising raffles to win a Tesla for the past six years. This year, anyone in the US can help support the ISEA’s solar advocacy and enter for a chance to win a Tesla Model X by visiting the ISEA store. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Irish Solar Energy Developer BNRG Strikes Financing Deal For Us Projects” • Irish solar energy developer BNRG renewables has struck a financing deal for the first projects in a US portfolio which it predicts will grow to a total value of $375 million (€336m). The first $40 million investment is for development of a 33 MW of US projects. [Irish Times]

Have an irrefutably gorgeous day.

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June 2 Energy News

June 2, 2019

Seventh Anniversary Post!

Opinion:

¶ “Trump War On Climate Science Will Cost American Lives” • Because of Trump maladministration policies, Americans will have more health issues and die sooner. It is truly amazing how many people are okay with killing their friends, family members, and even themselves, with fossil fuel pollution for the sake of gaining political power. [CleanTechnica]

Pump jack

¶ “No Joke: We Should Build More Solar & Wind Than Needed – It’s Cheaper” • One entrenched, and very prevalent, idea is that all the power generated by renewable resources must be sold as it is generated. This old idea ignores a fundamental proposition: oversizing and proactively curtailing wind and solar when the demand is low.  [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Midwestern GOP: We Voted For Trump, But We’re Not Out To Wreck The Environment” • The reality of floods and the warnings from respected local university scientists make a difference with Midwestern Republican suburban-exurban voters. They assess climate change differently when they see risks to the Great Lakes and clean water. [The Hill]

Pigs in a flood (© Getty Images)

¶ “Climate Change: Australia’s Election Has Far-Reaching Consequences” • Despite being condemned by both the UN and the IPCC for continued inaction, newly re-elected, pro-coal Prime Minister Scott Morrison has repeatedly told Australian media outlets that the country is set to reach their emissions reduction targets “in a canter.” [Forbes]

Science and Technology:

¶ “El Niño Is Back. Is It To Blame For Our Severe Weather Woes?” • After a spring that soaked parts of California and saw destructive tornadoes rip through towns stretching from Texas to Pennsylvania, scientists are paying close attention to how much of the country’s recent severe weather is due to the return of El Niño. [NBCNews.com]

Arkansas flood (Yell County Sheriff’s Department via AP | AP)

¶ “NASA To Bore Beneath Europa With Nuclear-Powered ‘Tunnelbot’ In Alien Life Search” • The planet Jupiter has many moons. One of them, Europa, has liquid water ocean beneath its thick icy shell. NASA is planning for a nuclear-powered drone to drill through Europa’s icy shell in an attempt to find alien life in its oceans. [Express.co.uk]

¶ “Rising Temperatures Cause Epic Flood” • Storms have become much stronger than they ever were and the people who live in the central US have recently experienced one of those fierce storms that were currently in the news. The storms break the record of the wettest 12 months in the US since they began recording rain in 1895. [Science Times]

Cows on a temporary island (Photo: werner22brigitte)

¶ “Rise In Methane Emissions Threatens Paris Agreements” • The levels of methane in the atmosphere are rising with rapid and unexpected rates. According to the latest report by the UN climate science panel, one tonne of the gas is considered to have 28 times the global warming potential of one tonne of carbon dioxide. [The Green Optimistic]

World:

¶ “Hyundai Debuts Electric Double Decker Bus With 186 Mile Range” • At the Land, Infrastructure, and Transport Technology Fair in South Korea last week, Hyundai unveiled a 70-passenger double decker electric bus. With a 384-kWh water cooled polymer battery, its range is 186 miles on one charge, and it can be recharged in just 72 minutes. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai double decker electric bus

¶ “Chinese Tesla Model 3 Price Crushes BMW 3 Series And Mercedes C-Class Prices” • Tesla launched ordering for the Tesla Model 3 made in the Shanghai Gigafactory. The 328,000 RMB ($47,475) price for the Standard Range Plus is before local incentives, and crushes the fossil rivals in the same class that are made in China. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nigeria’s Unreliable Electricity Costs Its Economy $29 Billion A Year – Solar Power Would Save Billions” • Lengthy power cuts are pretty much a daily experience in Nigeria. The country’s epileptic power supply has been identified by businesses as the second biggest obstacle to doing business in the country, after a lack of access to finance. [Quartz]

Cleaning solar panels (Noel Kokou Tadegnon | Reuters)

¶ “IRENA Says Falling Renewable Energy Costs Will Drive Global Climate Action” • Lower cost of production and cheaper rates of power will strengthen the business case and solidify the role of renewables as the engine of transformation for global energy, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said in its latest report. [Arabian Industry]

US:

¶ “Coal Industry’s Survival In Question As Companies Go Green” • In May, at the Virginia Coal and Energy Alliance’s 40th Annual Conference, a lobbyist for Dominion Energy, the industry’s best local customer, gave the keynote speech. In it, he highlighted the company’s agreement with Smithfield Foods to use hog waste to generate electricity. [Voice of America]

Dominon Energy coal-burning power plant (AP photo)

¶ “US Farmers Hit By Triple Whammy – Torrential Rain, Tornadoes, And Trump” • Farming is one of the toughest ways to make a living. Despite fancy new technology, government price supports, and advances in science, it is still a hard struggle fraught with challenge from weather. And then there is the pressure put upon farmers by politicians. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Saturday Marks Start Of Glenwood Springs Being 7th US City To Use 100% Renewable Energy” • Glenwood Springs, Colorado, is now the seventh US city powered 100% by renewable energy. The city now gets 6.8% of its electric power from hydroelectric  generation, with the remainder being supplied by wind power sources. [Summit Daily News]

Have an extraordinarily positive day.

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June 1 Energy News

June 1, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “A Huge Energy Storage Deal Raises Major Doubts” • After a Japanese maker of gas turbines and a US owner of salt caverns teamed up to develop a massive energy storage project, based on hydrogen and compressed air, doubts have come up. Neither technology has a track record. Neither customers nor funding have been identified. [MIT Technology Review]

Wind turbines (Louis Moncouyoux, Unsplash)

¶ “Wood Mackenzie Highlights China’s Solar Dominance In New Stunning Visualization” • In a global solar PV market outlook, leading energy market intelligence firm Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables published a stunning visualization that displays China’s rapid rise to dominance of the solar industry, starting in 2011. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Microbe-Grown Electronics: An Alternative To Plastic” • Our cellphones, laptops, headphones, and watches are all objects that we depend on, that we use constantly, and that are filled with plastic. And while electronics are often thought of as inevitably reliant on plastic, there are natural alternatives. A company called Aivan is demonstrating them. [CleanTechnica]

Headphones (Photos via Aivan)

¶ “Climate Change Is Already Affecting Global Food Production – Unequally” • The world’s top 10 crops – barley, cassava, maize, oil palm, rapeseed, rice, sorghum, soybean, sugarcane, and wheat – supply in total 83% of all calories grown on cropland. Research shows climate change is affecting production of these key resources. [Science Daily]

World:

¶ “UK Goes Two Weeks Without Coal Power” • The UK has gone two weeks without any power generated from coal-fired sources, setting a new record, according to the National Grid Electricity System Operator. The last coal generation came off the system at 3.12pm on 17 May, it said. The previous record was eight days, one hour and 25 minutes, set on 9 May. [reNEWS]

Polluting coal generation (Pixabay image)

¶ “1.5X Oversubscription In India’s Latest Solar Tender” • Finally, a ray of hope for the Indian renewable energy market with the latest and fourth national-level solar power tender issued by the Solar Energy Corporation of India oversubscribed. Recently, a slew of state and central-level tenders had been unsubscribed by project developers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Communities Around Australia Are Taking Clean Energy Into Their Own Hands, The Indi Win Built On That” • The rural Victorian electorate of Indi is making history with the election of Independent Dr Helen Haines, after another Independent, Cathy McGowan, retired. She won partly because of a climate platform based on energy democracy. [The Guardian]

Dr Helen Haines (Supplied photo)

