Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

August 20 Energy News

August 20, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Tesla Survived The Semiconductor Chip Shortage By Reworking Its Software” • Tesla remained ahead of the ongoing semiconductor chip shortage, but it wasn’t easy. One reason the automaker did better than others to weather the shortage is that Tesla was able to rely on its software focus to make alternatives work. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla circuitry (Courtesy of Tesla)

World:

¶ “Russia To Allow Inspectors At Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant, Says Putin” • Russian leader Vladimir Putin has said UN officials will be granted permission to visit and inspect the Zaporizhzhia nuclear complex. The Kremlin made the announcement after a call between President Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron. [BBC]

¶ “Polysilicon Glut And Cheaper Solar Panels?” • According to Rethink Energy UK’s lead analyst, Andries Wantenaar, prices for polysilicon and hence solar modules will continue to rise during 2022 as supply continues to run short of demand. However, the supply will leap ahead again after that, as new factories go online and prices will drop. [CleanTechnica]

Solar panels (Anders J, Unsplash)

¶ “Australian Financial Institutions Join The REVolution” • In media releases this week, Pepper Money and Bank Australia announced that they would be putting their financial weight behind the switch from fossil fuel vehicles to EVs. Pepper Money is offering 12 months of free charging for drivers who take out a loan to buy an electric car. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volkswagen – ID. Buzz Sales Surge, Norway All EV By 2024” • The Volkswagen ID. Buzz is sold out for 2022 in Germany and Norway, even though deliveries won’t begin until later this year. Harald A. Møller, the importer of VWs into Norway, announced that it will not import VW cars with internal combustion engines after January 1, 2024. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen ID. Buzz

¶ “Green Hydrogen Is Gaining Traction Across The Globe” • Green hydrogen operations are expanding as governments pump millions into the development of the sector. While the rise of green hydrogen production across Europe is documented, other projects are popping up in more unexpected regions, such as Latin America and Africa. [Nasdaq]

¶ “Solar Briefly Overtakes Coal In Australia As Number One Source Of Power Nationally” • For about half an hour on August 19, Australia’s energy market got a look at a future powered by renewables. Solar eclipsed coal as the lead source of power across the energy market, which includes all of Australia except Western Australia and the Northern Territory. [ABC]

Solar panels (SunEnergy image)

¶ “Uttar Pradesh Eyes To Develop 16,000 MW Renewable Energy Capacity By 2027” • Uttar Pradesh unveiled the draft of its Solar Energy Policy-2022. It indicates that the State will be targeting generation of 16,000 MW of renewable power by 2026-27. The policy was released by the Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency. [ApDirect]

¶ “Europe’s Largest Nuclear Plant Is Under Threat. But Experts Say A Chernobyl-Sized Disaster Is Unlikely” • Attacks at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear complex have sparked widespread fears. But nuclear experts would defuse some of the more alarmist warnings, saying the main threat is closest to the plant itself and doesn’t justify Europe-wide alerts. [CNN]

Russian tank (Kevin Schmid, Unsplash)

¶ “Russia Planning To Disconnect Nuclear Plant From Power Grid, Ukraine Warns” • Energoatom, the Ukrainian energy company, said that Russia is planning to switch off the power blocks at the Zaporizhzhia plant and disconnect them from Ukraine’s power grid, which would deny the country a major energy source. [MSN]

US:

¶ “Nearly 2,000 Zero-Emission Trucks And Buses On California Roads – New Data” • According to analysis by the staff of the California Energy Commission, there were 1,943 medium-duty and heavy-duty EVs on the roads of the state as of July 2022. These vehicles include 1,369 buses, 306 trucks, and 268 delivery vans. [CleanTechnica]

QCD Volvo VNR electric truck

¶ “EV Owners Enjoy Cost Savings, Reliability, Range, And More – Maine Survey” • A survey of EV owners in all 16 of Maine’s counties shows that Maine people value EVs for their reliability, performance, and the cost savings they provide. The survey found that 98% of EV owners would personally recommend them to their neighbors. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Jersey Is Ready For 100% Clean Electricity And Buildings” • New Jersey’s 2019 Energy Master Plan laid out the blueprint for how the state can achieve a 100% emissions-free economy by 2050. It envisions a future where a home powered by 100% clean electricity keeps its occupants cool in the summer and warm in the winter by using heat pumps. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image. (2019 New Jersey Energy Master Plan)

¶ “With Activation Of Solar Array, Town Of Bristol Returns To Its Renewable Roots” • A ribbon cutting Friday marked the start of operations of the solar array next to the Bristol, New Hampshire, water and sewer department. Renewable energy isn’t a new idea in Bristol. In the late 1800s, hydropower plants on Newfound River provided all the town’s energy. [WMUR]

¶ “California Nuke Extension Challenged In Legislative Proposal” • A proposal circulated by California Democratic legislators would reject Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan to keep the state’s last operating nuclear power plant open. Instead, it would spend over $1 billion to speed up the development of renewable energy, new transmission lines and storage. [AP News]

Have a really fabulous day.

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August 19 Energy News

August 19, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “A News Site With Ties To The Fossil Fuel Industry Claimed Scotland Axed 14 Million Trees To Make Way For Wind Farms. Is That Correct?” • News reports claim that 14 million trees were cut down in Scotland to make way for wind farms. What the reports miss is that this happened over a period of twenty years, during which 272 million trees were planted. [ABC]

Forest on the River Dee in Scotland (Chris Flexen, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Possible Breakthrough To Destroy Harmful PFAS ‘Forever Chemicals’” • Chemists have identified how to destroy “forever chemicals” in a low-cost way for the first time, new research says. Scientists at Northwestern University, in the US, claim to have done the “seemingly impossible” and destroyed PFAS using low temperature and cheap products. [BBC]

¶ “Clean Charging Solution To Enable Vessels To Use Renewable Power” • Maersk-owned Stillstrom is collaborating with Port of Aberdeen to reduce emissions from vessels on standby outside the port. The concept will give vessels access to the power grid or offshore windpower, eliminating the need to consume fossil fuels while idling. [Riviera Maritime Media]

Stillstrom’s offshore power system (Maersk image)

¶ “Proximity To Fracking Sites Associated With Risk Of Cancer In Children” • Pennsylvania children living near unconventional oil and gas developments at birth were two to three times more likely to be diagnosed with leukemia between the ages of 2 and 7 than those who did not live near such activity, a study from the Yale School of Public Health finds. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Lakes Are Drying Up Everywhere. Israel Will Pump Water From The Mediterranean” • Israel used to get nearly all of its drinking water from the Sea of Galilee. Now, plants desalinizing Mediterranean water provide nearly all the water. And because the Sea of Galilee is running low, Israel is planning to pump desalinized water to it. [CNN]

Sea of Galilee (Erez Gavish, Unsplash)

¶ “Extreme Heat Is Slamming The World’s Three Biggest Economies All At Once” • Estimating just how catastrophic climate change will be for the global economy has historically proven challenging. But the heat and drought battering the US, Europe, and China, show clearly how weather extremes of climate change hurt economies. [CNN]

¶ “Children Are Among The Dead Reported From Storms In France, Austria, And Italy” • Powerful storms, with heavy rain and wind, have battered areas of central and southern Europe, killing at least 12 people including three children. In Corsica, winds gusting up to 224 km/h (140 mph) uprooted trees and damaged mobile homes. [BBC]

Storm (Marc Wieland, Unsplash)

¶ “ACWA Power To Develop 1,500 MW Of Windpower In Uzbekistan” • ACWA Power has signed a set of agreements with Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Energy. One is to build a 1,500-MW onshore wind farm. There are also projects in gas-to-power, hydroelectric, and green hydrogen, with a value of $10 billion over a five-year period, starting in 2023. [reNews]

¶ “Russia To Stage ‘Provocation’ At Nuclear Plant, Warns Ukrainian Military” • Ukraine’s military intelligence has warned that Russian forces may be preparing to stage a “provocation” at a nuclear power plant they control, as the UN secretary general, António Guterres, called for an urgent withdrawal of military forces and equipment from the site. [The Guardian]

Zelenskyy in the Donetsk region in June 2021
(The Presidential Office of Ukraine, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Russia Allegedly Orders Personnel At Europe’s Largest Nuclear Power Plant To Stay Home On Friday” • Russian personnel working at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Enerhodar, Ukraine have reportedly been ordered not to show up on Friday according to Ukrainian military intelligence officials who spoke exclusively with NBC News. [MSN]

¶ “Russia Warns Radioactive Waste Could Hit Germany If Accident Occurs At Damaged Nuclear Power Plant” • Russia’s Ministry of Defense warned that if an accident occurs at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant it is occupying in southern Ukraine, radioactive material would cover Germany, Poland and Slovakia. [CNBC]

US:

¶ “Massachusetts Now All In Drought Amid Alarming Expansion Of Dry Conditions In Northeast” • Flash drought conditions have expanded and intensified in New England, according to the latest report from the US Drought Monitor. Extreme drought now covers parts of eastern Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the entire state of Rhode Island. [CNN]

¶ “Virginia Offshore Wind Project Could Power 600,000 Homes, Create Over 1,000 Jobs” • Virginia recently announced 2,600 MW offshore wind power project. When there is adequate wind, the new offshore wind farm will generate enough power for at least 600,000 homes in Virginia. The project will also create a large number of jobs. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind turbine (Courtesy of GE Renewables)

¶ “Hawaii’s Ancient Land Management System” • A ahupua’a starts high in Hawaii’s inland volcanic peaks, and widens, like a pie slice, to include a stretch of shore and the fishing grounds up to a mile out to sea. Stream water irrigates taro pond fields, going from pond to pond without stagnation. The per-acre yields are five times those of dryland farming. [CNN]

¶ “Rise Light & Power Proposes Renewable Project For New York City” • Energy asset manager Rise Light & Power has proposed a 3.9-GW offshore wind transmission project in Queens. The Queensboro Renewable Express would convert New York City’s largest fossil fuel power plant, Ravenswood Generating Station, into a renewable energy hub. [Power Technology]

Have a magnificently sensible day.

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August 18 Energy News

August 18, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Peaking: A Theory Of Rapid Transition” • RMI’s “Peaking Series” report is intended to map past and current peaks in fossil fuel demand. In country after country, sector after sector, fossil fuel demand has peaked and now faces a future of decline. It develops a new framework, The Peak, Plateau, and Decline, to chart the shape of change. [CleanTechnica]

Peak in the Italian Alps (Marek Piwnicki, Unsplash)

¶ “How Scary Is Threat To Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant?” • The Kremlin’s use of nuclear power plants as part of its military tactics contradicts international humanitarian law. It is apparent that Russia has made the callous calculation that any counterattack at the site would be too dangerous. Moscow’s behaviour looks like that of a terrorist. [EUobserver]

¶ “China is beating the US in clean energy. Can America catch up?” • Despite its continued connection with coal, China has emerged in the last decade as a global clean energy champion. It is outperforming the US by a wide margin in almost every area of clean technology, from overall investment and manufacture to marketing across the world. [Grid News]

Wind turbines (Jason Blackeye, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “YASA Axial Flux Motor Coming Soon To Mercedes AMG Vehicles” • When Mercedes purchased UK-based YASA last year, it opened the door for axial flux electric motors to find a place in mass produced production vehicles. The axial flux motor is the brain child of Tim Woolmer, who came up with the idea while he was a PhD candidate at Oxford. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “China Inducing Rainfall To Combat Severe Drought” • Some provinces around the drought-stricken Yangtze river are turning to cloud seeding operations to combat the lack of rain. Hubei and a number of other provinces are launching rockets carrying chemicals into the sky, according to local media. But a lack of cloud cover is hampering efforts. [BBC]

Clouds (Ganapathy Kumar, Unsplash)

¶ “Hyundai Is Said To Be Developing Two Low-Priced EVs For Europe” • Hyundai is said to be developing two electric cars for Europe that will start at around €20,000. Many people in Europe are quite content to drive vehicles that Americans would never consider owning. It’s a cultural thing. America has always been in love with road locomotives. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ratch Ups Asia Pacific Renewables Ambitions With 2.7 GW Purchase” • Thai-owned power producer Ratch Group signed an agreement with US-based Denham Capital for Nexif Energy’s portfolio of renewable energy and storage assets in the Asia Pacific. Most of the portfolio’s 2,670 MW capacity is in stages of development. [pv magazine Australia]

Wind turbines and batteries (Nexif Energy image)

¶ “ReNew Power Claims India’s ‘Biggest Ever’ Finance Deal Made For Battery-Backed Renewable Energy Project” • ReNew Power said it secured $1 billion financing for the biggest single-project clean energy deal in India. It will include 900 MW of wind and 400 MW of solar power, along with storage capacity to provide dispatchable energy 24/7. [Energy Storage News]

US:

¶ “As Colorado River Crisis Grows, Some Officials Say It’s Time For Feds To Make A Move On Water Cuts” • The Colorado River system is spiraling toward its demise, stakeholder states failed to meet an August 15 deadline to devise a plan to reduce water useage themselves. Now the US government says it is stepping in to produce mandatory cuts. [CNN]

Colorado River in 2020 (Gabriel Tovar, Unsplash)

¶ “US Natural Gas Prices Spike To 14-Year High” • US natural gas prices have increased to levels unseen since 2008, even as prices for gasoline and oil are falling. The summer spike is being driven partly by high demand as scorching temperatures through much of the country force Americans to crank up the air conditioning. It is made worse by low inventory levels. [CNN]

¶ “American Farmers Are Killing Their Own Crops And Selling Cows Because Of Extreme Drought” • Of the farmers in the US, 37% of said they are plowing through and killing existing crops that won’t reach maturity because of dry conditions. In Texas, drought is forcing farmers to sell off their cattle, reducing the state’s herds by 50%. [CNN]

Beeves thinking it all over (Kait Herzog, Unsplash)

¶ “These Cars Are Eligible For New US EV Tax Credit” • Are you confused about what cars are eligible for the federal EV tax credit now that the Inflation Reduction Act has been signed into law? Don’t be. According to the Alternative Fuels Data Center at the DOE, this is the definitive list of models, though the VIN number is the final determinant. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Grants Of $1.6 Billion For Clean Transit Buses In Bipartisan Infrastructure Law” • The Federal Transit Administration announced $1.66 billion in grants to transit agencies, territories, and states to invest in bus fleets and facilities. This year’s funding alone will nearly double the number of no-emission transit buses on America’s roadways. [CleanTechnica]

Electric bus (Proterra image)

¶ “US DOE Finds Record Production And Job Growth In Wind Power Sector” • The DOE released three reports showing that wind power remains one of America’s fastest growing energy sources and a generator of high-quality jobs. Wind power accounted for 32% of US energy capacity growth in 2021, and it employs 120,000 Americans. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewables Will Total 22% Of US Electricity Generation In 2022, Says Government” • Renewable energy will account for 22% of electricity generated in the US this year, according to projections from the US Energy Information Administration. This is up from 20% in 2021. The EIA projects that the figure will grow to 24% in 2023. [The Hill]

Have a sublimely chipper day.

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August 17 Energy News

August 17, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Can Renewable Energy Visions Of The Future Actually Be Within Reach?” • The passage of the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in the US has opened up hope that this is just a start, that other renewable energy and sustainability visions of the future might be within our grasps. Let’s imagine looking into an all-electric crystal ball … [CleanTechnica]

Hope (Marc-Olivier Jodoin, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “‘We’ve Got The Power’ – Sandia Technology Test Delivers Electricity To The Grid” • For the first time, Sandia National Laboratories researchers delivered electricity produced by a new power-generating system to an electrical grid. It is a closed-loop Brayton cycle system based on captured CO₂ instead of H₂O, and it is very efficient. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Car Tires Are Disastrous For The Environment. This Startup Wants To Be A Driving Force In Fixing The Problem” • As tires wear down, the material they lose becomes dust. Around 6.1 million metric tons of tire dust end up in our atmosphere and waterways annually. A startup in London, The Tyre Collective, says its technology can reduce the problem. [CNN]

Old tires (Markus Spiske, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “In France, 12% Of New Cars Now Fully Electric!” • In July, French full battery EV sales were up 69% year over year. At the same time, plugin hybrids were down a harsh 33%, for their steepest fall since the covid-hit month of April 2020. The overall car market was down 7% year over year, but that is down by 35% compared to 2019. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Finally, An Electric Pickup In Right-Hand Drive” • While some consumers in the US are now taking deliveries of the Rivian R1T pickups or Ford F-150 Lightnings, customers in the UK, a right-hand drive market, have had to watch from the sidelines. That is changing now, as the UK is getting the all new, all electric SAIC Maxus T90 EV! [CleanTechnica]

Maxus pickup (Image courtesy of Maxus)

¶ “BYD Partners With Nic Christiansen Group For New Energy Passenger Vehicles In Denmark” • BYD has appointed the Nic Christiansen Group as a national dealer for its passenger EVs in Denmark. BYD is ramping up production of its revolutionary Blade Battery and battery EVs, so it can enter more markets and take electric mobility to the world. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Lebanon Turns To Solar Power To Address Acute Energy Crisis” • Lebanon is currently battling one of its worst economic crises in decades. Facing a severe energy crunch, Lebanese are increasingly turning to the sun to meet their electricity needs. But high costs remain a barrier to widespread adoption of solar power systems. [DW]

Rooftop solar system (Watt A Lot, Unsplash)

¶ “Adani Green Energy Gets Provisional Approvals For Two Projects In Sri Lanka” • Adani Green Energy has provisional approvals for two wind power projects in northern Sri Lanka, Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekara has announced. For an investment of over $500 million, the wind projects will have a combined capacity of 520 MW. [India.com]

¶ “Total Eren Signs Green Hydrogen Project Deal In Australia” • Renewable energy company Total Eren signed an MOU with the Government of the Northern Territory of Australia to develop a new green hydrogen project in Darwin. Plans for the Darwin H2 Hub comprise of more than 2 GW of solar PV and a hydrogen electrolyzer with a capacity of 1 GW. [reNews]

Green hydrogen project (Westküste100 image)

¶ “Germany Says Undecided On Nuclear Plants Extension” • The German government denied a media report that it had decided to postpone the closure of its last three nuclear power plants. The country’s position is that it will make its final decision once it received the results of ongoing stress tests. The incorrect report was in the Wall Street Journal. [USNews.com]

US:

¶ “The West’s Historic Drought Is Threatening Hydropower At Hoover Dam” • The climate change-fueled drought and overuse of the Colorado River’s water is pushing Lake Mead lower and threatening the dam’s electricity production. Declining water flow has cut the dam’s power generation capacity almost in half, as of June. [CNN]

Hoover Dam (Ryan Thorpe, Unsplash)

¶ “Takeaways From Today’s Report On Lake Mead And The Colorado River” • The federal government announced that the Colorado River will operate in a Tier 2 shortage condition for the first time starting in January as the West’s historic drought has taken a severe toll on Lake Mead. States are facing mandatory cuts in water use. [CNN]

¶ “Oak Ridge National Lab Prepares Drones To Prevent And Fight Wildfires” • Researchers at the DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory are using sensors, drones, and machine learning to prevent fires while also minimizing their damage to the electric grid as a result of climate change. And they are doing it without burning fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

Drone (Image by ORNL, US DOE)

¶ “Biden Signs Climate, Tax And Health Bill Into Law” • US President Joe Biden has signed a $700 billion (£579 billion) bill that aims to fight climate change and healthcare costs while raising taxes, primarily on corporations and the rich. The final version is more modest in scope than the $3.5 tillion package first envisaged by Democrats. [BBC]

¶ “Governor Hochul Announces Third Competitive Opportunity To Support Existing Wind Energy And Hydropower Projects In New York State” • Governor Kathy Hochul announced the third solicitation under the renewable energy procurement program Competitive Tier 2, which is designed to retain New York State’s existing renewable energy resources. [NYSERDA]

Have a satisfactorily exquisite day.

