Posts Tagged ‘nuclear power’

August 19 Energy News

August 19, 2019

Electric Aircraft:

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

Hoversurf Formula taxi (Screenshot)

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

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

EmbraerX eVTOL aircraft (Courtesy Embraer)

World:

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

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

Greta Thunberg at sea (@GretaThunberg, via Twitter)

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

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

Shrimp harvesting in Bac Lieu province (Photo: VNA)

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

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

Wind farm in Finland (OX2 image)

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

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

Longest turbine blade

US:

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

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

Rivian utility vehicle (Rivian image)

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

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

Have an entirely pleasurable day.

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August 18 Energy News

August 18, 2019

Opinion:

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

Small modular nuclear reactor (Screenshot via YouTube)

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

Science and Technology:

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

Bye Aerospace eFlyer (Image courtesy Bye Aerospace)

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

World:

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

Okjökull sat atop the volcano Ok (Josh Okun)

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

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

Demonstrating against climate change (Google | Getty Images)

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

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

Renewable energy in China

US:

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

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

Salmon (Barbara Jackson)

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

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

Have an enjoyably adventageous day.

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August 17 Energy News

August 17, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Nothing Succeeds Like Success – Tesla Virtual Power Plant In South Australia Could Expand To 50,000 Homes” • Now that the first and second phases of the VPP trial in South Australia are over, the data show that the people participating in the pilot program are paying about 20% less for their electricity than their neighbors. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop PVs (Australia Department of Energy and Mining)

¶ “In Trying To Gut Endangered Species Act, Trump Administration Puts Profits Ahead Of People” • New Endangered Species Act regulations sweep aside important protections for threatened and endangered species to benefit exploitative industries. Political motives are overruling science, and the intention of the act is being ignored. [CNN]

¶ “China And Japan See The Future, And It’s Not Coal: Why Australia Will Be Stranded” • Australia might only have a decade to wean itself off coal, if the latest international efforts to decarbonize are anything to go by. The demand for coal from some of Australia’s main thermal coal export markets is already in decline. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Solar PV panels in China’s Fujian province (AP photo)

¶ “Real Cost Of Scrapping Reactors” • TEPCO now faces an unprecedented job of scrapping 10 reactors at around the same time, an effort that is estimated to take more than 40 years. The cost of decommissioning Fukushima Daini, where there were no meltdowns, is expected to be upwards of ¥400 billion ($3.76 billion). [The Japan Times]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Warming Responsible For West Antarctic Ice Sheet Melting” • Periodic changes in wind patterns above the West Antarctic Ice Sheet can bring warmer water to key glaciers in the area, speeding-up the rate of ice melting. New research shows that these changes in wind patterns are driven in large part by man-made climate warming. [ZME Science]

Ice (Pixabay image)

World:

¶ “Royal Borough Pledges To Buy Clean Energy Only” • In the UK, electricity bought by the Royal Borough [of Windsor and Maidenhead] will come only from renewable sources following a cabinet decision. All electricity bought will now be generated by renewable technologies. The council had already pledged to be carbon neutral by 2050. [Windsor Observor]

¶ “The Volkswagen Triplets Are Going 100% Electric” • German car maker Volkswagen AG announced that it is replacing its inexpensive A-segment cars, which are powered by fossil fuels, with 100% electric vehicles. A-segment cars are the smallest under the European standard, and the VW vehicle will be the only full EV in its class. [CleanTechnica]

Škoda Citigoᵉ iV, made by VW (Image courtesy of Škoda)

¶ “Sembcorp Invests ₹521 Crore In Indian Renewable Business” • Sembcorp Industries, an energy and urban development firm based in Singapore, has made an equity infusion of ₹521 crore ($78.3 million) into its Indian arm, Sembcorp Energy India Ltd. The funds will be used to expand its renewable energy portfolio in India, a company official said. [Livemint]

US:

¶ “And Now, The Really Big Coal Plants Begin To Close” • When the Navajo Generating Station in Arizona shuts down this year, it will be one of the largest carbon emitters to close in American history. Of all the coal plants to be retired in the US in recent years, none has emitted more. But it will not be alone. Other large plants are also closing. [Scientific American]

Navajo Generating Station (David Wall | Getty Images)

¶ “Large Solar Project Proposed In Southwest Colorado” • A Chicago-based renewable energy company has submitted a bid to build a $127 million solar project in southwest Colorado. The Cortez Journal reports Invenergy’s proposed project would sit on 1,100 acres of private land and would generate 127 MW, enough to power 32,000 homes. [CBS Local]

