Archive for the 'wind' Category

September 18 Energy News

September 18, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “September, 2019: A Tipping Point Moment For The Earth?” • Thanks to the unceasing efforts of people like Bill McKibben, Michael Mann, Greta Thunberg, Extinction Rebellion, Sunrise Movement, and many others, there is a sense that attitudes toward climate change may be shifting. Mainstream media is starting to cover the story. [CleanTechnica]

Bill McKibben marching (chesapeakeclimate, Wikimedia)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Air Pollution Particles May Reach Fetuses In The Womb, Study Finds” • New evidence has been found that air pollution can breach a mother’s placenta and potentially reach fetuses in the womb, raising the possibility of future health problems. Harmful particles can make their way from the lungs to the placenta and may reach fetuses directly. [CNN]

World:

¶ “Egypt’s Massive 1.8-GW Benban Solar Park Nears Completion” • Amid the sand dunes of the Sahara, workers are putting the finishing touches on one of the world’s largest solar installations. There, as many as 7.2 million PV panels will make up Benban Solar Park – a renewable energy project so big, it will be visible from space. [IEEE Spectrum]

Officials at Benban Solar Park (Dominic Chavez | IFC)

¶ “AC Energy Building Up Renewable Energy Portfolio With $2 Billion Investments” • AC Energy Philippines Inc, formerly Phinma Energy Corp, is eyeing close to $2 billion or P100 billion of investment in domestic renewable energy projects, with a goal of racking up a total of 2,000 MW of renewable capacity within six years. [Inquirer.net]

¶ “Scatec Solar Lifts Capacity Target On Upbeat Demand For Renewable Energy” • Norway’s Scatec Solar, which builds and operates solar power plants, raised its capacity outlook due to strong demand for renewable energy. Oslo-listed Scatec now aims to increase its capacity to 4.5 GW of electricity by the end of 2021. [The Edge Markets MY]

Solar systems (Reuters image)

¶ “Trial Of TEPCO Executives Over Fukushima Disaster Heads To Conclusion” • A Tokyo court will hand down a verdict later this week on whether three TEPCO executives are liable for the 2011 Fukushima disaster. It is the only criminal case to arise out of the world’s worst nuclear crisis since the Chernobyl explosion in 1986. [Japan Today]

Australia:

¶ “Atlassian Is Just One Of Several Aussie Companies Which Have Pledged To Use 100% Renewable Energy – And One Has Already Met The Goal” • While the government drags its feet, the Global Climate Strike is taking place around the world. And some Australian businesses are taking their own stands against climate change. [Business Insider Australia]

Renewable energy (Peter Macdiarmid | Getty Images)

¶ “ACT Joins Exclusive Club As Renewable Energy Goal Reached Ahead Of Schedule” • When the third stage of South Australia’s Hornsdale Wind Farm comes online on 1 October, the Australian Capital Territory will become the first major jurisdiction outside Europe to transition from a fossil fuel-based energy supply to 100% renewable electricity. [TheRiotACT]

¶ “Why 200% renewables would be better for Australia than 100%” • Australia could be a global leader in climate mitigation and zero-carbon energy exports, and meet its domestic power demands “on the side,” according to a new energy transition scenario that would take us well beyond 100% renewables, to a target of 200%. [RenewEconomy]

Solar array in Australia

US:

¶ “EPA Set To Revoke California’s Authority To Set Vehicle Standards” • The EPA is preparing to revoke California’s authority to set its own vehicle emission standards, a source familiar with the plans told CNN. The Trump administration is in an ongoing fight with the state as it works to reduce former President Obama’s environmental legacy. [CNN]

¶ “Greta Thunberg To US Politicians: ‘Sorry, You’re Not Trying Hard Enough'” • Greta Thunberg has told US politicians that they’re not doing enough to combat climate change. She also told the Senate climate task force to save their praise. “Don’t invite us here to just tell us how inspiring we are without actually doing anything about it,” she said. [BBC]

Greta Thunberg (Getty Images)

¶ “Duke Energy Plans To Invest More In Renewable Power” • Duke Energy says it plans to invest heavily in renewable energy and natural gas powered plants to further reduce its carbon emissions by 2030. One of the nation’s largest utilities said it plans to double its portfolio of solar, wind and other renewable power sources by 2025. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “SF Approves Legislation Requiring Renewable Electricity Sources For Commercial Buildings” • The San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance that requires commercial buildings over 50,000 square feet to begin relying on electricity generated from renewable sources. The legislation, was passed by unanimous vote. [San Francisco Chronicle]

San Francisco (Paul Chinn | The Chronicle)

¶ “Longmont’s Transition To 100% Renewable Energy Appears Ahead Of Schedule” • With Colorado’s Platte River Power Authority set to expand it renewable energy portfolio, which already generates approximately 30% of its power, Longmont’s goal of transitioning to 100% renewable energy by 2030 appears to be attainable. [Longmont Times-Call]

¶ “Northam Wants Virginia Running On 100% Renewable Energy By 2050” • Virginia Gov Ralph Northam announced that he signed an executive order setting a goal for the state to produce 100% of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2050. Climate change “poses potentially devastating risk to Virginia,” the order said. [WFXRtv.com]

Have an incomparably superior day.

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September 17 Energy News

September 17, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “China Is Doing A Lot Better On Climate Action Than Most People Realize” • China may be the biggest CO₂ emitter, but China is turning on more low-carbon electrical generation annually in the form of hydro, wind, solar, and nuclear than any other country. China invested $3 in renewable energy for every $1 the US invested in 2017. [CleanTechnica]

Beijing (Image courtesy of the Government of China)

¶ “Here’s Another Argument For Renewable Energy: No More Wars For Oil” • Imagine a world in which each country is able to meet its energy needs internally, using nothing but the natural abundance of sunshine, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, or tidal power. What if the US did not have to destroy national treasures just to dominate oil markets? [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change And Health: Interactive New England Journal Of Medicine Report” • The New England Journal of Medicine, one of the world’s most prestigious medical journals, has created an interactive online presentation, The Climate Crisis – Health and Care Delivery. It illustrates the relationship between climate change and health. [CleanTechnica]

Lyme disease in Wisconsin (Lamiot, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “Oil Prices Soar After Attacks On Saudi Facilities” • Oil prices ended nearly 15% higher on Monday, with the Brent benchmark seeing its biggest jump in about 30 years. The rise came after two attacks on Saudi Arabian facilities on Saturday knocked out about 5% of global supply. Brent crude ended the day at $69 a barrel, up 14.6%. [BBC]

¶ “Total JV Targets Chinese Solar” • French energy giant Total has formed a 50:50 joint venture with Envision Group to develop solar energy projects in China. The TEESS JV will offer B2B customers a combination of distributed PV energy systems and digital solar energy solutions running on Envision’s operating system EnOS. [reNEWS]

Solar panels (Pexels image)

¶ “SA Coal Is Burning Out Quicker Than Expected” • A report on the export outlook for South African coal, which was published by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a respected international energy think-tank, warns that new energy technologies will replace coal-fired power faster than most have predicted. [Daily Maverick]

¶ “Solar Power To Drive Renewable Energy Investments To $2.6 Trillion By 2019 End” • Solar power, which has seen a significant increase in capacity investments in the last decade, is set to drive the global investment in new renewable energy capacity to $2.6 trillion by the end of 2019, a report by the UN Environment Programme said. [Down To Earth Magazine]

Solar powered apartments (Getty Images)

¶ “Unilever: 100% Of Grid Purchased Electricity Now Comes From Renewables” • Unilever said its factories, offices, R&D facilities, data centers, warehouses and distribution centers worldwide are now powered by 100% renewable electricity. The CPG giant further says there have been no “net on-costs” to get to this point. [Environmental Leader]

¶ “Vestas Nails 34-MW Norwegian Prize” • Vestas won a turbine order totaling 34 MW for the Haramsfjellet wind farm on the island of Haramsoya in Norway from Taaleri Energia’s SolarWind II fund. The deal covers supply, installation, and commissioning of eight V136 4.2-MW turbines, as well as a 27-year management agreement. [reNEWS]

Installing a wind turbine blade (Vestas image)

¶ “TransAlta Unveils $2 Billion Clean Power Vision” • Canadian energy company TransAlta Corporation unveiled a $2 billion clean energy investment plan. This includes renewables projects already under construction, which comprise four wind farms located in the US and the Canadian province of Alberta, worth $800 million. [reNEWS]

¶ “Is This Australia’s First Utility To Acknowledge Death By Solar?” • The electricity utility owned by the Northern Territory said it is facing an “existential risk” from the rise of solar power, as its portfolio of largely gas-fired generation assets was losing out to lower cost solar alternatives that are increasingly attractive in the market. [RenewEconomy]

Gas turbine at Alice Springs

US:

¶ “Why Does The US Hide Oil Underground?” • As oil prices spiked after the drone strikes in Saudi Arabia, President Donald Trump tweeted they could use the oil “to keep the markets well-supplied.” The oil he was referring to amounts to more than 640 million barrels which are stored in salt caverns beneath the states of Texas and Louisiana. [BBC]

¶ “Brookridge Developer Hopes To Make Project Largest In Nation Powered By 100% Renewable Energy” • The Brookridge development in Overland Park, Kansas, will become the largest in the nation to be certified as 100% renewably powered, according to its developer. It will be powered by solar and wind resources in Kansas. [Shawnee Mission Post]

Rendering from the final development plan for Brookridge

¶ “US Utilities File Legal Challenge To Trump Power Plant Rule” • Con Edison and eight other utilities filed a legal challenge to the Trump administration’s plan to cut carbon emissions from power plants, replacing a much tougher Obama-era rule. The utilities, mostly from Democratic-led states, serve more than 23 million customers in 49 states. [Reuters]

¶ “Michigan’s Largest Producer Of Renewable Energy Requests Proposals For New Solar And Wind” • DTE Energy is issuing Requests for Proposals for more solar and wind projects in Michigan. DTE will use the resources for its voluntary renewable energy programs and to deliver on its commitment to reduce carbon emissions 80% by 2040.  [pvbuzz media]

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September 16 Energy News

September 16, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “The Shift To Solar, Wind, And Electric Vehicles Is Too Monumental To Overstate” • The transition is happening. Wind energy, solar energy, and electric transport are the better, more cost-competitive products, and they are winning today in the marketplace. But the transition could be happening faster, and it should be happening faster. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model S (Chanan Bos | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Fossil Fuel Companies Roll Out A New Era Of Spin” • Over the years, fossil fuel companies have poured millions into sowing doubt about climate science and burnishing their public image. Now, they are reckoning with a different communications challenge: convincing their investors that the future of oil and gas companies is bright. [Grist]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Faster Pace Of Climate Change Is ‘scary,’ Former Chief Scientist Says” • Speaking to the BBC, Professor Sir David King, a former chief scientific adviser to the government of the UK, said, “It’s appropriate to be scared. We predicted temperatures would rise, but we didn’t foresee these sorts of extreme events we’re getting so soon.” [BBC]

Wildfire (Getty Images)

World:

¶ “One Of India’s Largest Coal-Mining States Says It Will Not Build New Coal Power Plants” • The central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, home to the country’s third-largest coal reserves, will not build any new coal power plants, the chairman of the Chhattisgarh State Power Distribution Company, a state-owned utility, told Quartz India. [Quartz]

¶ “Frankfurt Motor Show Hit By Huge Climate Protests” • Thousands of climate protesters marched in Frankfurt against the role of Germany’s car industry in climate change and the destruction of the environment. As they paraded past Frankfurt’s annual motor show, they called for an end of vehicles with combustion engines. [CNN]

Frankfurt protest (Boris Roessler | DPA | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Renewable Energy Festival Research Shows Scots Are Clued Up” • Research released to mark the beginning of the Scottish Renewable Energy Festival found that 47% of 1002 Scottish adults surveyed said they now think more about the sustainability of the type of energy powering their home than they did in 2014. Only 3% said they are less aware. [The National]

¶ “Ofgem Green-Lights Orkney Transmission Link” • UK energy regulator Ofgem approved SSE Networks’ proposals to build a 220-MW link between Orkney with the Scottish mainland, on the condition that at least 135 MW of new Orkney wind projects are awarded a Contract for Difference or are judged likely to be developed by December 2021. [reNEWS]

Orkney (Image: reNEWS)

¶ “Tata Power Renewable Energy Limited Commissions 150 MW Solar Capacity In Rajasthan” • Tata Power, the largest integrated power company in India, announced the commissioning of 150 MW of solar capacity in Rajasthan by a wholly owned subsidiary. With this, the overall operating renewable capacity of TPREL in India now stands at 2,628 MW. [Equity Bulls]

¶ “Nationals MPs Snub Launch Of Farming Group’s Climate Change Report” • A report, launched by Farmers for Climate Action group at Parliament House in Canberra, warned that agricultural production will fall, farm profits will decline, and food insecurity will increase absent a cohesive national strategy on climate change and agriculture. [The Guardian]

Raspberries in Tasmania (Rafael Ben Ari | Alamy Stock Photo)

¶ “UTM To Participate In Global Climate Strike” • University of Toronto Mississauga will hold a series of events in support of the Global Climate Strikes taking place on September 20 and 27. The dates coincide with the upcoming a UN Climate Action Summit, which aims to present viable plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. [Varsity]

¶ “Fukushima Fishermen Concerned For Future Over Release Of Radioactive Water” • Having spent the past eight years rebuilding from the Fukushima Disaster, the local fishing fleet is worried. It appears increasingly likely that the nuclear plant’s operator, TEPCO, will dump huge quantities of radioactive water into the ocean. [The Guardian]

Poor catch at Fukushima (Koji Ueda | AP)

¶ “Broad Coalition Representing Millions Of Australians Opposes Nuclear Power” • More than 40 groups representing millions of Australians have come together to issue a clear message to the federal government that the nation’s energy future is renewable, “not radioactive.” The mining industry is calling for the ban on nuclear energy to be lifted. [SBS]

US:

¶ “Maine Ocean Institute Launching New Climate Center” • The Gulf of Maine Research Institute says its new climate center will be “a new interdisciplinary center focused on solutions to local, regional, and global challenges related to ocean warming.” The Gulf of Maine has numerous fisheries and is warming faster than most ocean waters. [Boston.com]

Gulf of Maine (Yoon S Byun | The Boston Globe)

¶ “Minnesota Grows Business, Jobs As It Greens The Local Economy” • In Minnesota, 25% of electric power is renewable. Now policymakers and utilities talk about doubling that by 2030. Several announcements in the last few days alone will advance the renewable-energy, less-carbon and faster-growing Minnesota economy. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

¶ “How American Communities Are Preparing For The Impacts Of Climate Change” • A study from the American Association for the Advancement of Science found that many communities across the US are addressing their own unique challenges associated with climate change. Some communities are also working to reduce emissions. [Earth.com]

Have a transformatively pleasing day.

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September 15 Energy News

September 15, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “We Can Still Save The Earth From Climate Change. Here’s How” • A years-long research project simulating a global pathway towards 100% renewables across all energy sectors, bears a clear message: A global energy transition, with real climate action, is not only technically feasible but also cheaper than our current energy system. [CleanTechnica]

Saving Earth (Image © Viktoria Kurpas)

¶ “Climate Emergency: Have We Reached The End Game?” • A new paper on climate change grabbed the headlines this week as it predicts the world will end in thirty years. The absence of drastic measures to deal with climate change, its adverse effects, and the seeming non-action of human societies have made the situation worse. [Science Times]

¶ “Katharine Hayhoe Reconciles Christianity And Climate Science” • Atmospheric scientist Katharine Hayhoe asked an audience in Juneau how a Christian, like herself, could truly say they were pro-life if they ignored the damage being done by climate change? “I’m a climate scientist because I’m a Christian,” she said. [Juneau Empire]

Katharine Hayhoe speaking (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

¶ “How To Live With The Climate Crisis Without Becoming A Nihilist” • Today, despite all the grim climate news, I actually feel more optimistic than ever. People are waking up! Maybe there’s a bit of panic, but that’s a sensible response and a good place to start. I’m hopeful we’ll see broad climate mobilization and systems transformation. [Los Angeles Times]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Researchers Using Photos To Study Impact Of Climate Change On Fall Foliage” • With autumn approaching and cooling temperatures, the first blush of the season’s fall foliage is likely drawing smiles from the pumpkin spice-loving crowds. But scientists believe warmer temperatures are pushing the fall color season later into autumn. [CBC.ca]

Fall colors (Karen James)

World:

¶ “Coordinated Strikes Knock Out Half Of Saudi Oil Capacity, Five Million Barrels A Day” • The strikes on key Saudi Arabian oil facilities, among the world’s largest production centers, have disrupted about half of the kingdom’s oil capacity, or 5% of the daily global oil supply. Yemen’s Houthi rebels have taken responsibility. [CNN]

¶ “Battling For Survival On The Frontier Of Climate Change” • Evolving weather patterns are making their impacts felt in the Caribbean with long droughts, incessant bush fires and worsening storms. And Jamaica’s reliance on rain-fed farming, with many smallholdings set on mountain slopes, leaves the farming sector particularly vulnerable. [BBC]

Dry Pagee River

¶ “Indian Hydro Power Generator Floats 2-GW Solar Tender” • India’s largest hydro power generation company has issued one of the largest-ever solar power tenders in the country’s history. NHPC Limited (formerly National Hydro Power Corporation) has called upon developers to set up 2 GW of solar projects across the country. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “World’s First Floating Nuclear Power Plant Arrives At Port In Russia” • Russia’s world first floating nuclear power station has completed a 5,000-km Arctic transfer to the country’s far east, according to the Rosatom nuclear agency. The power plant Akademik Lomonosov is to start operating when it is connected to the grid, by year’s end. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Akademik Lomonosov (Maxim Shemetov | Reuters)

¶ “Softbank Wins 330 MW Capacity In India’s Undersubscribed Solar Tender” • The fifth national-level solar power auctions by the Solar Energy Corporation of India had two winners that secured 480 MW of capacity. The originally tendered capacity was 1.2 GW, and the technical round of the auction was sharply undersubscribed. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ “Tesla Announces Simple Pricing On Commercial Solar, $1.01/Watt (Will Blow Some Minds)” • Elon Musk announced California customers can now order commercial sizes of solar power in five minutes at Tesla.com/bigsolar. Tesla is getting within a penny of the psychologically magical $1 for a watt of solar generation capacity. [CleanTechnica]

Solar system (www.tesla.com/energy/design/commercial)

¶ “Many States Are Punishing Drivers For Owning An Electric Car” • A study by Consumer Reports show that many states are seemingly punishing EV drivers for owning EVs. The report shows that several states are applying taxes to electric vehicle drivers at rates that are much higher than what an average driver pays in gasoline taxes. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tucson Electric Bills To Rise With Renewable-Energy Buildout” • Customers of Tucson Electric Power Co will pay a little more on their bills starting next month under a new renewable-energy plan and surcharges state regulators approved. TEP is authorized to collect $60.9 million from surcharges to support the programs. [Arizona Daily Star]

Navajo Generating Station (Eduardo Manchon, Wikimedia)

¶ “More Renewable Energy Options Available Under Duke Energy’s Green Source Advantage” • The North Carolina Utilities Commission approved Duke Energy’s Green Source Advantage program in North Carolina. The program offers large energy users the flexibility of choosing renewable energy suppliers as they choose. [New Kerala]

¶ “Greater Wildfire Risks Prompt Growth Of Electrical ‘Microgrids’ To Rely Less On PG&E” • In Sonoma County, California, microgrids would allow hospitals, municipal utilities, and certain government agencies to continue operations when natural disasters interrupt PG&E’s electrical transmission and distribution. [Santa Rosa Press Democrat]

Have a zip-a-dee-doo-dah day.

