Archive for the 'wind' Category

November 25 Energy News

November 25, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “A Harsh Reality In Coal Country – With Or Without Trump” • Colstrip, Montana, has been a poster child for the kind of coal mining community that looked to Donald Trump to bring back the industry and save their town. But after four years of Trump’s presidency, and with Joe Biden about to take office, it is clear that saving coal is not viable. [BBC]

Strip mine near Colstrip (EPA image, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “The New ‘Gold Rush’ For Green Lithium” • Lithium is crucial for the transition to renewables, but mining it has environmental costs. Now a more sustainable source of lithium has been found deep underground. Extracting lithium from geothermal waters has a tiny environmental footprint compared to mining, with very low carbon emissions. [BBC]

¶ “The Eximus IV Is The World’s Most Energy Efficient Electric Vehicle” • The electric vehicle you see here is the Eximus IV. Built by a team of experts at Sweden’s Dalarna University, it is billed as the world’s most energy-efficient EV. It can transport a person nearly halfway around the world using the energy in just a single liter of gas! [CleanTechnica]

Eximus IV (Image Courtesy Delsbo Electric)

World:

¶ “Philippines aiming for 34,000 MW of renewable energy by 2040” • The Philippine Department of Energy is preparing for a low carbon scenario as a result of the country’s energy efficiency and conservation measures. Energy Secretary Alfonso G Cusi said that coal and oil shares decrease with the use of alternative fuels in the country. [Big News Network]

¶ “Ireland To Pay Denmark, Estonia €50 Million For ‘Statistical’ Renewable Energy Transfer” • Ireland agreed to pay €50 million to Denmark and Estonia for a “statistical” transfer of renewable energy to make up for a shortfall in green power output. Ireland is to pay Denmark €12.5 million and Estonia €37.5 million for renewable electricity credits. [The Irish Times]

Wind turbines in Denmark (La Citta Vita, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Covid Renewables Surge Gives Glimpse Of Energy Sector’s Future: EY” • A surge in the use of renewables triggered last spring by lockdown measures intended to contain the Covid-19 pandemic gave a glimpse of what the energy industry might look like in the future, according to Ernst & Young in its latest analysis of global markets. [Recharge]

¶ “European Utility Giant To Invest $190 Billion In Renewable Infrastructure” • Italy’s Enel, Europe’s largest utility, announced plans to invest as much as $190 billion (€160 billion) by 2030 in boosting renewable power generation, decarbonization, and grid infrastructure as part of a new plan to become a “Super Major” in renewable energy. [OilPrice.com]

Enel wind turbines (Aviscan, Wikimedia Commons)

Australia:

¶ “Australia’s Carbon Twist: Taxing Consumers Who Refuse To Burn Fossil Fuels” • Australia has the slowest take up of electric vehicles in the developed world, and it’s just about to get slower: South Australia and Victoria have both announced plans to introduce a road user tax on EVs, a policy that will add around $500 to their annual costs. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “NSW Upper House Passes Renewable Electricity Bill After Rejecting One Nation Amendments” • New South Wales upper house MPs have finally passed renewable electricity legislation after a marathon parliamentary sitting in which almost 250 One Nation-proposed amendments were rejected. They had been intended to thwart the bill’s passage. [The Guardian]

Solar car park in Australia (Flicker02, CC-BY-SA Intl)

¶ “Green Hydrogen Export Potential Lifts Australia To Number 3 On Global Renewables Index” • Australia has reached its highest position ever on the Ernst & Young Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index. Australia jumped to third place for the first time thanks to a big boost from its green hydrogen and solar energy export plans. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ “Superformance Is Building An All-Electric Cobra For 2021” • Superformance claims it has a license from Shelby himself to build “official” continuation Cobras, and this one is just stunning. A few things it does not have are the shiny roll bars, a rumbling, side-mounted exhaust, and a gaudy hood scoop feeding air into the engine bay of the 427. [CleanTechnica]

Shelby Cobra (Image courtesy of Superformance)

¶ “Ford’s Renovation Of Michigan Central Station Aims To Create Mobility Innovation District” • It’s been 30 years since Michigan Central Station was shuttered and abandoned. But this week Ford Motor Company revealed the site plan for the hub in what is designed to become “an inclusive, vibrant and walkable mobility innovation district.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Government Puts $130 Million More Into Solar Tech” • In a continuation of a decades-long trend, the US DOE has put $130 million dollars more into research and development of solar technologies. Its goals are to “reduce the cost of solar, increase US manufacturing competitiveness, and improve the reliability of the nation’s electric grid.” [CleanTechnica]

Solar panels (CLeanTechnica image)

¶ “PUC Denies Heartland Power Extension” • In Minnesota, the New Ulm Public Utilities Commission denied a 10-year contract extension with Heartland Consumer Power District to supply energy to New Ulm Public Utilities at reduced cost. The PUC cited high capacity costs and shifting trends toward renewable energy for denying the extension. [NUjournal]

¶ “NJ Regulators Target JCP&L In Wake Of Ohio Bribery Scandal” • New Jersey is stepping up its review of Jersey Central Power & Light by ordering a probe of its fiscal stability. The move was prompted by credit downgrades of it and its parent, FirstEnergy Corp, following a bribery scandal involving subsidies for nuclear plants in Ohio. [NJ Spotlight]

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

November 25, 2020

3,113 regular daily posts, linking 40,670 articles

§ The most recent reported status of US nuclear power plants can be found at the US Nuclear Power Report, a distressingly dull account of NRC news, posted on non-holiday weekdays and Saturdays. As of November 25, out of 97 US-licensed power reactors (including Three Mile Island, Indian Point 2, and Duane Arnold, which have been closed down), 6 were at reduced output and 9 not operating.

§ Video: Energy Week # 394 – 11/19/2020: An Australian mining company plans to install enough wind turbines to provide 500% of the country’s energy needs. Hitting net zero will not be enough to restore the climate. Big investors are moving away from companies that are not sustainable. It’s the end of the world as we know it – or maybe not. Wind and solar are cheaper than any other power source. And there is more.

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

November 24 Energy News

November 24, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “You Say Old Coal Plant, I Say New Green Hydrogen Facility” • My utility, Burbank Water and Power in California, is on the frontline of energy transformations. Every day, our company manages a long-term commitment to a large coal-fired power plant in rural Delta, Utah, while it races towards a zero-GHG future through green hydrogen. [GreenBiz]

Coal Plant (Image courtesy of Burbank Water & Power)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Methane Hits Record High In Atmosphere As Fossil Fuel Companies Diverge” • More than 60 oil and gas companies committed to a new framework to report methane emissions as the UN reported that atmospheric levels of the greenhouse gas reached a record high. US companies aren’t participating at the moment. [Scientific American]

¶ “Super Hot October Drags 2020 Toward 2nd-Hottest Year On Record” • The year to date (January through October) ranked second-hottest for the globe as Arctic sea ice coverage shrank to historic lows for the month, according to NOAA scientists. The most recent monthly global climate report from NOAA also has other highlights. [CleanTechnica]

October 2020 Global Temperature Map (NOAA image)

World:

¶ “Transport & Environment Calls Out PHEV Manufacturers For Higher-Than-Advertised Emissions” • In its latest report, T&E points an accusatory finger at several of the most popular plug-in hybrid vehicles sold in Europe, saying their carbon emissions in normal use are actually up to 12 times higher than advertised by their manufacturers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hydrogen-Powered Trains Could Replace Diesel Engines In Germany” • Siemens and Germany’s rail operator Deutsche Bahn have announced plans to test a hydrogen-powered train with a range of more than 370 miles, technology that promises to reduce CO₂ emissions and help make 1,300 diesel units obsolete. The test will last one year. [CNN]

Mireo Plus H (Image provided by Siemens)

¶ “Renewable Energy Investments To Double As Assets Prove Their Resilience” • Global institutional investors plan to increase allocations to renewable energy infrastructure from 4.2% to 8.3% in the next five years, a report by Octopus Group says. It is based on a survey of institutional investors representing $6.9 trillion under management. [Citywire Financial Publishers]

¶ “Floating Solar Could Benefit From EU Offshore Renewables Strategy” • While wind power dominates the Offshore Renewable Energy Strategy unveiled by the European Commission, which envisions 300 GW of floating capacity by 2050, the report also notes various EU funding pots which could support ocean-based solar development. [pv magazine International]

Offshore solar system (Image: Ocean Sun)

¶ “Clean Energy ‘Clear Winner’ Of Victorian State Budget With $1.6 Billion In Funding” • Described by the government as “the largest investment in clean energy of any state,” the Victorian Budget 2020/21 adds to last week’s news of $797 million set aside for energy efficiency and the extension of the state’s Solar Homes program. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Ørsted, Shell Sign 2.4-GW Dogger Bank Offtake” • Ørsted and Shell signed power purchase agreements for 2.4 GW of capacity from the Dogger Bank A and B offshore wind farms off the coast of north-east England. Ørsted will take a 40% share and Shell Energy Europe a 20% share. SSE Renewables and Equinor are co-developing the 3.6-GW project. [reNEWS] (not my math – ghh)

Offshore wind turbines (Nicholas Doherty, Unsplash)

¶ “India Will Reach 175 GW Renewable Energy Capacity Before 2022: PM Modi” • Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the 15th G20 Summit, claiming that India will meet its 2022 goal of 175 GW of renewable energy capacity well before that date. He said India is now more focused on reaching its next target of 450 GW capacity by 2030. [EnergyInfraPost]

¶ “UK Doubles Down On Renewables With 12-GW CfD4” • The UK Energy Ministry will allocate supports for up to 12 GW of new renewables projects at its Contracts for Difference Round Four auction to open late next year. The round will feature three pots for different technologies. Its total 12 GW capacity is over twice as large as 2019’s 5.8 GW CfD3. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines in Wales (miriam, CC BY-SA 2.0)

US:

¶ “GM Withdraws Support For Trump Lawsuit Seeking To Roll Back Auto Emissions Rules” • General Motors announced in a letter to environmental groups it was withdrawing its support from Trump administration litigation that aimed to take away California’s right to set its own auto emissions rules. GM said it had been supportting a single US standard. [CNN]

¶ “After Scotland Tour, Maine Hatches Offshore Floating Wind Turbines Plot” • Maine has some deep and challenging waters for wind turbines, but it also boasts sustained offshore winds speeds that are estimated to be enough to meet its existing electricity demand 36 times over. Governor Janet Mills came away from a tour of Scotland with big plans. [CleanTechnica]

Floating offshore wind turbine (Image via Maine Aqua Ventus)

¶ “Biden Cabinet: Inner Circle Get Key Posts As John Kerry Named Climate Envoy” • Former Secretary of State John Kerry will be a climate envoy when US President-elect Joe Biden takes office. The position is to see him “fight climate change full-time.” He will be the first official dedicated to climate change to sit on the National Security Council. [BBC]

¶ “Renewables Are Gaining Ground In New York” • The state of New York generated the largest amount of renewable electricity of any state east of the Mississippi last year, with renewable energy sources, including hydropower, accounting for 30% of New York’s electricity, according to the Energy Information Administration. [OilPrice.com]

Have an unreasonably good day.

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November 23 Energy News

November 23, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Western Green Hydrogen Makeover Clouds Fossil Energy Revival” • President Trump has often spoken of his affection for fossil fuels, and especially coal workers. But the big bucks are shifting to renewables. A case in point is Mitsubishi, a leader of a western-US green hydrogen alliance, which could pull the rug right out from under natural gas. [CleanTechnica]

Natural gas flaring (Joshua Doubek, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Tesla’s Manufacturing Revolution – Machines That Set Tesla Apart” • In a video titled “Game Over – Tesla’s AI Manufacturing Revolution,” host Casgains Academy explained the importance of Tesla’s AI manufacturing. He also looked at the machines that set the company apart. And, he explained why the other automakers will struggle to catch up. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Hydrogen Power For Heavy Trucks In China And All The Ships At Sea” • In a 15-year plan for new energy vehicles, China’s State Council put a focus on building the fuel-cell supply chain and hydrogen-powered heavy vehicles. A wind and solar plant in Inner Mongolia is expected to produce up to 500,000 tons of H₂ a year beginning in 2021. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai fuel cell truck (Courtesy of Hyundai)

¶ “The Climate Crisis Is Looming Large On Wall Street” • The European Central Bank said it will start conducting “in-depth” assessments of how bank balance sheets account for climate risks in 2022. Banks will, for example, be expected to disclose how flooding and storms could affect the value of their real estate portfolios and customer supply chains. [CNN]

¶ “Carbon Tracker Claims EV Revolution Will ‘End Oil Era'” • A Carbon Tracker report says the shift to EVs in emerging markets will “end oil era.” In particular, it suggests the transition away from gasoline and diesel powered vehicles in emerging markets “may slash growth in global oil demand by 70%.” The report says the switch will pay for itself. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it (Carbon Tracker image)

¶ “Trump Rails Against Paris Climate Accord In Virtual G20 Event” • President Trump decried the Paris climate accord and touted US oil and natural gas production during a virtual session on environmental safeguards the on the final day of the G20 summit. Trump called the 2015 accord “one-sided” and claimed it was designed to ruin the US economy. [CNN]

¶ “Green Zinc! Sun Metals Joins RE100” • Sun Metals, whose zinc refinery is the second largest single-site energy consumer in Queensland, has pledged to power its entire operations with 100% renewable electricity by 2040, with an interim target of 80% by 2030.  Sun Metals has already developed its own 125-MW solar farm. [pv magazine Australia]

Sun Metals zinc refinery in Queensland (Photo: Sun Metals)

¶ “Victoria’s Loy Yang A Power Station To Have 200-MW Battery Operational By 2023, Owner AGL Says” • The Loy Yang A power station in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley will be home to a 200-MW battery that can provide electricity to the grid during times of peak demand, its owner has said. Energy giant AGL plans to have the battery operating in 2023. [ABC News]

¶ “With New Wind Farm Project, Kazakhstan Forges Ahead With Renewable Energy” • Kazakhstan marked a major milestone in its journey away from the country’s coal legacy, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development reported on its website. A $95.3 million deal to was signed to support construction of the Zhanatas 100-MW wind farm. [Times of Central Asia]

Wind farm in Kazakhstan (МаратД, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Australia’s First Renewable Green Gas Injection Project To Power More Than 6,000 NSW Homes” • Energy infrastructure company Jemena signed an agreement with Sydney Water to generate biomethane at a wastewater treatment plant. The biomethane gas will be injected into Jemena’s New South Wales gas distribution network. [Mirage News]

US:

¶ “Renewables Are 64% Of New US Electrical Generating Capacity In 9-Months Of 2020” • According to a review by the SUN DAY Campaign of data just released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, renewable energy sources dominated new US electrical generating capacity additions in the first nine months of 2020. [Renewables Now]

Wind turbines in Wyoming (CGP Grey, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Judge Blocks Permits Over Climate Impacts” • A US federal court once again blocked new oil and gas drilling permits on Wyoming public lands in a ruling that rebuked the Trump administration for its “sloppy and rushed” analysis of climate change impacts. He pointed to numerous flaws in the BLM climate change assessment. [coloradopolitics.com]

¶ “Groups Applaud “Seismic Shift” In Clean-Energy Landscape” • Ohio cities shifting the state’s energy landscape. Voters in both Grove City and Columbus approved ballot measures that enact Community Choice Aggregation, which allows for ratepayers in the community to bargain collectively for bulk purchase energy rates from utilities. [Public News Service]

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November 22 Energy News

November 22, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change Could Lead To Landslide-triggered Tsunami In Alaska: Scientists” • Whittier, Alaska, has still not forgotten the tsunami of 1964, which killed 13 people and did $10 million in damages. But another tsunami threat looms large on the city with climate change, as Barry glacier could fall into the ocean causing a mega-tsunami. [Republic World]

Whittier, Alaska (Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “How To Cut Carbon Out Of Your Heating” • Most homes in the UK heat with gas. There are plenty of less carbon intensive alternatives for householders, such as using electric heating, heat pumps, or even district heat networks, where a central source is used to heat water, which is then shared among building units. Here, we look at heat pumps. [BBC]

¶ “Tesla Dojo Supercomputer Explained – How To Make Full Self-Driving AI” • Tesla fans have heard regularly about the Tesla Dojo supercomputer, with few knowing what it was. It was talked of at Tesla Autonomy Day in April, 2019, but more recently a few comments from Georg Holtz, Tesmanian, and Elon Musk have shed light on this project. [CleanTechnica]

Application specific integrated circuit (Tesla image)

¶ “Nickel, Nickel, Nickel – Diving Into Green Nickel With Talon Metals” • Several months ago, Tesla CEO Elon Musk expressed some rather strong interest in nickel. I connected with a top North American company in this arena and was lucky to get the opportunity to dig in much deeper. Here is an interview with officers of Talon Metals Corp. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Electric Vehicle Interest Surges 500% In UK On News Of 2030 Fossil Fuel Car Ban” • News of the UK’s plan to ban sales of new gas and diesel cars in 2030 has reportedly led to a huge increase in interest in electric vehicles. According to BuyaCar.co.uk, electric vehicle inquiries increased by 500% following the news of the stronger timeline. [CleanTechnica]

MG ZS EV (MG image)

¶ “18% Plugin Vehicle Share in Germany in October – Record Month!” • The German plugin vehicle market set new records in October, reaching an 18% market share. Full electric vehicles were up 365% (!) from last year, and plugin vehicles as a whole were up 303%. Overall, the car market was down 4%, with petrol cars down 30% and diesel down 19%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The All-Electric Hyundai Kona Is Now Assembled In Nigeria!” • The transition to electromobility in developed markets is going on a whole lot faster than previously thought. Now, the transition has spread to developing markets. New EVs are being made in Africa, and in fact, they are being manufactured in Nigeria, a major African oil producer. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai Kona interior

¶ “‘Renewables Superhighway’ To Ease Grid Limits, Open Way For Snowy 2.0” • Electricity transmission constraints between Victoria and New South Wales will be eased after the Andrews and Morrison governments struck a $200 million deal on a key grid project. It will spur more investment in wind and solar farms. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Nuclear Power Pushed To Back Burner In UK’s Green Energy Plan” • Britain’s goal of renewing its aging fleet of nuclear power plants is losing momentum as the government offers few new details on how it will support new projects. The issue gained urgency as EDF SA’s announced is closing its Hinkley Point B reactors two years early. [The Japan Times]

Hinkley Point (Richard Baker, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Kansas Sees New Wind Energy Initiative” • Governor Laura Kelly is applauding the announcement of the new Renewables Direct initiative at Evergy. She remarked that Renewables Direct provides long-term price stability and competitive pricing for local renewable energy to businesses, agencies, and commercial customers that qualify. [WIBW]

¶ “Wind Energy Flourished In Wyoming This Year. But The Renewable’s Future Here Is Unclear” • Wind energy capacity has grown substantially across Wyoming this year. The state’s wind generating capacity is expected to increase by over 1,000 MW for the year, despite the Covid-19 pandemic. But federal tax credits are set to expire. [Casper Star-Tribune Online]

Wind turbines (Karsten Würth, Unsplash)

¶ “In Washington, Babbott Backs Bill To Burn Forest Waste For Renewable Energy” • Arizona’s Coconino County Supervisor testified in Washington DC before a Senate subcommittee, saying the lack of a market for forest waste has impeded efforts to clear national forests of combustible undergrowth and halt the growth of catastrophic wildfires. [Arizona Daily Sun]

¶ “Wisconsin’s Nuclear Power Plant Operator Seeks 30 More Years” • The operator of Wisconsin’s only nuclear power plant wants to keep the 50-year-old plant running through 2050. NextEra Energy Resources has submitted an application to the NRC seeking to add another 20 years to the licenses for the Point Beach Nuclear plant. [WUWM]

Have a majestically mirthful day.