¶ “Tesla Makes Solar Affordable Again With New Monthly Rental Plans” • Tesla is making solar affordable again with a new solar rental program that lets homeowners simply rent a solar system for a flat monthly rate. To further sweeten the deal, there is no upfront installation cost at all and there is no long-term contract. Details will vary by state. [CleanTechnica]

Home with solar panes and Tesla Powerwall (Tesla image)

¶ “NC DEQ Releases Plan Ordered By Gov Cooper To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions By 70% By 2030” • North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality released  a plan that proposes reducing greenhouse gases from electricity production by 60% to 70% of 2005 levels by 2030, with a goal of getting to zero emissions by 2050. [Raleigh News & Observer]

¶ “California Community Choice Aggregator Sees Promise In Floating Offshore Wind” • Monterey Bay Community Power, a community choice aggregator,  signed a memorandum of understanding to explore buying the power from a 1,000-MW floating offshore wind farm. It calls for investigating a wind farm 30 miles off the California coast. [Greentech Media]

Surfing in California

¶ “Tesla Energy Storage Potential Given Boost At Company And Industry Levels” • Tesla’s Megapack battery announcement earlier this month may have gone somewhat under the radar. The new Megapack has 3 MWh of storage and an inverter capacity of 1.5 MW. It has a 60% increase in energy density over the Powerpack. [Seeking Alpha]

¶ “Dominion Energy And Smithfield Foods Break Ground On Largest Renewable Natural Gas Project In North Carolina” • Dominion Energy and Smithfield Foods, Inc announced that they are breaking ground on North Carolina’s largest renewable natural gas project. It will generate enough energy to power more than 3,500 homes. [GroundBreak Carolinas]

Have an absolutely superb day.

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August 16 Energy News

August 16, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “How To Save A Sinking Island Nation” • Kiritimati has a dark past of British colonialism and nuclear weapons testing. It gained independence from the UK on 12 July 1979, when the Republic of Kiribati was established to govern a group of 33 islands that straddle the equator in the area. Now, it is facing the complex threat of climate change. [BBC]

Climate Refugee

¶ “Scott Morrison’s Betrayal Of The Pacific Was Immoral – And Completely Unnecessary” • As the Pacific Islands Forum comes to an end, Australia has yet again been shamed on a global stage for our inaction on climate change. The forum was held in Tuvalu, where a global commitment to limiting climate change to 1.5°C is literally a question of survival. [The Guardian]

Science and Technology:

¶ “July Was Earth’s Hottest Month On Record” • According to NOAA, Earth faced unprecedented heat in July, its hottest month on record. July’s temperature across land and ocean surfaces worldwide was 1.71°F above the 20th-century average of 60.4°. It was the highest for July since records began in 1880, besting the record set in 2016 by 0.05°. [CNN]

Boy in the heat (Str | AFP | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “New Research Points To Fracking As Cause Of Spikes In Atmospheric Methane” • Cornell researchers studying rising methane emissions found there is a way to tell where it is coming from. The percentage of carbon-13 is higher than normal in fracked methane, so they can show that the increased methane emissions are fracked. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Earth Stopped Getting Greener 20 Years Ago” • The world is gradually becoming less green, according to a study published in the journal, Science Advances. Since about 20 years ago, plant growth has been declining all over the planet, a phenomenon linked to decreasing moisture in the air, a consequence of climate change. [Scientific American]

Greening from increased CO₂ a thing of the past (Credit: NASA)

World:

¶ “Solar Power Is Now Cheaper Than The Grid In Hundreds Of Chinese Cities” • Some 344 Chinese cities were found to have solar systems producing energy at lower prices than the grid, without any subsidies, research published in the journal Nature Energy says. According to the authors, that could encourage further investment in renewable energy. [CNN]

¶ “Pacific Forum Turns Into Row With Australia Over Climate Goals” • Regional leaders met at the Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu this week, where smaller island-dominated states sought a consensus on climate goals. However Australia, the region’s largest emitter, did not endorse some calls – such as an end to coal mining. [BBC]

Children with climate change messages (EPA image)

¶ “Renewable Energy Projects Took 80% Of All Energy Financing In 2018” • In India, renewable energy projects took up a vast majority, nearly 80%, of the total energy financing last year, while financing for coal-fired power plants decreased by a staggering 90%, according to the report, “Coal versus Renewables Finance Analysis.” [Saurenergy]

¶ “Oman’s First Wind Farm Begins Generating Electricity” • Oman’s first wind farm, the 50-MW Dhofar Wind Farm, has produced its first electricity, marking a major milestone for the region. The project is fully funded by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and is expected to be in commercial operation by the end of this year. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Wind farm (Courtesy of Masdar)