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August 16 Energy News

August 16, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Kentucky Disaster Shows How The US Is Ill-Prepared And Under-Insured For Devastating Floods” • About 1% of properties in the hardest-hit areas in Kentucky have federal flood insurance, government records show. And the flood maps used by insurance companies are incorrect because risks have increased due to the changing climate. [CNN]

¶ “Why I Expect Putin To Lose, And Why That Scares The Hell Out Of Me” • I believe Putin will lose the war in Ukraine because his strategy is to terrorize civilians while the Ukranian strategy is to destroy Russian military targets. The problem is that Putin seems to be willing to risk widespread nuclear chaos as part of his terrorism. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “One-Third Of The Food We Eat Is At Risk Because The Climate Crisis Is Endangering Butterflies And Bees” • Species of bees, butterflies, and bats are all pollinators. Without them, fruits, vegetables and other plants wouldn’t be pollinated, and that’s a major problem for our food supply. They are in decline because of climate change. [CNN]

Monarch butterfly (Gary Bendig, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “German Households Face Levy Of Hundreds Of Euros On Gas Bills” • German households will have to pay hundreds of Euros more a year for gas under a levy to help energy companies cover the cost of replacing Russian supplies. For an average family of four, the additional charge will amount €480 ($489; £404), according to Verivox. [BBC]

¶ “Mainstream Renewable Power To Create 100 Jobs At New Dublin HQ” • Dublin-based Mainstream Renewable Power announced plans to re-enter its home market and develop three offshore windfarms in Ireland. The company said it intends to create “significant” offshore energy farms to support Irish carbon emissions targets. [Silicon Republic]

Offshore windfarm (Nicholas Doherty, Unsplash)

¶ “Queensland Hydrogen Tilt Needs Big Renewable Push” • A huge increase in renewable energy is needed if Queensland is to realise its green hydrogen potential, with the labor pool required for construction compared to the mining boom, according to not-for-profit and industry-funded group Construction Skills Queensland. [PerthNow]

¶ “Coal Miner Seriti Buys Windlab In Shift To Renewable Energy” • Seriti Resources, a key coal supplier to South Africa’s power utility, will buy a majority stake in renewable energy developer Windlab Africa. The deal is worth $55 million, and it will give Seriti a 51% stake in the wind and solar power business, the coal company said.  [Mining.com]

Collgar wind farm, Western Australia (Windlab Africa image)

¶ “Israeli Companies To Launch Renewable Energy Projects In Seven Arab Countries” • Two Israeli energy companies, Enlight Renewable Energy and NewMed Energy, signed two memoranda of understanding to jointly set up, develop, and operate the projects in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, and Saudi Arabia. [Xinhua]

¶ “UN Can Facilitate IAEA Power Plant Visit, But Russia Puts Conditions” • The UN has the logistics and security capacity to support a visit by International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, a spokesman said, but a Russian diplomat imposed conditions, saying routing a mission through Kyiv was too dangerous. [Reuters]

Kyiv (Artem Zhukov, Unsplash)

¶ “Russia Defence Minister Discussed Ukraine Nuclear Plant With UN Chief” • Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and UN chief Antonio Guterres discussed the security situation at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine, which is currently under Moscow’s control and has been the target of fighting, Moscow said on Monday. [Kyiv Post]

US:

¶ “California Has BIG Plans For Offshore Floating Wind Power” • The state of California announced plans to add massive amounts of offshore floating wind power to its energy mix. The California Energy Commission adopted the recommendations of report that establishes planning goals for enough electricity to power 3.75 million homes by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

Floating wind turbines (Courtesy of GE, Glosten)

¶ “Massachusetts Enacts A Climate Law Of Its Own” • Last week, Massachusetts enacted a package of climate-related policies which was signed by outgoing governor Charlie Baker. Here’s a rundown of the provisions in that bill as provided by local news source WBUR. The legislation establishes Massachusetts as a climate leader. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vermont University And FEMA Provide Drone Training For Public Safety” • Here is a bit of news about “first responders” and drone programs that some might find useful. The University of Vermont’s Spatial Analysis Lab hosted a FEMA-funded initiative that provided drone training to fifteen emergency-response jobs in the state. [CleanTechnica]

Drone (DJI courtesy image)

¶ “Renewable Energy Growth Expected To Be 20-Times Greater Than Natural Gas Over Next Three Years” • According to a review by the SUN DAY Campaign of data recently released by FERC, 66,315 MW of projects in the solar pipeline have high probability of going forward. There are 17,383 of high probability windpower and just 4,319 of gas. [Solar Power World]

¶ “California Lawmakers Float Legislation To Keep Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant Open” • California lawmakers are looking at draft legislation to keep the state’s last operating nuclear plant, Diablo Canyon, open beyond its planned 2025 closure date. But there are still significant logistical and political challenges ahead before that could happen. [CNBC]

Have a transcendentally lovely day.

August 15 Energy News

August 15, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “XPeng Bringing Truly Ultrafast Charging To Town” • Chinese EV startup XPeng is on the verge of releasing an EV that will be able to charge at a wicked-fast pace. According to the company, the G9 will be able to gain 200 kilometers (124 miles) of driving range in just 5 minutes. The company is reportedly rolling out the chargers for the car, as well. [CleanTechnica]

Xpeng G9 (Xpeng image)

¶ “New Tesla LFP Megapack Is Big – Really Big!” • Until recently, each Megapack was listed as having 2.6 MWh of storage capacity. Now, with no fanfare, a Tesla web page says each Megapack is rated at 3.9 MWh of capacity, an increase of nearly 50%. A report at Tesmanian says the new Megapack units are bigger and heavier than before. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “World leaders Make Fifth Attempt To Pass UN Oceans Treaty” • World leaders will meet at the UN in New York for more talks to save the world’s oceans from overexploitation. The UN High Seas Treaty has been through 10 years of negotiations but has yet to be signed. If agreed, it would put 30% of the world’s oceans into conservation areas by 2030. [BBC]

Fishing boat (Knut Troim, Unsplash)

¶ “Saudi Aramco Tops Its Record With $48.4 Billion Quarterly Profit” • Saudi oil giant Aramco broke its own record with a $48.4 billion profit for the second quarter of 2022, on high oil prices after Russia’s invasion of Ukrain. The 90% year-on-year increase marks the biggest earnings since its public listing three years ago. Aramco is the world’s largest oil exporter. [BBC]

¶ “BEV Demand Increasing, ICEV Demand Decreasing Across Europe” • Compared to 2021, new car sales have dropped by 11% to 20% in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and the UK. Full battery EV demand is increasing, while all types of internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEV), including hybrids, have falling demand throughout Europe. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 (Martin Katler, Unsplash)

¶ “CATL To Build $7.6 Billion, 100 GWh Battery Factory In Hungary” • At the end of last year, CATL, the world’s largest battery maker, had an annual production capacity of 170 GWh. It plans to increase that to 670 GWh by 2025, according to Reuters. A major part of the expansion will be from a $7.6 billion battery factory in Hungary. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Greens Propose Shutting Down All Victorian Coal-Fired Power Plants By 2030” • Victoria’s three remaining coal-fired power plants would be progressively shut down over the next eight years, under a Greens bill to be introduced to parliament this week. The bill is set to form a central pillar of the state’s Greens Party’s climate policy. [The Guardian]

Wind turbine (Kshithij Chandrashekar, Unsplash)

¶ “Ukraine Preparing For ‘Tragedy’ At Russian-Held Nuclear Plant” • Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky said the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant is under the control of unqualified specialists who could cause a tragedy. He said: “Of course, it’s hard to even imagine how terrible things could become if Russia continues their actions there.” [EU Reporter]

¶ “Dozens Of Countries Call On Russia To Withdraw Troops From Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Plant” • Forty-two countries have signed a statement urging Russia to withdraw its armed forces from Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, saying their presence poses “a great danger.” The statement was released on the EU website. [Radio Free Europe]

Nuclear plant in Cruas, France (Jametlene Reskp, Unsplash)

¶ “French Nuclear Plants Break A Sweat Over Heat Wave” • Like a number of other countries in Europe, France has been baking in temperatures of up to 40°C (104°F) for several weeks. That has been putting French nuclear reactors under stress, and half are temporarily closed. But it doesn’t seem to have called the French energy strategy into question. [DW]

US:

¶ “Volta And Hoboken, NJ, Partner To Install 25 New Public EV Chargers” • The city of Hoboken will get at least 25 new public EV chargers through its partnership with Volta in the next 18 months. This will double the number of the city’s public EV chargers. Volta and the city of Hoboken may work together in the future, as well. [CleanTechnica]

Volta charger in the UK (Volta image)

¶ “US Utility-Scale Solar Projects Report Delays” • Power plant developers plan to install 17.8 GW of solar PV capacity in 2022, the US EIA’s 2022 Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory shows. In January through June 2022, PV installations were delayed by an average of 4.4 GW each month, up from 2.6 GW for the same time last year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Pennsylvania School District Goes Solar In Big Way” • In Pennsylvania, the Central Columbia School District going solar in a big way. In February 2022, the school board approved plans for nearly 2 MW of solar power. Now they are in place. The panels in ground arrays can give students a close understanding of what solar power is about. [CleanTechnica]

Have a fantastically fun day.

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August 14 Energy News

August 14, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “Can Eating Fish Ever Be Sustainable?” • Seafood includes everything from farmed prawns to wild mackerel. It can have an array of environmental impacts, from high carbon emissions to the effects of overfishing, slaughtered bycatch, or antibiotic pollution. But some seafood can be a healthy source of food with low-carbon, low environmental impact. [BBC]

Mussels (Christopher Carson, Unsplash)

¶ “Study Explores Effect Of Climate Change On Economic Growth” • Research from the University of California examines the fundamental issue that underlies the costs and benefits of climate change policies. The study, published in Environmental Research Letters, found that economies are sensitive to persistent temperature shocks. [Devdiscourse]

¶ “Taming Tomorrow’s Wildfires” • Wildfires have been ravaging the Western US. Researchers at the US DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are tackling the problem of increasingly intense wildfires from scientific angles, ranging from predicting big blazes to preventing future fires. And they’re keeping our lights on in the process. [CleanTechnica]

Sensing the fire from space (NASA image)

World:

¶ “Evacuated Twice In A Summer As France’s Fires Burn” • Twice this summer, Christian Fostitschenko has been evacuated from his home. In July, he had to leave home because of a massive fire. Now, in August, he has had to leave for another fire. He lives in the town of Saint-Magne, in southwestern France, and he doesn’t know when he can go back home. [BBC]

¶ “Climate Activists Fill Golf Holes With Cement After Water Ban Exemption” • Climate activists in southern France have filled golf course holes with cement to protest against the exemption of golf greens from water bans amid the country’s severe drought. Golf greens are getting water while a hundred French villages are running short. [BBC]

Golf hole (Markus Spiske, Unsplash)

¶ “Fear In Bangladesh After Huge Fuel Price Rise” • Bangladesh, one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, has raised fuel prices by more than 50% in just a week. It blames rising oil prices in the wake of the war in Ukraine. Thousands of people have taken to the streets in protest, as another South Asian nation faces a growing financial crisis. [BBC]

¶ “Wind Blows Away Australian Records” • The wind farm road block is gone. It’s full steam ahead for Australian wind power now, and wind is blowing away Australian records. Under new management, wind power is being encouraged, every day seems to herald a new wind farm announcement, and power generation records being broken. [CleanTechnica]

Western Australia (Harry Cunningham, Unsplash)

¶ “Renewable Energy Projects Are Taking Off But Where Is The Workforce?” • The renewables industry has exploded in Victoria, with ambitious energy targets set by the state government. But in a job market crying out for people to fill 86,000 vacancies in rural and regional Australia, doubt remains on the ability to fill roles in the new industry. [ABC]

¶ “India To Miss Renewable Energy Goal, Officials And Experts Say” • India will miss its renewable energy target for the end of the year, with experts blaming “multiple challenges” including a lack of financial help and taxes on imported components. The country has installed just over half of its planned renewable energy capacity. [Morung Express]

Rooftop solar system in India (VD Photography, Unsplash)

¶ “Tesla Adds Model Y Variant With BYD Blade Batteries In Germany” • Germany’s TeslaMag says new structural battery packs from BYD are arriving at the Tesla factory in Grünheide, Germany. The packs have a capacity of 55 kWh and feature BYD’s LFP Blade battery cells. Cars will soon be available with the new battery packs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ukraine Targets Russian Soldiers Threatening Europe’s Largest Nuclear Power Plant” • Ukraine is targeting Russian soldiers who shoot at Europe’s largest nuclear power station or use it as a base to shoot from, as G-7 nations, fearing a nuclear catastrophe, called on Moscow to withdraw its forces from the Zaporizhzhia power plant. [CNBC]

Sniper (Dominik Sostmann, Unsplash)

¶ “Medvedev Says That The EU Also Has Nuclear Power Plants And ‘Accidents Are Possible’ There” • Dmitry Medvedev, the Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia, blames Ukraine for the dangerous situation at the Zaporizhzhia plant. He pointed out that the EU has nuclear plants, and “accidental” incidents are also possible there. [Yahoo! Sports]

US:

¶ “Autonomy Orders 23,000 More Electric Vehicles” • After a lot of recent news about Autonomy, the biggest EV subscription company in the US, we have even more. The company has just ordered 23,000 EVs from 17 different automakers to expand and diversify its subscription fleet. Up till now, it has only offered the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y. [CleanTechnica]

Autonomy Tesla Model Y (Autonomy image)

¶ “First Tesla Megapack Deployed In NYC” • NineDot Energy has launched a community-scale battery energy storage site in the Bronx. It will be the first such site in New York City. The battery system has a 3.08-MW, 12.32-MWh Tesla Megapack system, a solar canopy, and the infrastructure needed for bi-directional EV chargers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Extreme Weather Is Only Getting Worse. Can Cities Protect Public Transit?” • Last September, in New York City, commuters waded through waist-deep water to leave a subway station due to Hurricane Ida. Heat melted streetcar power cables in Portland, Oregon. Now, in San Francisco, the heat is warping train tracks. Can cities cope? [CleanTechnica]

Have a maginficently encouraging day.

