July 15 Energy News

July 15, 2020


¶ “Hydrogen: The Great Energy Hope, Or A Whole Lot Of Hype?” • It’s likely that every Asian country will want to be as energy independent as possible. Locally produced wind and solar is one solution, but many Asian countries are not as suited to mass deployment of solar or wind as Australia. And this brings up the question of hydrogen. [RenewEconomy]

Ørsted offshore wind farm (Ørsted image)

¶ “Green Hydrogen Is Tomorrow’s Oil” • Germany’s Strategy considers that only hydrogen produced using renewable energy with no CO₂ emissions will be sustainable in the long term. And putting hydrogen firmly at the center of their national strategy will open up new economic opportunities for German businesses at home and abroad. [Energy Voice]

¶ “The Move To Renewable Energy Must Be Swift But Inclusive” • The time for thinking about a low-carbon economy is over. The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association welcomes the statement by the mineral resources and energy minister that SA’s shift from a high-carbon to a low-carbon economy needs to be both just and systematic. [Business Day]

Solar array (Fabian Andres Cambero | Reuters)


¶ “Revealed: Fisker Ocean Will Be Built On Volkswagen MEB Chassis” • Now it appears that the first production car to use the MEB chassis from Volkswagen will not be a Ford, but rather the Fisker Ocean electric SUV. Fisker, which is planning to go public soon, says it is in talks with Volkswagen about using the MEB chassis. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Johnnie Walker Whisky Will Be Sold In Paper Bottles Next Year” • Starting next year, Johnnie Walker fans will be able to pour their whisky from a planet-friendly bottle. Diageo, the British spirits company that owns the brand, announced the development of a paper-based spirits bottle made from sustainably sourced wood. [CNN]

Making a whisky barrel (Diageo Reserve)

¶ “Plan To ‘Repower’ North West Minerals Province Could Create Thousands Of Jobs, Company Claims” • The CopperString 2.0 project, a 1,000 kilometer transmission line in Queensland between Townsville and Mt Isa, could create thousands of jobs and pave the way for renewable energy in the state’s North West Minerals Province, the developer says. [ABC News]

¶ “Indian Prime Minister Modi Inaugurates “Landmark” 750-MW Solar Park” • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has formally inaugurated the country’s ultra mega Rewa solar park, a 750 MW capacity plant situated in the state of Madhya Pradesh, on the 10th of July 2020. The Prime Minster inaugurated the solar park via video conferencing. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array (Zach Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Solar Farm Planned For North Of Whitehorse” • Yukon Energy and Solvest Inc signed a 25-year PPA for energy from a solar farm the developer is planning. With a capacity of 1 MW, it is the first large solar project in Whitehorse and the second such agreement under the Yukon’s Independent Power Production policy. [Whitehorse Star]

¶ “Floating Wind JIP Report Addresses Technology Challenges” • The Carbon Trust has released its latest summary findings on floating windpower. “The Floating Wind Joint Industry Project – Phase II summary report” outlines the technology challenges prioritized by developers to accelerate the commercialization of floating windpower. [Offshore Oil and Gas Magazine]

Floating wind turbines (Courtesy Carbon Trust)

¶ “Senior MP Calls For Safeguards Over Proposed Chinese-Built Nuclear Power Station” • Following the decision to ban Huawei from involvement in the UK’s 5G telecoms network, a senior Conservative MP has called for changes to the law to safeguard a proposed nuclear power station from “malign foreign influence” from China. [The Independent]

¶ “Renewable Energy Giant Unveils Plans For Two New Wind Farms” • Vattenfall has unveiled plans to build two more wind farms in Scotland. Their combined output would be enough electricity to supply annual needs for around 300,000 homes. If the developments go ahead, each will be built with an energy storage battery plant. [STV Edinburgh]

Wind farm (Pixabay image)


¶ “Sonoma And Mendocino Counties To Get $6.75 Million For EV Chargers” • The Sonoma Coast Incentive Project will provide $6.75 million in incentives for the installation of electric vehicle chargers in Sonoma and Mendocino counties over the next three years. California has set a goal of getting 250,000 EV charging stations by 2025. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Biden Rolls Out Massive New Renewable Energy Subsidies” • Joe Biden is proposing today to commit another $2 trillion to subsidies for renewable energy during his first four years in office, as reported by Bloomberg Green. This would represent an acceleration of the $1.7 trillion in new subsidies over 10 years that had proposed during the primary season. [Forbes]

Work on a wind turbine (Getty Images)

¶ “Pinnacle Renewable Energy Plans $95 Million Wood Pellet Plant In Alabama” • Gov Kay Ivey announced that a subsidiary of Pinnacle Renewable Energy, based in Canada, plans to invest $95 million to build a production facility in Demopolis. The Alabama Pellets facility is expected to have an annual production volume of 360,000 metric tons. [Alabama NewsCenter]

¶ “Trump Administration Has Been Underestimating Costs Of Carbon Pollution, Government Watchdog Finds” • The Trump administration has been systematically undervaluing the cost of CO₂ pollution, a report from the Government Accountability Office says. It reduced the value from $50 per metric ton cost to a $7 per metric ton figure. [The Hill]

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July 14 Energy News

July 14, 2020


¶ “The Most Powerful Renewable Energy” • Last year, the world’s hydropower capacity reached a record 1,308 GW. But like other energy sources, hydropower is not without environmental costs. Is it possible to make clean, renewable energy from rivers while actually restoring wildlife and the wider habitat? There are many solutions to the problem. [BBC]

Nature’s dam builder (© Getty Images)

¶ “Clarifying The Biden Climate Plan” • Several Cleantechnica readers questioned its reporting, saying they thought the Biden energy plan included a pledge to transition the United States to 100% renewable energy by 2035. It does not, at least not at the present time. These things are a work in progress, however, and the pivot to clean energy continues. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Solar Flow Battery Efficiently Stores Renewable Energy In Liquid Form” • An international team led by University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists has created a new version of solar flow batteries that is efficient and long-lasting. The system has a silicon/perovskite tandem solar cell. The team recorded 20% efficiency, which is up there with the best. [New Atlas]

Solar panel and flow battery


¶ “Ocean Investment Could Aid The Post-Covid-19 Economic Recovery” • Money invested in a sustainable ocean economy can yield at least five times the return in benefits, according to a report commissioned by the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy. Investment in ocean intervention could help aid economic recovery. [CNN]

¶ “Italy Set To Increase EV Incentives To €10,000 – Are The Carmakers Ready?” • The Italian government is preparing new measures for economic recovery, after months of lockdown at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic. Current incentives for low-emission vehicles are set to be increased by at least 50% from August for the rest of the year. [CleanTechnica]

Fiat 500e La Prima

¶ “Government Hopes Cut In Red Tape Will Triple UK’s Battery Capacity” • Government ministers hope to triple Britain’s energy storage capacity by relaxing the planning rules. Developers of large batteries will be able to apply for permission to build their energy storage projects using local planning rules, which are quicker and easier to manage. [The Guardian]

¶ “McCain Foods Builds Renewable Energy System At Ballarat Site” • McCain Foods has started construction of an 8.2-MW renewable energy system at its Ballarat food processing facility. It will cut CO₂ emissions by over 27,000 tonnes per year and will reportedly be Australia’s largest “behind-the-meter” renewable energy system. [Inside FMCG]

McCain Foods’ renewable energy system

¶ “UK And Denmark To Share Renewable Electricity Through 765 km Interconnector” • Construction has started on the world’s longest electricity interconnector, which will link the UK and Denmark. The £1.8 billion Viking Link project is a joint venture between the National Grid and the Danish electricity system owner and operator, Energinet. [E&T Magazine]

¶ “North Sea Operators Investigating Wider Roles For Renewable Energy” • Some offshore oil and gas operators see renewable energy as a way to extend the lives of platforms on fields that are being depleted, converting them for new uses. Others are looking into alternate energy sources to power platforms and subsea installations. [Offshore Oil and Gas Magazine]

Offshore oil platform (Courtesy Neptune Energy)

¶ “Investment In Renewable Energy Capacity Grows 5%: BNEF” • Investment in new renewable energy capacity (excluding large hydro-electric dams of more than 50 MW) rose 5% to $132.4 billion in the first half of 2020 from a revised $125.8 billion in the same period of 2019, the latest figures from research company BloombergNEF show. [Greentech Lead]

¶ “IEA Summit Urges The World’s Energy Ministers To Adopt Ambitious Green Recovery Plans” • The International Energy Agency is urging governments to pursue spending programs that speed up investment in zero-emission energy systems while they spur economic recovery. The IEA is backed by the International Monetary Fund in this. [Corporate Knights Magazine]

Wind turbines in morning fog

¶ “Nuclear Gulf: Experts Sound The Alarm Over UAE Nuclear Reactors” • Nuclear energy specialists are sounding the alarm over the potential problems new UAE reactors could produce. What they describe is not one risk, but layers of them, from an environmental disaster, to theft of radioactive materials, to a regional nuclear arms race. [Aljazeera.com]


¶ “New McDonald’s Flagship Runs 100% On Renewable Energy” • McDonald’s completed its first net zero energy restaurant, near Disney’s All-Star Resorts in Orlando, Florida, according to a company press release. The global flagship restaurant is designed to create enough renewable energy on-site to cover 100% of its energy needs annually. [Restaurant Dive]

New McDonald’s restaurant (Courtesy of McDonald’s)

¶ “Lion Electric And Boivin Evolution Start Selling Electric Garbage Truck” • The Lion8 chassis plus “fully automated side load bodies” from Lion Electric and Boivin Evolution will be used by Waste Connections in Florida and Washington. They can collect trash without noise, air pollution while reducing costs for fuel and maintenance. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “VW Settlement Funds To Pay For Two Electric Cranes And Electric Drayage Trucks At Port Of Virginia” • Virginia decided to use $14 million of the $93.6 million in funds it got from the Volkswagen diesel cheating scandal settlement to help the Port of Virginia purchase two electric container cranes and a number of electric drayage vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

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July 13 Energy News

July 13, 2020


¶ “Whoosh! Wind Power Wins, Pipelines Implode In Fossil Fuel Week From Hell” • Last week, a 4000-MW transmission project to move power from Kansas wind farms to Illinois won the green light for a go-ahead. It was probably the last thing oil and gas stakeholders wanted to hear on top of a huge triple loss on three fossil fuel pipeline projects. [CleanTechnica]

Power lines in Illinois (formulanone, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Global Leaders Must Act Fast To Ensure A Green Recovery” • A broad consensus is that wind and other renewable energy can play an important role in helping economies recover in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. But failure to act promptly risks missing an investment opportunity worth hundreds of billions of dollars. [World Economic Forum]

¶ “How Fighting Climate Change Could Tackle Australia’s Job Crisis” • With Australia’s coal-fired power stations set to close in the next two to three decades, Australia has the potential and opportunity to become a renewable energy superpower. But this depends in no small degree on the financial support and backing of business. [UNSW Newsroom]

Wind turbines on a cattle farm (Image: Shutterstock)

¶ “Nuclear By Stealth: New Generation Reactor Development Plans Snuck Back Onto The Table” • South Africa has an onerous debt burden, and yet a new 2,500-MW nuclear build program has been snuck back onto the table while we were all distracted by the Covid-19 pandemic. What’s behind this, when there are far more attractive alternatives? [Daily Maverick]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Poison Ivy Likely To Become More Abundant And More Potent With Climate Change” • A six-year study by researchers at Duke University found that elevated levels of CO₂ not only increased the growth of poison ivy but those high CO₂ receiving plants produced a more potent form of urushiol, the oil that causes the skin inflammation. [BayToday]

Poison ivy (Submitted photo)


¶ “Indian Railways Accelerates Toward A Solar Future With New Tenders” • Indian Railways has taken some significant measures over the last few weeks that will cement its place as one of the single largest clean energy users in India. According to a 2017 study, Indian Railways has a potential to set up 5 GW of solar power capacity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “France’s Recent Order Liberalizing Retrofits Of Old ICE Vehicles Supercharges Phoenix Mobility” • The transition to EVs is happening much faster than we expected. Affordable mass EV conversions will put this transition into Ludicrous mode. An EV conversion firm in France, Phoenix Mobility, is looking to scale up its B2B fleet conversion business. [CleanTechnica]

Converted Kangoo in Grenoble (Phoenix Mobility image)

¶ “120 GW Renewable Capacity, €340 billion Investments. The Numbers Behind The EC’s Hydrogen Move” • The European Commission has finally shared some more details of its ‘Green Deal’ plan. Using energy from hydrogen is a key plank of the plan, with the energy to electrolyze hydrogen coming from solar and wind energy. [Saurenergy]

¶ “Rail Solar Projects Pave The Way For Renewables” • A British solar power company is working on technology that could enable railways all over the world to be powered by renewable energy. Riding Sunbeams is the company behind a project of the same name that is already delivering power to trains on Network Rail’s Wessex route. [E&T Magazine]

Train at Conwy Station (David Dixon, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “Renewables-Dominated South Australia Delivering Cheaper Power Than Victoria, NSW” • South Australian consumers are starting to reap the benefits of the state’s world-leading renewable energy grid, with falling wholesale electricity prices in the state now delivering cheaper power than either Victoria or New South Wales. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Northern Territory Reveals Renewable Hydrogen Strategy” • The Northern Territory unveiled a Renewable Hydrogen Strategy in a bid to be seen as a leader in renewable hydrogen. The paper shows the Territory’s hope to be an “international scale” renewable hydrogen technology research, production, and downstream manufacturing center. [H2 View]

Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa NP (Sharyn.carr, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “GE Signs Agreement To Develop 500-MW Pumped Hydro Project In NSW” • Global energy giant GE signed an agreement to co-develop a 500-MW pumped hydro storage project at Dungowan Dam in the New England region of New South Wales. Dungowan is part of the 4,000-MW renewables and storage hub being set up by Walcha Energy. [RenewEconomy]


¶ “100% Carbon Free by 2035. The Democrat Offer For Renewable energy” • Laid out by the Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s task force, the recommendations for climate-change mitigation  call for carbon-free power production by 2035, net-zero emissions for new buildings by 2030, and accelerated adoption of zero-emission vehicles. [Saurenergy]

Joe Biden, in a time when masks were not needed

¶ “‘All Energy Matters,’ US Energy Secretary Tells Global Conference” • Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette told the IEA Clean Energy Transitions Summit on July 9 that the US favors an “all of the above” strategy. Loosely translated, that means the US opposes the push to make renewable energy the central focus of economic recovery strategies. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Blockbuster Sunrun-Vivint Merger Challenges Tesla Solar Ambitions” • The rooftop solar industry in America was shocked last week to learn that Sunrun was buying Vivint Solar for $1.46 billion in stock. In addition, Sunrun is agreeing to assume about $1.8 billion in debt owed by Vivint. “Sunrun will be freaking big,” analyst Joe Osha said. [CleanTechnica]

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July 12 Energy News

July 12, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Shockingly Simple: How Farmland Could Absorb An Extra 2 Billion Tonnes Of CO₂ From The Atmosphere Each Year” • Adding crushed rock dust to farmland could draw down up to two billion tonnes of CO₂ from the air per year and help meet key global climate targets, according to a major study led by the University of Sheffield. [SciTechDaily]

Crushed rock dust on farmland (Credit: Dr Dimitar Epihov)

¶ “Less Impact From Wildfire Smoke On Climate” • Research done at Los Alamos National Laboratory revealed that tiny, sunlight-absorbing particles in wildfire smoke may have less impact on climate than widely hypothesized because reactions as the plume mixes with clean air reduce its absorbing power and climate-warming effect. [Science Daily]


¶ “EV Drivers In Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, And Romania Getting Boost From MOL And Driivz” • Gas station companies have two options as the EV era arises: transform, or die. MOL Group, a major oil and gas company based in Budapest, has gas stations in countries across the region. It is leaning toward the former. [CleanTechnica]

MOL EV charging station

¶ “India’s Largest Building Integrated Vertical Solar System And The Road Ahead” • In 2019, U-Solar Clean Energy Solutions Pvt Ltd installed India’s largest building-integrated vertical solar PV system in Mumbai. The system has a capacity of about 1 MW with integrated solar panels on all four walls, covering over 5000 square feet of facade area. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Audi Snubs EVs, Says Will Continue To “Massively” Invest In Combustion Engines” • Audi, a Volkswagen Group subsidiary, plans to keep on investing in combustion engines. Its CEO believes that the engines will be “alive for a very long time. This is why we continue to invest massively in the development of combustion engines.” [CleanTechnica]

Audi e-tron in Portugal (Jose Pontes | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Excess Power Capacity Puts Financial Burden On Bangladesh” • Not long ago, Bangladesh was plagued by power shortages, but it has developed in the last decade to the point that it has built a generating capacity far in excess of what it needs. And now, the government of Bangladesh is set to install 14 coal-fired power plants, funded by China. [NewsIn.Asia]

¶ “Statkraft To Seek Approval For €25 Million Solar Farm” • Statkraft Ireland, a renewable energy developer and subsidiary of Norwegian state-owned company Statkraft, intends to apply for planning permission for a €25 million solar farm in County Meath. The company said the solar farm would be operational for 35 years. [Independent.ie]

Solar farm (Photo: PA)

¶ “40 Ministers From Around The World Gather To Address The World’s Energy And Climate Challenges” • The International Energy Agency summit had representatives from countries with over 80% of the world economy. They discussed how to bring about a sustainable and resilient recovery from Covid-19 and reduce CO₂ emissions. [Modern Diplomacy]

¶ “Turning On Lights For 450,000 People In Rural Myanmar” • More than 450,000 people in rural Myanmar are expected to gain access to clean energy for the first time after the World Bank Group and the Government of Myanmar signed an agreement on grants. Funding will support a new business model led by the private sector. [Modern Diplomacy]


¶ “Japan To Limit Financing Of Overseas Coal Power Plants” • Japan said it would tighten rules for investment in foreign coal-fired power stations on environmental grounds, though it stopped short of ending government funding. The move comes with the world’s third-largest economy under fire for financing projects to build coal plants. [Macau Business]

¶ “Renewable Energy Key To Inclusive Recovery In Africa: Report” • Greater uptake of cleaner energy technologies is key to hasten inclusive economic recovery in Africa after devastations caused by COVID-19 pandemic, a report published in Nairobi says. Africa’s ability to restart economies hinges on investments in cleaner sources of power. [Independent]

Solar plant in Gomba

¶ “Britain To Invest £40 Million In Small Nuclear Reactor Projects” • The British government said it will invest £40 million ($51 million) in developing and supporting small nuclear reactor projects. It said £30 million of funding will go to support three advanced modular reactor projects in the counties of Cheshire, Oxfordshire, and Lancashire. [Yahoo! Voices]


¶ “Could Japan’s Plan To Retire 100 Coal Units Hurt The Powder River Basin?” • Miners in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin hoped to export coal to Asia for years. But the dream of exporting coal to one of the world’s leading importers of coal was dashed when Japan said it is considering phasing out 100 coal-fired power plant units by 2030. [Casper Star-Tribune Online]

Black Thunder Coal Mine (Josh Galemore | Star-Tribune)

¶ “Unpacking The Ridin’ With Biden Plan For Earth Justice, Social Justice, And Racial Justice” • Joe Biden has engaged with people and organizations over the past few weeks to figure out what his plan for governing America will be. Let’s first take a look at the two parts of that plan that relate to climate change and renewable energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Seniors Are At Risk From Heat During Climate Change” • A report by Climate Central looks at how heat and a warming climate are endangering the health of the aging US population, a threat exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. The study, done in April 2020, showed dramatically increased estimates of both current and future deaths. [CleanTechnica]