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September 14 Energy News

September 14, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “How Trump May Bulldoze ‘America’s Amazon'” • Nature lovers and earth scientists have been fighting Alaskan politicians over ANWR and King Cove Road for decades. Now, Trump’s mention of “logging” reopens a different front in an old war because everyone knows he’s talking about Tongass, the crown jewel of the National Forest system. [CNN]

Tongass Forest (Julian Quinones | CNN)

¶ “Republicans Must Accept Climate Change Or Lose The Presidency” • Donald Trump’s record of climate change denial is unlikely to stop him from doing whatever will win him another four years, and that includes reversing his previous statements. But what about the rest of his campaign team? Opinions are shifting away toward reality. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “China’s Gambling On A Nuclear Future, But Is It Destined To Lose?” • With around a dozen nuclear power plants in the works, China is set to overtake France as the number two producer of atomic energy worldwide within two years. It could surpass the US to become number one by 2030. But nuclear power is not as attractive as it once was. [CNN]

End of a cooling tower (RWE Germany)

¶ “Fantasy From ExxonMobil As Reality Confronts The Share Price” • ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Darren Woods spelled out underpinning assumptions for dramatic expansion of oil and gas production. He said renewable energy is largely irrelevant, and Exxon must expand exploration to meet demand. He is engaging in fantasy. [Seeking Alpha]

Science and Technology:

¶ “15 To 20 Foot Sea Level Rise Possible Sooner Rather Than Later” • A draft of a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says rising sea levels and warming waters are about to unleash “misery on a global scale.” The final report warns that ocean levels could rise by several feet before the end of this century. [CleanTechnica]

Harbor in Greenland (Ray Swi-hymn, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “Geothermal Energy Ltd Completes 3.2 Mile Deep Well In UK” • The deepest and hottest geothermal wells in the world have been completed after 10 months of drilling at United Downs in Cornwall. The $22 million wells are 3.1 miles deep and 195°C (383°F) at the bottom. Tests indicate the well could be used for geothermal heat. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Drone Attack Strike At Two Saudi Aramco Oil Facilities” • A fire broke out before dawn at a Saudi Aramco facility in Abqaiq after drones hit two oil facilities, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV reported, citing its own correspondent. The fire was brought under control. Houthi fighters in Yemen have launched similar attacks in the past. [Deccan Herald]

Fire at a Saudi Aramco facility

¶ “IRENA And UN Ink Agreement To Combat Desertification With Renewables” • Renewable energy plants can do more than provide cheap, emission-free energy. The shade cast by PV modules can help mitigate the adverse effects of desertification. The advantages of shade under solar PVs for agriculture are becoming known. [pv magazine International]

¶ “East Anglia One Offshore Wind Farm Begins Producing Electricity” • Spain’s Iberdrola hooked up the first wind turbines of the East Anglia One offshore wind farm to the British electric grid. The wind farm has 102 Siemens Gamesa turbines. It is about 50 km from the coast of Suffolk, and it is to be fully operational next year. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

East Anglia One (Iberdrola image)

¶ “Offshore Wind To ‘Grow 15% A Year'” • The offshore wind sector is expected to grow by an average of 15% per year over the next 10 years, according to new research by Commerzbank, the second largest bank in Germany. Commerzbank said the current installation level is 4.3 GW and it expects that to grow to 19.1 GW per year by 2028. [reNEWS]

¶ “Global Renewable Energy Initiative Aims To Bring A Billion People In From The Dark” • A new global commission on energy poverty says that advances in micro energy grids and renewable energy technologies could “dramatically accelerate change” and transform lives in rural areas of sub-Saharan African and south Asia. [The Guardian]

Running a restaurant by candle light (Nic Bothma | EPA)

US:

¶ “Record Growth In Residential Energy Storage In Q2” • From April 1 to June 30, 2019, behind the meter residential energy storage in the US experienced its greatest increase in history, 35 MWh, according to a US Energy Storage Monitor report from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables and the US Energy Storage Association. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “More Americans Concerned About Climate Change, New Poll Finds” • In a new poll by the Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation, 80% of respondents agreed that human activity is a leading cause of climate change. That’s huge. But only half believe urgent action is needed and only 40% say it amounts to a crisis. [CleanTechnica]

Threatened by sea level rise (NOAA image)

¶ “Advocates Highlight Familiar Renewable Energy Issues In Fight To Override Sununu’s Veto” • New Hampshire legislators hope to override vetoes of five bills they say are key to fighting climate change and developing new sources of energy. One bipartisan measure advocates are pushing for would expand net metering. [New Hampshire Public Radio]

¶ “ESF Joins 19 New York Colleges and Universities to Purchase Large-Scale Aggregated Renewable Energy” • The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry has become a member of a consortium of 20 New York public and private higher education institutions for the purchase of large-scale aggregated renewable energy. [SUNY-ESF Headlines]

Have a profoundly delightful day.

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September 13 Energy News

September 13, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Solar Powered Hyperloop System Could Be Coming To A City Near You” • An eco-friendly version of the Hyperloop network is in the works, powered by a skin of solar-powered modules and wind turbine forests, and complete with parks and urban farming spaces. It is the superfast transport technology first envisaged by Elon Musk. [CNN]

Solar powered Hyperloop

¶ “Satellite Data Reveals Link Between Hotter Temperatures & Forest Fires” • NASA satellites have been gathering data for many years. Now, in a report by the Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA scientists say analysis of all that data shows a strong link between higher global temperatures and the frequency and severity of forest fires. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Device Generates Light From The Cold Night Sky” • An inexpensive thermoelectric device harnesses the cold of space without active heat input, generating electricity that powers an LED at night, researchers report in the journal Joule. The device was developed by at team of scientists at UCLA and Stanford University. [Eurasia Review]

Thermoelectric generator (Credit: Aaswath Raman)

World:

¶ “Nestlé Plans To Reduce Greenhouse Gases Across Its Supply Chain” • Nestlé pledged to reach zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, a goal that requires many changes from both it and the farmers it works with. Global warming poses a huge threat to any business that relies heavily on agricultural products and water. [CNN]

¶ “Brazil Amazon: Old Enemies Unite To Save Their Land” • While the world’s attention has been focused on the fires raging in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, indigenous people warned that policies of President Jair Bolsonaro pose a bigger threat to their existence. Rival groups are uniting to fight government plans for their home region. [BBC]

Kayapó and Panará, once rivals (Lucas Landau | Rede Xingu+)

¶ “AfDB’s Solar Project Aims At Making Africa A Renewable Power House” • The African Development Bank is leading a revolution with a highly ambitious solar project to make Africa a renewable power-house. This project is expected to stretch across the Sub-Saharan region by tapping into the region’s abundant solar resource. [Inter Press Service]

¶ “How The Battery Of The Nation Will Power Up Our Future” • The project director at Hydro Tasmania believes Tasmania is on the cusp of the most significant economic and social opportunity since the hydro system was developed. The rest of Australia wants renewable energy and Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation project can provide it. [The Advocate]

Cethana Power Station site (Photo: Paul Scambler)

¶ “North, South Korea Oppose Japan’s Plan To Release Radioactive Fukushima Water” • South Korea reacted angrily to the proposal that water contaminated water at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant be dumped, summoning the Japanese ambassador to the Foreign Ministry in August to express its concerns. [Taiwan News]

¶ “Network Giant Says Renewables Transition Will Deliver Lower Prices And Cut Emissions” • The biggest owner of Australian grid assets, Spark Infrastructure, says renewables will cut prices for consumers significantly. But it warns that the lack of federal policy is making the transition more expensive than it needs to be. [RenewEconomy]

Gannawarra solar farm and battery storage (Wirsol image)

US:

¶ “Greta Thunberg Responds to Cost of Climate Action Critics: ‘If We Can Save the Banks, We Can Save the World'” • During an event with Naomi Klein, 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg had a message for those people who claim it is “too expensive” to boldly confront the climate crisis with sweeping policies like a Green New Deal. [EcoWatch]

¶ “Climate Activists Climb Houston Bridge Ahead Of Democratic Debate To Demand Renewable Energy” • Greenpeace climate activists climbed Houston’s Fred Hartman Bridge ahead of the Democratic debate to shut down shipping traffic and call for a shift to renewable energy. Pictures showed the activists dangling with banners unfurled. [msnNOW]

Activists and banners (© Greenpeace)

¶ “Marriott Aims For 33% Reduction In Plastic Waste” • Marriott, the world’s largest hotel chain, is on a mission to reduce plastic waste at an epic scale. Its big shift will come from eliminating travel-sized toiletries, which should reduce plastic waste by nearly a third. While it’s not a goal of reaching 0% plastic, it is laudable. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Duke Energy Acquires 200-MW Texas Solar Giant” • Duke Energy Renewables has purchased the 200-MW Rambler photovoltaic project in Texas from Canadian Solar subsidiary Recurrent Energy. The solar plant is being constructed in Tom Green County, Texas and is expected to achieve commercial operation in mid-2020. [reNEWS]

Solar array (Duke Energy image)

¶ “Clean Power Greens Mexican Cement In Texas” • Mexican cement company Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua signed a long-term power purchase agreement with an unnamed company for renewable electricity for a cement plant in Texas. The 10-year fixed-price deal will mean wind and solar power will cover 100% of the plant’s electricity needs, GCC said. [reNEWS]

¶ “New York Installs 20-MW Battery” • The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has completed the state’s largest battery storage installation. The 20-MW system, supplied by Key Capture Energy, will serve the state’s electrical system by enhancing power grid performance and reliability. [reNEWS]

Have a wholesomely fruitful day.

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September 12 Energy News

September 12, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Nuclear Power Is Too Costly And Too Risky” • Nuclear power is often proposed as a climate solution because it does not emit climate changing gases. But, unlike other zero emissions energy technologies such as solar and wind, nuclear poses enormous risks to the environment and communities, and it’s too costly to boot. [USA TODAY]

Protest in Tokyo in 2012 (Photo: Itsuo Inouye | AP)

World:

¶ “Indonesian Forests Are Burning, And Malaysia And Singapore Are Choking On The Fumes” • Intense forest fires have raged across the Indonesian regions of Sumatra and Kalimantan in recent weeks. More than 930,000 hectares (about 2.3 million acres) of land have been burned and hundreds of residents evacuated. [CNN]

¶ “ACT Includes Big Battery In New Renewable Power Push” • The Australian Capital Territory will conduct a ‘reverse auction’ to secure 250 MW of supply and will build a large-scale battery in the Territory that will support the grid and provide back-up power during blackouts. The total battery storage capacity would be 20-MW / 40MWh. [The RiotACT]

Wind farm in Victoria that supplies ACT (Windlab image)

¶ “Solar ‘Renewable Microgrid’ To Power Up Billion Dollar Peel Industry Park” • The Peel Business Park, a 120-hectare industrial park that the Labor Government of Western Australia hopes will inject a billion dollars a year into the state’s economy, bringing jobs and investment, will be powered by solar energy and battery storage. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “GE Renewable Energy To Deliver Cypress Wind Turbines For 175-MW Onshore Wind Farm In Sweden” • GE Renewable Energy secured another win for its Cypress platform, providing 33 of its 5.3-158 Cypress wind turbines at Björkvattnet wind farm. The 175-MW wind farm will power the equivalent of 175,000 homes in Sweden. [REVE]

GE wind turbine

¶ “GE Renewable Energy To Power CIP’s Monegros Onshore Wind Energy In Aragon” • GE Renewable Energy is to power CIP’s Monegros onshore wind energy in Aragon, the first time the two companies have worked together. The first 30 of 60 GE onshore wind turbines are already being installed for the first phase, totaling 113 MW. [REVE]

¶ “California’s Capstone Lands French Biogas-to-Energy Project” • Capstone Turbine, based in California, has secured a 400-kW microturbine sale to power a biogas-to-energy project in France. The order for the C400 Signature Series package was secured by Biogaz Services, Capstone’s distributor for renewable energy in France. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Biogas facility (Capstone Turbine image)

¶ “New Probe Into Fukushima Nuclear Disaster” • Japan’s nuclear regulator says it will have a new investigation into the Fukushima Disaster, to look into how radiation leaked from damaged reactor containment vessels and other factors. When three reactors at Fukushima Daiichi melted down, 160,000 people to were forced to evacuate. [Western Advocate]

¶ “Japan’s New Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi Wants To Scrap Nuclear Reactors” • Japan’s new environment minister, Shinjiro Koizumi, wants to close down nuclear reactors in the country to avoid a repeat of the Fukushima Disaster of 2011. His comments are likely to prove controversial in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. [South China Morning Post]

Shinjiro Koizumi (Photo: Bloomberg)

India:

¶ “India Wind Energy Tariffs Rise In Undersubscribed Tender” • Wind energy developers quoted higher tariff bids in the latest auction conducted by the Solar Energy Corporation of India. The marginal jump in tariff bids comes at a time when developers are shying away from participating in large solar as well as wind energy auctions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NLC India Exceeds 1 GW Installed Renewable Energy Capacity” • Public sector company NLC India Ltd, formerly Neyveli Lignite Corporation Ltd, said it has surpassed 1 GW of installed renewable energy capacity. It passed the mark when it commissioned 95 MW of capacity at a new 109-MW solar PV power plant. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Solar PV power plant

¶ “NTPC, NLC India And Other State-Run Companies To Make Green Energy Parks Across The Country” • As part of India’s energy security efforts, NTPC Ltd, NLC India Ltd, Power Grid Corp of India Ltd, and other state-run companies present in the conventional power space are being roped in to build massive green energy parks. [Livemint]

US:

¶ “Tesla & Green Mountain Power Launch New Flat Rate Solar + Storage Bundles” • Tesla and Vermont’s Green Mountain Power kicked off an initiative that lets customers lock in a flat monthly price for a solar-plus-storage system. Tesla’s tiered approach to solar rentals and loans can include two Tesla Powerwalls for $30 per month extra. [CleanTechnica]

House with Tesla solar + storage system (Tesla image)

¶ “Mall At Short Hills Gets Renewable Energy Initiative, 9,000 Solar Panels” • In New Jersey, The Mall at Short Hills had nearly 9,000 solar panels installed, solar developer Safari Energy said. The solar panels span 225,500 square feet of the mall’s roof and parking deck. The 3.49-MW system will produce up to 4,200 MWh annually. [NorthJersey.com]

¶ “Renewables, Storage Poised To Undercut Natural Gas Prices, Increase Stranded Assets: RMI” • If all proposed gas plants are built, 70% of those investments will be rendered uneconomic by 2035, according to two new reports from the Rocky Mountain Institute. Carbon-free resources are now cost competitive with new natural gas plants. [Utility Dive]

Have a productively copacetic day.

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September 11 Energy News

September 11, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “The long history of solar power” • Socrates believed that the ideal house should be warm in winter and cool in summer. At the time, such a desire was easier to state than to achieve. Even so, many pre-modern civilizations did design buildings to capture sunlight from the low-hanging winter sun, while maximizing shade in the summer. [BBC]

White buildings in Santorini, Greece (Getty Images)

¶ “Autopilot Isn’t The Issue. Drowsy Driving Is” • The CDC said, “Falling asleep at the wheel is clearly dangerous, but being sleepy affects your ability to drive safely even if you don’t fall asleep.” And a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association says an estimated 5,000 people died in 2015 in crashes that involved drowsy driving. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EV Boom In Norway Is A ‘Smug National Fraud’ According To RT” • How’s this headline? “Norway’s electric car miracle is a smug national fraud built on subsidizing rich people with Teslas.” Does that sound like something inspired by groups inspired by Koch Industries? It’s not. It’s actually from RT, a propaganda arm of the Russian government. [CleanTechnica]

Road in Norway (Credit: Norwegian Electric Car Association)

¶ “Energy Storage And Extreme Weather” • Hurricanes are not the only natural disasters out there. In California, engineers have created buildings that can withstand earthquakes. For all those communities that can fall victim to natural disasters, we need to consider energy storage, and that is one thing behind a boom in energy storage. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Sweden’s Highest Peak Is Not The Highest Anymore – And You Can Blame Climate Change For That” • Sweden’s tallest mountain has lost its title, scientists confirmed, and climate change is to blame. Rising temperatures have been melting the glacier covering Kebnekaise’s southern peak, and it has decreased by an alarming 24 meters over 50 years. [CNN]

Kebnekaise Mountain (Stock)

¶ “Japan May Have To Dump Radioactive Fukushima Water Into The Ocean Because It’s Out Of Storage Space” • Eight years after Japan’s worst nuclear disaster, the government is not sure what to do with the contaminated water that remains. The Japanese environment minister says dumping it into the ocean might be the only choice. [CNN]

¶ “Renewable Energy Investment Heads To Abbott-Era Lows, As Policy Void Takes Hold” • A major briefing paper from the Clean Energy Council shows quarterly financial commitments in new renewable energy projects fell to less than 800 MW in each of the first two quarters of 2019, from a high of more than 4500 MW in late 2018. [RenewEconomy]

Wind turbines

¶ “Neoen Unveils 2.7 GW Hybrid Giant In Oz” • Renewables developer Neoen is planning to build a hybrid wind, solar and energy storage facility in South Australia with a combined capacity of 2700 MW. The Goyden South project aims to deliver 1.2 GW of wind power, 600 MW of solar and 900 MW of energy storage capacity. [reNEWS]

¶ “Engie Chile To Supply 100% Renewable Power To BCI Bank” • Engie Energia Chile SA signed an agreement to supply 100% renewable power to Chilean bank Banco de Credito e Inversiones SA. BCI has said it is committed to buying electricity from 100% renewable resources as part of a move to be carbon neutral by 2025. [Renewables Now]

Wind farm in Chile (Diego Correa)

UK:

¶ “Bristol Airport Claims 100% Renewable Electricity Supply” • Bristol Airport has switched to a 100% renewable electricity supply of its on-ground operations, it said. It signed a three-year agreement with global renewable energy supplier Ørsted. The airport’s annual electricity use of 17 million kWh will be entirely from renewable sources. [Travel Weekly UK]

¶ “44% renewable energy record welcomed by SONI” • System Operator Northern Ireland welcomed news that 44% of Northern Ireland electricity consumption was generated by renewable sources in the 12 months to June 2019. The figure easily beats Northern Ireland’s renewable target of 40%, a year ahead of its 2020 deadline. [Farming Life]

Wind turbine (Kevin McAuley | McAuley Multimedia)

¶ “Natural Power Hits Scots Wind Treble” • Natural Power, a renewables consultancy,  has helped to secure planning consents relating to three wind farms located in south-west Scotland. The approvals from Dumfries and Galloway Council include one for a wind farm near Lockerbie and another near Sanquhar, each with nine turbines. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Sonoma County Airport Going 100% Renewable Energy In 2020 With Parking Lot Solar Canopy” • Charles M Schulz-Sonoma County Airport is going solar, joining a growing number of commercial airfields across the country that are putting up PVs and plugging into green energy to reduce both power costs and emissions. [Santa Rosa Press Democrat]

Proposed solar system over parking (ForeFront Power)

¶ “Los Angeles Says “Yes” To The Cheapest Solar Plus Storage In The USA” • Los Angeles’ municipal utility voted 5-0 to approve a 25-year contract with 8minute Solar Energy for a 400-MW solar plus 300-MW / 1.2-GWh energy storage facility. The aggregate price of the electricity from the project, with adders, came to 3.962¢/kWh. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “Fayetteville Turns To Renewable Energy With Wastewater Treatment Plant Solar Arrays” • The city of Fayetteville, Arkansas, is investing in renewable energy to power two of the its wastewater treatment plants. The city will buy energy from three local solar farms. The move is expected to save it approximately $180,000 per year. [5newsonline.com]

Have a usefully dreamy day.