¶ “Solar Panel Plant To Boost Turkey’s Role In Renewables” • A state-of-the-art solar panel production facility, built in the central province of Niğde with an investment of around $650 million, is promising to boost Turkey’s position and make it an ambitious player in the global renewable energy market. Production is to start in 2020. [Daily Sabah]

¶ “Atlas Renewable Energy Inks Solar PPA In Chile With Engie” • Atlas Renewable Energy entered into a fifteen year contract for the sale of power from a 230-MW solar park in Chile to the local unit of France’s Engie SA. The solar park is expected to begin operations in January 2022. Atlas’ contracted pipeline in Latin America exceeds 1,400 MW. [Renewables Now]

PV plant (Featured Image: Gilles Paire | Shutterstock.com)

US:

¶ “Austin Energy Wind Contract Increases Renewable Energy Sources” • Austin Energy will receive up to an additional 200 MW of Texas wind power from an agreement with E.ON Climate and Renewables. Together with other contracts, this means Austin Energy customer needs will be met with about 61% renewable resources. [Austin American-Statesman]

¶ “Renewable Energy Can Generate Billions Of Dollars In Health Benefits, Study Finds” • Ten states across the Midwest and Great Lakes region could see $4.7 billion in health benefits in 2030 if they stick with current renewable energy standards, according to a study from MIT. Building the renewable infrastructure would cost $3.5 billion. [The Verge]

Wind farm in Kansas (Drenaline, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Department Of Energy Announces $40 Million In Funding For 29 Projects To Advance H2@Scale” • The DOE announced approximately $40 million in FY 2019 funding for 29 projects to advance the H2@Scale concept. Its focus is to enable affordable and reliable large-scale hydrogen generation, transport, storage, and utilization in the US. [Energy.gov]

¶ “Nuclear Plant Where US Flirted With Its Own Chernobyl To Close” • One reactor at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania had a partial meltdown in 1979, and has been out of action since. It was a victim of human and mechanical failures. The other reactor at the plant will shut down in coming weeks, a victim of economics. [Claims Journal]

Have a thumpin’ good day.

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August 15 Energy News

August 15, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “An eVTOL Aircraft That Can Act As A Conventional Electric Airplane” • South African air mobility startup Pegasus Universal Aerospacehas an interesting electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft that can also operate as an electric conventional take-off and landing airplane. Its international debut was at the EBACE show in Geneva. [CleanTechnica]

Pegasus One business jet

¶ “‘It Is Raining Plastic’: Scientists Find Colorful Microplastic In Rain” • It’s raining plastic, a survey of rainfall in Denver and Boulder, Colorado, concluded. Scientists at the US Department of the Interior and US Geological Survey said they couldn’t see the plastic with their naked eyes, but found it using a binocular microscope fitted with a digital camera. [CNN]

¶ “Plastic Particles Falling Out Of Sky With Snow In Arctic” • Even in the Arctic, microscopic particles of plastic are falling out of the sky with snow, a study has found. The scientists said they were shocked by the sheer number of particles they found: more than 10,000 of them per liter in the Arctic. People are likely to be breathing in microplastics, even in the Arctic. [BBC]

Plastic fragments from Arctic seawater (Alice Trevail)

World:

¶ “REN21 On Renewables: ‘Much Progress’ But World ‘Not On Track'” • In its latest annual renewable energy status report, REN21 said that renewables are increasingly preferred for new electricity generation. Of net installations in 2018, 64% were from renewable sources of energy. But the changeover is not being done fast enough. [physicsworld.com]

¶ “Greta Thunberg: Teenage Climate Change Activist Sets Sail On Zero-Carbon Journey Aboard Malizia II” • Greta Thunberg has set sail on a two-week journey by boat across the Atlantic ocean. She will be attending two big climate change conferences in the US. The journey will take around two-weeks on a high speed yacht, called the Malizia II. [BBC]

Malizia II (Xriss, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Discoms Owe Renewable Energy Companies Over ₹3,000 Crore: CEA” • Renewable energy generators have raised claims of ₹3,011.87 crore ($452.7 million) for power they supplied up until July 31, information received by the Central Electricity Authority shows. The highest claim of ₹336.96 crore was raised by Vena Energy Private Ltd. [The Hindu Business Line]

¶ “Energy Vault Closes Series B Funding With $110 Million Investment From Softbank Vision Fund” • Energy Vault, whose products use gravity to store energy, announced it has completed a $110 million Series B funding round. The investment for the round was made by SoftBank Vision Fund in its first investment in energy storage technology. [Business Wire]

Energy Vault storage with PV and wind (Business Wire photo)

¶ “Solar And Wind Energy To Lead Swedish Renewable Growth” • Renewable power (excluding hydro power) is expected to double its capacity from 14.8 GW in 2019 to reach 30.4 GW in 2030, increasing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8 per cent, according to an updated Swedish power market outlook by GlobalData. [Power Technology]