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July 11 Energy News

July 11, 2020


¶ “Is Honda Waking Up?” • Honda has formed a “comprehensive strategic alliance” with CATL, one of the world’s top three EV battery producers. This is not just a contract for batteries, but a rather deep and broad partnership. Honda was one of the leaders in hybrid technology, and now seems interested in moving to all battery electric vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

Interior of the Honda e (Maarten Vinkhuyzen | CleanTechnica)

¶ “A Pink Glacier In Italy Is Not Good News” • Presena glacier is turning pink due to algae, and this will make the ice melt even faster. The color is due to presence of algae, which are more abundant this year than usual. It is just one of many signs of a warming world. Numerous reports say this year will be among the warmest on record. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “How Australia’s State Energy Ministers Are Turning The Tables On Angus Taylor” • Angus Taylor, the federal minister for energy and emissions reductions, is famous for being no fan of renewable energy or meaningful emissions reduction targets. On electricity, state energy ministers, across the political spectrum, are charging ahead without him. [The Guardian]

Wind turbine (David Gray | Reuters)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Super White Paint Helps Keep Buildings Cool” • The good news about global warming is that it will take a lot less energy to keep buildings warm. The bad news is that it will take a lot more energy to keep buildings cool. Materials scientists at UCLA say they have a super white paint that reflects up to 98% of incoming heat from the sun. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “London Electric Vehicle Company Rolls Out New Electric Delivery Van” • London Electric Vehicle Company is well known for its iconic London taxis, which are now range-extended EVs. Based on that experience, the company has just rolled out an electric van as well. It has similar styling, but more cargo space and other modifications. [CleanTechnica]

Electric delivery van for the Royal Mail (Photo courtesy of LEVC)

¶ “Investment In Renewable Energy Transition Could Act As A Powerful Recovery Mechanism From Covid-19, Says GlobalData” • As the global economies try to mitigate the Covid-19 impact, investment in new renewable energy becomes an important cog in the wheel towards the economic recovery journey, according to GlobalData analysis. [InvestorIdeas.com]

¶ “Time We End Import Reliance For Solar Equipment, Says PM Modi” • Calling on Indian manufacturers to ramp up production of solar cells and modules, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a pitch for self-sufficiency in the sector, at a time the government implements measures to reduce its dependency on China for power equipment imports. [The Indian Express]

Aerial view of the 750-MW solar project in Rewa (PTI)

¶ “Renewables Produce 65.8% Of Colombia’s Power In June” • Colombia’s renewables, mostly hydropower, generated 65.82% of the country’s electricity in June, Colombian grid operator XM Compania de Expertos en Mercados said. Renewable power production rose by 5.28% month-on-month to an average 117.10 GWh per day. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Intros SG 3.4-145 Wind Turbine In India” • Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy has introduced its next generation wind turbine, the SG 3.4-145, in India. The wind turbine supplier has two blade factories, a nacelle factory, an operations and maintenance center, and an R&D center, in various parts of India. [Greentech Lead]

Siemens Gamesa SG-3.4-132 wind turbine


¶ “Report Says Asset Sales And Debt-Driven Dividends Show Fossil Fuel Industry Cannot Be Saved” • A report says major fossil fuel companies such as ExxonMobil and BP, “are racking up debt to maintain their shareholder payments and sustain an image as sound investments.” Others are selling assets. Their actions show they are failing. [Common Dreams] (Thanks to Tom Finnell.)

¶ “Rivian Reaps $2.5 Billion In Latest Funding Round As EV Investments Soar” • Rivian is an EV startup headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan. For its initial funding, it raised raising $2 billion, much of which came from Amazon and Ford. Now it has gone for more money, and it has raised a further $2.5 billion in a funding round led by T Rowe Price. [CleanTechnica]

Rivian electric truck (Rivian image)

¶ “‘Enormous Step’ For Energy Storage As Court Upholds FERC Order 841, Opening Wholesale Markets” • In a victory for the energy storage industry, a federal appeals court upheld the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Order 841, clearing the way for transmission grid operators to open their markets to energy storage. [Greentech Media]

¶ “US Businesses Face Increased Energy Management Pressure” • The Deloitte Resources Study, “Energy Management: Paused by Pandemic, but Poised to Prevail,” found that Covid-19 might actually be partially responsible for driving increased efforts to manage energy use, reduce CO₂ emissions, and address climate change. [Environment + Energy Leader]

Transmission lines (American Public Power Association | Unsplash)

¶ “Ford Aims To Power All Plants With Local Renewable Energy By 2035” • Ford aims to power all its manufacturing plants with local renewable energy by 2035, including the Chicago Assembly Plant in Hegewisch and Chicago Stamping Plant in Chicago Heights. The automaker is striving to become completely carbon neutral by 2050. [nwitimes.com]

¶ “US Senators Urge Agency Not To Allow Funding Of ‘Risky’ Nuclear Projects” • Senators Edward Markey, D-Massachusetts, and Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, in a July 10 letter, jointly urged US Development Finance Corp, not to “waste American tax dollars on risky international nuclear projects.” They said the projects are not cost-competitive. [S&P Global]

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July 10 Energy News

July 10, 2020


¶ “Silence Before The Storm At Chibwe Primary School – An Example Of Rural African Energy Development” • The pace of development in rural Africa has gone from extremely slow to very slow, but don’t be fooled by the seemingly flat end of an exponential curve, because the steep end will present the slow and fast end of the curve. [CleanTechnica]

School in Chibwe, 2014 (Photo: Jesper Berggreen)

Science and Technology:

¶ “International Energy Agency: Electric Vehicle Battery Tech Rapidly Improving” • The IEA’s “Global EV Outlook” report says battery capacities are going up, and battery costs are going down. The IEA Expects global EV battery capacity to grow from around 170 GWh per year today to 1.5 TWh per year in 2030 – or 3 TWh, if we are to meet climate goals. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Amazon Greening German Cities, Volkswagen Reforesting Australia” • The global economy, our increasingly integrated global society, is an interesting phenomenon. Amazon, based in the US, committed to greening cities in Germany by planting a lot of trees and bushes there. Now, Volkswagen Group, based in Germany, is reforesting Australia. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen reforesting Australia (Courtesy Volkswagen Group)

¶ “69% of Autos Sold in Norway in 2020 Have a Plug” • Norway continues to be a shining star in the electric vehicle world. In the first half of the year, 48% of automobiles sold in the country were fully electric, a global record for EV market share. Total plug-in EVs also set a global record at 69% of auto sales, and the sales split is particularly interesting. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Sales Surge Ahead In China” • China has seen a decline in new car sales so far this year, but that hasn’t stopped sales of Tesla’s Model 3 from climbing dramatically from month to month. In April, Tesla sold 3,635 Model 3s, according to the China Passenger Car Association. In May, that number rose to 11,095. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 in Hong Kong (Image via Twitter)

¶ “‘Coal Has No Place In Covid-19 Recovery Plans,’ Says UN Chief” • UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged countries to stop financing the coal industry, to deliver a sustainable future following the pandemic. “Coal has no place in Covid-19 recovery plans,” he said during an online summit hosted by the International Energy Agency. [CNN]

¶ “NSW Sets Itself For Biggest And Quickest Transition From Coal To Renewables” • The New South Wales state government confirmed it will seek a massive 8,000 MW of wind, solar, and storage projects, setting itself up for what will be the biggest and most rapid transition from coal to renewables in the country, if not the world. [RenewEconomy]

Silverton wind farm (Courtesy of PARF)

¶ “Enel Green Power Is Partnering With Norfund To Set Up Renewable Projects In India” • Italian renewable energy company Enel Green Power announced a long-term, joint investment partnership with Norwegian private equity fund Norfund to set up renewable energy projects in India through Enel subsidiary Enel Green Power India. [Mercom India]

¶ “PM Modi To Inaugurate Asia’s Largest Solar Power Plant In MP Today” • A solar power plant project in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, is to be inaugurated today by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It has three solar generating units of 250 MW each on a 500-hectare plot of land in a solar park, with a total area of 1500 hectares. [Hindustan Times]

Solar power (Citizenmj, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “EU Must Reach 100% Renewables By 2040 In Order To Reach Net Zero Economy By 2050” • The European Union must greatly increase its climate ambition if it is to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 and meet targets set by the Paris Agreement and the European Green Deal, according to a report from the German Institute for Economic Research. [RenewEconomy]


¶ “Michigan Commission Approves DTE Plans To Keep Stable Electric Rates Until 2022 And Achieve 2021 Renewable Energy Goal” • DTE Electric received approval from the Michigan Public Service Commission for an innovative plan to keep electric rates unchanged from today until 2022. DTE’s Renewable Energy Plan was also approved. [GlobeNewswire]

Solar farm in Michigan

¶ “Massachusetts Expands EV Rebates To Nonprofits, Business Fleets” • Massachusetts took a big step forward by including nonprofits and business fleets in the state’s electric vehicle incentives. The move hopes to maximize the environmental impact of the EV incentive program during a time when the economy has slowed. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ørsted Makes 227-MW Solar Swoop In Alabama” • Ørsted has acquired a 227-MW PV project in Alabama from its developer, Longroad Energy. The Muscle Shoals solar project is expected to come online in third quarter 2021. Longroad Energy will manage the construction, and First Solar is supplying the modules for the project. [reNEWS]

Solar panels (First Solar image)

¶ “PacifiCorp Opens 4.3-Gigawatt Renewables And Storage Procurement” • PacifiCorp is soliciting bids for up to 4.3 GW of solar, wind, and battery storage projects, part of a massive clean-energy growth plan that will open the utility’s six-state territory to third-party renewable energy developers. Projects must be operating by the end of 2024. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Federal Judge Approves $192 Million Shareholder Settlement Over Failed SC Nuclear Project” • A federal judge signed off on a $192.5 million legal settlement between the former shareholders of SCANA Corporation and the company’s new owner Dominion Energy. The deal stems from the failed VC Summer nuclear expansion project. [Charleston Post Courier]

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July 9 Energy News

July 9, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “‘Rising Chance’ Of Exceeding 1.5°C Global Target” • The World Meteorological Organisation says there’s a growing chance that global temperatures will rise more than 1.5°C over the next five years, compared to pre-industrial levels. It puts the  chance the threshold will be broken in one year at 20%, and the chance it will be broken in at least one month at 70%. [BBC]

Child cooling himself in a heatwave in Gaza (Getty Images)

¶ “Tiny Little Shrimp Could Spark A Huge Energy Storage Breakthrough” • Low cost, large-scale energy storage is the key to accelerating the renewable energy revolution, and now shrimp have been enlisted in the cause. The aim is to push down the cost of flow batteries by using bio-based materials such as those found in shrimp shells. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Volkswagen And Porsche Push Ahead With Converting Factories To Make EVs” • Volkswagen Group is walking the walk when it comes to being part of the EV revolution. While other manufacturers promise some plug-in hybrids and a few battery EVs some day, Volkswagen is finishing work on factories that will build their EVs. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen Emden factory (Image credit: Volkswagen)

¶ “CFM Partners With AMPYR Energy To Set Up 138 MW Of Onshore Wind Farms In Karnataka” • Climate Fund Managers and AMPYR Energy announced a partnership to develop 138 MW of onshore wind farms in the Indian state of Karnataka. CFM is a Dutch investment manager, and AMPYR Energy is a renewables developer based in Singapore. [Mercom India]

¶ “NSW To Call For Wind, Solar And Storage Proposals For Second Renewable Zone” • New South Wales’ Coalition state government is preparing to announce the second phase of its renewable energy zone program, with a call-out for up to 8 GW of wind, solar, and storage projects in a new zone in the north of the state. [Renew Economy]

One wind turbine and more coming (Epuron, White Rock)

¶ “IEA To Help Indonesia Accelerate The Energy Transition” • Indonesia’s Ministry of Energy and the International Energy Agency are partnering with utility PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara to launch a joint project on electricity and renewable energy. The partnership is to encourage private investment in Indonesian renewables. [Power Engineering International]

¶ “Queensland Attracts United Green Majority Stake Investment In Rodds Bay Solar Farm Despite ‘Wet Blanket’ Federal Policy” • A “majority” stake of the 300-MW shovel-ready Rodds Bay Solar Farm in Queensland has been purchased by UK investment firm United Green. The move comes in spite of the policy vacuum at the federal level. [pv magazine Australia]

Solar farm (Image: Australian National University)

¶ “EU Unveils 40-GW Green Hydrogen Vision” • The EU will support development of up to 40 GW of green hydrogen projects by 2030, according to the EU Hydrogen Strategy. From 2020 to 2024, the EU will support the installation of at least 6 GW of renewable hydrogen electrolyzers, and the production of up to 1 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen. [reNEWS]

¶ “Elgin Energy Finds Greek Partner For 76 MW Of UK PV” • Elgin Energy is partnering with the renewables and energy storage arm of Greek company Metka EGN Mytilineos to develop 76 MW of unsubsidised solar farms in the UK. Three projects are covered by the deal, a 49.9-MW facility in England and two in Scotland totalling 26 MW. [reNEWS]

Solar array (American Public Power Associatin | Unsplash)

¶ “Air Products Announces $5 Billion Renewable Hydrogen To Ammonia Investment” • US chemical business Air Products announced a $5 billion joint investment Saudi generator ACWA Power and tech accelerator city Neom for a power-to-hydrogen-to-ammonia production plant in Saudi Arabia powered by 4 GW of renewable energy. [Power Technology]

¶ “China To Build 6-8 Nuclear Reactors A Year From 2020 To 2025 – Report” • China will build six to eight nuclear reactors a year between 2020 and 2025 and raise total capacity to 70 GW, up 43.5% compared to the end of May, China Daily said. The country’s total installed nuclear capacity is expected to stand at 52 GW by the end of 2020. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Nuclear power plant


¶ “2.3 GW Of USA Wind And Solar Projects Get Investment From ENGIE And Hannon Armstrong” • News from Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital and ENGIE highlight how attractive the US is for renewable investment. They have committed to investing into a massive 2.3 GW wind and solar power pipeline in the US. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Capital Dynamics Signs 4.8-GW Deal To Increase Portfolio In The US” • Capital Dynamics announced that its Clean Energy Infrastructure business signed an agreement for 4.8 GW with Tenaska. The transaction comprises 24 solar projects in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator and Southeast Reliability Council markets. [reNEWS]

Solar array in the American countryside (Capital Dynamics image)

¶ “Facebook Used 86% Renewable Energy Last Year” • Two years ago, Facebook pledged that it would power the entirety of its operations with clean energy by the end of 2020. It appears that the company is on track to meet that goal. Facebook’s first-ever sustainability report says that 86% of the electricity it used last year was from renewable sources. [The Burn-In]

¶ “Bank Of America Blows Out Its Solar Energy Commitment With Ten Deals In Three States” • Bank of America signed ten agreements to buy solar electricity for its operations in three states, including its headquarters in North Carolina. The deals are with Duke Energy, NRG Energy, 3Degrees, NativeEnergy and Birdseye Renewable Energy. [Solar Builder]

Have transcendentally encouraging day.

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July 8 Energy News

July 8, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “June Matched Historic Temperature High” • Globally last month was on a par with 2019 for the hottest June on record, with temperatures 0.53°C above the 1981 to 2010 average, and Europe saw its joint second warmest June on record. Arctic Siberia was exceptionally warm, C3S experts said, at 10°C (18°F) above average for the month. [The Ecologist]

Wildfire in Arctic Siberia (Pierre Markuse | Flickr)

¶ “Plastic-Eating Bacteria Could Be Small Step Toward Tackling World’s Pollution Crisis” • Products made with polyurethane, a synthetic chemical compound, typically end up buried in a landfill. Now scientists discovered a strain of bacteria, the first of its kind, that can degrade the harmful compounds in products made of polyurethane. [CNN]


¶ “Siberia Had Its Warmest June Ever As Wildfires Raged And Carbon Dioxide Emissions Surged” • Siberia had the warmest June on record. And in June, an estimated 59 megatonnes of CO₂ were released across Siberia by wildfires that are raging across the vast Russian region, according to scientists at the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service. [CNN]

Siberian wildfire (Yevgeny Sofroneyev | Tass | Getty Images)

¶ “Italy Throws Launch Party For Fiat’s 100% Electric “New 500”” • The good news out of Italy this year (forced by EU regulations no doubt) is that the Fiat 500 is becoming fully electric. Italy is no longer continuing the fossil fueled versions of the small car (“city car,” as some people call it), which is just now turning 63 years old. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “In A World First, Hyundai Fuel Cell Semis Ship To Customers” • This could be big for Hyundai. Investors are always looking for “the next big thing.” The first examples of its hydrogen fuel cell semis are on their way to Switzerland. This is especially big news because neither Tesla nor Nikola has delivered a single truck so far. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai fuel cell truck (Hyundai courtesy image)

¶ “Denmark’s Ørsted, Taiwan’s TSMC Sign World’s Largest Renewable Corporate Power Deal” • Denmark’s Ørsted said that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co agreed to buy all of the energy from its second offshore wind farm in Taiwan, under a 20 year PPA. The Greater Changhua 2b & 4 wind farm will have a capacity of 920 MW. [Reuters Africa]

¶ “Orange Connects To Boralex Wind In France” • Canadian energy company Boralex is to supply electricity to the French arm of telecommunications company Orange from the 39-MW Ally-Mercoeur wind farm in France. Under the terms of the PPA, Orange France will receive 67 GWh of electricity per year from the project. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Boralex image)

¶ “Cost Of Renewable Power Is Falling, Share Is Growing In Power Sector” • REN21’s “Renewables 2020 Global Status Report” indicates that there has been significant growth over the last five years in renewable energy. Nevertheless, renewable energy needs to expand beyond the power sector to the heating, cooling, and transport sectors. [IISD Reporting Services]

¶ “Global Utilities ‘Failing Climate Test’” • Only four of the fifty most influential utilities in the world have defined a clear target to provide green energy aligned to the Paris Agreement, the World Benchmarking Alliance’s second “Climate and Energy Benchmark” says. The four are Ørsted, Enel, EDP, and the US utility AES Corporation. [reNEWS]

Building a wind farm (EDPR image)

¶ “Massive 340,000-Panel Solar Farm Planned For Edmonton International Airport” • Edmonton International Airport said it has plans to build a 627-acre, 120-MW solar farm on the west side of its lands as part of an agreement with Alpin Sun, a renewable energy company based in Europe. It will provide enough energy for 27,000 or 28,000 homes, [Edmonton Journal]

¶ “Vestas wins 166-MW order in Poland” • Vestas won a 166-MW order for two projects awarded at the Polish wind-solar-energy auction in December 2019. The Debnica Kazubska and the Bialy Bor wind projects will have six and 42 V126-3.45MW turbines respectively. Deliveries and commissioning are expected to begin in the third quarter of 2021. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Vestas image)


¶ “University of Minnesota Morris now carbon neutral on electricity” • The U of M, Morris says it now is net-zero CO₂ for electricity use. The west-central prairie campus is known for its commitment to renewable energy and sustainability, and now, on balance, the electricity used by the university is from clean energy sources. [Minnesota Public Radio News]

¶ “Xcel Plans Renewable Power Project At Ryan’s Ford Site Redevelopment” • Xcel Energy Inc has a plan to power the Ford site redevelopment in St Paul with solar and hydro. Xcel and site developer Ryan Cos aim to have 100% renewable energy for the site’s 3,800 housing units and 415,000 square feet of retail and office space. [Minneapolis / St Paul Business Journal]

Ford Site in St Paul (Image: Ryan A+E Inc)

¶ “Duke Energy Renewables Brings Its Largest Solar Project On Line In Texas” • The largest solar project in Duke Energy Renewables’ fleet has come on line in Texas. The 200-MW (AC) Holstein Solar farm began commercial operation June 1. It spans about 1,300 acres in Wingate, Texas, which is in the west-central area of the state. [Charlotte Business Journal]

¶ “Longroad To Build 105-MW Solar Project In Maine” • US renewables developer Longroad Energy is developing a $190 million (€166 million) 109-MW PV project in Maine. Project construction of the Three Corners solar project in Kennebec County will start in 2021, and commercial operation is expected to begin in 2022. [reNEWS]

Have an excitingly exuberant day.