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August 13 Energy News

August 13, 2022

World:

¶ “Parts Of England Officially Fall Into Drought After Months Of Scant Rainfall” • Authorities have announced that large swaths of England officially passed into drought. They urged residents and businesses in those areas to conserve water in the driest summer in 50 years. The UK has had five consecutive months of below-average rainfall and back-to-back heat waves. [CNN]

Stonehenge (Brooke Bell, Unsplash)

¶ “Climate Change: Drought Highlights Dangers For Electricity Supplies” • The ongoing drought in the UK and Europe is putting electricity generation under pressure, say experts. Electricity from hydropower – which uses water to generate power – has dropped by 20% overall. And nuclear facilities, which are cooled using river water, have been restricted. [BBC]

¶ “Tesco Electrifies Deliveries To More Than 400 City Center Stores In Greater London” • Tesco has become the first retailer to launch a zero-emission electric lorry to make deliveries from its distribution sites in city centers in the UK. Electric trucks will help improve air quality in urban areas, and their use should be prioritized. [CleanTechnica]

Greener greens (Tesco image)

¶ “Drought Hits Germany’s Rhine River” • As Europe lives through a long, hot summer, one of the continent’s major rivers is getting drier – posing major problems for the people and businesses that rely on it. The current level hasn’t yet fallen below the lowest figure ever recorded here, in October of 2018. But the current level is still falling. [BBC]

¶ “Advice About Tires For Electric Cars From Michelin” • Russell Shepherd is the technical communications director for passenger car tires at Michelin, with twenty years of R&D experience. He told Canary Media that electric cars put different kinds of stress on tires, and drivers should take that into account when they choose and care for their tires. [CleanTechnica]

Michelin tires (Michelin image)

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Strikes Partnership With Azure Power ” • Siemens Gamesa has its first order in India with Azure Power India Private Limited to supply 96 SG 3.6-145 wind turbines for a 346-MW project in the state of Karnataka. Azure has a portfolio of over 7.4 GW of renewable energy assets operational or under construction in India. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Moscow Rejects Demand To Hand Over Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant” • Leading Russian politicians rejected the G7’s demand that Moscow hand control of the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, which has been occupied by Russian troops since March, back to Ukraine. Russia also warned the US not to brand Moscow a state sponsor of terrorism. [DW]

Stop Putin (Markus Spiske, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “House Passes Democrats’ Health Care And Climate Bill, Clearing Measure For Biden’s Signature” • The House voted to pass Democrats’ $750 billion health care, energy, and climate bill. The final vote was 220-207, along party lines. Four Republicans did not vote. Now that the House approved the bill, it will go to President Biden to be signed into law. [CNN]

¶ “A Disastrous Megaflood Is Coming To California, Experts Say. It Could Be The Most Expensive Natural Disaster In History” • A study by Science Advances shows climate change has doubled the chances of a disastrous flood happening in California in the next four decades. Experts say it would be unlike anything anyone alive today has ever experienced. [CNN]

Los Angeles (izayah ramos, Unsplash)

¶ “How Local Governments And Communities Are Taking Action To Get Fossil Fuels Out Of Buildings” • Eighty US counties and cities have adopted policies that require or encourage the move off fossil fuels to all-electric homes and buildings. Nearly 28 million people live in local jurisdictions with policies that favor fossil fuel-free, healthy buildings. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ford Lightning: Orders Open Again, But Prices Are Up, Better Standard Range, New Hitch Assist Feature, Other News” • Ford is taking orders for the F-150 Lightning again, but prices are higher. That was expected, but there are two new reasons to make an order: There’s ten more miles of range, and an available feature to help with hauling. [CleanTechnica]

Ford Lightning pickups (Ford image)

¶ “Redwood Materials Plans Major Expansion In Nevada” • A statement at Redwood Material’s website says its mission is to “…build a circular supply chain to power a sustainable world and accelerate the reduction of fossil fuels.” A report by NBC News Channel 4 in Reno says the company acquired 74 acres of land in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Because Climate Science ‘Does Not Grade On A Curve,’ Experts Says IRA Not Enough” • While welcoming US House lawmakers’ passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, climate campaigners and some progressive lawmakers said the $740 billion bill does not do nearly enough to address the worsening climate emergency. [Common Dreams]

Offshore wind turbines (insung yoon, Unsplash)

¶ “Wood-Burning Power Plants In Massachusetts Won’t Qualify For Renewable Energy Credits” • An Act Driving Clean Energy and Offshore Wind will expand clean energy development and end renewable energy subsidies for wood-burning power plants, according to a press release from Climate Action Now Western Massachusetts. [MassLive.com]

¶ “California Governor Proposes Extending Nuclear Plant’s Life” • California Governor Gavin Newsom proposed extending the life of the state’s last operating nuclear power plant by five to ten years to maintain reliable power supplies in the climate change era. Newsom’s draft proposal includes a potential forgivable loan for PG&E for up to $1.4 billion. [KGET.com]

Have a brilliantly planned day.

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August 12 Energy News

August 12, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Problem Joe Manchin Highlighted Is Crucial For America’s Future” • It took just days for Senate Democrats to introduce and approve $370 billion of climate-change spending, part of the Inflation Reduction Act. But clearing the necessary red tape to spend a cent of that money on building some climate-related projects will take years. [CNN]

Wind farm (Thomas Galler, Unsplash)

¶ “Comparing The US And China On Climate, Economy, And Other Outcomes Should Be Deeply Humbling For America” • China has a sixth of the GDP per capita of the US at present, but, China is buying 6 times as many EVs as the US annually right now. China has 25,000 miles of high speed rail track. The US has none. Those two are just starters. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “World’s Largest Ice Sheet Crumbling Faster Than Previously Thought, Satellite Imagery Shows” • Antarctica’s coastal glaciers are shedding icebergs more rapidly than nature can replenish the crumbling ice, doubling previous estimates of losses from the world’s largest ice sheet over the past 25 years, a satellite analysis published in the journal Nature shows. [CNN]

Aurora over ice (Lightscape, Unsplash)

¶ “Arctic Is Warming Four Times Faster Than The Rest Of The Planet, New Research Shows” • As sea ice vanishes, Greenland melts and wildfires scorch the planet’s northernmost forests, new research confirms what scientists are sounding alarms about: the Arctic has warmed much faster than the rest of the world in the past several decades. [CNN]

¶ “France Firefighters Battle ‘Monster’ Wildfire Near Bordeaux” • More than 1,000 firefighters are battling a “monster” wildfire in south-western France. According to officials, it has destroyed about 7,400 hectares (18,286 acres) of forest already. The blaze about 30 km (19 miles) south-east of Bordeaux has gutted some homes and forced 10,000 residents to flee. [BBC]

Bordeaux vineyard (David Mazeau, Unsplash)

¶ “UN Alarm As Ukraine Nuclear Power Plant Shelled Again” • More shelling of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was reported. Ukraine and Russia blame each other for the attack. Both sides said there were 10 hits on the office and fire station of the power plant. UN Secretary General António Guterres said the shelling could “lead to disaster.” [BBC]

¶ “Goodbye, Diesel. Hello, Solar” • How do you make a difference and a profit in Australia’s dairy industry? The answer is shining in your face. Dairy farmers John and Rochelle Pekin have made the move from relying on a fragile grid and a smelly backup diesel generator to solar + batteries. Goodbye, diesel. Hello, solar and batteries. [CleanTechnica]

Australian beeves (Josh Withers, Unsplash)

¶ “In The Netherlands, 22% Of New Car Sales Now Electric!” • In the context of a continually falling overall auto market, down 18% year over year in July, the Dutch plugin vehicle market grew, even if only by slightly. Most of the growth of plugin cars is due to pure electrics (22% of all new vehicle sales), which grew 13% year over year last month. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Burning Imported Wood In Drax Power Plant ‘Doesn’t Make Sense’, Says Kwarteng” • The importing of wood to burn in Drax power station “is not sustainable” and “doesn’t make any sense”, the business and energy secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, told a private meeting of MPs this week. Scientists have held this position for a long time. [The Guardian]

Drax power plant (Martin Sepion, Unsplash)

¶ “Copenhagen Energy Unveils 3-GW Midtown Offshore Wind Farm” • Copenhagen Energy has submitted proposals for a 3-GW offshore wind project off the coast of Western Australia. The project would comprise up to 200 turbines and six substations from 10 to 70 km off Kalbarri, the developer said, covering a 700 square-kilometer area. [reNews]

US:

¶ “Aptera Reveals Gamma (Near-Production) Vehicle Interior” • A social media post by Aptera shows the great progress it is making toward its production vehicle. Not only is Aptera in the last phase before its production design, but they’ve kitted the EV out with a complete interior and exterior, something it didn’t do with the last phase of production. [CleanTechnica]

Aptera (Aptera)

¶ “Home Solar+Storage Will Get A Boost From The Recent Climate Bill, Claims Bloomberg” • EV tax credits get much of the attention in reports on the Inflation Reduction Act, largely due to controversies in how they’re structured. But the new law also offers a 30% federal tax credit for solar systems on homes, with no cap. That’s a big deal. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NREL Releases Extensive Databases Of Local Ordinances On Solar And Wind Siting” • As the US targets 100% clean electricity by 2035 and a net-zero carbon economy by 2050, local siting constraints have become a critical topic. Now, data on state and local wind energy and solar power ordinances have been made publicly available in one place. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Yeon Choi, Unsplash)

¶ “Massachusetts Commits To Offshore Wind Procurement Reforms” • Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has signed a clean energy bill that will reform the state’s process for offshore wind procurement. The bill, passed by the legislature on 31 July, codifies Massachusetts’ commitment to procure 5.6 GW by 2030, enough to power two million homes. [reNews]

¶ “Governor Newsom Announces Water Strategy For A Hotter, Drier California” • Hotter and drier weather conditions spurred by climate change could reduce California’s water supply 10% by 2040. Governor Gavin Newsom announced California’s latest actions to increase water supply and adapt to more extreme weather patterns. [Gavin Newsom]

Have a delightfully comfy day.

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August 11 Energy News

August 11, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Understanding The New Federal Tax Credit For Electric Cars: It’s Complicated” • The US government has become intent on speeding up the transition to clean energy and transportation. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 is meant to put some federal policy muscle into that process, but it has changed the incentive structure considerably. [CleanTechnica]

More efficient EVs (Image courtesy of Vitesco)

¶ “Researchers Agree: The World Can Reach A 100% Renewable Energy System By Or Before 2050” • An energy system 100% based on renewables has become the scientific mainstream. Hundreds of scientific studies have shown that 100% renewable energy systems can be achieved on global, regional, and national levels by or before 2050. [Innovation Origins]

¶ “Revisiting Degrowth For Sustainability – It’s Necessary, But Challenges Traditional Economics” • Coined in 1972, degrowth theory got attention after a MIT computer simulation showed a world destabilized by growing material consumption. Degrowth, however, will require business models that work in harmony with society and the environment. [CleanTechnica]

Garden path (Aniston Grace, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Giga Ontario May Be Next For Tesla” • During the recent Tesla stockholder meeting, Elon Musk suggested that Tesla might build 10 to 12 new factories in the coming years. When a member of the audience shouted out “Canada!” Musk answered, “I’m half Canadian. Maybe I should.” Just across from Detroit, Ontario is already a hub for making cars. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “970 Million People Do Not Have Access To Clean Cooking, 600 Million Do Not Have Access To Electricity In Africa” • The IEA’s Africa Energy Outlook 2022 says that 600 million Africans still lack access to electricity. It also says more than 970 million people still have no access to clean cooking and are exposed to dangerous amounts of smoke. [CleanTechnica]

Cooking on an open fire (Gasmeans, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Top Coal Firm In World Cashing In On Global Energy Crisis” • Glencore, the world’s largest coal shipper, is cashing in on the global energy crisis to the tune of nearly $9 billion in the first six months of 2022. Much of that is because of the war in Ukraine. It exemplifies what UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called “grotesque greed.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewable Energy For Treatment Plant” • In Queensland, the cost of running one of Livingstone Shire Council’s major power consuming utilities has been greatly reduced, with the transition to renewable energy. An array of PV solar panels with inverters and battery storage has been installed at the Yeppoon Sewage Treatment Plant. [CQ Today]

Sewage treatment plant with PVs (Livingstone Shire Council)

¶ “Federal Government Will Cover Cost Of Connecting Massive New Queensland Wind Farm To National Grid” • The Australian federal government has agreed to cover $160 million of the cost of connecting what will be one of the world’s biggest wind farm precincts, the Southern Renewable Energy Zone, to Australia’s power grid. [ABC]

¶ “UN Security Council To Discuss Ukraine Nuclear Plant Crisis” • The UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting to address the crisis at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear complex. Kyiv and Moscow have accused each other of having bombed the power plant. A source in the Security Council presidency said that the meeting would be on 11 August. [RTE]

UN Building, New York (Mike Peel, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “G7 Demands Russia Return Control Of Zaporizhzhia Plant To Kyiv” • The foreign ministers of the Group of Seven nations demanded that Russia return control of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant and all other nuclear facilities within its borders to Kyiv to ensure their safe operation. Some 500 Russian soldiers are using the facility as a base. [UPI]

US:

¶ “IRA Puts Economic Muscle Behind Search For Sustainable Aviation Fuel” • There’s a lot yet to unpack in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. Some say the legislation torpedoed the EV revolution by placing so many restrictions on EV incentives that hardly any electric cars will qualify. But it does promote sustainable aviation fuel. [CleanTechnica]

Aviation (John McArthur, Unsplash)

¶ “Norwegian Battery Maker “Accelerating” US Development Due To Inflation Reduction Act” • The Inflation Reduction Act hasn’t even made it through Congress yet, hasn’t been signed into law by Joe Biden yet, is still in the “hot news” category, yet companies are already responding and accelerating business development plans! [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ohio Court Rules Icebreaker Can Proceed” • The proposed six-turbine Icebreaker offshore wind project in Lake Erie has received a favourable decision from the Ohio Supreme Court which has ruled the project may proceed. The court held the Ohio Power Siting Board properly issued a permit that allows the project to move ahead. [reNews]

Building a wind turbine in Lake Erie (LEEDco image)

¶ “CEC Adopts Historic California Offshore Wind Goals, Enough To Power Upwards Of 25 Million Homes” • The California Energy Commission adopted a report establishing offshore wind goals . Preliminary findings in the report set planning goals of 2,000-5,000 MW of offshore wind by 2030 and 25,000 MW by 2045. [California Energy Commission]

¶ “Ford Makes Largest Purchase Of Renewable Energy From A Utility In American History” • Ford Motor Company took a major step towards its renewable energy goal. It announced the largest renewable energy purchase ever made in the US from a utility, 650 MW of renewably generated electricity from DTE Energy, which is based in Michigan. [Jalopnik]

Have a spectacularly ducky day.

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August 10 Energy News

August 10, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “How Europe Can Cut A Third Of Its Oil Demand By 2030” • Two-thirds of the EU’s oil use is for transport. The EU is acting to eliminate oil imports from Russia, but to ensure that it does not simply shift oil purchases from one authoritative regime to another, member states should seize the opportunity to wean transport from fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

Reductions in million tons of oil equivalent (Mtoe)
Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “As Britain Gets Drier, We Don’t Talk About How Much Water Nuclear Power Uses” • In the middle of one of the worst droughts in British history, the Tory Energy Secretary has just authorised the consumption of more than 20 billion litres of water by a new nuclear plant. A campaign group has launched a legal challenge on that basis alone. [The Independent]

World:

¶ “How The Mediterranean Became The World’s Most Invaded Sea” • In Mediterranean waters, almost a thousand non-native species have been listed. Some of these pests have become a surprising source of opportunity. The invasive blue crab is prolific, and Tunesian fishermen did not know what to do with them. Now they are sold as a delicacy. [BBC]

Blue crab (Anne Laudisoit, public domain, cropped)

¶ “Loire Valley: Intense European Heatwave Parches France’s ‘Garden’” • The Loire Valley is known as “the Garden of France.” But the garden is withering. France is suffering its worst drought since records began, and the drought has turned lush vegetation into arid fields of brown crops, shrivelling under what is now the fourth heatwave of the year. [BBC]

¶ “Russia’s Natural Gas Pipeline Exports To Europe Down To Almost 40-Year Lows” • In mid-July 2022, exports declined to 1.2 billion cubic feet per day, the lowest level in nearly 40 years. This is a very big loss for Russia. The country’s natural gas exports to the EU and the UK averaged 16.0 Bcf/d in 2019, 12.4 Bcf/d in 2020, and 10.9 Bcf/d in 2021. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Pakistan floods: ‘I lost everything’” • The Pakistani province of Balochistan was devastated by flash floods that began in June. This year’s monsoons have brought 133% more rainfall than the annual average. Close to 50,000 houses have been either been damaged or flattened so far, displacing thousands of people. Over 500 have been killed. [BBC]

¶ “Network Rail And EDF Sign UK Solar PPA” • Network Rail is to offtake power from EDF Renewables’ recently consented Bloy’s Grove solar farm in the east of England. EDF will make 50 MW of capacity available to the operator through the power purchase agreement, which will cover 15% of its annual consumption for non-traction energy. [reNews]

Work on solar panels (EDF image)

¶ “Tesla And Indonesia Agree On Nickel Supply Deal Worth $5 Billion” • CNBC Indonesia reports that Tesla and the government of Indonesia have an agreement for that country to supply nickel worth $5 billion to Tesla over the next 5 years. The deal seems to mean that Tesla will not be relying primarily on iron phosphate batteries in the future.  [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ørsted First Energy Company To Set 100% Renewable Electricity Requirement For Suppliers” • Ørsted expects all its suppliers to use 100% renewable electricity by 2025, becoming the first energy company in the world to do so, the company said. In 2020, Ørsted committed to getting 100% of its energy from renewables by 2025. [Offshore Wind]

Block Island wind farm (Ionna22, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Shell Seals $1.55 Billion Acquisition Of Indian Renewable Energy Group” • Shell finalised its $1.55 billion acquisition of Indian renewable energy company Sprng Energy from Actis Solenergi. By doing so, Shell is acquiring solar and wind power assets that will triple the amount of renewable energy capacity it has in operation. [Energy Voice]

US:

¶ “Rivian Plans To Game The System, Get Buyers Tax Credit” • Rivian is none too happy about the Inflation Reduction Act, which puts an $80,000 cap on the price of vehicles eligible for the full $7,500 federal tax credit. Most of Rivian’s trucks are far above that figure, but the company thinks it has a way to get tax credits for pre-order holders. [CleanTechnica]

Rivian pickup (Jeff Johnson, courtesy of Rivian)

¶ “US Energy Production Declined By Record Amounts In Several States In 2020” • In 2020, energy production in the US fell by record amounts compared with 2019, mostly as a result of decreased economic activity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Seven states saw their largest annual energy production decline in at least 60 years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Electric School Buses Win Big In USA” • Electric school buses are growing rapidly in the US, with a nearly ten-fold increase in commitments by school districts and fleet operators in the past year. Thirty-eight states have now committed to procure more than 12,000 electric school buses. Several states have acted this year to transition to clean buses. [CleanTechnica]

Electric bus (Courtesy of GreenPower Motor Company)

¶ “BayWa RE To Build Hawaiian Solar + Storage Plant” • BayWa re will construct a 30-MW solar and 30-MW battery storage plant on Hawaii for AES Corporation. BayWa will build the Waikoloa Solar + Storage project, an integrated solar PV and battery energy storage system, with a 120-MWh capacity, in the South Kohala district on Hawaii island. [reNews]

¶ “Closure Of California’s Last Nuclear Power Plant Could Be Delayed” • California’s last operating nuclear power plant is scheduled to shut down by 2025, but concerns over a power grid stressed by heat, wildfires and drought may give it a second chance. The plant is owned by PG&E. It is currently scheduled to be shut down in 2025. [The Weather Channel]

Have a superbly serene day.