¶ “Renewables To Account For 65% Of Ireland’s Capacity: Globaldata” • Independent analytics company GlobalData said Ireland is expected to attract massive investment as it’s targeting 65% of its power generation capacity to be from renewable energy sources by 2030. The country will  reach 9,600 MW, Kallanish Energy understands. [Kallanish Energy]

Turbine in Ireland (Jakub Michankow, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Vestas Profit Slumps Over Rising Costs, Lower Prices” • Net profit at Vestas fell 51% in the second quarter of 2019 to €90 million, down from €184 million in the same period last year. The fall in profitability was attributed to lower average project margins from orders that were secured during the “price decline” in 2017, the Danish manufacturer said. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Montana Supreme Court To Decide Renewable Power Lawsuits Filed Against PSC” • Developers and backers of small, independent solar- and wind-power projects have won a trio of lawsuits against Montana’s Public Service Commission, and now the state Supreme Court will decide whether the PSC is illegally undermining these projects. [Missoula Current]

Montana wind turbines (Johanna Abzug, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Apprenticeship Program Trains Future Workforce In Renewable Energy” • The Power for America Training Trust Fund and Utility Workers Union of America announced a unique union apprenticeship program that provides world-class skills training and a path to employment for in-demand renewable energy jobs. [Transmission & Distribution World]

¶ “Maryland Gov Hogan Launches Task Force To Tackle Conflicts Over Solar, Wind Energy Projects” • Maryland Gov Larry Hogan announced that he would launch a task force to examine conflicts over renewable energy projects, weeks after Maryland’s highest court dealt a blow to residents concerned about the spread of solar and wind farms. [Baltimore Sun]

Solar pier in Maryland (Bob Bruninga, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “US Government Blacklists China’s Biggest Nuclear Company” • The US Department of Commerce announced it has placed China’s biggest state-owned nuclear company on its Entity List. The company and three of its affiliates are banned from buying parts and technologies from American firms without special US government approval. [The Epoch Times]

¶ “Bill Aims To Extend Tax Credits For Biomass, Other Renewables” • Reps Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Scott Peters (D-CA) introduced legislation that aims to extend tax credits for investments in several qualified renewable energy production technologies that have had have their credits expire over the past two years, since 2017. [Biomass Magazine]

Have a profoundly easy day.

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August 14 Energy News

August 14, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “China Is Leading The World To An Electric Future: Four Takeaways From My Recent Visit” • You don’t have to look far to see that China is leading the world’s electric car revolution. I had the opportunity to witness this while visiting China to attend the first annual Energy Internet Innovation and Entrepreneurship Summit in Chengdu. [CleanTechnica]

Charging an electric taxi (Courtesy of Heather Hochrein)

¶ “Trump Admin Sends A Love Letter To Coal, Straight From The Heart” • Under Trump’s watch the domestic coal industry has been withering away. In fact, the Trump administration is poised to give coal one last push into the dustbin of history. In the latest development, the DOE has been working on a new “grid of the future.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Power To The People – How Renewables And Batteries Are Reshaping The Utility Industry” • The old model is broken and it is time for some creative thinking. Monopoly status for utilities has social benefits but tends to short circuit innovation. Some, like Green Mountain Power, are rushing into the future; others look longingly at the past. [CleanTechnica]

Big wind turbines (Zach Shahan, CleanTechnica)

Transportation Technology:

¶ “GM, VW Say They Won’t Build Hybrids Or Plug-in Hybrids, Only Battery Electric Cars” • Other companies are still bringing plug-in hybrid models, but General Motors and Volkswagen now say they are going to leap frog over the whole PHEV/BEV discussion. Both companies will offer only full battery electric models in the future. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “eHang Wants To Start An eVTOL Service In Guangzhou Soon” • eHang will build a fleet of autonomous passenger air taxis and low-altitude freight aircraft, possibly making it the world’s first operational urban air mobility company. The government of China has sanctioned the company, and the city of Guangzhou is hosting the pilot program. [CleanTechnica]

eHang eVTOL (eHang courtesy image)

¶ “India Approves Subsidy For 5,595 Electric Buses Across 64 Cities” • The Department of Heavy Industries of the Indian government announced that it approved disbursal of subsidies for the deployment of 5,595 electric buses across 64 cities in the country, for inter-city transportation and last-mile connectivity for the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Heavy Duty Electric Trucks Aren’t Coming, They’re Already Here” • Tesla may rule the Twittersphere with its all-electric Semi, but BYD, Volvo, and Freightliner are not standing on the sidelines. They all have electric heavy duty trucks either in production or nearing production that are ready to replace the fossil fuel powered models of today. [CleanTechnica]