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November 21 Energy News

November 21, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Natural Disasters Are Increasing. The World’s Poorest Are Left To Fend For Themselves” • Over 100 disasters, many related to climate change, have hit over 50 million people worldwide since the WHO declared the Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic. Though the money needed for disasters in the countries at risk exists, it’s not getting to those who need it most. [Vox]

Living in a flood (hitesh choudhary, Pexels)

Science and Technology:

¶ “This Underwater Farmer Wants Us To Eat More Seaweed” • In the sea off Northern Ireland, a small island could have a hand in the future of food. The waters off Rathlin Island are swimming in kelp. Something of a wonder crop, gram for gram, kelp and other seaweeds have as much protein as beef and are one of few non-animal sources of Vitamin B12. [CNN]

¶ “Sentinel-6 To Help NASA Track Climate Change’s Effects On Oceans” • While NASA has been using satellites to measure the height of the ocean for the last 28 years, the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite will offer greater precision. Sentinel-6 will use a trio of instruments to calculate its position and distance above the ocean’s surface as it orbits. [UPI.com]

Ocean from space (NOAA image)

World:

¶ “China Lifts Renewable Power Subsidy For 2021 By Nearly 5% Y/Y” • China’s Ministry of Finance said it set the renewable power subsidy for 2021 at ¥5.95 billion ($905.7 million), up 4.9% from this year, thanks to a big increase in the allocation to solar projects. The subsidy will go primarily to wind farms, biomass, and distributed solar power. [Financial Post]

¶ “The UN Shipping Agency Greenlights A Decade Of Rising Greenhouse Gas Emissions” • Governments have backtracked on their own commitments to urgently reduce climate-heating emissions from the shipping sector, environmental organizations have said following a key meeting of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) today. [CleanTechnica]

Container ship (Image courtesy of Pexels/Pixabay)

¶ “MNRE Proposes 54-GW Wind Park Scheme For States” • To address the land-related hassles in wind power projects, India’s ministry of new and renewable energy plans a 54-GW wind park development scheme. States will prepare needed infrastructure, and the MNRE will provide a level of financial assistance to park developers. [Financial Express]

¶ “Subseasonal And Seasonal Forecasts Can Help The EU Speed Up The Transition To Renewable Energy” • By using subseasonal and seasonal forecasts, energy companies can improve weather-related risk management and potentially increase their profits. Such forecasts can contribute to speeding up the transition to renewable energy. [Tech Xplore]

Wind turbines (Public domain image)

US:

¶ “Proterra Sells Its 1,000th Electric Bus” • US-based electric bus company Proterra, which was first mentioned it at CleanTechnica in 2013, has passed a major milestone, selling its 1,000th electric bus. This comes just a bit more than three years after its 100th electric bus was delivered. It was one of twelve sold to Broward County Transit in Florida. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Fremont Police Dept Releases Uplifting EV Pilot Program Results” • In California, the Fremont Police Department began testing a Tesla Model S 85 that had been customized for patrol operations in March 2019. Testing ended one year later, and now, the Fremont Police Department released the test results. They show impressive savings. [CleanTechnica]

Police Tesla (Image courtesy Fremont Police Department)

¶ “How Renewable Energy Could Power Your State” • A report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance looked at how much renewable energy potential each state had within its borders. It found that almost every state could deliver all its electricity needs from instate renewable sources, and some states could produce 10 times what they need. [EcoWatch]

¶ “Enel Green Power Promotes Sustainability At Solar Power Plants In US” • There has been opposition to solar installations from farmers in some parts of the US. Efforts from companies like Enel Green Power show how solar and farming can co-exist and benefit each other while helping to bring more renewable energy to America. [CleanTechnica]

Agrovoltaics (Enel Green Power image)

¶ “Indiana Task Force Report Could Slow State’s Transition From Coal, Critics Fear” • An Indiana legislative task force report looks like groundwork to justify power-plant bailouts like to those in Ohio and Illinois, despite assurances from state regulators and the region’s grid operator that coal plant closures do not pose a threat to grid reliability. [Energy News Network]

¶ “Idaho Is Top Pick For Energy Department Nuclear Test Reactor” • The DOE said Idaho is its preferred choice for a test reactor that would be part of an effort to revamp the fading US nuclear industry by developing safer fuel and power plants. The Versatile Test Reactor would be the first new test reactor built in the US in decades. [Idaho State Journal]

Have an entirely untroubled day.

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November 20 Energy News

November 20, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Solar Panels + Agriculture: You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” • It seems like only yesterday that the idea of combining solar panels with agriculture was just a dream. Now, the US DOE is putting down $7 million to sow the seeds for a revolution in American farming. That might not seem like much, but in this case a little goes a long way. [CleanTechnica]

New kind of agriculture (Dennis Schroeder, NREL)

¶ “How To Stop Climate Change By Financing A Global Green New Deal” • With a fraction of the Covid-19 recovery funds, central banks could support climate protection to make the 1.5°C target achievable. The financial means available to deal with the pandemic exceeds what is needed to stabilize the global climate at 1.5°C many times over. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Seaweed Swamping The Atlantic Ocean” • In the summer of 2018, an almost incomprehensibly large mass of stringy brown seaweed appeared in the Atlantic Ocean. It stretched across the Atlantic Ocean, from the shores of West Africa to the Gulf of Mexico. It is part of a pattern that established itself in 2011 and has been getting worse [BBC]

Sargassum weeds (NOAA, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “NOAA Research Shows Climate Crisis Primary Cause Of 98% Of Dead Florida Coral Reef” • A first-of-its-kind federal report on the health of the US coral reefs finds that in Florida, the area with the worst degradation, up to 98% of coral reefs have been lost due mainly to the climate crisis. The researchers used data collected from 2012 to 2018. [Red, Green, and Blue]

¶ “Fishing Saps The Ocean’s Power To Capture Carbon” • A fish that dies naturally in the ocean sinks to the depths, taking with it all the carbon it contains. When a fish is caught, most of this carbon is released into the atmosphere as CO₂. Carbon emissions from fishing are 25% higher than what had been considered to come from fuel consumption. [Futurity]

World:

¶ “Milan Getting Another 100 Electric Buses” • The Milanese transit operator ATM has just placed one of the West’s biggest electric bus orders, an order for 100 electric buses from Solaris, a Polish bus maker. The new buses are joining 40 electric buses put into service last year. The Solaris Urbino electric buses ordered are all 12 meters in length. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Acciona Signs 135MW Spain PPA With Novartis” • Acciona has signed 10-year power purchase agreements with Novartis in Spain covering 135 MW of solar capacity. Acciona is building a 125-MW plant in Badajoz, and an 85.7-MW plant in Valencia, which will supply Novartis under the two PPAs. They will come online in 2022 and 2023. [reNEWS]

Acciona solar trackers (Acciona image)

¶ “China Buys Into Mexico’s Emerging Renewable Energy Sector” • State Power Investment Corp of China has bought the biggest independent producer of renewable energy in Mexico, giving the industry a vote of confidence even as the Mexican authorities moved to slow down private investment in renewable energy in the country. [OilPrice.com]

UK:

¶ “Volta Trucks To The UK: Bring It On!” • The UK has new plans to boot sales of new fossil fuel cars by 2030. Volta Trucks argues that there’s something lacking, though. The policy is focused on cars and vans, but what about medium-duty and heavy-duty commercial vehicles? You don’t need a lot of experience to know how bad truck fumes can be. [CleanTechnica]

Volta Zero (Image courtesy of Volta)

¶ “Major Vehicle-to-Grid Trial Initiating In UK” • Vehicle-to-grid trials have been going on for years. But a new one in the UK goes to new levels, and it might just be what V2G technology needs to break through. As with several earlier trials, this one is limited to Nissan EV drivers, as Nissan’ CHAdeMO charging capability is fully functional with V2G. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “ReneSola, Innova Forge UK Solar Venture” • ReneSola and renewables investor Innova entered into a strategic partnership agreement to co-develop utility-scale solar projects in the UK. As part of the agreement, ReneSola Power and Innova will create a joint venture company that will develop an existing pipeline of 50 MW, with more to come. [reNEWS]

Solar panels (APPA | Unsplash)

¶ “Renewable Energy Giant Unveils Plans For Windfarm Near Oban” • Vattenfall proposes to build a windfarm with about 26 turbines in Scotland, near Oban. It says the windfarm would provide electricity for around 117,500 UK homes. Vattenfall said it wants to collaborate with people near the proposed windfarm to let them influence its development. [HeraldScotland]

US:

¶ “How Utah Cities Are Pursuing 100% Renewable Energy” • In the absence of federal action on climate change, the task of reducing greenhouse gas emissions has fallen on communities and states. To date, over 150 cities, counties, and states have passed resolutions to commit to 100% net-renewable electricity in coming years. Of those, 23 are in Utah. [GreenBiz]

Utah (Omar Prestwich, Unsplash)

¶ “DHL Gets Electric BYD Trucks In Los Angeles” • DHL is getting four Class 8 electric trucks from BYD for use in the Los Angeles metro area. It is a pilot program that presumably will lead to the purchase of many more BYD electric trucks in the years to come. BYD is a Chinese company, but it has a truck and bus factory in California. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GM Raises Its EV Game, Commits Another $7 Billion To Its Electric Car Push” • General Motors announced it is adding $7 billion to its mission to bring electric cars to market. GM had already committed $20 billion to its EV program. CEO Mary Barra said GM will offer 30 battery electric models globally by the middle of this decade. [CleanTechnica]

Have an monumentally amusing day.

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November 19 Energy News

November 19, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “How Bike-Friendly ‘Slow Streets’ Are Changing Cities” • Biking is having a renaissance with Covid-19, as urbanites worldwide shun public transport for the relative safety of a two-wheeled commute. The resulting urban planning experiments could not only radically alter the way we commute, but also make cities more resilient to future shocks. [BBC]

Bike lane in Boston (Adam Coppola, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “The Inevitability Of Renewable Energy: Convincing Skeptics” • Early in 2020, Pew Research Center found that 77% of people in the US want to develop alternative energy instead of fossil fuels. But conservative Republicans were evenly divided over whether to prioritize alternative energy or expand fossil fuel production. That’s a problem. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Energy Transition Will Pay Dividends” • If we pursue the energy transition aggressively, each of us will get dividends as we invest in a brighter future. As is the case with many investments, the energy transition may be justified based on the dividends alone. The fact that our offspring inherit a livable world might just be a side benefit. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm (Famartin, CC-BY-SA 4.0 Intl, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Why 2021 Will Be A Banner Year For Renewable Energy In The US” • With the global shift to renewable energy in full swing, which party controls the US Senate might not matter that much for energy. Goldman Sachs predicted that capital spending on renewable energy will surpass that of fossil fuels in 2021 globally. And the US has the same market pressures. [OilPrice.com]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Whole-System Zero-Emissions Demonstration” • A report from the Rocky Mountain Institute introduces a new concept, a Whole-System Zero-Emissions Demonstration. It goes one step further than net-zero carbon and proposes a broader concept with added value. It is the synergy of net-zero carbon, net-zero waste, and net-zero pollution. [CleanTechnica]

Net-zero house (US Govt, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “EDPR Inks 63-MW Spanish Wind, Solar Supply Deal” • EDP Renewables has signed a 15-year power purchase agreement with pharmaceutical company Novartis to sell electricity from a 63-MW portfolio of renewable energy projects in Spain. The portfolio comprises a 36-MW wind farm and a 26.8-MW solar facility expected to be installed in 2022-2023. [reNEWS]

¶ “Didi Chuxing And BYD Team Up To Make The D1, An Electric Ride-Hailing Vehicle” • Two of China’s largest corporations, Didi Chuxing and BYD, have joined forces to create an EV designed specificallly to serve the needs of the ride hailing industry. The result, the D1, is said to have a 100 kW electric motor and a range of 418 km (260 mi). [CleanTechnica]

Didi Chuxing and BYD D1 (Didi Chuxing image)

¶ “Japanese MPs Declare Climate Emergency, Weeks After Pledge For Net Zero Emissions By 2050” • Japanese MPs have declared a climate emergency in a vote aimed at increasing pressure to act on combating global warming. Just last month, the government committed to a firm timetable for net-zero emissions. Japan is the world’s fifth-biggest carbon emitter. [SBS]

¶ “Tesla’s Megapack Batteries Are Empowering The UK” • Tesla will supply 68 MWh of extremely cost-competitive Megapack battery storage to Fotowatio Renewable Ventures’ second project in the UK, according to Energy Storage News. The new project is part of what Fotowatio calls a “strategic plan to develop energy storage projects globally.” [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Megapack

¶ “Hydrogen Produced From Nuclear Will Be Considered ‘Low-Carbon’, EU Official Says” • Hydrogen made from nuclear power will be considered “low-carbon” by the European Commission, a senior EU official said in the European Parliament. The EU’s hydrogen strategy, which was presented by the the EU executive in June, does not mention nuclear power. [EURACTIV]

¶ “Asambe Launches Electric Bicycle & Scooter Sharing Service In Zimbabwe” • Asambe, a pan-African electric scooter and bicycle sharing and guided tour service company, launched its platform in Zimbabwe last week after a 6-month pilot. Asambe is Zulu for “let’s go.” The launch had been scheduled for earlier this year but was delayed by Covid-19. [CleanTechnica]

Bicycling in Africa

US:

¶ “New California EV Rebates!” • California’s clean vehicle rebate program has been running for years. Of course, EV buyers can also benefit from the US federal tax credit (though, that has expired for buyers of Tesla and GM EVs). Now, there’s another EV incentive Californians are eligible for: a $1,500 rebate at the point of sale! [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Finally Confronting Warming, Florida Lawmakers Set To Address Rising Seas And Flooding Systematically” • Comments by Republican leaders, coming after they were sworn in to lead the Florida House and Senate for the next two years, represented a further evolution in the position of the state’s Republicans about climate change. [FlaglerLive.com]

¶ “New Zero Emissions Transportation Association Includes Tesla, Uber, Rivian, And Several Utility Companies” • ZETA, the Zero Emissions Transportation Association, is a lobbying group that will advocate for policies to enable 100% EV sales by 2030, according to a report by Axios. Its 28 members are EV makers, utilities, and others. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Prince William Board Adopts Regional Climate Mitigation Goals On Party-Line Vote” • The Prince William Board of County Supervisors voted to adopt the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ interim climate mitigation goals, joining other Northern Virginia jurisdictions in aiming for 100% renewable electricity by 2030. [Inside NoVA]

Have an utterly delightful day.

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November 18 Energy News

November 18, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Greenland’s Glaciers Could Lose More Ice Than Previously Thought, Raising Concerns For Sea Level Rise” • A study shows Greenland’s ice is melting much faster than previously thought. Its authors warn their findings show that ice loss on Greenland could exceed even the worst-case projections. It was published in the journal Nature Communications. [CNN]

Ilulissat Icefjord, Greenland (Tina Rolf, Unsplash)

¶ “Half Of The World’s Aviation Emissions Are Caused By Just 1% Of The Population, Study Finds” • Frequent fliers representing just 1% of the world’s population accounted for more than half of total aviation emissions from passenger air travel in 2018, a new study says. Aviation accounts for at least 2% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. [CNN]

¶ “The Futuristic Cargo Ship Made Of Wood” • The shipping industry’s climate impact is large and growing, but a team in Costa Rica are making way for a clean shipping revolution with a cargo ship made of wood. The Ceiba is the first vessel built by Sail Cargo, a company trying to prove that zero-carbon shipping is possible, and commercially viable. [BBC]

Ceiba under construction (Image: ©Jocelyn Timperley)

¶ “Dept Of Energy Smart Energy Campaign With Berkeley Lab Saves $95 Million Per Year” • The energy and decarbonization puzzle has more pieces than solar power, wind power, energy storage, and electric vehicles. Energy management is another part. And in 2021, the value of the energy management market could reach $76 billion. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Porsche Backs Synthetic Fuels To Keep Classics On The Road” • Synthetic, low-carbon liquid fuels have been around for a few years now, and some auto companies see them as a way to keep internal combustion investments relevant. By contrast, Porsche hopes synthetic fuels will help to keep classic Porsches running, carbon neutral, into the future. [CleanTechnica]

Classic Porsche (Image: Hagerty, via Motor1)

¶ “Australia’s Climate Record Labelled ‘Simply Embarrassing’ And Among Worst Of G20 Nations” • Australia is one of two countries in the G20 that does not have or plan carbon pricing, one of four with no national policy to increase renewable energy and ranks last in cutting carbon emissions from transportation, a global report found. [The Guardian]

¶ “GE Wins 121-MW Cypress Order In Lithuania” • A 121-MW turbine order for wind projects in Lithuania was won by GE Renewable Energy. European Energy placed the order for 22 of GE’s Cypress wind turbines that will be installed across three wind farm sites. The installation of the wind turbines will take place in the second half of 2021. [reNEWS]

Cypress wind turbine (GE image)

UK:

¶ “City Of London Buys Into New Dorset Solar Farm To Help Power Square Mile” • Thousands of solar panels in the Dorset countryside will soon power Britain’s historic financial center under a new renewable energy deal struck by the City of London Corporation. The City’s government expects to save £3 million over the contract’s 15 year term. [The Guardian]

¶ “Johnson Unveils £12 Billion Plan For ‘Green Industrial Revolution’” • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has taken the wraps off a £12 billion plan for a “green industrial revolution” that will support up to 250,000 jobs. Johnson’s ten point plan reiterates London’s policy pledge of 40 GW of offshore wind by 2030 and 60,000 sector jobs. [reNEWS]

Boris Johnson (UK Government image)

¶ “Key Areas Of Boris Johnson’s ‘Green Industrial Revolution'” • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s £12 billion plan for a “green industrial revolution” spans renewable energy, nuclear power, and countryside restoration. However, some of the objectives are likely to be difficult to reach, and the plan has been criticized for a lack of ambition in key areas. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ “Harley-Davidson’s New E-Bicycles Put The Pedal To The Pedal – CleanTechnica Interview” • Harley-Davidson is known for bigness, loudness, and brassiness. Last month, it surprised us when it unveiled its Serial 1 pedal assisted e-bicycle concept. Now the production models are here, and it’s a whole new ballgame for the century-old company. [CleanTechnica]

CTY eBicycle “RUSH” model (Courtesy of Serial 1)

¶ “California School District Latest To Order Electric School Buses” • It used to be months between stories about electric school buses. Now it’s becoming days! The sector’s latest news is that Thermalito Union Elementary School District in California has bought six electric school buses from GreenPower, through its distributor, Creative Bus Sales. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Irvine Wants Cities To Offer Residents Renewable Power Choices” • The City of Irvine, California, wants residents to have a new way to get their power and they’re working to get as many city partners in Orange County as they can in the effort. The change would reduce greenhouse gas emissions while increasing regional energy self-sufficiency. [VoiceofOC]

Cholame Hills solar project (Image: First Solar Inc)

¶ “Cummins Reveals Road Map To Carbon-Free Hydrogen Economy” • Cummins, an Indiana company known for its diesel and natural gas engine technologies, laid out its path into the hydrogen economy with plans to decarbonize transportation and other industrial sectors it serves while encouraging growth of renewable energy. [Heavy Duty Trucking]

¶ “RWE Renewables Turns Sod On US 195-MW PV-Storage” • RWE Renewables began construction of a 195-MW solar project in Georgia. The Hickory Park project includes a 40-MW battery and is due online in late 2021. RWE will operate and manage the facility, selling the energy and renewable attributes from the facility to Georgia Power. [reNEWS]

Have a gorgeously inspiring day.

