Archive for the 'renewable power' Category

May 25 Energy News

May 25, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Why Are We Subsidizing Fossil Fuels? Seriously” • Supporting renewables can cut emissions and boost the economy, all while providing cost-competitive energy. The Trump Administration, however, continues propping up the fossil fuel industry, despite the sector’s real financial problems, which began long before the COVID-19 pandemic. [CleanTechnica]

Disney World solar installation (Cynthia Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Experts Warn Climate Change Is Already Killing Way More People Than We Record” • In a published correspondence, a physician from the Australian National University and four other public health experts estimated that Australia’s mortality records have substantially underreported heat-related deaths, which may be fifty times what is reported. [ScienceAlert]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Activists Want To Clean The Oceans With Catamaran Vacuum Cleaners” • The Ocean Cleanup, a non-profit engaged in cleaning the oceans from plastic pollution, introduced a new device that can autonomously collect garbage. To do this, they use a FRED (Floating Robot for Eliminating Debris) catamaran powered mostly by solar panels. [Free News]

Plastics cleanup

World:

¶ “Iran Oil Tanker Reaches Venezuela Amid US Tension” • Venezuela is suffering a shortage of refined fuel, despite having the world’s largest oil reserves. The first of five Iranian oil tankers has entered Venezuela’s waters carrying more than a million barrels of fuel. The US has imposed sanctions on both countries and is monitoring the convoy. [BBC]

¶ “Coal-Fired Generation ‘Over’ In Germany” • The age of coal power generation in Germany is over, says BEE, the country’s renewable energy federation. BEE president Simone Peter said the Covid-19 crisis has changed the energy industry significantly. Hard coal plants are idle, few lignite facilities are connected, and Peter says it can stay that way. [reNEWS]

Burning coal for electricity (Pixabay image)

¶ “Number 1 Tesla has 29% of Global Electric Vehicle Market in Q1 2020” • EV Volumes has shared the first quarter breakdown by brand for the world as a whole. It is interesting that the top two brands have had dramatically different approaches to their plug-in vehicle sales rise. Tesla is number one; it is followed rather distantly by Volkswagen. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “UK Power Emissions Fall To Record Low” • The UK power system’s carbon intensity fell to a record low on 23 May, pushed down bin increased solar and windpower, according to research by Drax Electric Insights. Average carbon intensity reached 61 grams of CO₂ per kWh, beating the previous record, 76 grams of CO₂ per kWh, set on 17 August last year. [reNEWS]

Canola and wind turbines (Innogy image)

¶ “Zambia’s Zesco And Power China Lock 600-MW Solar Deal” • Zambia’s state-owned electricity company Zesco Ltd has teamed up with Power China to install 600 MW of solar PVs in Zambia, one 200-MW grid-connected solar park in each of three districts. According to Zesco, the three projects have a combined cost of $548 million (€502.7 million). [Renewables Now]

¶ “Kazakhstan Approves New Green Projects In A Bid To Cut Fossil Fuels In Half By 2050” • Kazakhstan‘s new leadership, faced with concurrent challenges of volatile oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic, has approved 19 new renewable energy projects worth $1.1 billion in the country’s latest effort to go green and diversify its energy supply. [Euractiv]

Solar energy in Kazakhstan (Alexandr Zevakin | Shutterstock)

¶ “NSW Calls For Wind, Solar, Storage Ideas For First Renewable Zone In Central West” • The government of New South Wales issued a call for 3,000 MW or more of wind, solar, and storage project proposals to join the state’s first Renewable Energy Zone. The zone will be in the Central-West region, centered around the town of Dubbo. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Silverton Wind Farm Now Up And Running” • In New South Wales’ Barrier Ranges, the A$450 million ($295 million) Silverton Wind Farm is generating at full capacity. The project was built by AGL Energy and Powering Australian Renewables. AGL Project Director Adam Mackett, said all 58 turbines are now running and generating for the grid. [Energy Magazine]

Kangaroo and wind turbines

¶ “Britain’s Largest Solar Farm Poised To Begin Development In Kent” • Britain’s largest solar farm, capable of generating enough electricity to power 91,000 homes, is set to receive the greenlight from ministers this week. The subsidy-free renewables park is expected to have a capacity of 350 MW. It will be on farmland in the Kent countryside. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ “The Coronavirus Should Signal The End Of Fossil Fuels” • Two surveys conducted in April by the Center For Climate Change Communication at George Mason University and Yale Climate Change Connection show that more Americans than ever believe the climate is changing. And 75% want funding to go to renewables instead of fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

Survey (Credit: Yale Climate Change Communication)
Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “EIG Unveils $1.1 Billion Final Close For Energy-Focused Fund” • An institutional investor based in Washington DC, EIG Global Energy Partners, achieved a $1.1 billion (€1.01 billion) final close for a fund to support energy projects, including renewables. It also raised $1.5 billion for separately managed accounts that will invest alongside the fund. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Puerto Rico’s Transformation Could Begin With Building Small Modular Reactors: Study” • The bankrupt Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority plans to install renewables and natural gas as it continues recovery from the 2017 hurricanes. A study financed by the US DOE says it should invest in small modular nuclear reactors. [Executive Intelligence Review]

Have a comprehensively awesome day.

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

May 25, 2020

2,906 regular daily posts, linking 38,011 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 May 25, out of 97 US-licensed power reactors (including Three Mile Island, and Indian Point 2, which have been closed down), 8 were at reduced output and 8 not operating.

§ Video: Energy Week #372: 5-21-2020: Batteries are changing everything. Renewables are expected to generate more electricity than coal in the US this year. New York Governor Cuomo rejected pipeline that would carry fracked gas to New York City. Oil and gas rig count drops to the lowest point on record, which means since 1940. Siemens Gamesa has a 14-MW wind turbine. And there is more.

§ You can get a copy of the latest Green Energy Times, the April 2020 edition, by downloading the pdf file HERE.

May 24 Energy News

May 24, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “With The Navajo Generating Station Gone, We Need Help Luring Renewable Energy Investment To Our Land” • Navajo Generating Station closed last December, over twenty years early, because it was no longer economically viable for its corporate owners. Navajo Power can provide renewable energy and jobs, but it needs funding. [AZCentral.com]

Navajo Generating Station (David Wallace | The Republic)

Science and Technology:

¶ “MIT Study Says Using Retired EV Batteries For Grid-Scale Energy Storage Could Be Profitable” • Using a hypothetical 2.5-MW solar farm in California as a model, the researchers found adding a new lithium-ion storage battery would cost more than using re-purposed EV batteries, if the used batteries cost 60% or less of their original value. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Roadster Will Really Use SpaceX Rocket Thrusters” • The idea of a car with rocket thrusters may seem silly, but when you have a CEO who is well versed in rocket science, silly becomes possible. The next-gen Tesla Roadster will have SpaceX thrusters, of the cold variety, meaning compressed inert gases instead of a mix of volatiles. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Roadster and Starman (Image: Kyle Field)

Strange Weather:

¶ “NOAA Predicts More Active Atlantic Hurricane Season In 2020” • NOAA predicts a 2020 hurricane season that follows a pattern that began in 1995. with climatic factors that produce larger, stronger, more life-threatening storms. Increasingly active storms are due to warmer surface waters stirring wild dervishes of storms in the Atlantic. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Siberia Is Experiencing Record Highs: 40°F Above Average” • Siberia is seeing record high temperatures that are nearly 40°F (22°C) above average. To put that in perspective, The Washington Post writes that some areas of Siberia are hotter than Washington, DC. Snow cover is disappearing, sea ice is melting, and really intense fires are raging. [CleanTechnica]

World temperatures, Q1 2020 (Berkeley Earth image)

¶ “Western Australia Prepares For ‘Once-In-A-Decade’ Storm” • Australia’s western coastal areas are bracing for a massive storm. Torrential rains, strong winds, and waves of up to eight meters (26 feet) are forecast in some areas. A senior official in Australia’s Department of Fire and Emergency Services said it would be a “once-in-a-decade” storm. [BBC]

World:

¶ “Italians Can Now Install Rooftop Solar PV Systems For Free” • Italian homeowners now have new opportunities to put clean energy on their roofs. Sustainably focused building-renovation projects can now get a 110% tax rebate instead of a 65% rebate, and PV installations and storage systems associated with such projects also get 110%. [CleanTechnica]

Tuscany (Cynthia Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Nearly 85% Of Power Capacity Added In India In Q1 2020 Was From Solar And Wind” • All new generating capacity added in India in the first three monts of 2020 was from non-thermal technologies. Solar power dominated the new capacity, followed by wind power. Capacity additions overall suffered great declines, and thermal capacity shrank. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Seven Governors Form Common Front Against Federal Energy Policy Changes” • Governors of seven Mexican states formed a common front to oppose federal energy policy changes that seek to consolidate control of the electricity market under the federal government and limit the participation of private, renewable energy projects. [Mexico News Daily]

Group photo of seven governors during Covid-19 pandemic

¶ “O’Connor: West Coast Offshore Wind Could Generate €21 billion Per Year Revenues” • Realising the potential of offshore wind power off the west coast alone could generate annual revenues of €21 billion per year from 75,000 MW of installed capacity, according to Airtricity and Mainstream Renewable Power founder Eddie O’Connor. [Independent.ie]

¶ “UAE Adding Nuclear To Portfolio Of Energy Sources” • The UAE has turned to nuclear power to free up oil and gas fossil fuels for use in other areas, according to Mohamed Al Hammadi, CEO of Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation. ENEC recently completed the Cold Hydrostatic Testing at Unit 4 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant. [ArabianBusiness.com]

Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant

US:

¶ “How Some Mississippi Teens Are Saving Their Town From Climate Change” • Since 2018, teens and community leaders of Duck Hill, Mississippi, have been tackling the climate-related problems that their state and local government have not been able to fix. In the process, they have worked to change how their tiny town views climate change. [The Hechinger Report]

¶ “Electric Bus Fleet In Washington Has Completed 50 MWh Of Wireless Charging” • In 2018, electric buses started running on urban routes in Wenatchee, Washington. That may not sound groundbreaking, but Link Transit also chose wireless charging for those buses. The buses have now used 50 MWh of energy, charging wirelessly. [CleanTechnica]

Wireless charging (Momentum Dynamics courtesy image)

¶ “Judge In Montana Ends Moratorium On Coal Leasing On Federal Land” • A federal judge in Montana tossed out a lawsuit seeking to continue a ban on coal leases on federal land, opening thousands of acres of public land for coal development. The ruling may be an industry win, but it doesn’t change the collapse of coal worldwide. [KTVQ Billings News]

¶ “DTE, EPA, Sierra Club Settlement Results In Cash And Closed Coal-Burning Power Plants” • DTE Energy, the EPA, and the Sierra Club have an agreement that ends a ten year old dispute about some changes the power company made to its Monroe power plant. Under the deal, DTE will give some Wayne County communities $7.5 million dollars. [Michigan Radio]

Have a highly amusing day.

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May 23 Energy News

May 23, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Australian Researchers Announce Perovskite Solar Cells That Stand Up To Heat And Humidity” • Perovskite solar cells are cheap to produce and have a number of big advantages. The trouble is that they can’t last very long in the real world. Now, researchers at the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales say they can fix that. [CleanTechnica]

Professor Anita Ho-Baillie (Credit: University of Sydney)

¶ “Natural Gas Leaks Deadly For Trees” • We have long known that drilling, gas extraction, and fracking are associated with huge amounts of water contamination, explosion hazards, and corruption of human health. But the situation is worse than that. Natural gas leaking from pipes is also deadly for the trees that line our city streets. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “ABB Hooking Up ASKO To Electrify Delivery Trucks” • ABB charging stations are scattered all across the world. Norway knows a thing or two about charging stations. After all, plug-in vehicles have a 70% to 75% share of all vehicle sales these days. This story, however, is about a deal that definitely deserves its own spotlight. [CleanTechnica]

Charging an ASKO electric truck (Image courtesy of ABB)

¶ “Cuba Is Boosting Climate Resilience In Agriculture” • The Environmental Defense Fund put up a blog post saying Cuba is boosting climate resilience in agriculture. It explains three things that the small island country is doing. Author Katherine Angier went to Cuba for a symposium, and found that that agriculture can be all about resilience. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “LG Chem And Panasonic In Tight Race To Be #1 EV Battery Supplier, CATL Solidly #3” • A handful of battery companies are getting battery costs (per kWh) to low levels. Even slow-walking automakers can’t help but put out hyper-competitive electric vehicles that will show us more and more that the Osborne effect is arriving for fossil fuel vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

Battery Improvement (LG Chem courtesy image)
Please click on the image to enlarge it

¶ “Mexico Must Contribute To Grid Backup – CFE Chief” • A dispute on the future of the local industry is roiling the market in Mexico. Manuel Bartlett, director of the state-owned Comision Federal de Electricidad, said private renewable energy firms should pay for part of the baseload power underpinning the flow of electricity on the grid. [Reuters]

¶ “Danish Consortium Eyes 10-GW Energy Island” • Danish pension funds PensionDanmark and PFA, energy company SEAS-NVE, and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners formed a consortium to invest in an offshore wind energy island of up to 10 GW in the North Sea. The project, VindO, could include 25 traditional offshore wind farms. [reNEWS]

Offshore windpower (Shaun Dakin | Unsplash)

¶ “Russia Commissions Floating NPP” • The floating nuclear power plant Akademik Lomonosov has been commissioned in Pevek, in the Chukotka region of Russia’s Far East. The official commissioning came with approval by General Director Andrey Petrov of Rosenergoatom, a subsidiary of the state nuclear corporation Rosatom. [World Nuclear News]

US:

¶ “Miami’s Fight Against Rising Seas” • Just down the coast from Donald Trump’s weekend retreat, the residents and businesses of south Florida are experiencing regular episodes of water in the streets. In the battle against rising seas, the region is becoming ground zero. And it has more to lose than almost anywhere else in the world. [BBC]

Miami Beach (Credit: Alamy)

¶ “Big Oil States To Elon Musk: We Want Tesla!” • In a weird, tripped-out version of reality in which Tesla is suddenly at odds with “green,” liberal California, states that produce most of our domestic oil, particularly Texas (the top oil producing state) and Oklahoma (number four), are welcoming Elon Musk and Tesla with open arms. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Park City Wind Files Delayed PPA” • A power purchase agreement for the 804-MW Park City offshore wind farm off the East Coast has been filed with the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority. The filings follow several extensions to the deadline to deliver the contract because of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (Rachel Cooper | Unsplash)

¶ “Butte-Silver Bow Commissioners Approve Land Option To Renewable Energy Developer ” • Butte-Silver Bow, Montana, could potentially become home to a key cog in the Western power grid in the near future as the march toward embracing renewable energy solutions while severing ties with fuels that produce CO₂ continues. [Montana Standard]

¶ “40 years and counting, NOAA renews partnership with UW” • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has partnered for 40 years with the University of Wisconsin-Madison on its Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies. NOAA announced that CIMSS will continue at UW–Madison for the next five years. [University of Wisconsin-Madison]

Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences building (UW News)

¶ “ND Facing Realities Of Coal Decline” • Great River Energy, a Minnesota company, announced recently that it was closing its Coal Creek Station near Underwood, North Dakota, in 2022. It is short notice for a move that will have significant impact on the city and surrounding area. North Dakota is forced to accept the realities facing its coal industry. [Minot Daily News]

¶ “Final Module Placed for Vogtle Unit 3” • The final module for Georgia Power’s Vogtle Unit 3, a massive water tank, has been placed atop the containment vessel and shield building roof at the Vogtle nuclear expansion project in Georgia. The large module is a major part of the AP1000 reactor’s advanced passive safety system. [marketscreener.com]

Have a supremely gratifying day.

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May 22 Energy News

May 22, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Why The Covid Crisis Is A Pivotal Moment For Renewables” • The global energy and travel industries have been some of the hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis. The silver lining that the biggest drop in CO₂ emissions on record may be followed by renewables playing an even more prominent role in the mix of electricity generation. [OilPrice.com]

Changes in demand (Please click on the image to enlarge it.)

¶ “Industry 4.0 – The Spark Behind Big Tech And Tesla’s Q1 2020 Strength” • Industry 4.0 is the coordinated use of digitally enabled technologies like artificial intelligence, sensors, and robots. In a fiscal climate that’s unparalleled in recent history, a company’s success can be grounded in Industry 4.0. Tesla is one such company. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scientists Find Climate Change Tipping Point For Tropical Forests” • Tropical forests can still act as effective carbon sponges in a warmer world. A team of researchers coordinated by the University of Leeds found rainforests can continue to absorb huge volumes of carbon if global warming remains less than 2°C (3.6°F) above pre-industrial levels. [The Irish News]

Tropical forest

¶ “Study Finds That Access To Education And Markets Vital For Coastal Fishing Communities Adapting To A Warming World” • A study of coastal communities and coral reefs in Madagascar and Kenya found that access to education and markets can help to mitigate vulnerabilities of communities struggling with poverty and reliant on overfished ecosystems. [Newswise]

¶ “China’s Svolt Announces Cobalt-Free Battery Production Launch” • Svolt, a Chinese battery company founded in 2018, announced in 2019 that it would build a 24-GWh cobalt-free lithium-ion battery. It seems to have made good on its promise. Svolt says the technology will work in a car for 15 years or up to 1.2 million km (746,000 miles). [CleanTechnica]

Svolt battery (Svolt courtesy image)

World:

¶ “Chinese Solar Perseveres During Pandemic” • The economic disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic is having a negative effect on virtually every industry. Solar power is no exception. In China, the rate of solar installations dipped by about 25% in Q1 of 2020, compared to Q1 of 2019, but the total was still a respectable 3.95 GW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “100% Solarization of Konark Sun Temple And Town” • India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has proposed that the town of Konark, Odisha, go the complete route to renewable, sustainable, 100% solar energy. That’s fitting since the Konark Sun Temple is located there. The plan is to install 10 MW of solar power for the town. [CleanTechnica]

Sun Temple at Konark, Odisha, India (Antoniraj, CC BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “India’s Power Houses Sign Offshore Wind Pact” • NTPC Ltd signed a memorandum of understanding with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited to set up a joint venture for renewable energy business, especially offshore windpower. NTPC, India’s largest power company, has a target of developing 32 GW of renewable energy by 2032. [Offshore Wind]

¶ “Volkswagen R Division To Go All In On Electric Cars” • Many automakers have high performance or racing programs in house. At Volkswagen, it is the  R division. The company has unveiled an R variant of the Taureg SUV. Its hybrid powertrain has a 336-hp gasoline engine coupled with a 130-hp electric motor powered by a 14.1-kWh battery. [CleanTechnica]

Powerful Volkswagen cars (Image credit: Volkswagen)

¶ “Amazon Announces 5 New Solar Projects In China, Australia And The US” • Global e-commerce major Amazon announced five new solar energy projects in China, Australia, and the US. They support its commitment to reach 80% renewable energy by 2024 and 100% renewable energy by 2030, as well as to reach net-zero carbon by 2040. [Saurenergy]

¶ “Enel Connects 185 MW Of North America Wind” • Enel has connected two projects in Canada and a 50-MW wind farm extension in the US. The Canadian projects are the 105-MW Riverview and 29.4-MW Castle Rock Ridge 2 wind farms, both in Alberta. The High Lonesome wind farm in Texas had a 50-MW capacity increse to 500 MW. [reNEWS]

High Lonesome wind farm (ENEL Image)

¶ “Belarus Nuclear Plant: Minsk Set To Fire Up Reactor Just 45 Kilometres From Vilnius” • Europe could pay a heavy price if Belarus is not stopped from firing up its first nuclear plant, Lithuania’s ex-energy minister has told Euronews. The facility at Ostrovets lies just 45 km from the Lithuanian capital Vilnius and is set to go online in July. [Euronews]

US:

¶ “School Focused On Climate And Sustainability Will Amplify Stanford’s Impact” • Stanford University’s president announced that it is designing a school focused on climate and sustainability. The school will draw on the considerable expertise that is in its academic units already, aligning those efforts around research, education, and impact. [Stanford University News]

Solar power at Stanford (Image credit: M Scott Gould)

¶ “Turbine Restrictions May Be ‘Fatal’ To Icebreaker” • Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation, the developers the 21-MW Icebreaker offshore wind farm on Lake Erie, said it is stunned by the regulator’s approval of the project on condition that the six turbines are switched off from dusk to dawn for the most of the year. It may be fatal to the project. [reNEWS]

¶ “Digital Crossroad Chooses Munters For Its Renewable Energy Data Center” • Digital Crossroad placed an order for Munters to cool its 105,000 square foot data center in Hammond, Indiana. The data center, which will run on 100% renewable energy by 2028, is a conversion of a former coal-fired power plant known as State Line. [ThomasNet News]

Have a magically lovely day.