BYD electric refuse truck (Credit: BYD)

World:

¶ “A University Has Banned Beef To Help Fight Climate Change” • Goldsmiths University of London will ban all beef products from its campus, the institution’s new chief has announced, as it seeks to become carbon neutral by 2025. Students will also be handed a 10p (12¢) levy on bottled water and single use plastic cups. [CNN]

¶ “Soltec To Supply 220 MW Of SF7 Bifacial Trackers In Mexico” • Spanish company, Soltec, is supplying and installing its Soltec SF7 Bifacial trackers at a 220-MW project that the Enel Group’s renewable company Enel Green Power is building in Tlaxcala, Mexico. The site will have 548,772 bifacial modules mounted on the trackers. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Soltec trackers (Courtesy of Soltec)

¶ “Europe Has The Untapped Onshore Capacity To Meet Global Energy Demand” • Europe has the capacity to produce more than 100 times the amount of energy it currently produces through onshore windfarms, analysis from the University of Sussex and Aarhus University has revealed. In fact, it has more than enough to power the world. [EurekAlert]

¶ “Russia Calls, Then Cancels, Town’s Evacuation After Nuclear Mishap” • Radiation levels have spiked to sixteen times normal at the nearby town of Severodvinska, after last week’s explosion at a rocket testing site. First responders have been silenced, and the villagers were told to leave, but the evacuation order has since been canceled. [Deutsche Welle]

Russian law enforcement officers (A Vaganov | ©Reuters)

US:

¶ “States Sue To Block EPA’s Coal Power Plant Emissions Rollback” • A coalition of states and cities will ask a federal court to block the Trump administration’s overhaul of regulations on emissions from coal-fired power plants. The so-called Affordable Clean Energy plan shifts regulatory authority to states and offers hope to the struggling US coal industry. [CNN]

¶ “A Wind Farm That Can Power 168,000 Homes Is Blowing Into Central Texas” • After a series of nearby wind developments in recent years, locals came to back plans to revive a shelved project near Eden, Texas. Construction of the Maverick Creek wind farm is set to begin in September, just as wind energy is on track to surpass coal energy in Texas. [Dallas News]

Texas wind farm (Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc)

¶ “Wyoming Wind Project Will Increase Output By 60%” • PacifiCorp acquired sole ownership of the Foote Creek I wind farm, a 41.4-MW project in Carbon County, Wyoming. The move will allow for the wind generation facility to be repowered with new turbine technology that will increase energy output of the entire facility by 60%. [East Oregonian]

¶ “SoCalGas and Electrochaea Announce Commissioning Of New Biomethanation Reactor System Pilot Project” • Southern California Gas Co and Electrochaea announced that they are commissioning the nation’s first scalable biomethanation reactor system at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Energy System Integration Facility. [PRNewswire]

Have a richly rewarding day.

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August 13 Energy News

August 13, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Big Utilities Stall On Clean Energy Transition, Despite The Economics” • It seems clear to us that Australia’s gen-tailers, the utilities that dominate both electricity generation and retail, won’t decarbonize their portfolios any faster than policy makes them, despite the favorable economics. They have hit the pause button on development. [RenewEconomy]

Beryl solar farm

Science and Technology:

¶ “Greenhouse Gases Reach Record Levels, Report Finds” • The dominant greenhouse gases released into the Earth’s atmosphere reached record levels in 2018, and their global warming power is now 43% stronger than in 1990, according to a report released Monday by the American Meteorological Society, State of the Climate in 2018. [CNN]

World:

¶ “India Eases Wind Energy Auction Guidelines” • The last two wind energy tenders in India were significantly undersubscribed and the government has quickly made some small but crucial changes to the conditions of wind energy tenders issued by the Solar Energy Corporation of India. Land acquisition, penalties, and time lines were some issues. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Zach Shahan, CleanTechnica)

¶ “Japanese Consortium To Build World’s First Electric Tanker” • Four Japanese companies teamed up to build the world’s first zero emission tanker, a coastal tanker intended for use on Tokyo Bay, not traversing the Pacific Ocean. The tanker, powered by electric motors and a (really large) battery pack, is projected to enter service in about two years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Orbital Taps Texo To Build O2 Tidal Turbine” • Scottish company Texo Group has been awarded a “multi-million pound” contract by Orbital Marine Power to manufacture its 2-MW O2 tidal stream turbine. The machine will be made in Dundee for installation at the European Marine Energy Centrey in Orkney, Scotland. [reNEWS]

O2 tidal stream turbine (Orbital Marine Power)