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August 9 Energy News

August 9, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “US Climate Bill Success Masks Scale Of Warming Challenge” • Taken together with measures to penalise methane leaks and $20 billion to cut emissions in agriculture, the whole package will likely reduce emissions from the US by 40% below 2005 levels, according to analysis. But is that enough? And how will other countries respond? [BBC]


Climate protestor (Mika Baumeister, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Facts Behind Hydropower And HydroSource” • To further the potential benefits of US hydropower resources, researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory developed a water energy digital platform called HydroSource. It informs key stakeholders of development and operational costs, environmental concerns, and licensing requirements. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Billionaires Are Funding Massive Treasure Hunt In Greenland As Ice Vanishes” • The climate crisis is melting Greenland down at an unprecedented rate, and this is an opportunity for investors and mining companies. They are searching for a trove of critical minerals to power the green energy transition. And some of the world’s richest people are investing. [CNN]

Nuuk, capital of Greenland (Visit Greenland, Unsplash)

¶ “Sixty Percent Of EU And UK Land Is Now Facing Drought Conditions” • Sixty percent of land in the EU and UK – an area bigger than Alaska and Texas combined – is under either drought warnings or alerts, the European Drought Observatory says. The findings were based on data from a ten-day period near the end of July. [CNN]

¶ “Panama Canal Grapples With The Climate Change Threat” • Global warming and changing weather patterns are affecting the water supply for one of the world’s most important waterways, the Panama Canal. It is also affecting access to drinking water for millions of Panamanians, reports journalist Grace Livingstone from Panama City. [BBC]

Container ship in the Panama Canal (Rikin Katyal, Unsplash)

¶ “Seoul Floods: At Least Seven Dead Amid Heaviest Rain In Decades” • At least eight people have died and fourteen others have been injured as flooding caused by torrential rain hit parts of South Korea’s capital Seoul. Some areas received the highest rate of rainfall in 80 years, Korea’s meteorological agency said. And the rain is still going on. [BBC]

¶ “14 Years In The Making, 20 GWh Pumped Hydro Storage Facility Comes To Switzerland” • Switzerland is about to bring one of the largest pumped hydro facilities in the world online. The Nant de Drance installation has a maximum energy storage capacity of 20 GWh, which it can theoretically store energy for months or even years. [CleanTechnica]

Nant de Drance dam (Sébastien Moret, Nant de Drance)

¶ “Canada’s Oil Province Will Soon Be A Renewable Energy Leader” • The Canadian province of Alberta, home of the country’s oil and gas sector for decades, is set to undergo a renewable energy capacity surge in the coming years, attracting investments given its vast natural resources and favorable regulatory landscape. [Yahoo Finance]

¶ “Russia Threatens To Blow Up Europe’s Largest Nuclear Power Plant If Ukraine Doesn’t Back Off” • Russian Major-General Valeriy Vasilyev, said in a since-deleted statement, “Here will be either Russian land or a desert. The nuclear power plant will be either Russian or no one’s.” He said explosives had be set up in the plant to blow it up. [LADbible]

Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant (Ralf1969, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “UN Chief Calls For Access To Ukraine Nuclear Plant After New Attack” • International inspectors should be given access to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant after Ukraine and Russia traded accusations over the shelling of the facility in recent days, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said. The plant is operated by captive Ukrainian employees. [Voice of America]

US:

¶ “Many Americans Still Don’t Think Climate Change Is Coming For Them” • A majority of Americans acknowledge that climate change is real and that humans contribute to it. But a lot of people in the areas of eastern Kentucky, who have been hit by massive floods, might not know that they’re feeling the effects of the climate crisis. [CNN]

Aerial view of Pikeville, Kentucky (Doc Searls, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Volkswagen Looks To Build Electric Pickup Trucks In US” • At a Management Briefing Seminar panel discussion of the Center for Automotive Research, Inga Von Seelen, senior vice president for purchasing at Volkswagen of America, told attendancees her company is evaluating sites in the US for an assembly plant to build electric pickup trucks. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Heat Pumps For Old Apartments” • Gradient, based in San Francisco, has created a novel solution to the problem. The unit hangs from the window sill and can be installed using hand tools. Plug it in to a standard 120-volt wall outlet and you’re good to go. It won Fast Company’s 2022 World Changing Ideas Award for consumer products. [CleanTechnica]

Window heat pump (Gradient image)

¶ “Chicago Announces Plan To Power City With 100% Renewable Energy” • Chicago’s public buildings could all be powered by renewable energy under a plan Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced. The city has an agreement with Chicago utility Constellation Energy and Massachusetts-based renewable energy developer Swift Current Energy. [POWER Magazine]

¶ “Virginia Regulators Approve $10 Billion Plan For Nation’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm” • Dominion Energy has reached a major milestone in the development of the 2.6-GW Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project. Construction of the project was approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission. It will be 27 miles off Virginia Beach. [Offshore Magazine]

Have a graciously developing day.

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August 8 Energy News

August 8, 2022

World:

¶ “The Plans For Giant Seaweed Farms In European Waters” • At a testing site 12 km (7.5 miles) off the Dutch coast there was a breakthrough this summer. A converted fishing boat harvested a batch of farmed seaweed mechanically. North Sea Farmers, the consortium behind the test, says it was the first mechanical harvest seaweed farm far from shore. [BBC]

Kelp salad (Loyna, CC-BY-SA 2.5)

¶ “Extreme Drought: Dried-Up Italian River Reveals Unexploded WW II Bomb” • An unexploded WW II bomb submerged in an Italian river has been revealed due to Italy’s worst drought for 70 years. The 450 kg (1,000 lb) bomb was found by fishermen on the banks of the depleted River Po, in the village of Borgo Virgilio, in Lombardy. [BBC]

¶ “MG4 EV Costs Just £25,995” • The MG4 EV is a hot looking new electric SUV/crossover available in Europe. Pricing was just released in the UK, and it’s quite affordable for its class and considering its technology. The MG4 EV SE Standard Range starts at £25,995, the SE Long Range £28,495, and the Trophy Long Range £31,495. [CleanTechnica]

MG4 EV (MG image)

¶ “Germany’s EV Share Cold Comfort Against 34% Shortfall In Overall Auto Market” • Germany, Europe’s largest auto market, saw plugin electric vehicles take 25.5% share in July. This up from 22.6% year on year. Overall auto market volumes were down some 34% from seasonal norms, the worst July performance in many years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “China’s Latest Renewables Plan Could Bridge Global 1.5°C Energy Gap, Expert Says” • China’s fourteenth five-year plan shows the country could build enough wind and solar capacity to reach its emissions peak ahead of schedule, but continuing coal investments raise doubts. The plan requires that renewables produce 50% of the electricity. [The Energy Mix]

Tiananmen Square on a rare, clear day (zibik, Unsplash)

¶ “ReNew Commits $8 Billion For Egypt Renewable Hydrogen Facility” • ReNew Power announced signing a preliminary agreement to work with the Egyptian government on a new renewable hydrogen plant in that country. It will involve an investment of up to $8 billion for the production of the carbon-free fuel. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

¶ “‘Suicidal Act’: UN Warns Over Latest Shelling On Ukrainian Nuclear Power Plant” • Another shelling at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine raised concerns over nuclear threats, with the UN warning that any attack on a nuclear plant is “suicidal.” Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned of the risk of nuclear confrontation. [Press TV]

Russian missile system (Nickel nitride, public domain)

¶ “Rockets Fired At Ukrainian Nuclear Power Plant; Ukraine And Russia Blame Each Other” • Ukraine claimed that Russia fired rockets at a spent fuel storage area at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, risking what the country’s nuclear power company called a “nuclear disaster.” A Russian official claimed the attack had come from Ukraine. [Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists]

US:

¶ “Climate Hawks Breathe Sigh Of Relief After More Than A Decade Of Fighting For Climate Legislation” • Senator Ed Markey still remembers the raw anger he felt after the 2009 climate bill failed to advance in a Democrat-controlled Senate. Now, in a 50-50 Senate vote, more than a decade later, the Inflation Reduction Act passed. [CNN]

Senator Markey in 2019 (Senate Democrats, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “What’s In The Manchin-Schumer Deal On Climate, Health Care And Taxes” • The Democrats’ budget reconciliation package, which gained more heft after West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin agreed to add back several climate and tax provisions, was passed by the Senate on a party-line vote. Here are the provisions that made it in. [CNN]

¶ “Sunrun Now Offering Electric Vehicle Chargers” • Sunrun, the #1 home solar installation company in the US, is encouraging its customers to drive on sunshine. It has launched its own EV charger. The Level 2 charger can be installed and used at homes, workplaces, or anywhere else someone may want to park and charge for a while. [CleanTechnica]

Sunrun charger (Sunrun image)

¶ “Thousand-Year Floods And The Ford Lightning Come To Kentucky” • Kentucky has had two thousand year floods in two weeks, leaving over 37 dead, hundreds injured, and tens of thousands without power. Ford CEO Jim Farley decided to try to help, and he’s sent a pair of Ford F-150 Lightning pickups to help aid in the recovery efforts. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Death Valley Flooding, A 1,000-Year Event” • A three-hour rainstorm has dumped nearly 1.5 inches of rain on Death Valley National Park, causing widespread flooding that tore up roads, blew out water systems, and shut down the park. The flooding has been classified as a 1,000-year event by the National Weather Service. [National Parks Traveler]

Death Valley (Pietro De Grandi, Unsplash)

¶ “Silicon Valley Startup Plans 3D-Printed Solid-State Battery Gigafactories” • While plans in the tech world are as good as a contract written with disappearing ink, a pilot battery production facility opened in Silicon Valley by startup Sakuú a year ago is already producing 3D-printed solid-state batteries for real customers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Inflation Reduction Act’s $300 Billion Climate Spending Would Benefit Mostly Red Districts” • The Inflation Reduction Act cleared the Senate despite solid Republican opposition. It’s expected to pass in the House with little to no GOP support. But a study shows it delivers big benefits to mostly Republican rural congressional districts. [Texas Public Radio]

Have a refreshingly contemplative day.

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April 21 Energy News

April 21, 2017

Opinion:

¶ “The great gas con: there are cheaper, cleaner alternatives” • Yet another Australian “gas summit” ended without a fix to soaring gas prices. Frankly, it beggars belief that the country’s industry is even bothering to ask for cheaper gas prices, when there are obviously cheaper alternatives available – for both electricity and for industrial gas users. [Echonetdaily]

Gas and oil refinery (shutterstock)

¶ “Plunging battery costs raise doubts over Tasmania’s $3 billion hydro plans” • Tasmania’s plans for a $3 billion investment in new pumped hydro schemes and a new submarine transmission link to the Australian mainland may turn out to be little more than damp squib, given concerns raised by two new studies in the proposal. [RenewEconomy]

Science and Technology:

¶ In March, NOAA saw something it has never seen before, a record high global temperature that exceed the 1981-2010 average by a full one degree Centigrade (1.8º F) “in the absence of an El Niño episode in the tropical Pacific Ocean.” NOAA says the reading is a sign the underlying global warming trend is stronger than ever. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

World:

¶ In a new report examining how climate change will affect its bottom line, Calgary-based oil giant Suncor Energy is admitting its business will be turned upside down. The report notes that new technology and social change will trigger dramatic shifts in the market. But it isn’t ready to throw in the towel on oil any time soon. [National Observer]

¶ The Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon is projected to cost £1.3 billion and generate enough electricity for 155,000 homes, over a lifespan of 120 years. A report from Seafish takes a different look at it. Prospects for cultivating mussels, oysters, scallops, clams, cockles and seaweed in the proposed project are promising, it says. [TheFishSite.com]

Rendering of the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon project
(Courtesy: Tidal Lagoon Power)

¶ A majority of India’s 28,000 MW of gas-based power plants are likely to turn idle, especially on the eastern coast of the country, after the Union government decided to terminate the subsidies provided under the gas price pooling mechanism to the power companies beyond March 31, Industry officials told Financial Express. [Financial Express]

¶ A Concentrated Solar Power system in Denmark has reached full capacity. The plant provides the city of Brønderslev with sustainable heating through the city’s district heating network, but it will soon also be contributing to power production. The 16.6-MWth solar energy plant is based on parabolic trough technology. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Concentrated solar power in Denmark

¶ Strike action is already being threatened at the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant, which is under construction in the UK county of Somerset, despite a ground breaking industrial relations agreement being in place that had been considered a blueprint for future best practice. The dispute at Hinkley Point C is over bonus payments. [The Construction Index]

US:

¶ When it comes to clean energy, Vermont is second only to California, according to a nationwide assessment of states by the Union of Concerned Scientists. Vermont came in at the top in two of the 12 categories used in its study, including the per capita creation of jobs in the clean energy economy, and the state’s carbon reduction target. [Rutland Herald]

Vermont Law School solar array
(SayCheeeeeese, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Eos Energy Storage, producer of the cost Znyth battery, announced new forward pricing for the company’s Eos Aurora DC Battery System at a record-breaking low cost. The company is taking orders for volume purchases at a price of $160/kWh for shipment in 2017 and $95 per usable kWh for shipment in 2022. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ Apple has pledged to end its reliance on mining, and to make its devices from only renewable or recycled materials, although it’s not announced any timeline to do so. The pledge was announced in the company’s Environmental Responsibility Report. Apple already gets nearly 100% of its energy from renewable sources. [Cult of Mac]

iPhone (Photo: Ste Smith | Cult of Mac)

¶ Enel Green Power has begun construction of the 300-MW Red Dirt wind farm in Oklahoma. It is Enel Green Power North America’s largest wind farm in the state, and will bring the company’s cumulative capacity up to nearly 1,500 MW. The wind farm will sell its electricity under two long-term power purchase agreements. [CleanTechnica]

¶ L’Oréal USA’s plant in North Little Rock is set to house the fourth largest solar power project in Arkansas. The installation of 3,600 solar panels will provide 1.2 MW of renewable energy and will reduce carbon emissions for the state by 556 metric tons per year. L’Oréal’s plant has been in the state for 40 years and has nearly 500 employees. [THV 11]

L’Oréal solar array

¶ Recycling at Werkhoven Dairy near Monroe, Washington, takes on a whole new meaning when you have more than 3,000 cows that generate an average of 65 pounds of poop a day each. They have been turning cow manure into cow power for nearly a decade, producing enough electricity for nearly 300 homes and then some. [News3LV]

¶ One of the largest solar projects in Georgia has now been completed. The 52-MW solar facility in Hazlehurst is expected to generate more than 134 GWh of renewable energy annually for customers of Green Power EMC for the next 30 years, according to a news release. Construction began in April 2016 on the 480-acre utility. [The Telegraph]

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January 7 Energy News

January 7, 2016

World:

¶ Enel Green Power and the mini-grid technology provider Powerhive are partnering on developing solar-powered mini-grids in rural Kenya. The $12 million project will involve work in 100 different villages in Kenya, with 93% of the financing for the project coming via Enel Green Power, and 7% via Powerhive. [CleanTechnica]

Image by William Warby (some rights reserved)

Image by William Warby (some rights reserved)

¶ While the world’s attention is focused on Saudi Arabia’s latest flare up with Iran, many Saudis are concerned about the “economic bomb” at home. The government is slashing a plethora of perks for its citizens.The cash crunch is so dire that the Saudi government just hiked the price of gasoline by 50%. [CNN]

¶ E·ON and Samsung SDI have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together in the energy storage field. They will collaborate on energy storage solutions, and develop a business model together. Some of the solutions will be for industrial customers, with one focus area being grid stabilization. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Oil has continued its rollercoaster ride into the new year, with Brent crude falling below $35 a barrel for the first time in 11 years, sinking 4.2% to $34.88 a barrel. This surpassed its late December fall, and took the price to its lowest level since 1 July 2004. The price of US crude dropped 3.3% to $34.77 a barrel. [BBC]

Oil is at a new low. Getty Images

Oil is at a new low. Getty Images

¶ Western Power Distribution awarded UK-based Renewable Energy Systems Ltd a contract to build a 300-kVA, 640-kWh energy storage system next to a 1.5-MW solar park in Somerset. The systems will be used to study feasibility of nine different systems of energy storage for distributed generation. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ Work has begun on Scotland’s largest solar farm despite forthcoming cuts in government subsidies for a range of renewable power options. The 14-MW scheme on the Errol Estate in Tayside, covering 70 acres of land, is expected to be operational by March. It will ultimately provide power for more than 3,500 homes. [Scotsman]

¶ Power distribution companies in India’s capital have finally begun to take their Renewable Purchase Obligations seriously. After Tata Power procured 400 MW of solar power, Reliance Infra-backed BSES on Wednesday announced its plans to procure 700 MW of ‘green energy’ for the city. [The Hindu]

The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission had notified regulations in 2012 that made Renewable Purchase Obligations compulsory for all discoms in the city. File Photo

Renewable Purchase Obligations are compulsory for all distribution companies in Dehli. File Photo

¶ General Electric will supply its 4-MW Fully Fed LV3 wind converters for 1 GW of offshore wind turbines in China under a deal with Shanghai Electric Wind Power Equipment Co. GE’s converter uses standard LV3 power stacks, but given the same converter footprint, delivers 25% more power, GE says. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ TransCanada will sue the US government for $15 billion (US) for blocking its controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline linking Canada with the Gulf of Mexico. TransCanada said the denial of a permit to complete the pipeline “was arbitrary and unjustified,” and exceeded the president’s constitutional powers. [Business Recorder]

US:

¶ SolarFest, one of Vermont’s longest running celebrations of solar power and renewable energy could be calling the Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester a home for its annual 3-day festival this coming July. SolarFest has been a platform for renewable energy advocates, vendors, and artists for 20 years. [The Manchester Journal]

The Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester will be the likely new home for this year's SolarFest. (Andrew McKeever – Manchester Journal)

The Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester will be the likely new home for this year’s SolarFest. (Andrew McKeever – Manchester Journal)

¶ US-based technology company Switch is set to develop two new solar farms, with a combined capacity of 180 MW, in Nevada. The solar farms are to support Switch’s decision to power all of its SUPERNAP data centers with 100% renewable energy. The farms are expected to be set up within this year. [Power Technology]

¶ Utilities, clean-energy groups and consumer advocates have just unveiled a plan to ensure Oregon will be coal-free by 2030, and that the state’s two largest power companies will focus on using more renewable energy and energy efficiency, making renewables half of their portfolios by 2050. [Public News Service]

¶ California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency Wednesday for the Porter Ranch area in the wake of the ongoing gas leak from a facility in Aliso Viejo in Southern California. The massive leak began in October and has prompted the relocation of thousands of households from the area. [Inland Empire News]

Operations are underway to stop the gas leak.