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September 10 Energy News

September 10, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Alaska Just Had The Most Ridiculous Summer. That’s A Red Flag For The Planet” • Alaska’s summer of fire and no ice is smashing records. With the Arctic warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, America’s “Last Frontier” feels like the first in line to see, smell, and feel the unsettling signs of a climate in crisis. [CNN]

Smoke from the Swan Lake fire (Bill Weir | CNN)

¶ “Rich Countries Aren’t Stopping Climate Change. Can Poor Nations Save Themselves?” • Climate change is not affecting the world equally. And failure of a meeting of Pacific leaders to agree on stronger action was a pointed reminder that the countries most immediately endangered may not be able to count on others for a quick solution. [CNN]

¶ “Every Automaker Should Develop Conversion Kits For Their Gas Vehicles” • We recently learned Volkswagen is going to sell an EV retrofit kit for its classic Beetle. It’s the true revenge of the electric car. If a 70 year old vehicle that was not developed for electrification can be retrofitted successfully, then many other vehicles can as well. [CleanTechnica]

Electric VW Beetles (VW image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Combining Solar And Farming Benefits Both” • Researchers at the University of Arizona confirmed the benefits of growing crops beneath the shade provided by solar panels – more electricity, higher yields, and less water used. That last part is of vital interest to farmers in Arizona where access to water for irrigation is crucial. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Bizarre New Fabrics That Fashion Is Betting On” • A growing movement is turning its back on disposable products. In its sights is the growing waste and sustainability crisis prompted by the fashion industry, which is responsible for 20% of the world’s waste water, and 10% of carbon emissions. Bio-materials offer part of a solution. [BBC]

Leather look-alike made from mushrooms (Bolt Threads)

¶ “Jeff Dahn Claims New Pouch Cells Could Be Good For 1 Million Miles” • Battery guru Jeff Dahn, along with colleagues, published a report on the development of a lithium ion pouch cell that “should be able to power an electric vehicle for over 1.6 million kilometers (1 million miles) and last at least two decades in grid energy storage.” [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Climate Change: ‘Invest $1.8 Trillion To Adapt'” • Investing $1.8 trillion over the next decade, in measures to adapt to climate change, could produce net benefits worth more than $7 trillion, according to a global cost-benefit analysis by the Global Commission on Adaptation. GCA is a group of 34 leaders in politics, business and science. [BBC]

Plant expert in Uganda (Georgia Smith | CIAT)

¶ “Fraunhofer ISE Pushes For Integrated Solar Solutions at EU PVSEC” • Fraunhofer ISE is promoting a number of ways solar power can be integrated to good advantage. It says building-integrated solar technologies and agrophotovoltaics could offer Germany a combined technical potential of several hundred GW, and that is just a start. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Plans Floated For $1.2 Billion, 550-MW Gippsland Solar And Battery “Energy Park”” • Victoria’s Gippsland region has been earmarked for a $1.2 billion “renewable energy park,” starting with a 50-MW solar farm with a 50-MWh battery storage system. Solis RE is said to have acquired three parcels of land for the project already. [RenewEconomy]

Australian solar array

¶ “Lithuania Proposes Green Energy Auctions To Cut Power Imports” • Lithuania has proposed three green energy auctions for 2020-2022 to help attract investment, its energy ministry said. The country has an energy independence strategy, under which it needs to get some 38% of its power from renewables by 2025. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “DB Signs Five-Year Renewable Energy Contract” • German Rail (DB) has signed a five-year contract starting from 2024 for the supply of electricity from the Nordsee-Ost wind farm located off the northwest coast of Germany. The 25-MW contract is the first offshore corporate Power Purchase Agreement in Germany. [International Railway Journal]

German Rail train

¶ “French Nuclear Giant EDF Warns Of Substandard Reactor Parts” • Electricite de France SA, which dominates power production in France, said some of its nuclear reactors are equipped with key components that may be substandard. EDF didn’t say whether any of the country’s 58 nuclear reactors will have to be halted. [Bloomberg]

US:

¶ “PG&E Pledges To Honor Renewable Contracts In Bankruptcy Plan” • Pacific Gas & Electric submitted a reorganization plan that would pledge up to $18 billion to wildfire victims, while it would also allow the California utility to exit bankruptcy by mid-2020. The date is a key deadline for it to take part in a multi-billion dollar state wildfire fund. [Greentech Media]

Sign on PG&E fire safety work (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Sen Elizabeth Warren Pledges Not To Invest In Nuclear Energy And Focus On Renewables Instead” • Not only did Sen Elizabeth Warren pledge at climate town hall meeting to block the construction of new nuclear power plants, she also said she would phase out all nuclear power by 2035 and replace it with renewables. [MassLive.com]

¶ “Nearly 1,000 Amazon Employees Plan A Walkout To Protest Climate Change” • Nearly 1,000 Amazon employees pledged to walk out in protest of what they say is inaction on climate change on the part of their company. The walkout is scheduled for September 20, prior to the week-long international Global Climate Strike. [CNN]

Have a superbly positive day.

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September 9 Energy News

September 9, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Energy Transition Startups Shake Up The Business World” • The shift to a low-carbon future is turning the economy inside out. Christoph Frei, secretary general and CEO of the World Energy Council, said start-ups “deliver this kind of ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking and the necessary attitude. They have no fear of reinventing everything.” [CleanTechnica]

Making green synthetic diesel (© Sunfire)

¶ “City Where Chernobyl TV Series Was Filmed Fears Real-Life Nuclear Disaster” • The capital of Lithuania is on edge over the imminent opening of a nuclear-power facility just 40 km away in Belarus. Following a string of incidents during construction, and attempts to conceal them, many believe that the Russian-built Astravets plant is unsafe. [Stuff.co.nz]

¶ “From Scientist To Activist” • In grad school and during my postdoc (1998–2008) I saw the need to raise awareness, but I didn’t yet view my role as an activist or in encouraging others to act. Contributions of women climate scientists, activists, and children have inspired me to join them and raised my awareness of climate justice. [Common Dreams]

Climate strikers in Seattle (Photo: Heather Price)

¶ “What If We Stopped Pretending?” • The struggle to rein in global carbon emissions and keep the planet from melting has had a clear goal for thirty years, and despite earnest efforts we’ve made essentially no progress toward reaching it. Today, the scientific evidence verges on irrefutable. It may be time to rethink what it means to hope. [The New Yorker]

World:

¶ “Mick Jagger Slams Trump Over Environmental Policy” • At the Venice Film Festival, Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger took on President Donald Trump’s environmental policies and slammed him for leaving the Paris climate agreement. Others at the festival, including Donald Sutherland, agreed with Jagger and made their own criticisms. [CNN]

Mick Jagger (Kevin Winter | Getty Images)

¶ “China Data Centers Set To Consume More Power Than Australia: Report” • China’s data centers – the backbone of the country’s fast-growing digital economy – are on track to guzzle more electricity by 2023 than all of Australia did last year, according to a Greenpeace report. China’s data centers remain dependent on coal. [Macau Business]

¶ “Fires Destroy More Than 4.2 Million Wild Acres In Bolivia” • It’s not just the Brazilian Amazon burning. Fires burned more than 1.7 million hectares (4.2 million acres) in Bolivia, officials said. That’s more than double the damage from just two weeks ago. Fires are leaving blackened trees and ash-covered forest floors in their wake. [CNN]

Bolivian fire (Natalie Gallon | CNN)

¶ “Three Trends Shaking Up The Philippines Energy Market” • Much of the Philippines’ main island of Luzon is powered by natural gas from an offshore field that may be running out. The Philippines is pushing for more renewable energy generation using microgrids, for more EVs, and for a reduction in the red tape holding up change. [GovInsider]

¶ “Southeast Asia’s Largest Solar Farm Begins Operations In Southern Vietnam” • A 420-MW solar power project, the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia, has officially started production in Tay Ninh Province. The $391 million complex, covering 540 hectares, lies on semi-submerged land at Vietnam’s largest artificial lake. [VnExpress International]

Solar farm, Tay Ninh Province (Quynh Tran | VnExpress)

¶ “ARENA Backs Wave Power Generation Pilot Project Off King Island” • The Australian Renewable Energy Agency announced it will tip $4 million into a $12.3 million trial of Australian wave energy technology. The pilot project will be a 200-kW device from Wave Swell Energy, integrated with an existing microgrid off King Island, Tasmania. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Simec Atlantis Mulls Tidal-Powered Data Center” • Simec Atlantis Energy has announced ambitions for a tidal-powered data center in the Caithness region of Scotland. The supply for such a data center would include electricity delivered through a private wire network from tidal turbines at the existing MeyGen project site. [reNEWS]

Tidal turbine installation (Simec Atlantis image)

¶ “Energy Firms Plan UK’s First Carbon-Neutral ‘Industrial Cluster'” • Energy companies have ignited multi-billion-pound plans for the UK’s first carbon-neutral “industrial cluster” near the Humber estuary. An alliance of companies is leading a campaign to shrink the carbon footprint of Britain’s most polluting industrial zone. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ “ASU And Phoenix Are Working Together To Meet Solar Sustainability Goals” • Arizona State University and the city of Phoenix have been working together to build their sustainable practices, and both credit their strong relationship as a reason they were able to meet many of their goals. ASU set ambitious sustainability goals in 2011. [The State Press]

ASU working with Phoenix (Sally Rodriguez | The State Press)

¶ “Indiana Sees Surge In Wind Power Despite Lack Of Standards” • Indiana has had a surge in wind farm construction over the past decade that has given the state the nation’s 12th-highest number of wind turbines. But some renewable energy advocates say Indiana needs to encourage wind power more if it is to retain that position. [NBC Chicago]

¶ “Researchers Looking At Renewable Energy And Food Security In Rural Alaska” • Researchers at the University of Alaska are looking at how renewable energy could power the fish processing industry in Alaska’s remote communities. The goal is to make these communities more food secure, and less dependent on diesel fuel for electricity. [KTUU.com]

Have a radically awesome day.

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September 8 Energy News

September 8, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “How Switching To Renewables Impacts Policy In The West” • The rapidly declining cost and increased accessibility of energy storage create a huge opportunity. Whether solar, wind, hydro, geothermal or any other abundant method are the means for energy generation, the concern of maintaining baseload power becomes less important. [The Rising]

Renewable energy

¶ “How Green Is The Next Frontier Of Wind Power?” • Scotland has had an advantage in the bid to build a thriving offshore wind sector. It is 50 years of expertise in undersea engineering for oil and gas. Now Scotland has experience in onshore wind, which has been growing steadily and has matured over the past couple of decades. [The Scotsman]

¶ “South Africa Still Lagging Far Behind On Climate Change Battle” • South Africans are increasingly inundated with the “very real bad news” about the impacts of climate change and water and biodiversity losses yet the country’s political responses are nowhere near comprehensive enough. We need to be more proactive. [Independent Online]

South African wind farm (Nic Bothma | EPA)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Urban Air Mobility Already Has 200 eVTOL Designs” • In the short space of 3 years we’ve seen urban air mobility develop from a concept to eHang promising the first electric vertical takeoff & landing air taxi service at the end of 2019. The Vertical Flight Society just reported that it now has 200 eVTOL aircraft in its database. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Gujarat Says ‘No’ To New Thermal Plants” • In a major development, the government of Gujarat has decided not to allow any new thermal power plants to be built in the state from now on. The decision comes following the state government’s commitment to encourage clean environment and green energy in the state. [The Hindu BusinessLine]

Wind turbines in Gujarat (Raman Patel, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Bacolod Solar Power Firm Inks MOA With Korean Partner” • Philippine firm Amatera Renewable Energy Corp entered into a memorandum of agreement with TPC Construction Corp, a Korean company, for the development of a 50-MW solar power plant in Barangay Vista Alegre. The project has an estimated cost of ₱2 billion ($38.5 million). [pna.gov.ph]

¶ “Marine Heatwave Hits Pacific, Raising Fears Of A New Hot ‘ Blob'” • The ocean off the western coast of North America is 5°F hotter than usual after warming at an unusually rapid rate. If the abnormal patch does not dissipate soon, it could become as destructive as the so-called “blob” of warm water in the same area in 2014-2016. [The Guardian]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Dark Days Ahead As Huge Arctic Wildfires Spew Soot” • Fire is a natural part of the ecology of the vast boreal forests that girdle Earth in northern latitudes. But the amount of vegetation that has been on fire across Alaska, Canada, and Russia since June is highly unusual. Even Greenland, mostly covered in ice, has seen fires. [South China Morning Post]

US:

¶ “Why US Renewable Energy Production Declined 1.1% In The First Half Of 2019” • Renewable electricity generation declined 1.1% from the year-ago period, according to data compiled by the US Energy Information Administration. The observation is far from ideal, but it should be only a short-term hiccup. There are promising numbers as well. [Motley Fool]

Wind turbines (Getty Images)

¶ “Independent Power Producers Object To Utilities Building Renewable Energy Plants” • An Albany-based group representing independent power companies says it opposes a proposed state bill that would give utilities the right to produce renewable energy complexes. Under current law, utilities cannot build renewable energy facilities. [The Daily Freeman]

¶ “Wisconsin Religious Order Doubles Down On Commitment To Renewable Energy” • True to their religious community’s founder, the Sisters of St Francis of the Holy Cross continue to care for God’s creation. Their deep commitment expanded when the sisters held a dedication and blessing of 280 solar panels behind their motherhouse near Green Bay. [Crux]

Solar array (Sam Lucero | The Compass | CNS)

¶ “Xcel Energy Names Company To Build Huge Cheyenne Ridge Wind Project On Eastern Plains” • Xcel Energy-Colorado selected the development company Mortenson to build the 500-MW Cheyenne Ridge Wind Project on Colorado’s Eastern Plains. The $743 million project will include construction of a power substation and transmission lines. [The Denver Post]

¶ “Santee Cooper Plans To Add Solar, Pay Down Debt In Hopes Of Halting Sale” • South Carolina utility Santee Cooper is planning to pay down chunks of its roughly $4 billion debt from the failed VC Summer nuclear project. To stave off a possible sale, Santee Cooper plans to add a large amount of solar energy and to consider other options. [Charleston Post Courier]

Have a thoroughly gorgeous day.

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September 7 Energy News

September 7, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “The Trump Administration Has Taken Its War On Climate Crisis Action To A New Level” • The Trump administration is actively seeking ways to show its disdain for the issue of climate change. It is openly hostile to the idea that any government anywhere should do anything at all to combat something that is undeniably a crisis. [CNN]

Coal-fired power plant (Greg Goebel, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “How Localization Can Solve Climate Change” • Politicians, revolutionaries, activists, and theorists have yet to curb the disastrous and increasingly globalized trajectory of economic polarization and ecological degradation. Perhaps this comes of our being utterly trapped in flawed ways of thinking about technology and economy. [BBC]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Farming Under Solar Panels Saves Water And Creates Energy” • Farming crops under solar panels, a process called agrivoltaics, can boost food production, water savings, and the efficiency of electricity production, researchers report. It can build resilience in the challenging areas of renewable energy and sustainable food production. [Futurity]

Crops under PVs (Patrick Murphy | University of Arizona)

¶ “Hydrogen Could Replace Coke In Steelmaking And Lower Carbon Emissions Dramatically” • Industry depends on steel to make everything from consumer goods to buildings, but steelmaking accounts for about 9% of all carbon emissions. A report claims hydrogen could replace coke for making 10 to 50% of all steel by the year 2050. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Going The Distance For A Plastic-Free Ocean” • Sarah Ferguson, a record-setting endurance swimmer, is not preparing for a race or aiming for a world title. She is putting in countless strokes and sacrifices for something much larger than herself, or anything else. She is doing it for the ocean, a cleaner, plastic-free ocean. [CNN]

Ferguson swimming around Easter Island, attended by boat

¶ “Hundreds Of Climate Sceptics To Mount International Campaign To Stop Net-Zero Targets Being Made Law” • A letter titled “There is no climate emergency,” which has been signed by 400 people who deem climate change to be a myth, is being sent to EU leaders and UN institutions ahead of key environment talks. [The Independent]

¶ “Jerusalem Transit Operator Egged Returns To BYD To Add Ten More Electric Buses” • The largest transit operator in Israel, Egged, added ten fully electric BYD buses to its fleet this week. Seven of the new buses will operate in Jerusalem. Egged has prior experience with BYD buses, having used 17 in its transit network in Haifa since 2017. [CleanTechnica]

Electric buses (BYD image)

¶ “Iran Nuclear Deal: Tehran To Develop Speedier Centrifuges” • Iran says it has begun using new advanced centrifuges to enrich uranium, the latest step in reducing its commitments under a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. The centrifuges make enriched uranium, which can be used to make reactor fuel but can also be used for nuclear weapons. [BBC]

¶ “Canada Promotes Indigenous Participation In Quebec Renewable Energy” • The government of Canada announced funding to promote Indigenous participation in Quebec’s renewable energy sector. The project is to benefit the 43 First Nations in Quebec and Labrador, with a special focus on offgrid communities. [North American Windpower]

Wind turbine in Quebec (Furetgris, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Four Automakers Bucked Trump Policy On Emissions. Now They Are Under Antitrust Investigation” • Four automakers agreed in July to meet the tougher standards set by the California Air Resources Board rather than the Trump administration’s rules. Now, the Justice Department has opened an antitrust investigation into them. [CNN]

¶ “Indianapolis Launches The New, Fully-Electric Red Line, Powered By BYD” • IndyGo in Indianapolis launched the new Red Line this week, with a fleet of fully electric buses from BYD. The Red Line will start service Monday with 13 American-made BYD K11 articulated buses. These 60-footers can carry up to 120 passengers at a time. [CleanTechnica]

BYD K11 articulated bus (BYD image)

¶ “Pompeo Gets An Unexpected Grilling In Home State Of Kansas” • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, gave a lecture in his home state of Kansas. He had to field tough questions on climate science, immigration and human rights in a Q&A session, starting with, “Do you support the suppression of scientific reports from within the US Department of State?” [CNN]

¶ “Ford Survey Finds Most People Have No Idea What An Electric Car Is Or What It Can Do” • Ford intends to introduce its Mustang-inspired electric SUV next year, so it commissioned a survey on consumer attitudes. What it got back was a load of negative feedback that showed how poorly people understood anything about EVs. [CleanTechnica]

All-Electric F 150 being shown to customers (Ford image)

¶ “Council Votes To Join San Diego On Regional Renewable Energy Strategy” • After a two-hour hearing, during which they were presented with four options on how to move forward with a Community Choice Energy program, the Encinitas City Council voted unanimously to join San Diego’s program, which aligns with the city’s Climate Action Plan. [Coast News]

¶ “FirstEnergy Solutions Asks Ohio Supreme Court To Block Proposed Referendum On Nuke Bailout Law” • FirstEnergy Solutions, owner of Ohio’s two nuclear power plants, filed a lawsuit with the Ohio Supreme Court to stop a proposed referendum on the state’s recently passed nuclear bailout law from getting on next year’s ballot. [Utility Dive]

Have an astoundingly enjoyable day.