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May 21 Energy News

May 21, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Our Environment Has Always Affected Our Mortality, Should We Add Climate Change To Death Certificates?” • Australians have breathed hazardous air, watched rivers dry up, lived in towns without water, and suffered record-breaking temperatures. But the death certificates record heart and lung problems instead of their environmental causes. [The Guardian]

Caution: Air Unsafe to Inhale (Photo: Xinhua | Rex | Shutterstock)

¶ “In The Coming Renewable Energy Boom, Australia Is Once Again The ‘Lucky Country'” • One of the themes emerging for a post-coronavirus world is that investment should flow into renewable energies, both as economic stimulus and as a way of limiting the impact of climate change. Australia has the mines to provide the minerals. [Reuters UK]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Why Is Everybody Talking About Solid State Lithium-Metal Electric Vehicle Batteries All Of A Sudden?” • Researchers in the solid state lithium-metal field are working on ways to improve in energy density and reduce costs. With that in mind, this article takes a look at a newly released energy storage study from Oak Ridge National Laboratory. [CleanTechnica]

Pathway through thin film solid-state electrolyte
(Xi Chen | Oak Ridge National Laboratory, US DOE)

World:

¶ “Volkswagen Transitions To Online Sales For All ID. Cars” • Volkswagen says 100% of its dealers worldwide have agreed to an online sales model for all its ID. branded electric cars. The agreement means dealers will act as agents of the company with Volkswagen responsible for sales, marketing, and financing, a press release says. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GE Swoops On 103-MW India Double” • GE Renewable Energy got a 103-MW turbine contract for two wind projects in Gujarat. The company will supply 38 of its 2.7-132 wind turbines, for low wind speed conditions, for the Rajkot and Khambaliya projects being developed by Powerica. The projects are to be complete in the first half of 2021. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (GE Renewable Energy image)

¶ “Renewable Energy Should Be At The Heart Of Virus Recovery Plans: IEA” • The International Energy Agency on has called on governments across the world to put clean energy at the heart of their coronavirus economic recovery plans, as it forecast the first slowdown in new renewable power installations worldwide in two decades. [EnergyInfraPost]

¶ “Wind To Supply Half Of UK Power By 2030” • The UK’s installed wind capacity could reach 66 GW by the end of this decade, providing more than half the country’s power, a report from RenewableUK says. The UK offshore wind industry could attract £54 billion (€59 billion, $66 billion) in private investment to grow to 40 GW by 2030. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbines (Nicholas Doherty | Unsplash)

¶ “Only Solar Wins In Germany’s Latest Renewable Power Tender” • Germany’s latest tender for wind and solar capacity was for 200 MW. Solar bids came to 553 MW, but there were none for wind, the country’s federal networks agency said. The average price for winning solar bids fell slightly from the auction in November, to €53.30/MWh. [Recharge]

¶ “Unilever, H&M Among 150 Companies Worth $2 Trillion Urging Net-Zero Pandemic Recovery” • In a CEO-led climate advocacy effort backed by the UN, 155 multinational companies with a combined market capitalisation of over $2.4 trillion signed a joint statement urging world governments to align recovery efforts with climate science. [Green Queen Media]

Sustainable London (EG Focus | Flickr)

¶ “IEA: The Renewable Energy Boom Will Restart In 2021” • The renewable energy industry will see a decline in growth this year but will recover and start growing again next year, according to an International Energy Agency report. Many projects will be delayed, but total new renewable energy additions will recover to 2019 levels, the report says. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “Coalition Energy Roadmap For Gas Over Coal” • Australia’s government has highlighted gas as a crucial energy source to back up renewable power generation over the next decade. A long-awaited roadmap to meeting the country’s emission reduction commitments uses gas and pumped hydrogen to back up solar and wind capacity. [Forbes Advocate]

Australian wind turbines

¶ “UK Renewables Output Overtakes Fossil Fuels” • In the UK, renewables generated more than fossil fuels for the first quarter of 2020. In February, UK wind farms averaged a 50% capacity factor for onshore and 60% for offshore, Drax Electric Insights said. By contrast, gas had a capacity factor of 34%, coal had 17%, and nuclear had 59%. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “The University Of California Has Fully Divested From Fossil Fuels” • The University of California announced it had divested completely from fossil fuels. It is the largest in the country do so. Going green is a trend gaining steam nationwide, as educational institutions refuse to profit from fossil fuels and turn to invest in renewable energy. [CNN]

UCLA campus (Robyn Beck | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “US Southeast’s Solar Industry Doing Better Than Most, But Still Losing Many Jobs” • Compared to most states, the large installations of North Carolina’s solar industry have been less influenced by the economic slide from the pandemic. Other states in the US Southeast are also lucky enough to see less than 30% solar job loss. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Coal Plants Disappear In Virginia, But CO₂ Emissions Are Rising” • Over the last decade, the switch from coal to gas has driven down CO₂ emissions associated with generating electricity in much of the US. But the opposite has happened in Virginia, where retiring coal plants were replaced by a massive build-out of natural gas. [E&E News]

Have a justifiably rewarding day.

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May 20 Energy News

May 20, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Ohio’s Governor Listened To The Science On Coronavirus. Why Not Climate Change?” • Ohio’s Republican Governor, Mike DeWine, listened to science on the coronavirus. His response is supported by 84% of his Republican constituents and 90% of Democrats. His performance on the environment and climate change, however, has been less consistent. [Grist]

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (Tony Dejak | AP)

¶ “Lies Republicans Tell Themselves – And You – About The Green New Deal” • The Republican party has allowed itself to be captured by the fossil fuel industry. Ordinary people struggle to pay their bills after being laid off because of the coronavirus, and Republicans are putting together a $750 billion lifeline for oil and gas companies. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Another Hole In The Ozone Layer? Climate Change May Be To Blame” • NASA has kept track of the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica for 40 years. It has shrunk, thanks to policies curbing the use of ozone-depleting chemicals. But another hole briefly opened up in the Arctic in March, and climate change may be partly to blame. [CleanTechnica]

Polar stratospheric clouds (NASA image)

¶ “Top 10 Tips To Reduce Carbon Footprint Revealed” • Climate change can still be tackled, but only if people are willing to embrace major shifts in the way we live, a report says. The authors have put together a list of the best ways for people to reduce their carbon footprints. The list is based on an analysis of 7,000 other studies. [BBC]

¶ “Climate Change Is Turning Parts Of Antarctica Green, Say Scientists” • Scientists have mapped “the beginning of a new ecosystem” on the Antarctic peninsula as microscopic algae bloom across the surface of the melting snow. While the algae tint the surface green, they potentially creat a source of nutrition for other species. [The Guardian]

Snow algae on Anchorage Island in Antarctica (Dr Matt Davey | University of Cambridge | SAMS | AFP via Getty Images)

World:

¶ “Coronavirus Crisis To Hit Renewable Energy Installations This Year, But IEA Praises Sector’s ‘Resilience’” • This year, renewable installations are set to fall due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the International Energy Agency said. The agency’s “Renewable Market Update” projects the first decline in the growth rate in 20 years. [CNBC]

¶ “Northvolt Enters The Portable Energy Storage Market With The Voltpack Mobile System” • A Swedish battery producer, Northvolt, launched the Voltpack Mobile System in partnership with Vattenfall. The modular system was designed to replace diesel generators, providing energy as a service in temporary installations. [CleanTechnica]

Voltpack Mobile System (Image courtesy of Northvolt)

¶ “Renewable Energy Sector Is Expected To Bounce Back Quickly Despite The Impact Of Covid-19” • Despite the Covid-19 global slowdown, the renewable energy sector is expected to bounce back quickly. The “55th EY Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index” says long-term drivers for investment remain strong. [Windtech International]

¶ “Nobel Prize Winner Urges Use Of Renewable Energy Over Fossil Fuels” • Just as Mexico moves to give higher priority to electricity produced with petroleum, Mario Molina, a Mexican winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, has called for fossil fuel energy generation to be phased out over the next 10 years in favor of renewable energy. [Mexico News Daily]

Wind turbines

¶ “Mexican Judge Suspends Official Order That Froze Opening Of New Renewable Power Plants” • In Mexico, a judge has provisionally suspended an official order that froze the opening of new renewable power plants and sparked complaints from some of Mexico’s main allies, including the European Union, according to judicial sources. [Vallarta Daily]

¶ “Massive 1000-MW ‘Baseload’ Wind, Solar And Hydrogen Plant Pitched For NSW” • Infinite Blue Energy proposed a A$3.5 billion ($2.3 billion) concept called “Project NEO,” which would see combining up to 1,000 MW of wind, solar, and hydrogen fuel cell generation capacity to deliver continuous power, around the clock, in New South Wales. [RenewEconomy]

Solar array (Canva image)

¶ “2nd Kyushu Electric Reactor Halted Over Delayed Antiterror Steps” • Kyushu Electric Power Co suspended the operation of a second reactor at its Sendai nuclear plant, as it will miss the regulators’ deadline to implement antiterrorism measures. The only other unit at the Sendai complex had been halted for the same reason in March. [The Mainichi]

US:

¶ “Solar Industry Poised To Lose 114,000+ Jobs From COVID-19 Through June” • The Solar Energy Industries Association is projecting the US solar industry will lose nearly 114,000 jobs through June, to have 38% fewer jobs than the pre-COVID-19 forecast, according to new analysis. This would negate five years of solar industry job growth. [CleanTechnica]

Percentage of solar industry jobs lost by state (SEIA image)

¶ “Department of Energy researchers say blockchain may be revolutionary for renewable energy” • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a unit of the US DOE, has been investigating blockchain for energy transactions. Some use cases are a natural fit for blockchain, as renewable energy proliferates through the country. [Ledger Insights]

¶ “Federal Judge Won’t Dismiss Lawsuit Against Justice-Owned Companies” • An effort by several companies owned by West Virginia Gov Jim Justice to dismiss a lawsuit alleging they owe Canadian steel manufacturer millions of dollars was denied by a federal judge. The suit involves complex financial issues among Justice holdings. [Wheeling Intelligencer]

Have a wonderfully fruitful day.

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May 19 Energy News

May 19, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Pandemics And Public Transportation – Can They Co-Exist?” • Public transportation and social distancing are impossible to reconcile. To be economically viable, buses, trains, and subways must pack lots of people into confined spaces to transport them efficiently. But viruses and other diseases thrive under such crowded conditions. [CleanTechnica]

F train (Pacific Coast Highway | Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Why It’s Short-Sighted To Do Centralized Planning In A Decentralizing Electricity Grid” • State regulators, expecting the grid future to unfold from a utility’s central plan, rarely push back. But central planning may cost nearly everyone more, because the most cost-effective electricity system can be built from the bottom up. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Hurricanes, Typhoons, And Cyclones Are Becoming Stronger, According To A New NOAA Study” • It is becoming increasingly evident that cyclonic storms are becoming stronger and deadlier with global warming, according to a study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. [CNN]

Eye of Hurricane Irma (NASA SPoRT via Twitter)

World:

¶ “Renewable Energy Investors Increasingly Look To UK, Says Report” • The UK has become more attractive to renewable energy investors after the government decided to lift its block on financial support for onshore wind and solar projects. Britain has taken the sixth spot in EY’s “attractiveness index” for renewable energy. [The Guardian]

¶ “Campaigners Launch Legal Case Over UK Energy Policy” • UK climate campaigners have launched a judicial review against the government challenging its “outdated” energy policies. They said the government’s policies contradict its promises to tackle CO₂ emissions and could be used to support major fossil fuel power plants or fracking. [reNEWS]

Coal-burning power plant (Pixabay image)

¶ “Zimbabwe Tenders For 500 MW Of Solar Power Plants In Renewable Energy Drive” • Zimbabwe’s state power transmission company invited bids to build 500 MW of solar power plants as it moves to end power cuts by relying more on renewable energy. Local hydropower has been hit by drought, and the country’s old thermal plants fail often. [DispatchLIVE]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Unveils 14-MW Offshore Titan” • Siemens Gamesa has unveiled a new 14-MW offshore wind turbine. It is equipped with a 222-meter rotor that offers a 25% increase in annual energy production, compared to its 11-MW predecessor. Each unit will be able to supply annual power needs for around 18,000 European households. [reNEWS]

Artist’s impression of the 14-MW turbine (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “Berlin Amends Onshore Wind Distance Rule” • The German federal government agreed to allow regional governments to decide whether or not to impose a rule on a minimum 1-km distance between new onshore wind farms and the nearest settlements. Berlin also agreed to remove a cap on support for solar projects that stood at 52 GW. [reNEWS]

¶ “Trianel Turbine Triumph At Borkum West 2.2” • Fred Olsen Windcarrier jack-up ship Blue Tern has installed the last of 32 turbines at the 200-MW Trianel Windpark Borkum 2 offshore wind farm in the German North Sea. The project, also known as Borkum West 2.2, features Senvion 6.2M152 hardware installed on monopile foundations. [reNEWS]

Blue Tern – installation complete (Image: Fred Olsen Windcarrier)

¶ “RES, Energy Estate To Collaborate On 2-GW Renewables Hub In Queensland” • UK-based Renewable Energy Systems Ltd has teamed up with Aussie advisory firm Energy Estate to develop a 2-GW-plus hybrid renewable energy project in Queensland. The Central Queensland Power project will bundle wind, solar, and storage developments. [Renewables Now]

US:

¶ “Hyzon Motors To Begin Production Of Heavy Duty Fuel Cell Trucks And Buses This Year” • Hyzon Motors, based in New York, specializes in fuel cell-powered heavy trucks, buses, and delivery vans. It will be the first company in the US offering commercial vehicles equipped with proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems that exceed 100 kW. [CleanTechnica]

Hyzon hydrogen-powered bus (Hyzon image)

¶ “US Becomes The ‘Most Attractive Country For Renewable Energy Investment’” • The US is the “most attractive country for renewable energy investment,” the 55th EY Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index says. The survey suggests the renewables sector is expected to quickly bounce back from the Covid-19 downturn. [Energy Live News]

¶ “The Nature Conservancy To Unlock Solar Potential On Retired Appalachian Coal Mine Land” • With its 65 years of work protecting the environment through conservation, the Nature Conservancy is making its way deeper into coal country. The organization wants to help develop solar power on up to 13,000 acres of cleared coal mine lands. [CleanTechnica]

Appalachian River (Cynthia Shahan)

¶ “Wind Farm In Northwest Missouri Begins Commercial Operation” • Tenaska Clear Creek Energy Center, a 242-MW wind farm in northwest Missouri, is now fully operational and is in commercial operation. Tenaska Clear Creek has 111 Vestas turbines on about 31,000 acres north of Maryville, in Nodaway County. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “DOE Launches Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program” • The DOE has announced the launch of the Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program to help domestic private industry demonstrate advanced nuclear reactors. It will provide $160 million for initial funding of two reactors to be operational within seven years. [Nuclear Engineering]

Have a perfectly marvelous day.