Operations are underway to stop the gas leak.

¶ Austin Energy, widely regarded as one of the most innovative utilities in the nation, is poised to launch a new system that distributes renewable resources like wind and solar more efficiently to customers in the Austin area. The plan hinges on the use of smart inverters and large-scale renewable energy storage. [Austin Inno]

¶ The co-owners of Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro, Georgia, have settled all litigation between the parties and contractors for the facility’s ongoing expansion project building two reactors at the plant. With the settlement, the projected customer rate impact for the construction is expected to be roughly 2.5%. [The Augusta Chronicle]

December 29 Energy News

December 29, 2015

Opinion:

The strong economics of wind energy • At the recent climate conference in Paris, 70 countries highlighted wind as a major component for their emissions-reduction schemes. Companies are investing in wind power not only because wind is competitive economically, but because it reduces emissions. [The Guardian]

The full moon shines behind a wind park near Norden, Germany. Photograph: Ingo Wagner/dpa/Corbis

The full moon shines behind a wind park near Norden, Germany. Photograph: Ingo Wagner/dpa/Corbis

NC Experts See Hope in Climate Deal • North Carolina could benefit from the deal made at COP21. An economist with the Environmental Defense Fund points to a set of provisions that encourages the use of markets to drive up investment in clean energy and drive down pollution. [Coastal Review Online]

10 Sustainable Business Stories That Shaped 2015 • The year 2015 was a pivotal time when humanity turned more decisively toward building a thriving and sustainable world. On our largest shared challenge, climate change, most of the major hurdles to action, both imagined and real, started to crumble. [Huffington Post]

Solar Could Produce As Much Electricity As Hinkley C For Much Less Money • While the Hinkley C project was delayed because of funding problems, it lumbered back to life thanks to a massive investment by China. But the delay may give proponents of solar power a chance to make their case. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ Scientists from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory developed an organic aqueous flow battery expected to cost $180 per kWh, a projected savings of about 60% as compared to standard flow batteries. The electrolytes can be a drop-in replacement for those in existing batteries. [IHS Electronics360]

PNNL researcher Xiaoliang Wei prepares a small demonstration organic flow battery. (Source: PNNL)

PNNL researcher Xiaoliang Wei prepares a small demonstration organic flow battery. (Source: PNNL)

World:

¶ Indian IT services major Infosys Ltd launched a solar PV power plant of 6.6 MW capacity at a campus in Telangana. Combined with the existing 0.6-MW rooftop solar plant, it will make the Infosys campus one of the first corporate campuses in India to be run completely by renewable energy. [NetIndian]

¶ Germany is producing so much renewable energy, it sometimes finds it difficult to manage the excess. However, Germany’s grid operators have excelled at managing the variable loads that come with renewable energy, and they have done so without any meaningful energy storage capacity. [OilPrice.com]

¶ Nordex has installed the first of its low wind-speed N131/3300 turbines at the Krampfer project in Germany. The manufacturer said the 3.3-MW machine was built in Brandenburg for Rostock company Voss Energy. The machine is targeted at inland sites in Germany and can replace 3-MW Delta machines. [reNews]

N131 turbine in the 3-MW variant (Nordex)

N131 turbine in the 3-MW variant (Nordex)

¶ Enel Green Power SpA, the renewable-energy unit of Italy’s largest utility, began construction on a 254-megawatt solar farm in Brazil’s northeastern state of Bahia. Enel will invest $400 million to build the Ituverava solar farm. The project will power about 268,000 Brazilian households. [Bloomberg]

¶ Data from sports tracking app Strava have revealed cyclists and runners are using access roads at Scottish wind farms to rack up the miles. The app, which allows subscribers to share a wealth of information on their sporting activity, shows they have logged more than 13,000 miles in less than four years. [Energy Voice]

US:

¶ Google will launch its 15th global data center at the site of a former semiconductor plant in Tennessee, for an investment of $600 million. New technologies will “make this data center the most technologically advanced in the world,” Google said. It will use renewable power provided through the TVA. [Light Reading]

Google is opening its 15th data center at the site of a former semiconductor plant in Tennessee. Photo: Google

Google is opening its 15th data center at the site of a former semiconductor plant in Tennessee. Photo: Google

¶ Salesforce, which is committed to be carbon-neutral by 2050, announced they have signed a 12-year virtual power purchase agreement with a wind farm project in West Virginia to deliver 40 MW of power. This is more than the total amount Salesforce currently uses in their data center space. [ZDNet]

¶ There was no white Christmas for the eastern half of the US this year. Instead, there are record-highs: 86° in Tampa, 83° in Houston, 67° in Boston, 68° in Burlington, Vermont, and 66° in New York City, just to name a few. They end the globe’s hottest year with an exclamation point. [Greentech Media]

¶ Rooftop solar fans in Nevada got a huge lump of coal in their Christmas stockings just last Tuesday, when the state’s Public Utilities Commission voted to increase the charges – and lower the compensation – for rooftop solar installations. Worse yet, the PUC wants the changes to be retroactive. [CleanTechnica]

December 28 Energy News

December 28, 2015

Opinion:

What India Inc could gain from the Paris climate summit • India’s strong stance at the recently concluded climate talks in Paris won it both accolades and brickbats. The country’s negotiators at Conference of Parties-21 Paris ensured they brought back what they believed to be the best possible deal. [Forbes India]

Coal being unloaded at a port in Andhra Pradesh. India plans to double its coal output by 2020. Image: Amit Dave / Reuters

Coal being unloaded at a port in Andhra Pradesh. India plans to double its coal output by 2020. Image: Amit Dave / Reuters

Renewable energy stymied by roadblocks • Converting the wind and sun into electricity is increasingly affordable, but it can be difficult to get that electricity from distant plains and deserts to where it’s needed. The reasons range from technical to regulatory, but they include local opposition. [Huntington Herald Dispatch]

Science and Technology:

¶ Four Phi Suea solar homes being developed in Chiang Mai, Thailand, will convert excess energy into hydrogen and store it in fuel cells. Excess solar power from PV panels will run electrolyzers producing hydrogen during daylight, which can be used to generate electricity with a fuel cell storage system in other times. [CleanTechnica]

Image via CNX Construction

Image via CNX Construction

World:

¶ Scotland met its target for community or local ownership of renewables five years early. Capacity of 508 MW is now operational; the target was 500 MW by 2020. Energy Minister Fergus Ewing foresees continued growth. Last year, renewables returned over £10 million to communities. [The Edinburgh Reporter]

¶ Wind power output in Estonia hit 5,210.47 MWh on December 25 and 4,925.12 MWh on December 26. Estonia has long surpassed its renewable energy target for 2020. The country reached a 25.6% renewables share in gross final consumption of energy in 2013; its goal was 25% by 2020. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ In the first quarter of 2016, Jordan will sign deals with two international companies to build solar-run power plants with a total capacity of 100 MW. The government has awarded contracts to Greece-based Sunrise Photovoltaic Systems and Saudi Oger Ltd, each to build a 50-MW solar plant. [Zawya]

Photo Credit:Reuters/Toby Melville

Photo Credit:Reuters/Toby Melville

¶ China has embarked on an ambitious plan to install nuclear power stations at just the same time it is committing to over 100 coal-fired power plants that may never burn a single tonne of the widely-condemned fossil fuel. The disconnect, a bit of a puzzle, has been analyzed by Greenpeace. [OilPrice.com]

¶ The Nigerian Minister of Environment, said the government is planning to develop about 13,000 MW of off-grid electricity from solar energy. She said the government was working on the possibility of diversifying the country’s energy mix and laid emphases on renewable energy and efficient gas power. [NAIJ.COM]

¶ Morocco postponed without explanation the inauguration of Noor-1, a solar power plant due to open Sunday in Ouarzazate, part of what will eventually be the world’s largest solar power production facility. The Noor-1 facility is to have an electricity production capacity of 160 MW. [Mail & Guardian Africa]

A view of the Noor-1 Concentrated Solar Power plant. (Photo/AFP).

A view of the Noor-1 Concentrated Solar Power plant. (Photo/AFP).

¶ South Africa’s plan to build nuclear power plants will go ahead with Pretoria green-lighting a process that could lead to its adding up to 9,600 MW of nuclear power to its national grid, the department of energy said. Analysts estimate the nuclear project will cost as much as 1 trillion rand ($66 billion). [The BRICS Post]

US:

¶ The Navajo Nation is pursuing an ownership stake in a coal-fired power plant in New Mexico as many utilities are divesting from coal. The Navajo Transitional Energy Co is negotiating with the operator of the Four Corners Power Plant for a 7% interest as a way to build expertise in energy production. [PennEnergy]

Navajo coal plant

Navajo coal plant

¶ US Law firms over the past few years have gone green, focusing on sustainability, according to a report in the New York Law Journal. In many cases, law firms are moving to, or building out, space that is LEED-certified. And the firms are making their efforts in sustainability known. [Proud Green Building]

December 27 Energy News

December 27, 2015

Opinion:

Climate talks, climate action • It is no secret that in a rural state like Vermont, transportation is the biggest contributor of global warming pollution. Vermont joined eleven other countries, states and provinces to announce new efforts to put more zero-emission vehicles on the road. [BurlingtonFreePress.com]

Activists in white bear costumes during the COP21 Conference. (Photo: Matt Dunham/AP)

Activists in white bear costumes during the COP21 Conference. (Photo: Matt Dunham/AP)

Why the freakishly warm December? • In Central Park, the daytime high on Christmas Eve was 71 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s 8 degrees over the previous record for the day. The big El Niño currently in place is very likely one significant factor. Human-induced climate change is most likely another. [CNN]

US uses more energy on Christmas lights than some nations do all year • Overall, the amount of electricity used to power Christmas lights in the US each year is pretty minimal, just 6.6 billion kWh. El Salvador uses 5.7 billion kWh a year, Cambodia uses 3.6 billion, and Nepal uses even less at 3.3 billion. [AOL News]

Christmas lights in Urbana Illinois. Photo by Daniel Schwen. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons. 

Christmas lights in Urbana Illinois. Photo by Daniel Schwen. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

Science and Technology:

¶ Scientists have developed a new organic aqueous flow battery that offers low-cost energy storage based on organic compounds and will be cheaper than such existing batteries. The battery is expected to cost $180 per kWh, which is 60% less than today’s standard flow batteries, once the technology is fully developed. [Business Standard]

World:

¶ Africa could be the first region in the world to power its economic development on renewable energy rather than fossil fuels, according to the head of the International Energy Agency. He said government pushes to get electricity to Africans without access will help support this, as will falling costs of renewable energy. [Climate Central]

Wind farm in Cape Town, South Africa. Credit: jbdodane/flickr

Wind farm in Cape Town, South Africa. Credit: jbdodane/flickr

¶ In the Philippines, Universal Robina Corp is building a point-to-point transmission facility to connect its 46-MW biomass power plant in Kabankalan to the grid. The 46-MW plant will use bagasse, a by-product of URC’s sugar mill in Kabankalan, which has a capacity of about 9,000 tons per day. [Philippine Star]

¶ Hard on the heels of the COP21 climate conference, the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka rejected the Ceylon Electricity Board’s Long-term Generation Expansion Plan, which was based on coal. The utility was told to make provision for renewable energy like wind and solar power. [The Sunday Times Sri Lanka]

¶ Sustainable Green Energy (Pvt) Ltd, a Sri Lankan company, has received the green-light from the government to launch its ambitious industrial venture of going green with a bamboo cultivation project in the North. The Bamboo will initially supply biomass for a 10-MW power project. [The Sunday Times Sri Lanka]

A bamboo plantation in India

A bamboo plantation in India

¶ Bangladesh and Russia have signed a general contract for the construction and commissioning of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant in Pabna at a cost of $12.65 billion. Speaking at the ceremony Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhit said: “A very old dream has come true today.” [DhakaTribune]

US:

¶ To avoid getting overcommitted to wind and solar, Rocky Mountain Power is asking regulators to shorten required contract terms with green-energy producers from 20 years to just three. Critics have blasted the idea as policy aimed at thwarting competition from renewable sources. [Salt Lake Tribune]

Courtesy | sPower The Latigo Wind Park in Utah

Courtesy | sPower The Latigo Wind Park in Utah

¶ The Sacramento Municipal Utility District and the Western Area Power Administration are proposing a new transmission line in California with the goal of bringing more clean power to customers. The proposed line would cost the utility district roughly $257 million, with construction done by a US DOE agency. [Sacramento Bee]

December 23 Energy News

December 23, 2015

World:

¶ Scotland is celebrating early success in meeting its green energy targets. The original plan was for 50% of its gross electricity consumption to come from renewable sources by 2015. However new figures show the country got to a level of 49.7% from renewable sources in 2014. [Business Green]

EDF Energy Renewables Fallago Rig wind farm

EDF Energy Renewables Fallago Rig wind farm

¶ The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation signed an agreement with the Solar Energy Corporation of India to source electricity from solar power projects. The DMRC intends to source around 1,000 million kWh of electricity every year, and a project of 500-MW capacity has been planned for that. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Transport for London has unveiled plans for nearly one third of the city’s buses on B20 green diesel made from waste cooking oil by March 2016. They explained that two bus operators, Stagecoach and Metroline, have signed deals with Argent Energy to supply them with the B20 green diesel.
[Waste Management World]

¶ OPEC said it expects oil prices to start to recover over the next few years. Prices have fallen from over $100 a barrel in the summer of 2014 to below $40 a barrel now. However, in its World Oil Outlook report, OPEC said oil would rise to $70 a barrel by 2020 and in the long term would continue higher. [BBC]

Oil pumps

Some of OPEC’s nodding donkeys

¶ India expects to seal a contract with Westinghouse Electric Co LLC to build six nuclear reactors in the first half of next year, as its $150 billion dollar nuclear power program is getting off the ground. India plans to build roughly 60 reactors, making the second-biggest nuclear energy market after China. [Daily Mail]

¶ A social enterprise formed by local residents in New South Wales, has become Australia’s first community-owned electricity supplier after raising the $3 million of capital required for it to list on the Australian stock exchange. Enova will get its energy entirely from renewable resources. [eco-business.com]

Australian community-owned electricity provider Enova will begin operating in early 2016, and will buy renewable energy from the grid and from renewable energy generators to sell to customers. Image: Shutterstock

Australian community-owned electricity provider Enova will begin operating in early 2016, and will buy renewable energy from the grid and from renewable energy generators to sell to customers. Image: Shutterstock

US:

¶ Energy storage leader AES recently unveiled its new energy storage platform with a system it has installed in Maryland, and it is the largest grid-scale battery in that state. Brian Perusse, VP of International Market Development for AES, answered some questions about it for CleanTechnica. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Nevada Public Utilities Commission approved the new rate structure for net metering proposed by NV Energy, reducing the sum paid by the utility to customers for the excess power generated by rooftop solar systems. The PUC ruling was immediately criticised by companies in the solar power sector. [SeeNews Renewables]

Rooftop solar system in Nevada. Author: Pacific Southwest Region. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

Rooftop solar system in Nevada. Author: Pacific Southwest Region. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

¶ A Navajo community south of Monument Valley will be home to the tribe’s first utility-scale solar plant capable of powering 7,700 homes. The $64 million plant is on track to be built by the end of 2016, using federal loans and tax credits, the general manager of the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority said. [Santa Fe New Mexican]

¶ The Center for Sustainable Economy has found the fight against the fossil fuel industry may work best at the local level. A number of local, state, and provincial leaders have committed to prohibiting new fossil fuel infrastructure in their jurisdictions. Recently, two resolutions were passed by Portland’s City Council. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The 392-MW Ivanpah solar power park in California will get six more months to reach the output levels agreed in its power purchase agreement with Pacific Gas & Electric. An NRG spokesman said external modeling for 2016 forecasts that Ivanpah will be able to meet the targeted output levels. [SeeNews Renewables]

Ivanpah - another CSP complex in California by BrightSource, NRG and Google. Author: Bill & Vicki T. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

Ivanpah – a CSP complex in California by BrightSource, NRG and Google. Author: Bill & Vicki T. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

¶ With solar power gaining popularity for renewable energy, the Scarborough, New York, town council gave initial approval to a zone change to allow communal solar arrays in residential neighborhoods. The council voted 7-0 to forward the proposal to the Planning Board for review. [KeepMEcurrent.com]

¶ Regulators directed Maine’s two major utilities to work out 20-year contracts to purchase power from four community-based renewable energy projects as part of a pilot program approved by the Legislature in 2009. The deals include a 9.9-MW solar project, which could be the state’s largest. [Bangor Daily News]

December 22 Energy News

December 22, 2015

Opinion:

9 Signs from 2015 that the Clean Energy Transition is Accelerating • Fortunately, efforts to curb power sector carbon emissions, our nation’s largest source of global warming pollution, gained a lot of momentum in 2015. [The Equation: Blog of the Union of Concerned Scientists]

Apple’s solar PV facility in Maiden, North Carolina is helping the state become a national solar leader. Photo: James West/Climate Desk

Apple’s solar PV facility in Maiden, North Carolina is helping the state become a national solar leader. Photo: James West/Climate Desk

World:

¶ The Senyuan Group has announced commencement of construction at a 1-GW solar power park in Henan province. The project is expected to entail an investment of ¥10 billion ($1.5 billion). The Group has not announced the expected commissioning date for the project. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Australian LNG market underwent massive changes in 2015 despite a relatively small number of additional cargoes delivered. Buyers and sellers are starting to become nervous as to what will happen next year as LNG projects reach capacity and more volumes hit the market. [Interfax Global Energy]

Construction at the Gladstone LNG plant. It shipped its first cargo this year. (Santos)

Construction at the Gladstone LNG plant. It shipped its first cargo this year. (Santos)

¶ The government of the UK has confirmed emissions from the UK’s power sector have fallen sharply in recent years. In an update, it detailed how carbon emissions from the country’s fleet of power stations plummeted 23% between 2012 and 2014 to 121 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. [Business Green]

¶ Hydro-Quebec commissioned the second unit at its Romaine-1 hydroelectric generating station. The 270-MW Romaine-1 supplied its first power in November, with the commissioning of the first generating unit, and the second unit began generating power on December 13. [HydroWorld]

¶ Beothuk Energy Inc unveiled a plan for a $4-billion project to build a 1000-MW wind farm off the coast of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, to supply power to New England. The 120-turbine venture would be built about 20 km off the coast. Plans include a 200-km submarine line. [TheChronicleHerald.ca]

Beothuk Energy Announces Offshore Wind Farm, Offshore Nova Scotia

Beothuk Energy Announces Offshore Wind Farm, Offshore Nova Scotia

US:

¶ Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia has made climate change initiatives the focal point during his final scheduled press conference of 2015. He announced a new partnership with Virginia Dominion Power and other companies to increase solar power in state government. [NBC 29 News]

¶ 2015 has been a big year for renewable energy in the US, with solar and wind power growing like crazy and now providing over 5% of the nation’s electricity. It has been one in a series of very good years, helping us get on track for the low-carbon future we need. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

These US DOE graphs show how the prices of wind and solar power have plummeted as installation has soared.