¶ “Breaking! Tesla Model 3 Blasts Into Asia Pacific Region As Configurator Opens For Six More Countries” • Tesla opened up the Tesla Model 3 vehicle configurator to a handful of new countries in the greater Asia Pacific region today as the electric car company began stretching its wings beyond its initial Asian beachhead in China. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Confirms Yunlin Job” • Siemens Gamesa has been confirmed as turbine supplier for WPD’s 640-MW Yunlin offshore wind farm in Taiwan. The project will feature 80 of the 8.0-167 model, with the manufacturer also providing a 15-year long-term service agreement. Construction is expected to start in 2019. [reNEWS]

Siemens Gamesa turbine (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “Food markets in Madrid to be powered with renewables in 2019” • Spanish renewable power marketer Gesternova SA has won a contract to supply electricity to food markets in Madrid throughout 2019, the company announced. The customer is MercaMadrid SA, a food wholesaler and manager of produce markets in Madrid. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Hungary Plans €1 Billion Greenhouse City Powered By Renewable Energy” • Hungary has revealed plans to build a new carbon-neutral greenhouse-filled farming city to be powered by renewable energy sources. The €1 billion agricultural center is proposed for the border between Hungary, Austria and Slovakia. It will cover 330 hectares. [Dezeen]

Greenhouse (Pixabay image)

¶ “UK Clean Power Jobs ‘Fall 30%'” • UK jobs in the renewable energy sector have fallen by about 30% since 2015, according to a report from Prospect, a trade union for professionals. It said direct employment across offshore and onshore wind, solar, bioenergy and other renewables was about 26,200 in 2017, down from 36,700 in 2014. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Duke Energy Acquires 60-MW Solar Project In Colorado” • Duke Energy Renewables, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, has acquired the 60-MW Palmer solar project in El Paso County, Colorado, south of Colorado Springs. With more than 200,000 solar panels, the project will supply enough energy for 19,000 households. [Compelo]

Solar project (Photo courtesy of Duke Energy Corporation)

¶ “Ohio’s Nuclear Bailout Plan Balloons To Embrace Coal” • While other states embrace renewable energy, Ohio is heading backward. A bill passed this week by the Ohio House would subsidize nuclear and coal power while cutting state support for renewable energy and energy efficiency. And utility customers will foot the bill. [InsideClimate News]

¶ “Pilgrim’s Shutdown Ends Nuclear Power Era In Massachusetts” • It took about five hours for the Pilgrim nuclear power plant in Plymouth to shut down permanently after 47 years of generating electricity. Technicians reduced Pilgrim’s power output gradually before launching the final step of inserting control rods at 5:28 pm. [Valley News]

Have an enjoyably easy day.

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May 31 Energy News

May 31, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Much Can Painting A Roof White Reduce Its Tempera-ture?” • It has long been known that painting a building’s roof white reflects sunlight and reduces its temperature. But by how much and are there downsides to doing it? A cool roof can save air-conditioning costs by as much as 40%, but it keeps the roof cool in the winter also. [BBC]

Keeping cool with a white roof (Getty Images)

¶ “‘They Just Keep Washing In’: Scientists See Evidence Of Climate Change In Deaths Of Thousands Of Seabirds In The Bering Sea” • Starting in October 2016, thousands of carcasses of tufted puffins turned, up one after another, on the shores of St Paul Island, in the Bering Sea. A paper explains how their deaths are evidence of climate change. [National Post]

World:

¶ “India Allocates 720 MW In Second Solar-Wind Hybrid Auction” • Following the disappointing response of project developers to the Solar Energy Corporation of India’s second solar-wind hybrid tender, the financial bidding round of the tender was recently concluded. Bidders showed a lack of interest, but their prices were low. [CleanTechnica]

Hybrid plant, though probably not in India (Pexels image)

¶ “German Solar Association Calls For Removal Of Pending Subsidy Cap” • The German government has a 52-GW cap on its Feed-in Tariff for solar energy. The German solar capacity has skyrocketed, growing from 10 GW in 2009 to nearly 46 GW at the end of 2018, but growth is stalling, and the solar industry is calling for a continued tariff. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Spanish Floater Swings Into Action” • The W2Power multi-turbine floating offshore wind platform has started generating power at a shipyard in Gran Canaria, ahead of deployment at a test site in the Canary Islands. The platform has two 6MW turbines. Four companies involved are Ingeteam, EnerOcean, Ghenova, Tension Tech International. [reNEWS]

W2Power platform and turbines (Ghenova image)

¶ “Bill Gates Partners With EU To Launch New €100 Million Clean Energy Fund” • The European Commission, the European Investment Bank, and Breakthrough Energy Ventures chaired by Bill Gates, announced the establishment of a new €100 million fund to support clean energy investments in Europe across clean five energy sectors. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Welsh Grant Minesto Tidal Cash” • The Welsh government awarded €14.9 million of EU funding to marine energy developer Minesto for the next phase of the company’s tidal power project in Wales. The grant is to support the continued development and operations of Minesto’s Holyhead Deep site six kilometers off the coast of Anglesey. [reNEWS]

Minesto tidal kite (Minesto image)

¶ “IEA Predicts 250 Million EVs On The Road By 2030” • Last year, the International Energy Agency predicted there would be 125 million EVs on the road worldwide by 2030. This year, it has doubled that prediction to 250 million EVs by 2030, assuming the 25 nations that are part of the EV30@30 program honor their commitments. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Enercon, Enerjisa share 1-GW Turkish Onshore Spoils” • German company Enercon and local outfit Enerjisa have been successful in Turkey’s latest 1-GW onshore wind auction, according to the country’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. The winners were awarded 500 MW each, covering four 250-MW projects in the country. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Enercon image)

US:

¶ “Facebook Moving Closer To 100% Renewables By 2020” • According to its website, Facebook has contracted for over 3.5 GW of renewable electricity, which is 75% of what it uses. Now it is working on the last 25% by making direct investments, starting with the 379-MW Prospero Solar project in Andrews County, Texas. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Gov Polis Signs Seven Bills On Renewable Energy, But What Does That Mean For Colorado’s Energy Future?” • Signing seven bills on renewable energy, Colorado Gov Jared Polis explained, means cleaner air; “green” jobs that can’t be outsourced; and lower electric rates, thanks to the decreasing costs of wind and solar power. [The Denver Post]

Girls waiting for the signing (Joe Amon | The Denver Post)

¶ “Utah Solar Project To Deliver Clean Energy To Facebook” • First Solar Inc has announced that its 122-MW Cove Mountain 2 solar plant will support Facebook’s Eagle Mountain Data Center in Utah through a power purchase agreement (PPA) with PacifiCorp’s Rocky Mountain Power, which is part of Berkshire Hathaway Energy. [Solar Industry]

¶ “Utah Aims To Shatter Records With 1,000-MW Energy Storage Plant” • A one-of-a-kind facility in Utah would combine compressed air storage in salt caverns with hydrogen storage, large flow batteries and solid-oxide fuel cells. Utah’s electricity was 87% generated from coal in 2017, but its renewable energy sector is growing. [Greentech Media]

Salt Lake City (It’s down at the bottom.)

¶ “Vermont Public Power, Encore Renewable Complete Their First Solar Project As Partners” • Vermont Public Power Supply Authority and Encore Renewable Energy completed the 855-kW Trombley Hill Solar project, the first developed under their partnership formed last year. It is sited on property owned by Morrisville Water and Light. [Solar Builder]

¶ “After 46 Years, Pilgrim Nuclear Station Shutting Down” • The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, which weathered over four decades of nor’easters, protests, and lawsuits, in the end could not withstand energy market forces and the costs of operating an aging plant. It is undergoing its final shutdown today, May 31, 2019. [Cape Cod Times]

Have a fantastically cheery day.