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May 18 Energy News

May 18, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “After The Covid-19 Crisis, Will We Get A Greener World?” • The current Covid-19 crisis has revealed a sobering truth: the global economic shutdown has barely dented our carbon emissions. They may be down by 6% to 8%. They have to fall by 7.6%  of what they now are every year to 2050 in order to keep global warming below 1.5°C. [The Guardian]

Painting a new cycle path sign in Milan (Claudio Furlan | AP)

¶ “Time To Set A Course Away From Japan’s Troubled Nuclear Fuel Cycle” • The Rokkasho Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Facility being constructed in northern Japani cleared a safety inspection by the Nuclear Regulation Authority. Given the circumstances surrounding nuclear power, the value of the facility’s existence is no longer clear. [The Mainichi]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Plant-Based Bottles Could Degrade In One Year” • Virtually all plastics are derived from oil. Plastic bottles take decades or even centuries to decompose. They cost so much to recycle that it is cheaper to make new ones. Avantium is a Dutch company that has a solution to these problems. Its industrial products are not reliant on petroleum. [CleanTechnica]

Avantium laboratory (Avantium image)

¶ “Six Years In A Row, A Named Storm Forms Early In The Atlantic” • For the sixth year in a row, a tropical cyclone was named before the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season. Reportedly, there is even a debate going on at the National Hurricane Center in Miami over moving the hurricane season opening to some date in May. [WTSP.com]

World:

¶ “Lithium-Sulfur Batteries To Help Electrify Brazil’s Bus Fleets” • Oxis Energy makes lithium-sulfur batteries, which are getting competitive with lithium-ion batteries. It announced that it had negotiated a 15-year lease with Mercedes-Benz Brazil to use an idled production site in the state of Minas Gerais in southeastern Brazil for its new factory. [CleanTechnica]

Oxis Energy facility, circled (Image courtesy of Oxis Energy)

¶ “Nineteen Environmental Monitoring Requirements For Oil Sands Suspended By Alberta” • After the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers sent a long letter to the government of Canada, the Alberta Energy Regulator indefinitely suspended 19 environmental monitoring requirements for oil sands producers, citing the Covid-19 pandemic. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Solar-Wind-Battery Microgrid Completed And Powering Remote WA Gold Mine” • A groundbreaking 56-MW solar, wind and battery project built to power a gold mine in remote Western Australia has been completed. It is the largest hybrid microgrid of its kind in Australia and the first in the country to use the wind to power a mine. [RenewEconomy]

Wind turbines at the Agnew Hybrid Renewable Project

¶ “The Renewable Energy Transition Is Finally Coming To Asia: IEEFA” • Despite the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the renewable energy transition is still well underway, and it is coming to Asia, according to a study by the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. Renewable energy technology has become disruptive. [Saurenergy]

¶ “GE Selected For 52-Turbine Turkish Deal” • GE Renewable Energy has been selected by Fina Enerji to supply 52 of its 3-MW platform onshore wind turbines for four wind farms in Turkey. The wind farms, Baglama, Tayakadin, Yalova, and Pazarkoy, are to have a total capacity of 193 MW. The scope includes a 10-year servicing agreement. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (GE Renewable Energy image)

¶ “Mexican Government Blames Covid-19 For Seizing Renewables Energy” • The Mexican government has cited the coronavirus pandemic as a justification for new rules that will reduce the role of renewable energy, including solar and wind power. The new rules grant a reprieve to the government’s own aging, fossil-fuel power plants. [Saurenergy]

US:

¶ “Electric Vehicles Are Cleaner Than Gasoline Vehicles (New Fact Sheet)” • EVs get their energy from grids that produce emissions. The Union of Concerned Scientists calculated the total emissions for electric vehicles and found that the average EV produces global warming pollution equal to a gasoline vehicle that gets 88 mpg. And that will improve. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it. (UCS image)

¶ “US Auto Sales Down 496,000 In First Quarter” • After falling in 2019 as a whole, the US auto industry has been slammed by the coronavirus in the first quarter of 2020. With few exceptions, sales of car brands are off badly from last year. One noteable exception to the trend is Tesla, whose sales have increased by 17% from Q1 of 2019. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Climate Change Linked To Decline Of Smallmouth Bass In Potomac” • Smallmouth bass are the most popular sport fish in the nontidal portion of the Potomac. But they’ve suffered from poor reproduction every year since 2007. State fishery managers are worried about the future of the recreational fishery, valued at $23 million a year. [The Chesapeake Bay Journal]

Biologists conducting a fish survey (Courtesy of John Mullican)

¶ “US Oil And Gas Rig Count Plunges To Record Low For 2nd Week – Baker Hughes” • The US rig count, an early indicator of future output, fell by 35 to a record low of 339 in the week to May 15, data from energy services firm Baker Hughes Co shows. The data goes back to 1940, and the previous record low of 374 was set last week. [Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide]

¶ “DTE May Switch To Natural Gas At Four Coal-Fired Plants” • Michigan utility DTE must switch from coal to natural gas or install new anti-pollution equipment at four power plants under a proposed settlement with the EPA. The EPA had sued in 2010, alleging that DTE violated the New Source Review provisions of the US Clean Air Act. [Kallanish Energy]

Have a fantastically untroubled day.

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May 17 Energy News

May 17, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Climate Options: Seawalls, Flooding, or Emissions Cuts?” • Climate change, it’s fair to say, is complicated. And it’s big. One of the main challenges of responding effectively is simply getting your head around the scale of the problem. A study published in the journal Nature Communications clarifies the situation through cost analysis. [The Maritime Executive]

Dutch surge barrier (Rens Jacobs | Rijkswaterstaat)

¶ “Risk, Doubt, And The Burden Of Proof In The Climate Debate” • This article is an Excerpt from Industrial-Strength Denial: Eight Stories of Corporations Defending the Indefensible, from the Slave Trade to Climate Change by Barbara Freese, published by the University of California Press. © 2020 by the Regents of the University of California. [GreenBiz]

Science and Technology:

¶ “New Way To See How Much Methane Is Being Released From Arctic Lakes” • There’s a new way to see how much methane is being released from Arctic lakes. Using synthetic aperture radar, a research team at the University of Alaska Fairbanks was able to study satellite images differently, giving scientists a new tool to measure emissions. [CleanTechnica]

Methane bubbles under ice (Melanie Engram | UA Fairbanks)

¶ “New Study Could Help Better Predict Rainfall During El Niño” • Researchers discovered a connection between tropical weather events and US rainfall during El Niño years. It helps explain why California received significantly less rainfall than predicted during the 2015 El Niño event while massive flooding occurred in the Mississippi River basin. [Science Daily]

¶ “NASA Explains Sea-Level Rise – And Yes, It’s Real” • NASA science writer Alan Buis published a blog post, “Can’t ‘See’ Sea Level Rise? You’re Looking in the Wrong Place.” We loose 2.5 meters of beach for every inch the sea rises. So what are our options? Either spend a lot of money to combat it with things like higher sea walls or abandon ship and move. [Electrek]

Flood in Key West (Image: Union of Concerned Scientists)

World:

¶ “IEA Sees Unique Opportunity For Clean Energy During Covid-19 Crisis” • In the midst of a pandemic that has shaken energy markets to the core and threatens to send the global economy into a depression, renewable energy is holding steady. In the apt words of ihe International Energy Agency, renewables remain ‘resilient.’ [OilPrice.com]

¶ “Romanian Oil Company Powers Its Gas Stations With Solar Panels” • Romanian oil and gas company OMV Petrom installed solar panels on the canopies that cover the gas pumps at forty service stations in Romania. The output of those solar arrays will offset approximately 10% of the electricity need to operate those service stations. [CleanTechnica]

OMV Petrom station (Image credit: OMV Petrom)

¶ “Canada, EU Raise Concerns To Mexico Over Renewable Energy Policy Dispute” • The European Union and Canada have formally raised concerns to Mexico about rules that they said endanger renewable energy projects, escalating tensions with its government. Mexico had moved to tighten its control over the power industry. [q107.com]

¶ “Union Government Permits Commercial Coal Mining” • In a major reform, Finance News suggests, India’s Union government has decided to permit commercial mining of coal. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said there would be no eligibility conditions for commercial bidders apart from upfront payment with a ceiling. [newsgram.com]

Coal mine (Pixabay image)

¶ “White House Official Urges Britain Not To Hand China Control Of Its Electricity” • The US State Department’s assistant secretary for non-proliferation and international security delivered a stark warning to Britain not to continue to let a Chinese state-run nuclear energy company control a large part of our electricity supply. [Daily Mail]

US:

¶ “As Big Oil Declines, Bill McKibben Says, ‘So Will Its Political Power'” • In a recent editorial, Bill McKibben declared, “Big Oil is not so big anymore.” At least 90 fossil fuel companies are part of the Federal Reserve coronavirus bond buyback program. “But the key point is that,” McKibben reminds us, “as the industry flags, so will its political power.” [CleanTechnica]

Pump jacks (Image retrieved from YouTube)

¶ “Two Multimillion-Dollar Solar Energy Projects Could Come To Lowndes County” • Two 200-MW solar energy projects, potentially with energy storage, could come to Lowndes County, Mississippi, after supervisors unanimously approved resolutions of intent to enter agreements with the companies pitching the projects. [The Commercial Dispatch]

¶ “Groups Sue Over Western Colorado Coal Mine’s Emissions” • Conservation groups filed a federal lawsuit against Arch Coal, based in St Louis, over methane and other toxic air emissions at the company’s West Elk Mine in Colorado’s North Fork Valley. The Sierra Club is one of several groups that filed the suit in US District Court in Denver. [OutThere Colorado]

Grand Mesa at Land’s End in Colorado (Jeremy Janus | iStock)

¶ “Guernsey Braces For Layoffs As Coal’s Decline Quiets The Rails” • For Guernsey, Wyoming, the railroad is the town’s backbone. With less coal mined, there are fewer trains, a decline townspeople say is notable. Recently, BNSF Railway told local and state officials the company would eliminate 87 jobs there as it closes a mechanical shop in July. [Oil City News]

¶ “Trump Administration Forced To Review Coal-mining Threats To Endangered Species Nationwide” • In response to a lawsuit from environmentalists, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement agreed to consult with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to review impacts of coal mining on endangered species. [Center for Biological Diversity]

Have a decidedly lighthearted day.

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May 16 Energy News

May 16, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “BLM Planning Vast Overhaul of Greater Chaco Land Management Plan During Pandemic” • The US Bureau of Land Management is holding final public comment sessions on oil and gas drilling in the Greater Chaco region online through May 28, effectively excluding local Navajo, and Pueblo peoples, many of whom have no internet access. [Earth Island Journal]

Great Chaco landscape (Jim Rhodes | Flickr)

¶ “Wind and Solar Profits: The Race Between Falling Costs and Declining Revenue” • Dramatic reductions in the cost of wind and solar lead to optimism that they can be primary contributors to low-carbon electricity grids. But there’s an important obstacle to their profitability. With increased presence of renewables, revenues decline. [Greentech Media]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Study Shows Wetter Climate Is Likely To Intensify Climate Change” • A study published in the journal Nature indicates that the increase in rainfall forecast by global climate models is likely to hasten the release of carbon dioxide from tropical soils. That increase in greenhouse gas emissions would further intensify global warming. [National Science Foundation]

River in India (Valier Galy | WHOI)

¶ “Fast-Charging Super-Capacitor Could Accelerate Renewable Energy Usage” • Researchers at the University of Surrey have developed super-capacitor technology that can store and deliver electricity at high power rates for mobile applications. It also has potential to forward advancements in wind, wave, and solar energy, researchers said. [Electronics360]

World:

¶ “Households In UK Are Earning Money By Consuming Green Electricity” • This spring the UK electric grid was occasionally challenged by the fall in consumption due to Covid-19 and increased production in solar and wind power plants. To help overcome the issue, supplier Octopus Energy paid households to use electricity. [Balkan Green Energy News]

Offshore wind power (Pixabay image)

¶ “London Is Creating The World’s Largest Car-Free Zone” • Some restrictions on vehicles in London have been relaxed due to disruptions of the coronavirus pandemic, but London Mayor Sadiq Kahn and Transport for London announced that they will be reinstated on Monday, May 18. In fact, they will be expanded to allow more foot and bike traffic. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Goverment of Croatia Adopts Decree To Introduce Premiums For Renewables” • The Government of Croatia has adopted a decree on quotas to incentivize the production of electricity from renewable energy generating sources and high-efficiency cogeneration. The decree marks the introduction of premiums for stimulus. [Balkan Green Energy News]

Tracking solar panels (Pixabay image)

¶ “PFF Demands Replacing Coal With Renewables For Power Generation” • The Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum demanded that the government stop power generation through dirty fuels, such as coal, and instead invest in the development of renewable and alternative energy. The government had proposed nine coal-burning power plants. [The News International]

¶ “Lithuania Considers 700-MW Offshore Zone” • Lithuania has opened a consultation on a draft resolution proposing the site of an offshore wind farm of up to 700 MW. The area in the Baltic Sea covers 137.5 km² and is about 29 km from shore. Wind speeds at the site average about nine metres per second, according to the energy ministry. [reNEWS]

Offshore windpower (Nicholas Doherty | Unsplash)

¶ “Labor Calls For End To ‘Decade-Long Barney’ On Climate Wars In Post-Pandemic Recovery” • Australian shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers says if the Morrison government is serious about kickstarting the economy after the coronavirus, it will seek bipartisan agreement with Labor on a new energy policy, and end the decade-long climate wars. [The Guardian]

¶ “Southeast Asia’s Shift To Renewables A Blow To Japan’s Plant Builders” • Philippine conglomerate Ayala plans to exit coal-fired power generation by the end of the decade. The move comes as renewable energy is now on par with fossil-fuels. The trend will be a blow to Japanese plant exporters, such as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. [Nikkei Asian Review]

Ayala coal-burning plant in the Philippines

US:

¶ “Facebook Data Center Installation In Los Lunas Lifts Local Economy” • Construction of a major data center in Los Lunas, New Mexico, has lifted the local economy and accelerated the state’s transition toward renewable-powered electricity, a report published by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis concludes. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Governor Cuomo Rejects The Williams Pipeline” • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has rejected the Williams Pipeline, which would have carried natural gas that had been fracked in Pennsylvania to parts of New York City. This pipeline would also have trapped New York into several decades of dependence on fracked gas. [CleanTechnica]

Governor Andrew Cuomo
(Darren McGee | Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

¶ “Study Finds Methane Leaks In PA Much Higher Than State Reports” • Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry has made the state second only to Texas for gas production. But scientists working for the Environmental Defense Fund found that the industry releases a lot of methane, which is responsible for around 25% of global warming. [WSKG.org]

¶ “Doe Announces $230 Million To Build Advanced Reactor Demonstration Project” • Building on its contention that nuclear power must be a vital part of the American energy future, the US DOE announced that it is going to invest $230 million into a demonstration of advanced reactor technology within this decade. [Power Engineering Magazine]

Have a beautifully pleasant day.

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May 15 Energy News

May 15, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Boiling Point: Giant Batteries Are Changing Everything For Clean Energy” • Southern California Edison announced that it’s buying 770 MW of batteries. So one California utility is buying more energy storage than was installed in the entire US last year. But the CEO of SCE’s parent company called it “just another stepping stone.” [Los Angeles Times]

Solar farm in California (Sammy Roth | Los Angeles Times)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scientists Warn About Risk Of Massive Tsunami In Prince William Sound” • A landslide in Prince William Sound could trigger a large tsunami in an area sometimes frequented by hundreds of fishermen and recreational boaters, according to scientists and state officials. A slope is unstable because a glacier is retreating due to climate change. [Anchorage Daily News]

World:

¶ “Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund Divests Itself Of Climate-Destroying Stocks Worth $3 Billion” • The Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund has sold $3 billion worth of stock in companies it finds are seriously harming the environment. Most of the energy stocks it sold are for Canadian companies involved in extracting oil from the Alberta tar sands. [CleanTechnica]

Alberta tar sands (Howl Arts Collective, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Spain’s Renewables Thrived During Covid-19 Lockdown In April” • Renewables generated 47.3% of Spain’s electricity in April, the first full month that Spain confined people to their homes because of Covid-19. Spanish grid operator Red Electrica de Espana said renewables successfully “resisted the pandemic” and increased production. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Q1 2020 Wind Energy Auctions Database” • From January to April 2020, a total of 3.35 GW of wind power capacity has been auctioned, with 2.1 GW in Europe and the remaining 1.2 GW in Asia. This is down from nearly 5 GW in 2019, largely because of the Covid-19 crisis, with delayed and postponed auctions in a number of key markets. [REVE]

Wind turbines in Austria

Australia:

¶ “Renewable Energy Park For Central West NSW Community Part Of ‘Energy Democracy’ Movement” • Aiming to diversify a farming area hit by drought, the Orange Community Renewable Energy Park won state funding for its own solar farm. The energy it produces will provide over 2,000 homes in New South Wales with cheap, clean energy. [ABC News]

¶ “Swinburne University Inks Deal With Infigen To Go 100% Renewables” • Swinburne University of Technology is Australia’s latest tertiary institution to go 100% renewable. It made a deal with Infigen Energy to match electricity demand at its campuses with energy generated by Infigen’s 57.6-MW Cherry Tree Wind Farm in Victoria. [RenewEconomy]

Wind farm in Australia

¶ “Australia’s Reserve Bank Fuels Call For Post-Pandemic Renewables Push” • Research by the Reserve Bank showing renewable energy investment fell sharply last year is fuelling calls for federal and state governments to back changes to help the industry rebound and drive a post-pandemic recovery. One thing needed is clear energy policy. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ “Multi-User US Offshore Grid Could Save $1 Billion” • A multi-user, ‘planned’ transmission system for offshore wind off the coast of New England could generate grid savings of up to $1 billion, according to a report by consultancy The Brattle Group. The report highlighted the limitations of connecting each wind farm to shore individually. [reNEWS]

Block Island offshore wind farm (Shaun Dakin | Unsplash)

¶ “US Expected to Generate More Electricity From Renewables Than Coal This Year” • Despite Trump administration efforts to bail out the fossil fuel industry during the coronavirus pandemic, the US is projected to produce more electricity from renewable sources than from coal this year – for the first time ever, as The New York Times reported. [Green Matters]

¶ “Duke Energy, City Of Charlotte Team Up For Renewable Power Agreement” • The City of Charlotte has become the first municipality to execute a renewable power agreement under Duke Energy’s Green Source Advantage program. The city said getting power from a new solar plant will save it nearly $2 million over a twenty year period. [WRAL Tech Wire]

Installing solar panels (Duke Energy photo)

¶ “GM To Run Largest North American Factory On Solar Power” • General Motors has secured up to 100 MW of solar power capacity to supply its largest facility in North America under a new green tariff agreement with the Tennessee Valley Authority. GM’s goal is to source 100% of renewable power at its own sites in the US by 2030. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Saudi Oil Rush Threatens to Disrupt Stabilizing US Oil Market” • Over 30 tankers laden with Saudi oil are set to arrive at the Gulf Coast and West Coast during May and June, according to ship tracking data compiled by Bloomberg. The oil they bring threatens to disrupt a positive supply development: a decline in US crude stockpiles. [Yahoo Canada Finance]

Tanker (Eddie Seal | Bloomberg)

¶ “Intel Aims To Reach 100% Renewable Energy Use, Zero Waste By 2030” • Intel unveiled its environmental goals for 2030, committing to cut down its greenhouse gas emissions and waste. The company aims to rely on renewable energy for all of its global electricity use and eliminate the trash it is sending to landfills by the end of the decade. [The Verge]

¶ “GE Research Awarded $5.4 Million To Reduce Nuclear Power Plant Costs” • GE Research won a $5.4 million grant from the DOE’s GEMINA project. The program is designed to harness artificial intelligence to reduce costs at next-generation nuclear power plants, making them more cost-effective and competitive with fossil fuel power plants. [mySanAntonio.com]

Have a fabulously delightful day.