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November 17 Energy News

November 17, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Trump Blows Offshore Wind War Bigly, On Top Of Electoral College And Popular Vote Losses” • It seems like only yesterday that President Trump was fighting offshore wind turbines in Scotland while sticking up for US fossil fuels. But windpower has burgeoned in Scotland. Now, there is an undersea transmission project to export 2 GW more. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind farm (ScottishPower Renewables image, cropped)

¶ “Biden’s Environmental Proposals” • Biden’s elevation to the Oval Office will see one of the clearest shifts in environmental policy the US since fellow Democrat Jimmy Carter, a huge fan of renewable power, was removed from the White House in the early 1980s by Republican Ronald Regan. It is important to understand the change. [The Ecologist]

¶ “Jonathan Scott Unpacks The Fight For Residential Solar In Revealing New Documentary” • Sunshine comes to us free of charge. But when home renovation specialist and TV personality Jonathan Scott went to install a rooftop solar system on his Las Vegas home, he up against the realities of the monopolistic utility model in Nevada. [CleanTechnica]

Jonathan Scott

World:

¶ “Moscow Gets Its 500th Electric Bus” • Russia is a major oil & gas country. As the oil industry goes, so goes Russia. Even so, reports say a public transit company for the Moscow metro area has put its 500th electric bus into service. This electric bus was produced by Kamaz, a Russian truck and engine (and apparently electric bus) manufacturer. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hurricane Iota: Category Four Storm Hits Nicaragua” • Just two weeks after Hurricane Eta, Hurricane Iota made landfall in Nicaragua. Hurricane Iota became a category five storm before making landfall, with maximum sustained winds of up to 160 mph (260 km/h). It was the most powerful storm in the record-braking Atlantic storm season. [BBC]

Eye of a hurricane (NASA image)

¶ “New Pay-As-You-Go Solar TV In Kenya” • We may think of low renewable electricity costs in terms of solar power plants selling it to utilities, but low-cost solar goes far beyond that. One fun new example of that is a new PayGo solar powered TV offered in Kenya by Azuri Technologies. The TV400 is a 32″ television that comes with solar power. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Green Hydrogen Scheme Sprouts In Scotland, With Flow Battery” • Scotland is apparently not satisfied with its position in the offshore wind vanguard. The country has embarked on a new plan to pair tidal power with vanadium flow batteries to produce green hydrogen. Tidal power is very predictable, and batteries make the output constant. [CleanTechnica]

Orkney infrastructure (Orkney Sky Cam, courtesy of EMEC)

¶ “New Group Targets More Sustainable Offshore Wind” • A coalition of eighteen organisations from across Europe signed a memorandum of understanding and committed to working together to develop offshore wind, while ensuring protection of nature and healthy marine ecosystems. Ørsted, Siemens Gamesa, and TenneT are among them. [reNEWS]

¶ “Enel Turns Sod On 163-MW Chile Solar” • Enel Green Power Chile has begun construction of the 160-MW Sol de Lila PV project in the Atacama Desert, in Chile’s Antofagasta region. Sol de Lila will have 407,400 bifacial monocrystalline PV panels and will employ nearly 450 workers during construction. Start-up is scheduled for July 2021. [reNEWS]

Solar plant (Enel Green Power image)

¶ “Southern Alberta Witnessing ‘Unprecedented’ Surge In Renewable Energy Projects” • Over $2 billion worth of renewable energy projects are being built in Southern Alberta. An analyst says the boom in renewables began three years ago as the costs dropped low enough that incentive-free builds suddenly made more business sense. [Globalnews.ca]

US:

¶ “Trump Administration Begins Last-Minute Leasing Process For Arctic Drilling” • The Trump administration on Monday started a leasing process for oil and gas drilling sites off the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, something environmental groups feel is a potential last-minute giveaway to the energy industry before the Biden administration takes over. [CNN]

Alaska (Karen Bollinger, US FWS, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Jeff Bezos Announces Nearly $800 Million In Grants To 16 Groups Fighting Climate Change” • Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced that his Bezos Earth Fund will give $791 million in grants to 16 organizations working to protect the environment. The fund is part of a $10 billion pledge to support environmental activists and organizations. [CNN]

¶ “UVM Is Leading The Largest Study of Climate Change In Vermont” • Since the 1980s, folks have put a cinder block on the pond when it freezes. When the ice melts, the block sinks, and a clock is unplugged, capturing the exact time of the melt. There’s a clear pattern. The ice is melting earlier. Now, UVM is leading an ambitious scientific study. [UVM News]

UVM researchers in the field

¶ “Tesla To Join S&P 500 On December 21, 2020” • The S&P Global Dow Jones media center just announced that Tesla will be added to the S&P 500 on December 21. S&P Global Dow Jones said this is to coincide with the December quarterly rebalance and that, due to Tesla’s large size, it is seeking feedback about the addition being in two tranches. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Research Fund At Princeton University Will Preserve Biodiversity” • Princeton University established an endowed fund with a gift from Currie C and Thomas A Barron. It will increase support for research related to biodiversity and build on Princeton’s decades-long leadership in studying and protecting the rich variety of Earth’s ecosystems. [centraljersey.com]

Have an incredibly magnificent day.

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November 16 Energy News

November 16, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Tesla Reminder: Solar Power Tax Credit Drops In 2021” • Last year and for several years prior, a US taxpayer who installed a rooftop solar power system could get a 30% tax credit on its cost. In 2020, that tax credit fell to 26%, and it will fall to 22% next year. “Order solar panels before the solar tax credit drops at the end of this year.” [CleanTechnica]

House with solar rooftop (Image: Tesla via Twitter)

¶ “Trump’s Coal Rescue Was Doomed From The Beginning” • Trump promised to bring back coal mining jobs. But coal simply can’t compete, much to the dismay of the Appalachian coal communities. If anything, the collapse of coal accelerated during the Trump era, wiping out even more jobs and dashing the hopes of unemployed coal miners. [CNN]

¶ “Increased Resilience Is Necessary To Battle The Pandemic And The Climate Crisis” • Ulrich Volz urges us to be vigilant in an International Monetary Fund podcast. The covid-19 pandemic, he insists, is but a prelude to the looming climate crisis. There is no trade-off between choosing a sustainable recovery and economic progress. [CleanTechnica]

Another day, another reminder (Image retrieved from NOAA)

¶ “Blackrock and Fidelity Are Betting Big On This $130 Trillion Mega-Trend” • This isn’t just a megatrend. It’s a movement. Big money is fleeing anything that’s not sustainable. By 2022, PwC says that 77% of institutional investors will stop buying non-ESG products entirely. (ESG is Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance.) [OilPrice.com]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Wind And Solar Are Cheaper Than Everything, Lazard Reports” • The recent Lazard report on the LCOE showed that wind and solar offer the cheapest electricity in the US, even significantly undercutting natural gas combined cycle power plants now. But that’s only half of it. Solar and wind are much cheaper nearly everywhere. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it (Courtesy of Lazard)

¶ “Oil & Gas Drilling Technology Could Make District Heating Feasible” • The deeper one goes beneath the surface of the Earth, the hotter things get – as much as 370°C in some cases. That heat can be used to heat buildings, including district heating. And the technology to tap into it is very similar to the technology used to open up oil and gas wells. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “South Africa: Kangnas Wind Farm Kicks Off Operations” • Two years after construction kicked-off, Kangnas Wind Farm in South Africa is operating commercially. According to a media release, this wind farm will generate 513 GWh each year, enough clean power to satisfy the electricity needs of 154,625 average South African households. [ESI Africa]

Kangnas Wind Farm (Supplied image)

¶ “Ford’s Silverton Factory In South Africa Is Getting A Massive 13.5 MW Of Solar PV” • A Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa factory is getting a 13.5-MW solar system covering 4,200 parking bays. The PV plant will cost R135 million ($8.7 million). This means the grid-tied project will cost 64¢/W, which is pretty impressive for a carport system. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Youth Environmental Activists In Russia Face Down Obstacles To Spread Their Climate Message” • Across the world, global climate strikes brought millions to the streets in September of last year. But in Russia it was a different story. In Moscow and St Petersburg, protests had at most 200 participants. There are reasons for that. [Red, Green, and Blue]

Climate strike (Photo courtesy of Fridays For Future Russia)

Australia:

¶ “BlueScope Puts $20 Million Toward Renewable Energy Infrastructure Supply Chain In NSW” • Australian steelmaker BlueScope has announced a plan to invest $20 million to help deliver renewable energy infrastructure in New South Wales. The state recently announced 20-year strategy to transition to hydro, wind, and solar power. [ABC News]

¶ “Utility AGL Plans 250-MW / 1,000-MWh Battery Project In South Australia” • In another large-scale battery announcement, AGL said it plans to build a battery system in South Australia, with up to 1,000 MWh of capacity. The utility has said it wants 34% of its capacity to be renewable and energy storage by the 2024 financial year. [Energy Storage News]

Planned AGL battery project (Image: AGL video screenshot)

¶ “WA Renewable Hydrogen Project Progresses” • Hydrogen Renewables Australia has joined forces with Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners to deliver the 5,000-MW Murchison Renewable Hydrogen Project in Western Australia. The project will be powered by combined wind and solar power generation and use desalinated water. [Energy Magazine]

US:

¶ “Gov Edwards Vetoes Tax Break For Oil And Gas Industry, Announces Renewable Energy Initative” • Louisiana Gov John Bel Edwards vetoed a tax break for the oil and gas industry that would have cost the state over $38 million over the next five years. He doubted whether it would actually produce the jobs promised by oil lobbyists. [Big Easy Magazine]

Fishing in Cancer Alley (Image courtesy of Treehugger)

¶ “Tesla’s Automotive Gross Margin Improves from 18.7% to 23.7%” • Tesla’s automotive gross margin improved from 18.7% to 23.7% in Q3. That’s an astounding improvement in automotive gross margin. Even 18.7% is great in the automotive industry. It’s a figure that still leaves Tesla a lot of room to bring down prices or fuel faster growth. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Why NASA Wants To Put A Nuclear Power Plant On The Moon” • NASA and the US DOE will seek proposals to build a nuclear power plant on the moon and Mars to support its long-term exploration plans. The proposal is for a fission surface power system, and the goal is to have a flight system, lander and reactor in place by 2026. [CNBC]

Have an ineffably exquisite day.

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November 15 Energy News

November 15, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It – Or Not” • The recent study published in the journal Scientific Reports says it is too late to stop climate change. Some scientists disagree. But arguing about which climate model is most accurate diverts our attention from what is most important – the Earth is warming too fast, and we have to act on that. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm (Karsten Würth, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Ocean Plastisphere Is Disrupting Native Habitats” • At least 8 million tons of plastics enter the oceans annually, and they have generated a “Plastisphere” that is disrupting native habitats. The organisms that colonize buoyant marine plastic debris can be transported across the oceans and even become invasive species at fragile ecosystems. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Perennial Diesel Shortages In Zimbabwe Paralyze Refuse Collection: It’s Time To Go Electric” • Zimbabwe’s fuel imports account for $1.2 billion annually, 30% of its total import bill! The country is literally burning a huge chunk of its foreign currency as fossil fuels. The total cost of ownership makes EVs attractive for refuse collection. [CleanTechnica]

Lion Electric electric garbage truck (Courtesy of Lion Electric)

¶ “UK To Ban Sales Of Combustion Vehicles By 2030 – Report” • An announcement of a more ambitious timeline for the ban of combustion vehicles is expected from the UK government, and sources have already told both the BBC and the Financial Times that the ban will indeed be brought forward to 2030 or 2032. We are watching the story develop. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Railways’ Solar Power Tender Attracts Only A Few Bids; Deadline Extended” • Solar power project developers have given a lukewarm response to a tender for setting up 1 GW of solar power plants on railway land, sources said. The Solar Energy Corp of India already has 14 GW either in operation or under development. [Business Standard]

Raiway station (Sridhar Rao, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Biden Stocks Transition Teams With Climate Experts” • From the Pentagon to the General Services Administration, President-elect Joe Biden has put climate-minded officials on his sprawling transition team. Officials with significant climate or clean energy experience even pop up in departments like State, Defense, Treasury, and Justice. [Scientific American]

¶ “Coronavirus: Elon Musk likely has moderate case” • Elon Musk says he “most likely” has a “moderate case” of Covid-19 but has been “getting wildly different results from different labs.” On Friday he said he had been tested four times, with two positive and two negative results. Covid-19 has now infected nearly 10.9 million people in the US. [BBC]

Elon Musk (Reuters image)

¶ “Google Changing Outlook On Renewable Energy Prospects” • Google is in a lead on a project to ensure a 100% dependence on renewable energy. It has the innovative idea that companies ensure the use of renewable energy by matching the time they use renewable energy to the time they generate renewable energy, with PPAs allowed. [The Pinstripe Empire]

¶ “Minnesota Permits Pipeline Replacement For Line 3” • Environmental and Indigenous leaders responded with alarm after Minnesota regulators approved key permits for Enbridge Energy’s planned Line 3 Pipeline replacement, and called on Democratic Gov Tim Walz to block any construction for the Canadian company’s project. [LA Progressive]

Pipeline (Photo: Quinten de Graaf | Unsplash)

¶ “Kahului Power Plant Shutdown Plan Presented ” • Hawaiian Electric developed a plan to shut down the generating capacity of the 72-year-old oil-fired Kahului Power Plant in 2024, while keeping some of its distribution capabilities and building a new switchyard. The plan has been submitted to the state Public Utilities Commission for approval. [Maui News]

¶ “DOE Publishes Strategic Framework For Hydrogen Effort” • The DOE released its Hydrogen Program Plan. A key aspect of the strategy the agency presented is to enable hydrogen production from a diverse array of low-carbon domestic energy resources, including renewables, nuclear energy, and fossil fuels (with carbon capture). [World Nuclear News]

Have a winningly friendly day.

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November 14 Energy News

November 14, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “USA Readies Self For Green Hydrogen Rumble As Trump Slithers Out Door” • Trump made coal jobs a centerpiece of his 2016 campaign, but he dropped the whole idea just two years after taking office, so it seems there was no job-saving coal plan after all. Oh well, it’s all water under the bridge now. The DOE has a Hydrogen Program Plan. [CleanTechnica]

Cars loaded with coal (Decumanus, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “What Does Bill Gates’ Favorite Energy Guru, Vaclac Smil, Get Wrong?” • Taking a look at Bill Gates’ ventures into energy shows that he is information is basically faulty in several ways. He and a number of people like him are throwing away their money on the wrong investments: small nuclear, air carbon capture, and solar geoengineering. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Biden And Electric Utilities Are Split On Emissions Goals” • As President Trump rolled back environmental regulations and boosted fossil fuels, utilities forged ahead with plans to reduce emissions. But while 33 utilities pledged to eliminate emissions by 2050, Biden campaigned on a promise to have 100% clean electricity by 2035. [Scientific American]

Natural gas plant (Dual Freq, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “UK Government Commissions Space Solar Power Stations Research” • The UK government has commissioned new research into space-based solar power systems that would use very large solar power satellites to collect solar energy, convert it into high-frequency radio waves, and safely beam it back to ground-based receivers connected to the electric grid. [GOV.UK]

World:

¶ “Storm Iota: Preparations Under Way In Honduras And Nicaragua” • Evacuations of coastal areas of Honduras are under way as a second hurricane in as many weeks is forecast to hit Central America. Forecasters say Tropical Storm Iota is expected to strengthen to a “major hurricane” when it hits Honduras and Nicaragua on Sunday. [BBC]

Eta’s damage to be followed by Iota’s (Getty Images)

¶ “The World’s Largest Wetlands Are On Fire. That’s A Disaster For All Of Us” • The largest tropical wetland on Earth, South America’s Pantanal region, has been hit by the worst wildfires in decades. The blazes have consumed 28% of the vast floodplain that stretches across parts of Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay. They are still not entirely under control. [CNN]

¶ “Tesla Batteries Get Second Life In Electric Sightseeing Boat” • As Teslas get old (or get into accidents), the batteries they had in them become available for new purposes. One clever use is as batteries in electric boats. In Sweden, the sightseeing boat Sylvia is powered by used Tesla batteries that were combined for 190 kWh of energy storage capacity. [CleanTechnica]

Sylvia (Photo via EcoSightseeing)

¶ “Ørsted And BP Will Partner On Green Hydrogen Project In Germany” • No sooner did CleanTechnica do a story on making hydrogen from renewable sources than we came across Ørsted’s announcement saying it will partner with BP to develop a large scale renewable energy project at BP’s Lingen Refinery in the Northwest of Germany. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Private Properties Have Increasingly Been Eyeing Renewable Energy Over The Last Few Years” • Over the last few years, the use of solar power in Finland has increased tenfold, as it grew increasingly popular with the country’s homeowners. This push for renewable energy is having a significant role in Finland’s energy grid strategy. [TheMayorEU]

Solar panels in Finland

¶ “Public Backs Tree Planting And Renewable Energy Over New Technologies Such As Carbon Storage” • The public would prefer the government to plant millions of trees to draw down carbon rather than plow huge sums of cash into carbon capture and storage technology. It is a blow to the Prime Minister’s plans to kickstart a green industrial revolution. [iNews]

¶ “European Energy Partners On 800-MW Scots Onshore Drive” • Danish renewable energy company European Energy, with its experience and resources, is partnering with the Scottish clean power developer Locogen, which will provide local expertise, to deliver an 800-MW onshore wind portfolio in Scotland over the next five years. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (European Energy image)

US:

¶ “Race Of The Tesla Gigafactories: Giga Austin 24/7 With 3 Shifts May ‘Exceed Giga Berlin’s Speed'” • The newest Tesla gigafactory is growing rapidly, and construction is going on 24/7. Tesla’s focus on getting Giga Texas built is so intense that it may go up faster than Giga Berlin. Jeff Roberts, a drone operator, provided photos of progress. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Arizona Regulators Adopt New Clean Energy Rules Without Renewable Mandate” • The Arizona Corporation Commission passed landmark new rules requiring state-regulated utilities to get 100% of their power from carbon-free sources by 2050, but the panel rejected any specific mandate for renewable energy like solar and wind. [Arizona Daily Star]

Renewable energy resources (Tucson Electric Power Co)

¶ “New Electric School Buses In Virginia And Massachusetts” • CleanTechnica covers basically every electric school bus story that comes across our desk, because it is so important for schools, shuttling around our youngest kids, switch over to clean electric transport as soon as possible. There is news from Massachusetts and Virginia. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “City Of Grover Beach Making Shift To Clean And Renewable Energy Sources” • Residents of Grover Beach, California, are getting flyers in the mail letting them know about their choice to join the city in going green. Beginning in January, ratepayers will have the opportunity to be a part of Central Coast Community Energy. [KSBY San Luis Obispo News]

Have a wonderfully fulfilling day.