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Month 30 Energy News

May 30, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “‘Stranded Costs’ Mount As Coal Vanishes From The Grid” • Milwaukee-based We Energies announced in 2017 that it would close the 1,210-MW Pleasant Prairie coal-fired plant to save both itself and its customers money. And so it will, despite the fact that the plant has not yet been paid down and will not be for another twenty years. [E&E News]

Pleasant Prairie plant (We Energies | MCT | Newscom)

¶ “Trump’s Bid To Weaken The Next Federal Climate Report Is Likely To Backfire” • As planet-warming gases reach record levels, the Trump administration’s bid to restrict the scope of the National Climate Assessment could backfire, becoming yet another loss for a president whose efforts often fail to meet even basic legal standards. [HuffPost]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Is Climate Change Fueling Tornadoes?” • The short answer: There is growing evidence that “a warming atmosphere, with more moisture and turbulent energy, favors increasingly large outbreaks of tornadoes, like the outbreak we’ve witnessed in the last few days,” said Penn State University climate researcher Michael Mann. [InsideClimate News]

Tornado outbreak in 2011 (Image: Jason Weingart |
Barcroft Images | Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

World:

¶ “Vestas Leads Record-Breaking First-Quarter Wind Turbine Order Intake” • Global wind turbine order intake increased by 7% in the first quarter of 2019 to 13.69 GW, eclipsing the previous record set a year earlier by 875 MW, said Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. Increasing numbers of orders came from China and the Americas. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “China Reveals Floating Maglev Train With Max Speed Of 373 mph” • China unveiled a prototype maglev train with a top speed of 373 mph (600 km/h). The train was developed by the state-owned China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation, CNN reported. The train will go through further testing before scheduled production in 2021. [CleanTechnica]

Maglev train (CRRC image)

¶ “Cost Of Renewable Power Dropped To A Record Low In 2018: Report” • Renewable power generation costs declined in 2018, an IRENA report says. Global costs declined 26% year-on-year for concentrated solar power, 14% for bioenergy, 13% for PVs and onshore wind, 12% for hydropower, and 1% for geothermal and offshore wind. [Saurenergy]

¶ “Britain Nears 12 Days Without Coal” • Great Britain is on its way to going 12 days without burning any coal for electricity. This smashes the record set only a few weeks ago and shows coal’s increasing irrelevance in the British energy mix. May is definitely a record setting month, with a total of over 600 coal-free hours (25 days). [CleanTechnica]

Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station (Credit: Alan Murray-Rust)

¶ “Microsoft Partners With Vattenfall On Sustainable Datacenters In Sweden” • Microsoft said two future data centers in Sweden are to be among the most sustainably designed and operated to date. Microsoft is working with Vattenfall to power the data centers with 100% renewable energy and to develop emissions reduction systems. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Enel Starts Spanish Wind Build” • Enel Green Power has started construction of the 12-MW Paradela wind farm in Spain, a six-turbine project  the province of Lugo. It is one of three wind farms the company is currently building in Galicia. The others are the 52-MW Serra das Penas and the 8-MW Pena Ventosa facilities. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Enel Green Power image)

¶ “China Gears Up To Use Rare Earths As A Weapon In Trade War As Summit Approaches” • Chinese media reports, including an editorial in the flagship newspaper of the Communist Party, raised the prospect of Beijing cutting exports of the commodities that are critical in the US defense, energy, electronics, and automobile sectors. [Los Angeles Times]

US:

¶ “US Energy Officials Hail ‘Freedom Gas,’ ‘Molecules Of Freedom” • Two DOE officials referred to natural gas produced in the US as “freedom gas” and “molecules of US freedom” in a press release announcing the expansion of a natural gas facility in Texas. The expansion could double the output of the facility by 2020. [CNN]

Flaring natural gas (David McNew, Getty Images)

¶ “Washington State EV Tax Credit Reinstated” • In the state of Washington, EV tax incentives are being reinstated. They ended last year but were recently revived and will go into effect on August 1st of this year. Gov Jay Inslee was behind the revival. The goal in Washington is to get 50,000 of these kinds of vehicles on the roads by 2020. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “El Paso Seeks Greener New Mexico” • El Paso Electric has issued a request for proposals for renewable energy projects that can supply a minimum of 141,000 MWh of electricity a year from 2020 into the US state of New Mexico. The company said it will consider a single source or a combinations of solar and wind power with storage. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Pixabay image)

¶ “State Bill Requires Public Schools To Teach Science of ‘Human-Induced’ Climate Change” • The Connecticut House of Representatives passed a bill that would make Connecticut the nation’s first state to mandate teaching “human-induced climate change.” The bill was hotly debated for nearly five hours before eventually passing 103-43. [Law & Crime]

¶ “Bill That Subsidizes Nuclear, Scraps Renewable Standards Passes Ohio House” • The Ohio House passed a sweeping energy bill, HB6, that would bail out the state’s two nuclear power plants but wipe out green energy standards. The vote was 53-43. Ten Democrats voted for the bill while seventeen Republicans voted against it. [The Statehouse News Bureau]

Have a totally hunky-dory day.

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May 29 Energy News

May 29, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “A Warming Arctic Produces Weather Extremes In Our Latitudes” • Atmospheric researchers have shown that rising temperatures in the stratosphere are causing the jet stream to falter and follow a wave-like course. And the weakening of the jet stream is spreading downward from the stratosphere, producing weather extremes in lower latitudes. [Science Daily]

Midnight sun in Greenland (Credit: © Hortigüela | Adobe Stock)

World:

¶ “BNP Paribas Cuts Ties With Polish Electricity Producers Over Coal Dependency” • French banking giant BNP Paribas has cut ties with electricity producers in Poland. The bank cited the producers’ continued dependence on the coal industry and absence of signs of a change in strategy towards renewable forms of energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “India Scouts For Wind Sites In Preparation For More Tenders” • Citing sources from India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, multiple media reports claim that Indian states that are rich in renewable energy potential have been asked to identify land to set up large-scale wind energy projects to prepare for more tenders. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Pexels image)

¶ “‘Startling’ Inaction On Climate Change Must End, Pope Says” • Pope Francis said that to win the fight against climate change, its leaders must stop profiting from fossil fuels that threaten the survival and well-being of the planet and its inhabitants. He was addressing a Vatican climate change conference for world finance ministers. [Crux: Covering all things Catholic]

Australia:

¶ “Vestas Strikes 227-MW Gold In Australia” • Vestas has secured an engineering, procurement and construction contract for Ratch-Australia Corporation’s 227MW Collector wind farm in the Australian state of New South Wales. The deal includes the supply of 54 Vestas V117-4.2MW turbines with an energy-based availability guarantee. [reNEWS]

Vestas wind turbines (Vestas image)

¶ “Australia On Track To Reach 50% Renewable Energy By 2030: RepuTex” • Australia is on track to achieve a 50% renewable electric energy target by 2030, regardless of federal policy intervention. This is due to the country meeting state renewable energy targets. That’s the finding of new modelling by energy analyst firm RepuTex. [Energy Matters]

¶ “Two New Solar Farms Connect To The Grid In Queensland” • Two solar farms have joined the grid in Queensland, including Adani Renewables’ Rugby Run project which finally sealed its connection some seven months after the project was built and mechanically complete. These are just two of several solar farms queued up to connect. [RenewEconomy]

Rugby Run project (Adani Renewables image)

US:

¶ “Trump Administration Hardens Its Attack on Climate Science” • Donald Trump and his political appointees are launching a new assault. Parts of the federal government will no longer fulfill what scientists say is one of the most urgent jobs of climate science studies: reporting on the future effects of a rapidly warming planet. [The New York TImes]

¶ “Carbon Pricing Reaches US House’s Main Tax-Writing Committee” • A coalition of business and environmental groups, with the support of some major oil companies, took a carbon pricing plan to the US House’s main tax-writing committee. It was the Ways and Means Committee’s first climate-related hearing in a dozen years. [InsideClimate News]

Capitol Power Plant (Credit: Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “BYD Goes Green With 2 MW Of Solar Plus 2 MWh Of Storage On Its California Factory” • BYD announced that it has partnered with Apparent, Inc to develop a 2-MW solar installation at its Lancaster, California Coach & Bus plant. The installation will be paired with a 2-MWh stationary energy storage battery to maximize solar usage. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “USPS Goes Driverless Between Phoenix And Dallas With TuSimple” • The US Postal Service has entered into a contract with self-driving truck startup TuSimple to haul mail between Dallas and Phoenix. TuSimple will complete five round trips over the next two weeks while a safety engineer and licensed driver ride along in the cab. [CleanTechnica]