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May 14 Energy News

May 14, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Heat Tolerant Microalgae Could Save Coral Reefs From Bleaching” • Scientists have developed a way to help coral reefs fight the devastating effects of bleaching. The process, described in the journal Science Advances, involves giving microalgae that live in the tissues of corals the ability to withstand higher temperatures. [sciencefocus.com]

Great Barrier Reef (Credit: CSIRO)

World:

¶ “Iberdrola Scores 165-MW Scottish Wind Double” • Iberdrola-owned ScottishPower acquired two wind projects in central Scotland that will total 165 MW when developed. The projects, which could see a combined investment of over £150 million, have been developed by local individual shareholders of 3R Energy and Mitchell Energy. [reNEWS]

¶ “Resalta Enters Romanian Market” • Slovenian energy services provider Resalta established a joint venture with Next Energy Partners, a leader in the development of renewable energy and energy trading in Romania. The joint venture will focus its service offering on solar PV, combined heat and power projects and industrial lighting. [Energy Industry Review]

Bucharest (Shutterstock image)

¶ Energy Majors Slash Capex By Nearly $30 Billion”” • The energy-producing world is dominated by five major companies: BP, Total SA, Shell, ExxonMobil , and Chevron. Prior to the start of this year, these majors had more than $112 billion in capital expenditures planned. Then 2020 happened, and that figure was cut by roughly 25%. [Motley Fool]

¶ “Offshore Wind Boosts Northland Income” • Northland Power, based in Toronto, saw its operating income and adjusted earnings from offshore wind jump 55% and 63%, respectively, in the first three months of 2020, compared with last year. The company’s income figures were boosted by output from the Deutsche Bucht project and higher sales. [reNEWS]

Deutsche Bucht substation and turbine (Northland Power image)

¶ “Vestas To Deliver 46-MW Dutch Delight” • Vestas has booked an order for 11 turbines totaling 46 MW with Dutch developer E-Connection for the first phase of the Oosterscheldekering Wind Optimization development in the Netherlands. The project is directly on a storm surge barrier in the Zeeland province, in the southwest of the country. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Wind Power And Hydropower Race To Crush Coal For Covid-19 Recovery” • Overall electricity demand has fallen during the Covid-19 crisis, but technologies have been hit unevenly. The cost of renewable energy has dropped, and coal just can’t keep up. The bottom line is that grid managers are now avoiding coal power when they can. [CleanTechnica]

Wind power (Photo courtesy of Avangrid)

¶ “America Is Trailing In The Clean Energy Race” • The US is falling behind other countries in the race to transition to a clean energy future, a report released by the World Economic Forum says. For the second-straight year, the US lost ground in rankings that measure countries on such key issues energy security and environmental sustainability. [CNN]

¶ “Revealed: Long-Troubled US Oil Firms Are Capitalizing On Coronavirus Assistance” • Many American oil and gas companies were in financial trouble well before the coronavirus economic crisis and now are asking for taxpayer assistance to cushion their fall. Many independent drillers had got mired in debt chasing the fracking boom. [The Guardian]

Pump jacks (Paul Ratje | AFP via Getty Images)

¶ “Strata Solar Replaces Peaker Plants With Massive New Tesla-Powered Energy Storage Facility” • Strata Solar said it completed pre-construction development work on one of the largest US stationary energy storage facilities. The 100-MW / 400-MWh facility is to be installed in Ventura County, California, replacing gas-powered peaker plants. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hawaiian Utility Selects Huge Solar And Storage Proposals On Way To 100% Renewables” • The Hawaiian Electric Company has selected sixteen solar-plus-storage or standalone storage projects on the islands of Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii for contracts to provide a combined 459 MW of solar generation and nearly 3 GWh of power storage. [RenewEconomy]

Rooftop solar system in Hawaii

¶ “Utah Inland Port Authority And Rocky Mountain Power Announce Cooperation Agreement” • The Utah Inland Port Authority and Rocky Mountain Power have signed a Joint Clean Energy Cooperation Statement on sustainable energy. The goals include net 100% renewable energy with electrification of freight, cargo, and logistics equipment. [Utah Policy]

¶ “FERC Order Could Bar Offshore Wind From US Power Market” • A controvercial order the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued late last year could block offshore wind developers from the nation’s largest capacity market, analysts say. Now, states with ambitious clean energy goals say they are grappling with how to respond. [E&E News]

Planned project (Maryland Energy Administration)

¶ “Labor Data: Clean Energy Jobs Taking Major Beating In Early Coronavirus Era” • An analysis of Department of Labor figures on unemployment indicates that almost 600,000 clean energy industry workers have lost their jobs since coronavirus forced an economic shutdown. This is nearly one-fifth of the clean energy workforce. [Power Engineering Magazine]

¶ “Fermi-2 Reactor In Michigan Sees Over 200 Workers Test Positive For Novel Coronavirus During Outage” • Nearly 250 workers at DTE Energy’s 1,250-MW Fermi-2 nuclear reactor in Newport, Michigan, tested positive for the novel coronavirus during the ongoing refueling and maintenance outage, according to a union official. [S&P Global]

Have a gleefully memorable day.

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May 13 Energy News

May 13, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “The Renewable Energy Transition Is Coming To Asia” • Even in the era of the coronavirus, technology disruption is reshaping the global energy landscape fundamentally. A key impetus is the dramatic, ongoing deflation in the cost of solar energy and battery storage. Both have seen costs drop 80% to 90% over the last decade. [East Asia Forum]

Cleaning a solar array (Amit Dave | Reuters)

¶ “Covid-19 Could Spark A Renewable Energy Boom” • The world finds itself at a crossroads. The coronavirus pandemic has ravaged the global economy, leading to massive unemployment. The recovery looks like it will take a long time. At the same time, the climate problem is not going away. We have the opportunity to “build back better.” [OilPrice.com]

¶ “Tasmania’s Renewable Energy Plan Could Force Tough Choice On The Coalition” • Tasmania’s multi-billion dollar renewable energy plan to drive its economic recovery from coronavirus could force the federal government to choose which to support, renewables or coal. Tasmania’s plan is only viable if use of coal is reduced sharply, a study shows. [Brisbane Times]

Wind and coal power (Martin Meissner | AP)

World:

¶ “Lexus UX300e Comes With 10 Year, 1 Million Kilometer Battery Warranty” • Lexus has been late to the EV party, but it is about to introduce the UX300e, a battery electric version of its compact SUV, in Europe. The battery in the Lexus UX300e will be warranted by the company for 1 million kilometers (600,000 miles) or 10 years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Green Energy Firms On Track To Deliver Multi-Billion Pound Wind Farms” • Britain’s biggest green energy companies are on track to deliver multi-billion pound wind farm investments in the north-east of England and Scotland to help power a cleaner economic recovery. This puts recovery from the coronavirus in line with climate goals. [The Guardian]

Artist’s impression of the Dogger Bank wind farm (PR image)

¶ “Port Of Tyne To Become Base For World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm” • Equinor and SSE Renewables, the two companies behind the world’s biggest offshore wind farm Dogger Bank, announced plans to build a new Operations and Maintenance Base at the Port of Tyne, in northeastern England. The wind farm will have three 1.2-GW phases. [North East Times]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Delivers Philippines Hybrid” • Siemens Gamesa is working on a hybrid energy project in the Philippines for Berkeley Energy. It will combine an existing 16-MW wind farm, battery storage, and a central control system. The project will provide a stable electricity supply in an area with a weak grid link, reducing its dependence on diesel. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine in the Philippines (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “Renewables Ease Innogy Pain In Q1” • Innogy income from discontinued operations, which includes renewables, increased to €303 million in the first quarter of 2020, up from €192 million last year, driven by a strong showing from wind assets. Innogy’s renewables are included with discontinued operations because of a complex deal with RWE. [reNEWS]

Australia:

¶ “Lion Commits To 100% Renewable Electricity-Powered Brewing By 2025” • Lion, an Australian brewery, announced an increase in efforts to be carbon neutral, with a goal of 100% renewable energy powering its breweries by 2025. It is initiating a “whole brewery” carbon reduction approach throughout the company and its supply chain. [AuManufacturing]

Brewing vessels (iStock image)

¶ “BP Looks To Add 1.5 GW Wind And Solar In WA For Huge Renewable Hydrogen Project” • Oil and gas giant BP is looking to build 1.5 GW of new wind and solar capacity in Western Australia if it goes ahead with a full commercial project to build a facility producing renewable hydrogen in that state. It has an eye on the potential export market. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Tasmania Unveils Action Plan To Reach 200% Renewables” • The Tasmania state government unveiled a draft action plan to reach its target of 200% renewables by 2040, saying the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the economy meant there had never been a more important time to manage the transition to renewable energy. [RenewEconomy]

Musselroe wind farm, Tasmania

US:

¶ “Transformative Solar Power Agreement Will Help Emory Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions” • Emory University awarded Cherry Street Energy a 20-year agreement to install 5.5 MW of solar capacity on its Druid Hills campus. Over 15,000 solar panels on 16 buildings will generate about 10% of Emory’s peak energy demand. [Emory News Center]

¶ “Avangrid Begins Construction On La Joya Wind Farm” • Construction has begun on 35,000 acres of state trust land for the La Joya Wind Farm in New Mexico. When completed, the project will consist of 111 turbines and have a total generating capacity of 306 MW. It is expected to be in operation by the end of the year. [North American Windpower]

Wind farm (Image: Public Service Company of New Mexico)

¶ “Replace NYC Peakers With Renewables+Storage? The Plant Owners Say They’re Working On It” • New York City ratepayers put up $4.5 billion in capacity payments in the last decade to keep 16 fossil gas-fired peaking plants available, analysis by PEAK Coalition shows. The plant owners say work to replace them is under way. [Utility Dive]

¶ “DOE Argonne Scientists Use 3D Printing To Recycle 97% Of Used Nuclear Fuel” • Argonne National Laboratory scientists are turning to 3D printing to improve nuclear waste recycling. The process reduces waste after recycling to 3%, which needs to be stored at a maximum of about one thousand years, according to one scientist. [3D Printing Industry]

Have an impressively satisfying day.

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May 12 Energy News

May 12, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Extreme Heat Events Have Arrived Earlier Than Feared, Climate Study Finds” • Climate scientists have previously warned that a lethal combination of heat and humidity will make some inhabited parts of the planet uninhabitable for months at a time in the decades to come. New research published in the journal Science Advances finds that future is now. [ThePrint]

Arctic ice (Pixabay image)

¶ “Water Loss In Northern Peatlands Threatens To Intensify Fires, Global Warming” • A group of 59 international scientists, led by researchers at Canada’s McMaster University, has new information about the distinct effects of climate change on boreal forests and peatlands, which threaten to worsen wildfires and accelerate global warming. [Science Daily]

World:

¶ “India’s Carbon Emissions Fall For First Time In Four Decades” • India’s CO₂ emissions fell for the first time in four decades. Even before India’s coronavirus lockdown, falling electricity use and competition from renewables had weakened the demand for fossil fuels, according to analysis by the environmental website Carbon Brief. [BBC]

Wind turbines (Getty Images)

¶ “Climate Change: Study Pours Cold Water On Oil Company Net Zero Claims” • Claims by oil and gas companies that they are curbing their carbon emissions in line with net zero targets are overstated, according to a new review. The independent analysis of six large European corporations acknowledges they have taken big steps on CO₂ recently. [BBC]

¶ “China Invests In EV Charging Infrastructure To Offset Coronavirus Economic Slump” • The response by the Chinese and US governments to the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus could not be more different. While the US is propping up wealthy corporations, China is investing in EV charging infrastructure. [CleanTechnica]

WiTricity to install wireless charging (Screenshot: WiTricity)

¶ “11,000 Air Pollution-Related Deaths Avoided In Europe As Coal And Oil Consumption Plummet” • Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air points out in a report that approximately 11,000 air pollution-related deaths were avoided as cars and factories were idled and coal and oil consumption plummeted in Europe. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Construction Of Two Renewable Energy Projects In Spain Begins” • Construction of two renewable energy projects by Enel Green Power has begun in Spain. The Los Naranjos PV plant, which will have a capacity of about 50 MW, is being built in Andalusia, and the 21.3-MW Los Gigantes wind farm is under construction in Aragon. [Construction Review]

Solar plants already installed in Andalusia
(Abengoa Solar, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Mexico Suspends Work On Under-Construction Renewable Projects During Covid-19 Emergency” • Mexico announced the suspension of all trials for solar and wind projects. Neoen’s 375-MW El Lano solar plant, completed earlier this year, will have to sit idle until trials restart. The loss in earnings is calculated to be $2 million per month. [Energy Live News]

¶ “Belgium’s Nuclear Power Gamble” • Over 50% of electricity generated in Belgium in 2019 was from the country’s two nuclear power plants, but the plan is to phase them out by end-2025. Volatile and unpredictable prices for power, gas and EU carbon allowances makes investments in new gas-fired plants a risky business. [Energy Voice]

Vilvoorde site and gas-fired power plant (Via Twitter)

US:

¶ “Federal Approval For 690-MW Nevada PV” • The US federal government has given the green light for the 690-MW Gemini solar and battery storage project in Nevada. The Bureau of Land Management and the US Department of the Interior approved the $1.1 billion project, backed by Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners. [reNEWS]

¶ “Coronavirus: Musk Defies Orders And Reopens Tesla’s California Plant” • Tesla has reopened its only US electric car plant in California, despite local orders against manufacturing. On Monday, the company’s chief executive Elon Musk tweeted that production had restarted and he would be “on the line with everyone else.” [BBC]

Elon Musk (Getty Images)

¶ “US Coal-Fired Electricity Generation In 2019 Falls To 42-Year Low – EIA” • Output from the US coal-fired generating fleet dropped to 966,000 GWh in 2019, the lowest level since 1976. The decline in last year’s coal generation levels was the largest percentage decline in history (16%) and second-largest in absolute terms (240,000 GWh). [Renewables Now]

¶ “Arkansas Green Lights AEP 810-MW Wind” • Southwestern Electric Power Company, a subsidiary of American Electric Power, got approval from Arkansas regulators to add 810 MW of wind energy from three projects. The projects are to be finished in 2020 and 2021, to supply power to customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Matt Artz | Unsplash)

¶ “PacifiCorp Readies Huge Solicitation for Renewables, Energy Storage” • Utility group PacifiCorp has an integrated resource plan that envisions reliance on wind farms and solar backed by energy storage. Now, it is preparing a solicitation for projects to meet that plan’s needs through 2024, taking a concrete step toward its vision. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Great River Energy To Exit Coal, Close 1.15-GW Plant, But North Dakota Governor Vows Rescue” • Minnesota’s Great River Energy plans to retire the 1,151-MW Coal Creek Station in the second half of 2022 and add 1,100 MW of wind energy purchases by the end of 2023. Republicans in North Dakota vowed to keep the coal plant open. [Utility Dive]

Have an abundantly agreeable day.

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May 11 Energy News

May 11, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Covid-19 Will Not Slow Southeast Asia’s Shift From Coal To Renewables” • From oil price shocks to billion-dollar bailouts, Covid-19 has caused mayhem. Early signs are that fossil fuel sector volatility is further driving the case for Asia to embrace the security of domestic renewable energy and, if anything, hasten the clean transition. [Nikkei Asian Review]

Floating solar farm in Vietnam (© Sipa | AP)

¶ “Trump’s Environmental ‘Blitzkrieg’ Advances Under Cover Of Coronavirus” • Even amid a pandemic, the Trump administration is weakening US environment protections, continuing its rollback as the November election approaches. During the coronavirus lockdown, US federal agencies are pursuing an appalling series of environmental rollbacks. [The Guardian]

¶ “Renewables To Drive A Clean Recovery From Covid-19” • In the past few months, the outlook for the renewable energy industry has drastically changed. Nevertheless, many of the pressing issues that the Australian energy industry needed to address at the start of the year haven’t changed, and renewables may only become more important. [EcoGeneration]

Wind turbine

World:

¶ “Japan’s Renova Takes Part In 144 MW Wind Portfolio In Vietnam” • Japanese renewable power producer Renova Inc announced it has entered into a 40/60 partnership with Vietnamese power producer Power Construction Joint Stock Company No 1 to implement three onshore wind projects in Vietnam, each of 48 MW. [Renewables Now]

¶ “African Clean Energy’s Off-Grid Solar Power Technology” • A Dutch-South African social enterprise, African Clean Energy, is providing an off-grid energy solution that enables decentralized access to clean energy for rural households in Sub-Saharan Africa. The ACE1 comes with a 10-V / 10-W solar panel and an LED lamp. [AZoCleantech]

Small solar panel

¶ “Bank Of Bangladesh Adds €200 Million To Its Green Transmission Fund” • The Bank of Bangladesh has decided to introduce €200 million along with the existing $200 million for the Green Transmission Fund. Authorized dealers will be able to draw loans from GTF at Euro Interbank Offered Rate (or 0%, if that is negative) plus 1%. [Mercom India]

¶ “‘Another Milestone For Britain’: UK Grid Completes First Coal-Free Month” • The UK’s record-breaking run without coal power passed another milestone. National Grid ESO confirmed that the grid had completed a full month without any input from the country’s coal-fired power stations. The coal-free run is still continuing. [www.businessgreen.com]

Drax power plant (James Brownbridge | Wikimedia Commons)

Australia:

¶ “Queensland To Play Home To The Biggest Solar Farm In Australia” • Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said in an online meeting of the Smart Energy Council Summit that after Neoen’s 400-MW Darling Downs development, Queensland will have more renewable energy projects to help restore the economy from coronavirus. [Energy Matters]

¶ “Fossil Fuel Incumbents Push To Delay Another Crucial Energy Market Reform” • Two crucial reforms to Australia’s electricity market rules, designed to modernize the National Electricity Market, are being put on the back burner under pressure from large incumbent fossil fuel generators, using Covid-19 as a cover to stymie progress. [RenewEconomy]

Transmission lines

¶ “Record Growth In Rooftop Solar Pushing Coal Out Of Australia Market” • Strong growth in rooftop solar installations has been pushing coal fired generation out of the Australian electricity market, an audit of the National Electricity Market shows. Rooftop solar in total generation in South Australia has jumped to 16% in the first quarter. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Green Steel Industry Could Secure Jobs Future For Australia’s Coal Mining Heartland” • An Australian green steel industry could create tens of thousands of jobs in regionals reliant on coal mining, giving them a future as demand for carbon-intensive goods falls, a report by the University of Melbourne’s Grattan Institute says. [The Guardian]

Making steel (Dean Lewins | AAP)

US:

¶ “‘Get The Hell Off’: The Indigenous Fight To Stop A Uranium Mine In The Black Hills” • Lakota elders are staring down yet another encroachment on their historic lands: a 10,600-acre uranium mine proposed to be built in the Black Hills. This puts the Lakota on a collision course with the Trump administration, which is doubling down on nuclear power. [Grist]

¶ “The Tesla Fremont Factory Roller Coaster – Reopening Or Not Reopening?” • California is starting to allow manufacturing companies to operate, if they can show they have taken prudent steps to protect workers from contracting the virus at work. Elon Musk told some workers to be ready to work on Friday. Alameda County still has other ideas, however. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla seat factory (CleanTechnica)

¶ “Villanova University Enters Renewable Energy Agreement And Enhances Commitment To Environmental Sustainability” • In Pennsylvania, Villanova University announced that it will be furthering its commitment to environmental sustainability by entering into a multi-year renewable electric energy agreement with ENGIE Resources, LLC. [Villanovan]

¶ “NV Energy Introduces Long-Awaited, Renewable-Based Pricing Plan For Large Businesses, Customers” • NV Energy’s longstanding plan to woo back large businesses and other major electric customers from leaving utility service now has a name, structural outline, and a promise by the utility that the program won’t cost ratepayers. [The Nevada Independent]

Have a mighty worthwhile day.