¶ “Stepping Up Climate Resilience In The Pacific” • The Australian Government is stepping up its renewable energy investment and climate and disaster resilience support in the Pacific by partnering with its nearest neighbors. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia recognized the region’s climate change challenges. [Reliefweb]

¶ “Victoria Introduces Bill To Lock 50% Renewables Target Into Law” • Victoria’s Labor government has made good on its election promise to boost the state’s renewable energy target to 50 per cent by 2030, with the introduction of a bill into parliament that lock the target into law. It would build on earlier landmark legislation. [RenewEconomy]

Ararat wind farm

¶ “Saudi Arabia Wind Farm Claims World Record Low Energy Cost” • Saudi Arabia’s 400-MW Dumat Al Jandal onshore wind farm announced what it says is a world record-low onshore wind levelized cost of electricity of 1.99¢/kWh. The Dumat Al Jandal onshore wind farm will be the country’s first wind project and the largest in the Middle East. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Solar Now ‘Cheaper Than Grid Electricity’ In Every Chinese City, Study Finds” • Solar power has become cheaper than grid electricity across China, a development that could boost the prospects of industrial and commercial solar, according to a study. The report, published in Nature Energy, concludes that solar power is at grid parity in China. [Carbon Brief]

Installing panels (Imaginechina Limited | Alamy Stock Photo)

¶ “Small Nuclear Reactor Exploded In Failed Missile Test, Russian Officials Say” • The failed missile test that killed five scientists last week involved a small nuclear reactor, Russian officials said. They did not spell out exactly what the nuclear experts had been working on, but said the institute worked on nuclear energy sources. [Daily Sabah]

¶ “World’s Lowest Cost Solar P V Contract Awarded In Portugal” • Portugal is now the country with the world’s lowest-cost solar PV contract. The lowest tariff awarded in the country’s first solar PV auction, held in July, was just €14.76/MWh ($16.54/MWh, 1.654¢/kWh) at today’s exchange rates. This beats a $16.95/MWh contract awarded in Brazil. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Solar array

US:

¶ “Solar Power Is Playing A Growing Role To Save The Bees” • After the worse bee losses on record. The US Department of Agriculture announced that it will no longer track honeybee populations or collect data for its Honey Bee Colonies Report. However, Solar companies are increasingly stepping in to provide safe havens for bees. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Environmentalists Warn Trump Weakening Endangered Species Protections” • The US federal government announced an overhaul of the way it enforces the Endangered Species Act, a law credited with preventing countless extinctions. Environmental groups warn it will “crash a bulldozer” through the landmark 1973 legislation. [BBC]

Monarch butterflies (Reuters)

¶ “Wind Power Costs And Prices Driven To New Lows In US” • Wind power is enjoying a prime period in the United States, with record low technology costs spurring strong investment, as local production of the components helps projects avoid the worst impacts of Trump’s trade war with China that has hit the solar market hard. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Studies Delay Solar Development In Both RI And Mass” • In meetings this summer, National Grid and ISO New England told renewable-energy developers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island that application reviews for connecting to the grid would be extended while studies of regional power transmission systems are conducted. [ecoRI news]

Have a clearly superior day.

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August 12 Energy News

August 12, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Power Technology Too Expensive, Too Dangerous: The Accusations Tightening The Noose Around Nuclear Power” • For all the promises of nuclear power, its cost and its devastating accidents have made many sceptical of its benefits. JP Casey speaks to Shaun Burnie, senior nuclear specialist at Greenpeace Germany. [Power Technology]

Greenpeace activists in Germany (Credit: Conxa Roda)

World:

¶ “IFC, MIGA Ink Deal For 252-Mw Wind Farm In Egypt” • IFC and MIGA, World Bank Group members, signed an agreement to support the development of a 252-MW wind farm by Lekela in Egypt’s Red Sea governorate. In a statement, the IFC noted that it will provide $84 million in financing while MIGA will offer $122 million in financial guarantees. [ESI Africa]

¶ “Macquarie Buys $1.77 Billion Stake In Mammoth UK Offshore Wind Farm” • Australia’s Macquarie Bank made a £1 billion deal for a stake in what is to be one of the UK’s largest offshore wind farms, UK media reports. Information is scarce, but it appears that Macquarie will have just short of a controlling stake in the 714-MW East Anglia ONE development. [RenewEconomy]

Offshore wind farm under construction

¶ “Australia Coal Use Is ‘Existential Threat’ To Pacific Islands, Says Fiji PM” • The prime minister of Fiji has warned Australia to reduce its coal emissions and do more to combat climate change as regional leaders prepare to gather in Tuvalu ahead of the Pacific Islands Forum this week. He referred to the emissions as an “existential threat” facing Pacific nations. [The Guardian]