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September 6 Energy News

September 6, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Donnie Dim Bulb Channels David Koch To Save The Incandescent Light Bulb” • The latest lunacy from the former coal lobbyist now running the EPA is a proposal to eliminate a regulation scheduled to go into effect next year to halt the sale of virtually all incandescent light bulbs in the US and replace them with more energy efficient lights. [CleanTechnica]

Light bulb (Pixelmaniac pictures, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Solar, Energy Storage, Renewables: Where Do The Top Democratic Candidates Stand?” • The top ten Democratic presidential hopefuls have discussed their environment and energy priorities during a televised town hall meeting in New York City. PV Tech analysed their platforms to compare their energy and climate positions. [PV-Tech]

¶ “‘Red’ Nebraska Is Ready For Its Wind Power Closeup” • The political divide over renewable energy is finally starting to blur. That’s a big deal, because many of the prime onshore wind power states in the US fall onto the “red” side. A case in point is Nebraska, where Lincoln Clean Energy is developing the Plum Creek wind farm. [CleanTechnica]

Nebraska wind farm (Lincoln Clean Energy image)

¶ “Becca Balint: Greta Thunberg And Climate Misogyny” • Why are so many right wing climate deniers afraid of Greta Thunberg? She was met with great excitement from supporters and vehement fury from climate deniers. And the overwhelming majority of these rageful (and clearly frightened) commentators were men. [Brattleboro Reformer]

¶ “Renewable Energy’s Booming, But Still Falling Far Short of Climate Goals” • Renewable energy capacity quadrupled worldwide over the past 10 years, with an estimated $2.6 trillion invested in its growth, a UN report shows. But the speed of that growth still falls far short of what researchers say is needed to deal with global warming. [InsideClimate News]

Solar array on a pond in China (Stringer | AFP | Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “EcoFlow Delta Battery Is The Antidote To Emergency Generators” • The new DELTA backup battery will weigh about 30 pounds, far lighter than any gas powered generator you might find. EcoFlow is offering an 1,800-W battery with a capacity of 1300 Wh for $799 at Kickstarter. The company expects to start shipping them in December. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Solar Tops Coal As World’s Biggest Source Of New Capacity Over Past Decade” • The Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2019 report, shows that solar power accounted for the largest single share of the net 2,366 GW of new power capacity installed over the past decade, at 638 GW. That includes coal and other fossil fuels. [RenewEconomy]

Solar array in Australia

¶ “Global Investment In Renewable Energy To Triple This Decade, Says UN” • Energy from increasingly competitive renewable sources such as wind and solar has quadrupled globally in just a decade, a UN report said, but insatiable demand saw power sector emissions rise 10%. This is more than triple the amount of the previous decade. [Economic Times]

¶ “Oil And Gas Companies Undermining Climate Goals, Says Report” • Major oil and gas companies have invested $50 billion (£40.6 billion) in projects that undermine global efforts to avert a runaway climate crisis, according to a report. The report from financial thinktank Carbon Tracker analyzed individual projects for climate effects. [The Guardian]

Deep water platform (Dazman | Getty Images | iStockphoto)

¶ “Infrastructure Package Powers Up North Queensland Renewables” • An electrical infrastructure package is set to fire up North Queensland as more renewable energy projects are in the works. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the state government would support Genex’s project at Kidston with up to $132 million. [Utility Magazine]

¶ “Scots Marine Hooks MOU With Enel Green Power” • Italian renewables developer Enel Green Power and Scotland’s European Marine Energy Centre signed a memorandum of understanding to drive forward demonstration projects. It is to encourage knowledge sharing in marine energy technology development. [reNEWS]

Operations in Orkneys (Colin Keldie | EMEC)

US:

¶ “Miners Union President: ‘Coal’s Not Back. Nobody Saved The Coal Industry.'” • Cecil Roberts, president of United Mine Workers of America, spoke of a “harsh new reality,” saying the coal industry is not “back,” despite what Donald Trump says. Trump had claimed at a 2018 rally in West Virginia, “We are back. The coal industry is back.” [CNN]

¶ “DC And Washington Gas Both Agree We Need To Stop Burning Gas. What’s Next?” • The clean energy law going into effect this year in DC requires the District’s electricity mix to be 100% clean by 2032. But as strong as it is, the law is silent on the source of nearly one-fifth of DC’s greenhouse gas emissions: methane gas. [Greater Greater Washington]

Gas flaring (WCN 24/7 licensed under Creative Commons)

¶ “Bernie Sanders In Climate Change ‘Population Control’ Uproar” • Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has been criticized after arguing population control should be part of tackling climate change. The Vermont senator told a TV debate that women “in poor countries” should have access to birth control. [BBC]

¶ “Duke shuts Brunswick nuclear plant in North Carolina ahead of Hurricane Dorian” • Duke Energy shut down its two-unit Brunswick nuclear plant near Wilmington, North Carolina, in advance of the arrival of a hurricane. Plant operators told the NRC that the 1,978-MW station would be shut soon as required by regulations. [S&P Global]

Have a perfectly satisfactory day.

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September 5 Energy News

September 5, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Local Motors Will Introduce Its Olli 2 Autonomous Shuttle This Fall” • Olli is designed to provide shuttle service at colleges, hospitals, military installations, and other campus environments. As long as it stays within the confines of the space it is configured for, it is capable of Level 4 autonomy and requires no human driver/attendant. [CleanTechnica]

Olli 2 (Local Motors image)

¶ “The Science Behind The Climate Crisis” • Not sure how we found ourselves in this climate crisis? Still on the fence about how much the planet is warming and how much of it is caused by humans? Here are the facts as CNN presented them before its Climate Town Hall with ten of the leading 2020 Democratic presidential candidates. [CNN]

World:

¶ “This Is The Bahamas. This Is What Hurricane Dorian Did To It” • The pictures coming out of the Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian are truly frightening. Whole neighborhoods were under water. Apocalyptic destruction seemingly was everywhere. But it is not true that the entire country was flattened by the storm. [CNN]

Destruction (Adam Stanton | US Coast Guard)

¶ “Tesla Providing Clean Energy To Places Around The World That Desperately Need It” • While there is so much news about Tesla’s vehicles, and sometimes its US rooftop solar business, it is easy to forget that Tesla continues to bring stable electricity to many parts of the world that rely on diesel or have unstable access to electricity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “ACT Funds New ANU Renewables Lab As Australia Powers Past Target” • A new Australian National University laboratory funded by the Australian Capital Territory government will focus on the technologies and software that will monitor, control and coordinate renewable energy generation, including solar panels, batteries, and wind generators. [TheRiotACT]

Solar farm (RiotACT file photo)

¶ “New Zealand Utilities Announce Country’s First Floating Solar Array” • Two Auckland utilities announced plans to build New Zealand’s first and largest floating solar array in the heart of the city’s North Shore. They are Vector Limited, an electricity and gas distribution company, and Watercare, which provides water and wastewater services. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “German Renewables Groups Target Onshore Boost” • Ahead of a wind energy summit in Germany, several renewable energy business associations and green groups in Germany unveiled a 10-point plan aimed at revitalising the onshore wind sector in the country. They propose to remove the main barriers to wind energy development. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (reNEWS image)

¶ “Asia Gears Up For Energy Storage Boom” • Asia, thanks to China, is at the forefront of renewable energy. Now, according to a Navigant Research report, there will be substantial investments in storage as well. There is emphasis on energy storage software products, and Navigant expects $11 billion spent on them over the next ten years. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “Engie Expects Half Its New Renewable Energy Projects From PPA Deals” • French gas and power group Engie said it expects that in the three years from 2019 to 2021, it will contract for 4.5 GW of renewable capacity through power purchase agreements with companies or municipalities. That will be about half of its new renewable energy. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Wind turbines in France (Fr.Latreille, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “What Happened During CNN’s Climate Town Hall And What It Means For 2020” • Ten Democratic presidential candidates took to the stage for CNN’s climate town meeting as Hurricane Dorian menaced the East Coast and at a time when the impact of a warming Earth is no longer just a vision of a catastrophic future but is increasingly visible. [CNN]

¶ “Facebook Signs 200-MW Wind Power Purchase Agreement In Texas” • American online social media giant Facebook has signed a Power Purchase Agreement with Apex Clean Energy for 200 MW of the 525 MW Aviator Wind project. The project will be built in Coke County, Texas, and it is expected to be operational in 2020. [CleanTechnica]

Wind project (Facebook image)

¶ “Report Shows Massachusetts Will Fall Short Of Its Renewable Energy Goals Unless It Makes Some Changes” • A report from Vote Solar shows that inconsistent policy environment slowed Massachusetts’ once booming solar market dramatically. It says the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target is undermining its renewable energy targets. [Solar Builder]

¶ “Ameren Missouri To Invest $68 Million In Solar+Storage” • Ameren Missouri filed plans with the Missouri Public Service Commission to build three Solar+Storage facilities. Each will connect a large solar energy generation facility to battery storage. The installations will be the first-of-their-kind facilities in the state. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Solar array (NREL image)

¶ “Kansas Becomes A Leader In Renewable Energy” • A report from the Environment America and the Frontier Group shows that the US now produces 40 times more solar power and 270% more wind power than it did in 2009. Kansas stands out as it gets 47% of its electricity from renewables, second only to North Dakota. [Kansas City Business Journal]

¶ “Democrats Split Over Nuclear Energy Amid Climate Fight” • The use of nuclear power is splitting Democratic presidential candidates, with Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and businessman Andrew Yang among those calling for new nuclear plants and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) arguing vehemently against any expansions. [The Hill]

Have a fundamentally nifty day.

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September 4 Energy News

September 4, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Those Who Come After Us Will Either Curse Us – Or Thank Us” • I first saw that climate was changing in 2000, when I went to Antarctica to study penguins. Closer to home, my best friend, a lobster fisherman for 25 years, lost his living over an eight-week span when all the lobsters in Long Island Sound died because the water was now too warm. [CNN]

Forest fire (CNN)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Agrivoltaics Proves Mutually Beneficial Across Food, Water, Energy Nexus” • Building resilience in renewable energy and food production is a fundamental challenge in today’s changing world, especially in regions susceptible to heat and drought. Agrivoltaics, the co-locating of agriculture and solar photovoltaic panels, offers a possible solution. [Science Daily]

¶ “Greenland’s Ice Faces Melting ‘Death Sentence'” • Greenland’s massive ice sheet may have melted by a record amount this year, scientists say. In this year alone, it lost enough ice to raise the average global sea level by more than a millimeter. Researchers say they’re “astounded” by the acceleration in melting and fear for coastal cities. [BBC News]

Boat in an icy sea

World:

¶ “Australia’s Renewables Power Past Renewable Energy Target” • Australia continues to install renewables at record rates and will surpass the scrapped target of 41,000 GWh of renewable energy capacity around the end of 2020, analysis from The Australian National University shows. The newer target of 33,000 GWh has already been achieved. [Mirage News]

¶ “Electric Car Charge Posts To Be Installed In Every New Home In England” • England is making the transition to EVs easier by introducing a mandatory electric car charging point for each newly built home. Every brand new home, by law, will have to have a charging port for an electric vehicle, even if the new owners don’t have one. [CleanTechnica]

Charging an EV (Photo by Andy Miles)

¶ “China Sets Sight On Leapfrogging US And Japan In Fuel-Cell Vehicles” • China’s government set its sight on fuel-cell vehicles as the next growth engine in its automobile market, as it aims to catch up with the US and Japan in cutting emissions and to take a giant leap in technology. It will heavily subsidize both cars and charging stations. [South China Morning Post]

¶ “‘Record’ Turbine Orders Placed In Q2 2019” • Wind farm developers placed a record 31 GW of turbine orders in the second quarter of 2019, according to new research by Wood Mackenzie. The previous record set in the fourth quarter of last year was beaten by 13.2 GW, the ‘Global Wind Turbine Order Analysis: Q3 2019’ report said. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Pixabay image)

¶ “Restart Of Scotland Nuclear Reactor Where Cracks Found Delayed Again” • EDF Energy extended an outage at the Hunterston B-7 reactor in Scotland to Jan 15, 2020 from Oct 1, 2019, the British arm of French utility EDF said on its website. It has been offline since March 2018 after routine inspections found cracks in its graphite core. [Nasdaq]

¶ “China’s Envision Sets 100% Renewables Target For 2025” • Chinese wind turbine maker and digital energy technology firm Envision has set a 100% renewable power target by 2025 for its operations. The Climate Group announced that Envision joined RE100 and set the most ambitious goal among its Chinese members. [Renewables Now]

Envision wind farm in China

US:

¶ “Exxon Dumped From S&P 500 Top 10 For First Time In 90 Years” • When S&P published its latest numbers at the beginning of September, Exxon was no longer in the top 10 companies, for the first time in history. It has slipped to number 12 and now represents just 1% of the total index. Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon are the first three. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Elizabeth Warren Embraces Jay Inslee’s Climate Change Platform” • Sen Elizabeth Warren announced she would adopt Washington Gov Jay Inslee’s 10-year climate plan. She would also put $1 trillion into additional protections to workers and to help fund a radical transition of American infrastructure and industry away from fossil fuels. [CNN]

Elizabeth Warren at a Town Hall event (CNN)

¶ “Ørsted To Build 230-MW Wind Farm In Nebraska” • Lincoln Clean Energy, an Ørsted company, issued the Final Notice to Proceed on its Plum Creek wind facility in Nebraska’s Wayne County. This follows the final investment decision from Ørsted’s Board of Directors. The 230-MW wind farm is expected to be operational in 2020. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Julián Castro Rolls Out $10 Trillion Plan To Fight Climate Change” • Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro released his plan to combat climate change. The Democratic presidential candidate outlined his approach to what he calls the “greatest existential threat to our future” ahead of his appearance at CNN’s climate crisis town hall. [CNN]

Julián Castro (Stephen Maturen | Getty Images)

¶ “Homeowners Upgrade To Geothermal To Save Money And Reduce Emissions” • Homeowners who were not happy with the costs of oil-fired HVAC systems have found financial relief with a Dandelion residential geothermal system. Geothermal heating and cooling systems have been expensive, but Dandelion makes geothermal a low-cost option. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Exelon’s Three Mile Island-1 Nuclear Unit Reducing Output Before Permanent Shutdown” • Exelon Generation’s 890-MW Three Mile Island-1 nuclear unit in Middletown, Pennsylvania, is reducing its output prior to being permanently shut later this month, the company said. Exelon is closing TMI-1 because it is uneconomical to operate. [S&P Global]

Have a fantastically nice day.

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September 3 Energy News

September 3, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Attacks on Greta Thunberg, Say Allies, Show Just How ‘Terrified’ Reactionary Forces Have Become of Global Climate Movement” • As champions of Greta Thunberg hit back against malicious right-wing bullies, she said, “When haters go after your looks and differences, it means they have nowhere left to go. And then you know you’re winning!” [Common Dreams]

Greta Thunberg (Photo: Anders Hellberg | Effekt)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Scientists Say Climate Change Will Lead To More Powerful Storms, And Hurricane Dorian Proves They’re Right” • Climate scientists have warned for over a decade that climate change will lead to more powerful storms, more often, and farther north. Hurricane Dorian is the most power ever, for the Atlantic outside the Caribbean. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Why Are Hurricanes Like Dorian Stalling, and Is Global Warming Involved?” • Research shows that more North Atlantic hurricanes have been stalling as Dorian did, leading to more extreme rainfall. Their average forward speed has also decreased by 17% from 1944 to 2017, according to a study published by scientists at NASA and NOAA. [InsideClimate News]

Hurricane Dorian (NOAA GOES satellite imagery)

¶ “Decarbonizing The Power Sector With Renewable Gas” • One way to help decarbonize the electric grid is through the use of hydrogen produced from renewable power resources. Excess wind and solar power are used to create hydrogen, then the renewable hydrogen is burned in gas turbines when power is needed on the grid. [POWER magazine]

¶ “Fraunhofer ISE Introduces Invisible Solar Roofs For Vehicles” • As the EV revolution progresses, it makes sense to integrate solar cells on horizontal surfaces like roofs. Now Fraunhofer ISE says it has invented a way to manufacture a solar roof for vehicles that can be any color the manufacturer wants, matching the color of the car. [CleanTechnica]

Car with a solar roof (Credit: Fraunhofer ISE)

World:

¶ “472 Vehicle-To-Grid Smart Chargers Coming To The Netherlands” • After some smaller pilot V2G projects showed potential for a more stable grid and better use of renewable energy, there is now a larger experiment. A subsidy of €5 million is to be available to support 472 smart chargers at charging plazas in 21 Dutch cities. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Netherlands – Fossil Cars Down 20%, Electrics Up 75%” • In August, overall Dutch automobile sales were down by 16% year over year. Sales for cars powered by fossil fuels vehicles fell 20% from 39,430 to 31,430. At the same time, sales of fully electric vehicles jumped to 2,800 from 1,579 a year earlier, an increase of over 75%. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model S in the Netherlands (Chanan Bos | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Yeo: Malaysia Aiming For 20% Renewable Energy Use By 2025” • The government of Malaysia is seeking to increase the country’s target of renewable energy generation to 20% in the next six years, according to Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin. The plan is to be launched this month. [Malay Mail]

¶ “Scotland Launches Offshore Hub” • The offshore renewables industry and public sector on Scotland’s east coast are working closely together to expand and increase growth of the regional supply chain. The Forth and Tay cluster, consisting of a group of councils and businesses, will host an number of offshore wind projects and initiatives. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbine (ORE Catapult image)

¶ “Report Warns Japan That Era Of Nuclear Decommissioning Looms” • Japanese policy-makers adopted a report saying the country is entering an era of massive decommissioning of nuclear plants. Japan’s Atomic Energy Commission urged plant operators to plan ahead to lower safety risks and costs for the massive work ahead. [Energy Voice]

¶ “Vestas On Double Time For OX2 In Finland” • Vestas is to supply turbines to two wind farms totaling 60 MW in Finland for OX2 projects backed by Infracapital. Kropuln and Storbacken will be built on a merchant basis and feature V150-4.2MW turbines delivered in power optimised mode. Commissioning expected in 2021. [reNEWS]

Erecting a wind turbine (Vestas image)

US:

¶ “The Hellish Future Of Las Vegas In The Climate Crisis: ‘A Place Where We Never Go Outside'” • Temperatures in Las Vegas have risen 5.76°F since 1970. A Union of Concerned Scientists report warns that without global action to reduce CO₂ emissions, the city will likely see 96 days of heat above 100°F annually by the end of the century. [The Guardian]

¶ “PV Peaker Plant A Model For Solar-Plus-Storage Projects” • Pairing solar energy with batteries lets utilities store excess power when the sun is shining but demand is low, and use it after the sun sets. One innovative project on the Hawaiian island of Kaua‘i is doing that and more, tapping into several other benefits in the process. [POWER magazine]

Solar battery at the end of a rainbow in Hawaii

¶ “A Renewable Benefit: Texas Extends Tax Abatement Program” • Texas Gov Greg Abbott (R) signed into law a bill that extends the state’s Chapter 312 property tax abatement program until September 1, 2029. Tax incentives available in Texas make it one of the friendliest states in the country for renewable energy development. [POWER magazine]

¶ “Geothermal Key Element In 50% Renewable Energy Target In The State Of Nevada” • At a recent monthly meeting at the Northern Nevada Development Authority, Doug Cannon, CEO of NV Energy said that the utility is on track to reach 50% renewables ahead of schedule. The utility will use geothermal energy to supply baseload power. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

Have a magically worthwhile day.