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May 10 Energy News

May 10, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Clean Trucks Like The Tesla Semi Are More Important Than Ever” • According to Popular Mechanics, there were at least 2.8 million semi trucks registered in the US in 2016. These trucks are heavy polluters, and research shows that almost 80% of those who died of Covid-19 across four countries were in heavily polluted regions. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Semi Truck Specs Event

Science and Technology:

¶ “New Solution For Cooling Solar Panels” • A technique for cooling solar panels has been under development in Egypt. The PV modules are cooled from underneath by a mixture of water, aluminum oxide, and calcium chloride hexahydrate. Earlier work in France, which increased the PV power generation by 8% to 12%, provided a basis for the new research. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “3D Printing Has Entered The Nuclear Realm” • In 2017, Siemens achieved the industry breakthrough with the first successful commercial installation and continuing safe operation of a 3D printed part in a nuclear power plant. This was an amazing achievement because of the requirements put on the components used by nuclear power plants. [Forbes]

Oak Ridge National Laboratory 3-D printer (US DOE image)

World:

¶ “Argentina Halts Renewables Rollout Amid Coronavirus” • Like many other countries under quarantine, Argentina paused to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The measure has paralyzed the economy, and since renewable energy is not considered essential, Argentina’s recently reinvigorated renewable energy development has stalled. [Buenos Aires Times]

¶ “Finland Aims To Boost Wind Power By Leasing More State Land For Construction” • The government of Finland aims to expand wind power production by offering more state lands for construction. They are overseen by Metsähallitus, a state-owned company that administers more than 12 million hectares of state land and water areas. [YLE News]

Wind turbine near the Bay of Bothnia (Image: Yle)

¶ “ACWA Power And Silk Road Fund Announce Finalizing Their Partnership Owning ACWA Power Renewable Energy Holding Ltd” • ACWA Power, which focuses on power generation and water desalination, announced finalizing its parnership with the Silk Road Fund, now 49% owner of ACWA Power Renewable Energy Holding Ltd. [Construction Business News]

US:

¶ “Lawsuit Filed Over The Reopening Of Tesla’s Factory In Fremont” • Tesla wanted to reopen the Fremont plant safely, based on what it learned at its plant in China with 7,000 workers and not one death (as Elon stated on the Joe Rogan Experience). Alameda County officials are not allowing Tesla to reopen, so Tesla is going to court. [CleanTechnica]

Screen Capture from Joe Rogan Experience YouTube

¶ “Nautilus Solar Energy Leads Maryland’s Community Solar Market” • Nautilus Solar Energy LLC has become Maryland’s foremost owner and operator of community solar PV projects. With more than eleven projects the company has over 32.8 MW of total capacity, all qualified under Maryland Community Solar Pilot Program. [The Southern Maryland Chronicle]

¶ “Renewable Roundup: Solar And Wind Dominate New Energy Installations (Even After The Coronavirus)” • The US Energy Information Administration’s latest information on new capacity additions shows it expects 42 GW to start commercial operation in 2020. Solar and wind represent almost 32 GW, which is 76% of these additions. [Red, Green, and Blue]

Please click on the image to enlarge it. (Image source: EIA)

¶ “Company Seeks Its Shovels Back From Two Wyoming Coal Mines” • A mining equipment company based in Wisconsin wants to be paid or get its equipment back from a Wyoming coal mine that continues to operate the pair of its large coal shovels. Eagle Specialty Materials acquired the mine after Blackjewel went bankrupt. [Casper Star-Tribune Online]

¶ “New California Oil Permits Rose 7.8% In 2020’S First Quarter As Oil Prices Plunged” • As the price of oil went below zero, new oil and gas drilling permits actually increased 7.8% in California during the first quarter of 2020, according to a report by two watchdog groups. Another thing that increased was spending on oil lobbying. [SF Bay Area Indymedia]

Toluca Street, Los Angeles, ca 1900 (Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Oil Drilling Collapses To 11-Year Low With Explorers In Retreat” • Oil and natural gas exploration fell to an all-time low as the Covid-19 pandemic snuffed out the remnants of the US shale boom. In the span of just eight weeks, 53% of active oil and gas rigs in the country have gone dark, according to data released by Baker Hughes Co. [Free Malaysia Today]

¶ “TVA Refuels Nuclear Plants; Workers Screened And Work Limited Due To Pandemic” • Because of the COVID-19 virus, the Tennessee Valley Authority is scaling back some maintenance work it planned to do during refuelings, and it is performing health screenings of all TVA employees and contractors coming to the plants. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

Have an exquisitely outstanding day.

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May 9 Energy News

May 9, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Timeline: 23 Years Of Attempts To Restrict Public Health Science At EPA” • The EPA is advancing a far-reaching proposal to restrict its use of science with no official public hearings and a limited sixty-day comment period, ending May 18. The rule is the culmination of 25 years of attempts to weaken environmental and health laws. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

Pollution (Adobe Stock image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Sea Levels Could Rise More Than A Meter By 2100, Experts Say” • Sea-level rise is faster than previously believed and could exceed 1 meter by the end of the century unless global emissions are reduced, according to a survey of more than 100 specialists. The experts expect that the impact will hit sooner than predicted by the UN. [The Guardian]

¶ “Killer Heat And Humidity Combination Not Experienced Before Is Becoming More Common” • A report by The Earth Institute at Columbia University indicates that the combination of extreme heat and humidity once believed never experienced by humans, is already occurring. Such weather surpasses the theoretical threshold of human survivability. [CNN]

Child in a heat wave (STR | AFP | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Shedding New Light On The Ocean’s Living Carbon Pump” • Phytoplankton play a crucial role in ocean biology and climate. Using data from the European Space Agency’s Climate Change Initiative, a study has produced a 20-year time-series of global primary production in the oceans, shedding new light on the ocean’s living carbon pump. [SciTechDaily]

World:

¶ “Brazil’s Amazon: Surge In Deforestation As Military Prepares To Deploy” • Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest rose sharply last month as the country prepared to send troops to try to curb illegal logging and mining. Brazil’s space research agency said the area destroyed in April was 64% bigger than in the same period last year. [BBC]

Site of an illegal gold mine (Reuters)

¶ “Large Auto Leasing Company: Electric Cars Have Mostly Lower Total Cost In Europe” • Dutch leasing company LeasePlan has studied the total cost of vehicle ownership. The company is increasingly bullish about electric vehicles. Last year it released a white paper on the topic, after conducting nearly 1000 vehicle ownership scenarios. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renew Power Wins 400-MW Round-The-Clock Renewable Auction At ₹2.90/kWh” • The Solar Energy Corporation of India has concluded the 400-MW round-the-clock renewable power supply auction. Out of nearly 950 MW bid, Renew Power won the entire capacity of 400 MW by quoting the lowest first-year tariff of ₹2.90/kWh (3.8¢/kWh). [pv magazine India]

Solar farm (Image: fabersam | Pixabay)

¶ “Renewables Can Play Key Role In COVID-19 Response Strategies: IRENA” • The International Renewable Energy Agency’s Coalition for Action has asked governments to take effective response measures to address the immediate and long-term impacts of the global COVID-19 crisis. They emphasize a range of renewable energy options. [Mercom India]

US:

¶ “US Treasury to Tweak Tax Credit Deadlines for Renewables Projects” • A concise three-sentence letter sent by the Treasury Department suggests relief may be on the way for a renewables industry concerned about meeting quickly approaching tax credit deadlines. The letter was a response to a bipartisan group of senators. [Greentech Media]

Wind project

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Is Best Selling Luxury Car In USA – By Far (Q1 2020)” • The Tesla Model 3 accounted for approximately 21% of new small and midsize luxury car sales in the USA in Q1 of 2020. This should not be a surprise. It has better acceleration, lower operational cost, and higher resale value. It is also rated as the safest car you can buy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “DNREC Suit Claims It Must Have A Say In Whether To Freeze Renewable Fuel Use Under State Mandate” • In Delaware, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is taking the Public Service Commission to court, in a long-term dispute over the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard and how it is managed. [Delaware First Media]

Solar array (Sophia Schmidt | Delaware Public Media)

¶ “Innergex Announces Financial Close of Hillcrest Solar Project In Ohio” • Developer Innergex Renewable Energy Inc closed on construction financing, tax equity commitment, and a seven-year term loan facility for the 200-MW Hillcrest solar PV project, to be built in Brown County, Ohio. Financing for the project came to $191.8 million. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “‘Inside The Struggle To Keep Reactors Running” • Canceling the refueling of a reactor at a site producing 40% of New Jersey’s power in the middle of a pandemic wasn’t an option for PSEG Nuclear. The Salem Nuclear Generating Station cannot operate at full output without having hundreds of workers refuel it every 18 months. [E&E News]

Have a simply magnificent day.

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May 8 Energy News

May 8, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Planting Trees Is No Panacea For Climate Change, Says Ecologist” • In a commentary that appears in Science, an ecologist at the University of California Santa Cruz and a forestry scientist at the University of São Paulo endorse the benefits of trees but caution against a simplistic view of tree-planting as a panacea for environmental degradation. [UC Santa Cruz]

Planting trees (Photo by Pedro Brancalion)

¶ “How Climate Change Is Contributing to Skyrocketing Rates of Infectious Disease” • Scientists who study how diseases emerge in a changing environment knew that a pandemic was coming. Climate change is making outbreaks of disease more common and more dangerous, and the number of emerging infectious diseases has been rising fast. [TPM]

World:

¶ “This Aircraft Is Powered With Electricity, And It Is Already Heading For The Skies” • Here is a look at some of the other decarbonization developments going on in the world of flight as the aviation industry crawls out of its COVID-19 hole.  First up is a newly unveiled family of low carbon aircraft called Cassio, from the startup VoltAero. [CleanTechnica]

VoltAero Cassio hybrid aircraft (courtesy of VoltAero)

¶ “Capital Dynamics Swoops On 133 MW Of Spanish Solar” • Asset manager Capital Dynamics has completed the acquisition of a 100% equity stake in the 133-MW Puerto Real 1 PV project in Cadiz in southern Spain. Puerto Real 1 is slated to start operating commercially in the first quarter of 2021, and it has a long-term power offtake agreement. [reNEWS]

¶ “IRENA And ESCAP Step Up Joint Efforts To Support Asia-Pacific’s Crisis Response” • The International Renewable Energy Agency and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific will make recommendations to governments in the Asia-Pacific region to make the energy transition an integral part of recovery efforts. [Modern Diplomacy]

Solar power

¶ “Global Trade In Soy Has Major Implications For Climate” • The extent of the contribution of the Brazilian soy sector to climate change depends largely on the location where soybeans are grown, a study says. In some municipalities, CO₂ emissions resulting from the export of soybean and derivatives are 200 times higher than in others. [Science Daily]

¶ “Mexico’s President Is Betting Big Against Renewables” • Mexico’s National Energy Control Center announced it would suspend grid connections of new solar and wind farms until further notice. Mexico’s president is dismissive of the value of renewable power generation, but the business community is angry at the suspension. [OilPrice.com]

Solar array

Australia:

¶ “Switching To Renewables Could Cut Industry Energy Costs By Almost A Quarter” • Australia’s major industrial energy users could cut their energy costs by almost a quarter by switching to renewable supplies and could be key to a revival in Australian manufacturing, a research report by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work shows. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Coffee-Table-Sized Units To Power New Gas Plant Near Roma” • The Australian Renewable Energy Agency is providing $1 million in funding to give authorities the chance to assess the benefits of using an electrolyzer powered by solar panels to extract hydrogen from the atmosphere. The hydrogen can be used to make renewable methane. [ABC News]

Rendering of the gas plant (Supplied: Southern Green Gas)

¶ “ARENA Funds Feasibility Study Into Renewable Hydrogen-To-Ammonia Plant” • The Australian Renewable Energy Agency will fund a feasibility study for a renewable production facility for hydrogen and ammonia. The project, powered by renewable energy, will produce hydrogen and use the hydrogen to make ammonia. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ “Dominion Energy Remains On Schedule To Build Largest Offshore Wind Project In United States” • Dominion Energy and its contractors are on track to ensure that the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project stays on schedule. They implemented processes to deal with the workplace issues arising out of the pandemic. [Transmission & Distribution World]

MV Sarah Bordelon (PR photo)

¶ “Long Duration Breakthrough? Form Energy’s First Project Tries Pushing Storage to 150 Hours” • Form Energy made a deal for its new energy storage technology with Minnesota utility Great River Energy. The battery is competitive on price relative to power output (kW), but it provides an enormous amount of electricity (kWh) at that price. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Minnesota’s Great River Energy Closing Coal Plant, Switching To Two-Thirds Wind Power” • Great River Energy will shutter a 1,151-MW coal-fired power plant several years early, a move that underscores the decline of coal power in electricity production. The Coal Creek Station will be replaced to a great extent with new wind farms. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Coal Creek Power Station (Richard Tsong-Taatarii | Star Tribune)

¶ “Study: As Climate Changes, Midwest Will Need More Water And Electricity” • By 2030, Indianapolis may need to generate up to 20% more electricity in the summer months based on a worst-case global warming scenario, researchers said in a recent report. The study used a modeling tool that was developed at Purdue University. [Terre Haute Tribune Star]

¶ “Pandemic Concerns Interrupt Michigan Nuclear Plant Outage” • Activities for a refueling and maintenance outage at the Fermi-2 nuclear reactor in Michigan were interrupted by a “stand-down” due to the coronavirus pandemic. Stephen Tait, a DTE Energy spokesman, said some work has resumed, but refueling will take longer than scheduled. [S&P Global]

Have an especially enjoyable day.

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May 7 Energy News

May 7, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change Could Reawaken Indian Ocean El Niño” • Global warming is approaching a tipping point that could reawaken an ancient climate pattern similar to El Niño in the Indian Ocean, according to a study published by scientists at the University of Arizona, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. [UANews]

Ocean weather

¶ “Oceans Are Record Warm, Which Likely Means Stronger Hurricanes & Larger Wildfires” • Highly destructive fires in places like California and Australia may be hard to remember adequately, now that they’re being eclipsed somewhat by the coronavirus pandemic. But the oceans are warm; large storms and wildfires are on the way. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Cold Air Rises. How Wrong Are Our Global Climate Models?” • Conventional knowledge is that warm air rises while cold air sinks. But a study from the University of California, Davis, found that in the tropics, cold air can rise due to the lightness of water vapor. This had been overlooked and may buffer some impacts of a warming climate. [SciTechDaily]

Graphic showing the vapor buoyancy effect (Da Yang | UC Davis)

¶ “Atlas Of 100% Renewable Energy Interactive Map Open For Use” • Technology company Wärtsilä has made available an extensive interactive map that provides valuable information on the potential of renewable energy in relation to 145 countries and geographical regions. It is a guide for cost-optimized  potential for 100% renewable electricity. [ESI Africa]

World:

¶ “Abu Dhabi To Have Cheapest Solar Power Ever At 1.35¢/kWh” • Abu Dhabi is to have the cheapest electricity ever from a solar farm reports say. As capital of the UAE,  Abu Dhabi is no stranger to solar price records. And the new low-PV bid chosen by Abu Dhabi’s public electric utility will bring down the cost of solar power to just 1.35¢/kWh. [CleanTechnica]

Solar farm in Masdar City (Marika Krakowiak | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Sweden’s EV Market Share At 23% In April, Doubles Year On Year” • With the coronavirus pandemic, the overall auto market volume was down 38% in Sweden. Plug-in vehicles, however, resisted the trend. The Swedish plug-in EV market share was up sharply in April, reaching 22.6%, more than double year on year from 10.1% in April 2019. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “How Renewable Energy Can Help A Nation Get Back On Its Feet” • Australia’s Clean Energy Council argued in a report that investment in renewable energy and energy storage has the potential to create 50,000 jobs, lower energy prices, stimulate economic activity in regional areas, and position Australia as a “global clean energy superpower.” [Mozo.com.au]

Wind energy (iStock image)

¶ “Coronavirus Impact Lays Bare Inflexibility Of German Power Generation And Demand” • Slumping power demand from the pandemic and April’s strong wind and solar power production have revealed that Germany’s fossil and renewable electricity generation, as well as electricity demand, need to become much more flexible, experts say. [Clean Energy Wire]

¶ “$5.5 Million Renewable Energy Projects To Be Developed In Mozambique” • GridX Africa Development finalized a binding agreement with Ncondezi Energy Limited to develop $5.5 of million renewable energy projects in Mozambique. The projects include solar and battery storage plants for the Commercial and Industrial sectors. [Construction Review]

Solar and battery plant

¶ “Evidence Abounds Of Renewable Energy Gains At The Expense Of Fossil Fuels, As The Clamor For A Green Recovery Rises” • English consultancy Cornwall Insights produced more evidence that renewable energy sources are carrying the Covid-19 lockdown power mix, with gas and coal generation relegated to peaking services. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Local Developer Turns Sod On 83-MW Spanish PV” • Clean energy investor Sunco Capital has begun construction of two PV plants in Ciudad Real in Spain totalling 83 MW. Construction of the projects will be complete in 2021. The power generated from them will be sold through a power purchase agreement with Shell Energy Europe. [reNEWS]

Solar array (American Public Power Association | Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Giant Economic Benefits Of The Clean Air Act” • The Clean Air Act’s annual benefits could be as high as 370,000 avoided premature deaths and 189,000 fewer hospital admissions for cardiac and respiratory illnesses, a study shows. Net economic benefits of up to $3.8 trillion for the economy may be 32 times the cost of regulations. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Alchemy Renewable Energy Closes The Financing For A 44-MW Solar Energy Portfolio” • Alchemy Renewable Energy, a company that owns and operates renewable energy facilities, has closed on a 44.51-MW (DC) solar renewable energy portfolio in Indiana, as a joint venture with its partner, Telamon Enterprise Ventures LLC. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Solar panels (NREL image)

¶ “Local Energy Authority Inks Big Contract With Big Solar Energy Farm In Kern County ” • DP Renewables SA, through its subsidiary EDP Renewables North America LLC, and Redwood Coast Energy Authority have executed a 15-year power purchase agreement for 100 MW of output from the Sandrini Sol 1 Solar Park in California. [Lost Coast Outpost]

¶ “Plant Vogtle Workforce Scaled Back Due To 185 Positive Covid-19 Tests” • Georgia Power, the company overseeing the expansion of Plant Vogtle nuclear facility, has scaled back one-fifth of its workforce after an outbreak of COVID-19 spread to 185 workers and left significant numbers of employees afraid to show up for work. [Savannah Morning News]

Have a totally advantageous day.