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November 13 Energy News

November 13, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Hitting Net Zero Is Not Enough – We Must Restore The Climate” • The climate crisis is here now. No matter how quickly we reach zero emissions, the terrible impacts of the climate crisis will not just go away. They will continue to cause millions to suffer for centuries to come. Just cutting emissions is not enough. We have to begin restoring the climate. [The Guardian]

Bushfire (fvanrenterghem, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “There Is Nothing We Can Do To Stop The Oncoming Effects Of Climate Change Says A New Study” • Even if we stopped emitting greenhouse gases tomorrow, Earth would warm for centuries to come and oceans would rise by meters, according to a controversial modeling study that appeared in the Nature Research journal Scientific Reports. [Firstpost]

¶ “World Heritage Status For Scottish Peat Bogs Could Help UK Hit Net Zero Goals” • There is hope that about 1,400 sq km of the most pristine peatland in northern Scotland will soon be much closer to status as the first world heritage peatland. Ecologists say peatlands covering only 3% of the Earth’s land surface, may hold 30% of the carbon stored on land. [The Guardian]

Peat Bog (RodicaB, CC-BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “The Desert City To Run On Hydrogen” • On the edge of the Saudi Arabian desert beside the Red Sea, a futuristic city called Neom is due to be built. The $500 billion (£380 billion) city, complete with flying taxis and robotic domestic help, is planned to become home to a million people. And what will power this city and be its product? Green hydrogen. [BBC]

¶ “Micro Stores In South African Townships: Decentralization Can Promote Micromobility” • With Covid-19 stay-at-home orders and lockdowns, large shopping malls have few customers. Leading South African fashion retailer Mr Price is testing smaller format stores to get closer to its shoppers homes. The situation is perfect for micromobility. [CleanTechnica]

Electric bikes (Image courtesy of Guraride)

¶ “Rising Levels Of Carbon Dioxide Increasing Extreme Weather Events In Australia, Report Finds” • Australia’s climate has now entered a new era of extreme weather events, such as dangerous bushfires and heatwaves, courtesy of rising average temperatures, a new report by the nation’s two government climate science agencies has found. [The Guardian]

¶ “Xpeng Sets Record For Quick Rise To 10,000, And NIO Sets Monthly Sales Record” • The two hottest Chinese EV startups, NIO and Xpeng, have each set some new records recently. Xpeng built 10,000 EVs less than 160 days after its factory was built. And NIO sold 5,055 EVs in October, setting a new monthly record for Chinese premium cars. [CleanTechnica]

Xpeng workers and their 10,000th car (Photo courtesy of Xpeng)

¶ “Japan To Invite Bids For Offshore Wind Plants Off Chiba And Akita” • The government is expected to seek applications soon for operating offshore wind power plants in areas in Chiba and Akita prefectures. Its plan is to have a power generation capacity of 10 GW of offshore wind power plants, the equivalent of 10 nuclear reactors, by 2030. [The Japan Times]

¶ “Vestas Secures 50-MW Scottish Order” • Vestas has secured a 50-MW turbine order from ERG for the Sandy Knowe wind farm in Scotland. The project will feature 14 V112 3.45-MW turbines in 3.6-MW power optimised mode, in order to maximize the site’s power production while ensuring lowest cost of energy to the energy consumer. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Vestas image)

¶ “Rolls Royce Pledge To Create 6,000 Jobs In UK With 16 Mini-Nuclear Plants” • Rolls Royce pledged to create 6,000 jobs in the UK as part of plans to build 16 mini-nuclear plants. The company has formed a consortium, which includes the National Nuclear Laboratory and building company Laing O’Rourke, to build “small modular reactors.” [The Republic]

US:

¶ “Electrify America Pours $3 Million Into EV Education In Under-Tapped Communities” • As a result of Volkswagen Group’s diesel emissions scandal, its subsidiary, Electrify America, is to engage in a certain amount of EV education. Now, it is putting $3 million into zero-emission vehicle education in low-income communities in California. [CleanTechnica]

Electrify America message

¶ “Arizona Utility Secures 200-MW PPA” • The Arizona Public Service Company has entered into a 200-MW power purchase agreement with Leeward Renewable Energy for electricity from the latter’s two Aragonne wind farms in New Mexico. Leeward will repower the existing 90-MW Aragonne project and build the 145-MW Aragonne Mesa development. [reNEWS]

¶ “Charlotte Airport Gets Electric Buses” • Charlotte Douglas International Airport has taken a leadership role on the ground, adding 5 electric buses to its ground transportation and planning to add many more. The airport operates 70 diesel-powered buses, and it wants to replace those with 50 electric buses within the next seven to ten years. [CleanTechnica]

Proterra Electric bus (Charlotte Douglas International Airport)

¶ “EVgo Triples EV Fast Charging Network In Virginia” • EV charging infrastructure is rising, thanks largely to enterprising EV charging startups. EVgo, one of the earliest, is now one of the largest in the US. EVgo is also net 100% powered by renewable energy. The recent news is that EVgo has tripled Virginia’s EV fast charging network in the past year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volvo Trucks To Deploy 70 Electric Trucks In Southern California” • Volvo Trucks has won an award to supply 70 Class 8 VNR electric trucks in Southern California. The award includes $21.7 million in grants for Volvo Trucks. Most of that amount, $20 million, is coming from the US EPA’s Targeted Air Shed Grant Program. [CleanTechnica]

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November 12 Energy News

November 12, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Is It Time For Republican Leaders To Realign With Reality?” • Ignoring reality results in horrible outcomes. So, at what point is it more worthwhile for Republican politicians to realign with reality instead of pushing one falsehood after another? When do the Constitution and American people get more consideration than a few extremists? [CleanTechnica]

Coal burning power plant (NPS, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Renewable Hydrogen May Be The Key To A Sustainable Future” • For some uses, such as fueling cars, hydrogen has practical obstacles to overcome. It has a lot of clearly important applications, however, from making steel to fueling cargo ships. It can be used to store energy, and it can replace natural gas for some applications. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hurricanes Are Maintaining Their Strength Farther Inland As The Planet Warms, Study Finds” • In recent years, hurricanes are rapidly intensifying more often, dumping higher rainfall totals, and even moving slower, all because they move over warmer water. Now, a study shows are maintaining their strength after landfall for much longer. [CNN]

Hurricane (NOAA image)

World:

¶ “Ford France President Talks 600 km Range For Mustang Mach-E” • In an interview with Power TV, Louis-Carl Vignon, president of Ford France, confirmed that Ford’s all-electric Mustang Mach-E will have a range of 600 km (373 miles). Ford has some major plans for Europe. They include 100% vehicle electrification by 2025. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Conversion Kit Turns Your Classic Mini Cooper Into A Timeless EV” • Fans of classic cars and restomods rejoice! There is now a fully realized and genuinely affordable kit to help you turn your classic Mini Cooper into a fast, clean, and modern EV. And, best of all, it is even truer to the original Mini philosophy than you might hope for. [CleanTechnica]

Electric Mini Cooper (Image courtesy of Swind.Life)

¶ “Global Warming Solutions Inc Introduces An Energy Solution In The Fight Against Global Warming” • A Canadian company, Global Warming Solutions Inc, is introducing to the world a product that can deliver constant 100% emission-free electricity 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. It is a hydrogen generator that can be small enough to fit in a car. [GlobeNewswire]

¶ “Haliade-X Prototype Hits New Output Record” • A new record has been set by the Haliade-X offshore wind turbine prototype in the Netherlands, producing 312 MWh of electricity in a 24-hour period, GE Renewables said. The previous record was 288 MWh in a single day. One spin of the turbine is enough to power a UK household for more than two days. [reNEWS]

Haliade-X nacelle (Ktf, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Renewable Energy Will Overtake Coal As Top Power Producer In Next Five Years, International Energy Agency Says” • As coal is passed by renewables, oil and gas companies, often seen clean energy’s opposition, are forecast to increase investment in them. The IAE expects major companies will increase renewables investments “tenfold” by 2025. [Forbes]

¶ “Local Consent Clears Way For Restart Of Onagawa 2″ • The Tohoku Electric Power Company received approval from Murai Yoshihiro, the governor of Miyagi Prefecture, to restart unit 2 of its Onagawa nuclear plant in northeastern Japan. The utility aims to restart the 796-MWe boiling water reactor in fiscal 2022 at the earliest. [World Nuclear News]

Onagawa nuclear plant (Nekosuki600, Wikimedia Commons)

Australia:

¶ “Fortescue Metals Unveils Massive Solar Ambition” • Iron ore mining giant Fortescue Metals Group has revealed ambitious plans to build one of the biggest renewable energy portfolios in the world, delivering more than 235 GW of renewable capacity, or five times the current capacity of Australia’s National Energy Market. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Green Group Challenges Twiggy To Dump Gas Investments After FMG’s Renewable Revolt” • A Kimberley environmental group has called on mining magnate Andrew Forrest to offload his gas assets after he announced Fortescue Metals Group would try to become one of the world’s biggest renewable energy companies. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Wind turbines (CSIRO, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Fortescue Leads ‘Stampede’ Into Green Energy With Stunning Plans For 235 GW Of Wind And Solar” • The scale of Fortescue’s program is breathtaking. To put it into context, 235 GW of wind and solar is equivalent to nearly five times the current capacity of Australia’s main grid, and more than the energy output of such oil giants as Chevron and Total. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ “Tesla’s Energy Business Is Flourishing – 2021 Looks Bright” • During Tesla’s Q3 2020 earnings call, CEO Elon Musk noted that this was Tesla’s “best quarter in history.” Most of the revenue came from Tesla’s automotive business. But on a closer look, you can see the leaves of Tesla’s energy business rapidly unfolding as this side continues to grow. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla powerpacks (Tesla image)

¶ “US Voluntary Clean Power Sales Keep Surging, With More Than a Little Help From Utilities” • Voluntary clean power sales have surged in the past decade and now number in the millions. According to data published annually by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, they doubled from 2010 to 2014 and doubled again from 2014 to 2019. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Nuclear vs Solar: The Race For Renewable Dominance” • There are voices calling for nuclear power to be used to address climate change. But nuclear power is a tough sell in this country. And while the nuclear sector comeback has its work cut out for it, solar power has clearly been on the ascendancy thanks in large part to falling costs. [OilPrice.com]

Have a delightfully developing day.

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November 11 Energy News

November 11, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “President-Elect Joe Biden’s First Hundred Days Of Renewable Energy: Sunshine And Butterflies All Around” • Renewable energy advocates are eagerly anticipating President-elect Joe Biden’s plans for bringing the US back into the Paris Agreement on climate change, and it looks like his first 100 days in office will be fruitful ones. [CleanTechnica]

Agriculture and PVs (Dennis Schroeder | NREL)

World:

¶ “Chinese Glaciers Melting At ‘Shocking’ Pace, Scientists Say” • Glaciers in China’s bleak Qilian mountains are disappearing at a shocking rate as global warming brings unpredictable change and raises the prospect of crippling, long-term water shortages, scientists say. Since the 1950s, average temperatures in the area have risen about 1.5°C. [CNN]

¶ “Electric Boats Are Popping – Three New Electric Boat Stories” • As battery prices have dropped, more varied types of electric vehicles have been popping onto the scene. That includes boats built for different purposes. In this article, we look at a few pieces of news about three types of electric boats, some built for heavy work, and some just for fun. [CleanTechnica]

Electric ferry boat (Photo courtesy of Corvus Energy)

¶ “Woolworths Pledges To Source 100% Renewables By 2025” • Retail giant Woolworths Group has committed to power all of its operations with 100% renewable electricity within just five years, as it joins the global RE100 initiative. Its electricity demand is over 2,000 GWh per year. Woolworths Group also unveiled its 2025 Sustainability Plan. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Full Line Of Volvo Trucks To Go Battery Electric, Hydrogen Fuel Cell By 2025″ • Volvo Trucks announced that its full range of heavy duty trucks and haulers would be available as early as next year with battery-electric drive trains. The changeover to electric drive systems is based on Volvo’s commitment to be fully “climate-neutral” by 2040. [CleanTechnica]

Volvo electric trucks (Image courtesy of Volvo Trucks)

¶ “MHI Vestas Installs First 9.5-MW Floater” • MHI Vestas has installed the most powerful turbine on a floating offshore wind platform. The V164 9.5-MW turbine was installed on a Principle Power WindFloat platform at an installation harbor. It is the first of five that will go to the Kincardine floating offshore wind farm, off Scotland. [reNEWS]

¶ “To Meet Climate Targets, Renewable Investments Need To Be Tripled: Report” • The 2020 edition of “Global Landscape of Renewable Energy Finance” highlights that while a cumulative $1.8 trillion were invested during the five-year period of 2013 to 2018, the amount falls short to achieve the global climate goals. The amount needs to be tripled. [Saurenergy]

Building a wind turbine

¶ “LM Wind Secures Certification Blessing For Haliade-X Blade” • LM Wind Power’s record-breaking 107 meter blade for GE Renewable Energy’s Haliade-X turbine was given its component certificate by TUV Nord. The certification hinged on tests of two 107 meter blades produced at the LM factory in Cherbourg, the company said. [reNEWS]

¶ “Total Battery Subsidiary Opens China Factory” • Total-owned battery storage supplier Saft has inaugurated a new factory in Zhuhai, China. The production capacity of the new plant will be around 200 containers per year, or the equivalent of 480 MWh. Saft has energy storage production facilities in three continents now that the Chinese factory is open. [reNEWS]

Battery storage (Saft image)

¶ “Only One Power Reactor Remains In Operation In Japan” • Genkai 4, will be the only nuclear reactor in operating in Japan for the next six weeks, Asahi Shimbun reported. Electric power companies are required to construct an anti-terrorism facility at each plant to meet new safety regulations imposed after the Fukushima Disaster. [Nuclear Engineering]

US:

¶ “The Rebirth Of A Historic River” • For millennia, the Yurok people in Northern California have depended on fishing for salmon. But that source has been in decline after the Klamath River was dammed for hydroelectricity. Now, the fortunes of the Yurok could be set to change, as the largest dam removal project in US history has been given a green light. [BBC]

Klamath River (Public domain, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Louisiana Holds Its First Climate Initiatives Task Force Meeting” • The State of Louisiana held its first Climate Initiatives Task Force meeting yesterday, and Governor Edwards kicked off the meeting with an empowering speech. He made it clear that Louisiana’s intention was to be at the forefront of addressing climate change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Sea Trials Planned For Unmanned Offshore Power Unit” • Columbia Power Technologies will begin six-month trials of an autonomous offshore power system that could support various activities in offshore wind. The sea trials will take place at at the Navy’s Wave Energy Testing Site off Marine Corps Base Hawaii on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. [reNEWS]

Offshore power system (CPT image)

¶ “As Fed Says Climate Change Is A Financial Hazard, Trump Fires Person In Charge Of NCA” • In denial of his recent defeat, Donald Trump has been firing people he thinks disagree with him. This week began with the firing of the executive director of the organization responsible for preparing the National Climate Assessment. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vanderbilt And Nashville Undertake Bold New Renewable Energy Partnership To Address Climate Change” • Vanderbilt University and the city of Nashville, Tennessee, have announced a Green Invest partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority and Nashville Electric Service. The collaboration is a big step for addressing climate change. [Mirage News]

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November 10 Energy News

November 10, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Time to Be Real – Part 1” • Denial of reality is dangerous. When it is institutionalized, it can become dangerous to large numbers of people. Denial of science has become a policy of the Republican Party, and people in Red states are suffering. The first proof of this is just appearing now, as huge numbers of people in Red states get Covid-19. [Green Energy Times]

Mount Rushmore (National Park Service photo)

¶ “How Will VP Harris Influence Climate Policy At The White House?” • As Vice President, will Kamala Harris influence climate policy so that substantive change can come of the activism that hoisted it into the Top 4 issues of the 2020 Presidential election? Joe Biden has a plan for climate change, and Kamala Harris is well-suited to help him achieve it. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Tesla Giga Shanghai To Produce 550,000 Cars In 2021” • Sina Technology reported that Tesla’s Giga Shanghai factory plans to produce 550,000 cars in 2021, and plans to export more than 100,000 of those made-in-China Teslas. 36 Krypton learned that 300,000 of those vehicles will be Model 3 cars and the remaining 250,000 will be Model Ys. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory paint shop (Tesla image)

¶ “Scottish City’s Largest Single Office Building To Be Fully Powered By Renewable Electricity” • The 177 Bothwell Street development is set to become Glasgow’s largest single office building next autumn. It is to be 100%-powered by renewable electricity, with zero carbon emissions. A large part of the building is already let out. [HeraldScotland]

¶ “‘Defying The Difficulties:’ Renewables Set For Record Run Despite Covid: IEA” • The world is set to add record levels of renewable power this year and next despite the Covid pandemic, the International Energy Agency said. New renewables additions this year are expected to reach almost 200 GW, or nearly 90% of all new generating capacity. [Recharge]