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September 2 Energy News

September 2, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Investors Are Leading The Climate Change Charge Towards Zero Emissions And Cleaner Fuels While Governments Lag Behind” • Financial giants from Europe, China, Japan, the US, Australia, and elsewhere can see the looming risks and rewards, and they are not waiting for policymakers to signal what needs to be done. [South China Morning Post]

Icelandic girl, where the Okjokull glacier once was (Photo: AFP)

¶ “Unsanctioned Democratic Climate Change Debate Could Occur On TYT” • The DNC created a draconian rule to prevent Democratic candidates from taking part in unsanctioned debates. Candidates who take part in such debates will be barred entry to DNC-sanctioned debates. The Young Turks is trying to organize a climate change debate. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Australia’s Old Powerlines Are Holding Back The Renewable Energy Boom” • Australian wind and solar farms are putting downward pressure on energy prices, and there are hundreds of new renewable facilities set to come online. But that green energy is stretching the country’s outdated network of transmission lines. [ABC Local]

Wind farm (Gavin Coote | ABC Central West)

World:

¶ “Queensland Government Gives Nod To 64-MW Wind Farm Near Kingaroy” • Queensland could have a new wind farm on its grid by as early as next year, as plans for a 64-MW project were approved by the state Labor government. The $128 million project is set to be built by China-owned company Australian Energy Wind Farm. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “The Country Disappearing Under Rising Tides” • Bangladesh has been a vulnerable state for much of its short existence. In this flood-prone country, people have coped with rising water levels with a combination of innovation, flexibility, and resilience, but the extremes the environment is now throwing at them might be beyond anyone’s endurance. [BCC]

Bangladesh (Credit: Ignacio | Marin Institute)

¶ “Export Hydrogen An Opportunity From 100% Renewable Generation” • Hydrogen will be important for de-carbonizing the New Zealand economy, but the bigger gain could be from the development of a new export fuel industry, according to Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods. Hydrogen has numerous potentially important uses. [sharechat]

¶ “Irish Floods Becoming More Severe Due To Climate Impact” • Ireland and other parts of North-Western Europe are most likely to suffer from extreme flooding episodes prompted by climate change, a new study revealed. The study published in the journal Nature examined “river flow data” from thousands of locations over 50 years. [The Green News]

Flooding in Athlone in 2016 (Photo: Niall Sargent)

¶ “Mini-Grid Plants Will Address 40,000-MW Power Demand – Energy Council” • Building mini-grid, off-grid, and embedded power plants will help address Nigeria’s 40,000-MW electricity demand, the Council for Renewable Energy Nigeria stated. Nigeria’s national grid only has capacity to take a little above 7,000 MW of electricity. [The Punch]

¶ “Big Game-Changer! How Floating Solar Power May Help Modi Government Realise Its Renewable Energy Dream” • As land availability presents a challenge, water surfaces may play a role in the Indian government getting to its target of 175,000 MW of renewable energy capacity by 2022. It plans to add 10 GW of floating solar capacity. [Financial Express]

Floating solar array

¶ “Muirhall Ready For Crossdykes Kick-Off” • Muirhall Energy will kick off construction of Scotland’s first subsidy-free wind farm this week after reaching financial close on the 46-MW Crossdykes in Dumfries and Galloway. The project will have ten Nordex turbines with 176.5-meter tip heights. First power is expected in September 2020. [reNEWS]

¶ “WaveSub Wraps Up Cornwall Tests” • Marine Power Systems completed sea testing for its WaveSub prototype wave power device off the coast of Cornwall. Testing took place over the last 12 months proving the functionality of the 1:4 scale device across a range of sea states. According to the company, the results were promising. [reNEWS]

WaveSub (Image: Owen Howells Photography)

¶ “Section Of Exhaust Stack At Nuclear Plant Removed” • Workers have finished removing the top section of an exhaust stack for two damaged reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. TEPCO is trying to dismantle the upper half of the 120-meter-tall stack. The work is about a month behind schedule. [NHK World]

US:

¶ “Amy Klobuchar Outlines Plan To Combat Climate Crisis” • Sen Amy Klobuchar promised to “take aggressive executive action to confront” the climate crisis. She would bring the US back into the Paris Climate Agreement and introduce legislation to put the US on a path to 100% net zero emissions by 2050, among other things. [CNN]

Amy Klobuchar interview (screenshot, CNN)

¶ “Trump Doesn’t Think He’s ‘Ever Even Heard Of A Category 5’ Hurricane. Four Such Storms Have Threatened The US Since He Took Office” • Dorian is the most recent of four Category 5 hurricanes to endanger parts of the US since Trump assumed the Oval Office. With Dorian, he said he had never heard of such a thing. He said that of the earlier ones also. [CNN]

¶ “Bullrock Solar To Partner On Renewable Energy Effort With Porter Medical Center” • Bullrock Solar of Shelburne, along with the University of Vermont Medical Center and the UVM Health Network Porter Medical Center, announced that the UVMHN Porter Medical Center will be the beneficiary of an 800-kW solar field. [Shelburne News]

Have an enchantingly felicitous day.

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September 1 Energy News

September 1, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Uncertainty Of Climate Change Underscores The Need To Act” • Feedback loops, such as the release of CO₂ and methane from melting Arctic permafrost, mean that even if we achieve the very stringent greenhouse gas cuts required, there is a significant chance that warming from that amount of emissions could be much higher than 1.5°C. [The National]

Fire in the Amazon (Reuters)

¶ “Time Is Running Out To Act On Climate Change” • I won’t be around to see the worst impacts of climate change, but my children, grandchildren and countless families around the world will be. They’ll suffer the brunt of this crisis. They’ll bear the burden of cleaning up my generation’s mess. We can, and must, do better. – Former Senator Harry Reid [Las Vegas Sun]

¶ “The Importance Of Reducing Light Pollution” • Light pollution is something that doesn’t get enough attention. After reading an op-ed in The New York Times over the weekend by Dr. Kelsey Johnson, an astrophysicist, I thought it would be a good idea to give us all a reminder of the importance of reducing light pollution. [CleanTechnica]

Screenshot of DarkSiteFinder’s light pollution map

World:

¶ “State Discoms Owe Nearly ₹10,000 Crore To Producers” • Indian state-run power distribution companies owe ₹9,954.3 crore ($1.496 billion) to renewable energy producers, with the highest dues pending in southern states like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana, according to Central Electricity Authority of India data through August 20. [Hindustan Times]

¶ “How M-KOPA Labs Is Pulling Academic Research Into The Off-Grid Solar Industry” • As of November 2018, M-KOPA, a Kenyan off-grid solar company, has over 700,000 subscribing households. Unlike typical organizations in the low-cost solar industry, M-KOPA is meeting demand for larger appliances such as TVs or refrigerators. [CleanTechnica]

M-KOPA 600 product package

¶ “US Intel Says Mysterious Russian Blast Result Of Nuclear Missile Recovery Mission” • A US intelligence assessment found that the mysterious explosion off of Russia’s northern coast occurred during a recovery mission to salvage a nuclear-powered missile from the ocean floor, according to people with direct knowledge of the report. [UNIAN]

US:

¶ “Florida’s Cities Are Building To Fight Rising Seas. Small Towns May Struggle To Defend Themselves” • Delray Beach is joining other Florida towns that are developing plans to respond to the threat of rising seas. An engineering report estimated the cost of protecting its most vulnerable neighborhoods in the city of 65,000 people at $378 million. [CNN]

Delray Beach, Florida (Matt Gannon | CNN)

¶ “Panel Focused On City Push To Renewable Energy” • Early this year, the City Council of Keene, New Hampshire, adopted a non-binding resolution moving the city to 100% renewable electricity by 2030 and 100% renewable transportation and heating by 2050. A committee of residents and leaders has been hard at work to make that happen. [The Keene Sentinel]

¶ “Kansas Makes Good Use Of Wind Power, But Other Renewables … Not So Much” • Kansas is a national leader in wind energy, but a new report shows the state lags in the adoption of other so-called green technologies. Kansas has put in place policy and tax incentives to attract wind developers, but not for other renewable energy sources. [WCUR]

Wind farm (Brian Grimmett | Kansas News Service)

¶ “Indiana Studies Impact Of Climate Change On Storm Water Systems” • Anticipated increases in annual rainfall should signal a need for Indiana to consider whether existing storm water systems can handle flooding, a legislature-appointed panel was told. Indiana’s annual rainfall has increased by about 5 inches during the past century. [Terre Haute Tribune Star]

¶ “An Increasing Number Of Young Republicans Are Concerned About Climate Change” • A new poll has found that a growing number of young Republican voters are concerned about human-induced climate change. Of Republican voters aged 18 to 34, 67% are worried about climate change, an 18% increase since earlier polls. [Earth.com]

Have a hugely comfy day.

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August 31 Energy News

August 31, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “The Global Rich May Not Be Able To Dodge Clear-Air Flight Turbulence Due To Climate Change” • Many impacts of global warming will disproportionately impact the world’s poor. But there’s one that even the global rich will have trouble dodging: clear-air turbulence while flying, bumpiness that happens far above clouds, in clear weather. [CleanTechnica]

Simulation of great circle routes (nasa.gov)

¶ “Jalopnik’s Torch Is Right About Electric School Buses” • In a recent article at Jalopnik, Jason Torchinsky explained how degraded but functional EV batteries could work great for school buses. In short, he suggests using low-cost conversion kits and reusing discarded batteries from other EVs to repower school buses, at a low cost. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “‘Science Not Silence’: Greta Thunberg Takes Weekly Climate Strike To UN” • Swedish teenage activist Greta Thunberg took her weekly campaign for greater action on climate change to the gates of the UN, urging “everyone who cares about our future” to join her as world leaders gather in New York next month. She will address the UN on September  23. [SBS]

Greta Thunberg at UN protest (Image via Twitter)

¶ “Tesla Buyers In China Get 10% Discount As Tesla Is Granted Purchase Tax Exemption” • Tesla is getting another leg up in China, as the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology posted news on its website that it would grant a purchase tax exemption, equivalent to a 10% price reduction, to all of Tesla’s vehicles sold in the country. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “China Pushes Regions To Maximize Renewable Energy Usage” • China’s parliament will send inspection teams through the country to ensure regions are prioritizing renewable energy resources in a bid to cut waste and boost the sector’s profitability, Xinhua reported. Renewable generation is currently 38% of China’s capacity. [The Express Tribune]

Floating solar array (Reuters image)

¶ “Renewable Power Plants’ Output Tops 3.5 Billion kWh: Energy Minister” • Iranian Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian said that the country’s renewable power plants have so far produced over 3.5 billion kWh (3,500 GWh) of electricity, preventing production of over 2.461 million tons of greenhouse gases. Iran is expanding its renewable capacity. [Tehran Times]

¶ “Montenegro Power Utility To Build Its First Wind Farm” • EPCG, the power utility of the European nation of Montenegro adopted a €58 million ($65 million) plan to build the company’s first wind farm and help diversify the country’s energy sources. The 50-MW Gvozd project is set to produce 140 GWh per year, starting 2022. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Wind farm

¶ “Panasonic Sets Sights On 100% Renewable Electricity” • One of the largest consumer electronics companies, Panasonic, has announced that it has joined the Climate Group’s RE100, a program focused on bringing the biggest businesses in the world together to commit to 100% renewable electricity within their operations. [CSO Magazine]

¶ “Chile Taps ‘White Gold’ For Security Of Energy Supply” • In 2017, as he campaigned for office, President Sebastián Piñera pledged to power Chile’s national grid with 100% clean energy. This year, he promised to make Chile the first carbon-neutral developing country. Chile’s 10.3 million tons of lithium reserves will help with that. [pv magazine International]

AES Gener storage facility in Chile (Image: AES Gener)

¶ “Enel Seals 190 MW In Indian Wind Auction” • Enel Green Power has secured the rights to develop a 190-MW wind farm in India’s latest auction. EGP India won a 25-year energy supply contract in the tender, which was organized by the Solar Energy Corporation of India. The unnamed project is expected to start operations in the second half of 2021. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Federal Energy Data: Coal In Death Spiral, Renewables Surge” • Data from the US DOE’s Energy Information Administration shows that the amount of electricity generated by coal fell by more than 13% in the first half of this year. Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the US coal sector’s rating from “stable” to “negative.” [Environmental Working Group]

Coal-burning power plant

¶ “Dominion Energy To Deploy Electric School Buses; Utility Exceeds 2018 Virginia Authorized ROE” • Dominion Energy plans to deploy 1,050 electric school buses by 2025 in its Virginia service territory and replace all diesel school buses with electric versions by 2030. The initial deployment would start with 50 buses in 2020. [S&P Global]

¶ “Good News, Florida May Turn Completely Clean-Energy Within The Next 30 Years” • This week brought some much-needed good news on the fight for clean energy, as Florida Rep Anna Eskami filed HB 97, resurrecting an older bill that puts Florida on the path to 100% clean energy by 2050. A shorter-term goal for the bill is to have 40% by 2030. [Narcity]

Solar farm (mrganso | Pixabay)

¶ “NV Energy Boss: 50% Renewables Will Be Achieved ‘Well Before 2030’” • The CEO of NV Energy, applauded the 2019 Nevada Legislature for passing a bill mandating that 50% of NV Energy’s power come from renewables by 2030, but he said the company is ahead of that schedule. Its its last coal-burning plant will close by 2025. [NN Business View]

¶ “Energy Industry Confident Of Its Resilience To Hurricane Dorian” • Hurricane Dorian, a Category 4 storm (with winds of 130 to 156 miles per hour), is likely to make a mess out of Florida. But the energy industry has been preparing for years. The US nuclear energy industry alone has spent $4 billion since 2011 to storm-proof its facilities. [Forbes]

Have an unprecedentedly flawless day.

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August 30 Energy News

August 30, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Shrimp, Fish, And Solar: A Recipe For Success” • Fraunhofer ISE is leading experiments that combine solar power with aquaculture along the Mekong River in Vietnam. Many shrimp and fish farms use greenhouse-like structures to keep the water free of contaminants, and Fraunhofer is using the structures for solar power. [CleanTechnica]

Shrimp and solar (Credit: Fraunhofer ISE)

¶ “Tesla Patents Hinged Solar Roof Tile Mounting Frame With Integrated Wiring” • Tesla keeps on innovating with its solar roof tile installation process. A newly granted patent covers a hinged frame with integrated wiring that could speed up the physical installation and significantly simplify the wiring required for solar roof tiles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Truth Of Climate Change Is Recorded By Centuries Of French Wine Harvests” • Newly published records of grape harvests over 6.5 centuries reveal recent changes to Western Europe’s climate are like nothing we have seen before. Vintners and merchants in Burgundy have been keeping records of the wine harvests for 664 years. [IFLScience]

Wine records (Thomas Labbe)

World:

¶ “Coal’s Share Of UK Power Generation Drops To Record Low Of 0.7%” • The share of UK power generated by coal hit a record low of 0.7% between April and June, according to new figures published by the government. The data show that coal-fired generation is now a record 63% lower than during the same period in 2018. [Energy Live News]

¶ “World’s Largest All-Electric Ferry Enters Revenue Service In Denmark” • Ellen, the largest all-electric ferry in the world, completed sea trials, survived shakedown cruises, celebrated its maiden voyage, and has now entered revenue service on the 22-mile route between the cities of Søby and Fynshav, on islands in southern Denmark. [CleanTechnica]

Ellen (Credit: European Commission)

¶ “World Bank To Provide Bangladesh $185 Million For Renewable Energy” • The government of Bangladesh signed a $185 million financing agreement with the World Bank to build generating capacity for approximately 310 MW renewable energy in a bid to contribute to reliable, affordable electricity and cleaner air. [Dhaka Tribune]

¶ “Australian University Unveils New Renewable Power System” • The University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland has a new thermal energy storage system that promises to cut its energy usage 40%. Power from a 6,000 panel solar array chills 4.5 million liters water. The cold water is used to power the university’s air conditioners. [The University Network]

USC’s “water battery”

¶ “World Bank To Provide Bangladesh $185 Million For Renewable Energy” • The government of Bangladesh signed a $185 million financing agreement with the World Bank to build generating capacity for approximately 310 MW renewable energy in a bid to contribute to reliable, affordable electricity and cleaner air. [Dhaka Tribune]

¶ “Deutsche Bucht Nears The Finish Line” • Northland Power has completed installation of 31 MHI Vestas turbines on monopile foundations for the 269-MW Deutsche Bucht offshore wind farm in the German North Sea. There are only two turbines still to be installed, the company said. First power was delivered from the project last month. [reNEWS]

Deutsche Bucht (Northland Power image)

¶ “WNA Report: Global Nuclear Energy Capacity Rises For Sixth Straight Year” • The World Nuclear Association says that global nuclear generation increased in 2018 for the sixth straight year. Reactors worldwide produced more than 2500 TWh of electric energy, about 10% of global demand. The increase was most dramatic in Asia. [Power Engineering Magazine]

US:

¶ “Aptera Is Back, Baby! New, Improved Electric Car Will Have 1,000 Mile Range” • Aptera, which had a very innovative car design, went bankrupt in 2011. Now it is coming back, after changing the design to an EV. The company claims its new design will permit a driving range of 1,000 miles using a 100 kWh battery. [CleanTechnica]

Aptera concept (Aptera image)

¶ “EPA Proposes Rule Easing Regulation Of Methane Emissions” • The EPA announced a proposal to ease regulation of methane emissions, because it believes the Obama administration improperly regulated it. Methane is a particularly potent greenhouse gas believed to contribute significantly to climate change. [CNN]

¶ “100% Solar Power Is A Snap For Fifth Third Bank, So Where’s Everyone Else?” • Fifth Third is the first US bank and Fortune 500 company, and the first publicly traded company anywhere (on Earth, that is) to offset all of its carbon footprint by claiming the entire output from a single PV project through a power purchase agreement. [CleanTechnica]

Fifth Thirds’ renewables switch (screenshot via Fifth Third)

¶ “Xcel Energy’s Eastern New Mexico Wind Farm Going Into Service In 2020” • Xcel Energy announced construction of the 522-MW Sagamore Wind Project in New Mexico will begin this year and will be finished by the fourth quarter of 2020. The wind farm will generate enough electricity to supply annual power needs for 194,000 homes. [Carlsbad Current-Argus]

¶ “Green Mountain Power Partners With Sunrun To Expand BYOD Storage Program” • Green Mountain Power, which has 265,000 customers and is Vermont’s only investor-owned utility, is continuing to expand its bring-your-own-device (BYOD) battery storage program with the addition of Sunrun’s Brightbox home solar battery system. [Utility Dive]

Have a pleasantly exciting day.