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May 6 Energy News

May 6, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate change and Covid-19: Five charts that explain the impacts” • No war, no recession, and no previous pandemic has had such a dramatic impact on emissions of CO₂ over the past century as Covid-19 has in a few short months. But we have to remember that atmospheric CO₂ will not stabilize until the world reaches net-zero emissions. [BBC]

Nepal, without air pollution (Getty Images)

¶ “Billions Of People Could Live In Areas Too Hot For Humans By 2070, Study Says” • A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences said that if heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current pace, by 2070 up to three billion people could be living in areas that are too hot for human beings to live in. [CNN]

¶ “Polarstern sets records on Arctic climate mission” • The Polarstern is a ship laboratory, drifting in Arctic ice. Part of MOSAiC, a large-scale expedition led by Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute, it’s measuring climate change at the North Pole. And it’s setting new records. For one, it’s the northernmost mission during the Arctic winter. [Deutsche Welle]

Polarstern

¶ “Wärtsilä Gas Engines To Burn 100% Hydrogen” • The Finnish technology group Wärtsilä is developing the combustion process in its gas engines to enable them to burn 100% hydrogen fuel. Wärtsilä has researched hydrogen as a fuel for 20 years, and had been testing its engines with blends of up to 60% hydrogen and 40% natural gas. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

World:

¶ “Coronavirus: UK Warned To Avoid Climate Change Crisis” • The UK must avoid lurching from the coronavirus crisis into a deeper climate crisis, the government’s advisers have warned. They recommend that ministers ensure funds earmarked for a post-Covid-19 economic recovery go to firms that will reduce carbon emissions. [BBC]

Wind turbines and coal-burning plant (Getty Images)

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Is #1 Vehicle In UK, And Electric Vehicles Hit 34% Market Share” • The Tesla Model 3 was April’s best selling vehicle in the UK, as combustion vehicle sales fell by over 98% to fewer than 3,000. Plug-in vehicles were relatively unscathed by the coronavirus crisis and took an unprecedented 34% share of the auto market. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Norway’s April EV Market Share Jumps To 70%, Strongest Growth In 2 Years” • April saw clean transport pioneer Norway’s market share of plug-in electric vehicles jump to 70%, sharply up from 50% a year ago. This is the biggest year-on-year climb that we have seen in two years. The overall auto market saw a 34% drop in volume. [CleanTechnica]

Audi e-tron (Audi courtesy image)

¶ “Renewable Power To Boom On Cheap Money As Coal Loses Out, Garnaut Says” • Economist Ross Garnaut says the economic crisis will lead to growth in renewable energy at the expense of coal, which has high operating costs. He argues that we shouldn’t fear taking on debt to fuel a green economic recovery from the pandemic. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Aquarius Marine Renewable Energy solution undergoes feasibility study for LR2 tanker” • Marine renewable energy technology company Eco Marine Power, based in Japan, announced that it has started a feasibility study regarding the implementation of its Aquarius Marine Renewable Energy design for an LR2 Tanker. [Manifold Times]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Energy Firms Rally Behind Green Stimulus Call” • A coalition of 40 global businesses, including energy majors such as BP, Iberdrola, Orsted, and Shell, called on governments to support “a massive wave of investments in renewable electricity” and other low-carbon energy solutions when devising recovery plans from the COVID-19 pandemic. [Euractiv]

¶ “Neoen To Build Australia’s Largest Solar Farm After Power Deal With CleanCo” • French renewables developer Neoen will build a 400-MW solar farm in Queensland with a contract to sell most of the power to CleanCo, a state-owned clean energy company. Western Downs Green Power Hub will be Australia’s largest solar farm. [pv magazine Australia]

Neoen solar farm (Neoen image)

¶ “Old Coal Mines To Heat £7 Million Tyneside District Heating Scheme” • In England, South Tyneside’s hybrid Viking Energy Network aims to use water pumped from 300 meters below the former Hebburn Colliery combined with heat pumps, solar generation and a CHP unit. The scheme is expected to deliver benefits of £150,000 each year. [The Energyst]

US:

¶ “California On Verge Of Making Truck Manufacturers Produce Electric Trucks” • The California Air Resources Board released the final draft of the Advanced Clean Trucks standard, a policy that will require truck manufacturers to sell electric trucks. There will be a 30-day public comment period followed by a Board vote on June 25–26. [CleanTechnica]

BYD electric truck (BYD courtesy image)

¶ “Nearly Half Of Bloomberg LP Energy Usage Now Comes From Renewables, Up Sharply From 17% In 2018” • Bloomberg LP received 48.5% of its energy from renewable sources in 2019. This is up from 17% in 2018 and exceeds its 2020 interim goal of 35% of renewables use, according to the company’s 11th annual Impact Report. [AltEnergyMag]

¶ “Trump’s Push To Use Global Aid For Nuclear Projects Alarms Development Groups” • A Trump administration effort to bolster the nuclear industry is eyeing a surprising source of financing. It would support exporting nuclear technology with funding from the International Development Finance Corporation, a fund for fighting poverty in developing countries. [The Hill]

Have an upliftingly kind and gentle day.

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May 5 Energy News

May 5, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Key Takeaways From Joe Biden’s Podcast On Climate Change With Governor Jay Inslee” • In his “Here’s the Deal” podcast, Joe Biden had a conversation about climate change with Governor Jay Inslee of Washington, who ran for president on the single issue of climate change. The podcast says a lot about Biden’s understanding of the issue. [CleanTechnica]

Jay Inslee at COP21 (COP Paris, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Airborne Coronavirus: Scientists In Italy Find Coronavirus On Air Pollution Particles” • How far can the airborne coronavirus travel? Farther, perhaps, if it latches onto some particulates. Dr Leonardo Setti of the University of Bologna in Italy is making the significant finding that is possible a priority and delving deeply into the matter scientifically. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Meyer Burger Plans 10 GW Of Floating Solar For North Rhine-Westphalia” • The CEO of Swiss technology company Meyer Burger said it is developing plans to build a factory in Germany to make PVs that are up to 24% efficient. He said 10 GW of the panels could cover the lake left behind when the Hambach coal mine closes. [CleanTechnica]

Hambach coal mine (King Otto, Wikimedia Commons)
Please click on the image for a good look.

¶ “How Korea Is Winning The Fight Against Covid-19 And Increasing Climate Action” • The Republic of Korea’s response to Covid-19 has been among the most effective in the world. Aggressive action lowered its infection without locking down entire cities. The action on the pandemic also did not stop its work on climate change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Climeon Bags First Taiwan Geothermal Project” • Swedish energy company Climeon has clinched its first geothermal heat power order in Taiwan. The project, valued at $4.2 million, was commissioned by Baseload Power Taiwan. It includes Climeon heat power systems, as well as design and consultancy services for the surrounding power plant. [reNEWS]

Rural Taiwan (Climeon image)

¶ “Lithuania Approves Plan To Promote More Renewable Energy Communities” • The government of Lithuania recently approved legislation based on proposals by the Ministry of Energy that will encourage the establishment of renewable energy communities where people and businesses generate their own electricity and share it with each other. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Canberra Records 18% Fall In Emissions As Renewables Kick In” • The Australian Capital Territory recorded an 18% fall in greenhouse gas emissions in the 2018-19 year, as the territory’s wind and solar supplies come online. Now the ACT has to tackle emissions from transportion, waste, and gas, as it moves towards its zero net emissions target. [RenewEconomy]

Countryside in the ACT

¶ “Bangladesh Backs Renewables, Energy Efficiency Through $218.7 Million Fund” • Bangladesh has launched a $218.7 million (€200.8 million) Green Transformation Fund. It will support the renewable energy and energy efficiency, water conservation and management, waste management, resource efficiency, and recycling sectors. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Vestas Books 50-MW Chinese Order” • Vestas has booked a turbine order totaling 50 MW for an unnamed customer and wind farm in China. The contract is for the supply of V120-2.2 MW machines delivered in 2.4-MW power optimized mode, Vestas said. Commissioning of the wind farm is planned for the third quarter of 2020. [reNEWS]

Vestas wind turbine (Vestas image)

¶ “Nuclear Power Is Getting Hammered By Green Energy And The Pandemic” • Record output from wind and solar is creating frequent electricity oversupplies that push prices down to the point that nuclear reactors are no longer profitable, and even to where utilities give it away. The rout is all the worse with global pandemic gutting demand. [The Japan Times]

US:

¶ “Renewables Topped Coal in US Generation Every day in April” • Data from the Energy Information Administration shows that renewables generated more electricity than coal every day in the month of April. This impressive stretch actually began on March 25 and is still going on as of May 3, 40 days later. This point was not expected until 2021. [Saurenergy]

Solar array and a coal plant

¶ “San Bernardino Water Department To Use Renewable Energy Generated By Fuel Cell Plant” • In California, FuelCell Energy said that it started site construction for a 1.4-MW SureSource 1500 biofuels fuel cell project with the City of San Bernardino Municipal Water Department. The project is to be operational in December, 2020. [Environment + Energy Leader]

¶ “EDF Nets 7.5-Year Renewable Energy Deal With Dallas Area Data Centers” • Retail supplier EDF Energy Services will deliver 260,000 MWh of renewable energy to Digital Realty’s 13 data centers in the Dallas region. This will meet approximately 30% of the company’s electricity needs within that market over the next 7.5 years. [Power Engineering Magazine]

Wind farm

¶ “Large-Scale Solar Project In Oakland Set For Construction This Year” • A $7 million, 5-MW solar project in Oakland, Maine has all its permits, according to Encore Renewable Energy of Burlington, Vermont. Construction is set for later this year. The array should provide annual electricity needs for 10,000 Maine homes. [Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel]

¶ “California Utility Inks 770 MW Of Storage Deals” • Southern California Edison has signed seven contracts totaling 770 MW for battery energy storage to help enhance the state’s electric system reliability needs and integrate new renewable power. Most of the contracted battery projects are to be co-located with solar power plants. [reNEWS]

Have a charmingly beautiful day.

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May 4 Energy News

May 4, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “In A Post-Pandemic World, Renewable Energy Is The Only Way Forward” • Pollution affects us all. Not only does it kill seven million of us each year, it makes us more vulnerable to all kinds of respiratory diseases, including, of course, those caused by such viruses as the one that brought us Covid-19. Our failure to fix this problem is killing us. [Forbes]

Solar, wind, and batteries (Getty Images)

¶ “It’s Time Coalition Listened To Experts On Climate And Energy, And Plotted A Green New Deal” • Australian prime minister Scott Morrison often says he is yet to see the evidence that lowering emissions fast enough to avert a climate crisis can be achieved in a way that doesn’t create an economic crisis too. Clearly, he is not looking. [Renewables Now]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Oceans May Be Best Place To Get EV Battery Metals” • A study, which was commissioned by deep-sea mining company DeepGreen, shows it would be better to get the metals needed for batteries from ocean nodules than to mine them on land. There is less net cost for society and less environmental damage mining metals from the ocean. [CleanTechnica]

DeepGreen’s Exploration Vessel

World:

¶ “Heineken, Enel Form Historic 10-Year 100% Renewables Alliance” • Heineken Mexico and Enel Green Power have signed a 10-year renewable energy deal, under which the utility will provide the Dutch brewery firm’s Mexican operations with 100% renewable energy. Heineken Mexico will get 28.8 GWh of solar and wind energy each year. [Smart Energy]

¶ “34 European Cities Reach CDP’s A-List For Their Climate Action And Ambition” • This year, the CDP named 105 cities around the world on its Cities A-List for their transparency and action on climate change. Almost one third (34) of the crowned cities are from Europe. Last year, only 43 cities appeared on the CDP A-List. [Innovation Origins]

Vitoria-Gasteiz (Image: © Pixabay)

¶ “Coronavirus Risks Future Of India’s Coal-Fired Power Plants: IEEFA” • The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent nationwide lockdown highlighted a growing financial risks to India’s coal-fired power plant sector, which is being replaced by cheaper and cleaner renewable energy, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis said. [Outlook India]

¶ “Is A 7% Annual Emissions Cut Possible? Yes, Say NGOs” • In Ireland, the Green Party wants a commitment of a 7% reduction in annual carbon emissions as a precondition for entering talks on forming a government with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. Some of the country’s best climate and energy experts say that will be a challenge, but it is doable. [The Irish Times]

County Donegal (Jakub Michankow, Wikimedia Commons)

Australia:

¶ “Westpac To Shed Thermal Coal Investments By 2030, Switch To Renewables And EVs” • In an update to its climate change position statement, Australian bank Westpac said it would look to wind down its investments in the thermal coal sector and set a target of up to $3.5 billion for climate-friendly lending over the next three years. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “WA Watchdog Green-Lights World’s Biggest Hybrid Wind And Solar Hub” • A 15-GW wind and solar renewable energy project in Western Australia got a green light for environmental approval. The proposed Asian Renewable Energy Hub would supply the Pilbara power grid and develop a hub for generating green hydrogen. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Pilbara snakewood trees (Jim Bendon, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Government Offers $300 Million To Boost Hydrogen Investment Under Clean Energy Financing” • The Morrison government will change the investment mandate of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, directing it to make up to $300 million available for a new Advancing Hydrogen Fund as part of the national hydrogen strategy. [The Guardian]

¶ “Eastern Australia: Investments In Renewables Continue To Plunge Through 2021” • Investments in renewable energy projects will continue to decline in Eastern Australia through 2021, according to Wood Mackenzie. One of the key factors in the decline is grid congestion in Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland. [Smart Energy]

Victoria (Fernando de Sousa, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Ford Cancels EV Plans With Rivian” • Ford has canceled plans it had for a fully electric Lincoln SUV using Rivian’s battery pack and electric motor setup. Lincoln still plans to work closely with Rivian to create an “alternative vehicle” based on Rivian’s skateboard platform. How this is very different from the initial plans is a bit unclear. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Dominion Energy Issues 1-GW Renewables Call” • The utility Dominion Energy Virginia has issued a request for proposals for up to 1,000 MW of solar and onshore wind generation and up to 250 MW of energy storage in the state. The company said this was its largest ever annual solicitation for renewable energy project bids. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (MorgueFile image)

¶ “NorthWestern Awaits Bids In Community Renewables RFP In Montana” • NorthWestern Energy issued a request for proposals for electricity to be supplied by community-owned renewable projects in Montana. The utility said it currently needs 25 MW to 30 MW of community projects under the Montana Renewable Portfolio Standard. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Uranium Miners In Limbo” • Almost a year after the uranium miners asked the Administration to do something to promote domestic uranium mining, the Nuclear Fuel Working Group has a report and recommendations. One of its proposals is to build up a uranium reserve by spending $150 million per year for ten years for a total of $1.5 billion. [Seeking Alpha]

Have a entirely fortunate day.

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May 3 Energy News

May 3, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “In Midst Of Natural Gas Glut, Plastic Industry Bent, Not Broken (Yet)” • With energy demand dropping, there was the oil glut, and then a natural gas glut. Gas stakeholders have expanded petrochemical operations, anticipating an increase in the demand for plastic. But it seems that the plastic hedge is also starting to come apart at the seams. [CleanTechnica]

Natural gas flow (screenshot via US DOE)

¶ “Once Again Michael Moore Stirs The Environmental Pot – But Conservationists Turn Up The Heat On Him” • Planet of the Humans is an environmental documentary that has enraged renewable energy experts and environmentalists. And some of them are calling for its high-profile executive producer, Michael Moore, to apologize. [The Guardian]

¶ “Cheap Oil? A Pandemic? No Big Deal For Renewable Energy, Experts Say” • In the face of an oil glut and pandemic, renewable energy has moved ahead. Experts say the renewable energy market is stable enough to weather short-term fluctuations. It may even be poised to get a boost from as the pandemic subsides and economies restart. [EnerCom Inc]

Construction at East Anglia One (ScottishPower image)

¶ “Dominion Energy’s Costly New Energy Blueprint Fails To Meet Challenge Of Virginia’s Clean Energy Transition” • Despite clean energy commitments, Dominion Energy’s Integrated Resources Plan has more near-term reliance on fracked gas. It also has significant rate increases, and ratepayers would pay for a failed nuclear project. [Blue Virginia]

World:

¶ “Port Of Nigg Takes Delivery Of Massive Offshore Wind Farm Jackets For Moray East Development” • The heavy lift vessel MV Osprey, delivered the first eight out of 103 jacket structures for the 100-turbine Moray East Offshore Windfarm. The jacket structures will be taken to the wind farm site in the Moray Firth for installation. [Northern Times]

MV Osprey delivering jackets for Moray Firth East Wind Farm

¶ “Tesla Applies For License To Sell Electricity In UK” • A report in The Telegraph says Tesla applied to the UK’s energy regulator for a license to sell electricity. The newspaper says it reviewed the application and found it does not provide any information about why the company filed. And Tesla did not respond to requests for clarification. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Modvion Completes First Wind Turbine Tower In Sweden” • Cross laminated timber is lighter and stronger than steel, which permits a narrower base for tall wind towers. The towers are modular and can be shipped in sections to be assembled onsite, eliminating many transportation issues of wider steel masts. Now Monvion has its test mast built. [CleanTechnica]

Modvion CLT tower on ferry (Modvion image)

¶ “Dubai Achieves Record Lowest Tariff For Solar Project” • The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority awarded the 900-MW PV fifth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Solar Park to a consortium led by ACWA Power. The winning tariff, which is 1.6953¢/kWh, establishes a new global benchmark for the cost of solar PV energy. [Arab News]

US:

¶ “Facing A Health Crisis, Cities Implore The Courts To Limit Pollution” • Against the backdrop of mismanagement during the Covid-19 pandemic, 23 cities and counties, the US Conference of Mayors, and the National League of Cities added their voice to a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s plan to weaken limits on carbon pollution. [CleanTechnica]

By Central Park (Aaron Barlow, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Solar And Wind Energy Struggle As Coronavirus Takes Toll” • The US renewable energy industry is reeling from the Covid-19 pandemic. Construction on renewable projects has been delayed, and thousands of skilled laborers are out of work. As many as 120,000 jobs in solar and 35,000 in wind could be lost, according to trade groups. [Honolulu Star-Advertiser]

¶ “The Southern Oak Solar Energy Center Achieves Commerical Operations” • Invenergy, a privately-held global developer and operator of sustainable energy solutions, announced that the 160-MW Southern Oak Solar Energy Center, located in Mitchell County, Georgia, began commercial operations during the first quarter of this year. [Solar Industry]

Southern Oak Solar Energy Center (Invenergy image)

¶ “Port Of Vancouver USA Receives Shipment Of Longest Wind Blades To Date” • The Port of Vancouver USA will receive nine wind turbines in a shipment that includes the longest wind turbine blades it has handled to date. The delivery is a joint effort of the manufacturer Goldwind and wind project owner Potentia Renewables. [Vancouver Business Journal]

¶ “Denver Receives $1,000,000 For Community Solar Gardens” • The Colorado Department of Local Affairs awarded Denver $1,000,000 to support the its Renewable Denver Initiative. The funds will help Denver host low-cost community solar gardens on municipal properties, moving it toward its goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2030. [Patch.com]

Have a stunningly relaxing day.