Wind farm, Montenegro (Milica Buha, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Pakistan Can Save $5 Billion By Scaling Up Renewable Energy: WB” • A World Bank study suggests that a major scale-up of variant renewable energy could help Pakistan save $5 billion over the next 20 years, mainly from reduced fuel use. It said Pakistan should quickly implement a major scale-up of solar and wind generating capacity. [Associated Press of Pakistan]

¶ “Green Bank Shouldn’t Fund Gas-Fired Power, Ex-Officials Tell Federal MPs” • Former leaders of Australia’s renewable energy agencies have called on MPs to reject the Morrison government’s changes to the publicly owned green bank that would explicitly allow it to fund fossil fuel projects. The Morrison is pitching a “gas-led recovery.” [The Guardian]

Oakey power station (Stickee, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “‘Immense’ Potential Of Renewable Energy Could Propel Australia To Net Zero 2050 Target” • Australia could become a carbon neutral economy by 2050 thanks to an abundance of cheap solar and wind energy, a report from policy experts at Climate Action Tracker says. But a more ambitious 2030 climate target is needed to get there. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ “Tesla Owners Share Supercharging Experiences As Tesla Announces Its 20 Thousand Supercharger Milestone” • Tesla just announced reaching a milestone: “20,000 Superchargers and counting.” The Supercharger network is a critical component of Tesla’s success that is barely talked about. Many probably would have thought this impossible. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Superchargers in Norway (Clive Flint via Twitter)

¶ “Bay Area And Central California Coast To Get More Than 6,950 New EV Chargers” • It is expected that more than 6,950 new EV chargers will be installed in the Bay Area and central coastal California, thanks to $65 million in funding from four California Community Choice Aggregators and contributions from the state of California. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Louisiana Governor: Renewable Energy Initiative for Gulf of Mexico” • Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards announced a renewable energy initiative for the Gulf of Mexico, with plans to harness Louisiana’s strengths in offshore energy production for the development of wind power, the nation’s No 1 source of renewable energy. [STL.News]

Offshore wind farm (Impériale, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “CPS Energy And VIA Announce Renewable Natural Gas Partnership” • CPS Energy, the municipal electric utility in San Antonio, and VIA Metropolitan Transit announce details about a new fuel supply partnership that will provide Renewable Natural Gas created by landfill biogas to VIA’s fleet of over 500 buses, beginning in 2021. [TechGenyz]

¶ “AEP To Make 40% Of Its Electricity From Renewable Energy By 2030” • Ohio utility American Electric Power, once one of the biggest generators of electricity from coal in the US, forecasts that 40% of the electricity it produces will come from renewable sources by 2030. AEP’s use of coal has dropped by about a third since 2005. [The Columbus Dispatch]

Wind turbines in Michigan (NOAA image)

¶ “World’s Largest Coal Producer Warns Of Bankruptcy Risk” • Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private sector coal producer, has said there is a risk it could go bankrupt for the second time in five years, reports the Financial Times. It has trouble competing with natural gas and renewables, and Covid-19 has made matters worse. [Carbon Brief]

¶ “Xcel Energy And Idaho National Laboratory To Use Nuclear Energy For Hydrogen Production” • Xcel Energy and Idaho National Laboratory joined forces to demonstrate the use of a nuclear plant to split water and produce hydrogen. With the help of $10 million in DOE funding, the partnership will be the first of its kind for electrolysis technology. [H2 View]

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November 9 Energy News

November 9, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Green Hydrogen Nail, Meet Shale Gas Coffin (And Nuclear Could Be Next)” • If US President-Elect Joe Biden doesn’t do the fossil fuel industry any favors, he’ll only be following in the footsteps of outgoing President Donald J Trump. Intentionally or not, Trump has already overseen the demise of the domestic coal, oil, and natural gas industries. [CleanTechnica]

Scientists at the Idaho National Laboratory

Science and Technology:

¶ “Virgin Hyperloop Pod Transport Tests Its First Passenger Journey” • Virgin Hyperloop has trialed its first ever journey with passengers in a Nevada desert. The technology uses pods inside vacuum tubes to carry passengers at high speeds. Two company staff  reached 107 mph (172 km/h) on a 500 meter course. The ultimate speeds will be six times that. [BBC]

World:

¶ “Octopus Energy And Audi UK Offer Up To 5,000 Free Miles Of Charging And Free Wallbox” • If you are in the UK and considering getting an EV – particularly an electric Audi – you may want to get hooked up with Octopus Energy. It will offer 100% green, renewable energy. And it will provide up to 5,000 miles of free charging. [CleanTechnica]

Audi e-tron (Image courtesy of Audi)

¶ “Disappointing Honda e Sales Prompt Move To Jump Into Tesla EV Credit Pool” • The Honda e was supposed to be the car that allowed the company to avoid heavy fines if its corporate average emissions in Europe exceeded 95 grams of CO₂ per kilometer. But it is not selling. Honda will pay Tesla to join its zero emissions credit pool. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NSW Orchestrates 12 GW Of Renewables And 2 GW Of Pumped Hydro By 2030” • New South Wales published its NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap, charting a path to 12 GW of new large-scale solar and wind capacity. It is to attract $32 billion in private investment, create thousands of jobs, and reduce annual electricity bills. [pv magazine Australia]

Sheep and solar panels (Image: Neoen)

¶ “NSW Power Play Sparks Divisions Across Australia’s Energy Sector” • Some of Australia’s largest clean energy investors have thrown their support behind the ambitious strategy to stimulate the construction of new wind, solar, and pumped-hydro projects in NSW, but big power companies say the plan needs further scrutiny. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “EMEC Adds Storage To Tidal For Hydrogen Boost” • The European Marine Energy Center in Orkney is to use an Invinity Energy Systems flow battery at a tidal energy test site to make green hydrogen. Tidal power and 1.8-MWh of flow batteries will demonstrate continuous hydrogen production from variable renewable generation. [reNEWS]

EMEC facility in Orkney (Image: Orkney Sky Cam | EMEC)

US:

¶ “Tropical Storm Eta Makes Landfall In Florida” • Tropical Storm Eta has hit Florida, bringing with it heavy rain and strong winds that forecasters fear may lead to storm surges and flash flooding. Schools, beaches and public transport in much of the southern part of the state were shut before the storm made landfall in the Florida Keys. [BBC]

¶ “Biden Won. What’s Next? Bill McKibben Has Given A Few Suggestions” • Joe Biden will be the 46th president of the US. He has a $2 trillion plan to move the US toward a reduced carbon future. But there are things he needs to do to execute his plan while the Republicans maintain some strength. Bill McKibben has some suggestions. [CleanTechnica]

Joe Biden (Credit: JoeBiden.com)

¶ “Government Scientists Fear For Their Jobs – Another Trump Executive Order” • The journal Nature reported that a senior scientist at the EPA, after reading an executive order signed in October, responded “it’s pretty frightening.” Written broadly, the language seems to make it easier to “get rid of people who don’t toe the right political line.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “APS Commits $127 Million To Navajo Nation, Promises Renewable Energy And Expanded Grid Access” • Arizona utility APS announced a $127 million cash commitment to the Navajo Nation over the next 10 years to provide transitional support to communities affected by the closure and environmental effects of the coal-fired Navajo Generating Station. [Fronteras]

Have a comprehensively nifty day.

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November 8 Energy News

November 8, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “A Joe Biden Presidency – A New Day In Fight For Climate Action” • You know that feeling when you awake from a long nightmare and see the sun shining outside? Yes, that’s what it feels like today. The US presidential election results have been confirmed in favor of Joe Bidenand Kamala Harris. Maybe now we can work with real science. [CleanTechnica]

Joe Biden (Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Jeffrey Young: Oil Companies Admit to Contributing to Climate Change – and Blame You” • In a climate change lawsuit, oil companies admitted that their products were a major cause of climate change, and it’s a real problem. But extraction of the fossil fuels doesn’t cause climate change, they said. It is the use of the product that generates emissions. [Noozhawk]

Science and Technology:

¶ “New Vauxhall Mokka-e vs 1903 Vauxhall Light Car” • The Vauxhall Mokka-e is one of the more interesting and compelling new electric vehicles in Europe. To drum up a bit more attention for the EV, Vauxhall has gone deep into its roots to compare it to Vauxhall Heritage’s 1903 “Light Car,” which it claims is the oldest four-seat Vauxhall. [CleanTechnica]

Vauxhall Mokka-e and 1903 Vauxhall Light Car (Vauxhall image)

¶ “Is This The Key To Cheaper Solar Power?” • At first glance, solar power and farming seem mutually exclusive. Once you take a closer look, however, they appear to be mutually beneficial in more than one way. Solar farms generally benefit the land. And when that land is farmland, the benefits of the combination only seem to become greater. [OilPrice.com]

World:

¶ “NIO Introduces 100 kWh Battery And Flexible Battery Leasing Plans” • As of November 7, a NIO customer can pre-order a car with a 100-kWh battery. But what about current NIO owners? Thanks to NIO’s battery-as-a-service philosophy, they can get upgrades. NIO has multiple payment plans to get 100-kWh batteries installed. [CleanTechnica]

NIO car battery (NIO image)

¶ “‘Forever Chemicals’ Can Have Far-Reaching Consequences, Need More Regulation In Canada, Scientists Say” • A recent Health Canada study said 98.5% of Canadians have PFAS in their blood. Some scientists say a number of these chemicals pose significant risk to human health. What sets PFAS apart is how stable they are – forever chemicals. [CBC.ca]

¶ “Norwegian Plugin Market Share Over 79% In October And PHEVs Stagnate” • Norway had another very strong month for plugin electric vehicles, which had a 79.1% market share. This was the second highest monthly result (after an end-of-quarter push in September). Old school combustion vehicles are now barely above 10% of the market. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen ID.3 (Image Courtesy of Volkswagen)

¶ “Bushfire Royal Commission Signals Need For Zali Steggall’s Climate Act” • The bushfire royal commission has confirmed that climate change influenced the Black Summer’s unprecedented extreme fire weather conditions. Zali Steggall, a winter sport Olympian, attorney, and now member of parliament, is about to introduce a bill. [The Canberra Times]

¶ “EU Eyes Huge Increase In Offshore Wind Energy To Meet Climate Goals” • The European Union is considering a plan to increase its offshore wind energy capacity five-fold this decade and 25-fold by 2050, as it seeks to become climate neutral, a draft policy shows. The EU is already home to 42% of the world’s offshore wind capacity. [EnergyInfraPost]

Offshore wind turbines (Nicholas Doherty, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “US Renewable Energy Industry Cheers Joe Biden Election Win As ‘Beautiful Day'” • The American renewable energy sector has cheered the declared election of Joe Biden as the next President of the United States, with industry bodies placing the accent on the potential for the country to rejoin global climate leadership under the new administration. [Recharge]

¶ “What Joe Biden’s Climate Plans Mean For America, And The World” • Joe Biden has a plan for what to do about the climate. He will have the US rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, for a start. He plans to put $1.7 trillion into federal investment during this decade, with money going to every thing from energy storage to small modular nuclear reactors. [The Wire Science]

Earth from Space (NASA image)

¶ “Even With Biden Win Declared, Climate And Energy Plans May Hinge On Senate Races” • Joe Biden has aggressive climate and clean energy plans that could result in sweeping changes to the energy sector. But Republicans could keep control of the US Senate, upsetting those ambitions, all but ensuring delays and blocks for major climate legislation. [S&P Global]

¶ “Companies Are Coming Together To Promote Sustainable Agriculture With Carbon Credits” • Agricultural technology company Indigo Agriculture announced that it had secured commitments from companies from JPMorgan Chase and IBM to Dogfish Head Craft Brewery for creating financial incentives for farmers through carbon credits. [Mercom India]

Have a fundamentally gleeful day.

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November 7 Energy News

November 7, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “On Climate Action, Everyone Has The Right Stuff” • NASA’s Mercury program was an all hands on deck, do-or-die mission for an elite squad of seasoned military test pilots. Now the Earth itself could use a dose of the same human energy and sense of purpose. Here is an interview with Dr James Hansen, comparing and contrasting the efforts. [CleanTechnica]

NACA hangar circa 1931 (Photo via NASA)

¶ “Climate Deniers Boost Pro-Trump Efforts To Cast Doubt On US Election” • In unusual remarks made during an earnings call, Continental Resources founder and executive chairman Howard Hamm referred to counting “all legal votes.” It is a phrase used by President Donald Trump to suggest that some votes cast in the 2020 election are not legitimate. [DeSmog]

¶ “Don’t Encourage Biden To Waste Political Capital” • If we want clean energy to succeed in the Biden administration, we have to (a) be realistic, and (b) fight like hell to keep him focused on it. Political capital is scarce, and climate change is a real threat, so letting various Democratic lobbies suck all of the oxygen out of the room is not an option. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbine (Energy.gov, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Ecologically Friendly Agriculture Doesn’t Compromise Crop Yields” • According to an international study comparing 42,000 examples of diversified and simplified agricultural practices, increasing diversity in crop production benefits biodiversity but does not compromise yields. The research, published in Science Advances, is based on 5,188 studies. [EurekAlert]

World:

¶ “Volkswagen And Greece Bringing Climate Neutral Mobility To A Mediterranean Island” • Volkswagen and Greece have signed an agreement recently that will bring clean energy, electric vehicles, and state of the art mobility solutions to the island of Astypalea, a 100 square kilometer slice of heaven located southeast of Athens. [CleanTechnica]

Astypalea (IMFJ, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “African Union Says Over 600 Million Africans Lack Electricity Despite Huge Renewable Energy Potential” • An African Union  Commissioner pointed out that over 600 million Africans lack access to electricity. This is despite the continent’s abundant renewable energy potential. Africa’s geothermal potential is estimated at 15 GW. [Macau Business]

¶ “Eviation Set To Deliver First 9-Passenger Electric Airplane In 2022” • The dream of commercially viable electric airplanes just keeps getting closer. Eviation, Israeli startup, began building its first electric plane, in 2017. The company says it plans to deliver the first of its bespoke airplanes to Cape Air, a regional carrier serving New England, in 2022. [CleanTechnica]

Eviation airplane (Eviation image)

¶ “UK Energy Plant To Use Liquid Air” • Work is beginning on what is thought to be the world’s first major plant to store energy in the form of liquid air. When wind farms produce surplus electricity, it is used to compress air to make it liquefy. It can be stored as a liquid at -196°C. When there is a peak in demand, the liquid air will boil to drive turbines. [BBC News]

¶ “UK Warning Highlights Energy Storage Importance To Renewables” • The UK, which has recently set a record for wind power meeting its demand, issued a security of supply alert earlier this week as wind power output was low due to calm weather. This event highlights the need of increased energy storage capacity. [OilPrice.com]

Offshore wind turbine (Phil Hollman, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Climate Crisis: More Than 100 Australian Businesses And Organisations Support Net-Zero Target” • More than a hundred businesses and organisations support a parliamentary bill asking the country’s chief scientist to produce clear opinion on whether the country should commit to cutting greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ “Several Renewable Energy Initiatives Passed In The 2020 Election” • Though the gains were not huge, the results of this year’s elections saw only wins for renewable energy. Two were a constitutional amendment in Nevada mandating 50% renewable energy by 2030 and a ballot measure in Columbus, Ohio, so residents can buy 100% renewable energy. [The Hill]

Nevada (Murray Foubister, CC-BY-SA-2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Biden Reaffirms Commitment To Rejoining Paris Agreement” • The US has officially left the Paris climate agreement, but its departure may be short lived. Former Vice President Joe Biden reaffirmed his commitment to immediately rejoining the accord if he wins the 2020 presidential election, and the vote count increasingly favors him. [EcoWatch]

¶ “NRC Fines TVA Over 2015 Watts Bar Unit 1 Restart” • The Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced 3 fines against Tennessee Valley Authority for violations at the Watts Bar plant. The fines total $903,471. The NRC also issued violations against two managers and a plant operator. The incident involves the restart of Unit 1 in 2015. [WDEF News 12]

Watts Bar (TVA Web Team, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “County Poised To Reach 100% Renewable Mark” • Moving Dane County, Wisconsin toward 100% renewable energy, County Executive Joe Parisi and Alliant Energy Vice President of Business Planning JP Brummond announced a partnership to develop around 140 acres of county-owned land in Cottage Grove into a 16.5 MW solar field. [hngnews.com]

¶ “Trump Replaces Republican Head Of Energy Regulatory Panel Who Supports Carbon Markets” • President Donald Trump demoted Neil Chatterjee, the Republican head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, after he promoted the use of carbon markets by US states to curb climate change. He replaced Chatterjee, with Republican James Danly. [Reuters]

Have an auspiciously unfolding day.