US DOE graph showing how the price of wind power has plummeted as installation has soared.

¶ Cypress Creek Renewables announced it has taken its first steps toward investing $8 million in a solar energy project in Allendale County, South Carolina. The company says the project will create 40 to 60 jobs during construction and will power approximately 1,600 homes per year. [WRDW-TV]

¶ The US wind power industry is celebrating after reaching a new milestone in November: 70 GW of generating capacity, enough to power about 19 million homes. There are more than 50,000 wind turbines operating across 40 states and Puerto Rico, according to the AWEA. [Innovation Trail]

Wind turbines stand in Western Maine along the Kibby Mountain range. Pat Wellenbach / AP

Wind turbines stand in Western Maine along the Kibby Mountain range. Pat Wellenbach / AP

¶ DTE Energy, in collaboration with the City of Lapeer, Michigan, plans to break ground in the spring of 2016 on 45 MW of new solar generating capacity at two project sites. The projects will generate enough to power 9,000 average size homes with clean, zero-emission solar energy. [PennEnergy]

¶ The US DOE is launching a consent-based process to site nuclear spent fuel storage and disposal facilities, as well as a separate repository for defense high-level waste. It expects to be in the second phase of that process by the end of next year, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in an interview. [Platts]

December 21 Energy News

December 21, 2015

Opinion:

Boom Times Ahead For US Clean Power, Thanks To Oil Lobby • The Intertubes have been buzzing with news of the new US federal budget deal, which basically gave away the store to the clean power industry by including a 5-year extension of key tax credits for wind and solar power. [CleanTechnica]

Photo via US Department of Energy.

Photo via US Department of Energy.

UK’s Poor 2015 Made Worse By Paris Agreement Expectations The UK had a big year in 2014 with lots of records set, but after six months of baffling policy decisions and a lackluster attendance in Paris, the UK has a long way to go if it is to accomplish its role in tackling climate change. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ A new solid-state sodium battery development project being researched at Iowa State University was awarded $3 million in new funding via ARPA-E’s 2015 OPEN funding initiative, according to recent reports. (ARPA-E stands for Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy.) [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ Scottish Hydro Electric Networks has energized the 137 mile Beauly to Denny overhead power line project. The £820 million upgraded power line will serve as the main artery transmitting renewable energy generated in the north of Scotland to the rest of the country. [Scottish Daily Record]

Pic: Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission

Pic: Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission

¶ TSK of Spain and a partner from the United Arab Emirates will build a 100-MW solar plant in Jordan. The deal for the construction of the $128-million (€118-million) plant was signed with the Spanish engineering and construction firm and Enviromena Power Systems. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has provided $4 million support toward a feasibility study for a pumped storage plant at the disused Kidston Gold Mine in North Queensland. Genex Power Limited plans to use the existing mining pits as water storage reservoirs. [International Business Times AU]

Solar PV will provide th majority of the daytime electricity requirements of Australia’s largest renewables mine. Image from ARENA.

Solar PV will provide th majority of the daytime electricity requirements of Australia’s largest renewables mine. Image from ARENA.

¶ A new wind farm project in South Australia, will help the nation achieve its goal of generating 23% of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020. Trustpower’s Palmer Wind Farm project is expected to generate enough clean energy to power 250,000 homes each year. [Echonetdaily]

¶ Chile’s Ministry of National Property has approved, up to the end of November, land lease agreements for 190 renewable energy schemes, totaling 8,157 MW of capacity. The $16.31 billion (€15 billion) of green power plants will be located on 47,188 hectares of governmental land. [SeeNews Renewables]

US:

¶ Dominion Virginia Power’s argument for building a controversial transmission line from its Surry nuclear plant across the James River to prevent rolling blackouts is based on flawed electricity demand projections, according to analysis by a Maryland-based energy consulting firm. [Richmond Times-Dispatch]

Surry Power Station. Circa 1972. US DOE photo. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

Surry Power Station. Circa 1972. US DOE photo. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ A survey in South Carolina conducted by Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions says voters not only expect renewable energy support from elected officials, they now demand it. 80% of S.C. Republican primary voters think renewable-energy sources should be a priority. [The State]

¶ According to GlobalData, non-hydro renewable energy will be the fastest growing power source in the U.S. through 2025. Installed capacity is expected to increase from 121.9 GW in 2015 to 216 GW in 2025. However, the positive forecast could be subject to the result of the 2016 election. [Hoosier Ag Today]

December 20 Energy News

December 20, 2015

Opinion:

Government U-turn on renewables shows gas, oil and nuclear are still favorites. • Costs have fallen; the latest ground-mounted solar and onshore wind are cheaper than new nuclear, and offshore wind is not far behind, but despite this the government favors nuclear and oil. [The Guardian]

The sun sets at Hinkley Point nuclear power station. Photograph: iVistaphotography / Barcroft

The sun sets at Hinkley Point nuclear power station. Photograph: iVistaphotography / Barcroft

Science and Technology:

¶ With the big animals gone forever, climate change could get worse, according to a study. University of East Anglia research says a decline in fruit-eating animals such as large primates, tapirs and toucans could have a knock-on effect for tree species because they disperse seeds. [Financial Express]

World:

¶ A wind farm in Dumfries and Galloway, sufficient to power more than 37,000 homes, has secured almost £83 million in financing. The UK Green Investment Bank, which is headquartered in Edinburgh, is putting £49.5 million into the consented 52.9-MW Blackcraig wind farm. [Scotsman]

Once operational, the new wind farm is expected to produce more than 150 GWh of renewable electricity annually. Picture: TSPL

Once operational, the new wind farm is expected to produce more than 150 GWh of renewable electricity annually. Picture: TSPL

¶ The Iranian government plans to offer guaranteed purchase terms to domestic and international investors who contribute to the construction of power plants that obtain power from non-exhaustible resources, according to the director of Iran Power Generation and Transmission Company. [Zawya]

¶ Delhi has been shrouded in a toxic soup in recent weeks, pushing PM 2.5 levels more than 10 times over the WHO’s recommended safe limit. These fine particles less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter are linked to higher rates of chronic bronchitis, lung cancer and heart disease. [Yahoo7 News]

Anger, fear at Delhi's pollution ground zero

Anger, fear at Delhi’s pollution ground zero

¶ Jordan has launched the first utility-scale wind power project in the Middle East to boost the country’s shift to renewable energy sources amid growing demand for power. King Abdullah inaugurated the project on Thursday in the presence of senior officials from Jordan and UAE. [Utilities-ME.com]

US:

¶ The governor of Massachusetts is launching a $30-million residential solar loan program. The program is tuned for loans between $3,000 and $60,000 with low, fixed interest rates and should help the state reach its goal of 1,600 MW by 2020. The state currently has 985 MW. [WLNE-TV (ABC6)]

¶ In Minnesota, a three-year, $260 million emissions-reduction project for the Boswell Energy Center’s 585-MW Unit 4, Minnesota Power’s largest coal-fired generating unit is complete. The upgrade will reduce mercury emissions by 90% and reduce the emission of sulfur dioxide and particulates. [Grand Forks Herald]

Large cranes were used to install new equipment. Photo courtesy of Minnesota Power

Large cranes were used to install new equipment. Photo courtesy of Minnesota Power

¶ Lamoureux Ford, a 38-year auto dealership in East Brookfield, Massachusetts, may soon be 100% solar powered. A parking lot at the dealership will have a canopy with 408 solar panels, possibly by year’s end. The panels will produce 160,000 kWh and provide 80% of Lamoureux Ford’s electricity needs. [Worcester Telegram]

¶ President Obama tasted salmon that had been chewed on by a bear, but passed on drinking his own pee, on “Running Wild with Bear Grylls,” a reality TV show with famous people trying survival skills. He alternated between serious talk on battling climate change and jokey banter. [China Post]

December 17 Energy News

December 17, 2015

World:

¶ More than 200‚000 homes in South Africa are receiving power from the world’s largest storage solar farm near Upington in the Northern Cape. Just two years after the start of construction‚ the ACWA Solafrica Bokpoort CSP Power Plant is now operating at full capacity‚ ahead of schedule. [Times LIVE]

An array of solar panels at the Bokpoort plant. The power captured by day is used after sunset. Image by Ramón Vidal

An array of solar panels at the Bokpoort plant. The power captured by day is used after sunset. Image by Ramón Vidal

¶ Campaigners in the UK are furious that members of parliament backed fracking plans which they claim could damage the South Downs National Park. New rules voted in yesterday could allow fracking deep below Sussex beauty spots like the South Downs National Park and the Ashdown Forest. [The Argus]

¶ The UK’s government has been accused of “huge, misguided cuts” to clean energy after it announced reductions of subsidies for solar panels on homes.The move comes just days after the UK backed the COP21 agreement to avoid dangerous climate change by bringing down greenhouse gas emissions. [shropshirestar.com]

¶ India still plans to double coal output by 2020 and rely on the resource for decades afterwards, a senior official said, days after countries agreed in Paris to curb carbon emissions that cause global warming. India, the world’s third-largest carbon emitter, is dependent on coal for about two-thirds of its energy. [The Guardian]

The coal-based Badarpur Thermal Station in New Delhi. Photo: Money Sharma/AFP/Getty Images

The coal-based Badarpur Thermal Station in New Delhi. Photo: Money Sharma/AFP/Getty Images

¶ Analysis from the New Climate Economy think-tank found that positive social media messages regarding climate action and economic growth have increased nearly eightfold over the past three years, based on research done covering media published between January, 2013 and 13 December, 2015. [CleanTechnica]

¶ China is missing no opportunity to build a future without fossil fuels, abroad as well as at home. It is investing in the construction of the UK’s first new nuclear power station in 20 years. But most Chinese energy investment is in renewables, and it has decided to support developing solar power in France. [eco-business.com]

Solar power is not widely used in France. Collector dish of a solar oven at Font Romeu, France. Image: Shutterstock

Solar power is not widely used in France. Collector dish of a solar oven at Font Romeu, France. Image: Shutterstock

US:

¶ In a major boost to the wind and solar industries, Congressional leaders agreed on a multiyear extension of renewable energy tax credits, which could provide several years of predictable policies, encouraging investment in new projects. The tax credits are part of a 2,009-page omnibus-spending bill. [POWER magazine]

¶ Green Mountain Power says it is not supporting plans by a New York company to build a giant solar farm in the town of Ludlow, Vermont. The 20-MW Coolidge Project would be by far the largest solar farm in the state. GMP, the governor, and others, think the project is out of scale with Vermont’s energy needs. [WCAX]

¶ A 20-MW solar array in Jeff Davis County, Georgia, will produce 43,000 MWh of electricity a year. Electricity from the 187,000 solar panels at the 135-acre generation site is being transmitted to 27 electric co-ops in Georgia under a 25-year power purchase contract with the company. [Electric Co-op Today]

Photo by Green Power EMC

Photo by Green Power EMC

¶ Fresh off presenting his plan for promoting renewable energy sources at COP21, Tesla CEO Elon Musk pushed for a global carbon tax and a new look at solar power at a Tuesday meeting of the American Geophysical Union, saying the costs for fossil fuel-based energy production are all “wrong.” [Daily Caller]

¶ The city of Dallas, Texas, is now the first city in the US to possess a hybrid-electric streetcar that can run without an overhead wire-connection. In this case, the streetcar in question makes use of a new “wireless” battery-powered design, allowing it to make it across a mile-long bridge in the route comfortably. [CleanTechnica]

Image Credit: Bill Zeeble/KERA News

Image Credit: Bill Zeeble/KERA News

¶ The Navy, the Air Force, and Southern Company broke ground, marking the start of construction for three large-scale solar generating facilities at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. Combined, these facilities will have approximately 1.5 million solar panels that could generate up to 120 MW of AC power. [Air Force Link]

¶ New Mexico state regulators have adopted a plan to shutter part of a coal-fired power plant that serves customers across the Southwest, bringing to a close years of wrangling over the best way to curb pollution while limiting the effects on utility bills and northwest New Mexico’s economy. [EagleFordTexas.com]

December 16 Energy News

December 16, 2015

World:

¶ As the only such plant for a large city, Hamburg Wasser is the largest wastewater treatment plant in Germany. It is designed to cover its energy demands with renewable energy from its own site produces more energy than it uses. The sells its excess electricity, bio-methane gas, and heat. [CleanTechnica]

The 3 MW turbine at Hamburg Wasser, with plant in the background – Hamburg Wasser; Looking down at a PV Solar solar installation – Roy L Hales photo

The 3 MW turbine at Hamburg Wasser, with plant in the background – Hamburg Wasser; Looking down at a PV Solar solar installation – Roy L Hales photo

¶ A report released in 2013 said that by 2030, one-third of Australian electricity consumers, weary of rising retail prices and drawn to use cheap solar and storage technology, could choose to go off grid. A new report says things have changed; batteries are 20% less expensive than they were expected to be. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Donald Trump’s legal challenge to a planned offshore wind farm has been rejected by the UK’s Supreme Court. Developers intend to site 11 turbines off Aberdeen, close to Mr Trump’s golfing development on the Aberdeenshire coast. The Trump Organisation said would “continue to fight” the proposal. [BBC]

¶ GeoSea has installed the first monopile at the 332-MW Nordsee 1 offshore wind farm in the German North Sea. Water depths at the project site some 40 km north of Juist Island range between 25 and 29 meters. Nordsee 1 is expected to be operational in 2017 and will generate over 1300 GWh of electricity per year. [reNews]

Innovation on the job (RWE)

Innovation on the job (RWE)

¶ The Azraq Syrian refugee camp in Jordan will soon have a new solar farm meeting the needs of the 27,000 Syrian refugees living there. In a joint project between Ikea and the United Nations Refugee Agency, the Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign aims to provide refugees around the world with solar lanterns. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The prime minister of the UK has been urged to intervene in planned cuts to solar power subsidies after the Paris agreement on climate change. Critics pointed to the contrast between the massive subsidy cut planned and the stance David Cameron and his ministers took at the Paris climate conference. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ Green Mountain Power was joined today with Franklin County leaders and champions of Lake Champlain to announce an innovative new project called Clean Power, Cleaner Lake. Working with area dairy farms, the effort will significantly reduce phosphorus runoff while generating clean, local baseload power. [Vermont Biz]

St Albans Bay. GMP photo.

Green Mountain Power will help reduce pollution in Lake Champlain. St Albans Bay is seen here. GMP photo.