¶ “Vattenfall Builds Hybrid Renewables Plant” • Vattenfall is developing its first wind-solar-battery power plant in the Netherlands. The developer has decided to build a PV system and a battery at its Haringvliet onshore wind project site, in the Goeree-Overflakkee region of South Holland. The plant will be online in the second half of 2020. [reNEWS]

Solar and wind power (Vattenfall image)

¶ “TEPCO Toughens Stance Toward Nuclear Disaster Damages Settlement” • TEPCO has become significantly more reluctant since last year to accept a government body’s recommendations for a settlement of damages claims by people affected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster, government officials and lawyers involved said. [Japan Today]

Australia:

¶ “Stunning Low Costs Inspire Alinta To Ramp Up Renewables Push, Flag Early Coal Exit” • Australian utility Alinta Energy is ramping up its push into renewables, citing stunning low costs that will enable dispatchable wind and solar to compete with existing fossil fuel plant. It is increasing its renewable target from 1,000 MW to 1,500 MW. [RenewEconomy]

Artist’s impression of Yandin wind farm (Image supplied)

¶ “State Backs Community Solar Plan To Take Victoria Town 100% Renewable” • A community-driven solar project that aims to make the western Victoria town of Natimuk 100% renewable powered won state government funding. The Andrews Labor government said it awarded a grant of $339,000 for the town’s 1.6-MW solar farm. [One Step Off The Grid]

¶ “Huge Bango wind farm gets underway, to provide cheap power to Snowy Hydro” • Renewable energy developer CWP Renewables announced the start of construction of the 244-MW Bango Wind Farm, to be built in the Southern Highlands region of NSW. It is the third NSW project in which CWP Renewables partnered with Partners Group. [RenewEconomy]

Wind turbines on a cattle farm

US:

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Had 3% of US Car Sales in 1st Half of 2019” • The Tesla Model 3 accounted for 1% of all US vehicle sales. But that market includes everything from pickup trucks to buses, and cars are only about a third of the overall vehicle market. So the Tesla Model 3 took 3% of the US car market in the first half of the year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Over 50 Coal Power Plants Closing Each Year” • Power companies are forecasting to retire coal facilities that currently offer about 17 GW of capacity by 2025. Shuttering these plants is a complex, multi-year process that includes decommissioning, remediation, and redevelopment. Last year, 13 GW of coal-burning capacity was shut down. [ThomasNet News]

Coal-burning power plant (Credit: Kodda | Shutterstock)

¶ “Company: Coal Mine To Cease Production” • A Kentucky mine that employs about 200 people is slated to stop producing coal within a week. Alliance Resource Partners LP announced that Dotiki Mine will close starting August 16. The Oklahoma-based company said it’s focusing on production at lower-cost Illinois Basin mines. [messenger-inquirer]

¶ “‘Coal Is Over’: The Miners Rooting For The Green New Deal” • The coal industry in Appalachia is dying. It is something that people there know better than anyone. Some in this region are pinning their hopes on moving on to alternative solutions, including rising Democratic star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal. [The Guardian]

Have an altogether excellent day.

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August 11 Energy News

August 11, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Rumble In PA: Coal-Killing Natural Gas Has A Field Day In Top US Coal State” • The carnage in the US coal industry continued last week as yet another energy company in yet another leading coal producing state took steps to shut down yet another large coal power plant. But President Trump has not tweeted a peep. [CleanTechnica]

The 830-MW Bruce Mansfield power plant (Wikipedia)

¶ “The Shift Toward Renewable Energy Is Coming. Western States Aren’t Ready” • As the fortunes of the coal, oil, and gas industries rise and fall, Western states ride the boom-and-bust cycles of mineral dependence. But this fossil-fueled rollercoaster ride could come to a shuddering halt under recent climate action proposals. [Mother Jones]

¶ “Cost Of Driving A BMW i3 REx For 9 Months In Florida: $2.26” • Driving an EV in Sarasota is cheap. The charging stations are free. The BMW i3 REx has a small internal combustion engine as a backup, and even though it nearly never kicks on, it does need to run from time to time for maintenance purposes, so it can have a fuel cost. [CleanTechnica]

BMW i3 (CleanTechnica)

¶ “Why Some VC Summer Refund Checks Are ‘Not Worth The Postage'” • Since 2008, South Carolina household electricity customers have paid on average $1,565 extra to finance two reactors at the VC Summer Nuclear Station. They were not built, so the customers are getting refund checks. Some got checks for as little as $0.04. [Charlotte Observer]

¶ “Why Solar Activity And Cosmic Rays Can’t Explain Global Warming” • As a climate scientist, I hear my share of myths about what is causing climate change or why it is a “hoax.” I call them “zombie theories” because they just will not die. This week I heard of a variation of a myth about solar variations being to blame, but it does not explain climate change. [Forbes]