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July 7 Energy News

July 7, 2020


¶ “As Fossil Fuel Pipelines Fall To Opposition, Utilities See Renewable Energy As Safe Bet” • Legal challenges have halted several major pipeline projects across the US in recent days, underscoring a seismic shift facing the US utility industry: the rise of renewables as a potentially less costly and less risky alternative to fossil fuels. [Greentech Media]

Light at the end of the pipeline (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Gigantic Atlantic Coast Gas Pipeline Done In By Humble Household Heat Pump” • Dominion Energy and Duke Energy cancelled the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. They may not know it, but activists and land owners who fought against the project did them a favor by giving a message for all fossil fuel stakeholders: Get out now while you have a chance. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “‘World-Leading’ Machines In Moray To Ease Renewable Power Into UK Grid” • Two “world-leading” machines are to be installed in Moray, Scotland, in a £20 million project to make using renewable energy in the electricity grid easier and cleaner. The “Rotating Stabilizer” will provide stability of supply without fossil fuel-powered generation. [Energy Voice]

“World-leading” machine


¶ “The Law That Could Make Climate Change Illegal” • The short-term cycles of government can be a real problem for climate change. But the Danish Parliament passed what could turn out to be one of the closest things yet to a law that would make climate change – or at least the lack of effort to stop it – genuinely illegal. [BBC]

¶ “Solar Farm Fitted With Batteries To Meet Grid Output Control Requirements Goes Online In Japan” • One of the first large solar farms in Japan with battery storage to meet the requirements of a local grid operator and utility, has been completed on the island of Hokkaido. The 64.4-MW Tomatoh Abira Solar Park 2 has 19 MWh of battery storage. [Energy Storage News]

Solar park fitted with battery storage (Image: Softbank)

¶ “Odisha Plans Solar Power Projects To Ramp Up Renewable Energy Generation” • The government of the Indian state of Odisha is planning several solar power projects in the state, officials said. To meet its renewable energy goals, the state needs 1,500 MW of solar power by 2022. It has 474 MW now and 460 MW in the pipeline. [Republic World]

¶ “Baywa Sells ‘Largest Floating PV Park Outside China’” • The German renewables company Baywa re has announced the sale of the largest floating solar project outside China. The developer did not reveal the sale price agreed for the 27.4 MW Bomhofsplas project, which it said yesterday had taken only seven weeks to install. [pv magazine International]

Bomhofsplas project (Image: Baywa re)

¶ “Rwanda’s Green Energy Sector Could Create 31,000 Jobs Annually – Report” • With ambitions of investing in renewable energy in Rwanda in the build-up to 2030, a report has noted that the sector could lead to the creation of around 31,000 direct jobs every year. The report was prepared by Global Green Growth Institute. [The New Times]


¶ “Judge Orders Temporary Shutdown Of Controversial Dakota Access Pipeline” • The Dakota Access Pipeline must shut down by August 5 as an in-depth environmental review is carried on for the controversial project, a district court ruled Monday. The pipeline will remain closed during the review, which will take about thirteen months. [CNN]

Dakota Access Pipeline (Tony Webster, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Supreme Court Deals Major Blow To Keystone XL Project” • On Monday, the Supreme Court cleared the way for several pipeline projects to proceed under a fast-track permitting process that allow projects to go ahead while the environmental reviews are done, but it excluded the Keystone XL expansion from the ruling, forcing major delays. [CNN]

¶ “Tucson Electric Power Plans To End Use Of Coal-Generated Electricity By 2032” • Tucson Electric Power says it will stop using coal to generate electricity by 2032 and will increase its share of renewable energy to over 70% by 2035. It will stop buying electricity from its two units at its coal-fired Springerville Generating Station by 2032. [Arizona Daily Star]

Wind farm (David Sanders | Tucson Electric Power)

¶ “Climate Denial Spreads On Facebook As Scientists Face Restrictions” • Facebook allows groups that reject climate science to promote misleading theories global warming. But it restricted the ability of one of the country’s most visible climate scientists, Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University, to share information and fact checking. [Scientific American]

¶ “New Turbines Go Online, Tripling Northern Colorado’s Wind Power” • The Roundhouse Renewable Energy Project, Northern Colorado’s largest source of wind energy to date, is now online. The project comprises 83 new turbines scattered along the state line, as well as a transmission cable that carries the electricity that it produces south. [KUNC]

Roundhouse project (Courtesy Pete Arnold, Cheyenne, Wyoming)

¶ “MA Lawmakers Still Working To Reach 100% Renewable Energy By 2050” • The goal is to power Massachusetts using 100% renewable energy sources by 2050, and the elected officials who have signed on in support of this plan have outlined how they intend to make it happen. The legislature has two major energy bills before them. [WWLP.com]

¶ “US Report Recognises Nuclear As Zero-Carbon Energy Source” • The US House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis majority staff report says nuclear power is a zero-carbon source of electricity. However, the report also notes that nuclear power is not pollution-free, as it generates radioactive waste that lasts for thousands of years. [Nuclear Engineering]

Have an ineffably agreeable day.

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July 6 Energy News

July 6, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Humans Are Altering The Tides Of The Oceans” • Over the course of decades, engineers have dredged parts of the Ems River, on the Dutch-German border, so ships could navigate it from a shipyard upriver. Now, the tidal range has quintupled from what it was in 1900. Changing tidal patterns add complexity to the problems of rising sea levels. [BBC]

Thames Barrier, protecting London from tides (Credit: Alamy)

¶ “Could Paying Farmers To Store Carbon Help The Climate And Save Farms?” • Scientists estimate the earth’s soil holds two to three times more carbon than the atmosphere. If farmers could coax their fields to suck up more CO₂ and deposit it as organic carbon underground, it could go a long way toward mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. [Mother Jones]


¶ “Tesla Begins Taking Cybertruck Orders In China, Will Drive One Across America” • If reports are true, the Tesla Cybertruck may be the most eagerly anticipated new vehicle in history. Back in February, 532,000 people around the world were reportedly on the waiting list. Now people in China are signing on, and there is a plan to drive one across America. [CleanTechnica]

Cybertruck on Tesla’s Chinese website (Credit: Tesla China)

¶ “LG Chem Secures Bigger Tesla Battery Contract” • Global battery giant LG Chem has reportedly secured a bigger order of batteries from Tesla due to higher demand and an inability for Tesla to produce enough batteries for its cars on its own. At least, that’s the news out of Korea, where LG Chem is based, according to Reuters. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vestas Wins Wind Turbine Orders Worth 429 MW In North America” • Global wind major Vestas has announced that it has received orders worth 429 MW for the supply of wind energy turbines for projects under development in North America. Of that, 151 MW will be installed in Alberta, and 278 MW will be constructed in the US. [Saurenergy]

Vestas Wind turbines

¶ “Iran’s Renewable Energy Capacity Reaches 825 MW” • Iran’s renewable power capacity has reached 825 MW, according to the data by Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Organization. The data also revealed that the number is expected to double, as other projects with a combined capacity of 821 MW are currently under construction. [Mehr News Agency]

¶ “From Dusted-Off Bikes To Electric Dreams: UK Green Economy Booms On Back Of Covid-19” • Butternut Bikes just one business set to profit from a green economic boom in the wake of the pandemic. The government faces growing pressure to unveil a climate friendly stimulus package, but the economic green shoots can already be seen. [The Guardian]

Electric bike rentals (London Time | Alamy)

¶ “NTPC And Indian Oil To Set Up A Waste-To-Energy Project In Delhi” • The South Delhi Municipal Corporation, Indian Oil, and NTPC signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a demonstration waste-to-energy project at a Delhi landfill. The project will use gasification to process about 17,500 tons of fuel derived from refuse per year. [Mercom India]

¶ “Study: Three Quarters Of U K Businesses Feel Threatened By Climate Crisis” • Three quarters of UK businesses feel threatened by the climate crisis, yet only one in ten has undertaken climate risk assessments and regard the issue as a priority. These data were revealed by a news study of over 500 businesses by Earth Science AI company Cervest. [www.businessgreen.com]

Up a tree (David Vig | Unsplash)

¶ “China’s Mega-Dams Are Giving Way To Cheaper Renewable Energy” • China Three Gorges Corp turned on the first set of generators at the massive Wudongde hydropower plant. And Baihetan, the last of the massive hydro projects, is scheduled to go into operation next year. But with low-cost renewable energy, no more are coming. [Aljazeera.com]

¶ “Iran Nuclear: Natanz Fire Caused ‘Significant’ Damage” • A fire at a key Iranian nuclear facility’s centrifuge assembly workshop caused “significant damage,” a spokesman said. He added that the machinery destroyed by the fire would eventually be replaced by more advanced equipment. Some Iranian officials have blamed possible cyber-sabotage. [BBC]

Damaged building (Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation)


¶ “Berkshire Hathaway Will Buy Natural Gas Assets From Dominion Energy In $10 Billion Deal” • Berkshire Hathaway is purchasing certain natural gas assets from Dominion Energy in a deal worth nearly $10 billion. Dominion is moving away from the gas transmission business to become a “pure-play” regulated clean energy utility company. [CNN]

¶ “One Year Later: Police Chief Loves The Tesla Model 3” • It makes sense for police departments all across America to make the switch to EVs. And Tesla, with its affordable Model 3, is a prime candidate. A number of departments have already started running Teslas, and those that have them love them. Numbers on cost reductions will come soon. [CleanTechnica]

A wish for Tulsa (Mayor GT Bynum via Twitter)

¶ “US Energy Companies End Atlantic Coast Pipeline Project” • Dominion Energy and Duke Energy announced that they have canceled the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which had faced opposition from landowners, activists and environmental advocates. The pipeline was meant to run from West Virginia to Virginia and North Carolina. [Voice of America]

¶ “Coal everywhere: Union Pacific train derailed in Oostburg; no reported injuries” • A Union Pacific coal train was derailed in Oostburg, Wisconsin. Officials said there were no reported injuries when 13 cars derailed near County Road A and Town Line Road, where the tracks cross the Black River. Coal spilled in the area as a result. [fox6now.com]

Have a stunningly successful day.

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July 5 Energy News

July 5, 2020


¶ “Zero-Emissions Trucks Are The Future: Let’s Do This” • California’s zero-emissions rule is a timetable for eliminating emissions from trucking. Instead of fighting the rule, the trucking industry has an historic opportunity to tackle the problem of emissions from freight and transform its operations into a clean supply chain. [CleanTechnica]

Fuso eCanter London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (Daimler image)

¶ “How To Retire Early: Making Accelerated Coal Phaseout Feasible And Just” • It Is cheaper today to build new renewable energy capacity including battery storage than to continue operating 39% of the world’s existing coal capacity. And the cost of coal-based power is not going down the way renewable energy’s costs are. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “How New Flood Risk Maps Could Undermine Marginalized Neighborhoods” • New flood maps illustrate a racial disparity: In two-thirds of states, minority neighborhoods shoulder more undisclosed flood risk than the state average. That gap could have significant ramifications for citizens in those areas to access financial resources. [Quartz]

Flood (Dan Anderson | Reuters)

¶ “Natural Gas As A Bridge Fuel To The Future? Not Anymore” • Natural gas is being done in by low prices for renewables and storage, which is precisely how capitalism is supposed to work. Now we need to eradicate the torrent of money the industry receives from federal and state subsidies. That fight is not over yet, but the end game has begun. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Study: Driving Tesla Model 3 Is Whole Lot Cheaper Than Driving Petrol Vehicles In 23 African Countries” • AfricaNEV looked at the costs of “fueling” the Tesla Model 3 versus some popular fossil fueled models in each of 23 countries, examining electricity tariffs and petrol prices. The Model 3 wins, and it’s not even a contest. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 in Florida (Zach Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Domestic Manufacturing Only Meets Half Of India’s Solar Equipment Demand: Power Minister Rk Singh” • India’s solar PV manufacturing capacity meets just half of the country’s demand, according to union power and renewable energy minister RK Singh. India’s solar cell manufacturing capacity is at 2.5 GW, but it has 5 GW more under construction. [EnergyInfraPost]

¶ “Record Low Tariff Bidding For New Solar Projects, Due To Chance Coming Together Of Many Positives” • A chance coming together of several positives led to a new record low tariff bid in a tranche of auctions of the Solar Energy Corporation of India, according to CRISIL Research. The new record is ₹2.36/kWh (3.2¢/kWh), down from ₹2.44 /kWh. [EnergyInfraPost]

Solar array

¶ “MP Helps Launch Bradford Community Energy Initiative” • In West Yorkshire, Bradford Community Energy has launched a major new initiative to help community centers in the district develop and finance renewable energy assets. It allows residents to invest from £100 up to £22,000 in local renewable energy projects. [Bradford Telegraph and Argus]

¶ “Tepco To Reuse Chinese EV Batteries For Energy Storage” • Japanese utility Tokyo Electric Power Co Holdings will launch a storage battery business utilizing used electric-vehicle batteries from China, Nikkei has learned. The plan is to assemble used batteries into a containerized energy storage system to assist renewable-energy plants. [Nikkei Asian Review]

Bank of batteries

¶ “Europe’s radioactivity due to nuke reactor – UN” • Slightly higher levels of radioactivity detected in northern Europe last week are likely linked to a nuclear reactor, the UN nuclear watchdog said, stressing it posed no risk. The International Atomic Energy Agency said it could not yet determine where the reactor was located. [The Manila Times]


¶ “US Opposition’s Big Climate Plan Includes Studying The Risky Idea Of Blocking Out The Sun” • Democrats on the US House Select Committee for the Climate Crisis put out their big old climate plan. One thing the plan includes is geoengineering. Controversially, that could mean using tiny particles to reflect sunlight back into space. [Gizmodo UK]

Twilight (Featured photo: Wikimedia)

¶ “Green Hydrogen Bubbles Up Under US Distributed Wind Scheme” • The DOE is determined to stimulate more activity in the area of distributed wind power, and if all goes according to plan that could mean good news for fans of green hydrogen. The hydrogen angle could help smaller-scale wind owners squeeze more energy from their turbines. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Efficiency Maine Trust Has A 10-Year Record Of Energy-Saving Success” • Efficiency Maine Trust was established on July 1, 2010, as an independent, not-for-profit, quasi-state agency to advance the best interests of Maine’s energy consumers. Since then, “Efficiency Maine” has served the state’s customer groups, business sectors, and communities. [Press Herald]

Have thoroughly enjoyable day.

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July 4 Energy News

July 4, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Koalas, Under Stress From Wildfires And Climate Change, Could Become Extinct In One Part Of Australia” • Ravaged by wildfires and habitat loss, Koalas could become extinct in New South Wales by 2050, a government report says. The prediction is based on a year-long study launched just a few months before recent devastating wildfires. [The Weather Channel]

Koala in a tree (Douglas Paul Perkins, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Early Exposure To Traffic-Related Air Pollution Linked To Increased Risk Of Neurodevelopmental Disorders” • Researchers at the University of California, Davis have released a study, based on rodent models, that corroborates previous epidemiological evidence showing the effects of traffic-related pollution on the brains of developing young.  [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Climate change is hitting home gardens. Here’s how to adapt” • Every year now, gardeners should rethink what they grow and where because of climate change, experts say. A longer growing season can deliver bigger harvests, but conditions are changing in ways that offset that, with new weather patterns, invasive species, and other problems. [Christian Science Monitor]

Plant in extreme weather (Dean Fosdick | AP)


¶ “Octopus Identifies Renewable Energy Targets In Ireland” • Last year, Octopus, a UK renewable energy company, acquired its first asset in Ireland, a 15-MW wind farm in Donegal. Now, it is looking at Ireland, along with ten other countries, for places to make additional investments. Octopus Renewables Infrastructure Trust expects to invest £2.2 billion. [Independent.ie]

¶ “With Much Of The World’s Economy Slowed Down, Green Energy Powers On” • The fallout from the coronavirus pandemic has many businesses reeling. The oil and gas industry in particular has been forced to drastically cut production and lay off workers. But producers of clean energy are pushing hard to get their projects up and running. [bdnews24.com]

East Anglia One wind project (Suzie Howell | The New York Times)

¶ “45,000 Renewables Jobs Are Australia’s For The Taking – But How Many Will Go To Coal Workers?” • As the global renewables transition accelerates, the future for Australian coal regions has become a big worry: Can renewables create the right jobs in the right places to employ former coal workers? A study says that in many cases, they can. [Australian Times]

¶ “Lord Bamford And Son Develop Construction Industry’s First Hydrogen-Powered Excavator” • JCB chairman Lord Bamford and his son Jo, who runs Ryse Hydrogen and Wrightbus, have spent two years working on the construction industry’s first ever hydrogen-powered excavator and then a further year testing the prototype. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Bamfords and their hydrogen excavator (Ryse Hydrogen image)

¶ “Turkey To Offer ‘Green Only’ Power Tariff As Of August” • Turkey will start offering a “green only” power tariff as of August for electricity consumers interested in purchasing clean, renewable energy, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez said in a statement. Turkey’s electricity production is about 50%. [Daily Sabah]

¶ “India Plans To Halt $2.8 Billion Import Of Power Equipment From China” • India will stop power equipment imports from China, power minister Raj Kumar Singh said, amid simmering border tensions between the two neighbors. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is asking companies to look for Indian suppliers to spur economic recovery. [ThePrint]

Solar panels and wind turbines (Bloomberg image)

¶ “SP Energy Networks Funds Scottish Community PV” • SP Energy Networks’ Green Economy Fund has provided money for 14 community solar projects, with more than 200 kW of total capacity, in Scotland. The electricity distributor has supported the installation of solar panels on community halls, churches, schools and sports clubs. [reNEWS]

¶ “Germany Is First Major Economy To Phase Out Coal And Nuclear” • German lawmakers have finalized the country’s long-awaited phase-out of coal as an energy source, backing a plan that environmental groups say isn’t ambitious enough and free marketeers criticize as a waste of taxpayers’ money. The last coal-fired power plant will close by 2038. [Sumter Item]

Bucket wheel digging for coal (Martin Meissner | AP file photo)

¶ “Singapore To Retain Focus On Long-Term Goals To Create Jobs: Masagos Zulkifli” • Singapore should continue to work on its long-term goals like sustainability and digital transformation even while it deals with near-term priorities brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, its Minister for the Environment and Water Resources said. [The Straits Times]


¶ “Duke Energy Florida Plans To Double Its Solar Power Capacity” • Perhaps managers at Duke Energy finally noticed that solar power is cheaper than nuclear, coal, or natural gas. They submitted a proposal to the Florida Public Service Commission requesting approval for a plan to build 750 MW of new solar capacity at a cost of $1 billion. [CleanTechnica]

PVs (ASCOM Prefeitura de Votuporanga, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Black Hills Energy Proposes New 200MW Solar Project; Forecasts Customer Savings Of About $66 Million” • Black Hills Energy is proposing to lower customer energy costs by about $66 million over 15 years with a 200-MW solar project to be built in Pueblo County, Colorado, under the company’s Renewable Advantage plan. [Canon City Daily Record]

¶ “Portland General Electric Looks To Create 4-MW VPP With Batteries” • Portland General Electric announced plans to start a pilot program aimed at creating a virtual power plant with a capacity of 4 MW out of residential energy storage batteries. PGE will offer incentives to customers in its service area, to participate in the VPP. [Renewables Now]

Have a supremely splendid day.