TuSimple self-driving truck (Credit: TuSimple)

¶ “Dallas To Cut Electricity Costs With New Renewable Energy Contract” • The City of Dallas has entered into a new electricity contract with TXU Energy to power all city facilities with wind and solar energy for 10 years. The city will initially draw power and renewable energy credits from the Foard City Wind Farm in west Texas. [North American Windpower]

¶ “Rhode Island Confirms Revolution Power Play” • Ørsted and the utility Eversource have secured a power purchase agreement for their 400-MW Revolution wind farm off Rhode Island, with PUC approval, a tweet from the Danish developer said. A further 300 MW from the lease zone is to be delivered to neighboring Connecticut. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbine (Ørsted image)

¶ “US Partners Saddle Up 300-MW Solar ‘Ranch'” • First Solar and Capital Dynamics have started commercial operations at a 280-MW PV farm. The California Flats facility is on land of the Hearst-owned Jack Ranch near the borders of San Luis Obispo and Monterey Counties, one of the largest cattle ranches in the country. [reNEWS]

¶ “Workers At Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station Prep For Permanent Shutdown” • To prepare for final shutdown, workers simulated shutting down of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station. On May 30, a team of workers will begin the process of reducing the plant’s power output from the current 40% of its capacity to zero, after 47 years of operation. [NBC10 Boston]

Have a wonderfully enjoyable day.

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May 28 Energy News

May 28, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “As Young People Lead On Climate Change, Adults Must Step Up!” • On Friday, May 24, over a million young people gathered in some 1,600 locations in 125 countries to plead for effective action on climate change. Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old who inspired them, made an appeal, “We ask you adults, give us a future!” [CleanTechnica]

Greta Thunberg speaking in 2018

¶ “How 1 GW Of Grid Batteries Could See Yallourn Coal Generator Close In 12 Months” • Victoria is getting a lot of renewables. So much so, that 1 GW of battery storage could mean it no longer needs the 45-year-old Yallourn brown coal power station next year. Batteries can magnify the benefit of the new wind and solar projects. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “100% Renewable Does Not Necessarily Mean Zero Carbon” • 160 major corporations have signed pledges saying they will power all of their activities using 100% renewables in the near future. That does not necessarily mean the electricity they consume will be 100% carbon free, however. The devil is in the details. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm (Credit: Stanford Earth)

Science and Technology:

¶ “This Swedish Cleantech Company Wants To Mass Produce Printable Organic Solar Cells” • Epishine, a Swedish cleantech company, has a solar technology that would make it possible to manufacture PVs on machines the size of newspaper presses, each printing solar cells at a rate equivalent to one nuclear reactor per month. [Forbes]

World:

¶ “India Plans $1.8 Billion Transmission Projects For Renewable Energy Projects” • India has shared the details of large power transmission projects dedicated to supporting renewable energy projects in the western parts of the country. The transmission projects are part of a program aimed to achieve new renewable energy targets. [CleanTechnica]

Transmission lines (Pexels image)

¶ “India Cuts Solar Capacity Addition Target By 23% For 2019-2020” • In the face of issues of land acquisition, uncertainty over taxes and import duties, and slowdown in overall economic growth, India reduced its solar power capacity addition target. The target for fiscal year 2019-2020 is 23% lower than for 2018-2019. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “52% Of Consumers Likely To Buy An Electrified Vehicle In Canada Within 5 Years” • In a Canadian survey, 36% said they had “seriously considered buying a more fuel efficient vehicle, such as a hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric, or fuel cell vehicle.” Over half (52%) believe they are likely to buy such a vehicle in the next five years. [CleanTechnica]

Vancouver colored bike lanes

¶ “Spain Proposes EU Carbon Tax On Energy Imports” • In a letter to the European Commission, Spain’s newly elected government called on the EU to assess a potential carbon tax on power imports to protect the bloc’s interests and help it to pursue its environmental targets amid growing public concern over climate change. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “DHL And StreetScooter Trial Hydrogen Fuel Cell Powered Delivery Vans” • DHL and StreetScooter have been pioneers in zero emissions delivery vans. Originally intended for DHL’s own use, the StreetScooter concept has proven so popular, a second factory is under construction to service the demands of third party customers. [CleanTechnica]

DHL Streetscooter deliver van (DHN image)

¶ “Enel Commences Work On 140-MW Wind Park In South Africa” • The local renewables arm of Italian energy major Enel SpA  has started construction works on a 140-MW wind park in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province. The European firm expects to invest a total of €180 million ($201.5 million) in the Oyster Bay project. [Renewables Now]

¶ “AEMO Says WA Grid At Risk If Regulations Fail To Keep Up With Renewable Transition” • The Australian Energy Market Operator warned that regulators and rule-makers need to act quickly for adoption of new technologies to deal with Western Australia’s rapid uptake of rooftop solar and other renewable energy technologies. [RenewEconomy]

Vestas wind turbines

¶ “By 2025, Developed Countries To Lose Quarter Of Their Nuclear Capacity” • Developed countries, which have been gradually reducing their nuclear power generation, may lose one quarter of their nuclear capacity by 2025, and two-thirds by 2040, the International Energy Agency said in a report. The IEA said this would damage security. [TASS]

US:

¶ “Renewable Energy Developer, Puerto Rico Utility Agree On Project Terms ” • Greenbriar Capital Corp said it had agreed with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority on terms allowing the Montalva solar project to proceed. Among other things, PREPA asked for a 45% increase in capacity from the original proposal (145 MW total). [Streetwise Reports]

Solar system in Puerto Rico

¶ “Vail To Purchase 100% Of Its Municipal Power From Renewable Sources” • In Colorado, the Vail Town Council has agreed in a six-to-one vote to become the latest Eagle County government to purchase 100% of its municipally-used electricity from renewable sources. Town officials say, however, that more needs to be done. [Vail Daily News]

¶ “A Small Company Sees Opportunity In Revolutionizing Colorado’s Energy Supply” • Guzman Energy is looking to follow the Kit Carson Electric Association in exiting a contract with Tri-State Generation and Transmission. Kit Carson is on track to deliver solar power for all daytime needs at reduced power rates for customers. [Energy News Network]

Have an altogether excellent day.

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May 27 Energy News

May 27, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “At Vancouver’s Clean Energy Summit, Nuclear Is Making a Play” • As we face massive environmental challenges, a transition is clearly needed. The problem is that one significant focus of the global forum “Clean Energy Ministerial” is to find ways of preserving the existing energy infrastructure while greenwashing it. [TheTyee.ca]

Cooling towers (Jiří Sedláček, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Turbines Arrive For Lekela’s 158-MW Wind Park In Senegal” • The first wind turbine components for the 158.7-MW Parc Eolien Taiba N’Diaye in Senegal have been delivered, according to developer Lekela. The wind park is West Africa’s first large wind farm. It will have 46 Vestas V126 machines, each of 3.45 MW capacity. [Renewables Now]

World:

¶ “As Wildfires Burn, Environment Minister Mckenna Blasts Provincial Tories For Scrapping Carbon Tax” • As Alberta Premier Jason Kenney pushes a plan to scrap the province’s carbon tax, federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says he shouldn’t ignore climate science, especially in the face of wildfires raging in the province. [CBC.ca]

After a wildfire in Alberta (Mrsramsey, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Greens surge as parties make strongest ever showing across Europe” • Green parties have swept to their strongest ever showing in European elections, boosting their tally of MEPs to a projected 71 compared with 52 last time. The result gives them every chance of becoming kingmakers in a newly fragmented parliament. [The Guardian]

¶ “Fortum Forms Norwegian Wind JV” • Finnish energy company Fortum has formed a joint venture with Norwegian wind farm operator Nordkraft to develop wind power projects in Norway. Fortum Nordkraft Vind builds on a partnership between the two companies in the wind market that has been in place since 2017. [reNEWS]