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May 2 Energy News

May 2, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “International Report Makes Business Case For Renewables Investment” • A report from the International Renewable Energy Agency makes the business case for investment in renewables. It says future decarbonization is still possible despite the economic fallout from the pandemic, and it highlights climate-safe options for investment. [Environment + Energy Leader]

Wind turbines (Credit: Jason Blackeye | Unsplash)

¶ “Is The Coronavirus Crisis Accelerating The Shift To Renewables?” • Climate action has not been moving as fast as needed to make a sustainable change. But one sector that’s doing its share to help lower greenhouse gas emissions is renewable energy. Recently, renewables may be getting some unexpected help from a particular virus. [ZME Science]

¶ “Trump Admin Sits On $43 Billion Intended For Clean Energy Loans While Unemployment Soars” • While the nation struggles to find ways to ramp up the economy so people can get back to work, over $43 billion in low-interest loans earmarked for clean energy projects sits undistributed by the Trump administration, The New York Times reported. [EcoWatch]

Alamosa solar project (US DOE image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Rising CO₂ Levels Could Be Contributing To Grasshopper Apocalypse” • Grasshoppers may be experiencing their own type of famine due to rising levels of CO₂. AAAS reports that over the past five years, many studies have been documenting dwindling insect populations, to the point that the phrase “insect apocalypse” has been coined. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “SSE Tables Bid For New Onshore Highland Wind Farm Project” • SSE Renewables tabled an application bid for a 36-turbine development at Fort Augustus, near Loch Ness, in the Monadhliath mountains. The company said it hopes the 150-MW Cloiche wind farm would bring “socio-economic benefits to the local area.” [Energy Voice]

SSE Renewables onshore wind farm

¶ “WRI And Cargill Partner On Tools And Best Practices To Advance Sustainable Agriculture” • To advance the sustainability efforts needed to feed a rapidly growing population, Cargill put $2 million into the next phase of its partnership with World Resources Institute. They are developing the Global Forest Watch and the Water Management Toolkit. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Coal India Sales Sink Over 25% On Demand Slump Amid COVID-19” • Coal India Ltd said its sales to customers fell by more than a quarter in April, the steepest rate of decline in at least six years, as a nationwide lockdown cut demand.  Offtake by customers, such as power generators, fell by 25.5%, and there was a 10.9% drop in production. [NDTV Profit]

Coal worker (Reuters image)

¶ “PM Stresses Attracting Private Investments For Power Sector” • India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emphasized the need for effective enforcement of contracts in order to attract private investments for the ailing power sector. He also discussed long-term reforms aimed at enhancing power sector sustainability, resilience, and efficiency. [Saurenergy]

US:

¶ “City of Houston Surprises: 100% Renewable Electricity – $65 Million in Savings in 7 Years” • Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced that the City of Houston committed to purchasing 100% renewable energy through a renewed partnership with NRG Energy. The City realize $65 million in savings over the seven-year contract. [CleanTechnica]

Have a sunny day!

¶ “EDF Renewables North America And Alliant Energy Announce Commercial Operation At Golden Plains Wind Project In Iowa” • EDF Renewables and Alliant Energys Iowa energy company,announced that the 200-MW Golden Plains Wind Project is in commercial operation, delivering electricity to Iowa customers. [Global Banking And Finance Review]

¶ “SEPTA And Lightsource BP Enter Into Power Purchase Agreement” • The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, which serves the greater Philadelphia area, including parts of New Jersey and Maryland, has signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with Lightsource BP for electricity from two solar farms in Franklin County. [CleanTechnica]

Lightsource BP solar farm (Lightsource BP image)

¶ “In Response To New State Policy, Dominion Energy Virginia Quadruples Renewable Commitment” • After Governor Ralph Northam issued an executive order on climate change and the Virginia Clean Economy Act was passed, Dominion Energy Virginia quadrupled the amount of solar and wind generation in its 15-year integrated resource plan. [Solar Power World]

¶ “US Trio Plot 350-MW PV Build In Texas” • Three companies are to work together on the development and construction of a 350-MW solar farm in Texas. Solar Plus Development, Avondale Solar, and J-Power USA Development are to build the Red-Tailed Hawk project in Wharton county. Work will start in the second half of this year. [reNEWS]

Building a solar array (Science in HD | Unsplash)

¶ “Vineyard Wind Permitting ‘On Track'” • The permit process remains on track for the 800-MW Vineyard Wind offshore wind farm off the US east coast, according to Avangrid CEO Jim Torgerson. He told an earnings call on 29 April that the process is on schedule, with no changes to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management permitting timeline. [reNEWS]

¶ “Open Vessel Testing Complete For Vogtle Unit 3” • Open Vessel Testing, a major systems testing milestone, has been completed for Unit 3 at Georgia Power’s Vogtle 3 & 4 nuclear expansion project near Waynesboro, Georgia, marking one of the most significant steps in the project to date. Testing was done from unit the control room. [Yahoo Finance]

Have a downright uplifting  day.

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May 1 Energy News

May 1, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Ocean Genome Helps Fight Disease: Here’s How We Save It” • The ocean plays a surprising role in fighting Covid-19. The “ocean genome” is a rich source of anti-viral compounds. And enzymes from a remarkable hydrothermal vent bacterium have been key to the technology in virus test kits, including those used to diagnose Covid-19. [CleanTechnica]

Source of important medical materials (Photo: Aquapix | NOAA)

¶ “A New Way Of Measuring Ice Melt In Antarctica, Greenland Sounds Alarm About Global Sea Level Rise” • Using  new data measurements from several NASA satellites, scientists found that Greenland’s ice sheet lost an average of 200 gigatons of ice per year and Antarctica’s ice sheet lost an average of 118 gigatons of ice per year since 2003. [CNBC]

World:

¶ “In The Middle Of A Pandemic, Renewables Are Taking Over The Grid” • Renewables have increased output while demand dropped because of Covid-19. In Germany, a record that was set in March was broken again on April 20, when solar generated 40% of the country’s electricity; at the same time coal and nuclear power generated just 22%. [Grist]

Solar farm (Gerard Julien | AFP via Getty Images)

¶ “Global Energy Use Suffers ‘Historic Shock'” • A report from the International Energy Agency said demand for energy could crash 6% this year if lockdowns persist for many months and the economic recovery is slow. Such a scenario would be seven times the size of the 2008 global financial crisis, and the IEA said it looks “increasingly likely.” [CNN]

¶ “Vestas Secures 64-MW Double In Vietnam” • Vestas secured turbine orders totaling 64 MW for two wind farms in Quang Tri province, Vietnam. The deals are for  a total of sixteen V150-4.2 MW turbines delivered in 4.0 MW operating mode. The two projects are owned by local companies, Huong Tan Wind Power and Tan Linh Wind Power. [reNEWS]

AVestas turbine (Vestas image)

¶ “Tokyo 2020 Targets 100% Renewable Energy To Power The Games” • The Tokyo Olympic Games are to be powered by electricity from 100% renewable energy, the Sustainability Pre-Games Report says. The report covered more than electricity. It said even the Olympic medals will be made from metals recycled from electronic devices. [China.org.cn]

¶ “SA Winemaker Completes Shift To 100% Renewables With Solar Car Park” • With completion of a solar-powered car park, the last of a 3-MW solar system has been installed at Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ Barossa Valley wineries in South Australia. It rounds out the French company’s journey to 100% renewables for Australian operations. [One Step Off The Grid]

Pernod Ricard car park

¶ “Wave Of Green Energy Set To Wash Over Western Australia’s Wheatbelt As New Laws Shake Up Electricity Industry” • A wave of renewable energy is set to wash over the farming heartland of Western Australia under new laws that enable authorities to disconnect customers from the grid in favor of “stand-alone” power systems. [ABC Technology]

¶ “Enel Green Power Turns Sod On Spanish Wind Farm” • Enel Green Power Espana has begun building a 21-MW wind project in Spain. The €20 million wind farm will be constructed in the Teruel and Zaragoza provinces. The facility will be comprised of 3.55-MW turbines and is expected to enter operation before the end of the year. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Image: Enel Green Power)

¶ “Zambia Explores Renewables, Energy Surplus By 2022” • Zambia’s constant power cuts are now a thing of the past. Thanks to a robust hydraulic and solar power generation industry in recent years, the country is now self-sufficient in energy. And, there is even better news for the country. Electricity production could soon be in surplus. [Smart Energy]

US:

¶ “The Oil Bankruptcies Are Just Beginning. Here’s Who Could Be Next” • The oil crash is blocking US fracking companies from accessing the cheap credit that fueled their prolific rise. That reversal of fortunes could prove fatal for overleveraged shale oil companies, and the weakest players are likely to be tipped into bankruptcy. [CNN]

US shale gas plays (EIA, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Pandemic Masks Further US Environmental Deregulation By Trump Administration” • A paper published in Nature describes how bringing health data and other evidence to the policymaking table may change if the EPA moves forward with a pair of proposals about the ways that science is used and evaluated at the agency. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Invenergy Fires Up 160-MW Southern Oak” • US renewables developer Invenergy has commenced commercial operations at its 160-MW Southern Oak photovoltaic plant in Georgia. The facility, in Mitchell County, is the developer’s largest solar farm and the hundredth project it has brought online. Construction began in 2018. [reNEWS]

Southern Oak solar farm (Invenergy image)

¶ “Bollinger Unveils First Class 3 Electric Truck Chassis” • Bollinger Motors has issued a press release on two-door and four-door designs for a Class 3 commercial electric truck chassis. It is suitable for SUVs and various commercial truck applications. Bollinger says its B2 chassis will be available to commercial outfitters in late 2021. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “More Money For Brownfield Solar Offered, But Better Land Protection Needed” • Rhode Island is offering money for solar development on land that isn’t forest or open space. Solar arrays proposed for brownfields or contaminated former industrial sites can apply for a share of $1 million through the state Renewable Energy Fund. [ecoRI news]

Have an unprecedentally way-cool day.

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April 30 Energy News

April 30, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “The World May Never Recover Its Thirst For Oil” • The world is learning to live with less oil. The coronavirus pandemic has destroyed demand for gasoline and jet fuel as billions of people stay home, and there’s no guarantee it will ever fully recover despite rock-bottom prices. The oil industry is bracing for the effects of the crisis to linger. [CNN]

Sun setting on a nodding donkey (Eric Gay | AP)

¶ “Fossil Industry Extracting From Another Source: Taxpayers” • While the world shelters in place, and policymakers must prioritize Covid-19 until the current crisis is in hand, polluting industries have, across the board, used this time to push for policy changes that would extract billions of dollars from American taxpayers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Are we witnessing the death of the car?” • Cities around the world are seeing dwindling numbers of fossil-fuel powered cars on their streets, and many are planning to keep it that way after lockdowns ease. Milan, the epicentre of Italy’s coronavirus outbreak, announced it would transform 35 km (21.7 miles) of its streets for cycling post-lockdown. [BBC]

Mayor Claudia López of Bogotá (Credit: Getty Images)

¶ “Trump’s Coronavirus Failures Offer Warnings And Lessons About Future Climate Change Challenges” • Some lessons of Covid-19 have been bitter. Here in the US, we have seen the cost of failed leadership. As he has done with climate change, Donald Trump failed early on to understand sound scientific consensus and act decisively. [NBCNews.com]

¶ “Climate Scientist Katharine Hayhoe’s ‘Global Weirding’ Videos” • If you have not been keeping up with Dr Katharine Hayhoe’s series of short videos called “Global Weirding,” it’s time to treat yourself to a good handful of those pieces. Even if you’re well-versed in climate change, you’ll enjoy them and learn from them. [Yale Climate Connections]

Katharine Hayhoe (Climate Models, “Global Weirding” video)

World:

¶ “Wind Energy Overtakes Gas To Be The Leading Source Of Electricity In Ireland” • For the first time, wind energy became Ireland’s leading source of electricity for a full quarter. It beat out natural gas for the first three months of 2020, as it accounted for 43.8% of demand, an increase of 16.8% from the same quarter last year. Natural gas provided 41.8%. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Shannon, Obton To Spend €60 Million On Solar Farms” • Irish group Shannon Energy and Danish company Obton plan to kick off a €300 million investment in the Republic by spending €60 million on plants that will generate electricity from solar power. They plan to start by developing eleven solar farms with a total capacity of 105 MW. [The Irish Times]

Renewable energy (Photo: VCG)

¶ “Australia’s electricity grid could run with 75% renewables, market operator says” • Australia has the technical capacity to run a power grid in which 75% of the electricity comes from wind and solar. It should occasionally reach this level within five years, a study by the Australian Energy Market Operator says. But it must get regulations right. [The Guardian]

¶ “Renewable Energy Helps Utilities Survive Virus Slump” • Energy companies from Ørsted A/S to Iberdrola SA reported robust first quarter earnings in a period that has been bedeviled by a slump in energy demand and a collapse in gas prices. Large wind and solar portfolios have so far protected those companies from the worst effects of the crisis. [gcaptain.com]

Offshore wind farm (Phil Noble | Reuters)

¶ “Covid-19 Crisis Will Wipe Out Demand For Fossil Fuels, Says IEA” • The International Energy Agency said the outbreak of Covid-19 would wipe out demand for fossil fuels by prompting a collapse in energy demand seven times greater than the slump caused by the global financial crisis. It said renewable energy will continue to grow. [The Guardian]

¶ “Wooden Wind Tower Takes Root In Sweden” • Swedish design and engineering company Modvion has built a wooden wind turbine tower. The structure, which is carbon neutral and 30 meters tall, was installed on Bjorko island. It will be used for research by the Swedish Wind Power Technology Center at Chalmers. [reNEWS]

Building a wooden wind tower (Modvion image)

US:

¶ “Tesla Q1 2020 Update Shares Unexpected Profits” • Tesla released its Q1 2020 update, and it’s filled with unexpected good news. When the pandemic temporarily closed all of its factories, many thought Tesla would be reporting losses in the quarter. Instead, Tesla has reported a $1.8 billion increase in its cash and cash equivalents. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “General Mills Turns To Biogas To Help Meet 100% Renewable Electricity Goal” • General Mills has set a goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2030 as a part of its commitment to the RE100 initiative. To achieve this, the company is investing in renewable energy. Examples are two large-scale wind farms and anaerobic digestion. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Biogas facility (Pixabay image)

¶ “Wärtsilä Delivering 70-MW Energy Storage System In California” • Wärtsilä is finalizing a 70-MW energy storage project in the California Independent System Operator energy market. The system will maximize efficiencies, and it will keep renewable power on the grid at times when it otherwise wouldn’t be available. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Indian Point 1-GW Nuclear Unit 2 Closing Permanently” • Tonight, April 30, with the push of a red button, one of the two operating nuclear reactors at the Indian Point Energy Center along the Hudson River north of New York City will shut down. The plant is 24 miles from Manhattan. Demolition is projected to cost $2.3 billion. [Power Engineering Magazine]

Have an invigoratingly copacetic day.

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April 29 Energy News

April 29, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Clean Trucks Are Critical To Our Future” • Big polluters are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to attack vital environmental rules by pressuring government agencies for regulatory delays, rollbacks, or weaken enforcement. One target is the Advanced Clean Truck rulemaking, which would put zero-emission trucks on California roads starting in 2024. [CleanTechnica]

Mitsubishi Fuso eCanter (Photo by Hideki Machida)

¶ “Smog-Free Skies Should Be The New Normal” • Cleaner air is not just aesthetically pleasing. It could also greatly reduce the incidence of lung and heart disease, and quite possibly reduce the severity of future outbreaks of airborne diseases. People are coming increasingly to acknowledge that to have cleaner air, we just stop burning fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Michael Moore’s Latest Film Is Riddled With Errors – And Millions Are Watching” • “Planet of the Humans,” produced by Michael Moore and Jeff Gibbs, is ostensibly about climate change. But Gibbs spends most of the so-called “documentary” railing against the problems of renewable energy and spinning out conspiracy theories. [Grist]

Michael Moore (Santiago Felipe | Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Size Matters: Energy Storage Scales Up To Beat Down Fossil Fuels” • Everybody knows that coal is on the way out, but the latest electricity report from BloombergNEF is a shocker, casting a shadow of gloom over natural gas, too. Low-cost renewables are creeping into gas territory, helped along by the falling costs of energy storage. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Satellite Data Shows Amazon Rainforest Is Drier And Could Be At Risk For Fires” • New satellite data shows that the Amazon rainforest is drier than usual and could be at risk of fires again this year. The data shows regions of the Amazon basin that have severe negative changes in the soil’s moisture and groundwater, increasing danger of fire. [CleanTechnica]

Amazon wildfire (Mongabay via Twitter)

World:

¶ “Queenslanders Support Renewable Energy Over Coal” • A QDOS Research poll of more than 1000 Queenslanders found overwhelming support for the state to invest in renewable energy. It found that 78% of respondents would be more likely to support state government spending on renewable energy than on new coal-fired power. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Manufacturing Units Of Swelect Energy, Inox Wind Resume Operation Amid Lockdown” • Swelect Energy Systems Limited, a solar PV module manufacturer, has resumed operations at its unit in Bangalore with effect from April 25, 2020. And Inox Wind Limited has resumed operations at three of its manufacturing units in India. [Mercom India]

Solar array under construction

¶ “Recipe for cheaper electricity? Try 90% renewables by 2040” • A report from energy market analysts Reputex finds that the faster the shift to a power market dominated by renewable energy – and the more aggressive the action on climate change – the greater the downward pressure on wholesale electricity prices in the future. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Five Renewable Start-Ups Getting Funding Despite The Coronavirus” • Despite the slowdown in renewable energy production caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, people are still investing in renewable energy projects, in particular start-ups. Power Technology takes a look at the top five projects being funded during the pandemic. [Power Technology]

Tulips and turbines (Martijn Baudoin | Unsplash)

¶ “Solar, Wind And Battery Storage Now Cheapest Energy Options Just About Everywhere” • Solar PV and onshore wind are the cheapest form of new energy capacity almost worldwide. Analysis looked at nearly 7,000 projects across 25 technologies (including types of coal, gas and nuclear generation as well as renewables), in 47 countries.  [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ “Planting Trees Could Help This City Prevent 400 Premature Deaths” • Philadelphia, America’s fifth-largest city, could help as many as 403 adults live longer each year if it meets its existing target for increasing tree cover from 20% to 30% within five years, according to a study published in the journal Lancet Planetary Health. [CNN]

Aerial view of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

¶ “RPI Receives Over $2.6 Million To Study Renewable Energy” • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, New York, received over $2.6 million in federal funding to help integrate renewable energy into New York State’s power grid. The funding came from a new program of the DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy. [News10 ABC]

¶ “As Energy Use Changes In The Great Lakes, So Too Does The World’s Largest Freshwater Port” • The Port of Duluth-Superior is one of the largest ports in the US. It has huge amounts of iron ore and coal going through it. But the country has been turning to renewable resources, and coal shipments have been declining since 2008. [Minnesota Public Radio News]

Coal and ore (Paul Walsh | MinnPost 2020)

¶ “Federal Solar Policy Challenge From Group With NH Ties Draws National Attention” • A conservative lobbying firm, the New England Ratepayers Association, is challenging a policy that benefits solar energy. It is seeking a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission decision that would invalidate the legal basis for net metering nationwide. [New Hampshire Public Radio]

¶ “Duke Doubles Renewable Goals While Staying Committed To Fossils” • Duke Energy now owns or purchases 8,000 MW of renewable generation, and it plans to double that mark by 2025. However, while the company eyes zero-carbon electricity by 2050, it maintains that natural gas will remain a crucial source to achieve this goal. [pv magazine USA]

Have a mightily healthy day.