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July 3 Energy News

July 3, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Warming Temperatures Threaten Hundreds Of Fish Species The World Relies On, Study Finds” • As the planet’s oceans and rivers warm, increased heat could pose a grave threat to the fish populations the world depends on by the end of this century. That’s the alarming conclusion of a study published in the journal Science. [CNN]

Vulnerable fish (Nobuo Matsumura | Alamy)

¶ “Covid-19 Has Shown The Huge Cost Of Slow Political Action, Warn Climate Scientists” • Writing in the journal Current Biology, a team of scientists and policy experts from the UK and US say that the lessons learned the hard way in containing COVID-19 should also be applied at the heart of averting environmental catastrophe. [Science Business]


¶ “Volvo Penta Begins Field Trials Of Battery-Electric Fire Truck” • Volvo Penta has been working with Rosenbauer, a European maker of fire trucks, to develop an electric drivetrain for those vehicles. Rosenbauer will soon begin real-world customer testing with fire departments in Berlin, Amsterdam, and Dubai, a Volvo Penta press release says. [CleanTechnica]

Rosenbauer fire truck (Volvo Penta)

¶ “IKEA Unveils Even More Solar Energy Projects” • Australia has already seen Swedish brand IKEA roll out of its retail solar solutions, known as Solstråle. Now, IKEA is investing more into renewables with storage. This will see the company transform one of its superstores into the first of its kind to be 100% powered by renewable energy. [Energy Matters]

¶ “Enel Wins 420-M W Solar Prize In India” • Enel Green Power, through its Indian renewable subsidiary EGP India, has secured an energy supply contract for a 420-MW solar farm in the state of Rajasthan. Commercial operations are expected at the end of 2021. The investment will come to about $180 million (€160 million), Enel said. [reNEWS]

Solar panels (Enel image)

¶ “Germany’s Renewable Power Share Surges To 56% Amid Covid-19 Impact” • The share of renewable energy in Germany’s power generation surged to 55.8% during the first half of 2020 amid a lower demand due to the decline in industrial activity caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and favourable weather, data from the Fraunhofer Institute shows. [Recharge]

¶ “First SeaMade Turbine Starts Spinning” • The first turbine installed at the 487-MW SeaMade offshore wind project off the coast of Belgium has generated first power. DEME Offshore recently installed the first 8.4-MW Siemens Gamesa turbine at the project in the Belgian North Sea, using its DP2 offshore installation vessel Apollo. [reNEWS]

Blade installation (DEME image)

¶ “50Hertz Aims To Deliver 100% Renewable Electricity By 2032” • German grid operator 50Hertz unveiled plans to deliver 100% renewable electricity in its service territory by 2032. The “60 to 100 by 2032” initiative covers areas in eastern Germany and the city states of Berlin and Hamburg, where 50Hertz now delivers around 60% renewable power. [reNEWS]

¶ “Greens Launch Plan To Lead Victoria Out Of Recession Through Renewable Energy” • The Victorian Greens launched a renewable energy-led recovery plan for Victoria that, if adopted, would create thousands of jobs, lead us out of recession and help solve the climate crisis all at once, mainly through energy and efficiency upgrades. [pv magazine Australia]

Wind farm in Victoria (Rolandg, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Nuclear Energy Not For Countries Looking At Economic Development” • If India is looking at development by increasing power consumption, it is essential that it opts for cheaper forms of energy, stated nuclear expert M V Ramana, at a webinar ‘The future of nuclear energy’. He stressed that in such a case nuclear is not the right choice. [Free Press Journal]


¶ “Vigor Chooses ABB Battery Electric Power For New Ferries In Washington” • Washington State operates the one of the largest ferry fleets in world. It burns about 20 million gallons of diesel fuel a year, making it a major polluter. Three of its biggest ferry boats, each burning about 5 million gallons, are being converted by Vigor Shipyards to run on electricity. [CleanTechnica]

Ferry on Puget Sound (Vigor image)

¶ “New York City Is Getting 20 Miles Of Bus Lanes & Car-Free Busways” • New York City has a plan that centers around buses. The city will provide 20 miles of bus lanes and car-free busways. Mayor de Blasio said that implementation of the plan across the city is already starting. This is the start for a larger plan for 60 miles of bus lanes and busways. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Plot Brewing To Blanket US In Solar Panels And Pollinator-Friendly Plants” • A change is under way. Solar arrays that once sat on barren ground are now festooned with plants that attract bees, birds, and butterflies. Even the DOE is getting into the act. Here is a look at four new solar power plants built to benefit our pollinators. [CleanTechnica]

Agrivoltaics in Vermont (Green Lantern via Global Newswire)

¶ “Thirteen Towns Join Electricity Aggregation Program” • In Massachusetts, a dozen Franklin County communities and the town of Huntington have joined together to develop municipal electricity programs with the goal of combating climate change and increasing renewable energy use. Customers will see a small drop in rates. [The Recorder]

¶ “AEP To Proceed With Wind Projects Investments, Despite Texas Commission Decision” • The Public Utility Commission of Texas denied an approval, but American Electric Power received the other states’ regulatory approvals needed to acquire 1,485 MW of North Central wind generation. The projects are to be completed over the next two years. [Saurenergy]

Have an abundantly fruitful day.

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July 2 Energy News

July 2, 2020


¶ “Banks Love Renewable Energy, But Their Boardrooms Are Still Linked With Fossil Fuels Corporations” • Big banks are talking the talk about clean, renewable energy and sustainability, but many of their board members have major ties to large fossil fuel corporations. These ties can affect banking decisions in ways that favor fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

Deepwater Horizon (US Coast Guard, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “House Climate Crisis Committee Report Offers Strong Foundation For Climate Action” • The House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis released a Climate Crisis Action Plan. The plan underscores that climate change is not just a science issue. It is also an issue for health, economic, racial justice, housing, and food security. [Red, Green, and Blue]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change Threat To Tropical Plants” • Tropical plants closer to the equator are most at risk from climate change. The region is expected to be too hot for many species to germinate in the next 50 years, University of New South Wales researchers found. The research was published in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography. [UNSW Newsroom]

Tropical vegitation (Shutterstock image)


¶ “Norway June EV Market Share At 66%, Overall Autos Down 25% YoY” • June saw electric vehicle pioneer Norway achieve 66% plug-in electric vehicle market share, up from 62% last year in the same month. The overall passenger auto market was down 25.5% year on year, which is a significant recovery from May’s drop of almost 40%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Arrival Rolls Out Slick, Sleek, Smooth Electric Bus” • With investment from Hyundai and Kia since January 2019, the British transportation company has been getting to work designing and developing great looking EVs for commercial segments. UPS has already ordered 10,000 electric vans. Now, Arrival has a cool new electric bus. [CleanTechnica]

Arrival electric bus (Image courtesy of Arrival)

¶ “Toyota Suspends Production Of RAV4 Prime After 3 Weeks” • Just three weeks after the start of production for the RAV4 Prime, Toyota announced it won’t build any more for a while. It seems orders for the car have far exceeded Toyota’s plan to make 4,000 RAV4 Primes. Reports are that Toyota failed to line up enough batteries for more than that. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hydrogen For High-Speed Crafts And Other Coastal Vessels” • Statkraft, TrønderEnergi, and Hyon are collaborating to launch compressed hydrogen as an alternative fuel for vessels and heavy vehicles. They will work to offer complete solutions in the tender processes that the local authorities will initiate in 2020 and onwards. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Hydrogen powered boat (Courtesy of Statkraft)

¶ “Atlas Renewable Energy And Dow Sign A Solar Energy Agreement” • Atlas Renewable Energy signed a large-scale solar power purchase agreement with material science multinational company Dow in Brazil. The Jacaranda PV  solar plant in the state of Bahía, will have a capacity of 187 MW and will supply energy over the 15-year PPA. [Power Technology]

¶ “Asia Offshore Potential Almost 1500 GW” • Asia offers the potential for almost 1500 GW of offshore wind capacity, Wood Mackenzie research shows. The analysis said the bulk of the capacity would be in China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and Vietnam. Wood Mackenzie said it expects 38 GW of new capacity to come online in China by 2029. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbine installation (China Three Gorges image)

¶ “Japan Aims To Shut Down 100 Inefficient Coal Plants Within Decade” • Japan’s government plans to phase out about 90% of the nation’s 114 low-efficiency coal-fired power generation units over the next decade as it looks to reduce carbon emissions. It will shift toward renewable energy and reopen more nuclear plants. [The Japan Times]


¶ “Montana’s Largest Solar Project Secures Local Energy Cooperative” • A 1,100-acre solar project in Montana just secured a contract to sell power to Basin Electric Power Cooperative and its members. The project, Cabin Creek Solar Project, will be the largest of its type in the state and will supply power to the co-ops for 15 years. [CleanTechnica]

Montana (David Mark | Pixabay)

¶ “Tesla’s Market Value Overtakes Exxon In Historic Paradigm Shift” • Bloomberg said, “Tesla Inc’s market value has surpassed Exxon Mobil Corp’s in a sign that investors are increasingly betting on a global energy transition away from fossil fuels.” It touted the turning point as a shift that could signify a seismic transformation in the sector. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vail Resorts Says It’s Near Its Renewable Energy Goals” • Vail Resorts committed to purchase 310,000 MWh of wind energy annually from the new 82-turbine Plum Creek Wind project. The PPA will address more than 90% of the electricity use across its 34 North American resorts. Vail Resorts has a goal of reaching 100% renewable electricity by 2030. [Vail Daily News]

Wind turbines (Denver Post file photo)

¶ “More Utilities Bypassing Natural Gas Bridge And Going Straight To Renewables” • Utilities moving away from coal are starting to view the natural gas “bridge” to renewable energy as an unnecessary step. Utilities in Arizona, Colorado, and Florida have announced plans to close coal plants without adding any gas-fired generation. [pv magazine International]

¶ “CIP To Deliver 400 MW To AEP From Panther Grove” • AEP Energy signed a long-term power purchase agreement with an affiliate of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners for the output of the 400-MW Panther Grove wind farm in Illinois. Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2021, with commercial operation expected in late 2022. [reNEWS]

Have a highly amusing day.

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July 1 Energy News

July 1, 2020


¶ “Is The Hydrogen Tech ‘Revolution’ Hope Or Hype?” • In his speech on the planned economic recovery, the prime minister said hydrogen technology is an area where the UK leads the world. He hopes it’ll create clean jobs in the future. But is the hydrogen revolution hope or hype? Hydrogen has come a long way, but it’s by no means trouble-free. [BBC]

Hydrogen powered train

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Have Expectations For Useful Life Of Utility-Scale PV Plants In The US Changed Over Time?” • Useful life expectations of US PV projects have increased and lifetime operating expenses estimates have declined. Those conclusions emerge in a new report from Berkeley Lab. It determined that the useful life of PV projects exceeds 30 years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Beavers Are Gnawing Away At The Arctic Permafrost, And That’s Bad For The Planet” • The beaver may be an unlikely agent of climate change, but they are transforming the Arctic landscape in a way that could exacerbate global warming, a study has suggested. They are moving into new areas, and their lakes  contribute to permafrost thawing. [CNN]

Beaver (Ken Tape | University of Alaska, Fairbanks)


¶ “‘County Electric’ Minibus Is Hyundai’s Next Electric Play” • Though it is far from being the company that leads the world in sales of EVs, Hyundai is highly regarded for its competent EV design. The company is now using its talents in the minibus market. Hyundai Motor Company just released its “County Electric” minibus. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Chile Orders 150 Electric Buses From BYD!” • Chile just order 150 electric buses from BYD to transport people in its capital city of Santiago. This brings BYD electric buses up to a total of 455 in Chile. Santiago alone plans to get up to nearly 800 electric buses by the end of 2020, with a goal to have its transportation system fully electric by 2040. [CleanTechnica]

New electric buses in Santiago, Chile (Image courtesy BYD)

¶ “Samsung And Bloom Energy Want To Make Zero Emissions Cargo Ships” • Samsung Heavy Industries is a prominent global shipbuilder. SHI has formed a joint venture with Bloom Energy to design and develop zero emissions ships. Taming marine emissions would be an important step forward in ridding the world of pollution. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “City Of Adelaide Switches To 100% Renewable Electricity” • In a first for a South Australian council, operations for the City of Adelaide will be powered by a solar-wind blend as it partners with electricity retailer Flow Power. This will bring Adelaide a step closer to its goal of becoming one of the world’s first carbon-neutral cities. [pv magazine Australia]

Rooftop solar system (Image: Vicinity Centers)

¶ “Vestas Makes 588-MW End Of Q2 Surge” • Danish turbine manufacturer Vestas booked a further 588 MW of turbine orders in Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and the US as the second quarter of the year came to an end. The US order is for V150-4.2MW hardware totalling 278 MW with delivery to begin in the second quarter of 2021. [reNEWS]

¶ “City Of Sydney Completes Switch To 100% Renewable Supply” • The City of Sydney has officially made the switch to 100% renewable electricity, with its power supplies now flowing from wind and solar projects from across regional New South Wales. The city secured a power purchase agreements worth around $60 million. [RenewEconomy]

Sydney Town Hall solar (Credit: City of Sydney)

¶ “Global Transition From Coal To Clean Energy Has Reached A Financial Tipping Point” • A report from the Sierra Club, the Carbon Tracker Initiative, and the Rocky Mountain Institute concluded that replacing the entire global fleet of coal plants with clean energy plus battery storage could be done at a net annual savings as early as 2022. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Renewables Surge In European Power Mix” • Data for the period from 1 January to 16 June 2020 shows that wind, solar, and biomass generation in Europe has grown by 7% over 2019 levels, while overall power generation declined by 6.1% from last year. The reduction was almost entirely absorbed by gas, coal, and nuclear power. [Petroleum Economist]

Jack-up ship


¶ “US Department of Energy Aims to Help Secure EV Battery Supplies” • Despite the Trump administration’s clear fossil fuel bias, the US DOE has been paying a bit of attention to the EV revolution. It is looking to help secure critical battery supplies in the global battery supply chain and setting the foundation to do so. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “You Can Now Drive 100% Electric Across The USA Using Electrify America” • The big Electrify America news is that it has completed its first cross-country route, going from Washington, DC, to Southern California. A second cross-country route will also soon be completed, going across the southern part of the country to Southern California. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Renewable Energy Industry Sees Job Losses Nationally And In Vermont” • The renewable energy industry has taken a big hit from the Covid-19 shutdowns. Nearly 600,000 people who work in the clean energy sector nationwide have lost their jobs since the crisis began in March, according to renewable energy groups, and Vermont has not been spared. [vtdigger.org]

¶ “Democrats Say They Have A Bold Climate Plan – But The Republicans Have Other Plans” • House Democrats released an ambitious and wide-ranging climate crisis plan on par with what scientists say the world will have to do to avert catastrophic warming. Some Republicans agree that there is a problem, but that is about as far as agreement goes. [The Guardian]

Have a radically delightful day.

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June 30 Energy News

June 30, 2020


¶ “BP Is Getting Out Of Petrochemicals With $5 Billion Sale” • BP has agreed to sell its petrochemicals business to Ineos for $5 billion. The UK oil company is selling assets worth $15 billion as it reels from the oil price crash and pivots toward renewable energy. It has already sold its business in Alaska and offloaded legacy gas assets elsewhere in the US. [CNN]

Nodding donkey

¶ “The South Pole Has Been Warming At Three Times The Global Average Over The Past 30 Years, Study Says” • The South Pole has been warming at over three times the global average in the past 30 years, according to a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. That could have huge implications for the region and beyond. [CNN]

¶ “XPeng Expands Its EV Lineup With New P7” • The new XPeng P7 may be the closest thing yet to a true competitor to Tesla in the Chinese market. It has a range of 441 miles, more range than any other Chinese car, a low starting price, luxurious interior, and Level 3 autonomous driving all rolled into an attractive EV that is pleasing to the eye. [CleanTechnica]

XPeng P7 (Courtesy of XPeng)

¶ “Europe Is Drowning In SUV Emissions” • We regularly see news about rapidly increasing EV sales in Europe. But there is another side to the matter, which is that vehicle emissions in Europe are not falling; instead, they are rising. The mania for SUVs that has infected the brains of car buyers around the globe is largely to blame. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volvo Factory In China Runs On 100% Renewable Energy” • Volvo Cars continues its march towards being carbon-neutral by 2025. It announced that its vehicle assembly plant in Chengdu, China would make the switch to 100% renewable energy. Their new energy supply contract will rely heavily on hydroelectric and solar power. [CleanTechnica]

Volvo factory in Chengdu (Image courtesy Volvo Cars)

¶ “BMW To Source Battery Cells Produced Using Renewable Energy” • German carmaker BMW said its electric cars will use battery cells produced using renewable energy, a step which will compel the biggest suppliers to source more non-coal generated electricity. Last year, BMW ordered more than €10 billion ($11.07 billion) worth of battery cells. [KDAL News]

¶ “Big Melbourne Corporates Sign Up To Renewable Future” • Some of Melbourne’s biggest universities and businesses will source their power from regional wind farms, as part of a multi-million dollar city council renewable energy deal. Starting from next month, Tango Energy will provide 110 GWh of renewable electricity per year. [Pro Bono Australia]

Wind turbine

¶ “Clean Power Companies ‘Failing On Human Rights'” • The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre’s inaugural review of the renewable energy sector claims that none of the world’s 16 largest public wind and solar companies currently fully meets their responsibility to respect human rights as defined by UN Guiding Principles. [reNEWS]

¶ “Vestas Blows Strong In Japan With 76-MW Order” • Vestas secured a 76-MW turbine order for two wind farms in Japan’s Aomori prefecture. The wind farms are being developed jointly by Tokyu Land Corporation and Japan Wind Development. Turbines deliveries will begin in Q1 of 2021, with commissioning is scheduled for Q4 of 2021. [reNEWS]

Vestas wind turbine (Vestas image)

¶ “France Completes Shutdown Of Oldest Nuclear Plant At Fessenheim” • The closure of France’s oldest nuclear plant was mourned by electricity workers and celebrated by anti-nuclear campaigners. The second of two reactors at Fessenheim was powered down and taken offline overnight. The first reactor was shut down in February. [Euronews]


¶ “Illinois Community Solar Lands Northwestern University As New Customer” • The Illinois Community Solar program from Clearway Community Solar now has Northwestern University as its first major commercial subscriber. The university’s 11.9-MW subscription supports development of 16 Clearway Community Solar projects. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array (Image courtesy Clearway Community Solar)

¶ “Virginia School District Going Solar In A Big Way” • In Virginia, the school district for Orange County Public Schools contracted Secure Futures Solar to put solar panels on eight of the school district’s facilities. They combine for a capacity of 2.5 MW. The PV projects will produce about 50% of the eight facilities’ electricity needs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Kentucky Whiskey Distillery To Be Powered By 100% Renewable Electricity By 2030” • Global beverage maker Diageo announced that its new Kentucky whiskey distillery is expected to be carbon neutral. The Bulleit distilling site will be powered by 100% renewable electricity to produce up to 10 million proof gallons per year. [Environment + Energy Leader]

Bulleit whiskey distillery

¶ “Bank Of America And Duke Energy Enter PPA For 25 MW Of Solar Power” • BOA announced that it is partnering with Duke Energy to expand its renewable energy commitment by using solar energy to power operations in Charlotte, North Carolina. The purchase of 25-MW of solar energy will cover 45% of BOA’s electricity load in the state. [Saurenergy]

¶ “Chesapeake Sues FERC Over Pipeline Contracts” • Chesapeake Energy sued the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to keep two pipeline companies from interfering with its Chapter 11 reorganization. Chesapeake Energy is seeking to reject certain negotiated contracts, and it wants the federal bankruptcy court, not FERC, to decide the issue. [Kallanish Energy]

Have a breathtakingly gorgeous day.