Fortum wind project

¶ “Quebec Provincial Leader Aims To Boost Use Of Hydro-electric Power” • Francois Legault, the premier of Canada’s hydroelectricity-reliant province of Quebec, said he has a sweeping plan to electrify public transport, along with heating and air conditioning, by the start of 2020. The plan will also expand subway lines. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Iran Undertakes Measures To Boost Green Energy” • Non-Aligned Movement has called upon the Member States to develop renewable energy and thereby boost green energy. Policy makers in Iran have realized that long-term investment in the renewables sector would lead to greater self-sufficiency and address climate change. [New Delhi Times]

Wind farm (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Photovoltaic Power Plants In Slovenia” • The first PV power plant in Slovenia was set up in 2001. At the end of 2017, 4,231 PV power plants had been installed in Slovenia with a total power capacity of 267 MW. Now the Parliament and Government are in the process of amending energy legislation related to renewable energy. [Balkan Green Energy News]

Australia:

¶ “Oil And Gas Majors Could Lead Australian Renewables Development By 2020” • Analysis is by independent oil and gas consultancy Rystad Energy says renewable energy investment in Australasia will overtake spending on upstream oil and gas projects as early as next year, in a shift led by the oil and gas industry itself. [RenewEconomy]

Pump jack

¶ “New Labor Leader Anthony Albanese Calls For End To Climate Wars” • Anthony Albanese has called for an end to the climate wars, saying he wants to work with Prime Minister Scott Morrison on an emissions reduction plan that benefits both the environment and the economy. “People want solutions, not arguments,” Albanese said. [The Guardian]

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Gets Certified In Australia, Orders Should Open Soon” • Tesla has received notification from the Government of Australia that its application to sell Model 3’s in Australia was approved. Based on the applications, it seems Tesla has only applied for the 1726 kg and 1856 kg weights, which correspond to the long range models. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 charging

¶ “Queensland Looks To Extra Hydropower From Water Storage After Reboot Of Somerset Dam” • The Queensland government is exploring the potential to convert more of the state’s water storage dams into renewable energy generators, after returning to service a larger, restored version of its Somerset Dam and Hydro Electric Plant. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ “Nickel Ride Finds EVs Are So Affordable … They Can Give Rides For Free” • Nickel Ride, which operates in some Florida cities, found a way to use the advantages of electric vehicles for a competitive edge. Customers can download a Nickel Ride app to request free rides. The company uses advertising revenue to pay for the drivers and cars. [CleanTechnica]

Nickel Ride cars (Courtesy of Nickel Ride)

¶ “Upstate Coal Plants Set To Go In New Directions” • Two coal-powered plants in upstate New York are looking at new futures, according to recent reports in local newspapers. The plants, located in Lansing in the Finger Lakes and Somerset in Niagara County, are slated to become data centers powered by renewable energy. [Evening Observer]

¶ “Glenwood to go 100% renewable June 1” • Glenwood Springs, Colorado, will become the seventh city in the US powered entirely by renewable energy, and plans to sign the deal 7,100 feet in the sky this week. The city’s electricity will be generated by wind power and supplied by the Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska. [Glenwood Springs Post Independent]

Have an entirely copacetic day.

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May 26 Energy News

May 26, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “State of Global Air 2019 – A Special Report On Global Exposure To Air Pollution And Its Disease Burden” • Scientists, doctors, lung associations, medical journals, and another recent report, State of Global Air 2019, have conducted tens of thousands of studies on such topics. At this point, the message is clear – we need stronger policy action. [CleanTechnica]

Screenshot from The Human Element

¶ “The Dance of Nuclear, Coal, And Renewables in South Africa” • In 2010 South Africa planned to build 8 more nuclear reactors, in addition to two already running. Since then, there has been a shift in political positions, and amidst problems with finance and corruption, they have been cancelled. But the old reactors may stay for a while. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The First Tribal Climate Emergency Declaration Is Here, And It Won’t Be The Last” • In the Arctic, people don’t have time to wait around for others to take action to stop climate change. An indigenous community in Canada’s Yukon territory recently declared a climate emergency. They are just the first indigenous peoples to do so. [Gizmodo Australia]

Some rely on caribou to survive. (Photo: G MacRae, Flickr)

¶ “2020 Is Team Oil vs Team Climate Change. There’s No Middle.” • 96% of Democrat or Democratic-leaning voters polled by CNN in April want a candidate who will take aggressive action on climate change. While an NBC News poll in December found 71% of Democrats saying climate change required immediate action, only 15% of Republicans agreed. [CNN]

World:

¶ “BYD Delivers The First Fleet Of Electric Buses To Argentina” • A fleet of fully electric buses in Argentina was brought across the Chilean border and to its final destination in the City of Mendoza by manufacturer BYD after making a lengthy trek by freighter. The 12 new BYD K9 buses will be the first fleet of electric buses in Argentina. [CleanTechnica]

Three of the BYD buses delivered to San Antonio, Chile

¶ “Skyrocketing Tesla Sales Force Mercedes Dealer In Norway To Face A Kodak Moment” • With the Tesla Model 3 available in Norway since February, sales of competing brands have suffered. Mercedes dealer Bertel O Steen has seen its passenger car sales drop a full 33% in the first four months of the year, compared to the same period last year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Adani Solar Aims At 50% Market Share In Two Years, Says Official” • With 80% of solar panels sold in India made in China, Adani Solar is making modules and panels cheaper and more durable, a company official told reporters. Adani Solar expects to get 50% market share in two years, the company’s business development chief said. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Solar power plant

¶ “True Energy Gets First License To Help Secure Green Future” • Danish start-up True Energy received a ‘peak shaving’ approval from the country’s authorities. The license enables homes and individuals in Denmark to help balance an increasingly green energy grid, thereby assisting the transformation towards a greener energy future. [Smart Energy]

¶ “Microsoft Announces A New Wind Energy Deal In The Netherlands” • Microsoft announced a wind energy deal in the Netherlands. As part of this deal, Microsoft will purchase 90 MW from a wind farm owned by developer Eneco. Microsoft will use this green energy to power its datacenters for 15 years starting in 2022. [MSPoweruser]

Green energy

¶ “Coal Reigns In Vietnam’s Booming Energy Sector But Interest Growing In Renewables” • Vietnam has become a hot spot for energy investors eyeing a spend of up to $150 billion over the coming decade to meet surging power demand. Coal is expected to dominate the sector despite signs of a government effort to go green. [The Japan News]

US:

¶ “ChargePoint And Chevron Partner To Bring More Fast Charging To More Gas Stations” • ChargePoint and Chevron partnered on DC Fast Charging stations along Interstate 5 in California to fill in key gaps in universal fast charging coverage. A California Energy Commission program will see 70 ChargePoint charging stations installed.  [CleanTechnica]

Two girls charging an EV (Credit: Zach Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Four US States Scoring Under-the-Radar Clean Energy Wins” • Across the country, from South Carolina to Nevada, states are taking new measures to harness wind and solar power. Since January, more than 10 state legislatures have enacted policies that encourage new renewable energy development. Here are four examples. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Coal’s US Slide To Continue As Renewables, Gas Fill The Gap” • Demand for coal to generate electricity will continue its slide in coming months, despite Trump administration efforts to shore up the industry, the EIA said. Renewable energy, including wind, solar, and hydropower, are expected to fill much of the gap left by coal’s decline. [Mayfield Recorder]

Have a wildly successful day.