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April 28 Energy News

April 28, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “The EPA’s Dirty Water: New Rule Discards Science, Ignores Importance of Wetlands And Tributaries” • In its latest act of abdication, the EPA published its Navigable Waters Protection Rule in the Federal Register on April 21. The EPA’s own Science Advisory Board said its formulation did not incorporate the “best available science.” [CleanTechnica]

Wetland (Krista Lundgren | USFWS, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “As Pandemic Rages, Federal Nuclear Regulators Put Keeping Reactors Running Ahead Of Public Health And Safety” • How is the NRC responding to the coronavirus pandemic? By letting nuclear plants cut back workforces for social distancing, creating 84-hour work weeks, and by having the NRC inspectors work from home. [Environmental Working Group]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Ice-Free Arctic Coming Soon To A Country Near You!” • The latest research suggests Arctic sea ice could disappear entirely in the summer sometime between now and 2050 even if the world is successful at substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, this development is predicted now by nearly all scientific models. [CleanTechnica]

Polar bear (Hannes Grobe, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “This Industry Is Four Times More Polluting Than Air Travel” • The construction industry’s emissions go from raw materials that need to be mined and smelted to the waste from demolished structures. HuffPost reports that construction produces 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions, which is about four times those of the airline sector. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “China’s EV Incentive Changes For 2020–2023” • The Chinese plan was to remove NEV subsidies by the end of 2020, but with the post-Covid-19 recession, a decision was made to extend them. The revision now includes consumers who buy new EVs through 2022 and provides for tax exemptions on purchases for two years. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 in Hong Kong (Tesla via Twitter)

¶ “WPD Inks 600-MW Taiwan Development Deal” • WPD has signed an agreement to jointly develop a 600-MW offshore wind farm with Taiwan Green Power. The project, site No 28, is located off the coast of Changhua in an area with excellent conditions for windpower, said WPD. WPD has an offshore pipeline of 7,400 MW in six countries. [reNEWS]

¶ “Solar Surge Pushes Coal From UK Energy Mix” • Maximised levels of solar generation have delivered a record coal-free period for the UK grid. Clear skies and cool temperatures in recent weeks have provided optimal conditions for solar efficiency, which means coal power has been offline since midnight on Friday 10 April 2020. [reNEWS]

Solar PVs (Zbynek Burival | Unsplash)

¶ “Rural Electrification Is Key To Agricultural Transformation in Ethiopia” • The Rocky Mountain Institute released a report showing that rural electrification efforts can unlock billions of dollars in value for six agricultural processing or small business models in Ethiopia, as farmers switch to electricity from such expensive sources as diesel. [ESI Africa]

¶ “Poland Warns Of Drying Funds For Clean Energy Projects” • The economic slowdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic will make it “more difficult” for Poland to reach Europe’s long-term climate objectives, the country said in a paper circulated to other EU countries ahead of an informal video meeting of EU energy ministers. [Euractiv]

Wind farm in Poland (Fotokon | Shutterstock)

¶ “South Australia still leads the renewable energy race” • Always a rivaled contender for other states, South Australia is continuing to embrace renewable energy as it remains as a leader of wind and solar in 2020. It’s expected that by 2024, SA’s renewables could contribute up to 87% of its overall electricity generation. Its goal is 100% by 2030. [Energy Matters]

US:

¶ “NJ Goes To Court To Fight Federal Order On Renewable Energy Sources” • New Jersey appealed a federal order that would raise the cost of energy from renewables, saying the measure exceeds federal authority and would slow the switch to clean energy. Advocacy groups in Delaware, Maryland, and the District of Columbia joined in the action. [NJ Spotlight]

Solar farm in New Jersey (Credit: Samuel Faber | Pixabay)

¶ “Chicago City Council Votes For Equitable Access To EVs” • The City of Chicago is taking decisive steps to ensure it is a hub for EVs. The City Council passed an ordinance strengthening requirements for EV readiness at commercial and residential buildings, promoting more equitable access to this emerging technology throughout the city. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Royal DSM Backs RE100 Goals With 61-MW Solar VPPA With Origis” • Florida-based Origis Energy has signed an off-take deal with a Dutch company, Koninklijke DSM NV, for the output of a 61-MW solar project in Texas. The VPPA (virtual power purchase agreement) is tied to the Rockhound Solar C PV park, which is to be built by Origis Energy. [Renewables Now]

Another solar plant in Mississippi (Source: Origis Energy)

¶ “TVA Selects First Solar And Origis Energy For 212-MW Solar Development Pipeline” • The Tennessee Valley Authority chose First Solar and Origis Energy to develop 212 MW of solar power to fulfill a Knoxville Utilities Board commitment to renewable energy.  TVA has now contracted for a total of 404 MW of First Solar projects. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Indian Point Unit 2 Will Shut Down April 30” • One of the two remaining operating reactors at the Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan, New York, will close for good on April 30. The 1,020-MW Unit 2 will close. This will leave the 1,040-MW Unit 3 as the plant’s lone operating unit. Unit 3 is scheduled to close in April 2021. [POWER magazine]

Have a wisely organized day.
Eat slowly and chew your food well.

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April 27 Energy News

April 27, 2020

World:

¶ “SoftBank-Backed SB Energy And EDEN Bag 900 MW Of Solar In India” • A 2-GW solar power tender received very a encouraging response amidst uncertainty of the Covid-19 outbreak. The government-owned power company NHPC set a maximum tariff bid of 2.78/kWh (3.64¢/kWh). It received bids for over 3.1 GW. [CleanTechnica]

Solar panels (Zach Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Sweden Shutters Last Coal-Fired Generating Plant 2 Years Early” • Swedish utility Stockholm Exergi announced some time ago it would shut down its KVV6 coal generating station in 2022. It actually took one of the facilities two boilers offline last fall. After a winter that was milder than expected, it decided to close the entire facility now. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewable Power Tender In India Oversubscribed” • A tender issued by Solar Energy Corporation of India for the supply of uninterrupted renewable energy was very much oversubscribed. The tender was for 400 MW of solar, wind, or hydro, with energy storage. Three companies have submitted bids, two for 400 MW each and one for 50 MW. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Zach Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Vattenfall green lights 240-MW South Kyle giant” • Vattenfall has given the green light to construction of the 240-MW South Kyle onshore wind farm in Scotland, after an agreement to sell the project to Greencoat UK Wind on completion. Construction of the project is set to go ahead once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. [reNEWS]

¶ “Simec Atlantis Tidal Kit Deployed In China” • Simec Atlantis Energy, in partnership with ITPEnergised, has worked with China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation and China Three Gorges to develop the latter’s first SG500kW tidal stream turbine. The turbine, with a rotor diameter of 18 meters, was installed in China’s Zhoushan archipelago. [reNEWS]

China Three Gorges tidal (Simec Atlantis Energy)

¶ “Huge Dundonnell Wind Farm Powers Past 100-MW Mark In Victoria” • Tilt Renewables’ massive Dundonnell wind farm in Victoria remains on track to deliver its full 336-MW capacity well before the end of 2020, after powering up to a generation output of 113 MW last week. The wind farm began sending power to the grid in March. [RenewEconomy]

¶ France Aiming For One-Third Renewable Energy Mix By 2030″” • France submitted its final 2030 National Energy and Climate Plan to the European Commission. The country will aim to have 33% renewable energy in its energy mix in 2030. This translates into 40% renewables in the power sector. Wind energy could deliver half of this. [Saurenergy]

WindEurope wind farm

¶ “Fukushima Daiichi Buildings Pose Safety Risks” • TEPCO reported results of a survey of about 580 buildings at Fukushima Daiichi to the Nuclear Regulation Authority. TEPCO plans to draw up safety measures for workers after finding that some of the buildings at the nuclear plant are in bad condition due to the 2011 accident. [NHK World]

US:

¶ “Oil Tankers Lurk Off The Coast Of California” • The US Coast Guard is monitoring the “increased presence” of oil tankers that are hanging out in the seas near the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. With the collapse in demand for crude oil, these tankers are being used pretty much as floating storage units for barrels of oil. [CleanTechnica]

Tankers (From a video by USCG PO3 Aidan Cooney)

¶ “Failed Federal Government Has States Considering Articles Of Confederacy” • Since the US government has failed its citizens utterly on its response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the governors of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts have formed an alliance to coordinate reopening. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Starlink Private Beta Testing To Begin In 3 Months, Public Beta Testing To Follow” • SpaceX has launched 422 low Earth orbit Starlink satellites, with more coming in May and June. Private beta testing of the Starlink network will start within the next three months, Elon Musk says. SpaceX has permission to launch 12,000 satellites. [CleanTechnica]

Starlink launch (Credit: SpaceX via Flickr)

¶ “US Renewables Provide More Electricity Than Coal In January-February” • Renewable energy sources produced 10.6% more electricity than coal during the first two months of 2020 and topped nuclear power in February, according to a SUN DAY Campaign analysis of recently-released data from the US Energy Information Administration. [Renewables Now] (This will bring internet in areas that now have no grid power. GHH)

¶ “Michigan Switches On Its Largest Wind Park” • DTE Energy has turned on the Polaris wind park, the largest in Michigan. Polaris is expected to provide enough electricity to power over 64,000 homes. Its 68 turbines have a combined capacity of 168 MW and will help avoid more than 355,000 tonnes of CO₂ emissions each year. [Energy Live News]

Have an uninterruptedly exuberant day.

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April 26 Energy News

April 26, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Australian Government’s $94 Million Crude Oil Purchase Offers A Simple Economics Lesson” • Last week, Australia took advantage of record-low oil prices to buy crude oil it needed to maintain a fuel stockpile. This illustrates the difference between energy that must be stocked, such as oil, and energy that flows naturally, such as renewables. [ABC News]

Oil tankers (Hamad I Mohammed | Reuters)

¶ “NextEra’s Earnings Portend Well For Utilities And Renewable Energy” • Heading into Q1 earnings reporting season, the big question for electric utilities was how hard COVID-19 would hit demand for power. Now we have answers from NextEra Energy, and implications are bullish, especially for companies speeding adoption of wind and solar energy. [Forbes]

¶ “Why The Oil Industry Can No Longer Rely On China” • US shale oil, far too heavily reliant on Cushing storage, paid the price when WTI prices went negative as Cushing hit capacity. In their way, OPEC oil and gas producers are similar. They  invested heavily in China, and they are paying the price, as Chinese demand is hit by Covid-19. [OilPrice.com]

Enbridge tank farm (roy.luck, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “New Research Turns Old Soda Bottles Into Battery Electrodes In Microwave” • Researchers at Purdue University have devised a way to use microwaves to convert plastic waste into battery electrode material. The process applies to PET – polyethylene terephthalate – the most commonly used plastic for single-use water and soda bottles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “As Extreme Weather Spurs Billions In Utility Resilience Spending, Regulators Struggle To Value Investments” • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory tried to evaluate approaches to resilience to guide utility investing. It found there are too many factors to quantify easily. This moves regulators back to human judgment. [Utility Dive]

Lightning

World:

¶ “Bottling Australian Sunshine: South Korea Is Keen To Enter The Hydrogen Future” • A joint report between the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering and South Korea’s prestigious National Academy of Engineering Korea has indicated that Australia could be a world-leading hydrogen exporter by 2030. [Stockhead]

¶ “KIA Teases 800 Volt 300 Mile EV With 25 Minute Recharge Time” • KIA and corporate cousin Hyundai are building efficient EVs that challenge industry leaders like Tesla. The Hyundai Kona EV and KIA Niro EV are world-class cars and are close to meeting Elon Musk’s plea to other manufacturers to build compelling electric vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai-45-Concept (Hyundai image)

¶ “Singapore’s EMA And Keppel Sign $10 Million MOU For Green Innovations In Marine Sector” • In Singapore, the Energy Market Authority and Keppel Offshore & Marine announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding  and entered into a $10 million partnership to develop energy solutions with green energy resources. [Mercom India]

¶ “Westminster Relaunches Plutonium Reactors Despite Earlier ‘Disastrous’ Experience” • Documents released by the UK Office for Nuclear Regulation under freedom of information law reveal that “advanced nuclear technologies” backed by UK ministers include fast reactors, which can burn and breed plutonium. Campaigners condemned the idea. [The National]

Dounreay plant in Caithness

US:

¶ “Universal Community Solar Revolution Brewing Under COVID-19 Crisis” • The DOE is doubling down on a commitment to ensure that every household and business in the country has access to renewable energy by 2025. The key ingredients at the core of the effort are the community solar model, affordability, and jobs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “In ‘Climate Refuge’ City Of Duluth, Fight Brews Over Utility” • Duluth has a growing environmental movement. But for those who want a carbon-free Duluth, their biggest roadblock may be a unique and influential hometown utility that also serves a stable of energy-hungry taconite mines and paper mills that support the region’s economy. [Patch.com]

Duluth’s Aerial Lift Bridge (Walker Orenstein | MinnPost)

¶ “Wisconsin Biogas Gas Producer Sees Potential In Thermal Renewable Credits” • US Gain, a Wisconsin company, was the first to sign up with the Midwest Renewable Energy Tracking System, which is designed to help monetize the environmental benefits of methane captured from dairy farms, landfills, and other sources. [wausaupilotandreview.com]

¶ “New Trump Nuclear Plan Favors Uranium Mining Bordering The Grand Canyon” • Mining companies want to dig up uranium in two areas on the edge of the Grand Canyon. In 2012, with local support, the US Congress imposed a 20-year mining ban in the areas to prevent pollution. But the Trump administration wants to mine uranium. [InsideClimate News]

Have an exhilarantly excellent day.

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April 25 Energy News

April 25, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “We Must Fix Our Food System To Withstand Disasters” • Just as this pandemic has shone a light on the fragility of our medical system, it has also shown that the US food system is broken. Our food supply comes largely from megacorporations across the globe; disruptions are widely felt and impossible to plan for in advance. [CleanTechnica]

Growing tomatoes (Gab997, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “$110 Trillion Renewables Stimulus Package Could Create 50 Million Jobs” • Economists are warning that we are witnessing the unraveling of something far grimmer than the 2008 financial crisis. We could spend $95 trillion to try to get things back to normal. Or we could invest in renewable energy and for massive economic gains. [Yahoo Finance Australia]

¶ “After The Pandemic, Kentucky Can Rebuild The Economy And Create Jobs By Investing In Clean Energy” • The pandemic will leave an urgent need to rebuild state economies. Kentucky has a huge potential for benefits from wind and solar power. But to get that, its state and federal leaders have to support solar and wind tax credits. [Environmental Working Group]

Solar energy

Science and Technology:

¶ “Researchers Say Thinning Forests Or Prescribed Fire Before Drought Reduced Tree Loss” • Thinning forests and conducting prescribed burns may help preserve trees in future droughts and bark beetle epidemics expected under climate change, a study from the University of California, Davis suggests. It appeared in the journal Ecological Applications. [Wildfire Today]

World:

¶ “Coronavirus Recovery Plan ‘Must Tackle Climate Change'” • Tackling climate change must be woven into the solution to the Covid-19 economic crisis, the UK will tell governments next week. Environment ministers from 30 countries are meeting in a two-day online conference in a bid to make progress on cutting greenhouse gas emissions. [BBC]

Wind farm and sheep (Getty Images)

¶ “Virus Outbreak Raises Spectre Of Cash Injection For Indebted EDF” • Falling electricity demand and prices due to the Covid-19 pandemic could leave EDF in need of a capital injection by the end of 2020, a source close to the French firm said. EDF operates the world’s largest nuclear fleet and has €41.1 billion of debt already. [One America News Network]

¶ “Climeon’s First Installation In Japan Operational” • Climeon, based in Sweden, has successfully commissioned its first heat power module in a geothermal power plant in Japan and it is now producing electricity. Climeon’s Japanese subsidiary began with installation of two power plants and has a heat power module in operation. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Geothermal energy letting off steam (NREL image)

¶ “Climate Science Deniers At Forefront Of Downplaying Coronavirus Pandemic” • Fringe climate science deniers who spread online disinformation are now actively downplaying the Covid-19 pandemic, an analysis says. The executive director of DeSmog said that science and global cooperation see as threats to their ideology. [The Guardian]

¶ “Enel Green Power Inks 5-Year Hydro PPA In Guatemala” • Italian renewables business Enel Green Power SpA announced this week it had secured a five-year power purchase agreement with Empresa Electrica de Guatemala SA. The PPA will supply 42 GWh of renewable electricity annually to EEGSA’s 1.3 million customers. [Renewables Now]

Hydropower plant (Image: US Army Corps of Engineers)

¶ “Enercon Seals 310-MW Vietnamese Six Pack” • Enercon has secured new turbine orders totaling 310 MW for six wind farms in Vietnam. The contracts cover the supply of 74 E-138 EP3 E2/4.2MW machines scheduled to be installed by the end of next year. Enercon had announced completion of a 64-MW project in the country earlier this month. [reNEWS]

¶ “100% Renewable Europe: SolarPower Europe Report” • In the first study of its kind, SolarPower Europe and LUT University have modeled a cost-optimal energy transition strategy. Their finding is that a 100% transition to renewable energy is 6% lower in per-unit costs compared to inadequate policies that rely on fossil fuels. [Power Technology]

Offshore wind turbine (Credit: Grahame Jenkins)

US:

¶ “US Supreme Court Decides Clean Water Act Applies To Groundwater” • This week, the Supreme Court made a ruling on a case involved the activities of a wastewater treatment plant on the island of Maui, Hawaii. Waste water was being pumped underground. But it was subsequently getting into the ocean, and the ruling says that is not permissible. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Electric Air Taxi Service Set To Launch In California By 2021” • Quantum Air announced plans to launch what it’s calling a world’s first: an air taxi service using a fleet of 26 all-electric flying taxis to shuttle passengers between major points in the greater Los Angeles area. Quantum says its air taxi flights will be surprisingly affordable. [CleanTechnica]

Bye Aerospace Electric eFlyer (Courtesy Bye Aerospace)

¶ “Empire State Blows Past Offshore Wind Limit With 1,000 MW (Or More)” • In yet another indicator that COVID-19 will not stop the inevitable march of renewable energy into the sparkling green future, New York State just approved another 1,000 MW in offshore wind. And it could be much more, if all goes according to plan. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Electric Vehicle Revolution Is Finally Hitting The US Army” • The US Army could start purchasing electric versions of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, the Pentagon’s new replacement for the Humvee. The service cites both logistical and economic reasons why a JLTV-EV armored 4×4 utility vehicle might be in its future. [msnNOW]

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