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June 29 Energy News

June 29, 2020


¶ “Maine Woods Would Benefit From Power Line Project” • Ensuring a healthy future for the Maine Woods – its plants and trees, animals and fish, jobs and industries – requires us to recognize its biggest threat: climate change. To reduce the devastating effects of climate change, we must take some big steps. And we must move quickly. [Press Herald]

Power lines at sunrise (Ron Shawley, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “Russia Denies Its Nuclear Plants Are Source Of Radiation Leak” • Russia said nuclear material detected over Scandinavia did not come from one of its power plants. Nuclear safety watchdogs in Finland, Norway, and Sweden had found higher-than-usual amounts of radioactive isotopes in the atmosphere, but Russia said its plants were working normally. [BBC]

¶ “BMW Considering (Gasp!) A Dedicated Electric Vehicle Chassis” • Yes, folks, it’s official. People in the BMW headquarters in Munich are thinking way, way outside the box and saying the company should consider building a dedicated electric car platform! Has the whole world gone mad with this electric car fever? The answer, apparently, is yes. [CleanTechnica]

BMW i3 cars (Zach Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Canopy Power Develops Renewable Microgrids In Asia With EDF” • Reportedly, Singapore-based energy company Canopy Power is partnering with EDF on the development of renewable energy microgrids in Asia. The microgrids can produce what Canopy describes as “cleaner and cheaper electricity where the grid won’t reach.” [Energy Digital]

¶ “EIB Funds Largest Solar Project In Spain’s Andalusia” • Solar energy firm Solarcentury secured €43.5 million ($48.9 million) in funding from the European Investment Bank to complete the construction and ensure the operation of four 50-MW solar arrays that make up what is claimed to be the largest solar energy project in Andalusia. [Power Engineering International]

Solar array

¶ “Hydrogen Fuel Bubbles Up The Agenda As Investments Rocket” • More than 50 years ago hydrogen fuel cells helped put Neil Armstrong on the moon, but mainstream usage of the technology has remained elusive since. Now there are signs that may be changing, with a spate of new investments even amid the coronavirus pandemic. [The Guardian]

¶ “Spain To Close Half Its Coal-Fired Power Stations” • Seven out of the fifteen coal-fired power stations still working in Spain will cease operations on June 30, after their owners – the electricity companies – decided that it does not make financial sense to adapt them to European regulations. And four more are getting ready to shut down soon. [EL PAÍS in English]

Puente Nuevo power plant in Córdoba (Paco Puentes)


¶ “Over 300,000 Jobs Could Be Created If Australia Moves To Zero Emissions, New Report Shows” • Australia has lost 830,000 jobs to the Covid-19 pandemic. A plan released by Beyond Zero Emissions would create 360,000 jobs for a five year period with energy storage projects, housing retrofits, zero-energy social housing, and electric transport. [SBS]

¶ “Jemena Wants Emphasis On Renewable Gas” • Last month, the Australian federal government released the Technology Investment Roadmap Discussion Paper with a view to future investments in low emissions technologies. Pipeline owner and operator Jemena said renewable gases could keep the economy strong and energy costs affordable. [The Australian Pipeliner]


¶ “Organic Renewable Network In Australia” • Victoria’s Minister for Water announced two Renewable Organics Networks projects to reduce waste going to landfill while generating electricity. The networks will transform organic municipal and trade waste into renewable energy and soil enhancers that can be used for agricultural purposes. [Energy Harvesting Journal]


¶ “Chesapeake Energy, Fracking Pioneer, Files For Bankruptcy Owing $9 Billion” • Chesapeake Energy, a leader in the fracking boom, has filed for bankruptcy protection. The company said its debts of $9 billion were unmanageable, and it entered a plan with lenders to cut $7 billion of them. It will continue operating as usual during the bankruptcy process. [The Guardian]

Petroleum industry workers (Ralph Wilson | AP)

¶ “Florida Has Thousands More Properties With High Flood Risk Than FEMA Says, According To New Study” • According to a model by the nonprofit First Street Foundation, about 114,000 more Florida properties are at risk of flooding in a 100-year storm than the Federal Emergency Management Agency currently estimates. [Tampa Bay Times]

¶ “Washington Transit Agency Getting Ten Electric Buses And Wireless Charging” • Ten of BYD’s fully electric K9S buses have arrived this year in Wenatchee, Washington. Richard DeRock, General Manager of Link Transit, said, “We’ve been operating the first eight since mid-March and they have been a huge help to our system.” [CleanTechnica]

BYD electric bus run by Link Transit (BYD image)

¶ “NM Wind Energy Development Surges Forward” • Pattern Energy will break ground this fall on a 1,000-MW complex of wind farms in central eastern New Mexico, as well as a new 150-mile transmission line to carry the energy to Western markets. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg in Pattern’s plans for New Mexico. [Albuquerque Journal]

¶ “These Power Companies Fought For A $300 Million Nuclear Subsidy. Now They Want A New Deal” • Two large New Jersey energy companies are offering to give up a $300 million annual subsidy for their South Jersey nuclear power plants. In exchange, they want the state to agree to a plan restructuring how New Jersey gets electricity. [NJ Spotlight]

Have a superby uplifting day.

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June 28 Energy News

June 28, 2020


¶ “Is GM’s ICE Business Worthless? Adam Jonas Seems To Say So” • Morgan Stanley auto analyst Adam Jonas says GM’s EV business is worth $100 billion. Jonas’s price target of $43 per share puts GM’s total value at $60 billion. Doesn’t that mean that GM’s internal combustion engine business is worth less than nothing? [CleanTechnica]

2005 Corvette engine (Stephen Foskett, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Floating Solar Industry Coming Together To Develop Recommended Practices” • Floating solar power plants have gone from a tiny niche sector of the solar market in 2012 and 2013 to a pretty popular option in 2020. It seems sensible to develop a set of recommended practices. Hence there is a new global consortium to create just that. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Twenty-Seven Electric School Buses Headed To Quebec” • Transdev Canada is investing close to C$4.5 million into its fleet of electric school buses, adding 27 that bring bring the total up to 31 at the start of the school year. But that is just a start. Transdev Canada plans to electrify 100% of its Quebec school buses by 2025. [CleanTechnica]

School buses (Courtesy of Transdev Canada | Lion Electric)

¶ “Renewable, Green Energy Will Ensure Energy Security: Nasrul” • Bangladesh’s minister for power, energy, and mineral resources, Nasrul Hamid, MP, said renewable energy and green energy would ensure energy security in the future. He said that it was possible to advance with a concept for setting up rooftop or floating solar power plants. [newagebd.net]

¶ “How Scotland Can Kickstart The Economy Through Green Energy” • Scotland is set to restart its economy as it emerges from the Covid-19 crisis by harnessing “limitless quantities of renewable energy potential.” It could wipe out gas central heating with “green hydrogen” and create more than 100,000 new jobs over the next 30 years. [HeraldScotland]

Offshore windpower

¶ “New Coal Power Plants Increasing Financial Burden Of Pakistan: Report” • With slowing demand for electricity growth, Pakistan is faced with the increasing financial risk of overcapacity at a time when renewables are the cheapest source of energy available, a report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis found. [Business Recorder]

¶ “France Pulls Plug On Country’s Oldest Fessenheim Nuclear Plant” • France’s oldest nuclear power plant will shut down on Tuesday, June 30, after four decades in operation. This is to the delight of environmental activists who have warned of the risks it poses since the Fukushima Disaster, but it stokes worry for the local economy. [Daily Nation]

Fessenheim nuclear plant (Photo: Sebastien Bozon | AFP)

¶ “‘Slight’ Radioactivity Rise In Nordic Countries” • Russia’s power operator downplayed observations by Nordic nuclear safety agencies of slightly increased levels of radioactive isotopes in parts of Finland, Scandinavia, and the Arctic. Analysis of Nordic data showed that radionuclides came “from the direction of Western Russia.” [Taiwan News]


¶ “Inheriting The Wind: Mart Area Catching Boost From Renewable Energy Development” • The Texas prairie farmland between Mart and Groesbeck is being transformed into a forest of wind towers. And by the end of the year, 100 turbines will be spinning and providing more than 300 MW of power to Walmart and other customers. [Waco Tribune-Herald]

Prairie Hill wind project (Photo: Chris Oliver)

¶ “Florida Leading Large Solar Power Growth In US Southeast” • The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy has tracked clean energy in the Southeast for years. Its annual Solar in the Southeast report has state comparisons on megawatts of solar installed, policy, and other matters, making clear installed solar capacity per customer for states and utilities. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Debate Over Burning Dead Trees To Create Biomass Energy” • Drought, a warming climate, and infestations of bark beetles have killed 147 million trees in  California since 2013. Scientists say these trees are poised to burn with blazes so intense they will leave some places unable to establish new forests. But there is debate about taking them for energy. [WIRED]

California forest (Noah Berger | Getty Images)

¶ “US DOE Putting Money Into Coal ‘Innovation’ Grants” • The US DOE said it is spending $122 million to establish research hubs around the country that will look at new ways to use coal as a base for material manufacturing. The “innovation centers” around the country that will try to find ways to use coal as a mineral source. [WHYY]

¶ “Transition In Coal Country: Healthcare Crises Mount At Rural Hospitals” • The only hospital serving a vast swath of Wyoming’s coal country was in financial trouble even before the coronavirus pandemic hit. Gillette-based Campbell County Health’s revenue began to slip after layoffs at the mines in  2016. Now things are much worse. [Oil City News]

Have a gloriously serene day.

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June 27 Energy News

June 27, 2020


¶ “What Will Power The Post-Pandemic Global Economic Recovery?” • As governments restart their economies, the UN is calling for recovery plans to be built around technologies with low carbon emissions. As economies recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, it is important to avoid a return to fossil-fuel based business as usual. [UN News]

Coal power plant in Bosnia (Photo by UNEP)

¶ “California “Requires” Trucks Clean Up Their Act – But The Rule Is Late And Weak” • The California Air Resources Board proudly proclaimed that it was the first in the world to adopt a requirement that truck makers switch production from diesel trucks to zero-emissions trucks. However, the new policy is a little late and a little lame. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Fading Winters, Hotter Summers Make The Northeast America’s Fastest Warming Region” • Washington Post analysis also found that the New York City area, including counties in Long Island, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut, was among about half a dozen hot spots nationally where warming has already exceeded 2°C. [InsideClimate News]

Connecticut shore (Credit: Spencer Platt | Getty Images)


¶ “Vattenfall Pilot Scheme Tackles Fluctuating EV Charging” • Vattenfall has developed software for EV charging stations that controls the charging speed according to the supply of renewable electricity. The software, which has seen limited deployment in the Netherlands, is designed to react to how much energy from wind or solar power is being supplied. [reNEWS]

¶ “After 116 Years, Volkswagen’s Zwickau Factory Produced Its Last Fossil Fuel Vehicle Today” • Volkswagen’s Zwickau factory is switching 100% to electric vehicles. It will produce a total of six models from three Volkswagen Group brands (Volkswagen, Audi, and Seat). Today was the last day it produced a vehicle powered by fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen Zwickau factory (Volkswagen courtesy image)

¶ “EU Energy Policy Needs Teeth To Limit Temperature Increase To 1.5° Says IEA Review” • The International Energy Agency said in its report “European Union 2020 – Energy Policy Review,” that the EU needs to have stronger policies in place than it now has to deliver on the goal of limiting temperature increase to 1.5°C. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Labour Aims To Turn Island Into Exporter Of Renewable Energy, Not Oil” • Labour’s Southampton City Council formed a local energy company that reduces bills for local residents while also providing all its energy from renewable sources. Labour on the Isle of Wight would establish a similar company, but it would go further to stop oil drilling. [Isle of Wight Observer]

Offshore windpower

¶ “Russia Prepares To Build New Nuclear Reactors At Leningrad And Smolensk” • Preparations are underway in Russia to build new nuclear power units in the regions of Leningrad (within which the city of Saint Petersburg lies) and Smolensk after a decision was signed by Alexey Likhachev, director general of state-owned Rosatom. [Nuclear Engineering]


¶ “How Quickly The Tide Turns On Coal” • Colorado Springs will close down both of its coal-fired power plants within the next decade. The Martin Drake plant was to close by 2035. Instead, it will close in 2023. And surprisingly, the role of natural gas in replacing coal will be very limited, with no new combined cycle plant in the works. [Mountain Town News]

Drake coal plant in Colorado Springs

¶ “DC Attorney General Is Suing Oil And Gas Companies For Their Misinformation Campaigns” • The Attorney General of DC is suing ExxonMobil, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, and Chevron, saying all have all violated the District’s consumer protection law. They are accused of presenting a “false picture” to residents about the environment damage of their products. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Arizona Utility Plots 2.5-GW Renewables Revolution” • Arizona utility Tucson Electric Power filed its 2020 integrated resource plan with the Arizona Corporation Commission. It includes 2457 MW of new wind and solar capacity by 2035. About 457MW of wind and solar is planned to come online in the next 12 months. [reNEWS]

Building a wind turbine (Tucson Electric Power image)

¶ “AEP is putting out the call for solar” • Appalachian Power, an American Electric Power subsidiary, is asking for bidders on up to 50 MW of solar energy resources in West Virginia. The request for proprosal has a minimum bid size of 10 MW, to be operating by December 2022. Developers may include energy storage in their proposals. [West Virginia MetroNews]

¶ “Poll Finds Climate Change Still An Important Issue For Floridians Amid Covid-19” • The third Florida Climate Resilience Survey by Florida Atlantic University’s Center for Environmental Studies and the Business and Economics Polling Initiative finds that 89% of respondents accept the science of climate change, up from 86% in January. [WLRN]

Climate strikers in Florida, 2019 (Brendan Rivers | WJCT News)

¶ “Colleges Reassessing Energy Needs, Sustainability Goals In The Face Of Covid-Related Shutdowns” • US universities and colleges have been using Covid-related campus closures as a time to analyze their energy needs and sustainability goals. Some are aiming to hit their carbon reduction goals sooner, and some are looking at new options. [pv magazine usa]

¶ “PRPA Brings Roundhouse Wind Project Onto The Power Network” • Wind power from the 225-MW Roundhouse Wind Energy Center north of the Colorado-Wyoming border is now part of the Platte River Power Authority’s electrical power mix. With that new source, PRPA gets about 50% of its energy from noncarbon sources. [Loveland Reporter-Herald]

Have an amazingly easy day.

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June 26 Energy News

June 26, 2020


¶ “Energy Giants Want To Thwart Reforms That Would Help Renewables And Lower Power Bills” • Australia doesn’t encourage competition and that’s holding back the transition to renewable energy. Important reforms to modernize the market are on the way, but big energy companies are seeking to use the cover of Covid-19 to prevent the change. [EcoGeneration]

Offshore wind farm (Shutterstock image)

¶ “BP Takes $18 Billion Writedown – What’s Up With That?” • BP, one of the largest fossil fuel companies in history, did something unexpected this week. It wrote off $18 billion worth of its assets, significantly reducing the stated value of its oil and gas reserves. BP CEO Bernard Looney cited the likelihood of a reorientation toward the Paris Agreement goals. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Wärtsilä To Design And Equip Two Electric Ferries For Norway” • Wärtsilä’s work in battery-powered vessels paid off recently with a contract to design and equip two new zero-emissions ferries. The company will build the double-ended shuttle ferries for Norwegian operator Boreal Sjö at Holland Shipyards in the Netherlands. [CleanTechnica]

Electric ferries (Image courtesy of Wärtsilä)

¶ “Rocky Mountain Institute Launches New Climate Tech Accelerator” • Faced with the rising urgency of the climate crisis, Rocky Mountain Institute and New Energy Nexus announced the launch of a new joint venture called Third Derivative. Its aim is to accelerate climate innovation worldwide by connecting startups with needed resources. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewable Energy Firms Find Opportunity In Brazil’s Mining Sector” • Anglo American’s Brazilian unit signed a contract with wind power company Casa dos Ventos, acquiring up to 95 MW from the Rio do Vento complex, in Rio Grande do Norte state. Mining giant Vale announced in May it would invest $2 billion in renewable energy projects. [BNamericas English]

Remote control mining trucks

¶ “Shifting To Renewable Energy To Save Israel $2.62 Billion: Ministry Report” • According to a report released by Israel’s Ministry of Environmental Protection, combined cycle facilities with renewable energy and battery energy storage will save the Israeli economy 9 billion new shekels (about $2.62 billion). They will also reduce emissions and pollution. [Xinhua]

¶ “Renewable Energy Breaks UK Record In First Quarter Of 2020” • The UK government’s official data has revealed that renewable energy made up 47% of the electricity generation in the first three months of 2020, smashing the previous quarterly record of 39% set last year. A surge in wind power helped to set a new record for clean energy. [The Guardian]

Wind turbines in England (David Rogers | Getty Images)

¶ “Renewables Uptake ‘Driving Down’ EU Emissions” • Lower EU greenhouse gas emissions today are largely due to the growth in renewable generation, an International Energy Agency energy policy review showed. EU greenhouse gas emissions in 2019 were 23% lower than in 1990. The EU has already met its target of a 20% decline by 2020. [reNEWS]

¶ “IAEA Releases 2019 Data On Nuclear Power Plants Operating Experience” • The International Atomic Energy Agency has released its comprehensive annual nuclear power assessment. At the end of December 2019, the global operating nuclear power capacity was 392.1 GW, a decrease of some 4.5 GW compared with 2018. [International Atomic Energy Agency]

Indian Point nuclear plant (Roban Kramer, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “West Coast Electric Utilities Map Out I-5 Electric Truck Charging Sites” • Nine West Coast utilities and two agencies created a study, to map out important EV charging infrastructure for trucks. The report recommends adding electric vehicle charging for trucks at 50-mile intervals along Interstate 5 and adjoining highways. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “USA Could Hit 90% Clean Electricity By 2035” • A new analysis from UC Berkeley asks how fast we can go to 90% zero-carbon power – by which it means wind, solar, hydropower, and nuclear power – at no extra cost to consumers. Thanks to rapidly falling costs for wind turbines, solar panels, and batteries, the answer is 2035. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array (Photo courtesy of Array Technologies)

¶ “Trump Administration Moves To Make Millions More Acres Available For Oil And Gas Leasing In Alaska Reserve” • A federal agency has released a final management plan for the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. The plan proposes to make 7 million additional acres of land on the North Slope open to potential oil and gas development. [Anchorage Daily News]

¶ “US Renewables Produce 27% More Power Than Coal, Outpace Nuclear Over Four Months” • In the US, renewable energy sources produced significantly more electricity than coal during the first four months of 2020 and topped nuclear power as well, the SUN DAY Campaign shows, based on data from the Energy Information Administration. [Renewables Now]

Wind farm in Oklahoma (US Dept of Agriculture image)

¶ “House Democrats Unveil Green Tax Package” • US House Democrats unveiled a major green tax package, offering tax incentives for renewables, electric vehicles and a host of other environmentally friendly businesses. The legislation would extend several renewable energy tax breaks, and it would expand some incentives. [The Hill]

¶ “Duke Energy Offers Renewable Energy Certificate Program For Residential Customers” • A Duke Energy press release says the company’s Renewable Advantage program provides a way for customers to supplement their energy use with renewable energy and help local schools go solar at the same time, at a fee of $3 per month. [Mountain Xpress]

Have an energizingly excellent day.