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May 25 Energy News

May 25, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Somebody Needs To Tell Ohio Farmers About Agro-photovoltaics” • Farmers in Ohio believe they are being forced to choose between the life style they know and the economic rewards of renewable energy. But the combination of farming and solar energy has been tested repeatedly. It works, and it creates greater opportunities. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it. (© Fraunhofer ISE)

¶ “Canada’s Amazing – And Invisible – Green Energy Sector” • We don’t hear much about the success story that is clean energy in Canada. But the clean energy sector is growing faster than the rest of the economy, and it is attracting billions of dollars of investment every year. In 2017 it employed nearly 300,000 people. [Macleans.ca]

Science and Technology:

¶ “For Nearly 20 Years, GRACE Has Helped Us Understand Climate Change” • In 2002, two satellites designed to take detailed measurements of the Earth were put into space. They provided detailed daily information on climate change for 15 years. Now, the GRACE Follow-On mission has been launched successfully to take their place. [CleanTechnica]

GRACE satellite system (Credit: JPL | NASA)

¶ “To Infinity And Beyond! The Boring Company Goes Plaid In New Demonstration” • Elon Musk’s Boring Company released a video demonstrating its proposed network of underground tunnels for electric vehicles. Two Teslas compete, one with its onboard Autopilot navigating a tunnel at a speed of up to 127 MPH, the other in LA traffic. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Solar The Key To Progress On Global Access To Electricity” • The report showing the world is still falling short of the global energy targets has some good news also. The number of people without access to electricity continues to shrink as deployment of off-grid power solutions gathers pace. The empowerment is led by solar. [pv magazine International]

Off-grid solar PV system (Image: NwComp Solar)

¶ “Book Titled Empowering Africa Unveiled, Aimed At Enabling Energy Access” • The IEA estimated that Africa has a potential of 300,000 GW of solar PVs 7,000 GW of windpower, but many of its people go without. Enel Foundation and others published Empowering Africa to address the problem of African energy poverty. [ESI Africa]

¶ “Wind Keeps The Wine Flowing In The UK” • Accolade Wines has installed a wind turbine to power its Avonmouth distribution center near Bristol. The 2.5-MW machine was installed with the help of renewable energy specialists CleanEarth and following agreement with the landlord, which sees the turbine as adding value to the property. [reNEWS]

Accolade Park wind turbine (CleanEarth image)

¶ “The Bus Wars Are Over. Electricity – And China – Won.” • The bus wars are over and electricity has won, thanks to a big boost from China. With China’s massive investment in and support for electric buses, electrics are now racing past a 50% share of new bus sales worldwide, according to a recent analysis by Bloomberg NEF. [ThinkProgress]

US:

¶ “US Offshore Wind At Risk Of Delays After ‘Redundant’ Defense And Interior Appropriations Language” • The American Wind Energy Association described language in the FY 2020 appropriations bills for the Defense and Interior Departments as threatening to delay development of the country’s offshore wind pipeline needlessly. [CleanTechnica]

Block Island wind farm (Ionna22, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Integrated Solar Roof Shingles From 3 IN 1 ROOF Up For UL Approval” • Solar roofing maverick 3 IN 1 ROOF is looking to leapfrog Tesla in its bid for UL approval for its solar roof shingle. The company, which is based in Fort Lauderdale, has submitted a plan for UL approval. It could come before Tesla’s solar shingle approval. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Freeport Brewery Launches Effort To Put More Clean Energy Into Its Beer” • Maine Beer Co wants to reduce the carbon footprint behind the beer it brews. The company already has a 50-kW solar PV system. It hopes to meet 60% to 70% of its energy needs by 2022 and to generate more clean energy than it uses by 2030. [Press Herald]

Working at Maine Beer Company (Brianna Soukup, PH Staff)

¶ “ComEd Customers Save $4 Billion Thanks To Energy Efficiency Offerings” • Customers of Commonwealth Edison Co, a unit of Exelon Corp, have saved a total of $4 billion on their electricity bills since it introduced its energy efficiency program in 2008. That’s the equivalent of about $84 per year for each customer. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Puerto Rico Adopts New Climate Law, With Goal Of 100% Renewable Energy By 2050” • Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló has signed into law a new climate change initiative that calls for the island commonwealth to reduce its carbon emissions 50% in the next five years and transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050. [Yale Environment 360]

Governor Ricardo Rosselló at the signing ceremony (PRFAA)

¶ “FPL Starts Building 750 MW Of New Solar On Its Way To 2 GW By 2020” • FPL still gets most of its energy from gas-fired plants, but utility officials also say Florida will soon be “a world leader” in solar energy. FPL has broken ground on ten solar PV projects, each with a capacity of 74.5 MW. They will increase FPL’s solar capacity by 60%. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Three Mile Island Plant, Site Of Nuclear Accident, To Close” • Three Mile Island, site of the worst nuclear power crash in the US, will begin a planned shutdown beginning June 1 now that it is apparent that it will not get a fiscal rescue Exelon Corp said. It has been two years since Exelon first threatened to shut the plant unless it got a bailout. [Mayfield Recorder]

Have a precisely perfect day.

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May 24 Energy News

May 24, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scientists Discover Sustainable Alternatives To Cement” • Cement manufacture is responsible for 8% of the global CO₂ emissions each year. Scientists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg say they have found environmentally friendly, low carbon alternatives to cement can be made from two types of industrial residues. [CleanTechnica]

Cement manufacturing plant

World:

¶ “EDF And Masdar Enter Morocco Solar Market With Massive 800-MW Win” • The Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy has announced that it awarded 800-MW Noor Midelt I project to a consortium of EDF Renewables and Masdar Group. The project will host a combination of solar PV and concentrated solar power technologies. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “School Students Walk Out In Global Climate Strike” • In New Zealand and Australia, students went on strike again, starting off a worldwide day of climate change protests. Organizers expect more than a million young people will participate in at least 110 countries, calling for politicians and businesses to take action to fight climate change. [BBC]

Climate protest in Melbourne (Reuters)

¶ “Elmed Interconnector Aims To Bring Solar Power From The Sahara To Europe” • It’s been a long-held European dream to get solar energy from North Africa. Italy and Tunesia have taken a first step to make this dream come true. They entered into an agreement for the development and joint construction of a 600-MW electricity link. [Deutsche Welle]

¶ “Montenegro moves to halt small hydro power plants” • Under pressure from environmental groups, Montenegro’s government has decided to stop issuing permits for the construction of small hydro-power plants. It will also reconsider those awarded so far, the economy minister said. A boom in dam construction has drawn protests. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Hydro dam

¶ “Senegal Imports Turbines For West Africa’s First Big Wind Farm Project” • Senegal started importing turbines for its first large-scale wind farm, the biggest such project in West Africa. It will supply nearly a sixth of the country’s power. Lekela, a British renewable power company, expects the wind farm to reach 158.7 MW by 2020. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Offshore Supply Chain Jobs ‘At Risk’ In Germany” • A lack of offshore wind auctions in Germany is putting jobs at risk in the country’s supply chain, according to WindEurope. The trade body said the last auction was in April 2018 and no more are scheduled until 2021. This means order books in the supply chain are “drying up.” [reNEWS]

Offshore wind power (WindEurope image)

¶ “LEGO Is Running 100% On Renewable Energy Three Years Ahead Of Schedule” • A few years ago, LEGO’s corporate side set an ambitious goal of making its production facilities run entirely on renewable energy. Their original plan was to reach that goal by 2022, but things went faster than they expected. They reached it three years early. [GOOD Magazine]

US:

¶ “Many States Squander VW Settlement Money, US PIRG Report Shows” • In its settlement with federal authorities over its diesel cheating scheme, VW agreed to provide nearly $3 billion to all 50 states. Nearly all states have reported what they will do with the funds, and US PIRG says many are failing to use the funds to do the most good. [CleanTechnica]

Electric school bus

¶ “$4,000 Used Plug-in Hybrid And EV Buyer Incentive Offered By Peninsula Clean Energy” • In San Mateo County, California, just south of San Francisco, Peninsula Clean Energy is offering a $4,000 incentive for qualifying residents who buy used plug-in hybrids and EVs. The incentive is part of a collaboration with Peninsula Family Service. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Providence, Rhode Island Trials Autonomous Shuttle From May Mobility” • Financed in part by money from the VW diesel cheating settlement, a fleet of 6 passenger autonomous shuttles supplied by May Mobility began operating this week on a 5.3-mile fixed route that connects downtown Providence with Olneyville Square. [CleanTechnica]

May Mobiity shuttle (May Mobility image)

¶ “Dairyland To Milk South Dakota Wind” • Dairyland Power Cooperative is to source 52 MW of electricity from Avangrid Renewables’ Tatanka Ridge wind farm in South Dakota. The 154.8-MW project will have 56 GE wind turbines. Construction is expected to start this year, with commercial operation starting by year-end 2020. [reNEWS]

¶ “QTS Buying Wind Power For Two Data Centers” • Data center service provider QTS Realty Trust agreed to buy electricity from wind farms in Illinois and Texas to cover 100% of the expected demand of two data centers. It said the 10-year PPA will offset consumption of its data centers in Chicago and Piscataway, New Jersey. [Renewables Now]

Wind park in Texas (Rockin’Rita, CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0)

¶ “Oregon Restricts Solar Development On Prime Farmland” • As Oregon’s climate policies steer the state toward renewable energy like solar, its land use laws are putting up roadblocks. The Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission approved new rules that restrict commercial solar development on high-value farmland. [OPB News]

¶ “Energy Negotiations Unravel At The Capitol, Leaving Little Accomplished” • Minnesota will not join the states that have laws aimed at having 100% clean energy by 2050, at least not this year. Negotiations between the House and Senate broke down over numerous issues, including lifting the state’s ban on new nuclear plants. [Minnesota Public Radio News]

Have a positively enchanting day.