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November 6 Energy News

November 6, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Women As Solar Adopters Is An Unexplored Market Segment” • As the cost of hardware for solar systems declines, soft costs, including customer acquisition, are becoming more important.  Women drive the majority of consumer spending, but their potential as solar adopters is an such area of largely unexplored potential in the industry. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array (Image retrieved from NASA)

¶ “Ecocide: Should Killing Nature Be A Crime?” • Small island states like Vanuatu have long tried to persuade large powerful nations to voluntarily reduce their emissions, but change has been slow – so ambassador John Licht suggested that it might be time to change the law itself, with amendment to a treaty known as the Rome Statute. [BBC]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Foul-Smelling Fuel That Could Power Big Ships” • An enormous engine, three floors high, growls loudly at a test center in Copenhagen. Usually such an engine would be propelling a large ship across the sea, but this one is being prepared to take part in a ground-breaking project. Engineers want to see if they can make it run on liquid ammonia. [BBC]

Viking Energy (Eidesvik AS image)

¶ “SAE Publishes New Wireless Charging Standard” • Standards are important. Imagine if every manufacturer needed a specially shaped nozzle on the gas pump to fill the tank. That wouldn’t work well. And yet it is the norm for plugs for electric cars. Now, the Society of Automotive Engineers has published a standard for wireless charging. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Bentley Reveals Plan To Go Fully Electric By 2030” • Luxury carmaker Bentley unveiled plans to go fully electric by 2030. The brand will switch its model range to offer only plug-in hybrid or battery electric cars by 2026. Bentley also aims to be 100% carbon neutral across its manufacturing within a decade. EVs sales have tripled in the UK this year. [BBC]

Bentley (Alexander Migl, CC-BY-4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Canada Backs Nova Scotia Tidal Array” • The government of Canada is helping to finance the country’s first tidal energy array being developed by Sustainable Marine in Nova Scotia. A C$28.5 million (€18.4 million, $21,8 million) investment to help deliver the Plat-I floating tidal energy platform was unveiled by Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources. [reNEWS]

¶ “Vestas To Deliver 27 MW In Poland” • Vestas is to supply 27 MW of turbines to Polenergia for the Kostomloty wind farm in Poland. The project will have nine V136-3.45MW turbines in 3.0-MW power optimised mode on 122-metre towers, with a 30-year management service agreement. Commissioning is expected in the first quarter of 2022. [reNEWS]

Installing a turbine blade (Vestas image)

¶ “GWEC: Wind Power Market Set For Record Growth Despite Covid-19” • According to the latest market outlook published by GWEC Market Intelligence, 71.3 GW of wind power capacity is expected to be installed in 2020 despite the impacts of Covid-19. This is only a 6% reduction from pre-Covid forecasts. Originally, reductions of up to 20% were expected. [ESI Africa]

¶ “The Water Firm That’s Turning Land Into A Source Of Renewable Energy” • In flood-prone pastureland in Cumbria, 30,000 willow cuttings are rapidly transforming a soggy field into a source of renewable energy. United Utilities, a regional water firm, is growing the willow to sell the harvest to the renewable energy market. [Cumbria Crack]

Caroline Holden with the planted willow

US:

¶ “Paris Agreement Or Not, The USA Says Hi To Offshore Wind” • The American withdrawal from the Paris Accord may leave fossil fuel fans heaving a sigh of relief, but not for long. The US offshore wind industry has just begun to flex its muscles, and that’s just a taste of the massive shift in store for the domestic energy industry. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Construction Begins At Pflugerville Solar” • Recurrent Energy has begun construction of its 186-MW Pflugerville solar project near Austin, Texas. The Pflugerville project will have DuraTrack HZ V3 single-axis solar trackers from Array Technologies, which will installed by RP Construction Services. It is to be completed in the summer of 2021. [reNEWS]

Project under construction (RP Construction Services image)

¶ “Spotlight On Award Winner: NextEra Energy Resources – Iron Mountain Solar” • Information services company Iron Mountain joined with renewables developer Black Bear Energy and NextEra Energy Resources on a 5.4-MW (AC) solar project. Iron Mountain’s goal is to have 100% renewable electricity, 24/7, from local resources. [Environment + Energy Leader]

¶ “PNM Cutting Ties With Navajo-Region Coal-Fired Plant In 2024” • Public Service Co of New Mexico will exit from its ownership stake in the coal-burning Four Corners Power Plant  seven years earlier than first planned. The plant is set to retire by 2022. PNM is exiting its minority ownership of the plant early to reduce its costs. [Power Engineering Magazine]

Four Corners plant (NPS image, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Estée Lauder Reports Renewable Energy Goal Reached” • American multinational skincare, makeup, fragrance, and hair care products giant Estée Lauder Companies says it has achieved its 100% renewable electricity target for its direct operations globally. ELC committed to 100% renewables and joined the RE100 initiative in 2017. [Solar Quotes]

¶ “Governor Wants To Stop Spent Nuclear Fuel From Heading To West Texas” • Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that he opposes a plan to store spent nuclear waste in Andrews County, Texas. Abbott said he asked the NRC to deny a federal license for the proposed facility that would handle spent fuel from nuclear reactors. [KTSM 9 News]

Have a superly duper day.

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November 5 Energy News

November 5, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “The US Is Officially Out Of The Paris Climate Agreement. Here’s What Could Happen Next” • The US is the only country to officially exit the Paris climate accord. If Biden wins the election, the US could rejoin the agreement. If Trump wins, and does not reenter the agreement, experts expect to see the US sidelined from the international community. [CNN]

Pump jacks (Acroterion, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “GOP Congressional Wins Dash Hopes For Ambitious Climate Action Next Year” • Republican victories in Tuesday night’s election and a still-tight race between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden cast doubt over the chances of the US enacting significant measures to curb planet-heating emissions in the near-term. [HuffPost]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Brown Carbon ‘Tarballs’ That Hasten Glacial Melt Found In Himalayan Atmosphere” • Nearly 28% of particles collected from the air samples from a research station in the Himalaya-Tibetan Plateau were tarballs, a study found. Tarballs are small light-absorbing, particles formed by burning fuels that deposit on snow and ice. [Down To Earth Magazine]

Himalayas (Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “European Green Hydrogen Acceleration Center Launched” • EIT InnoEnergy launched an unprecedented effort to support the development of an annual €100 billion green hydrogen economy by 2025. The European Green Hydrogen Acceleration Center could help create half a million direct and indirect jobs across the green hydrogen value chain. [reNEWS]

¶ “Neoen Wins Bid To Build 300-MW Oz Battery” • Neoen has been awarded a 250-MW grid services contract with the Australian Energy Market Operator enabling it to proceed with the next phase of a planned 300-MW battery in Victoria. The Victorian Big Battery will help to “modernise and stabilise” the grid in Victoria. [reNEWS]

Building the Hornsdale Power Reserve (Neoen image)

¶ “Renewables Can Help Kosovo Break From Coal-Powered Past: IEEFA” • Strong performance by the first large-scale wind and solar farms in Kosovo shows the coal-dominated country can exploit falling renewables costs and green lending appetite to align better with a low-carbon European transition and reduce losses from stranded fossil fuel assets. [Saurenergy]

¶ “Renewables Cut Australia’s Emissions More Than Covid-19, Energy Analysis Finds” • An analysis shows wind and solar power pushing out fossil fuels cut Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions more than Covid-19 did. Renewable energy generated a record 26.5% of the electricity in the five states of the national energy market over a 12 month period. [The Guardian]

Solar power station (Richard Gifford, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Japan Faces Another Fukushima Disaster Crisis” • Ian Fairlie, an independent consultant on radioactivity in the environment, has made a detailed assessment of the Japanese government plan to dump contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant. He says in addition to tritium, caesium-137 and strontium-90, are also in the water. [PreventionWeb]

US:

¶ “Proterra Unveils High-Powered Charging Stations” • Proterra is well known as a pioneer in the electric bus market in the US. After years of being focused on that tech solution, the company has just expanded out into high-power charging stations aimed at serving the needs of large-scale vehicle fleets, such as mass transit operators. [CleanTechnica]

Proterra electric bus (Proterra image)

¶ “Michigan And Ohio EV Charging Programs Set For Approval” • Electric utilities in the Midwest are increasingly helping their customers drive on reliably cheaper and cleaner electricity. The Michigan Public Service Commission and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio are both working on proposals to help electrify vehicles in their states. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Kandi’s Small And Super Cheap K27 Cleared For California Roads” • Kandi America announced that it was certified by the California Air Resources Board. This is a cheap EV. With special promotional pricing, state incentive of $2,000, federal tax credit of $7,500, “eligible buyers in California can drive off with the K27 for just $7,999.” [CleanTechnica]

Kandi K27 (Kandi image)

¶ “Central Maine Power Energy Corridor Project Nearly Ready To Begin” • A renewable energy project that will be built by Avangrid, Inc  and Central Maine Power Company to bring hydropower from Quebec to Maine and other parts of New England has received one of the last permits it needs before construction can begin. [pressherald.com]

¶ “Nevada Voters Seal Renewable Energy Goals In Their State Constitution” • As was widely expected, Nevada voters approved Question 6 on the ballot, which amends the state constitution to mandate that the Nevada’s electricity providers shift to at least 50% renewable energy by 2030, according to the New York Times and the Associated Press. [Vox]

Wind turbines in Nevada (Famartin, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “East Brunswick Residents Vote In Favor Of Clean Energy Program” • A strong majority of East Brunswick residents voted in favor of a ballot question to create a township-wide renewable energy aggregation program. The vote count, as of 8 p.m. on November 3, shows the ballot question was supported by more than 70% of voters. [centraljersey.com]

¶ “NJ Transit Chooses Renewable Energy Over Previously Planned Fossil Fuel Plant” • NJ Transit has put the axe to a long-planned natural gas-fired plant, choosing instead to pursue a renewable energy microgrid that uses clean electricity sources and battery storage. The cancelled natural gas power plant was to cost $546 million. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

Have a superbly fun day.

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November 4 Energy News

November 4, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Fate Of Climate Crisis Hangs On Election As US Exits Paris Agreement” • On November 4, the US became the only country in the world refusing to participate in global climate efforts, with the fate of the crisis hanging on the still uncalled presidential election. Trump’s challenger, Joe Biden, would immediately rejoin the agreement. [The Guardian]

Shell refinery in Texas (Gregory Bull | AP)

¶ “Shell’s Climate Poll On Twitter Backfires Spectacularly” • A climate poll on Twitter posted by Shell asked: “What are you willing to change to help reduce emissions?” It got 199 votes. When US Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez posted a tweet saying “I’m willing to hold you accountable for lying about climate change…,” it was liked 350,000 times. [The Guardian]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Spanish, Dutch Collaboration Designs ‘Smart SOV'” •  Spanish outfit Marcelo Penna Engineering and Dutch offshore specialist Safeway joined forces to design an intelligent service operation vessel. It will have “zero impact bumpering,” a “hover mode,” and roll compensation capability, so it can remain at a wind farm, even in the roughest sea conditions. [reNEWS]

New service operation vessel (Safeway image)

World:

¶ “The Young Norwegians Taking Their Own Country To Court Over Oil” • Despite Norway’s green credentials, its state wealth is due to its huge oil exports. Norwegian youths are challenging what they describe as a double standard in court. The battle will come to a head on November 4 at the final hearing for the issue in Norway’s Supreme Court. [BBC]

¶ “Assam Fire: India’s Longest Burning Gas Blaze Is Destroying Lives” • A blaze that started on 9 June after a gas blowout has raged for about 150 days, the longest time such fire has burned in India. Three people have died trying to contain it. The fire has forced 3,000 people in neighboring villages to leave their homes and take shelter in makeshift camps. [BBC]

Gas fire in Assam (Getty Images)

¶ “Volvo Cars Commits To Developing Its Own EV Motors” • A few years ago, Volvo announced that all new Volvos introduced after 2019 would be electrified, a promise it has made good on so far. Now, Volvo has announced significant investments in the in‑house design and development of electric motors for its next generation cars and SUVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Powerhouse Telemark By Snøhetta Produces More Energy Than It Consumes” • Snøhetta, an architecture and design firm based in Oslo, collaborating with Skanska & Asplan Viak, created an innovative 11 story office building in southern Norway. The news is that the 8,500 square meter office building Powerhouse Telemark is energy positive. [CleanTechnica]

Powerhouse Telemark (Credit: Snøhetta)

¶ “India’s Telangana Approves Ground-Breaking EV Policy” • As part of building back better from the economic downturn of Covid-19, the state of Telangana approved a new EV policy. It aims to drive investment in the EV market, create jobs, ramp-up shared mobility, decrease air pollution, and help achieve India’s climate goals. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Total Inks 83-MW French Solar Deal” • Total has signed an agreement with Belgian minerals producer Lhoist to co-develop solar PV power plants totaling 83 MW at 11 of Lhoist’s sites in France. The power plants will collectively feature more than 194,000 PV panels. Total Quadran will build and operate the power plants. [reNEWS]

Solar plant (Total image)

¶ “Mainstream Partners On 500-MW Vietnamese Offshore” • Mainstream Renewable Power has signed an agreement with Advance Information Technologies Corporation, a Vietnamese company, to co-develop a 500-MW wind farm off the coast of Vietnam. The project received a site survey license earlier this year, and has conducted a feasibility study. [reNEWS]

¶ “Wind, Solar Costs Fall By 10% In 2019” • Wind and solar costs declined by more than 10% in 2019, according to Capgemini’s latest World Energy Markets Observatory report, which observed “consistently lower costs being recorded month after month.” Also, the costs of lithium ion batteries used for EVs and energy storage decreased by 19% in 2019. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Johanna Montoy | Unsplash)

¶ “Defying Europe Once Again, Belarus Plugs Astravets Nuclear Power Plant Into National Grid” • The Russian-built Astravets nuclear plant is said to have safety issues. It is less than 50 km from the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, and after it was connected to Belarus’ national grid, Lithuania stopped importing electricity from Belarus. [Emerging Europe]

US:

¶ “Ford Will Build Electric Cars That Real People Can Actually Afford” • In an obvious swipe at General Motors, whose first battery electric vehicle to feature its Ultium batteries will be a $112,000 Hummer, Ford CEO Jim Farley told analysts on a conference call the electric vehicles coming from Ford will be cars ordinary people can buy. [CleanTechnica]

Ford Mustang Mach E SUV (Ford image)

¶ “US Officially Exits Paris Climate Accord” • The US has left the Paris climate accord, officially. The withdrawal, set in motion with a letter from President Trump exactly one year ago, caps a long-promised move from the president and leaves the US as the only country in the world to withdraw from the landmark Paris climate agreement. [The Hill]

¶ “UC San Diego Gets $39 Million Grant For Renewable Energy Testbed” • The University of California, San Diego, was awarded a $39 million National Science Foundation grant for a testbed to help universities, utilities, and industry leaders gain a better understanding of how to integrate renewable energy into the power grid. [American School & University]

Have charmingly uplifting day.

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November 3 Energy News

November 3, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Louisiana Politricks Almost Silenced NOLA Voters” • New Orleans is without power since Hurricane Zeta hit, and eleven polling places have no backup power. Our secretary of state hurls insults and makes senseless claims about political points while voters worry about whether they will be able to cast ballots. I find this incredibly alarming. [CleanTechnica]

New Orleans (Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

¶ “The Economist Endorses Joseph R Biden” • “Socialism” is a word that scares some people, especially people who came from socialist or communist countries decades ago. Sadly, it appears that such people are conflating topics and miss the fact that Donald Trump is pushing us much more in the direction of the authoritarian government. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “President Trump Has Majorly Damaged ExxonMobil” • Given the US president’s pro fossil fuel behavior, the question is simple: How come he has done major damage to ExxonMobil and Big Oil? I can’t answer that directly, but I can show how severe the damage has been. ExxonMobil has performed terribly through the 45th presidency. [CleanTechnica]

Exxon (azrainman, CC-BY-2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Geoengineering – Can We Science Our Way Out Of The Mess We Have Made?” • Geoengineering may be needed, despite the risks. Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at the Columbia Law School, told The New York Times, “I liken geoengineering to chemotherapy for the planet: If all else is failing, you try it.” [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “UK Onshore Could Double By 2030 And Hit 30 GW” • The UK’s total capacity of onshore wind could grow to 30 GW by 2030, more than double the UK’s current operational capacity of 13,600 MW, according to new research from RenewableUK. If everything in the current pipeline gets built, wind capacity will reach 30,361 MW by the end of 2029. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Keith Arkins | Renewable Energy Systems)

¶ “Kenya’s ‘First’ Tesla Model X Creates Buzz” • Kenya is one of the best places to drive EVs. Kenya’s grid is very green thanks to awesome geothermal, wind, utility-scale solar, and hydropower plants. All of these make up 93% of Kenya’s generation capacity. EVs have been starting to take off in Kenya. And now, the first Tesla Model X has arrived. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Wins Norwegian Prize” • Siemens Gamesa is supply 34 turbines to Akershus Energi and KLP’s Odal wind farm in Norway. The kr1 billion (€90 million) deal covers delivery of 5.0-145 turbines that have been specially adapted for the project, the developers said. The project is planned to be completed in 2021 at a cost of kr2 billion to build. [reNEWS]

Siemens Gamesa wind turbine (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “Plan To Run Power Cable Between Australia And Indonesia Scrapped As Giant Pilbara Power Project Takes Shape” • Running a power line from Australia to Indonesia seems like a good idea, but those behind it looked at the numbers and found the most economical way of exporting Northern Australia’s green energy is by boat. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “SPR Delivers ‘Black Start’ From Onshore Wind” • In what is believed to be  global first, ScottishPower Renewables used energy from an onshore windfarm to re-energise part of the power grid. With the successful ‘black start,’ the 69-MW Dersalloch windfarm proved that wind power can restore a ‘blacked-out’ section of the grid. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (SPR image)

¶ “GE Renewable Energy To Support The Development Of Pumped Hydro Storage Solutions In India” • GE Renewable Energy announced that it was selected by Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited to supply and commission four 125-MW fixed speed pumped storage turbines for the new Kundah hydropower plant in India. [pv magazine India]

¶ “Typhoon Goni: The Year’s Strongest Storm Slams Into The Philippines” • While the US Gulf Coast sets records for storms, the Pacific Ocean is dealing with its own superlative weather worries. Typhoon Goni slammed into the Philippines on Sunday with peak winds of nearly 200 mph, killing at least 20 people and displacing more than 350,000. [Grist]

Typhoon Goni (Credit: NRL | NASA | NOAA)

¶ “North Sea Wind And Hydrogen Offer UK Jobs Bonanza” • By 2050, the UK North Sea could deliver £20 billion a year in gross value added from offshore wind and hydrogen leading to a net increase of 40,000 jobs, a report by the Policy Exchange think-tank says. It said jobs would increase despite the decline in the North Sea oil and gas industry. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “How Texas Can Lead The Global EV Transformation” • The Lone Star State made headlines last weekend after a noisy, fossil-fueled convoy of Trump supporters stalled traffic on I-35 and attacked a Biden campaign bus. But the latest move by the state’s grid operator suggests that the quiet hum of EVs will dominate Texas roads in the future. [CleanTechnica]

EV charging (NREL image)

¶ “Trump’s Attacks On Climate Science Are Coming To Fruition” • “If you vote for Biden, he’ll listen to the scientists,” Donald Trump told a crowd of thousands at a campaign rally in Carson City, Nevada. Trump takes pride in dismissing the advice of federal scientists, whether on the handling of the pandemic or the risks of climate change. [Type Investigations]

¶ “Berkshire Hathaway Energy Buys Dominion Energy Gas And Storage” • Berkshire Hathaway Energy has purchased Dominion Energy’s natural gas transmission and storage business, exclusive of Questar Pipeline Group. Officially the price was $8 billion, including about $2.7 billion in cash and assumption of about $5.3 billion in debt. [Energy Digital]

Have a fantastically functioning day.