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June 25 Energy News

June 25, 2020


¶ “Facebook Creates Fact-Checking Exemption For Climate Deniers” • Facebook is “aiding and abetting the spread of climate misinformation,” said environmental sociologist Robert Brulle. “They have become the vehicle for climate misinformation, and thus should be held partially responsible for a lack of action on climate change.” [PR Watch]

Earth (NASA Johnson Space Center)


¶ “73.5% of Londoners Changed Usual Mode of Transport Due to Ultra Low Emission Zone” • London has demonstrated a solution that genuinely works to clean up the air and get people using healthier, more climate-friendly modes of transport. Its “Ultra Low Emissions Zone,” established on April 8, 2019, led to major shifts in transportation patterns. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Denmark To Address Carbon Emissions With New Universal Fees – Final Negotiations This Fall Could Be Historic” • Finally something is getting real for reducing Danish greenhouse gas emissions 70% by 2030. The Danish national media outlet reports that a majority coalition of the parties in parliament have agreed on a tax on the emissions. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Credit: Jesper Berggreen)

¶ “Nineteen times More Invested In EVs & EV Batteries In Europe Last Year Than In 2018” • According to a Transport & Environment report, Europe poured €60 billion into EV production and EV battery production in 2019, 19 times as much as it did in 2018. Some of the results are clear. EV market share has been skyrocketing in Europe. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Largest Solar Plant In Italy Plugs Into The Grid” • Danish developer European Energy has connected a 103-MW solar PV park in Italy to the grid. The plant, in Apulia, is the largest built in the country to date. Construction took one year. It will produce enough energy to cover annual consumption of a city with 200,000 inhabitants. [reNEWS]

Solar park (European Energy image)

¶ “Renewables To Create Three Times More Jobs Than Fossil Fuels By 2030: IRENA” • An International Renewable Energy Agency report shows that scaling up annual energy spending to $4.5 trillion per year would boost the world economy by 1.3% more, creating 19 million more jobs related to the energy transition by 2030. [Technical Review Middle East]

¶ “UK Offshore Wind Cheaper Than New Nuclear” • Offshore wind farms being built in UK waters will produce electricity more cheaply than the next generation of nuclear power stations. Electricity from new nuclear plants is likely to cost £60/MWh. But electricity from offshore wind plants will be delivered at a strike price as low as £39.65/MWh. [reNEWS]

Offshore windpower (Nicholas Doherty | Unsplash)

¶ “Canadian Utility Formally Drops Underground Radioactive Waste Storage Next To Lake Huron” • An Ontario nuclear power generating company, Ontario Power Generation, has officially dropped its pursuit of a deep underground storage facility for low- to intermediate-level radioactive waste within a half-mile of Lake Huron. [Detroit Free Press]


¶ “Electric Shuttle Vans Are Now In Service In Sacramento, California” • This month, three new electric shuttles funded by Electrify America’s “Green Cities” program were deployed in Sacramento, California. The vehicles are EV Star shuttles from GreenPower Motor Company. And SmaRT Ride provides point to point transportation. [CleanTechnica]

EV Shuttle (Photo courtesy Electrify America)

¶ “Pew Poll Shows Americans Favor Renewables And Climate Action” • The latest Pew Research poll, conducted in April and May of this year, shows the number of Americans clamoring for aggressive action on renewable energy and climate change is at an all-time high. That means voter support for the fossil fuel party has eroded substantially. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Minnesota Sues Exxonmobil, Koch Industries, And Top Oil And Gas Trade Association For Climate-Related Consumer Fraud” • The suit alleges that the two companies and the trade association violated state consumer protection laws as they misled Minnesotans about the role fossil fuels play in causing the climate crisis. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

Koch refinery

¶ “Trump Administration Wind And Solar Approvals Lag Obama Record: Study” • President Donald Trump’s Interior Department has approved about half as many wind and solar energy projects on federal lands as the Obama administration had at the same point in its first term, according to a report published by the Center for American Progress. [Reuters]

¶ “Oh The Irony: Fossil Fuel Financier Signs A Major Solar Contract With Fossil Fuel Producer” • A report by The Washington Post says that Wells Fargo has signed a varying Power Purchase Agreement with Shell Energy for 150 MW of US solar power. It which will be purchased from plants at three locations in Virginia and one in California. [RenewEconomy]

Solar array (Steve Parsons | PA Wire)

¶ “Staff For New Mexico Regulators Pushes Renewables For San Juan Replacement” • Hearing examiners are recommending that the state Public Regulation Commission replace power from the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station in northwestern New Mexico with renewable energy sources on tribal lands and within the same school district. [Santa Fe New Mexican]

¶ “Many US Cities Turn To Renewables For Electricity Supply” • The new Local Government Renewables Action Tracker resource showed that local governments across the US have signed a total of 335 deals to procure 8.28 GW of renewable energy over the last five years, according to a statement by the World Resources Institute. [OilPrice.com]

Have a perfectly charming day.

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June 24 Energy News

June 24, 2020


¶ “Global Demise Of Coal-Fired Generation Driven By Idle And Unprofitable Plants” • Baseload power just isn’t what it used to be. The demise of coal is now a global phenomenon that – rather like Covid-19 – is no respecter of borders or governments, with both China and the US grappling with the social and economic impacts of overcapacity. [pv magazine USA]

Sunset at a coal plant (Flickr cc Tony Webster)

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Destructive Power Of Extreme Hail” • Hailstorms have always been a part of life in Kenya, but farmers have noticed the problem worsening. Hail storms are less predictable, and the hailstones are getting bigger. Answering the question of whether extreme hail is linked to climate change is complex. But climate modeling predicts it. [BBC]


¶ “Norway May Achieve Emissions Reduction Goals This Year, Thanks To More EVs And Higher Public Transportation Usage” • Eight years ago, the Norwegian government established carbon reduction goals. This year, for the first time, it may achieve its goals. Preliminary data suggests this emissions will be precisely at the target established in 2012. [CleanTechnica]

EV charging in Norway (Credit: Elbil Norway)

¶ “Scottish Renewables Calls For Funding To Retrain Oil And Gas Workers” • Every gigawatt of renewable power capacity installed in Scotland creates 1,500 jobs and adds £133m of gross value to the economy, according to new research by Scottish Renewables. The industry body urged ministers to establish a Renewable Transition Training Fund. [Holyrood]

¶ “Spain Pushes Clean Energy Decree To Speed Renewable Rollout” • Spain’s cabinet has approved a decree aimed at smoothing the rollout of renewable energy generation, with measures to combat speculation in the market, cut red tape, and overhaul an outdated auction system to reassure investors and lower prices. [Jakarta Post]

Solar and the city (File image, Shutterstock)

¶ “The Surprising Way Renewables Can Help Farmers Cope” • It turns out that with solar panels, even the grass is greener during a drought. That’s the experience of one Australian grazier, who says condensation dripping off the panels arrayed across 55 hectares of his farm provided a moisture source that was the envy of neighbours. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Hydrogen Can Meet 50% Of UK Energy Demand By 2050” • Hydrogen can meet up to half of the UK’s final energy demand by 2050 and play a significant role in meeting the country’s net-zero emissions targets, research by Aurora Energy Research shows. Hydrogen can store power produced during the summer for use in winter months. [reNEWS]

Renewables and hydrogen (Credit: APAC Hydrogen Association)

¶ “Renewables Are Increasingly Cheaper Than Coal” • The International Renewable Energy Agency says half of new solar and wind installations undercut fossil fuels in 2019. Many new renewable energy projects are now cheaper than even the cheapest coal-fired power plants. And costs for renewable energy are still falling. [World Economic Forum]

¶ “Canadian Developer Commits To Final Phase Whitla Giant” • Canadian developer Capital Power Corporation is to construct the third phase of the 353-MW Whitla wind farm, in south eastern Alberta. Capital Power has initiated the permitting process for the 54-MW Whitla Wind 3 with the Alberta Electric System Operator. [reNEWS]

Blade installation (Vestas image)


¶ “30% Of Shale Oil Companies Could Go Belly Up If Crude Stays This Cheap” • Muted crude prices, huge piles of debt and capital flight away from fossil fuels threaten a set of bankruptcies for US shale oil companies. About 30% of shale operators are technically insolvent at $35-a-barrel oil prices, according to a study released by Deloitte. [CNN]

¶ “Electric Trucks And Vans From Fiat, Citroen, And Volvo Coming Soon” • The US DOT’s Federal Transit Administration announced some good news at the beginning of June to support for more efficient bus fleets. And New Flyer has announced that it was named as a partner of choice by 12 major transit agencies across America. [CleanTechnica]

New Flyer bus at a charging station (New Flyer image)

¶ “Three Companies That Are Bigger Than The Entire Oil & Gas Industry” • The US oil and gas sector was once worth a combined $3 trillion; now there are three companies with higher valuations than the entire sector. It is worth note that all three – Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft – are tech giants with sizable clean energy investments. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “Amazon Reports 15% Rise In Greenhouse Gas Emissions And Announces $2 Billion Low-Carbon Investment Fund” • Amazon’s total CO₂ emissions increased 15% in 2019, though they declined on the basis of emissions per dollar of sales. The commerce giant continues emissions-reduction efforts, and announced a new $2 billion investment fund. [Seattle Times]

Jeff Bezos (Pablo Martinez Monsivais | Associated Press)

¶ “Icebreaker Appeals Turbine Restrictions Decision” • The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation appealed a ruling made by the Ohio Power Siting Board on the Icebreaker offshore wind farm on Lake Erie. LEEDCo said the ruling may be “fatal” for the 21-MW project. The company asked the OPSB for a rehearing to reconsider the decision. [reNEWS]

¶ “US DOE Announces $65 Million In New Nuclear Technology Funding” • The US DOE announced more than $65 million for nuclear energy research in areas of technology development, facility access, and infrastructure for 93 advanced nuclear technology projects. The awards fall under three DOE nuclear energy programs. [Power Engineering International]

Have a wonderfully pleasant day.

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June 23 Energy News

June 23, 2020


¶ “The Truth About The Future Of Gas: We Don’t Need To Build Anymore” • A study from UC Berkeley shows it is technically and economically feasible to reach 90% clean electricity by 2035 without building any new gas plants and reducing generation from existing plants by 70%, all without any increase in wholesale power costs compared to today. [Utility Dive]

Solar and wind energy

Science and Technology:

¶ “Planting New Forests ‘Can Do More Harm Than Good'” • Two studies found that rather than benefiting the environment, large-scale tree planting may do the opposite. One says that financial incentives to plant trees can reduce biodiversity with little impact on CO₂ emissions. The other found that the amount of CO₂ new forests can absorb may be overestimated. [BBC]


¶ “India Completes World’s Largest Solar Tender, Aims To Reduce Chinese Solar Imports” • Solar power is growing in India, despite Covid-19. Adani Green Energy Limited and Azure Power have been declared to be the winners of the largest solar tender, for installation of 12 GW of solar power generation and 3 GW per year solar manufacturing. [CleanTechnica]

Making PVs (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy)

¶ “India To Impose Tariff Barrier On Solar Cells, Modules, Inverters From 30 July” • In what will make solar cells, modules and inverters imported from China expensive, India is set to impose a basic customs duty as soon as the safeguard duty, currently in place, expires on 29 July, according to two people aware of the development. [Livemint]

¶ “Lithuania Chooses 700-MW Offshore Wind Site” • Lithuania has agreed on the site of an offshore wind farm of up to 700-MW in the Baltic Sea. The site is about 29 km from shore and covers an area of 137.5 square kilometres in average water depths of 35 metres. The government said the area has an average wind speed of approximately nine metres a second. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (Rachel Cooper | Unsplash)

¶ “Off-The-Charts Warm: Siberian Town Hits 100 Degrees” • A Siberian town, nestled about 6 miles within the Arctic Circle, recorded a temperature of 100.4°F (38°C), likely setting a new record for the hottest temperature recorded that far north. The milestone comes as Siberia has experienced unusually warm conditions since the start of 2020. [NBCNews.com]


¶ “SA-NSW Interconnector Key To Renewables Transition” • The Government of South Australia has identified the SA-NSW interconnector as critical to its plan to reach 100% renewable energy. Together with the Australian Energy Market Operator, the SA Government released a report detailing how it plans to transition to renwables. [Infrastructure Magazine]

Sticks & Strings (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Small Modular Reactor Rhetoric Hits A Hurdle” • The latest GenCost report by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and the Australian Energy Market Operator estimates a hopelessly uneconomic construction cost of A$16,304/kW ($11,287/kW) for Small Modular Reactors. The only hope for nuclear is cost reduction. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “NSW First Renewable Zone Attracts Stunning 27 GW Of Solar, Wind, Storage Proposals” • The New South Wales government’s plan to establish its first renewable energy zone in the state’s Central West has received a “phenomenal” response, attracting 113 registrations of interest for projects totalling a massive 27 GW. [RenewEconomy]

Solar farm


¶ “Central USA Set Several Wind Power Records In Spring” • Earlier this year, the Southwest Power Pool, the regional transmission organization that manages the electric grid for much of the central US, set records for the highest share of electricity demand supplied by wind power in both a single-hour period (72%) and a full day (62%). [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nevada Plans To Adopt California’s Fuel Economy Standards” • Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak has decided to side with California and Tesla, not Donald Trump and certain lagging automakers, on the need for cleaner cars. Governor Sisolak announced that Nevada would adopt California’s fuel economy regulations. [CleanTechnica]

ABB solar power plant in Nevada

¶ “Southern Power Brings Live 200-MW Wind Farm In Kansas” • Wholesale energy provider Southern Power said it has put on stream its 200-MW Reading Wind Facility in Kansas. The wind farm uses 62 Siemens Gamesa turbines. Their annual output, which is estimated at some 760,000 MWh, will be sold to Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Taxpayers Are Footing The Bill For 100-Year Old Oil Wells” • Plugging old oil and gas wells may cost as much as ten times what the industry routinely estimates, according to a Carbon Tracker report. As oil and gas companies walk away from their “stranded liabilities,” state and local governments may be left to pick up the tab. [OilPrice.com] Thanks to Tad Montgomery

Nodding donkey (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Missoula City, County Ink Blueprint With NW Energy For 100% Clean Energy Future” • Saying they’d move forward with or without NorthWestern Energy, the city and county of Missoula has unanimously approved a memorandum of understanding with Montana’s monopoly utility in a drive to achieve 100% clean electricity. [Missoula Current]

¶ “TVA Gives Distributors More Flexibility To Generate Their Own Power” • For the first time, the Tennessee Valley Authority is allowing the municipal power utilities and electric co-ops that distribute TVA electricity to generate up to 5% of their own power to sell directly to their customers. This will spur more renewable developemnt. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

Have a fabulously fortunate day.

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June 22 Energy News

June 22, 2020


¶ “Latin America’s Potential Green Hydrogen Economy” • The Covid-19 pandemic and crisis has led to increasing calls to redouble efforts toward an energy transition that would help the world reduce CO₂ emissions. For many countries of the Latin American region, clean hydrogen markets can be a key part of the economic recovery. [Inter Press Service]

Providencia Solar in El Salvador (Edgardo Ayala | IPS)

Science and Technology:

¶ “MIT Study Explains Why Climate Change Will Make Some Mediterranean Countries Drier” • Researchers at MIT, along with colleagues at Université Mohamed VI Polytechnique in Morocco, published a study in the Journal of Climate on the connection between a warming climate and reduced rainfall in northwest Africa and in the Middle East. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “Lightyear Research Vehicles (Including Tesla Model 3) Test Out New Solar Technology” • Dutch tech company Lightyear is testing two EVs, a Tesla Model 3 and a VW Crafter LCV, in conjunction with a new type of solar technology for its own EV, the Lightyear One. They aim to demonstrate the added value of integrated solar cells on vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

Lightyear One at home

¶ “Europe’s Thinking Shifts On Supporting Renewables As Part Of Green Recovery Package” • The EU’s plans for a €1.85 trillion ($2.08 trillion) coronavirus recovery package may not support big renewable energy projects in the way that was expected. The possibility of a 15-GW EU renewable tender has not survived pushback by vested interests. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Simec Atlantis Secures 12-MW French Tidal Lease” • The Prefecture de la Manche approved the transfer of a lease to develop a 12-MW tidal power project to a newly set up marine energy development company, Normandie Hydroliennes. The long-term goal is to harness up to 3 GW of power from areas of the Channel. [reNEWS]

Tidal turbine (Simec Atlantis image)

¶ “Africa50 Joins Investors To Power The World’s Largest Solar Park” • Thirty international infrastructure developers are to invest in Egypt’s 1.5-GW Benban solar park, which will be the largest in the world upon completion. The 37-square-kilometer solar park will have over seven million PV panels, with funding of $4 billion. [ESI Africa]

¶ “A Look At Tanzania’s First Wind Farm” • The Mwenga project, the first wind farm in Tanzania, is complete, as installation and testing works were finalized in May. The 2.4-MW project got a $1.2 million loan from the UK Government-funded Renewable Energy Performance Platform, though the efforts of energy investment firm Camco. [Power Technology]

Mwenga project (Camco image)

¶ “Sunny Side Up: Poland’s Solar Energy Output Soars” • The expected solar energy output of Poland is to peak at 8 GW by 2025 and possibly place the country in the EU’s top 10, according to the latest report by the Renewable Energy Institute. At the end of 2019, Poland’s solar power output was a mere 1.3 GW, but by June it had grown to nearly 2 GW. [The First News]

¶ “Dutch Do Danish Deal To Hit Clean Power Target” • The Netherlands agreed to pay Denmark €100 million as part of a deal to allow the Dutch government to declare at least 8 TWh of Danish surplus renewable power on its books, in an effort to meet its EU target. The Netherlands is one of the worst countries for hitting benchmarks for 2020. [EURACTIV]

Dutch wind farm (Shutterstock photo)

¶ “Engineers Say Technology Roadmap Should Focus On Cheap Renewables, Energy Storage” • The Australian government’s proposed technology roadmap props up gas and refuses to rule out coal or small modular nuclear reactors. The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering responded with a call for commitment to renewable energy. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Blockades Lifted, Operations Resume At OIL’S Baghjan Wells” • Oil India Limited said most of its wells in Assam’s Baghjan, which were shut due to protests by locals over a fire at a gas well after a days-long blowout, have resumed operations following a meeting with a representative body of residents mediated by the Tinsukia district administration. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Oil fire in Assam


¶ “Tesla Claims Lowest Prices For Rooftop Solar” • In a blog post, Tesla introduced changes to its rooftop solar business that it says will allow it to offer the lowest prices on residential systems. Note that the post makes no mention of the company’s vaunted Solar Roof. It is all about rooftop systems that use conventional solar panels and racking systems. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Santa Monica To Pilot Zero Emissions Delivery Zones” • The Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator chose Santa Monica’s main business district for the pilot for the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator’s new Neighborhood Zero Emissions Delivery Zone. LACI and Santa Monica are interested in assessing a broad range of technologies. [CleanTechnica]

Los Angeles traffic (Jeff Turner | flickr, CC BY 2.0)

¶ “Your Home Battery Can Be Part Of A Virtual Power Plant In California” • With solar power and batteries your house stays alive with power, even if the grid goes down, but there are other advantages of such systems. Sunrun and Southern California Edison are partnering to create one of the country’s largest virtual power plants. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Big Rivers To Buy Energy From Solar Farm” • Big Rivers Electric Corp has plans to purchase solar power from a 1,700 acre solar farm that will be built in Henderson County, Kentucky. Geronimo Energy, based in Bloomington, Minnesota, is to start building the 160-MW solar farm in 2022, and it is expected to go online in 2023. [messenger-inquirer]

Have an enjoyably salubrious day.