¶ American Electric Power and the Sierra Club have agreed on a proposed plan that would lead to what are believed to be the largest investments in wind and solar power in Ohio history. Under the pact, AEP is agreeing to develop 500 MW of wind energy and 400 MW of solar energy. [Akron Beacon Journal]

¶ The California Public Utilities Commission rejected steeper monthly costs for solar owners and instead proposed new, one-time fees for future solar customers and small increases for existing ones. Solar advocates applauded the proposal, which rejected plans by public utilities to increase monthly bills for solar owners. [Record Bee]

¶ A new report from the environmental group Clean Wisconsin shows the state can comply with the Clean Power Plan while reducing ratepayer energy bills by $55 million statewide. The report, Clean Power Plan in Wisconsin, is the first to take an in-depth look at how Wisconsin could comply with the Clean Power Plan. [Wisconsin Gazette]

A report from Clean Wisconsin shows that complying with the Clean Power Plan can reduce bills by $55 million. Photo: Courtesy

A report from Clean Wisconsin shows that complying with the Clean Power Plan can reduce bills by $55 million. Photo: Courtesy

¶ A long-awaited plan to address climate change in San Diego, which has garnered support from both environmental and business groups, was unanimously passed by the City Council on Tuesday. The plan has a goal of reducing emission levels by 20% in 2020 and by half in 2035, from levels recorded in 2010. [CBS 8 San Diego]

¶ Nassau, New York, a town of 5,000 people just outside of Albany, plans to disconnect from the electrical grid. Last week, the town board voted to get 100% of its power from renewables by 2020. The town is making the move as a way to increase its reliance on renewable energy and to gain some energy independence. [EcoWatch]

¶ Just off Florida’s Biscayne Bay, two nuclear reactors churn out enough electricity to power nearly a million homes. The Turkey Point plant’s license goes to 2032. At some point after that, a good part of the low-lying site could be underwater, as sea waters rise. So could at least 13 other U.S. nuclear plants. [National Geographic]

The Turkey Point Generating Station. Photo by Acroterion. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

The Turkey Point Generating Station. Photo by Acroterion. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Shares of clean-energy companies jumped as Congress neared a deal that would extend tax credits for the wind and solar industries. While a deal isn’t certain, Republicans and Democrats are discussing five-year renewals of the two chief clean-energy subsidies in exchange for an end to the 40-year-old ban on US oil exports. [Bloomberg]

¶ The Indian Point 3 plant automatically shut down because of an electrical disturbance, owner Entergy Corp said in a statement late Monday. The last time that happened, spot power more than doubled. This time, however, wind turbines in the state came to the rescue, compensating for the loss of the reactor. [Bloomberg]

December 14 Energy News

December 14, 2015

World:

¶ Indian and Japanese scientists have found that Indian citizens living downstream from an enormous uranium mining and processing complex are routinely exposed to exceptionally high levels of radiation. The Indian government insists that any illnesses are caused by poverty, not radiation. [Center for Public Integrity]

Villagers drink, bathe and wash themselves in the waters found to have alpha radiation 192% higher than safe limits set by the WHO. Ashish Birulee

Villagers drink, bathe and wash themselves in the waters found to have alpha radiation 192% higher than safe limits set by the WHO. Ashish Birulee

¶ Welpsun Renewables announced that it has commissioned a 126-MW wind energy project in the Pratapgarh district of the western Indian state of Rajasthan. The project is expected to generate 290 million kWh electricity every year. It brings Welspun’s total renewable capacity in India to 700 MW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Continental European power prices fell 9.4% per MWh in November as exceptional wind power output combined with mild temperatures and unexceptional demand, according to a data analysis released by Platts, a leading global provider of energy, petrochemicals, metals and agriculture information. [Your Renewable News]

¶ Oslo-listed seismic vessel operator Dolphin Group has announced today that it will file for bankruptcy. The company’s chairman and CEO both blamed the deterioration in the oil service market, the unpredictability of the oil prices, and subsequent spending cuts of the company’s customers [Splash 247]

Dolphin Polar Duke

Dolphin’s Polar Duke

¶ The UK Government’s energy policy has described as potentially illegal in the wake of the COP21 deal. David Cameron was among leaders to praise the deal, heralding it as a “huge step forward in helping to secure the future of our planet”. And now the Tories are coming under fire for cutting green subsidies. [Manx Radio]

¶ EDF EN Canada, a subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles, has commissioned the 74-MW Mont-Rothery wind farm in Quebec. The project is located in the Regional County Municipalities of La Haute-Gaspésie and La Côte-de-Gaspé and has a 20-year power purchase agreement with Hydro Quebec Distribution. [reNews]

EDF EN's La Mitis wind farm in Quebec (EDF EN Canada)

EDF EN’s La Mitis wind farm in Quebec (EDF EN Canada)

¶ Competition from natural gas and environmental regulations have crippled the coal industry in most of the developed world, bankrupting companies in the US and Europe. But in the Philippines and some other developing countries, coal is seen as essential for prosperity. [Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide]

¶ After a summer of looming power shortages due to drought, Taipower has suggested that Taiwan speed up the installation of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power. The Ministry of Economic Affairs has been researching floating solar power plants as one possibility to reach this goal. [Taipei Times]

US:

¶ A $126 million wind farm is nearing completion in southeast Utah and will begin generating power within weeks. So far, 23 out of 27 giant wind turbines of the Latigo Wind Farm Project have been installed along the foothills of the Abajo Mountains, northwest of Monticello and about 65 miles from Cortez. [Cortez Journal]

So far, 23 out of 27 giant wind turbines have been installed. Sam Green/The Journal

So far, 23 out of 27 giant wind turbines have been installed. Sam Green/The Journal

¶ Availon, a leading multi-brand independent service provider for wind turbines, announced that the company kept the US wind farms it has under contract at historical levels of availability. The most challenging site is running at above 98.4% availability, and other wind farms between 99.4 % and 99.8%. [Your Renewable News]

December 11 Energy News

December 11, 2015

COP21:

¶ France and nine other partners renewed commitment to mobilize a cumulative $10 billion between 2015 and 2020 to boost access to energy in Africa. The costs are to be offset by repealing all subsidies for fossil fuels and ending the tax breaks that encourage corporate inversions. [The Election Central]

Wind farm in Tunisia. Photo by Citizen59. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Wind farm in Tunisia. Photo by Citizen59. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ With the deadline for a climate deal at COP21 closing fast, business leaders from around the world have called for a long-term emissions goal. Organized by The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group, members of the We Mean Business coalition sent a joint letter to governments. [CleanTechnica]

¶ British Columbia’s Environment Minister announced at COP21 it has become the 14th jurisdiction to sign on to the International Zero-Emission Vehicle Alliance. Members of the alliance will strive to make all new passenger vehicles in their jurisdictions ZEVs by no later than 2050. [Voiceonline.com]

¶ Negotiators at COP21 aim to wrap up a global agreement to curb global warming on Saturday, a day later than expected. “Things are moving in the right direction,” said French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who is chairing the summit. But more compromise is needed if an agreement is to be reached. [BBC]

The Marshall Islands, where residents say they must move due to climate change. AFP

Climate change will make residents of the Marshall Islands move. AFP

Science and Technology:

¶ In a set of graphics, we can see the increases in the Earth’s temperature over the years, and we can compare it through the years with the seasonal increases in carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere. We can see the changes in the Arctic ice cap over the years and projections for the future of the planet. [BBC]

World:

¶ Air pollution is the single largest environmental health risk in Europe, contributing to heart disease, respiratory problems and cancer. A report from the European Environment Agency estimates that it is responsible for more than 430,000 premature deaths in Europe each year. [Galway Independent]

¶ Oil fell below $37 a barrel, after new data showed OPEC is still pumping like there is no tomorrow. The mighty oil cartel produced 31.7 million barrels a day in November, which has produced a glut. Saudi Arabia, the most powerful member of the cartel, refuses to cut output in order to defend its market share. [CNN]

Commercial oil tanker AbQaiq readies itself to receive oil. US Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Andrew M. Meyers. Public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

Oil tanker AbQaiq readies to receive oil. US Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Andrew M. Meyers. Public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ With a population of 3.4 million, Uruguay has been cheered for efforts to decarbonize its economy by such organizations as the World Bank and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. The WWF named Uruguay among its “Green Energy Leaders.” Its energy is 95% green. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The UK has committed to having 0% emissions from vehicles by 2050. Similar commitments come from the US states of California, New York, Connecticut, Oregon, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont; as well as from the Canadian province of Quebec. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ The first utility scale solar plant in Utah was commissioned on Thursday. The Utah Red Hills Renewable Park operated by Scatec Solar will produce enough power for 18,500 homes. At a cost of $188 million, the 104-MW plant will help get the state to 25% from renewables by 2025. [Deseret News]

Utah’s first utility-scale solar plant. (Mike Saemisch, Scatec)

Utah’s first utility-scale solar plant. (Mike Saemisch, Scatec)

¶ The fourth quarter of 2015 is shaping up to be the United States solar market’s biggest quarter on record, according to a new projection. The current utility-scale solar PV pipeline stands at 18.7 GW. This is greater than all US solar PV installations brought online through to the end of 2014. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Northern Power Systems, based in Barre, Vermont, announced that technology-driven improvements to its flagship Northern Power 100-kW wind turbine have been shown to decrease the delivered Levelized Cost of Energy of wind power produced by its turbines materially, making it very competitive. [Vermont Biz]

¶ Enel Green Power has brought online the 200-MW Goodwell wind farm in Texas County, Oklahoma. The $310 million wind farm is supported by a 20-year power purchase agreement. It is the fifth wind farm EGP has brought into operation since entering the Oklahoma market in 2012. [reNews]

Image: sxc

Image: sxc

¶ General Motors will use renewable energy to manufacture about 125,000 trucks per year. GM will use wind energy to power its truck production operations at Arlington assembly plant in Texas. EDP will supply around 30 MW from its planned 250-MW Hidalgo wind farm in Edinburg. [CleanTechnology News]

¶ Work to add two nuclear reactors to Plant Vogtle is growing further behind schedule, according to experts. A nuclear engineer testified at a hearing that efforts to catch up have failed. Instead delays have gotten worse despite assurances from Georgia Power executives. [Savannah Morning News]

December 10 Energy News

December 10, 2015

COP21:

¶ Laurent Fabius, COP21 president, released version 1 of a draft text on COP21 agenda item 4 (b), the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (decision 1/CP.17), at 3:00 PM GMT. Fabius said of the current situation, “We’ve made progress but still a lot of work remains to be done. Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.” [CleanTechnica]

COP21 Facilitators - Meeting go on around the clock.

COP21 Facilitators – Meeting go on around the clock.

¶ In the last meeting of December 9, the Comité de Paris of COP21 reconvened to register the reactions of conference parties to the draft agreement. The meeting closed at 11:28 pm. Sub-groups started meeting at midnight. One overnight consultation covers treaty sections on loss and damage, mechanisms, forest, and preamble, but there are others. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The United States has joined with the EU and a range of other countries at COP21 in an effort to secure a final agreement. The so called “high ambition coalition” now comprises well over 100 countries from the rich and developing world. In addition to the US, Norway, Mexico and Colombia have offered their support to the alliance. [BBC]

¶ Dubai is adopting a plan, Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which includes a number of renewable energy targets. One is that all rooftops in the city will have solar PVs by 2030. Another is a goal of solar generating 75% of the city’s energy by 2050. On the way to achieving this goal is the requirement that 25% is generated by solar by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

Image Credit: Imre Solt, Wiki Commons

Image Credit: Imre Solt, Wiki Commons

¶ The launching of renewable energy initiatives became a bright spot at Paris Climate Conference amid the continuing struggle of negotiators to forge a universal and ambitious climate deal by Friday. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spearheaded these efforts to urge various stakeholders to scale up, speed up and collaborate. [ABS CBN News]

World:

¶ Hamburg’s new city core responded to the challenge of rising ocean levels with a relatively inexpensive solution; HafenCity is designed to be flood proof. HafenCity is the rebirth of a city center, containing an intricate network of offices, public spaces, commercial spaces, around 2,000 inhabitants. It is built to an environmental Gold standard. [CleanTechnica]

Photo provided by Hamburg Marketing

Photo provided by Hamburg Marketing

¶ A unit of Chinese firm Sinohydro Corp Ltd erected the last turbine at its 80-MW intertidal wind demonstration project near the coastline of Jiangxi province’s Rudong county. The facility uses 32 turbines of 2.5-MW each, manufactured by Siemens. Of these, 12 will be installed near the coast, while 20 will be located on the shore. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ Renewables are beating fossil fuels on cost in island nations from the Pacific to the Caribbean, where they depend on oil from distant sources. For many of them, obtaining and paying for fuel is a costly struggle that they must manage along with the threat of rising sea levels and more violent storms predicted because of global warming. [Bloomberg]

¶ The majority of the world’s microgrid projects are now remote microgrids, according to a new report from Navigant Research. “Microgrid Deployment Tracker 4Q15” offers data and analysis on the various microgrid projects around the world currently (both remote and grid-tied ones), regardless of development stage (active, planned, proposed, etc). [CleanTechnica]

Image by CleanSpark

Image by CleanSpark

US:

¶ Vermont’s main utility is going to be providing Tesla Powerwall home battery systems to customers who want them. If the utility’s customer agrees to allow the utility to use electricity stored in a Powerwall at home, the customer will also get paid for its use. One of the three ways a customer can pay for the Powerwall is $0 down. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Xcel Energy has taken formal control of the Border and Pleasant Valley wind farms in the US, adding 350 MW to its operational portfolio. The projects boost the utility’s wind capacity by 20%. A 150-MW wind farm is in North Dakota and was transferred to Xcel on 3 December. A 200-MW farm in Minnesota was handed over in November. [reNews]

An Xcel project in Colorado (Xcel)

An Xcel project in Colorado (Xcel)

¶ The Supreme Court may shortly decide an obscure case entitled Federal Energy Regulatory Commission v. Electric Power Supply Association (FERC v EPSA). The issue before the court is whether FERC can compel regional power markets to pay consumers who reduce their electricity usage at critical peak periods. And if so, at what price? [OilPrice.com]

¶ American Electric Power, one of the largest utilities, made waves when it confirmed it has dropped membership from the American Legislative Exchange Council, a prominent climate denial front group. AEP was the chair of ALEC’s environmental task force, which produces all of ALEC’s anti-environmental model bills. [Natural Resources Defense Council ]

¶ Wind power has grown exponentially in New York over the last dozen years, and now supplies enough energy to power over 360,000 homes, a report from Environment New York Research & Policy Center says. Last year alone, wind turbines produced enough energy to reduce carbon pollution equal to 400,000 cars. And growth continues. [LongIsland.com]

Wind turbines producing enough energy can help reduce carbon pollution. Photo by: Wind Energy Foundation on Facebook.

Wind turbines producing enough energy can help reduce carbon pollution. Photo by: Wind Energy Foundation on Facebook.

¶ DOE officials and an energy cooperative with members in eight states are negotiating a plan that could lead to the construction of small commercial nuclear reactors at an eastern Idaho federal nuclear site. Officials with Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems said they prefer an 890-square-mile site containing the Idaho National Laboratory. [The Columbian]

December 9 Energy News

December 9, 2015

COP21:

¶ The European Union has formed an alliance with 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries in a final push for agreement at COP21. The new alliance has agreed to a common position on some of the most divisive aspects of the proposed deal. The EU will pay €475 million to support climate action in the partner countries up to 2020. [BBC]

The EU and 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries announced a new alliance at climate talks in Paris

The EU and 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries announced a new alliance at climate talks in Paris

¶ Some of the best news of 2015 about our ability to resist and adapt to climate change is the powerful increase in numbers of subregional and panregional governments, businesses, and cities taking action. Part of the Lima-Paris Action Agenda, Energy Day at COP21 put the focus squarely on this key to approaching and surviving climate change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Mainstream Renewable Power chief executive Eddie O’Connor has called for a rethink on how investment for renewable energy projects is funded in growing markets. He said at COP21, “By far the best way to do this is to put a price on carbon. A €30 price per tonne of CO2 would rapidly accelerate the transition to sustainability.” [reNews]

¶ The huge French pavilion that was built for the COP 21 climate conference includes over a dozen spacious stands showcasing France’s leadership in various fields of science, technology, education and ecology. But nowhere does the pavilion mention nuclear energy, completely dismissing this key French sector from the country’s energy landscape. [FRANCE 24]

Archival picture shows the Civaux Nuclear Power Plant in Western France on September 22, 2015 | © Guillaume Souvent, AFP

Archival picture shows the Civaux Nuclear Power Plant in Western France on September 22, 2015 | © Guillaume Souvent, AFP

¶ A coalition of 38 countries and over 20 industry and other partners joined forces at COP21 to lift geothermal energy’s place in the global energy mix. The Global Geothermal Alliance was formed with an aim to achieve a 500% increase in geothermal power generation and a 200% increase in geothermal heating by 2030. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ The United Arab Emirates has delivered its national statement on climate change at COP21 at the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Convention, UNFCCC, in Paris, France, encouraging nations to protect future generations from the impacts of climate change and stressing the economic and social benefits of climate action. [Gulf Today]

¶ Australia’s government is sticking to a familiar theme: it has invested heavily in fossil fuels with long-life assets to retain and, anyway, coal is still good for humanity. Its foreign minister used a forum hosted by Indonesia called “Pathways to a Sustainable Low Carbon and Climate Resilient Economy” to push the case for Australian fossil fuels. [RenewEconomy]

World:

¶ Tidal company Atlantis is “on target” to deliver power to the grid in 2016 from its 6-MW Meygen project off the Scottish coast. The developer said it has completed a “very successful construction campaign” in 2015 and that 2016 will be a “watershed year.” An onshore power distribution center should be weather-tight by Christmas. [reNews]

Onshore works for Meygen (Atlantis)

Onshore works for Meygen (Atlantis)

¶ New figures from researchers at the University of East Anglia and the Global Carbon Project suggest that global carbon emissions would stall in 2015. The researchers predict that not only might the growth of CO2 emissions slow or stall this year, but that there might even be a chance emissions growth would decline by 0.6% in 2015. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ Alaska is suffering significant climate impacts from rising seas forcing the relocation of remote villages. Governor Bill Walker says that coping with these changes is hugely expensive. He wants to “urgently” drill in the protected lands of the Arctic National Wilderness Refuge to fund them. The state gets 90% of its revenues from oil and gas. [BBC]

¶ Rising global temperatures are helping to speed up slow moving landslides across Alaska. Known as frozen debris lobes, they are threatening a major highway. The warming climate is said to have hastened some of them to a heady speed of five meters a year. Engineers believe that they must either keep the ground frozen or move the roadway. [BBC]

Alaska's famous Dalton Highway runs through the valley of the slow moving landslides. UAF

Alaska’s famous Dalton Highway runs through the valley of the slow moving landslides. UAF

¶ The Korea Midland Power Corporation announced on December 8 that it kicked off a PV project in Boulder City, Nevada with the completion of the project scheduled for October next year. The 100-MW plant, which can supply electricity to 15,000 households, constitutes the first phase of the 200-MW solar power project of the city. [BusinessKorea]

¶ Marketing by some solar businesses in Vermont wrongly leads customers to believe they are using locally sourced solar power or are contributing to the state’s renewable energy capacity, the state’s Attorney General and the Department of Public Services say. Developers of community-scale projects must make credits clear to customers. [BurlingtonFreePress.com]

¶ Deepwater Wind is proposing to build a 90-MW offshore wind farm combined with 15 MW of storage capacity by General Electric to serve the South Fork peninsula in New York state. The US company said its plan involves the 15-turbine Deepwater ONE – South Fork project for a lease area it won on the Outer Continental Shelf. [SeeNews Renewables]

Offshore wind farm. Author: Beverley Goodwin. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

Offshore wind farm. Author: Beverley Goodwin. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

¶ A study from the University of Michigan, released during COP21 negotiations on the globe’s first internationally binding climate agreement, found that most economic analysis of carbon capture and storage technology for coal-fired power plants severely underestimates the technique’s costs and overestimates its energy efficiency. [Space Daily]

December 8 Energy News

December 8, 2015

COP21:

¶ After lower-level negotiators at the Paris climate talks delivered a drafted agreement that left all crunch issues unsolved, foreign and environmental ministers stepped in. Warning that “the clock is ticking towards climate catastrophe,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon told ministers the world expects more than “half-measures.” [The Weather Channel]