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May 23 Energy News

May 23, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Republicans Aren’t Just Climate Deniers. They Deny The Extinction Crisis, Too” • In King Lear there is a famous line: “‘Tis the time’s plague when madmen lead the blind.” The words comment on the deadly consequences of greed, delusion, and folly, but they could serve just as well as a comment on today’s Republican Party. [The Guardian]

Endangered Mandarin duck (Yuri Smityuk | TASS)

¶ “Despite Coalition Victory, The Clean Energy Transition Will Continue” • With an inadequate renewable energy policy at the federal level, a significant amount of grassroots support for climate action and renewable energy development will be a main driver to stimulate new policy. And economics also support new renewable energy projects. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “State Efficiency Standards Are Good For Everyone” • The US federal government has been missing legal deadlines for energy efficiency standards for appliances, equipment, and electronics. Seventeen standards are aready overdue for review. Fortunately, more states are setting efficiency standards in the absence of federal action. [CleanTechnica]

Los Angeles (Henning Witzel | Unsplash)

¶ “Reality Check: Does Wind Energy Kill Birds And Cause Cancer?” • According to US Fish and Wildlife Service, wind turbines kill up to 300,000 birds a year. That’s low compared to other sources. Communication towers kill 40 million, power lines kill 140 million. Also, the American Cancer Society says it is unaware of links to cancer. [WCCO | CBS Minnesota]

¶ “World’s Fifth-Largest Bank Drops Stink Bomb On US Coal Industry” • Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc said that it will no longer finance the construction of new coal power plants. While this does not mean it will stop supporting projects already underway, it also indicates strong support will continue for renewable energy. [CleanTechnica]

Renewable energy in Japan

Science and Technology:

¶ “Bosch Steps Into the Electric Air Taxi Industry To Help Cars Fly” • Bosch is getting into the electric vertical take-off and landing business with a sensor box for autonomy. According to the Boston Consulting Group, there will be 1 billion air taxi flights by 2030. Bosch sees a market for air taxis using its sensor technology for safe automated flights. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “BHP Sees Early End For Thermal Coal, Plugs In To Electric Future” • Just as the Coalition government ramps up efforts for the Adani coal mine and new investments in coal generation, Australia’s biggest mining group, BHP, said thermal coal is likely to exit quicker than most people expect. BHP is getting ready for a decarbonised economy. [RenewEconomy]

Heavy coal mining equipment

¶ “Nigeria’s 100% Renewable Electricity Achievable By 2050 – Report” • Nigeria is among countries whose electricity supply can be fully based on renewable energy sources and storage by 2050. It states that 100% renewable electricity systems would be 60% to 70% cheaper than nuclear power or fossil fuels with the carbon capture and storage. [Pumps Africa]

¶ “Tariff Bids Rise Further In Indian State’s Solar Power Auction” • Tariff bids by project developers continued to rise in Indian auctions, with several major developers avoiding large-scale auctions. A recent auction for 250 MW of PVs received only three bids, which ranged between ₹2.87/kWh (4.12¢/kWh) and ₹2.91/kWh. [CleanTechnica]

Solar panels in Bhopal (Stefan Krasowski, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Twenty-five New Renewable Energy Facilities to Be Built in Zhambyl region” • Two wind power stations are being developed in the Zhambyl region of Kazakhstan and will be completed in the third quarter of 2019 and 2020. An additional 25 renewable energy facilities will be commissioned by 2023, with a total capacity of 1,392 MW. [Kazakh TV]

US:

¶ “Southern California Fleet Owners Learn How To Go Electric” • Southern California Edison has launched a program, Charge Ready Transport, that aims to install charging stations designed for medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles at a minimum of 870 commercial sites within the utility’s 50,000 square-mile service area. [CleanTechnica]

Charging station (Credit: Penske Truck Leasing)

¶ “Maryland CEJA To Become Law Without Governor Signature” • Maryland’s Clean Energy Jobs Act, recently passed by the state’s General Assembly, is set to become law, but without the signature of governor Larry Hogan. He said in a letter that Senate Bill 516 is not clean and affordable enough and will not produce the anticipated jobs. [Offshore WIND]

¶ “US Wind Industry’s Response To Solar’s Rise: Embrace It” • Amid the changes going on in the renewable power industries, the American Wind Energy Association trade group announced that its flagship annual Windpower conference and exhibition will expand to include solar and storage, starting next year in Denver. [Greentech Media]

Wind turbines and horses in Wyoming (AWEA image)

¶ “Traverse City Switching To 100% Renewable Energy” • Traverse City is known for its beauty, and city officials want to protect that by switching to 100% green energy. Municipal buildings will be powered entirely by solar and wind energy by 2020. The local utility will use 40% renewables by 2025, and it will be completely green by 2040. [9&10 News]

¶ “Ohio House Lawmakers Amend Nuclear Plant Bailout Bill” • The Ohio House has dramatically changed the energy bill that would bailout the state’s nuclear power plants and repeal renewable energy standards. Under the changes neither wind nor solar power can qualify for “Clean Air Credits.” It seems the bill benefits only nuclear plants. [WCBE 90.5 FM]

Have a delightfully ducky day.

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May 22 Energy News

May 22, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “AOC! AOC! Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Lays It On The Line For Green New Deal” • One speech by AOC may well stand the test of time. In it, she rips feckless politicians of all political parties for selling out to fossil fuel interests and refusing to protect the American people from the pollution caused by burning oil, gas, and coal. [CleanTechnica]

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Credit: C-Span on YouTube)

World:

¶ “African Solar PV Market Could See 29 GW Installed Annually In 2030” • A new study from German Solar Association and the Becquerel Institute has concluded that with the right policies and support, Africa could be adding as much as 29 GW of new annual solar capacity in 2030. The report looked at the solar market in ten countries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Lilium Reveals Long-Awaited New Air Taxi And Celebrates Maiden Flight In The Same Swoop” • Lilium, based in Germany, says it is nearly ready to manufacture and operate the Lilium Jet and offer on-demand air taxi service around the world. It showed a new 5-seat electric air taxi prototype, whose maiden flight was earlier this month. [CleanTechnica]

Lilium

¶ “Countries falling short on providing electricity, renewable power” • According to a report produced by the World Bank, the International Energy Agency, and other international bodies, many countries around the world are failing to meet their goals to provide electricity for those without power and to reduce pollution and CO₂ emissions. [Devdiscourse]

¶ “China Approves 20.76 GW Of Subsidy-Free Solar, Wind Power Projects” • China has approved its first batch of subsidy-free wind and solar projects with a combined capacity of 20.76 GW, the country’s top planning agency said. China vowed in January to launch a series of unsubsidized renewable power projects this year. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Renewable energy

¶ “Big Firms Join New Task Force Looking To ‘Make Best Use’ Of UK Wind Power” • Big energy companies agreed on a research project to “make best use” of UK wind resources. The Offshore Wind Industry Council said it will work to see that the UK’s low-carbon energy system is generating the most amount of power from renewable sources. [Energy Voice]