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June 21 Energy News

June 21, 2020


¶ “Stars Have Aligned For Hydrogen Economy” • Hydrogen, for use as a carbon free fuel and as energy storage for renewables, is attracting unprecedented interest. And all of the factors that are required for the construction of a hydrogen economy are falling into place, the expert panel assembled for the PE Live 7 webcast agreed last week. [Petroleum Economist]

Hydrogen delivery truck (Dicklyon, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Expensive, Dirty And Dangerous: Why We Must Fight Miners’ Push To Fast-Track Uranium Mines” • Of all the elements on Earth, none is more strictly controlled under law than uranium. In Australia, it is regulated at both the federal and state levels. The Minerals Council of Australia wants to change this, putting it into the hands of the states. [EconoTimes]

Science and Technology:

¶ “For Green Hydrogen, Artificial Leaf Breathes Down Neck Of Electrolysis” • Hydrogen is a zero-emission fuel, but most H₂ is made from fossil gas. There is a lot going on in the field of electrolysis, in which H₂ pops out of plain water when you apply an electrical current. There is also an “artificial leaf” concept, and it may finally be catching on. [CleanTechnica]

Artifical leaf (Image by Jia Liang, Rice University)
(Please click on the image to enlarge it.)

¶ “Researchers Report Significant Improvement In Fuel Cell Technology” • Scientists Vijay Ramani, Zhongyang Wang, and Shrihari Sankarasubramanian have been studying fuel cells that operate on NaBH₄, a liquid that does not need to be pressurized the way H₂ does. It eliminates one of the troublesome aspects of conventional fuel cells. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Argonne Researchers Use Deep Learning To Study Avian Interactions With Solar Panels” • The DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory came up with a way to monitor avian interactions with solar infrastructure cost-effectively. It has been awarded $1.3 million to develop a technology to deal with birds and how they interact with the solar panels. [Mercom India]

Solar array with a bird – in the tiny red square on the right


¶ “Fluence Announces 6th Generation Energy Storage Tech” • An announcement by Fluence gives a pretty good indication of where the energy storage market is heading. The company says it has commitments from Enel, LS Power, sPower, and Siemens to install 800 MW / 2300 MWh of battery storage using its 6th generation technology. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewable Energy Is Electrifying Covid-19 Isolation Centers In Nigeria” • In Nigeria, the Covid-19 crisis came with declining oil revenue and stalled economic growth. This has hit the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry. Some of the mini grid companies innovated to provide essential support for electricity services at health care centers. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array (@Cleantechhubng via Twitter)

¶ “Electricity Transmission Companies Are Learning To ‘Perform And Transform’ In Move To Low Carbon Future” • Transmission companies are deploying innovative ‘perform and transform’ strategies as part of the energy sector’s transition to a low carbon future, according to a report from PwC and the World Energy Council. [Modern Diplomacy]

¶ “Solar Power Is Making Huge Inroads Across Africa, But Coal Is Creating Headaches” • As PVs get ever cheaper, solar power will inevitably spread across Africa, as it is doing around the world. Recent announcements show that the technology-driven energy transition is unstoppable. Meanwhile, some of China’s coal plans on the continent face setbacks. [RenewEconomy]

100-MW Solar system Engie is building in South Africa

¶ “Energy Sector To Ramp Up Investment In Renewables” • The UK’s oil and gas sector, and one of the country’s ‘Big Six’ energy suppliers, have unveiled plans to invest more in renewables and sustainable energy. The news comes alongside positive reports that the European Union looks set to beat its 2030 renewable energy targets. [T3]


¶ “Already Under Pressure, Virginia’s Coal Industry Sees Idled Mines And Furloughs Amid Covid-19 Pandemic” • Appalachian coal has declined for decades. Virginia had 10,662 coal mining jobs in 1990, and only 2,576 in 2019. With Covid-19, the Energy Information Administration forecast a 35% drop in Appalachian coal production this year. [Bristol Herald Courier]

Coal miner on break (AP photo)

¶ “Study: Air Pollution From Fracking Linked To Deaths In PA” • A study found a correlation between shale gas extraction with particulate matter pollution and mortality in areas where active fracking wells are sited. Researchers used NASA satellite data to pinpoint daily levels of particulate matter pollution from wells in Pennsylvania. [Binghamton University]

¶ “As Offshore Wind Projects Pile Up, Glimmers Of Progress On The State And Federal Level” • Since 2016, when its five offshore turbines started spinning, the Block Island Wind has been the only commercial wind farm in operation in US waters. Now, sixteen projects slated for the Eastern Seaboard from North Carolina to Massachusetts. [CT Examiner]

Have a beautifully heartwarming day.

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June 20 Energy News

June 20, 2020


¶ “Big Auto’s Decision To ‘Wait And See’ Gives Tesla A Growing Lead” • By most accounts, Tesla’s EV technology is about five years ahead of anything any other automaker can muster. The majors’ EV strategies are best described as “wait and see.” But as they do so, Tesla is actually building experience and expanding the lead it already has. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model X (CleanTechnica)

¶ “Modular Or Not, Nuclear Power Would Be Too Expensive For South Africa” • A request for information on modular nuclear plants by the SA Department of Mineral Resources and Energy attempts to manipulate the South African public into believing that a build-own-operate and transfer model and modular nuclear construction are affordable. [Business Day]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change: Sport Heading For A Fall As Temperatures Rise” • Global sport faces major disruption from climate change in coming decades, an analysis shows. By 2050, it’s estimated that almost one in four English football league grounds can expect flooding every year. Tennis, rugby, and other sports will also face serious challenges. [BBC]

A little water flooding a sporting event (Getty Images)


¶ “Greta Thunberg: Climate Change ‘As Urgent’ As Coronavirus” • Greta Thunberg says the world needs to learn the lessons of coronavirus and treat climate change with similar urgency. That means the world be acting “with necessary force,” the Swedish climate activist said in an interview with BBC News. She said the world is reaching a “social tipping point.” [BBC]

¶ “Vatican Asks Catholics To Ditch Fossil Fuel Investments” • The Vatican urged Catholics to consider closely where they invest their money and to take a close look at the environmental impact of the companies they may hold shares in, Reuters reported. Pope Francis has frequently criticized wanton greed that led to the climate crisis. [EcoWatch]

St Peter’s Basilica (Andreas Solaro | AFP via Getty Images)

¶ “Tesla Given Green Light To Generate Electricity In The UK” • It seems Tesla plans to develop virtual power plants in the UK using its real-time trading and control platform, Autobidder. With Autobidder, Tesla provides independent power producers, utilities, and its capital partners with the ability to autonomously monetize battery assets. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “CPF Promotes Biogas Production Across Its Farms And Processing Plants In Thailand” • Charoen Pokphand Foods PLC is working towards renewable energy consumption through biogas production at all pig farms in Thailand for long-term energy security as well as maximum energy efficiency under the Circular Economy concept. [The Pig Site]

Biogas facility in Thailand

¶ “Norway Proposes New Rules For Onshore Wind” • Norway’s government unveiled proposed new rules for assessing onshore wind farm developments, including an 800-meter minimum distance rule for projects from buildings. The proposed changes aim to provide greater predictability for municipalities, local residents and builders. [reNEWS]

¶ “Sri Lanka Gets $100 Million Loan From India For Installing Rooftop Solar Systems” • Sri Lanka announced that it received a $100 million loan from the Government of India for installing solar rooftop systems. These funds will be used to provide solar power to select low-income households in several districts and on government buildings. [Mercom India]

Rooftop solar array

¶ “UK offshore wind supplied 32 TWh in 2019” • UK offshore wind farms delivered 32 TWh of electricity in 2019, according to The Crown Estate 2019 Offshore Wind Operational Report. It says the total was enough to power 30% of UK homes. And it says 1.8 GW of new capacity became fully operational in the year 2019, bringing the total to 9.7 GW. [reNEWS]


¶ “Little NASA Electric Airplane Soon Coming To Life” • NASA’s first piloted experimental plane in two decades is the all-electric X-57. It has twelve “high-lift motors and propellers” along its wings and a larger motor with a five-foot propeller at each wing tip to capture energy that would otherwise be lost to wingtip vortices. [CleanTechnica]

X-57 (Image: NASA Langley | Advanced Concepts Lab, AMA, Inc)

¶ “Zero-Emission Locomotive 999 Restored For Use In CA” • Years ago, Norfolk Southern had a project to develop a zero-emission battery-powered locomotive prototype. Locomotive 999 didn’t work out at that time, but now, with batteries that cost less and better electric motors, the 999 is being put to use by Rail Propulsions Systems in California. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Rig Count Falls For 15th-Straight Week To Another Record Low” • The US rig count fell for the 15th straight week to yet another record low as energy companies continue to shut down oil production. Energy companies are operating 266 drilling rigs nationally, down more than 60% since mid-March and more than 72% from a year ago. [Houston Chronicle]

Pumping oil, flaring gas (Robyn Beck | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Enel Green Power Starts Expansion Of Cimarron Bend Wind Farm” • Enel Green Power started construction on the 199-MW expansion of the Cimarron Bend wind farm in Clark County, Kansas. The $281 million expansion, consisting of 74 turbines, will increase the wind farm’s capacity to 599 MW from the current 400 MW. [North American Windpower]

¶ “JEA Loses Plant Vogtle Nucelar Power Plant Lawsuit” • A decision handed down by a US District Judge presiding in the northern district of Georgia, means Florida utility JEA is stuck with purchasing power at a steep cost for 20 years after Plant Vogtle’s two new reactors are finished, according to WJCT News partner The Florida Times-Union. [WJCT]

Have a memorably exquisite day.

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June 19 Energy News

June 19, 2020


¶ “The Tide Is Turning (And Is It Ever!)” • Something really important was buried in FERC’s latest Energy Infrastructure Update, and though SUN DAY Campaign mentioned it, the rest of the media let it slip. In the US, renewables are expected to see fifty times as much net capacity added in the next three years as nuclear and fossil fuels combined. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines in the desert (Dennis Schroeder | NREL)

¶ “If Covid-19 Was A Quiz, Global Warming Will Be The Final Exam” • An old expression says, “If you fail to plan, you have a plan to fail.” The human community is facing a strong possibility that average temperatures will climb so high soon that life on Earth will cease to exist. And yet, we have developed no plan to stop the rising temperatures. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Siberia’s Prolonged Unusually Warm Weather Is An Alarming Sign: Scientist” • Surface temperatures in Siberia were up to 10°C (18°F) higher than average last month, according to research by the Copernicus Climate Change Service. But it wasn’t just May that was warmer than usual. The region was unusually warm all through winter and spring. [CNN]

Polar bear (Oleg Krashevsky | @Putoranatour | Instagram)


¶ “Tata Power Renewable Gets another LOA; to Develop 100-MW Solar Plant in Maharashtra” • Continuing its winning streak, Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd, the renewable arm of Indian utility giant Tata Power, has secured yet another Letter of Award within only a few days for the development of a solar plant in Maharashtra. [Saurenergy]

¶ “Volkswagen Ships Cars To Americas Aboard Low Emissions Ship, Boosts Stake In QuantumScape” • Volkswagen Group ships over its vehicles on more than 7,700 ocean voyages each year. Many cargo ships run on heavy bunker oil, emitting vast plumes pollutants. Volkswagen says it is putting two ultramodern vehicle carriers into service. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen car shipping (Volkswagen image)

¶ “Hungary To Launch Renewables Auction In July” • The Hungarian government aims to contract around 390 GWh of generating capacity per year, with 40 GW to be reserved for the Small PVPP category. It will set aside 350 GWh for the Large PVPP group, which includes projects ranging in size from 1 MW to 50 MW. [pv magazine International]

¶ “South Australia Fast-Tracks Energy Plan To Dodge Blackouts And Meet 100% Renewables Goal” • The South Australia Liberal government announced a new energy package to ensure the state can reach its target of net 100% renewables by 2030. One part of the package allows the market operator to switch off rooftop solar, rarely, to manage the grid. [RenewEconomy]

Infigen’s Lake Bonney wind farm

¶ “Global Renewable Energy Growth Equals Coal for First Time Ever, BP Report Says” • Renewable energy sources experienced record growth in 2019, matching that of coal for the first time ever, according to an annual report from oil company BP. The “Statistical Review of World Energy” tracks energy growth, usage and trends. [The Weather Channel]

¶ “RES Seals Green PPA With French Rail Operator” • RES has signed a long-term power purchase agreement to supply almost 40 MW of green electricity to the energy arm of French rail operator SNCF Voyageurs. The deal with SNCF Energie is for between 15 and 20 years. It will enable the construction and operation of solar power plants from 2021. [reNEWS]

SNCF Voyageurs train (SNCF image)

¶ “Uttar Pradesh To Set Up 600 MW Of Solar In New Renewable Energy Park” • The Uttar Pradesh New and Renewable Energy Development Agency signed a memorandum of understanding with Tehri Hydro Development Corporation of India Limited to set up an ultra-mega renewable energy park in the state. The initial target is 600 MW. [Mercom India]


¶ “How A Historic Drought Led To Higher Power Costs And Emissions” • A team led by a researcher from North Carolina State University analyzed the downstream effects of a drought in California that took place in 2012-2016 and was considered one of the worst in the state’s history. They found that drought led to significant increases in power costs. [NC State News]

Shasta Lake (Kelly M Grow | California Dept of Water Resources)

¶ “Top Five US Cities For Bicycling” • PeopleForBikes published a list of the top five cities for bikes in the US, out of 567 cities it considered. This is the third year of the annual rating. The 2020 rankings varied noticeably from the 2019. They are San Luis Obispo, CA; Madison, WI; Santa Barbara, CA; Washington, DC; and Missoula, MT. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewables Surge While Coal Power Fizzles” • This year, for the first time, renewable sources will provide more electricity than coal, the Energy Information Administration says. The EIA predicts that electricity from coal generation will drop by 25%, while electricity produced from renewables is expected to grow by 11%. [Santa Barbara Independent]

Wind turbines (Anna Jiménez Calaf | Unsplash)

¶ “NTEC Submits Proposal For Solar Array At Navajo Mine” • The Navajo Transitional Energy Company and Photosol US have submitted a proposal to site 200 MW of a 400-MW solar array on reclaimed Navajo Mine land. If accepted, the project could generate up to $20 million in tax revenues for the Navajo Nation over 40 years. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Vermont Renewables Set New Records In New England And US, Helping Economy And Climate” • The 180,000 small-scale solar systems in New England pack a mighty punch against CO₂ emissions. Last month, home and community-based PV systems set a new record with a capacity of 3,200 MW, three times that of the Seabrook nuclear plant. [vtdigger.org]

Have an enchantingly copacetic day.

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June 18 Energy News

June 18, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Farmed Shellfish Is Not Immune To Climate Change” • Some farmed seafood products, especially shellfish, do not tax the environment and can help feed a growing population without taking a heavy environmental toll. According to a study, climate change and ocean acidification could disrupt global shellfish aquaculture in just a few decades. [Hakai Magazine]

Shellfish (D Trozzo | Alamy Stock Photo)

¶ “Australian Research Could Unlock Way To Make Cheap Renewable Hydrogen While Absorbing CO₂” • Australian researchers discovered new materials that could hold the key to the low-cost conversion of carbon dioxide into hydrogen fuels, fertilisers, and other chemicals. The chemicals also avoid the need for fossil fuels. [RenewEconomy]


¶ “Goldman Sachs Sees $16 Trillion Investment In Renewables By 2030” • Goldman Sachs analysts issued a research note for investors saying investments in renewable energy are set to overtake those in oil and gas for the first time next year. They think the clean energy field will be a $16 trillion opportunity for investment between now and 2030. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Zach Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “GE Renewable Energy, COBOD, And LafargeHolcim Are To Co-Develop Record-Tall Wind Turbine Towers With 3D-Printed Concrete Bases” • Three companies, GE Renewable Energy, COBOD, and LafargeHolcim said they will partner to co-develop optimized 3D printed concrete bases for wind turbines with record heights of up to 200 meters. [WebWire]

¶ “Largest North American Pipeline Company, Enbridge, To Shift Toward Renewable Energy” • Calgary-based Enbridge Inc, the largest pipeline company in North America, is taking a new asset mix direction to place a greater focus on natural gas and renewable energy. It will continue to invest in oil pipelines, but will shift gradually to renewables. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

Pipeline Company pipeline in forest

¶ “Oil’s Share Of Global Energy Mix Continues To Retreat As Renewables Surge: BP” • Oil’s share of the global energy mix continued to slip last year, down 0.2% to 33.1%, but it remained the largest contributor to primary energy supply, as the role of natural gas and renewables rose to record highs, according to estimates by BP. [S&P Global]

¶ “Rosatom, Framatome, GE Agree To Partner In Tender For Bulgarian NPP Project” • Russian nuclear energy corporation Rosatom said that it has signed memorandums of understanding with France’s Framatome and US-based General Electric Steam Power to submit a joint bid in the tender for construction of Belene nuclear power plant in Bulgaria. [SeeNews]

Danube at Belene (Preslav, Wikimedia Commons)


¶ “World’s Biggest Liquid Air Battery Starts Construction In UK” • Construction is beginning on the largest liquid air battery. It will store renewable electricity and reduce carbon emissions from fossil-fuel power plants. The project near Manchester, UK, will use spare green energy to compress air into a liquid and store it to power a turbine as needed. [The Guardian]

¶ “UK’s Record Coal-Free Power Run Comes To An End” • The UK’s record coal-free run, the longest period since the industrial revolution the country has not used electricity produced using the fossil fuel, has come to an end. The total coal-free period lasted 67 days, 22 hours and 55 minutes. The previous record was 18 days, 6 hours and 10 minutes. [The Independent]

Drax power station in North Yorkshire (Getty Images)

¶ “Green Gases Key To South Wales Decarbonization Plan” • The uptake of green gases, like hydrogen and biomethane, for heat production will help the region of South Wales meet its net zero targets, a joint report by Regen, Western Power Distribution, and Wales & West Utilities has found. The report examins various supply scenarios. [reNEWS]


¶ “Lucid Air Reveal Set For September 9, Arizona Factory Set To Open This Year” • The Lucid Air EV was to be revealed to the public at the New York auto show, but due to Covid-19, the reveal will now take place online September 9. The head of production said, “We’re building a brand-new factory to produce the world’s first true luxury EV.” [CleanTechnica]

Lucid cars on display (Image credit: Lucid Motors)

¶ “Good News! Tesla And Panasonic Come To 3-Year Deal For Gigafactory 1” • Tesla and Panasonic made a 3-year agreement in which Panasonic will manufacture and supply lithium-ion battery cells at the Gigafactory in Nevada. The agreement outlines the terms for production capacity and Tesla’s purchase volume. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “8minute Solar Nabs Its First Supply Deal With California Community-Choice Aggregators” • Developer 8minute Solar Energy said it had signed power-purchase agreements with two Northern California community-choice aggregators for a 250-MW solar project located in the state, including 150-MWh of energy storage. [Greentech Media]

Solar farm in California (8minute Solar Energy image)

¶ “Residents Call On Colorado Springs Utilities To Focus On A Renewable Energy, Not Natural Gas” • Over 30 residents called on Colorado Springs Utilities to invest in a future energy mix that would rely more on renewables than natural gas as coal-powered plants close. The Utilities Policy Advisory Committee had pushed natural gas. [Colorado Springs Gazette]

¶ “Xcel Proposes $3 Billion In Renewable Projects To Bolster Economy Dogged By Pandemic” • Xcel Energy would accelerate nearly $3 billion in spending, particularly on large renewable-energy projects, in response to calls from state utility regulators to jolt Minnesota’s economy from its coronavirus-induced lethargy. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Have an especially enchanting day.