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August 29 Energy News

August 29, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “It’s The Economics, Stupid! The Case For Carbon Fees” • Researchers at the Carnegie Institute For Science and the University of Waterloo found that putting a price on carbon would lead to greater innovation and energy efficiency. The results of their research have now been published in the scientific journal Joule. [CleanTechnica]

Shrink-wrapped money (Edward Betts, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Smart Charging Is Better Than Dumb Charging, German EV Study Finds” • Netze BW, the utility grid operator in Germany’s Baden-Württemberg region, studied the charging habits of EV drivers in its service area for 15 months. The report based on their data allays fears about simultaneously charging lots of electric cars. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Biochar’s Role In Mitigating Climate Change” • Carboculture has a patented technology that turns methane-spewing biomass wasted into high-carbon charcoal, in a carbon-neutral way. This allows a cleaner, more efficient way to make such charcoal products as biochar. And biochar can be important for further carbon sequestration. [CleanTechnica]

Biochar (Image © Carboculture)

¶ “Europe Warming Faster Than Expected Due To Climate Change” • Research in the AGU journal Geophysical Research Letters finds the number of summer days with extreme heat has tripled since 1950 and summers have become hotter overall, while the number of winter days with extreme cold decreased in frequency by at least half. [Newswise]

World:

¶ “Greta Thunberg, Climate Change Activist, Sails Into New York City” • Greta Thunberg has arrived in New York after a 15-day, 3,000 mile (4,800 km) voyage across the Atlantic. She will participate in UN climate summits in New York City and Chile. The 16-year-old Swede traveled by sail boat to minimize her carbon footprint. [BBC]

Greta Thunberg arriving (Greta Thunberg via Twitter)

¶ “Nuclear Inquiry Told ‘Firmed Renewables’ Cheapest And Best Option For Future” • A mix of distributed renewable energy generation and firming technologies including battery storage and pumped hydro remains the best path forward for Australia’s future grid, experts have told the federal government’s inquiry into nuclear power. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Chinese Firm To Build Renewable Power Projects In Bangladesh” • Bangladesh has set up a $400 million joint venture with a Chinese company to build renewable energy projects to provide 500 MW of capacity by 2023, a government official said. The venture is the latest sign of Beijing’s growing involvement in Bangladesh’s energy sector. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Solar farm

¶ “NSW Coal City, Newcastle, Sets Sights On 100% Renewables” • The New South Wales coal city of Newcastle is zeroing in on plans to take local government operations 100% renewable, after a feasibility study it commissioned earlier in the year estimated cost savings of up to $4.8 million to ratepayers by switching to renewable sources. [One Step Off The Grid]

¶ “Sunrise For Alberta’s Solar Industry: The Economics Of Commercial-Scale Projects Increasingly Make Sense” • Alberta’s renewable energy sector has long been dominated by wind, but industry experts say a massive, 300-MW solar farm proposed for southern Alberta is proof that a sun-powered revolution is now on its way. [Calgary Herald]

Solar PVs in Alberta (Christina Ryan | Calgary Herald Archives)

¶ “New Renewable Energy Power Plant Of Capacity 46,000 MW To Come Up In Gujarat” • Around 46,000 MW of renewable capacity is likely to be set up in the Indian state of Gujarat by 2030 taking the share of green energy in the state’s total capacity to 70%, a study from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis says. [ELE Times]

¶ “TEPCO, Chubu Electric, Toshiba, And Hitachi To Discuss Four-Way Nuclear Business Alliance” • TEPCO, Chubu Electric Power, Toshiba Corp and Hitachi Ltd said they have agreed to discuss potential collaboration on nuclear power, as the industry faces a challenging business environment following the 2011 Fukushima crisis. [The Japan Times]

Fukushima Daiichi (Kyodo)

US:

¶ “Energy Storage Technology Adoption In The US” • A report published by the US Energy Storage Association and Wood Mackenzie notes the US market has recorded a 232% year-over-year growth in terms of megawatts deployed in the first quarter of 2019. The US had 148.8 MW, 271.1 MWh, of energy storage deployed in the quarter. [Smart Energy]

¶ “Tesla Insurance Launches, Claims To Save Owners Up To 30% On Premiums” • Tesla launched its Tesla Insurance offering for owners in California with a promise to save owners up to 30% on premiums. Tesla is moving to provide the end-to-end vehicle purchase, service, fueling, and insurance services in a buildup for the Tesla Network. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Service Center (Tesla image)

¶ “NV Energy CEO Touts Progress On Renewables, Reliability And Cost Control” • The CEO of NV Energy told an audience at at the Northern Nevada Development Authority’s monthly meeting that the utility is on track to reach 50% renewables well ahead of schedule, with one of the nation’s most reliable electric services and stable pricing. [Nevada Appeal]

¶ “Bill Introduced To Allow Nuclear Power To Qualify As A Renewable Energy Source” • An amendment to California’s constitution would allow nuclear power to qualify as renewable under the state’s Renewables Portfolio Standard. Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham says it would make the renewable energy market more fair. [KSBY San Luis Obispo News]

Have an unanticipatably fortunate day.

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August 28 Energy News

August 28, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “From Bio Waste To SCOBY Packaging” • MakeGrowLab has a material that can replace plastic packaging. Its SCOBY product is home-compostable, has a shelf life of 2 years, is a microbial and oxygen barrier, is insoluble in water and impermeable to water, and is 100% free from plastic and microplastic. And SCOBY is even edible! [CleanTechnica]

SCOBY packaging (MakeGrowLab image)

¶ “Why The Arctic Is Smoldering” • More than four million hectares of Siberian taiga forest have gone up in flames, the Russian military were deployed, people across the region were choked by the smoke, and the cloud spread to Alaska and beyond. Fires have also raged in the boreal forests of Greenland, Alaska, and Canada. [BBC]

¶ “New Electric Aircraft Motor Lab Aims For 1-MW Electric Airplane Motor” • You know a new industry is born when investments pour in and results encourage more spending. Now, a new lab, the Collins Electric Aircraft Lab, wants to offer urban air mobility and the general electric aviation world a 1-MW electric airplane motor. [CleanTechnica]

Hybrid Electric Aircraft (United Technologies image)

¶ “This New York Agency Cut Its Energy Usage By 40%, And So Can You” • At the office of the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, the thermostats used to be set at 73°F, regardless of the season. By lowering them to 68°F during the winter and raising them to 78°F in the summer, the agency reduced its energy usage by 40%. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Heat From London Underground To Be Used To Warm Homes In Likely World First” • Londoners often complain about the stifling heat on certain Underground lines. In what is believed to be a world first, waste heat from the Northern Line is to be harnessed to heat homes and businesses in parts of London by the end of the year. [CNN]

Underground (Oli Scarff | Getty Images)

¶ “Payment Dues Of State DISCOMs Now Total ₹82 Billion to Solar, Wind, Hydro Power Producers” • Indian distribution companies have been defaulting on payments for renewable energy. Central Electricity Authority data shows that 472 renewable projects had unpaid dues totaling ₹82.3 billion (about $1.14 billion) as of July 31, 2019. [Mercom India]

¶ “Việt Nam To Have 2,000 MW Of Rooftop Solar Power Capacity In 2020” • Việt Nam’s total rooftop solar power capacity is expected to reach around 2,000 MW by the end of 2020, according to Việt Nam Electricity. More than 4,000 households have installed 200 MW of rooftop solar power systems during the past three months. [Viet Nam News]

Rooftop solar power in Việt Nam (Lê Đức Hoảnh | VNA/VNS)

¶ “Victorian Greens Continue Push For 100% Renewable Energy By 2030” • The Victorian Greens will move an amendment in State Parliament this week to boost the Victorian Renewable Energy Target for 2030 to 100%. A bill to take the state to 40% by 2025 to 50% by 2030 had been introduced by the Andrews Labor Government earlier. [Solar Quotes]

¶ “Russia Pushing ‘Unsuitable’ Nuclear Power In Africa, Critics Claim” • Russia is attempting to gain influence in Africa, and earn billions, by selling developing nations nuclear technology that critics say is unsuitable and unlikely to benefit many people. Rosatom has approached the leaders of dozens of African countries in the past two years. [The Guardian]

Rosatom and Congo officials at signing (Mikhail Metzel | TASS)

US:

¶ “CNN Announces Details For Climate Crisis Town Hall” • CNN announced the candidate lineup for its unprecedented prime-time event focused on the climate crisis. Ten Democratic presidential hopefuls will appear in New York at back-to-back town halls on Wednesday, September 4, taking audience questions about their climate plans. [CNN]

¶ “Teen Eco-Activist Greta Thunberg To Arrive In New York After 2-Week Sail” • Eco-activist Greta Thunberg is expected to arrive in New York City on Wednesday, two weeks after she set sail from the English coastline, as part of her campaign to pressure politicians to put climate change at the top of their agendas. [NBC New York]

Home sweet home for 14 days (Greta Thunberg via Twitter)

¶ “sonnen And Wasatch Group Launch Largest Residential Virtual Power Plant – 12.6 MWh” • A community of apartments in Utah is being built with 12.6 MWh of sonnen’s ecoLinx battery systems. It will have 600 of sonnen’s 20-kWh ecoLinx intelligent energy storage units installed across the community into a single virtual power plant. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “STracker’s Elevated PV Brings Community Solar To Ashland” • An elevated 34-kW community solar tracker installation was completed at ScienceWorks Hands-on Museum, kicking off Ashland Community Solar. ACS is founding a community solar co-op and developing ten 200-kW community solar systems in Ashland, Oregon. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Elevated solar system (Courtesy of STracker)

¶ “Wind Energy Retains Lead Over Hydropower, According To Latest EIA Report” • The latest issue of EIA’s “Electric Power Monthly” shows both solar and wind continued to grow. US wind generation increased by 0.9% to 7.8%, topping by hydropower by 0.4%. Solar power accounted for 2.7% of the nation’s total net generation. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Project To Give LA Record-Cheap Solar Power Stymied By DWP Labor Union Concerns” • Los Angeles has been sitting on a contract for record-cheap solar power for over a month. City officials have declined to approve it because the city-run utility’s labor union raised concerns. It is still fuming over a decision to shut down three gas-fired power plants. [KTLA]

Have an amazingly superlative day.

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August 27 Energy News

August 27, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Bernie Sanders’ New Climate Plan Asks Democrats: Do You Want A Revolution Or Not?” • The massive scope and cost of Bernie Sanders’ $16.3 trillion, 10-year “Green New Deal” plan to confront climate change encapsulates both the potential appeal and the limits of the Vermont senator’s uncompromising presidential campaign. [CNN]

Bernie Sanders, 2016 (Max Goldberg, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Tyrant Trump Terrorizes Car Company Execs With Emissions Rollback Threats” • Donald Trump, reportedly enraged at car companies that reached an agreement with the state of California on auto emissions, commanded their executives to come to the White House so he could bludgeon them into supporting his emissions cut roll-back. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Amazon Fires: Brazil To Reject G7 Offer Of $22 Million Aid” • The Brazilian government has said it will reject an offer of $22 million in aid from G7 countries to help tackle the Amazon rainforest fires. Brazilian officials gave no reason for turning down the money. But President Jair Bolsonaro accused France of treating Brazil like a colony. [BBC]

Burnt area of the Amazon (AFP image)

¶ “India’s NTPC Plans 5 GW Solar Power Park” • The Chairman and Managing Director of NTPC told the Press Trust of India that his company is scouting for locations to set up solar power parks in the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. The company is expected to set up a 5 GW solar power park Gujarat at a total investment of ₹20,000 crore ($2.8 billion). [CleanTechnica]

¶ “India’s Largest Oil Refiner Plans $3.5 Billion Renewable Energy Investment” • According to media reports, Indian Oil Corp, the country’s largest refiner, plans to invest as much as ₹25,000 crore ($3.5 billion) over the next few years to set up wind, solar, and bio-fuel plants. Indian Oil now has an installed renewable energy capacity of 216 MW. [CleanTechnica]

Solar panels in India (Prashanthns, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Total makes 200-MW pipeline play in France” • French oil and gas company Total acquired developer Vents d’Oc and its pipeline of more than 200 MW of mainly wind projects. The deal was carried out by Total’s renewable electricity generation subsidiary in France Quadran, which operates a portfolio of more than 830 MW of solar, wind, and hydro. [reNEWS]

¶ “Russians release details on radiation after blast” • Russia’s state weather and environmental monitoring agency Rosgidromet said that the brief rise in radiation levels was caused by a cloud of radioactive gases containing isotopes of barium, strontium, and lanthanum that drifted across the area. The explosion killed six engineers. [NWAOnline]

Testing range entrance (File photo: Sergei Yakovlev | AP)

Australia:

¶ “Wind And Solar Set New Generation Records Across Australia Grid In July” • Wind generation set new records across Australia’s main grid in July, helping the total output of “new renewables” (wind and solar) to reach a new peak for the month also. The record was noted in The Australia Institute’s monthly National Energy Emissions Audit. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “ACT Finalises Shift To 100% Renewables, Now Eyes Transition To Electric Vehicles” • The Australian Capital Territory’s plan to decarbonize its transportation sector is picking up pace and is set to take center stage as the territory is completing its shift to 100% electricity and the first phase of its goal of zero emissions by 2045. [The Driven]

ACT zero-emission vehicles

¶ “Nuclear Power Not The Answer As Renewables Continue To Boom In Australia, Report Finds” • Australia’s renewable energy boom means the development of nuclear power is not a viable option, a report from public policy think-tank the Australia Institute said. It concluded that new “baseload” power sources like nuclear are uneconomic. [ABC News]

US:

¶ “Amazon Fires: Leonardo Dicaprio Gives $5 Million For Rainforest” • Leonardo DiCaprio’s environmental organisation is putting $5 million (£4.1 million) towards helping the Amazon rainforest after the recent surge in fires there. Earth Alliance will give the money to local groups and indigenous communities as they work to protect the Amazon. [BBC]

Leonardo DiCaprio (Getty Images)

¶ “Trump Skips G-7 Climate Meeting, Slams Renewable Energy, But Insists ‘I’m An Environmentalist’” • After skipping a key meeting on climate change at the G-7 summit, Trump said he would not jeopardize oil, coal, and natural gas industry profits by promoting renewable energy. He also told reporters, “I’m an environmentalist.” [Environmental Working Group]

¶ “University Of Arizona Partners With Tucson Electric Power On 100% Clean Energy Project” • The University of Arizona agreed with Tucson Electric Power to have its campus power needs met by 100% renewable energy, including solar, wind, and storage. The agreement is subject to approval by the Arizona Corporation Commission. [Daily Energy Insider]

Solar rooftop (University of Arizona image)

¶ “Solar Power Could Replace All US Hydro Dams Using ‘Just 13% Of The Space’” • Banks of solar panels would be able to replace every electricity-producing dam in the US using just 13% of the space they take up, according to a study published in Nature Sustainability. The researchers commented that the figure is “surprisingly modest.” [Carbon Brief]

¶ “Hawaiian Electric Pursues Approximately 900 MW Of Renewables In Latest Procurement” • HECO has launched its largest renewable energy procurement, seeking approximately 900 MW between Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii Island, with the first projects coming online in 2022. Hawaii aims to supply 100% renewable energy by 2045. [Utility Dive]

Have a delightfully stimulating day.

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August 26 Energy News

August 26, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “What Are The Chances One Or More Legacy Automakers Will Fail?” • Sandy Munro is a veteran of Ford, who branched out on his own. His business is about optimizing production to increase quality, lowering costs, and solving the technical challenges to bringing products to market. His thoughts on legacy automakers are not very flattering. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla seat factory (CleanTechnica photo)

Science and Technology:

¶ “A Giant Raft Of Rock Floating In The Pacific Could Help Heal Australia’s Great Barrier Reef” • A massive floating sheet of volcanic rock was first spotted on August 9, days after an underwater volcano is believed to have erupted near the Pacific Island of Tonga. It could help hela the Great Barier Reef, if it floats that far. [CNN]

World:

¶ “Scottish Government Backs 2-MW Tidal Turbine” • The Scottish Government is providing £3.4 million (€3.7 million, $4.16 million) in funding towards construction of the world’s most powerful floating tidal turbine. Orbital Marine Power will use the funding to deliver the next generation O2 2MW floating tidal energy turbine. [reNEWS]

O2 2-MW tidal turbine (Orbital Marine Power image)

¶ “Amazon Fires: G7 Leaders Close To Agreeing Plan To Help, Says Macron” • International leaders gathering at the G7 summit in the French town of Biarritz are reportedly nearing an agreement to help fight fires in the Amazon rainforest. French President Emmanuel Macron said a deal to provide “technical and financial help” was close. [BBC]

¶ “Borusan EnBW To Build Ten More Renewable Power Plants” • A major wind power plant investor, Borusan EnBW Energy is planning to build ten new renewable energy plants in Turkey, increasing its capacity in the country from 495 MW to 1,100 MW. Currently, Turkey generates more than 30% of its electricity from solar and wind power. [Daily Sabah]

Borusan EnBW wind plant

¶ “32 Leading Global Fashion And Textile Companies Make Commitments On Climate, Biodiversity And Oceans” • In a historic move, given the scale and importance of the coalition that has been created, 32 leading companies from the fashion and textile industry have given themselves a set of shared objectives in the form of a Fashion Pact. [Business Wire India]

¶ “GIG Acquires 47-MW Tysvaer Wind Project” • Macquarie’s Green Investment Group has purchased the 47-MW Tysvaer wind project in Norway from Spanish Power. Construction of the wind farm in the Tysvaer municipality, in southern Norway, is expected to start in early 2020. The Tysvaer wind farm will have 11 Siemens Gamesa 4.3-MW turbines. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “TEPCO May Consider Scrapping One Or More Reactors At Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Plant” • TEPCO said it may decommission one or more reactors at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant within five years, after reactivating two idled reactors at the same plant. The utility is considering Units 1 through 5 for decommissioning. [The Japan Times]

¶ “Eighteen Nuclear Power Plants In The EU Are Operating Without A Valid License” • There are 18 active nuclear power plants currently operating without a valid license in the EU, according to a report seen by Business Insider. The report was put together by Germany’s Green Party member and nuclear expert Sylvia Kotting-Uhl. [Business Insider]

Nuclear power plant (Arnd Wiegmann, Reuters)

US:

¶ “Sanders: Support Coal Country While Combating Climate Change” • Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders has told voters in coal-producing Kentucky that it is possible to be a friend of coal miners while also being a believer in climate change and the need for cleaner energy sources to combat it. [San Francisco Chronicle]

¶ “Detroit Zoo Plans To Be Powered By Renewable Energy By 2021” • Wind turbines and solar panels may soon be keeping the lights on in the Detroit Zoo. The zoo says it’s shifting to being powered entirely by renewable energy. It will use DTE’s MIGreenPower program to get electricity from renewable sources coming online in 2020. [LocalNews8.com]

Detroit Zoo’s Arctic Ring of Life Exhibit

¶ “Energy Companies Spend Millions Lobbying Massachusetts State House” • Companies with a wide range of energy interests are pumping millions into lobbying efforts in Massachusetts. In 2018, as many as 70 energy groups reported spending at least $5.3 million pushing their messages on Beacon Hill, a review of public lobbying records shows. [Boston Herald]

¶ “Holy Cross, Guzman Energy Announce Wnd Farm Project” • A new wind-farm project in Colorado is expected to supply green power to Holy Cross Energy, a regional electric cooperative, starting in mid-2021, the company announced. Holy Cross said it will buy 100 MW of the Arriba Wind Farm’s output to cover about 30% of its needs. [Aspen Daily News]

Have a fascinatingly mirthful day.