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November 2 Energy News

November 2, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “The US Election Is A Vote On Climate Change For The Whole World” • The climate crisis has become a key issue not just for American voters in this US election, but people everywhere. The next president’s actions during his term in office will have a profound impact on the whether the world is able to avert the worst effects of climate change. [CNN]

Silverado Fire (Patrick T Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images)

¶ “Who Will Create The Most Jobs For Pennsylvania, Biden Or Trump?” • The current temporary occupant of the Oval Office likes to snarl about making America great again, but instead he is dragging America backward to a hundred years ago when John D. Rockefeller was creating the foundations for the US oil and gas industries. Those jobs are obsolete. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Could Scotland Ever Be ‘The Saudi Arabia Of Renewables’?” • In a year, Glasgow will host COP26, so BBC Scotland is looking at how renewable energy has grown. As first minister, Alex Salmond said Scotland could be the “Saudi Arabia of renewables.” In 2009, 27.2% of Scotland’s electricity was generated by renewable energy sources. In 2019, it was 90.1%. [BBC News]

Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm (SSE Renewables)

¶ “An $11 Trillion Global Hydrogen Energy Boom Is Coming. Here’s What Could Trigger It” • Engineers are working on a giant cavity in a geological formation known as a salt dome, a huge underground mass of salt, 130 miles south of Salt Lake City. Filled with hydrogen, the cavity could become one of the largest renewable energy reservoirs in the world. [CNBC]

¶ “Ignoring Science Doesn’t Solve The Problem, Says Climate Scientist” • As the Gulf Coast rebuilds from record hurricanes and wildfires rage in the West, climate change is already causing pain. But does it get the attention it deserves? Prof Drew Shindell of Duke University and Hari Sreenivasan discuss links between science and policy. [PBS NewsHour]

Lightning (Sean McAuliffe, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Tesla Model 3 With New LFP Battery Now Supercharges Even Faster?” • Initial supercharging results suggest that a Tesla Model 3 powered by a lithium iron phosphate (LFP, or LiFePO₄) battery can supercharge faster than the version with the nickel battery. This looks promising and is not unexpected. Charging times fell from 62 minutes to 42. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Commission On The Future Of Mobility Announced” • A group of business leaders and public policy experts is launching the Commission On The Future Of Mobility to grapple with the thorny questions that surround the future of transportation, including self driving and electric vehicles, according to a report by Reuters. [CleanTechnica]

May Mobility shuttle (Credit: May Mobility)

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Powered By 100% Renewable Electricity Worldwide” • Siemens Gamesa is now powered worldwide by electricity from 100% renewable sources. Its annual electricity consumption is over 180,000 MWh, so the company is saving more than 80,000 tons of CO₂ emissions annually, doubling the savings achieved the previous year. [SteelGuru]

¶ “Considering Climate In Energy Investment” • Investors are pressuring companies to embrace clean energy. Financial houses and banks are ending their support for fossil fuels, directing their money toward renewable energy and technologies that can help with climate change. Even some oil and gas majors are moving to invest in renewables. [POWER magazine]

Siemens Gamesa’s 14-MW turbine (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “South Australia’s Government Contracts For Energy To Advance Cultana Solar Farm And Playford Utility Battery” • The South Australian Government secured construction of the 280-MW Cultana Solar Farm near Whyalla, and the 100 MW Playford Utility Battery near Port Augusta, by signing a 10-year supply contract with ZEN Energy. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Renewables Overtake Coal And Gas For First Time In Western Australia” • The combined output of wind and solar and other renewable energy sources have overtaken the principal fossil fuel sources of coal and gas generation in Western Australia for the first time in October. Three large renewable projects have been built in the state recently. [RenewEconomy]

Warradarge wind farm (Bright Energy Investments image)

¶ “Old Nuclear Plants Keep Westinghouse Busy” • It’s not the sexy parts of Westinghouse Electric Co that make a profit for Canadian private equity firm Brookfield Business Partners, which acquired Westinghouse out of bankruptcy in 2018. It’s the valve tightening and cement crack inspections at hundreds of old nuclear power plants. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

US:

¶ “Electrify America Goes Commercial” • Electrify America has partnered with corporations like Walmart and Love’s to install ultrafast charging stations for their customers. Now it is installing charging stations for the “utilities, fleet owners and operators, government entities, and businesses seeking to manage their own network of chargers.” [CleanTechnica]

Solar powered charging station (Electrify America image)

¶ “Joseph Biden Aims To Improve US EV Tax Credit, Restore It For Tesla And GM” • If elected president of the US, Joseph R Biden would do a few things for the electric vehicle industry. He has talked about helping to get a massive number of EV charging stations around the country, but he also has some tax proposals on the wish list. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Utah Cities Pursue 100% Net-Renewable Electricity” • Twenty-three Utah cities and counties have resolved to adopt 100% net-renewable electricity (from solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, and demand management) in their communities by 2030 through the Community Renewable Energy Act of 2019. This represents about 37% of Utah’s electricity load. [Utah Policy]

Have magnificently jovial day.

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November 1 Energy News

November 1, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “You’ve Got Cheap Data, How About Cheap Power Too?” • The original iPhone was only introduced in 2007, and since then it has become ubiquitous. Virtually everyone, everywhere has a smartphone and uses it for hours every day. The smartphone’s success was down to a unique convergence of technologies. And green energy will grow similarly. [BBC]

Smartphone (Getty Images)

¶ “Trump’s Failure To Save Coal Accompanied By Failure To Help Coal Workers Find New Careers” • I think it’s pretty clear that Donald Trump has not saved the US coal industry. And that’s also evident from the fact that he has hardly gone close to the topic in 2020. But also, he did not do anything to get new jobs for the coal mining workforce. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “It Is Time For WA To Stop Dragging Back Our Nation On Climate Change” • As Western Australia’s largest trading partners commit to carbon neutrality, so do its mining companies. Solar and wind are becoming the cheapest forms of energy in history. Renewable energy has benefits flowing, with an incredible wave of investment, innovation and jobs. [WAtoday]

Wind turbines in Western Australia

¶ “Using Less Energy Is the Most Renewable Energy There Is” • Pittsburgh, once a steel town, is very public about breaking free from its reputation. The city is wants to let go of its coal-powered industrial past and today’s fracked gas. In the absence of action to mitigate climate change, the city’s best hope may lie in grassroots organizing in neighborhoods. [Sierra Magazine]

¶ “The Pandemic And The Economy Top Voter Concerns, But There’s A Bigger Issue” • “We have done an incredible job environmentally,” President Trump said in the last presidential debate. That’s like Genghis Khan saying, “We’ve done really good work in Eurasia.” UCLA Professor Stephanie Pincetl has a more sober view of climate change. [Los Angeles Times]

Stephanie Pincetl (Francine Orr | Los Angeles Times)

World:

¶ “French Government Puts US Gas Imports on Ice” • A move by one of Europe’s largest energy companies shows both markets and governments are beginning factor methane emissions into business decisions. France’s Engie ended a commitment to a long-term $7 billion liquefied natural gas import contract with NextDecade Corp. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewable Energy Start-Up Working On Sustainable Solution Of Stubble Burning” • A renewable energy start-up, Verve, works on ways to convert stubble into a substantial source of income and energy for farmers in parts of India. In a video, co-founder and CEO Suvrat Khanna talked about a solution to a cause of severe pollution. [Yahoo India News]

Burning rice stubble (Greg Willis, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “North Korea’s Yongbyon Complex: Activity Picks Up” • Images of the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center taken by a commercial satellite on October 27 indicate increased activity on construction and repair from flood damage. Also, what appears to be smoke is observed coming from one of the buildings near the uranium enrichment plant. [38 North]

¶ “India’s NTPC Signs $482 Million Loan Agreement With Japan For Renewable Expansion” • India’s largest energy conglomerate NTPC Ltd has entered into a foreign currency loan agreement with the Japanese Government’s Japan Bank for International Co-operation. JBIC issued the ¥50 billion ($482 million) funding under the bank’s GREEN initiative. [Mercom India]

Coal-burning power plant

US:

¶ “Swing State Arizona Grapples With Deadly Heat” • Even with the pandemic and the economic catastrophe it triggered, polls find that Americans increasingly cite the climate emergency as a major concern. That’s especially true in regions like the Phoenix area, where the crisis is already having deadly effects. Climate change has become a voter issue. [The Guardian]

¶ “You Can Now Buy An Electric Motorcoach” • Lightning eMotors, which was previously called Lightning Systems, has been electrifying all manner of medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicles for years, and now it’s doing so with motorcoaches. It is working with ABC Companies and ABC Companies will be the one selling the electric motorcoach. [CleanTechnica]

Electric motorcoach (Lightning eMotors)

¶ “This Energy Company Is Leading The Way To A Green Future” • NextEra Energy has more development projects in its renewable energy pipeline than the entire existing production capacity of any company in the world. Now, its management has its sights on the next frontier: The potentially massive green hydrogen market. [Motley Fool]

¶ “Biden Campaign Appeals To Sportsmen And Women With New Ad; Highlights Decline In Ruffed Grouse, Attacks Trump On Forest Service Budget Cuts” • One of Joe Biden’s new campaign ads clearly aims to appeal to a group of people who are largely Republicans. And it can point to multiple members of the GOP who endorse Biden. [The Dominion Post]

Ruffed grouse (West Virginia Department of Commerce)

¶ “REV2020 – Power To Renew” • The REV Conference has long been the leading renewable energy event in northern New England. On Nov 18 through Dec 9, Renewable Energy  Vermont will bring experts from across the renewable energy sector online for in-depth discussion of the policies and technology driving the energy transition. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Proposed Geothermal Plant Draws Fire In Nevada Desert Town” • Renewable energy power plants have their place, but not in Gerlach, Nevada, many residents say. Gerlach is about 100 miles north of Reno. The Gerlach Geothermal Development Project would add two new 24-mW power plants in an area about a mile out of town. [US News & World Report]

Have a gloriously fine day.

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October 31 Energy News

October 31, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “How Joe Biden May Have Outmaneuvered Donald Trump On Energy, Climate, And The Economic Recovery” • President Trump thought he had hit the jackpot during the debate when his opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, declared that he would “transition away from the oil industry.” His reaction points to a basic misunderstanding of the issue. [TIME]

Oil refinery (Patrick Hendry, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “New Satellites Can Pinpoint Methane Leaks To Help Us Beat Climate Change” • Dial down methane, and you’ll see results by the time Greta Thunberg can get a PhD. “Dramatically reducing or even zeroing industry CH₄ emissions should be a no-brainer,” says Gabrielle Pétron, a NOAA affiliate research scientist. New satellites can help with that. [Popular Science]

¶ “How Apple Tech Is Used In The Renewable Energy Industry” • During Apple’s Q4 earnings call, management mentioned iOS device deployment at Vestas. iPad and iPhone apps being used in manufacture and warehousing. Apple iPhone apps are being used by maintenance technicians in the field. They are even used by crane operators. [Computerworld]

Wind turbines (Anna Jiménez Calaf, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Minesto Advances Faroe Islands Tidal Kite” • Swedish marine energy developer Minesto is working to commission its DG100 tidal power project in the Faroe Islands, having verified the system’s most important operational functions. Minesto said it has also verified procedures for safely installing and recovering the power plant from the sea. [reNEWS]

¶ “Eco Wave Power Enters MOU Regarding Wave Energy Array In Vietnam” • Eco Wave Power announced that it had signed an agreement with MSMART Future Technology on development of a 50-MW wave energy array in Vietnam. After an in-depth feasibility study, the companies will work on a joint venture in Vietnam. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Wave energy array (Courtesy of Eco Wave Power)

¶ “Scots And UK governments Urged To Back BiFab” • Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown called on the Scottish and UK governments to work together to agree financial guarantees for fabricator BiFab to cover the supply of foundations to the 450-MW Neart na Gaoithe offshore wind farm. Brown said a failure to do so would be a “dereliction of duty.” [reNEWS]

¶ “Enel Commissions 140 MW Of South African Wind” • Enel Green Power has commissioned the 140-MW Nxuba wind farm in the Eastern Cape region of South Africa. Nxuba is one of five projects awarded to Enel Green Power South Africa in the fourth round of the country’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Enel Green Power image)

US:

¶ “Chevrolet Electric Connect And Cruise Package To Debut At SEMA 360” • Do you have a great old car with a bad old engine? The performance people at Chevrolet see the value of engine swaps and created a whole new business unit called Connect and Cruise with its mission to make converting a gas-burner to EV as close to plug and play as possible. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Energy At Largest Air Force Base in US “Suddenly” Drops 35%” • The Commander-in-Chief has written off climate change, but the US Armed Services sure haven’t. In the latest development, the US Air Force is tooting its own horn for ripping the title of #1 energy consumer off the nameplate of the sprawling Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. [CleanTechnica]

Tinker Air Force Base (credit: Paul Shirk | US Air Force)

¶ “LS Power Announces Investment In Renewable Gas Projects” • LS Power announced a major investment in renewable natural gas projects as part of its new renewable fuels platform. It is partnering with The Landfill Group, LLC to develop and operate a portfolio of landfill gas-to-renewable natural gas projects across the US. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Shakeup For 720-MW Nuclear SMR Project As More Cities Withdraw Participation” • Eight cities have dropped shares in the Carbon Free Power Project, a 720-MWe NuScale Power small modular reactor project proposed by Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems. Four cities dropped the project despite a DOE promise of $1.4 billion in support. [POWER magazine]

Have a uniquely restorative day.

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October 30 Energy News

October 30, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Kids Get Parents To Buy Electric Cars” • Kids are quite often the reason their parents buy a Tesla. They are so enthusiastic about the cars that they strongly encourage their parents to go into a Tesla store, test drive a car, and then buy a car of course. What I didn’t realize is that kids are getting their parents to buy other electric cars as well. [CleanTechnica]

Peugeot sales kid (Image courtesy of Peugeot)

World:

¶ “Europeans Bought More Electrified Vehicles Than Diesels In September For The First Time In History” • In Europe, people bought more EVs, including hybrids, than diesel vehicles in September, according to JATO Dynamics. JATO noted that new car sales dropped by 29% during the first 9 months of 2020 in Europe, and diesels were hit hard. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Bushfire Inquiry Says Australia Must Prepare For ‘Alarming Outlook'” • Australia must prepare for an “alarming” future of simultaneous and worsening natural disasters, says a long-awaited report into the country’s bushfires. A royal commission inquiry examined Australia’s Black Summer bushfires of 2019-20, along wiith other disasters. [BBC]

Observing a bushfire (Lucy Baranowski)

¶ “Renewables Dominate As Demand Shows Strong Recovery Across Europe” • In Europe, with demand increasing, renewable power was the largest source of electricity generation for the sixth quarter in a row. Renewables provided 40.3% of the total electricity generated in Q3 while fossil fuels produced 35.2% and nuclear 24.4%. [Power Engineering International]

¶ “Fully Electrifying Delivery Vehicles: Insights from Shenzhen” • To help find air pollution solutions, Rocky Mountain Institute is working in the City of Shenzhen, a world leader in the adoption of EVs. It has evaluated the policies and market dynamics that have led to the adoption of more than 70,000 electric logistics vehicles in the city. [CleanTechnica]

BYD electric buses in Shenzhen (Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

¶ “World’s Biggest Power Producer Buys $750 Million Wind Project In NSW” • Engie, the world’s biggest independent power producer, is reviving its push into the Australia renewable energy market with the purchase of development rights to the Hills of Gold wind project in northern New South Wales. The wind farm will have a capacity of 420 MW. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Vattenfall To Start Klaverspoor Build” • Next month, Swedish developer Vattenfall will start building its 34-MW Klaverspoor wind farm in the Netherlands. The €45m project is one of five to be built along the country’s A16 motorway. The project was given the green light to proceed in July after a legal challenge against the development was overturned. [reNEWS]

Nordex wind turbine (Nordex image)

US:

¶ “Zeta Leaves Over 2.1 Million Customers Without Power” • At least six people have died and more than 2.1 million customers are without power after former Hurricane Zeta hit the Gulf Coast and rushed inland. Zeta made landfall in Louisiana as a Category 2 storm before weakening to a post-tropical cyclone. It is the 27th storm of the Atlantic hurricane season. [CNN]

¶ “Trump Fires NOAA’s Chief Scientist In Fear Of 5th National Climate Assessment” • Craig McLean, NOAA’s chief scientist, has been forced out from the position by Erik Noble, a former White House policy adviser who had just been appointed NOAA’s chief of staff. At issue was NOAA policy banning manipulating research or presenting ideologically driven findings. [CleanTechnica]

Wildfire at Glacier National Park (NOAA image, public domain)

¶ “Tesla Expanding Into Solar Microgrids And Virtual Power Plants” • Elon Musk says he expects Tesla’s energy business will one day be equal to or exceed its automotive business. That day may be some time in the future but the company is certainly expanding its solar and battery operations rapidly, both for grid scale and residential applications. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Developer Greenlights 250-MW Texas Solar” • North American developer Skyline Renewables, backed by investment house Ardian, is to finance and manage the construction of a 250-MW solar project in Central West Texas. The Galloway solar project, acquired from 8minute Solar Energy, is scheduled for operation by end of 2021. [reNEWS]

Solar panels (Image: APPA | Unsplash)

¶ “Three US States Form Offshore Alliance” • The governors of Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia are making their states a hub for the offshore wind industry. They formed the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Regional Transformative Partnership for Offshore Wind Energy Resources (Smart-Power), to advance offshore wind projects in the region. [reNEWS]

¶ “America Wind Toasts Record Breaking Third Quarter” • The US wind industry installed nearly 2 GW of capacity in the third quarter of 2020, setting a record for third-quarter additions and bringing total capacity to nearly 112 GW, the American Wind Energy Association reported. Installations in 2020 so far are up 72% on the first nine months of 2019. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (AWEA image)

¶ “Arizona Power Must Come From 100% Carbon-Free Sources By 2050, Regulators Decide” • Arizona utility regulators, in a split vote, approved a plan for utilities to get all of their energy from carbon-free sources like solar and nuclear energy by 2050. The state’s electric utilities are to get half their power from renewable energyin 2035. [AZCentral.com]

¶ “Nearly 30 US States See Renewables Generate More Power Than Either Coal Or Nuclear” • Renewables generated 20.8% of US electricity during the first eight months of 2020, ahead of 19.4% from nuclear and 18.4% from coal. Nearly 30 US states have seen renewable energy resources generate more electricity than either coal or nuclear in that time. [Energy Live News]

Have an enchantingly beautiful day.