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June 17 Energy News

June 17, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Australian Researchers Claim New Record For Direct ‘Solar-To-Hydrogen’ Solar Cells” • Australian researchers claimed a new world efficiency record for solar panels that can directly split water using sunlight. They were able to demonstrate 17.6% solar to hydrogen efficiency. The call reaching this an “unprecedented” milestone. [RenewEconomy]

Solar cell research concept

¶ “Temperatures In India Could Rise By 4.4°C By 2100, Says Government Report” • In a worst case scenario, average surface air temperatures over India could rise by 4.4°C by the century’s end, compared to 1976 through 2005, says the first Assessment of Climate Change over the Indian Region published by the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences. [Down To Earth Magazine]


¶ “How Iceland is undoing carbon emissions for good” • Heavy industry contributes 48% of Iceland’s CO₂ emissions, excluding greenhouse gases from land use and forestry, according to the country’s Environment Agency. Much of that is from chemical processes already powered by renewables. Industry is turning to carbon capture and storage. [BBC]

Hellisheiði geothermal power plant, home to
CarbFix operations since 2014 (Arni Saeberg)

¶ “Tesla Secures More Cobalt From Glencore For Giga Berlin And Giga Shanghai” • Tesla will buy more cobalt from Swiss mining company Glencore to use in both Giga Berlin and Giga Shanghai, according to fresh reporting. This provides a boost to Glencore, which faced a bit of a slide over the past two years as the price of cobalt has dropped. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Top Five States For Wind Energy Generation” • Wind power installations in India reached 2.07 GW in FY 2019-20, a 31% increase from 1.58 GW in FY 2018-19. Wind power is 10.1% of the installed power capacity in India as of Q1 2020, with 37.7 GW as of March 2020. Here is a quick look at the top five states for windpower. [Mercom India]

Wind turbines in the mountains

¶ “Ireland Jumps Six Places In EY Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index” • Efforts to overcome Ireland’s image as a “climate laggard” have helped move the country up the rankings in the latest EY Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index. Ireland is the 12th most desirable place to invest in renewables, up six places in one year. [Siliconrepublic.com]

¶ “Triton Knoll Installs Second Offshore Substation” • A second offshore substation platform has been installed at Innogy’s 860-MW Triton Knoll offshore wind farm off England’s east coast. Installation of Offshore Substation Platform East was carried out by Seaway Strashnov. It marks a significant milestone in the project’s progress. [reNEWS]

Offshore substation (Innogy image)


¶ “Tesla Says Model S Is The First EV To Get 400 Miles On A Single Charge” • Tesla said in a news release that its Model S Long Range Plus is the first EV with over 400 miles of EPA-rated range. It has “an official EPA-rated range of 402 miles, … a nearly 20% increase in range when compared to a 2019 Model S 100D with the same battery pack design.” [CNN]

¶ “California Utility PG&E Pleads Guilty To 84 Wildfire Deaths” • California Utility Pacific Gas & Electric has pleaded guilty to the deaths of 84 people in a wildfire, the deadliest US corporate crime ever successfully prosecuted. The utility admitted the 2018 Camp Fire, the state’s deadliest and most destructive, was caused by its faulty equipment. [BBC]

House burning in the Camp Fire (AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Renewables Groups Launching Macro-Grid Initiative” • A renewables trade association and a public interest advocacy coalition launched an initiative to build support for upgrading the US electricity transmission network, ultimately establishing a macro-grid connecting areas with low-cost renewable resources to centers of high electric demand. [Morning Consult]

¶ “Larimer County Coal-Fired Power Plant Will Close 16 Years Early As Colorado Speeds Move Toward Renewable Energy” • Platte River Power Authority will shut down the coal-burning unit at its Rawhide power plant in 2030, 16 years ahead of schedule, to make good on promises to provide customers with 100% carbon-free electricity. [The Colorado Sun]

Rawhide Energy Station (Ed Kosmicki | The Colorado Sun)

¶ “Pattern Energy Completes Acquisition Of Clines Corners” • Pattern Energy Group LP, a developer and operator of wind, solar, transmission, and energy storage projects, has completed the acquisition of the Clines Corners wind power project in New Mexico. The Clines Corners project will support up to 1,000 MW of windpower. [North American Windpower]

¶ “New Jersey Wind Port Will Help New Jersey Reach A 100% Clean, Renewable Energy Future” • New Jersey announced development of the New Jersey Wind Port, the first port in the country to be built specifically for offshore wind marshalling and manufacturing. The port will be sited in the Lower Alloway Creek area in Salem County. [REVE]

Offshore windpower

¶ “Vectren Will Close Coal Units, Add Renewables” • Vectren Corp, the electric utility that serves much of southern Indiana, has announced a plan to shutter its remaining coal-fired power plants and transition to renewable energy. The utility also said it would add gas-fired generation to back up those renewable resources. [Power Magazine]

¶ “Estonia Doesn’t Want And Can’t Safely Store Radioactive Powder, So 2,000 Drums Of It May Be Coming To Southeastern Utah” • The controversial plan to ship 660 tons of radioactive material more than 5,000 miles from Estonia to San Juan County, Utah, involves a globe-spanning series of connections dating back years. [Salt Lake Tribune]

Have a vastly happy day.

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June 16 Energy News

June 16, 2020


¶ “We Need A Total Fossil Fuel Lockdown For A Climate Revolution” • Growth in renewable power has been impressive, but too little is happening in heating, cooling, and transport. The journey towards climate disaster continues, unless we make an immediate switch to renewable energy in all sectors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. [UN Environment]

Los Angeles from Griffith Park (Downtowngal, Wikimedia)

¶ “A Win For The First Amendment (And Clean Energy) In Louisiana – HB197 Vetoed” • Louisiana’s HB197 would have violated the First Amendment rights. It was especially harsh on black people who have been protesting the construction of a $94 billion petrochemical plant that would double the state’s toxic emissions. It was vetoed. [CleanTechnica]


¶ “BP Warns Of $17.5 Billion Hit As Pandemic Accelerates Move Away From Oil” • BP is writing down the value of its assets by as much as $17.5 billion as a shift away from fossil fuels is sped up by the coronavirus pandemic. The UK oil company has cut its forecast for Brent crude prices over the next three decades by 27% to $55 per barrel. [CNN]

Pump jack (Eric Gay | AP)

¶ “2 Billion People Use These Products. By 2030 They’ll Be Biodegradable” • Unilever unveiled plans to achieve net zero emissions from its products by 2039. It plans for all 70,000 of its products to be made biodegradable over the next decade. It will also disclose the amount of carbon used to produce them as part of its commitments for the climate crisis. [CNN]

¶ “Shenzhen Gives Residents Incentives To Buy EVs – Tesla Included” • The city of Shenzhen in China has long been an EV leader. Its bus fleet went 100% electric in 2017, and its taxi fleet in 2018. Now, it is pushing EV sales (including Tesla sales) just in time for the end of Q2 2020, offering residents an incentive of 20,000 yuan ($2,800). [CleanTechnica]

BYD electric taxis in Shenzhen (Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Dutch Water Company Will Evaluate Impact Of Floating Solar On Water Quality” • Evides Waterbedrijf, a water company in the Netherlands, estimates it could generate all the electricity for its pumping and distribution operations if just 30% of the reservoirs it manages were covered with floating solar panels. But first, it will conduct a test. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Irish Coalition Promises ‘Renewables Revolution’” • The three parties close to forming Ireland’s next government have promised a “revolution” in renewables to include annual capacity auctions and a beefed-up 5-GW offshore wind target. Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, and the Green Party aim for “at least” 70% renewable electricity by 2030. [reNEWS]

Green Party leadership (Green Party image)

¶ “Domestic Renewable Energy Installs Rise 37% In ‘Early Signs’ Of Recovery” • According to the Microgeneration Certification Scheme, there are “early signs” of recovery for UK renewable energy installations. As restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 are lifted by the government, the renewable energy installation market appears to be waking up. [Solar Power Portal]

¶ “Hydrogen Fuel Economy Is Finally Going Mainstream” • Hydrogen power has been on the market for decades but has never really been able to break the glass ceiling of mass-market appeal, mainly due to a host of technical and cost issues. Now, however, some experts believe that the hydrogen fuel economy has finally reached a tipping point. [OilPrice.com]

Hydrogen filling station

¶ “Global Annual Installed Capacity Of Nuclear Power To Decline To 3 GW Due To Covid-19” • With the pandemic, there has been reduced power consumption. The World Nuclear Association expects a drop in 10% to 20% in electricity generation, as various factors are expected to impact both nuclear power generation and nuclear plant construction. [Power Technology]


¶ “Residents With Open Land, Large Rooftops And Parking Lots Could Contribute To Renewable Energy Development” • The Hawaiian Electric Company is seeking information from owners of land, large rooftops and parking lots on the islands of Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi island, Maui, and Molokaʻi. Responses are requested by July 12, 2020. [KHON2]

Rooftop solar system

¶ “Clean Energy Loses Another 27,000 Jobs In May” • As the US Congress begins debating economic stimulus support for the energy industry, a new analysis of unemployment data shows the biggest part of America’s energy economy – clean energy – lost another 27,000 jobs in May. In total, over 620,500 clean energy workers have lost their jobs. [Solar Power World]

¶ “New West Texas Wind Farm Supplies Power To Rhode Island And Beyond” • In Rhode Island, Brown University is getting its renewable energy from a West Texas wind farm. So is the home improvement emporium Lowe’s of North Carolina, tax software maker Intuit of California, and industrial cleaning products company Ecolab of Minnesota. [Houston Chronicle]

West Texas wind farm (Elizabeth Conley | Houston Chronicle)

¶ “New NC Climate Change Report Says The Time To Act Is Now” • The coronavirus pandemic has North Carolina in its grip, our economy is in tatters, and protesters are crying out for racial justice. Now comes more bleak news in the form of a 372-page report titled “North Carolina Climate Risk Assessment and Resilience Plan.” [North Carolina Health News]

¶ “Deadly Heat Is Killing Americans: A Decade Of Inaction On Climate Puts Lives At Risk” • Increasing numbers of people are dying of heat in the US. Heat now causes more deaths than hurricanes, tornadoes, or floods in most years, creating a new public health threat. An investigation reveals why the CDC’s prevention efforts have faltered. [The Guardian]

Have a thrillingly uncomplicated day.

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June 15 Energy News

June 15, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “New Approach To Energy Management In Microgrids” • In a paper published in Energies, Monash University researchers argue that a transactive energy market could help consumers lower their power costs by reducing peak demand. It could also help consumers providing network services for the main grid to access revenues. [pv magazine International]

PVs at Monash’s Clayton campus (Image: Monash University)

¶ “Renewable Fuels From CO₂ And Water Using 100% Renewable Electricity” • A new European industry consortium, Norsk e-Fuel AS, is industrializing Power-to-Liquid technology in Norway for the European Market. For hard-to-electrify sectors such as the aviation industry, this project promises a radical change towards climate-neutral transportation. [Chemie.de]


¶ “TIGER Power: Anglo-French Tidal Energy Ramps Up In The Channel” • With an investment of €45.4 million ($51 million), the Tidal Stream Industry Energiser Project, also called TIGER, is one of the biggest studies of tidal energy in Europe. TIGER is planning to install 8.8 MW of tidal capacity in six locations across the Channel region. [Power Technology]

Tidal turbine and workers (TIGER image)

¶ “Tesla Model 3 SR+ Reported To Have 39% Gross Margin In China” • In China, Tesla is making its Model 3 with cobalt-free lithium-iron-phosphate batteries. With these batteries, the car has a maximum speed of 140 mph and 291 miles of range. Tesla is expected to have a gross margin of 39% on the Model 3 SR+, according to Anxin Securities. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ireland Can ‘Almost Halve’ The Cost Of Renewable Electricity” • Policy actions by the new government could nearly halve the price of renewable electricity in Ireland or increase it by as much as a third, according to a report commissioned by the Irish Wind Energy Association. Renewable energy costs are higher in Ireland than in other countries. [The Irish Times]

Wind farm (Photo: Ben Curtis | PA)

¶ “Cairo Solar Brings Innovative Solutions In Reducing Bills For Electricity And Producing Clean Energy” • Egyptian Streets spoke with Hatem Tawfik, managing director of one of Egypt’s success stories, Cairo Solar, on the challenges, opportunities and its experience in navigating through as a solar and financing company. [Egyptian Streets]

¶ “Enel Wants Quick Coal Exit And Its Hydrogen Will Be 100% Green, Exec Says” • Italian energy giant Enel SpA is speeding plans to decarbonize its global power production, exit coal, and make way for more wind, solar. and a hydrogen venture, by 2021 at the latest. Enel expects to have a green hydrogen production facility within one year. [Renewables Now]

Enel’s Fontes Solar 2 plant in Brazil (Enel image)

¶ “South Africa Revives Idea Of New Civilian Nuclear Power Program” • South Africa is making plans for a 2,500-MW nuclear program to try to solve the country’s power supply problem, the energy ministry said. Currently, 90% of the country’s electricity is generated from coal-fired stations. But its plants are ageing and poorly maintained. [ETEnergyworld.com]


¶ “New Wind And Storage Projects Unlocked As Marinus Link Fast-Tracked Under ‘Jobmaker’” • The Australian government will fast track approval for an undersea cable linking Tasmania and Victoria, as part of its “JobMaker” infrastructure plan. This could unlock a series of large new wind and storage projects in Tasmania. [RenewEconomy]

Woolnorth wind farm, Tasmania

¶ “Northern Territory Makes Reforms To Boost Renewables” • The Northern Territory Government has announced priority electricity market reforms as part of its plan for 50% renewables by 2030. The reforms will address system security and reliability, aim to encourage private investors, and maximise the amount of renewable power in the network. [Energy Magazine]

¶ “Manufacturing Hydrogen-Powered Vehicles To Supercharge Port Kembla” • A new company has based itself in New South Wales with the twin intentions of driving hydrogen adoption in heavy vehicles and the passenger markets, while putting the wheels back on Australia’s decimated automobile manufacturing industry. [pv magazine Australia]

Hydrogen fuel-cell powered car (Image: H2X)


¶ “New Mexico Utility To Allow Nuclear Leases To Expire” • A New Mexico utility will exit current leases for nuclear power and will instead develop renewable power by 2040, Kallanish Energy reports. PNM said it will allow leases for 114 MW of electric power from the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in Arizona to expire. [Kallanish Energy]

¶ “Illinois Utility Plans To Close Largest Coal-Fired Generator” • The Southern Illinois Power Cooperative plans to shutter its largest coal-fired generator this fall, which is expected to save it $125 million over a decade but cost 26 workers their jobs. The tentative decision to close its plant in Marion was based on more competitive energy prices. [CIProud.com]

Coal-burning power plant in Marion, Illinois

¶ “Your Invitation To US Offshore Wind 2020 – A Free Virtual Conference By Reuters Events” • In preparation for US offshore wind project development and supply chain partnering, Reuters Events™ would like to invite all global offshore wind stakeholders to attend the FREE US Offshore Wind 2020 Virtual Conference (June 18-19). [Renewables Now]

¶ “Aon Partners With TCS On Climate Risk Management” • Aon, a re/insurance broker, is collaborating with The Climate Service to help clients understand and manage climate risks. Aon has entered into an exclusive broker relationship with TCS that aims to measure, monitor, and manage financial impacts of climate on business and investments. [Reinsurance News]

Have a fundamentally magnificent day.

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June 14 Energy News

June 14, 2020


¶ “Why We’re Overweighting Renewable Energy” • With the tentative return of demand, West Texas Intermediate oil just posted its best month on record in terms of price percentages. But some analysts say global oil demand may never fully recover. I believe this makes alternative and renewable energy a more attactive long-term investment. [ETF Trends]

Wind turbines

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change Has Degraded Productivity Of Shelf Sea Food Webs” • Research shows climate change has caused a shortage of marine nutrients. This contributed to a 50% decline in important North East Atlantic plankton over 60 years. More nutritious large plankton, food for larger sea animals, are being replaced by tiny creatures of poorer food quality. [Science Daily]

¶ “Nature’s ‘Slow Lanes’ Offer Hope For Species Feeling Heat Of Climate Change, Other Pressures” • Pockets of landscape less prone than adjacent areas to disturbances like fire and drought may hold the key for scientists, conservationists, and land managers seeking to preserve vulnerable species in a changing climate. [The News Guard]

Patterns of living and dead trees


¶ “Australia’s Renewable Energy Plan Will Require Lots Of Energy Storage. Siemens Wants To Help” • Enough sunlight hits Australia every day to meet all of humanity’s energy needs for a year. The problem is not creating electricity from renewables. It is moving electricity through an aging grid. Siemens’ Central West hub can help with that. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EU Defines Green Investments To Boost Sustainable Finance” • To boost the shift towards eco-friendly investment the EU is introducing rules to define what qualifies as green or sustainable activities. This month, Members of the European Parliament will vote on a framework that determines which activities can be considered sustainable. [Modern Diplomacy]

Wind farm

¶ “Enefit Green Renewable Electricity Production Up 15% On Year” • The renewable energy subsidiary of Estonian state-owned energy group Eesti Energia, Enefit Green, produced 96 GWh of renewable electricity in May. This is 15% more than in May 2019. The company’s renewable electricity production grew on year for the seventh consecutive month. [ERR News]

¶ “Delhi University To Set Up School Of Climate Change And Sustainability” • Delhi University will set up a School of Climate Change and Sustainability under the Institute of Eminence Scheme, which will do research related to the environmental challenges. Professor C R Babu, an acclaimed environmental scientist, will head DSCC&S. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Yes! (Representational image)

¶ “Government Targets 1 GW Power From Nuclear Sources” • Ghana has over 4,000 MW of installed generating capacity, including renewable sources. Actual availability barely exceeds 2,400 MW, however, due to changing hydrological conditions, inadequate fuel supplies, and poor energy infrastructure. It is considering nuclear power. [GhanaWeb]


¶ “Tesla Safety Chief Announces Coronavirus Is Not Circulating At Fremont Facility” • Tesla appears to have safety under control. According to Tech Chronicle, there have been no transmissions of the coronavirus in the workplace at Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California, in the month since production lines starting moving and employees returned to work. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla factory in operation (Image: CleanTechnica)

¶ “Solar Project To Be Built South Of Lawton” • In Comanche County, Oklahoma, the Commissioners of the Land Office board approved a long-term lease for a 4,349-acre solar facility. EDF is planning a 250-MW facility in Comanche County, sufficient to produce enough energy to potentially power 100,000 homes, the company said. [The Lawton Constitution]

¶ “Linking Climate Change Policy To Social And Economic Justice Makes It More Popular” • In the midst of the pandemic and racial unrest, researchers detailed recent studies showing “policy packages that address the climate crisis alongside income inequality, racial injustice, and the economic crisis are more popular among voters.” [Red, Green, and Blue]

Climate Justice (Photo: Markus Spiske on Unsplash)

¶ “Oregon bids goodbye to coal power” • The Boardman Coal Plant has produced nearly half of Portland’s electricity since 1980. It can burn up to 8,000 tons of coal a day. That will end in just a few months. The plant’s owner, Portland General Electric will close it down for good by the end of 2020. It is the last coal plant left in Oregon. [East Oregonian]

¶ “$242 million solar farm moving ahead in Randolph County” • A renewable energy company has asked government officials in Randolph County, Indiana, to address utility-scale solar farms in the zoning regulations as it moves forward on a $242 million, 200-MW project. Riverstart Solar Park would have 670,000 solar panels on 1,400 acres. [Muncie Star Press]

Have a swimmingly satisfactory day.

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