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August 25 Energy News

August 25, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Way To Dump All The Good News About Wind Power On A Friday Afternoon, DOE” • Friday afternoon is a time to release information you want everyone to ignore. Last Friday afternoon, the US DOE released three annual reports on the state of US wind power in 2018. Together, they track the rise of wind power, and the fall of coal. [CleanTechnica]

2018 Wind Technologies Market Report (screenshot)

¶ “Can We Reach 100% Renewable Energy in Time to Avert Climate Catastrophe?” • Mark Jacobson is less depressed than he was a decade ago, when he and Mark Delluci wrote a road map for becoming 100% reliant on energy generated by water, wind and sun by 2030. And this is despite the precarious position that climate change puts us in. [Truthout]

¶ “We Know How To Build An All-Renewable Electric Grid” • The main solution to climate change is well known: stop burning fossil fuels. The complexity is how to do this. As a scholar who does energy modeling, I and others see the outlines of a post-fossil-fuel future: We make electricity with renewable sources and electrify almost everything. [Fast Company]

Transmission system (Photo: Max Lederer | Unsplash)

¶ “Geoengineering: ‘Plan B’ For Earth Moves Center Stage” • Dismissed a decade ago as far-fetched and dangerous, schemes to tame global warming by engineering the climate have migrated from the margins of policy debates closer toward center stage. Reducing carbon pollution won’t be enough to keep Earth from overheating. [The Manila Times]

Science and Technology:

¶ “New Design For Next Generation Organic Solar Cells Is A 2-For-1” • The next generation of low cost, high efficiency organic solar cells is close at hand, except for one stubborn problem that researchers have been hammering away at for years. Now, it looks like a team at Columbia University has finally come up with a solution. [CleanTechnica]

Excitons form and decay (A Asadpoor Darvish, McCamey Lab)

World:

¶ “Greenpeace Study Reveals Highveld Is World’s Worst Sulphur Dioxide Hot Spot” • Greenpeace India released a study, using NASA satellite data, which found how the Kriel area of South Africa, with its high concentration of coal-fired power stations, ranks as the second-largest sulphur dioxide emission hotspot in the world. [Independent Online]

¶ “The US Says China Is Blocking $2.5 Trillion In South China Sea Oil And Gas” • China has been pushing its interests in the South China Sea, where there are large oil and natural gas reserves. This week the US State Department emphasized the value of the reserves, and the US’s interest in having its own oil companies develop them. [Quartz]

South China Sea (Maxim Shemetov | Reuters)

Brazil:

¶ “Amazon Rainforest Fires: Ten Readers’ Questions Answered” • Politicians and environmental activists are taking a stand against Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, blaming the Amazon fires on his policies. It’s a complex story, and online discussion of it has been full of misinformation, misleading photos, and errors. Here are answers to readers’ questions. [BBC]

¶ “Brazilian Protesters Rail Against Bolsonaro As Amazon Fires Rage On” • As fires burned across the Amazon and a worsening international and domestic crisis raged around Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, protesters took to the streets of cities in Brazil and abroad. The world’s richest countries are discussing the crisis at the G7. [The Guardian]

Brazilian protest (André Penner | AP)

¶ “Amazon Fires: Fines For Environmental Crimes Drop Under Bolsonaro” • The 84% increase in fires in the Amazon rainforest coincides with a sharp drop in fines for environmental violations, BBC analysis found. The Brazilian government’s official data shows fines so far this year dropped almost a third compared with the same period last year. [BBC]

US:

¶ “Parts Of California Are Too Wildfire-Prone To Insure” • Yet another real estate-related crisis has come up in California, but we’re not talking about its sky-high home prices. According to newly released data, it’s simply become too risky to insure houses in big swaths of the wildfire-prone state. So homeowners have to turn to the state. [Salon]

California wildfire (Jae C Hong | AP)

¶ “Democratic National Committee Votes Against Allowing 2020 Candidates To Participate In Climate Change Debate” • Members of the Democratic National Committee voted down a resolution that would have resulted in single-issue candidate debates. The issue of the climate crisis has been a focus of proposals for such a debate. [CNN]

¶ “Energy Storage Developer Buys Texas Windfarms With Major Battery Retrofit Planned” • GlidePath Energy, a US-based energy storage developer, bought a portfolio of eight North Texas wind farms totaling 149 MW of capacity. The company sees “a unique opportunity to optimize the performance of the wind farms through the addition of battery storage.” [Forbes]

Wind farm in Texas (Getty Images)

¶ “New Ad Campaign Part Of $2 Billion Effort To Promote Electric Cars” • Volkswagen has launched its Electrify America “Normal Now” ad campaign as part of a $2 billion investment to encourage the adoption of zero-emission vehicles. The campaign looks to normalize the ownership of electric cars in an attempt to increase EV adoption. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “White House Overhauls Launch Approval Process For Nuclear Spacecraft” • The White House has announced a new launch authorization process for spacecraft that use nuclear-powered systems, instituting a tiered framework that delegates decision-making for less risky missions and provides explicit guidance on acceptable risk levels. [FYI: Science Policy News]

Have a jubilantly carefree day.

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August 24 Energy News

August 24, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Climate change: Should you fly, drive or take the train?” • A return flight from London to New York emits an estimated 0.67 tonnes of CO₂ per passenger, according to the calculator from the UN’s civil aviation body, the International Civil Aviation Organization. That’s equivalent to 11% of the average annual emissions for someone in the UK. [BBC]

Greta Thunberg sailing (Finnbarr Webster)

¶ “Parsing The 35 Page, $16 Trillion Green New Deal From Bernie Sanders” • Bernie’s plan is projected to cost $16 trillion over the next 15 years. But Sanders says it will pay for itself by eliminating fossil fuel subsidies, requiring fossil fuel companies to pay for the damage their products do, and adding tax benefits of adding 20 million new workers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “David Koch Was the Ultimate Climate Change Denier” • David Koch died at the age of 79. He is best known as a major funder of right-wing political causes from tax cuts to deregulation, an arts patron, and a man-about-town. But to his critics, his most lasting political legacy might very well be the rapidly warming world that he left behind. [The New York Times]

David Koch in 2015 (Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “‘100-Year’ Floods Will Happen Every 1 To 30 Years, According To New Flood Maps” • 100-Year floods should happen about every hundred years. But Princeton researchers developing maps that predict coastal flooding for every county on the Eastern and Gulf Coasts found 100-year floods could occur annually in New England’s future. [Science Daily]

World:

¶ “Bolsonaro To Deploy Troops To Fight Amazon Rainforest Fires” • Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro is deploying the army to tackle the wildfires in the Amazon rainforest. The troops will be deployed for the next month, according to a presidential decree obtained by CNN. Hundreds of temporary firefighters are also being hired. [CNN]

Burned forest (AFP Contributor | AFP | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Tesla Will Obtain Battery Cells From LG Chem For Chinese Model 3 Production” • Tesla has said all along it will work with multiple battery suppliers for the electric cars it makes in China, beginning with the Model 3 later this year. A Bloomberg report said Tesla has agreed to source at least some of those battery cells from LG Chem. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volvo Group Brings Electrification And Autonomy To Industry” • Volvo Group announced that it is partnering with NVIDIA on autonomous driving systems for public transport, freight transport, refuse and recycling collection, construction, mining, forestry, and more. The change increases efficiency while reducing CO₂ emissions. [CleanTechnica]

HX2 autonomous electric load carrier (Volvo Group image)

¶ “Share Of Renewable Energy To Be Increased: Nadeem Babar” • Pakistan’s government intends to increase the share of renewable energy by setting long-term targets, Prime Minister’s Task Force on Energy Chairman Nadeem Babar said. He said the absence of such targets has caused today’s power sector issues, Radio Pakistan reported. [ARY News]

¶ “UK Climate Investments Supports Clean Energy Projects In South Africa” • The UK Climate Investments Impact fund in partnership with H1 Holdings has announced an investment of about $17 million in wind energy projects across South Africa. The Round 4 projects with a total capacity of 254 MW and are to be finished by the end of 2020. [Pumps Africa]

Wind turbines (Kalle Pihlajasaari, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “India Declares Ocean Power As Renewable Energy” • The Government of India declared that tidal and wave power for generating electricity are renewable resources. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy said this decision will boost the use of ocean energy in India as the government steps up efforts on climate change objectives. [Energy Live News]

¶ “Japanese Utilities Start Selling Uranium Fuel Into Depressed Market” • Japan’s nuclear operators are starting to sell some of their huge holdings of uranium fuel, as chances fade of restarting many more reactors eight years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The sales are likely to further depress the already weak uranium market. [Business Recorder]

Billet of uranium (US DOE, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “TEPCO To Submit Decommissioning Plan Regarding Five Reactors” • TEPCO will submit to a municipal official on Monday a plan regarding the decommissioning of five reactors at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear station, the world’s biggest atomic plant, Jiji Press said. This means 26 Japanese nuclear units are to be decommissioned. [Japan Today]

US:

¶ “Hawaiian Electric Seeks Bids For 900 MW Of ‘Dispatchable Renewables,’ Storage And Grid Services” • Hawaiian Electric issued a request for proposals for about 900 MW of renewable energy and energy storage projects. It’s the utility’s second major round of contracts in the past year combining solar and wind power with batteries. [Greentech Media]

Solar power in Hawaii

¶ “$107.4 Million Approved For Heavy & Medium-Duty EV Chargers In San Diego Area” • The California Public Utilities Commission approved San Diego Gas & Electric’s plan to add many more EV charging stations for medium and heavy-duty vehicles. In the next five years, $107 million will be invested in the charging infrastructure. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “DOE Releases Annual Wind Market Reports, Finding Robust Wind Power Installations And Falling Prices” • The DOE released annual market reports documenting data and trends in wind installations, technologies, costs, prices, and performance through the end of 2018 for three sectors: utility-scale land-based, offshore, and distributed wind. [Energy.gov]

Have a thrillingly serene day.

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August 23 Energy News

August 23, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Bill Gates Is Throwing Away Money On Ill-Advised Non-Solutions To Global Warming” • Bill Gates is not attending to the reality of the success of renewable energy, the unknowns of solar geoengineering, and the global failure of nuclear energy as a solution to global warming. His solutions funding would be vastly better spent in areas. [CleanTechnica]

Solar Geoengineering (NOAA Global Monitoring Division)

¶ “Fires Are Raging In The Amazon Forest. Here’s How You Can Help Slow All Rainforest Loss” • The Amazon draws down CO₂ and other greenhouse gases while slowing down the Earth’s rising temperatures. But it’s now burning at a record rate, with images from space showing the smoke covering much of Brazil. Each of us can help protect it. [CNN]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Future Of Food: Why Farming Is Moving Indoors” • Ten shipping containers dominate a corner of a Brooklyn parking area, each full of climate control tech, growing herbs that are distributed to local stores on bicycles. This is literally urban farming. Lighting, humidity, and temperature are all controlled in hydroponic indoor farming. [BBC]

Tobias Peggs at Square Roots farm (Square Roots image)

¶ “Ancient Tropical Plants Produce Cones In UK For First Time On Record” • Cycads have produced male and female cones outdoors in the UK for the first time in 60 million years, in an event that botanists say is a clear indication of climate change. The cycads are on the cliffs of a botanic garden on the Isle of Wight, off England’s south coast. [CNN]

World:

¶ “Amazon Fires: ‘Our House Is Burning’, Macron Warns Ahead Of G7” • French President Emmanuel Macron has said the record number of fires in the Amazon rainforest is an “international crisis” that needs to top the agenda at this weekend’s G7 summit. Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said Macron’s calls evoke “a misplaced colonialist mindset.” [BBC]

Fire in Brazil, 2011 (NASA, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “India Plans Large Renewable Energy Projects With Public Sector Companies” • The Indian government reportedly plans to rope in public sector companies to set up large-scale renewable energy projects on the lines of the ultra mega power projects program launched a few years back. The projects have capacities of up to 1.8 GW each. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Russian Nuclear Accident: Medics Fear ‘Radioactive Patients'” • Russian medics who treated radiation victims after a military explosion in the Arctic had no protection and now fear they were irradiated themselves. Five nuclear engineers died on 8 August when an “isotope-fuel” engine blew up at the Nyonoksa test range, officials said. [BBC]

Russian hospital (archive pic) Getty Images

¶ “Russia Launches Floating Nuclear Reactor In Arctic Despite Warnings Of ‘Chernobyl On Ice'” • Russia is launching the world’s first floating nuclear reactor for a journey on the Arctic Ocean, despite environmentalists warning of serious risks. It will leave the Arctic port of Murmansk to begin its 5,000 km journey to northeastern Siberia. [The Japan Times]

Australia:

¶ “Works Begin To Bring Renewable Energy To Remote Indigenous Communities” • Works are underway to bring renewable energy to remote Indigenous communities in Queensland’s Far North, creating jobs and reducing costs and emissions. The state is delivering on an earlier commitment to bring them renewable energy. [Utility Magazine]

Solar array (Shutterstock image)

¶ “ARENA Backs Solar Hydrogen Plant In Brisbane As Electrolyser Costs Tipped To Plunge” • A $3.1 million pilot project to produce green hydrogen via electrolysis at an existing gas facility in Queensland has won $950,000 in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. The 220-kW electrolyser will be powered by a solar array. [The Guardian]

¶ “Australian Thermal Coal Exporters Warned Of Falling Demand From India” • Thermal coal exporters face “significant risk” that demand from India will decline, a report from the office of Australia’s chief economist says. The Indian  market is considered a “great hope” by miners, but the report warns of its long-term uncertainties. [The Guardian]

Open pit mine (redbrickstock.com | Alamy Stock Photo)

US:

¶ “Consumers Energy Focusing On Renewable Energy, Asking Michiganders To Help” • Michigan utility Consumers Energy is on a mission to meet the state’s electricity needs by greater use of clean energy in the coming decades. The  company is on a  statewide campaign to encourage customers to use less energy to fight climate change. [WNEM Saginaw]

¶ “Bernie Sanders Unveils Comprehensive $16.3 Trillion Green New Deal Plan Amid Climate Crisis” • Sen Bernie Sanders added progressive meat to the bones of the Green New Deal with the release of a comprehensive $16.3 trillion climate change program ahead of a campaign stop in Paradise, California, the city leveled by a devastating 2018 wildfire. [CNN]

Bernie Sanders, 2016 (Phil Roeder, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Duke Energy Renewables Completes Nine Solar Projects In Conjunction With Georgia Power’s Renewable Energy Development Initiative” • Duke Energy Renewables announced that nine solar projects developed with SolAmerica Energy have begun commercial operations in central Georgia. The company’s solar capacity in Georgia is now 27.4 MW. [EnerCom Inc.]

¶ “Detroit Zoo To Be Powered By 100% Renewable Energy” • The Detroit Zoo will be powered by 100% renewable energy through DTE Energy’s MIGreenPower program, a voluntary renewable energy offering that helps DTE electric customers reduce their carbon footprint and support the development of renewable energy in Michigan. [WSYM-TV]

Have a consummately peachy day.

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August 22 Energy News

August 22, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Canada Subsidizes Fossil Fuels, Can’t Talk Climate Change In Election Year” • Canada continues to subsidize fossil fuels, and progress on eliminating subsidies for the sectors creating greenhouse gases depends on the results of the Canadian election. But if charities advertise that climate change is real, they will lose their charity status. [CleanTechnica]

Oil rig in Halifax, NS (Janisb, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “Government Steps Up Renewable Energy Push For Bali Electricity Supply” • Indonesia’s Energy and Mineral Resources Minister said he wanted Bali to produce 350 MW of electricity from renewable energy sources in six years. The newly produced capacity would meet 17.5% of Bali’s total electricity projected consumption in 2025. [Jakarta Post]

¶ “China Looks Inland To Boost Renewable Energy Deployment” • China, which already accounts for 45% of all investments in renewables worldwide, will increase deployment of solar power schemes inland over the coming decade. Gansu and Xinjiang provinces will see the highest concentration of solar projects in the future. [Utilities Middle East]

Large solar array

¶ “Atlas Renewable Energy Begins Operation Of 156 MW Solar Plant In Brazil” • Atlas Renewable Energy, a leader in clean energy in Latin America, announced that its largest project in Brazil, the 156-MW Juazeiro Solar Plant, is fully operational. The plant has an installed capacity of 156 MW and will generate an estimated 357 GWh yearly. [Saurenergy]

¶ “Enel Turns Sod On 133-MW Sao Goncalo” • Enel Green Power has started building the 133-MW expansion of the Sao Goncalo solar park, in Brazil’s north-eastern state of Piaui. The expansion, in Sao Goncalo do Gurgueia, will bring the capacity of the Sao Goncalo solar farm to 608 MW. Enel is investing €100 million on the addition. [reNEWS]

Enel solar array (Enel Green Power image)

¶ “Mining Giants Seek Huge Wind And Solar Projects To Justify CopperString 2.0” • A $1 billion plan to extend the National Electricity Market almost 1000 km across northern Queensland to a region with a world class minerals industry has set in motion what is being called the “largest industrial de-carbonization initiative” in Australia. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Ukrainian Nuclear Power Plant Used To Mine Cryptocurrency, Putting State Secrets At Risk” • A person with access to restricted parts of a nuclear power plant in Ukraine was using it to mine cryptocurrency, a “power hungry” endeavor. This has potentially exposed the facility’s top secret security plans, according to a court case. [RT]

South Ukraine NPP (Вальдимар, Wikimedia Commons)

India:

¶ “India’s 1.8-GW Wind Energy Tender Undersubscribed By 1.2 GW” • The trend of poor response from project developers to India’s wind and solar power projects continued with the eighth national-level wind energy tender. The 1.8-GW tender attracted only two bids totaling 550 MW. Several economic problems can be blamed for the lack of interest. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “MNRE Begins Allocation of Renewable Capacities To States Under KUSUM Program For India’s Farmers” • India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy issued a memorandum for state-wise renewable energy capacity allocation under the KUSUM program for the country’s farmers. The program aims to add a solar capacity of 25,750 MW by 2022. [Mercom India]

Small renewable systems (Pooja Jadhav, CC BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Why India’s Wind Turbine Makers Are Under Stress” • Indian feed-in tariffs for wind energy went to record lows in 2017. Earlier, wind power developers would set up projects at tariffs between ₹4/kWh (5.6¢/kWh) and ₹6/kWh. This changed in 2017 with the introduction of the auction regime, and power prices fell to ₹3.46/kWh. [BloombergQuint]

¶ “Indian Oil Corporation Plans To Invest ₹250 Billion In Renewable Energy Projects” • The Indian Oil Corporation Ltd plans to diversify its business and make significant investments to the tune of ₹250 billion ($3.48 billion) in clean energy projects. It aims to invest ₹2 trillion ($28 billion) in the next five to seven years for energy solutions. [Mercom India]

IOCL solar system (Image Credit: IOCL)

US:

¶ “Duke Energy Spreads FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) About Renewables In North Carolina” • The Environmental Working Group is calling out Duke Energy for its outrageous claim that introducing more solar power into the state will cause a surge in emissions. Duke said emissions come from natural gas plants ramping up and down. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Middlebury College And Project Partners Celebrate Groundbreaking For Anaerobic Digester” • Representatives of Middlebury College, Vanguard Renewables, Vermont Gas, Goodrich Farm, and the State of Vermont gathered for the groundbreaking of the largest anaerobic digester east of the Mississippi River. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Goodrich Family Farm in Salisbury, Vermont

¶ “Vistra Energy To Close Four Illinois Power Plants” • Vistra Energy announced that four power plants will retire to meet the requirements of the recently approved revisions to the Multi-Pollutant Standard rule imposed by the Illinois Pollution Control Board. Without the rule change, the company’s entire downstate fleet was at risk of near imminent retirement. [Stockhouse]

¶ “Renewable Energy Providers Win Skirmish Against Dominion, But Larger War Drags On” • Two renewable energy providers won a victory against Dominion Energy, which had blocked them from signing up customers. The State Corporation Commission ordered Dominion to process the enrollments immediately. But the issue is not entirely over. [Virginia Mercury]

Have a quintessencially nifty day.