Demonstrator at the Global Climate March on Nov. 29, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images)

Demonstrator at the Global Climate March on Nov. 29, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images)

¶ A group of mayors from cities around the world have published a letter calling on other mayors and cities to follow suit in divesting from fossil fuel investments. The letter was signed in conjunction with the COP21 Climate Summit for Local Leaders, which is being held in Paris alongside the United Nations climate negotiations. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A group of 44 individual states and regions took the COP21 spotlight with an announcement pledging their own carbon goals through The Compact of States and Regions. This is regardless of what their home countries settle on. Later this week, more than 200 US legislators will launch a climate pledge of their own. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Plans submitted ahead of the COP 21 climate talks indicate that the US, China, India, the EU, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and Japan will double their renewable energy supply by 2030, according to an analysis by World Resources Institute. Renewable generation will grow from a total 9,000 TWh (in 2009), to 20,000 TWh by 2030. [EarthTechling]

Image Credit: Oimheidi via Pixabay under Creative Commons Licence

Credit: Oimheidi via Pixabay under Creative Commons Licence

¶ The renewable energy industry can stand on its own without subsidies, providing other power companies also forego their own support, the chief executive the world’s largest wind turbine company has told CNBC. Anders Runevad, CEO and president of Vestas criticised the subsidies the fossil fuels industry continued to garner. [Yahoo7 News]

¶ Carmaker BMW and soft drinks producer Coca Cola Enterprises are among the latest companies pledging to source all of their electricity from renewable energy sources as they join The Climate Group’s RE100 initiative. The pledges were announced during the COP21 climate talks, where IKEA is showcasing the campaign’s success story. [edie.net]

¶ An African initiative should see the continent greatly increase its renewable energy over the next 15 years. The African Renewable Energy Initiative plans to develop at least 10 GW of new renewable energy generation capacity by 2020, and at least 300 GW by 2030, potentially making Africa the cleanest continent. [The Guardian]

Solar panels on sale in a market in the northern Malian city of Gao, 2013. Photograph: John Macdougall/AFP/Getty Images

Solar panels on sale in a market in the northern Malian city of Gao, 2013. Photograph: John Macdougall/AFP/Getty Images

World:

¶ Officials of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy recently revealed that the Indian Government is considering increasing the solar Renewable Purchase Obligation target of 3% by 2022 to 10%. Currently, the RPO target is 15% by 2022, including at least 3% from solar power, with the balance contribution from non-solar sources. [CleanTechnica]

¶ European coal emissions must fall three times faster than they are if the region is to meet its climate goals, according to a new report. Models created by the International Energy Agency suggest that European coal emissions must fall on average by 8% annually until 2040. They have fallen by 2.3% each year over the last nine years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ MHI Vestas Offshore Wind has signed a contract with offshore operator Esvagt to use a new purpose-built service vessel for maintenance of more than 100 MHI Vestas turbines off the Belgian coast. With the upcoming construction of the 165-MW Nobelwind project, a new vessel was needed, in addition to one already in service. [SeeNews Renewables]

New vessel to support MHI Vestas projects. Source: ESVAGT

New vessel to support MHI Vestas projects. Source: ESVAGT

¶ UK owners of polluting diesel generators stand to make “sky-high” profits under a government energy regime that slashed subsidies for wind and solar. They could be awarded subsidies of up to £434 million in the capacity market, up from £109 million last year, and this could trigger a “rapid proliferation” of diesel farms. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ Appalachian Power plans to add up to 150 MW of wind power to its renewable energy portfolio. In a regulatory filing, the company says it plans to issue a request for proposals from bidders in February 2016. The company will seek proposals to purchase wind power assets or to buy electricity generated by wind power projects. [Parkersburg News]

¶ Senator Bernie Sanders released his ambitious plan for climate change, a problem he pointedly says is being perpetuated by the “billionaire fossil fuel lobby.” The plan reads like an ecological wish list. It would US carbon pollution by 40% by 2030 by such measures as putting a tax on carbon and cutting subsidies for fossil fuels. [Washington Post]

Bernie Sanders. Photo by Gage Skidmore. Public Domain Pictures

Bernie Sanders. Photo by Gage Skidmore. Public Domain Pictures

¶ Michigan’s two biggest power companies are up against both lliberal Democrats and conservative Republicans over what they pay customers for electricity from solar panels. Environmental Democrats and Tea Party Republicans have joined forces to promote choices for customers and alternative energy. [The Detroit News]

¶ Every year, Lazard Associates publishes its Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis on different types of power plants including wind, solar, natural gas, coal, nuclear and other technologies. Their analysis shows wind energy and solar power are more affordable than ever. In fact, they beat fossil fuels, even without federal incentives. [Clean Energy News]

December 7 Energy News

December 7, 2015

COP21:

¶ Ministers at COP21 will today begin discussions on an approved draft deal that was drawn up over the weekend. The 48-page document is to be debated by ministers, with a comprehensive and binding settlement hoped for by the week close. Delegates from 195 UN countries worked through the night on Friday to come up with the draft paper. [reNews]

Image: United Nations

Image: United Nations

¶ At COP21 heads of some of the planet’s biggest brands – Unilever, Google, IKEA, Philips, and Marks & Spencer – along with policymakers from around the world, shared their commitments to decarbonizing. Collectively they send a clear message that business is expecting a long-term goal from the global climate talks in Paris next week. [LEDinside]

¶ Australia agreed to support the push to lower the global warming goal to 1.5° in a Paris deal in exchange for more favorable carbon emissions rules. With this, the New Zealand Youth Delegation dared Prime Minister John Key to follow Canberra’s example and also for Wellington to back a more ambitious global climate target. [International Business Times AU]

Indonesia could lose about 2,000 islands by 2030 due to climate change, the country's environment minister said on Monday. Reuters/Beaawiharta

Indonesia could lose about 2,000 islands by 2030 due to climate change, the country’s environment minister said on Monday. Reuters/Beaawiharta

¶ Richard Branson has renewed a call by business leaders for climate leaders to include a goal of reducing global emissions to “net zero” by 2050, meaning no more than the planet can absorb. The Virgin Group CEO said a failure to include such a commitment in COP21 would result in “an alternative too horrible to contemplate.” [The Advocate]

¶ Nicaragua burst onto the world stage at this week’s climate change conference in Paris when it became the first nation to declare it had no intention of publishing a national plan to combat global warming. The country’s chief negotiator told reporters the voluntary nature of the pledges meant global temperatures were bound to rise. [Financial Times]

¶ Indigenous leaders from around the world gathered near the COP21 climate summit in Paris to demand world leaders heed the warnings of social movements and take definitive action on climate change with respect to indigenous peoples’ rights. Leaders from “the Arctic to the Amazon” floated down the Seine on boats in a demonstration. [teleSUR English]

IndigenousEnviroNet @IENearth

IndigenousEnviroNet @IENearth

World:

¶ The company responsible for more than one-third of Germany’s electricity grid says there is no issue absorbing high levels of variable renewable energy such as wind and solar, and grids could absorb up to 70% penetration without the need for storage. The CEO of 50Hertz says industry views on renewable energy integration have evolved. [RenewEconomy]

¶ As coal prices continue to fall, financing for projects involving coal are also falling out of favor with big banking. Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole, Citigroup, ING, Société Générale, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo have each amended coal financing policies, largely in recognition of the risks of carbon emissions and climate change. [Mineweb]

¶ As the Indian city of Chennai still struggles to cope after floods that have cost hundreds of lives and left thousands homeless, India says climate change is to blame. In 2012, it was Haiti and the Philippines that were affected, and a super-cyclone hit the Philippines again in 2013. Nevertheless, COP21 climate delegates have not taken much notice. [eco-business.com]

Parts of Southern India have been inundated for weeks, leaving more than three million people without basic services. Image: Destination8Infinity, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Parts of Southern India have been inundated for weeks, leaving more than three million people without basic services. Image: Destination8Infinity, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

¶ The Asian Development Bank announced a $6-million loan for the off-grid solar home system service of Simpa Energy India Private Ltd. The money will help the company to finance about 75,000 solar systems for households and micro-enterprises in India next year. Simpa Energy aims to install 225,000 systems by the end of 2018. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ Kenya Tea Development Agency, a marketing agency for small-scale tea growers, has signed a $55 million loan agreement with International Finance Corporation to fund the construction of seven small hydropower projects across tea growing regions. The projects are intended to reduce the cost of energy for each tea factory,. [Coastweek]

¶ China’s capital issued its first ever “red alert” for pollution, the Beijing city government said on Monday, warning that the city would be shrouded in heavy smog from Tuesday until Thursday. China’s leadership has vowed to crack down on environmental degradation, including the air pollution now covering many major cities. [Thomson Reuters Foundation]

US:

¶ Infratech Industries, the company behind Australia’s first floating solar plant has sold its flagship technology to the City of Holtville, in California, marking the first export of the world-leading renewable energy system. The company completed the first installation of a $12 million, 4-MW PV system in April to serve as its showcase project. [CleanTechnica]

Floating solar plant by Infratech Industries

Floating solar plant by Infratech Industries

¶ Bernie Sanders will unveil a sweeping new plan to fight climate change, calling for a carbon tax and an ambitious 40% cut in carbon emissions by 2030 to speed the transition to a greener economy. The Democratic presidential candidate will use the crunch week of COP21 to release a 16-page plan aimed dealing with climate change. [The Guardian]

¶ Officials say one of the Indian Point nuclear power plant’s reactors in suburban NY has been shut down because several control rods lost power. Entergy, the plant’s owner, said no radioactivity was released during the shutdown. A team from the New York Department of Public Service will be among those that investigate the incident. [TV Newsroom]

December 6 Energy News

December 6, 2015

COP21:

¶ Delegates at a UN climate conference in Paris have approved a draft text they hope will form the basis of an agreement to curb global carbon emissions. The 48-page document will be discussed by ministers on Monday. They will try to arrive at a comprehensive settlement by the end of next week. [BBC News]

BBC News

BBC News

¶ The Paris climate conference today published a draft treaty that sets out a warming limit of 1.5° C above pre-industrial levels as its long term temperature goal. Seen as a victory for poor countries, it reduces limit of 2° C warming that had previosly been agreed to as a safe level warming. [The Ecologist]

¶ Dubai’s practices in energy efficiency and water desalination was showcased during the panel discussion held at COP 21 in Paris. UAE Minister of State and Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change said Dubai aims to produce 75% of its energy using clean sources. [Emirates 24|7]

¶ At the Paris Climate Summit (COP21), the global nuclear lobby is in overdrive. The Breakthrough Energy Coalition, led by Bill Gates, was made public at the start of the conference. And the nuclear lobby is out in force, handing out thousands of copies of its propaganda book, Climate Gamble. [Independent Australia]

¶ United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced that a broad group of organizations and individuals, ranging from financial institutions to municipal mayors and business leaders, will continue momentum on multi-stakeholder climate on May 5 and 6 in Washington, DC. [Big News Network.com]

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

¶ The US, Japan, European and other developed nations are poised to consider boosting their annual financial assistance for developing nations to over $100 billion in 2020 and beyond in a bid to break a COP21 deadlock. The money would include both public and private-sector funds. [Nikkei Asian Review]

¶ Allegations of hypocrisy will be levelled at the UK when the Climate Secretary Amber Rudd appears at COP21. Prime Minister David Cameron impressed summit delegates with his passionate call to action, but his government’s changes may actually increase emissions of greenhouse gases. [BBC]

World:

¶ In less than 10 years, Uruguay has cut its carbon footprint without government subsidies or higher consumer costs, according to its head of climate change policy. In fact, he says now that renewables provide 94.5% of the country’s electricity, prices have gone down, relative to inflation. [Kitsap Sun]

¶ As renewable technologies become more cost-effective, investors are now waking up to opportunities in the previously unattractive green sector. Climate change is a reality and we appear to be in the middle of an energy revolution. Environmental investments are both right and smart. [Irish Independent]

Climate change is a reality, and so is the revolution that has emerged to tackle it.

Climate change is real, and so is the revolution that has emerged to tackle it.

¶ After four years of relative stability, crude oil prices have fallen dramatically over the past eighteen months. The decline in oil prices and certainty that they will not increase soon, have triggered discussions on the impact on Azerbaijan’s alternative and renewable energy industry. [Eurasia Review]

¶ In Japan, it was recently revealed that safety cables at nuclear facilities, including TEPCO’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, were not separated from other cables, a violation of the country’s new nuclear safety standards. It was also revealed that regulatory authorities had failed to inspect them. [The Japan Times]

US:

¶ Instead of showing the benefits of carbon capture, a coal plant towering over pine trees and meadows in rural Mississippi is looking like another monument to an unfulfilled promise of carbon capture technology. Costs for construction have grown to $6.5 billion, over three times the original estimate. [Valley News]

Mississippi Power spokesman Lee Youngblood, talks about the carbon capture power plant in DeKalb. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Mississippi Power spokesman Lee Youngblood, talks about the carbon capture power plant in DeKalb. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

¶ Renewable energy accounted for 100% of new US electricity generation capacity additions in October. Wind and solar made up 98% and the other 2% was biomass. For the year through October, solar and wind accounted for over 63% of all new US power capacity, according to FERC. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The recent closure of two cogeneration plants near Bakersfield, California, illustrates the regulatory, policy and market-based challenges facing small facilities selling electricity to the state’s grid. The plants, each of 35-MW plus heat, were commissioned in 1989. [The Bakersfield Californian]

Rio Bravo Jasmin

Rio Bravo Jasmin

¶ Congress could be close to phasing out the tax credits that have, for years, supported the booming wind and solar energy industries. The wind and solar industry have allies among Democrats and others concerned about climate change, but many conservatives want to phase them out. [The Hill]

December 5 Energy News

December 5, 2015

COP21:

¶ If coal is good for humanity, then someone has forgotten to tell the world’s poorest countries. In a strongly worded statement that came out on the first day of talks at COP21, the leaders of 30 of the world’s poorest countries said they wanted the world to be 100% renewable by 2050. [CleanTechnica]

Shanghai boom and gloom. Author Peter Dowley. CC BY-SA 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Shanghai boom and gloom. Author Peter Dowley. CC BY-SA 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ One event in Paris, a Climate Summit for Local Leaders will commit 1000 mayors and local leaders to “support ambitious long-term climate goals such as a transition to 100% renewable energy in our communities, or a 80% greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2050”. [Blue & Green Tomorrow]

¶ As governments continue negotiations to hammer out a global climate deal at COP21, institutional investors assemble to highlight their contributions, reinforcing calls for robust Paris climate agreement to enable rapid scale up of investment in low-carbon transition. [Blue & Green Tomorrow]

¶ A senior Indian negotiator says his country will cut back its use of coal, if it gets sufficient cash from a Paris deal. The country believes rich nations responsible for the bulk greenhouse gas emissions released so far must provide cash if they want developing countries to cut their emissions. [TV Newsroom]

PM meets Heads of Delegations of Like-Minded Developing Countries, in the run-up to COP-21 in Paris. Author Narendra Modi. CC BY-SA 2.0 Wikimedia Commons.

PM meets Heads of Delegations of Like-Minded Developing Countries, in the run-up to COP-21 in Paris. Author Narendra Modi. CC BY-SA 2.0 Wikimedia Commons.

World:

¶ With nearly 3.1 GW of offshore wind capacity connections expected for 2015, Europe is driving the industry’s expected 3.6 GW of new capacity. Analysis from MAKE Consulting concludes that 2015 is likely to see 3.6 GW of new offshore wind capacity connected to local European grids. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The launch of the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition was the first time in UN climate talk history that heads of state have agreed to sit at same table as the leadership of nongovernment agencies and businesses to decide how to deploy carbon-pricing solutions across the world by 2020. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Google’s current renewable energy portfolio, worth approximately $3 billion, makes it one of the largest renewable energy owning utilities in the world. Google has invested in an array of renewable energy companies and runs several locations on hundreds of megawatts of clean energy. [Huffington Post]

Middelgrunden offshore wind farm observed in Øresund. Photo by Kim Hansen. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Middelgrunden offshore wind farm observed in Øresund. Photo by Kim Hansen. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil has made the final investment decision to build the 30-MW Hywind floating wind farm offshore Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The developer has tapped Siemens to supply five of its SWT-6.0-154 direct-drive offshore wind turbines for the project. [North American Windpower]

¶ A study released by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis showed that worldwide coal consumption is likely to decline between 2% and 4% in 2015, despite near decade-low coal prices. That’s on top of a 0.7% decline a BP study said happened in 2014. [Audubon Magazine Blog]

¶ In an announcement made at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris, Monsanto will stand trial for ecocide and crimes against humanity and nature at the International Court of Justice. An umbrella group of over 800 organizations in 100 countries is involved in the action. [Care2.com]

March Against Monsanto in Eugene, Oregon, 2014. Photo by Visitor7. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

March Against Monsanto in Eugene, Oregon, 2014. Photo by Visitor7. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

US:

¶ The United States deployed 60.3 MW of energy storage during the third quarter of the year, bringing the year’s cumulative total up over 100 MW. The figures come by way of GTM Research’s US Energy Storage Monitor, and represent a 46% increase from the second quarter of 2015. [CleanTechnica]

¶ According to a new study released earlier this week by the US Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), growth in the use of solar energy among America’s top companies has skyrocketed 183% over the last four years since the first Solar Means Business report was published. [CleanTechnica]

12-5 graph

¶ While 150 world leaders are negotiating a climate deal in Paris, nine Northeastern states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative are sharing $115 million from the latest auction under a regional pact that limits power plant emissions while supporting renewable energy and efficiency projects. [Rutland Herald]

¶ Vermont’s largest electric utility is getting ready to offer customers in-home batteries made by Tesla, best known for making electric cars. In a letter Thursday to the Public Service Board, Green Mountain Power said it would become the first US utility to offer the Tesla Powerwall. [Idaho Statesman]

¶ Scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographics Institution have found signs of nuclear contamination from Fukushima at an increased number of sites off the US West Coast, including the highest detected level to date from a sample collected about 1,600 miles west of San Francisco. [ObserverVoice.com]