¶ “Ausgrid Seeks To Expand Virtual Power Plant To Cut Back On Network Costs” • New South Wales utility Ausgrid is seeking proposals to expand its virtual power plant, following a successful pilot project. It looked to co-ordinate battery storage systems to support network services and help avoid the need for further network investment. [RenewEconomy]

One part of a virtual power plant

¶ “Canada A Leader Among G20 For Plan To Phase Out Coal, Says Report” • Canada, France, Italy, and the UK lead the group of G20 countries when it comes to plans compatible with the Paris Agreement to phase out coal by 2030, according to a report from Climate Transparency. The agency is made up of 14 global environmental groups. [CBC.ca]

US:

¶ “Offshore Drilling Has Become A Liability For Republicans” • The issue of offshore drilling has created a schism between Republicans in states where constituents depend on fishing and beach tourism, like Florida and Georgia, and the White House, which wants virtually all US waters to be open for oil industry exploitation. [CleanTechnica]

Deepwater Horizon fire (US Coast Guard image)

¶ “Texas Cooperatives Agree to Purchase 7 MW of Distribution-Scale Solar Energy” • Five electric distribution cooperatives in Texas signed agreements to purchase 7 MW of distribution-scale solar generation. This is to provide increased supplies of cost-effective and clean energy to their members while increasing local system resilience. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “eMotorWerks’ New JuicePlan Rolls All EV Charging Costs Into One Simple Monthly Bill” • eMotorWerks, an Enel Group Company, is introducting a subscription-based home charging plan called the JuicePlan. The JuicePlan replaces what can be a steep up-front purchase price and installation with an easy to understand monthly bill. [CleanTechnica]

JuiceBox EV charger and Bolt

¶ “NASA To Provide $6 Million For Electric Aircraft Research At University Of Illinois” • NASA will pay $6 million dollars over the next three years to support electric aircraft research at the University of Illinois. The program will work on developing fuel cell and cryogenic liquid hydrogen energy storage technologies for completely electric aircraft. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GE Renewable Energy Secures More Than 2 GW In US Onshore Wind Energy Orders Through May 2019” • GE said it had orders for more than 700 wind turbines in the first five months of the year, which is enough to power about 800,000 US households. GE’s 2-MW platform will have 15 GW installed by the end of 2019. [REVE]

Wind turbine

¶ “General Assembly Passes Bill To Promote Renewable Energy Projects For Universities” • The Illinois House of Representatives and Senate have voted to pass a bill to allow public universities and state agencies to enter into renewable energy contracts for up to 25 years. The House favored the bill by a vote of 108 to 8, and it is going to the governor. [CIproud.com]

¶ “Pressure Mounts On NC Lawmakers To Reject Duke Energy Rate Increase Bill” • Opposition is growing to legislation, written by Duke, that would allow it to use major storm costs to charge North Carolinians billions of dollars for unnecessary projects to continue its reliance on coal, fracked gas, and nuclear sources of energy. [Environmental Working Group]

Have an absolutely peachy day.

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May 21 Energy News

May 21, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “One-Quarter Of West Antarctic Ice Is Currently Unstable Due To Changing Climate” • In the last 25 years, warming oceans and changing climatic conditions have caused ice throughout West Antarctica to thin. A study published in Geophysical Research Letters says as much as 24% of West Antarctica’s glaciers are impacted. [IFLScience]

West Australian ice (Tarpan | Shutterstock)

¶ “Report: Cities Designed To Shape And Enable New Mobility” • Urban areas that are designed to shape and enable new mobility can lower emissions, enhance health, and improve equity. A report says experimentation is key to best realize the potential of new mobility while avoiding possible negative and unintended consequences. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Global Sea Level Rise Could Have ‘Profound Consequences'” • Scientists believe that global sea levels could rise far more than predicted, due to accelerating melting in Greenland and Antarctica. A study says the greater melt doubles the estimated maximum sea level rise during the 21st century, from one meter to two meters. [BBC]

Supply ship at an ice shelf (Jonathan Bamber)

World:

¶ “Ships Spend Hundreds Of Thousands Of Hours A Year Trawling In Europe’s Marine-Protected Areas” • Using data from Global Fishing Watch and the World Database of Protected Areas, we found that in 2016, fishing vessels spent over 930,000 hours trawling Marine Protected Areas off the coasts of the Netherlands, Italy, and Spain. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “ExxonMobil Eyes Clean Energy Partnership In India” • ExxonMobil is reportedly in talks with an Indian company to initiate a clean energy partnership. ExxonMobil seems to have been attracted by the clean energy policies in India and an increase interaction between Indian and American businesses over the last few years. [CleanTechnica]

Wind Energy (Pexels image)

¶ “French Retailer Boulanger To Source Renewable Power From Voltalia” • French specialised retailer Boulanger has entered into an exclusive partnership with Voltalia SA to source 100% of its energy from renewable sources. Under terms of the partnership, Boulanger will source 100% of its energy from renewable sources from July 1, 2019. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory – Main Structure Now Being Completed (Video Update)” • The latest aerial video from the Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory site, courtesy of Jason Yang, shows the main structure of the factory very close to completion. Focus is now shifting to work on the loading bays and the factory’s internals. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Gigafactory in Shanghai

¶ “Renewable Energy Now Accounts For 33% Of Global Power” • Data from the International Renewable Energy Agency shows 171 GW of renewable energy was added globally in 2018. That is two-thirds of the all generation capacity added for the year. This is in part because, for the first time, renewables generate at a lower price than fossil fuels. [ThomasNet News]
(Please NOTE: I believe the 33% report is not correct. – George)

¶ “Could The Notre Dame Be Reborn As An Energy-Positive Eco-Cathedral?” • Could the Notre Dame be reborn as an energy-positive cathedral? Paris-based Vincent Callebaut Architectures says that is exactly how it should be rebuilt. It has released new concept plans to repair the eight-century-old Notre-Dame cathedral after the fire. [Energy Live News]

Notre Dame design (Image: Vincent Callebaut Architectures)

¶ “How A Remote Togo Village Is Getting Transformed By Solar Power” • BBOXX, a UK-based power company, in partnership with France’s EDF Group, launched a program to power an entire village in southern Togo with solar PVs. Currently, all electricity in the village of Sikpe-Afidegnon comes from expensive and polluting fuel oil. [ETEnergyworld.com]

US:

¶ “Chevron Dabbles In EV Charging, Installs EVgo Fast Chargers At Select Stations” • EVgo and Chevron have partnered to bring EV fast charging capability to a select set of Chevron fueling stations in California. Chevron has over a dozen EVgo fast charging stations in operation or under construction at five California stations. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model X at an EVgo charging station (EVgo image)

¶ “Salt Lake City Moves Up Goal To Be Entirely On 100% Renewable Energy To 2030” • Salt Lake City has moved up its goal to be on 100% renewable energy. In a recent interview with FOX 13, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski said the original goal to have the entire city on renewable energy has changed from 2032 to 2030. [fox13now.com]

¶ “Xcel Energy Fast-Forwards Minnesota Coal Plant Closures But Extends Nuclear Window” • Xcel Energy plans to close its last two coal-fired power plants in Minnesota by 2030, a decade earlier than scheduled, while keeping its nuclear power plants running through at least 2040. It plans to have 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050.  [Greentech Media]

Coal-burning power plant in Minnesota

¶ “New Hampshire Legislators Quintuple Net Metering Cap By Veto-Proof Margin” • As more states to meet their net metering caps, the legislature in New Hampshire has sought to encourage further adoption by increasing the maximum amount of distributed solar capacity that would receive credit for power sent to the grid. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Reactor Shut Down After Electrical Cable Fails At Plymouth Nuclear Plant” • A degraded electric cable led to a manual scram of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth on May 17. The NRC reported that operators shut down the reactor when a circulating-water pump lost power. Pilgrim is scheduled to close permanently on May 31. [Wicked Local Plymouth]

Have a perfectly auspicious day.

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