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October 29 Energy News

October 29, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Memo To Trump, Biden And Political Pundits: Texas Is Not All About Oil And Gas Anymore” • When people think of Texas, they often picture “Big Oil.” But from demographics and politics to economics and culture, Texas is changing. If you think it’s still all about oil, you don’t know Texas. Increasingly, renewable energy has an important presence in the state. [USA TODAY]

Wind farm in Texas (Leaflet, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Tremendously Cheap Solar, Wind, And Batteries Are To Transform Society, RethinkX Forecasts” • The ongoing theme in the energy industry is a sharp drop in solar power, wind power, and battery prices. But we ain’t seen nothin’ yet, according to RethinkX. And cheap clean energy doesn’t just mean somewhat lower costs. It means disruption. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Investing In Nuclear Energy Over Renewable Source May Be Wrong: Here’s Why” • To the casual observer, nuclear power and renewables might appear to be equally desirable for cutting CO₂ emissions. But in fact, there are major differences. A recent paper in Nature Energy suggests that nuclear power is less effective than renewable energy. [Business Standard]

Hope Creek nuclear plant (Peretzp, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “South Australia Got 100% Of Its Electricity From Solar For One Hour” • People used to think solar PVs could not provide more than 5% of our electricity. Now, South Australia gets more than 20% of its electricity from rooftop systems, and nearly 70% from all types of wind and solar. For one hour this month, 100% of its electricity came from solar PVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “China’s Forest Carbon Uptake Underestimated” • China’s aggressive policy of planting trees is likely playing a significant role in tempering its climate impacts. An international team identified two areas where the scale of CO₂ absorption by new forests was underestimated. They account for a little over 35% of China’s entire land carbon “sink”, the team says. [BBC]

Logs in China (SPL image)

¶ “The UK Is Spending 32 Times More On Fossil Fuels Than On Renewables: New Report” • The UK government is squandering an opportunity to move towards a zero carbon future by putting billions of stimulus cash into fossil fuels and all but neglecting renewable energy, according to a major report from the Finnish power firm Wärtsilä Energy. [Forbes]

¶ “Global Financial Institutions Plan For Major Oil And Gas Lending Exits” • Financial institutions have begun restricting oil and gas funding. A report by the Institute for Energy Economics & Financial Analysis says over 100 globally significant financial institutions have announced their divestment from coal, and 50 are limiting funding for oil and gas. [CleanTechnica]

Oil sands (NOAA image)

¶ “Bunnings Targets 100% Renewable Energy By 2025” • The Australian hardware and DIY product supplier, Bunnings, has pledged to power its stores with 100% renewable energy by 2025, as the Wesfarmers-owned retailer ramps up energy efficiencies. Nonprofits such as Greenpeace Australia have welcomed the news and praised the company. [ChannelNews]

¶ “Danish Solar Giant Gets Greenlight” • European Energy is to start construction of a 300-MW solar farm in Denmark. It will be the biggest facility of its kind in Northern Europe. Construction is expected to proceed in early 2021 and grid connection should take place before the end of that year. The facility will be located close to planned future data centers. [reNEWS]

Renewable energy (European Energy image)

US:

¶ “Cleantech Creates Higher Paying Jobs – Millions Of Them” • One of the really great side benefits of climate action is that it creates a lot of well paying jobs. But how many jobs? And how well do they pay? E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), the American Council on Renewable Energy, and the Clean Energy Leadership Institute have some answers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Third Hurricane Hitting Louisiana, Fifth Major Storm, Seventh Evacuation – As Election Day Nears” • In Louisiana, it’s another day, another hurricane. Now, it’s Zeta, bringing mostly rain to my neighborhood but much more damage to the New Orleans area. Tuesday is Election Day and hurricanes tend to knock out power for weeks. [CleanTechnica]

Hurricane Zeta (Reshaud, via Twitter)

¶ “USA Rare Earth Commits To A 100% Renewable Energy Plan For Round Top Mountain Project” • USA Rare Earth LLC will use the excellent solar resources of  West Texas in its committed plan to power its operations at its Round Top Heavy Rare Earth & Critical Mineral Project in Hudspeth County, Texas with 100% renewable energy. [Energy and Mines]

¶ “Iowa’s Largest Solar Power Plant Nearly Finished” • Iowa is getting its largest solar power park to date. Renewable energy company Clēnera and RES (Renewable Energy Systems) teamed up on the 127.5-MW Wapello Solar project. It will make enough electricity for about 45,000 homes. The electricity will be sold to the Central Iowa Power Cooperative. [CleanTechnica]

Building a PV array (Photo courtesy of Clēnera)

¶ “Ørsted Starts Construction Of 298-MW Nebraska Wind Project” • Ørsted is expanding its presence in the Southwest Power Pool by acquiring the 298-MW Haystack Wind project in Wayne County, Nebraska. Situated adjacent to Ørsted’s 230-MW Plum Creek wind farm, Haystack will connect to the existing SPP North system. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “New Report Shows ‘Explosive Growth’ of Renewable Energy Technologies Across the US” • Compared to 2010, in 2019 the US produced 30 times as much solar power and over three as much the wind energy, and it had 20 times as much utility scale battery storage, a report from the Environment New Jersey Research & Policy Center shows. [Environment + Energy Leader]

Have a tranfiguratively pleasant day.

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October 28 Energy News

October 28, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Fraunhofer To Develop Battery Inverter For Whole-Area UPS And Renewables Integration” • Fraunhofer and its industrial and academic partners are developing a battery inverter that can be grid connected under normal operation but can use renewables generators within its area to form an island grid, for whole-area uninterrupted power supply. [pv magazine Australia]

Renewable energy (Image: Kenueone | wikimedia)

¶ “Trapping Light Inside Solar Cells Can Boost Solar Panel Output By 125%” • Researchers at the University of York, working with the NOVA University of Lisbon, say they found a way to boost solar cell output by up to 125%. The research permits use of much thinner slices of PV silicon to produce the same amount of electricity as the thicker PVs used today. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Tel Aviv-Yafo Will Charge Electric Buses Invisibly From The Road” • Wireless electric vehicle keeps improving, and all of the concerns about efficiency and may drift away. The city of Tel Aviv-Yafo partnered with ElectReon and Dan Bus Company to implement an “electric road” pilot project. It will charge buses along 600 meters of a 2 km road. [CleanTechnica]

Wireless construction (Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality image, cropped)

¶ “Tesla Megapack Batteries Coming To New South Wales” • New South Wales has begun embracing renewable energy in a big way, having recently introduced two renewable energy zones, one north of Sydney and another to the west of it. The first of the state’s big batteries is scheduled to be installed at the Wallgrove substation in western Sydney. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “London’s Mayor Takes On Heavy Vehicle Scrappage To Fight Air Pollution” • The mayor of London is launching a heavy vehicle scrappage scheme to help reduce air pollution. It will give out grants of £15,000 to scrap a heavy vehicles and replace them with a compliant vehicles or to retrofit diesel vehicles up to the class’s Euro VI standards. [CleanTechnica]

Volta Zero delivery truck (Courtesy of Volta Zero)

¶ “Greenpeace Welcomes Philippine Moratorium On New Coal Plants, Urges Transition To Renewable Energy” • Greenpeace welcomed a Philippine moratorium on new coal plants but said it will only go well if the country transitions to renewable energy. A Greenpeace report shows the country can easily get 50% of its power from the sun and wind by 2030. [Manila Bulletin]

¶ “Global Offshore Wind Pipeline Has Grown 47% Since January” • The total pipeline of global offshore wind projects has grown by 47% since January despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according the latest RenewableUK report. Just over half of the pipeline is in Europe (99.6 GW). The UK retains its top spot with a pipeline of 41.3 GW, up 12% since January. [reNEWS]

Wind power on the ocean (Mark König, Unsplash)

¶ “South Korea Vows To Go Carbon Neutral By 2050 To Fight Climate Emergency” • South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in, has declared that the country will achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, bringing it into line with other major economies. He vowed to end its dependence on coal and replace it with renewables as part of its Green New Deal. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ “Three Tidal Turbines
 Pop Into New York City’s East River” • Marine energy company Verdant Power has plopped three tidal power turbines into New York City’s East River on one array. The Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy Project is the first US-licensed tidal power project. The project is a demonstration, and more turbines are on the way. [CleanTechnica]

Turbine installation (Verdant Power image)

¶ “How To Go Solar At Your School – Solar Schools Report Published” • Generation180 published a new edition of its report on solar in US schools. It includes “new data and trends on solar uptake at schools nationwide, how schools are saving millions in energy bills (with little-to-no upfront investment), and a national ranking of all states for solar on schools.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Army Gets $7.2 Million For 5 To 10 Year Plan For Better Energy Storage” • In its latest effort to tackle the energy storage problem, the Army announced that the University of Maryland has won $7.2 million in Army funding to lead a new alliance aimed at leaping over the hurdles in the way of next-generation rechargeable batteries. [CleanTechnica]

US soldiers in the field (Credit: Sgt Effie Mahugh)

¶ “Rhode Island Requests Proposals For 600 MW Of Offshore Wind Energy” • Rhode Island Gov Gina M Raimondo announced a competitive request for proposals to procure up to 600 MW of offshore wind energy. The request is in line with an executive order putting Rhode Island on a path toward 100% renewable electricity by 2030. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Scout Completes 130-MW Indiana Wind Project” • Scout Clean Energy has completed construction and closed tax equity funding on a 130-MW wind farm in Indiana. The Bitter Ridge wind farm uses GE 2.82-MW wind turbines. The project will bring Scout’s operational portfolio of onshore wind energy generation to 843 MW. [reNEWS]

GE wind turbines (GE image)

¶ “MBTA Switches To 100% Renewable Energy Starting Jan 1” • The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has signed a contract to switch its electricity supply to 100% renewable energy starting January 1. The move will save an estimated $3.5 million dollars annually at a time the agency faces large budget cuts from Covid-19 ridership dips. [Cambridge Day]

¶ “NuScale Faces Questions On Nuclear Reactor Safety And Financing Its First Project” • NuScale Power wants to build the first US small modular nuclear reactor complex by decade’s end and has recent federal safety approvals. But its reactor design faces significant safety questions that were not resolved by an NRC review completed in August. [Greentech Media]

Have a sensationally gratifying day.

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October 27 Energy News

October 27, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “We Must Protect Coral Reefs With Conservation Innovation And Technology” • The coral reefs are dying, and they’re the world’s first ecosystems to become extinct because of human action. Conservation innovation and technology alone cannot save reefs, but over half a billion people depend on them for food, income, and protection. [CleanTechnica]

Coral (Image provided by Dr Brian LaPointe, FAU Harbor Branch)

¶ “Who Knows How To Get To Net Zero Emissions? Joe Biden Does.” • During an interview, Joe Biden said that global heating constitutes an existential threat to humanity. “It will bake the planet,” he said. That is diametrically opposed to the namby pamby drivel leaking from the lips of the incumbent and his weak kneed followers. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Elon Musk: Tiny Bit Of Sun’s Energy Could Power The World” • Elon Musk, a longtime solar power fan, responded to the IEA’s news that solar power is the cheapest energy source with a tweet about “that free fusion reactor in the sky,” and its ample energy. He said, “We just need to catch an extremely tiny amount of it to power all of civilization.” [CleanTechnica]

Tesla powered by Tesla PVs (Image by Tesla)

World:

¶ “Toyota Brings The Hydrogen Fuel Cell To The Marine Industry” • Toyota is continuing its lonely crusade to make the oft-promised hydrogen future happen, this time expanding from trucks, cars, and Popemobiles into more … “liquid” arenas. And by that, I mean that Toyota is developing a hydrogen fuel cell for marine applications. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Thailand Gets Fleet Of Electric Ferries To Help Clean Up Bangkok” • With an electric powertrain developed by the electric marine experts at Danfoss Editron, 27 zero-emission passenger ferries will soon replace a hodgepodge of old diesels in Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River. It is part of an exploratory bid to improve air quality and clean up the water supply. [CleanTechnica]

Danfoss catamaran ferry (Danfoss image)

¶ “Rockefeller Launches ‘Catalytic’ $1 Billion Clean-Energy-Powered Covid Recovery Fund” • The Rockefeller Foundation committed $1 billion to a three-year plan to drive investment in a global grid-scale renewable energy build-out. It is to accelerate access to electricity in developing nations as the world emerges from the coronavirus pandemic. [Recharge]

¶ “‘Dangerous And Dirty’ Used Cars Sold To Africa” • Millions of polluting used cars from rich countries are being “dumped” on developing nations, a UN report says. Four out of five went to poorer countries, with more than half going to Africa. And up to 80% failed to meet the minimum safety and environmental standards in exporting countries. [BBC]

Traffic jam in Lagos (Getty Images)

¶ “Germany To Remain Key IAEA Member After Nuclear Power Exit” • Germany is demonstrating continued strong support for the International Atomic Energy Agency’s mission to foster global peace and development even as the country is shutting down its nuclear power plants, according to IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi. [Mirage News]

US:

¶ “Silverado Wildfire Rages In California” • A wildfire has forced evacuation orders for 100,000 people in southern California. The Silverado Fire broke out just before sunrise on Monday in Orange County, south of Los Angeles. By late afternoon, the blaze had burned about 7,200 acres (2,915 hectares), California’s fire agency reported. [BBC]

Fire fighters (Reuters image)

¶ “Trump Administration Buries Dozens Of Clean Energy Studies” • The DOE has blocked reports for over 40 clean energy studies. It replaced them with mere presentations, buried them in scientific journals that the public cannot access, or left them paralyzed within the agency, according to emails and documents obtained by InvestigateWest. [InvestigateWest]

¶ “Nordex Scoops 240-MW Texas Turbine Deal” • Nordex has won a turbine order for a 240-MW wind farm in Texas, its first US agreement for the Delta4000 series. The manufacturer will supply 50 N155/4.X turbines, operating with a rated power of 4.8 MW. The machines will be installed in 2021 at the undisclosed wind project for an unnamed client. [reNEWS]

Nordex turbine (Nordex image)

¶ “Big Oil May Make US Taxpayers Take Care Of Its Orphaned Oil And Gas Wells” • A report by Carbon Tracker says the US has 2.6 million unplugged onshore oil and gas wells, with possibly 1.2 million more undocumented. Oil and gas companies have a legal obligation to plug the wells, but they haven’t set aside resources to do so, and many are going broke. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GM And Ford Knew About Climate Change 50 Years Ago” • Scientists at General Motors and Ford Motor Co knew as early as the 1960s that car emissions caused climate change, research by E&E News found. The car company’s discoveries were followed by decades of political lobbying by GM and Ford to undermine attempts to reduce emissions. [E&E News]

1969 Corvette Stingray (SG2012, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Key Player In War On Climate Change? The Pentagon” • The Department of Defense has both a critical role to play and a strong interest in the war on climate change. Higher storm surges, heat waves, and fires are already affecting operations. The military will have more frequent disaster relief missions along with more conflict and wars. [CNN]

¶ “US DOE And DOT Work On Improving Public Transportation Projects Using Data And Technology” • Recently, the US DOE announced project selections for $130 million in advanced vehicle technologies research. Included in the announcement were three transit-centric projects co-funded with  the US Department of Transportation. [CleanTechnica]

Have an intensely easy day.

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October 26 Energy News

October 26, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Tesla Bears Prove Easy Q3 Math Is Hard” • Congrats to Elon and the workers at Tesla for a record setting Q3, by almost every measure. I’ll cover some of the financial highlights, but first, a royal roasting of Tesla bears is in order. Many of them say that regulatory credits are the sole reason for Tesla’s profit. But they ignore the facts. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model Y die casting at Tesla Gigafactory Shanghai

¶ “Solar Power Is The Cheapest Electricity In History” • The International Energy Agency has a long history in fossil fuels. It is not the first, second, or third organization that would come to mind when thinking of renewable energy bulls or fans. However, its latest report indicates that solar power is now the “cheapest electricity in history.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla’s One Core Advantage” • “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” That’s a maxim that I imagine could get you fired from Tesla. Tesla is constantly focused on “fixing” what is working fine but not working as well as it could be. Tesla constantly takes working products and systems apart, whittle them down to their core, and build them up again better.  [CleanTechnica]

Tesla dashboard (CleanTechnica image)

¶ “As Trump Dismisses Renewables, Energy Sector Doubles Down” • In the debate, President Trump argued that renewable energy is too expensive, wouldn’t power up America’s factories, and is bad for birds. This view is not just seriously outdated, it flies in the face of capital flows in the energy sector. Renewables are rising; fossil fuels and nuclear are in decline. [Forbes]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Batteries Made With … Vanilla?” • There’s a new type of battery storage technology that has an interesting spice added into the mix – vanillin, which is the primary component of the extract of the vanilla bean. Researchers at TU Graz have found a way to convert vanillin into a redox-active electrolyte material for liquid batteries. [CleanTechnica]

TU Graz researcher Stefan Spirk (© Lunghammer | TU Graz)

World:

¶ “UK Developing New Renewable Energy Plans” • A new startup, Power Potential, is a UK government-launched parastatal that is a brainchild of the United Kingdom Power Networks teaming up with the National Grid Electricity System Operator. They created it to regulate renewable energy and facilitate distribution across the user base. [Cheshire Media]

¶ “Air Pollution A Major Driver of Ill Health Worldwide” • Air pollution is now the world’s fourth-leading risk factor for early death according the latest “State of Global Air Report.” The report comes annually from the Health Effects Institute and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation to sum up current scientific understanding. [CleanTechnica]

Canyon Creek fire, 2015 (Oregon Department of Forestry)

¶ “Japan To Set 2050 Net Zero Target” • Japan is to set a new 2050 net zero target, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said in his first policy speech to the Japanese Diet. The goal is an increase on a previous target of 80% emissions reductions by 2050. He said, “Responding to climate change is no longer a constraint on economic growth.” [reNEWS]

Australia:

¶ “Energy Experts Back SA Renewable Target” • After the South Australian government published ‘Building on our Strengths – South Australia’s Energy and Mining Strategy,’ recommitting to a 100% net renewable target by 2030, energy experts backed the State Government’s target. But they are divided on whether such a goal can be achieved nationally. [InDaily]

Wind farm in SA (Tim phillips photos, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “CEP.Energy’s $1 Billion C&I Rooftop Rollout” • Within five years, CEP.Energy plans to have 1.5 GW of solar and 1 GW of battery energy storage, providing constant low-cost energy for tenants of ten property-portfolio partners via microgrids and virtual power plants distributed across commercial and industrial rooftops in Australia. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Neoen Completes 460-MW Solar Financing” • Neoen has completed financial close on the 460-MW Western Downs Green Power Hub in Southwest Queensland. Total project costs will amount to approximately A$600 million ($427 million). Western Downs will be the largest solar farm in Australia and entirely owned by Neoen, the company said. [reNEWS]

Neoen solar array (Neoen image)

US:

¶ “Tropical Storm Zeta Forms, Could Reach US Gulf Coast By Midweek” • A tropical depression east of Mexico strengthened into Tropical Storm Zeta and could reach the US Gulf Coast by midweek. Zeta could be at or near hurricane strength when it approaches the northern Gulf Coast on Wednesday. It will be this year’s fifth named storm to impact Louisiana. [CNN]

¶ “Study: Climate Change Could Interrupt Yellowstone Geysers” • A team of scientists and storytellers will create murals to help Yellowstone National Park’s visitors understand what the park will look like late this century. They will show less forest, more meadow, new species, and an Old Faithful that may be dormant due to climate change. [Casper Star-Tribune Online]

Old Faithful (Jacob W Frank, NPS, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Renewables And Energy Storage Are Surging In Red States” • The two largest US coal-producing states, Wyoming and West Virginia, have emerged as leaders in renewable energy and energy storage, respectively, says Environment America’s report, “Renewables on the Rise 2020.” By one metric, seven “Red” states are among the top ten for wind and solar. [Forbes]

¶ “Oregon Wildfires: Is Climate Change The Culprit?” • This summer, many Oregonians lost their homes, neighborhoods, and lives as fires overtook the state. The question on everyone’s mind is why? Erica Fleishman, a professor at OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science, says climate change is partially to blame. [The Corvallis Advocate]

Have an instructively gorgeous day.

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