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August 21 Energy News

August 21, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Big Oil Is Scared” • Here is a simple truth: The world cannot build more fossil fuel infrastructure and have a habitable climate. Science bears this out, and a growing number of people around the world are putting their bodies on the line in the service of said science and habitable climate as well as protecting other natural resources. [Gizmodo Australia]

Demonstration (Photo: AP)

¶ “US Subsidizes Fossil Fuels To The Tune Of $4.6, $27.4, Or $649 Billion Annually, Depending On Source” • Congressional research puts US annual fossil fuel subsidies at $4.6 billion. The NRDC G7 puts the number at $27.4 billion. The IMF includes negative externalities in health and climate, puts the cost at $649 billion annually. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “ZeroAvia Testing Hydrogen-Powered Electric Airplanes” • ZeroAvia, based in California, announced the it is developing electric airplanes powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The airplanes would carry 10 to 20 passengers on flights of no more than 500 miles. ZeroAvia claims they will be cheaper to make and operate than conventional aircraft. [CleanTechnica]

ZeroAvia prototype (ZeroAvia image)

World:

¶ “Mercedes And Fiat Will Electrify A & B Class Cars For European Market” • Fiat CEO Olivier François tells the press his company’s electrification strategy will focus on small cars. The Fiat 500 and Panda account for nearly a third of all small car sales in Europe and the company intends to maintain its market share in that segment. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Record Number Burning In Brazil Rainforest – Space Agency” • Brazil’s Amazon rainforest has seen a record number of fires this year, according to data from the country’s space research agency. According to the National Institute for Space Research, its own satellite data showed an 83% increase from the same period in 2018. [BBC]

Fire in the rainforest (Reuters)

¶ “Recycling And Renewable Energy Center Opens In Glasgow” • The Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre which will divert more than 200,000 tonnes of waste from landfill and generate enough power for more than 26,000 homes has been officially opened. The site will divert 90% of all the council waste it handles from landfill. [insider.co.uk]

¶ “Germany: 72% Of Power Needs To Be Met By Non-Hydro By 2030” • The share of renewables in Germany reached 53.4% of the country’s power mix in 2018 and is expected to reach 72.7% by 2030. Non-hydro renewable energy is expected to meet the country’s power demand after nuclear and coal is phased out, according to GlobalData. [ESI Africa]

Water over a dam (Featured image: Stock)

¶ “New Wind Farm Near Assiniboia, Saskatchewan, To Double Province’s Wind Energy Production” • Ground has been broken on a new wind farm in Saskatchewan. The $325-million Golden South Wind Energy Facility is expected to produce 200 MW of wind energy, nearly doubling the amount of wind energy the province produces. [CBC.ca]

¶ “South Korea Calls In Japanese Diplomat Over Plans For Fukushima Water” • South Korea’s Foreign Ministry summoned the economy minister from the Japanese embassy in Seoul to discuss a reported plan that would see water contaminated from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown discharged into the Pacific Ocean. [Japan Today]

Water storage at Fukushima (Issei Kato | Reuters file image)

US:

¶ “Ten Democratic Presidential Candidates Will Participate In CNN Climate Town Hall” • CNN is devoting the evening of Sept 4 to the climate crisis. Ten Democratic candidates for president have qualified for the Climate Crisis Town Hall. A CNN poll showed that 96% of Democrats favored taking aggressive action to slow the effects of climate change. [CNN]

¶ “Renewables To Reach 30% Of US Energy By 2030” • The contribution of renewable power to total installed capacity in the US is expected to double to 30% by 2030 from today, a study from GlobalData forecasts. The study also projects that  the share of coal-based capacity will decline from 27.2% in 2018 to 13.5% in 2030. [reNEWS]

California Solar array (Recurrent Energy image)

¶ “California Has More Clean Energy Jobs Than Fossil Fuel Jobs” • Clean energy jobs in California now outnumber jobs in the fossil fuel industry five to one, a study has found. More than 512,000 people are employed in jobs related to clean energy, from installing solar panels to building electric cars. This is one in seven such jobs in the US. [The Mercury News]

¶ “Appalachian Power Rolls Out 100% Renewable Option For VA Customers” • Wind Water & Sunlight, a service of Appalachian Power, will supply 100% renewable power to any customer in Virginia using renewable resources from AEP’s generation portfolio. It is the first such program approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission. [WFXRtv.com]

Wind farm (Courtesy: Appalachian Power)

¶ “Stony Brook, A Clean-Energy Leader, Tied To Fossil-Fuel Plant For Power” • As Stony Brook University, on Long Island, doubles down on measures to cut its energy use with a $79 million investment, the school has been working behind the scenes to renegotiate a power contract that ties it to a fossil-fuel plant for nearly all its energy needs. [Newsday]

¶ “North Carolina Clean Energy Plan Could Reduce Power Sector Emissions Up To 70% By 2030” • North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality released a draft Clean Energy Plan that calls for the state to reduce power sector greenhouse gas emissions between 60% and 70% by 2030, relative to the levels of 2005. [Utility Dive]

Have an incredibly beneficial day.

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August 20 Energy News

August 20, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Volkswagen Has An Opportunity To Bankrupt Top Competitors” • Volkswagen Group may be getting serious about EVs, and that could disrupt other major automakers’ slow walk toward electric power. There are some signs that Volkswagen is prepping to get aggressive in the EV market, with a potential to land a lot of conquest sales. [CleanTechnica]

VW ID.3 Ionity

¶ “It’s Official: Wind Power Is Catching Up To Natural Gas” • If you blinked, you missed it. The US DOE has released a report indicating that the price of wind power is becoming competitive with natural gas for electricity generation in some markets. Good luck finding the press release, though. It’s a no-show on the DOE home page. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The False Promise Of Nuclear Power In An Age Of Climate Change” • The sobering reality of climate change has led some prominent observers to re-embrace nuclear energy and declare it clean, efficient, economical, and safe. In reality, it is expensive and poses grave dangers to our physical and psychological well-being. [Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists]

Watts Bar

Science and Technology:

¶ “Burger King Dared Me (And My Cat) To Taste Test The Impossible Whopper” • Impossible Foods analyzed animal-based foods at the molecular level and developed plant-based proteins to replicate their taste and texture. Now their patty is used in Burger King’s Impossible Whopper. It could be a step to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “At The Bottom Of A Glacier In Greenland, Climate Scientists Find Troubling Signs” • Scientists in NASA’s OMG (Oceans Melting Greenland) program are investigating how ice is being attacked. They have found that the melt results not only by rising air temperatures but also by the warming ocean, which is eating away the ice from underneath. [CNN]

Greenland ice (Eric Rignot)

World:

¶ “Canada Election: Charities Warned Against Climate Change Ads” • Canada’s election watchdog warned environmentalists that saying climate change is real could break the law. The issue arose because one party running in October’s election denies climate change is a threat, so paid advertisements about climate change could be considered partisan activity. [BBC]

¶ “Lightning Strike Linked To UK Blackout” • A lightning strike on the UK transmission system has been identified as a contributing factor in the loss of two large power generators, including an offshore wind farm, that led to a power blackout across large parts of the country. A report on the incident said such an event is “extremely rare.” [reNEWS]

Operating the grid (National Grid image)

¶ “Irish farmers who want to build solar projects left frustrated as Government drags its heels” • Four pioneering farmers have cleared a series of planning and other hurdles to establish solar farms on their land. But delays in the introduction of a new Government energy auction system are jeopardising their development. [Irish Times]

Australia:

¶ “Coles Secures 10-Year Solar Power Agreement” • Australian retail giant Coles has secured a 10-year agreement with global renewable power generation company Metka EGN to build three new solar power plants. Coles has been moving quickly on renewable energy and will have solar panels on thirty stores by the end of 2019. [ChannelNews]

Coles store with a solar roof

¶ “Schwarzenegger-Backed Start-Up Helps Australia Wind Farms Duck Negative Prices” • A California start-up backed by Arnold Schwarzenegger launched what it calls the first energy trading software backed by AI. It is helping local wind and solar farms dodge negative prices and will deliver a lift in revenue for battery storage. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “NSW Manufacturer Shifts To 50% Renewables With Wind And Solar PPA” • The Australian arm of global industrial products manufacturer Molycorp has signed a renewable energy off-take deal with specialist retailer Flow Power to source more than half of its NSW electricity needs from locally generated solar and wind power. [RenewEconomy]

The Sapphire Wind farm

¶ “La Trobe University Unveils $75 Million Net Zero Emissions Plan” • Victoria’s La Trobe University has unveiled an ambitious $75 million plan to become Victoria’s first tertiary education facility to reach net zero emissions. It set a target date for 2029, which is one year ahead of rival Monash University’s own 2030 goal. [One Step Off The Grid]

US:

¶ “Study: Offshore Wind Could Save California Ratepayers $1-2 Billion” • Castle Wind, a joint venture between Trident Winds and EnBW North America, released a study that indicates offshore wind off the coast of California with a capacity of 7 to 9 GW could save ratepayers $1-2 billion on a net present value basis by 2040. [The Maritime Executive]

Wind farm (Credit: Castle Wind)

¶ “CalChoice Enters PPA With Avangrid Renewables For California Wind Energy” • California Choice Energy Authority announced three new power purchase agreements for wind energy from Avangrid Renewables’ 22.44-MW Mountain View III Wind Farm in Palm Springs. CalChoice will buy the entire output starting in 2021. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “NEC Rolls Out 20-MW Storage In New England” • NEC Energy Solutions will install more than 20 MW of energy storage in six projects at municipal power plants in New England. The projects are in Madison, Maine, and Ashburnham, Templeton, Wakefield, Middleton, and Taunton, Massachusetts. The Taunton system will be one of the region’s largest. [reNEWS]

Have an inspiringly auspicious day.

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August 19 Energy News

August 19, 2019

Electric Aircraft:

¶ “After The Hoversurf Bike Comes The eVTOL Hoversurf Formula” • Hoversurf Hoverbike is now working on another electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) air vehicle, the Hoversurf Formula. From a flying electric bike to an air taxi, the Hoversurf Formula is a larger eVTOL aircraft matching others in the industry. [CleanTechnica]

Hoversurf Formula taxi (Screenshot)

¶ “Lilium Flirts With Biomimicry, Wins Red Dot Award” • Lilium is getting closer to fulfilling our urban air mobility dreams with a design for an eye-catching air taxi. It recently won a prestigious award from the Red Dot Design Award organization, in its 2019 “Design Concept” category for novel concepts and products not yet on the market. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Embraer, Bell, Brazil, And Uber Elevate Are Shaping Our Urban Air Mobility Future” • The Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition is over and heads are spinning. Aviation startups are challenging our current air mobility system with urban air mobility. Embraer, Bell, Brazil, and Uber Elevate are a few of the innovators. [CleanTechnica]

EmbraerX eVTOL aircraft (Courtesy Embraer)

World:

¶ “Finally, Australia Is About To Have A Plan To De-Carbonise The Grid” • The new Australian Energy Market Operator’s scenario planning for the future grid assumes the absence of a carbon price, because the political reality is that there probably will not be one. Nevertheless, it includes a scenario in keeping with a 1.5°C temperature rise. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Greta Thunberg: How Is Her Climate Mission Going?” • Teen activist Greta Thunberg is now five days into her boat journey across the Atlantic ocean, as she sails to attend two big climate change conferences in the US. The journey will take around two weeks on a high speed yacht, called the Malizia II. She said the food is good and she has not been seasick. [BBC]

Greta Thunberg at sea (@GretaThunberg, via Twitter)

¶ “Andhra Pradesh To Target Only Corrupt Green Projects” • Andhra Pradesh has shown a sign of changing its controversial stand that contracts with renewable energy companies should be renegotiated to bring down tariffs. A top-ranking official told ET that the state was only targeting projects where corruption was evident. [Economic Times]

¶ “Bac Lieu Promotes Use Of Renewable Energy In Shrimp Farming” • Specialists and scientists gathered at the Conference Promoting Renewable Energy Investment for Vietnamese Shrimp Industry in the Mekong Delta province of Bac Lieu. They are promoting the use of renewable energy to develop shrimp farming sustainably. [en.vietnamplus.vn]

Shrimp harvesting in Bac Lieu province (Photo: VNA)

¶ “Indonesia Has The Potential To Generate 788,000 MW Of Power From Renewable Energy Sources” • Indonesia, which has a pollution problem, has a potential to generate 788,000 MW of power from renewable energy sources such as wind power, solar, tidal, and geothermal. This is more than 14 times the country’s current electricity consumption. [REVE]

¶ “Infracapital Scores Finnish Wind Double” • Infrastructure equity investment company Infracapital reached an agreement to acquire two Finnish wind projects from OX2. Together, the Kropuln and Storbacken wind farms will have 14 turbines. Construction will begin in autumn 2019 with commercial operations expected in late 2021. [reNEWS]

Wind farm in Finland (OX2 image)

¶ “North Of Scotland To Bring Winds Of Change” • A group of companies joined together to forge an offshore wind industry in the North of Scotland that aims to provide 30% of UK energy production by 2030. The Offshore Wind Growth Partnership also seeks to that will take expertise from the north east around the globe. [Press and Journal]

¶ “World’s Longest Offshore Wind Turbine Blade Arrives In UK” • The world’s longest offshore wind turbine blade has arrived at the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult’s testing facilities in Blyth, Northumberland. It is 107 meters (351 feet) long, a world record. It will help drive a Haliade-X 12 MW turbine built by GE Renewable Energy. [The Maritime Executive]

Longest turbine blade

US:

¶ “Offshore Wind To Hit ‘193 GW By 2030’ Says NREL” • The global offshore wind market could reach a total installed capacity of 193 GW by 2030, a report from the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has found. NREL is projecting accelerated growth in the next decade, with cumulative capacity ranging from 154 GW up to the 193 GW. [reNEWS]

¶ “Just What Are Ford And Rivian Up To?” • Ford has invested $500 million into Rivian, an electric vehicle startup that bought the former Mitsubishi factory in Normal, Illinois. Rivian showed off two large electric vehicles at the Los Angeles auto show last year, a pickup truck and a utility vehicle. Both deliver nearly 200 horsepower to each wheel. [CleanTechnica]

Rivian utility vehicle (Rivian image)

¶ “MD’s New Clean-Energy Task Force Cuts Out Green Groups” • Maryland’s Republican Gov Larry Hogan signed an executive order establishing a task force to recommend where to site solar and wind projects. The new group includes key government, industry, and agricultural stakeholders, but no environmental groups. [Public News Service]

¶ “US Plans To Send Nuclear Reactors To Space” • While the nuclear energy industry is struggling to stay afloat in the US, bogged down by public and political mistrust, crushing nuclear waste-maintenance costs, and a market flooded by cheap natural gas, the country has grand plans for nuclear power on the Moon and Mars. [RT]

Have an entirely pleasurable day.

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August 18 Energy News

August 18, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Seven Reasons Why Small Modular Nuclear Reactors Are A Bad Idea For Australia” • The motivation for the US to export the so far non-existent prefabricated small modular reactors is clear. The motivation of their Australian promoters is not so clear. Here are the main reasons why it would be a bad idea for Australia to import them. [Independent Australia]

Small modular nuclear reactor (Screenshot via YouTube)

¶ “How To Start With Sustainable Investing” • If you had told me three years ago that sustainable investing would be my newest passion, I would not have believed you. Now I spend weekend afternoons reading prospectuses and learning about the difference between market or limit buys with the customer service team at TD Ameritrade. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Bye Aerospace And OXIS Energy To Commercialize Lithium-Sulfur Batteries For Urban Air Mobility ” • Bye Aerospace is a busy electric aviation company developing the future of our urban air mobility world. It has two electric airplanes along with development projects. It is working with Oxis Energy to commercialize lithium-sulfur battery. [CleanTechnica]

Bye Aerospace eFlyer (Image courtesy Bye Aerospace)

¶ “A Major Cyber Attack Could Be Just As Deadly As Nuclear Weapons, Says Scientist” • People around the world may be worried about nuclear tensions rising, but many miss the fact that a major cyberattack could be just as damaging. Hackers are already laying the groundwork, and they have made many successful intrusions in the past. [ScienceAlert]

World:

¶ “Iceland’s Okjökull Glacier Commemorated With Plaque” • Mourners are gathering in Iceland to commemorate the loss of Okjökull, which has died at the age of about 700. The glacier was officially declared dead in 2014 when it was no longer thick enough to move. What once was glacier has been reduced to a small patch of ice atop a volcano. [BBC]

Okjökull sat atop the volcano Ok (Josh Okun)

¶ “Australia Set To Surpass Qatar Over LNG Exports” • The latest measures adopted by the Australian government, natural gas exploration, high LNG production capacity, and new projects in line to reach full capacity could make Australia gain the number one spot in the LNG space. Care is being taken to cover domestic needs. [Kalkine Media] (Pro natural gas)

¶ “Can Big Investors Save The World?” • While young people throng the streets demanding action on man-made climate change, older groups of big investors are also actively fighting a green campaign. Climate Action 100+ is one such group of more than 360 investors with more than $34 trillion (£28 trillion) in assets under management. [BBC]

Demonstrating against climate change (Google | Getty Images)

¶ “Climate Deniers Get More Media Play Than Scientists: Study” • Climate deniers have had far more media attention than prominent climate scientists, a report shows. “Climate change contrarians have successfully organized a strong voice within politics and science communication,” according to the report’s authors. [Japan Today]

¶ “China Storms Past US And Japan To Take Lead In Wind And Solar Power” • China has come to dominate worldwide solar and wind energy generation, in terms of both its own capacity and its companies’ share of global markets, leaving previous renewable market powerhouses, particularly the US and Japan, to play catch-up. [Nikkei Asian Review]

Renewable energy in China

US:

¶ “UW Engineers Test Tidal Energy Turbines On Lake Washington” • Using a catamaran specially built for testing ocean instruments, engineers from the Applied Physics Lab lowered a cross-flow turbines into the waters of Seattle’s Lake Washington. They are testing the turbine’s performance, a step toward harvesting tidal energy. [KING5.com]

¶ “Unprecedented Heatwave ‘Kills Thousands Of Fish’ In Alaska” • Large numbers of salmon died prematurely in Alaskan rivers in July, local reports say, and scientists believe the cause could be the record heatwave. One biologist said, “Climate change is here in Alaska. We are seeing it. We are feeling it. And our salmon are dying because of it.” [The Independent]

Salmon (Barbara Jackson)

¶ “Colorado renewable energy: Debate rages over how to balance it with fossil fuel technology” • Those on both sides of Colorado’s energy divide, rich fossil fuels versus emerging renewables, agree on one major point: It is too early to tell if the sky is falling as trade-offs get made over cleaning up the atmosphere. [Colorado Springs Gazette]

¶ “Path To Paradise? Alaskan Village Hopes To Replace Fossil Fuel With Water Power” • Residents of Igiugig, a village far from roads and off the grid, is reducing its dependence on diesel for their electrical system. The village is moving ahead with hydroelectric power, as turbines have been anchored at the bottom of the swift Kvichak River. [Los Angeles Times]

Have an enjoyably adventageous day.

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