Sunset (Azwi, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “As The World Gets Hotter, Environmental Consequences Get Worse” • July was the 415th consecutive month of above-20th-century-average temperatures. The five warmest years on record were 2014-18, and this year is on track to be one. Things are heating up. As they do, the destruction to our environment and our economy only gets worse. [Charleston Post Courier]

¶ “Saildrone Completes 22,000 Kilometer Circumnavigation Of Antarctica” • The Southern Ocean that surrounds Antarctica is a dark and forbidding place where winds often exceed 80 miles per hour and towering waves as high as a 5-story building. Saildrone 1020 is an automated ocean vessel whose mission is to acquire data in dangerous waters. [CleanTechnica]

Saildrone (Photo courtesy of Saildrone)

World:

¶ “Solar Energy Storage Market To Grow At Over 35%” • A research report published by the market research and strategy consulting firm, Global Market Insights, Inc, projects that the Solar Energy Storage Market will surpass an annual installation of 3 GW by 2025. One of the forces adding to the growth is the advent of EVs. [Smart Energy]

¶ “A Green Economy Grows In Denmark” • With its lively waterfront, tree-lined canal, and red-brick buildings topped by steep gunmetal-grey roofs, Aarhus looks like just another coastal city in Northern Europe. But get closer, and what comes into focus is a place central to the continent’s remarkable shift to renewable energy. [Free Malaysia Today]

Møllestien Street in Aarhus (Pixabay image)

¶ “Sontirat Revives Long-Shelved Grass-Growing Biofuel Project” • Thai Energy Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong said his ministry plans to promote biomethane-gas power projects from Napier grass and will encourage farming communities to grow it for power generation. He said the ministry is resuming a scheme that had stalled in 2012-13. [Bangkok Post]

US:

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Has 67% Of US Electric Vehicle Sales In Second Quarter” • The story of the US electric vehicle in Q2 is all about unbalanced sales. There’s the Model 3, and there’s everything else. In fact, the Model 3 accounts for 67% of US electric vehicle sales, according to 2nd quarter sales data and estimates. Its sales nearly doubled from Q1 to Q2. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3

¶ “Tesla Cars Is #1 In US Luxury Car Sales In Second Quarter Of 2019” • The Tesla Model 3 absolutely embarrassed the luxury car competition in the United States in the second quarter. Looking at the luxury car ranking, Tesla took the title in the second quarter, on the shoulders of the Model 3’s unprecedented domination of its class. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “How Dairy’s Quest For Clean Energy Spread Across Wisconsin” • The Butter Solar Project has 32 MW of PVs installed at ten locations feeding into 13 municipal utilities in three states. A who’s who of co-op food companies, including Organic Valley, Dr Bronner’s, and Clif Bar, have signed on to buy the renewable credits. So has the city of Madison. [Madison.Com]

Organic Valley office building in Cashton, Wisconsin
(Photo: Peter Thomson, La Crosse Tribune Archives)

¶ “Maine’s Renewable Energy Subsidy Program Seeks Supporters In South Portland” • Maine Green Power is seeking residents and business owners in the city of South Portland to help subsidize the expansion of renewable energy generation in the state through the South Portland Green Power District Challenge. [Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel]

¶ “Regulators Rip Xcel’s Proposed $650 Million Deal For Mankato Power Plant” • Xcel Energy’s proposed $650 million purchase of a gas-fired power plant in Mankato ran into strong opposition from two state agencies protecting ratepayers. The utility says the move will save ratepayers money. The regulators say that is not likely. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Have a totally perfect day.

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August 10 Energy News

August 10, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Why A Mere 2.5 MW Of Solar Power Still Matters” • Moody Air Force Base in Georgia is getting 2.5 MW of solar power. The array is not big but it will help Moody achieve two important Department of Defense goals: mission critical resilience and energy independence. A press release says nuclear, coal, and natural gas don’t fit the bill. [CleanTechnica]

A-10 Thunderbolt aircraft (Image: Moody Air Force Base)

¶ “Is An Oil Price Crash Coming?” • Plunging prices for batteries and renewables are driving an EV revolution so rapidly that the economics of oil “are now in relentless and irreversible decline.” That is the startling conclusion of a detailed analysis produced by BNP Paribas, which is the world’s eighth-largest bank by total assets. [The National Interest Online]

Science and Technology:

¶ “From 1% To 30% Solar Power Without Losing Farmland – How Is That Possible?” • In an online paper published at Scientific Reports, Oregon State University researchers found that croplands, grasslands, and wetlands, continuing in their current roles, would provide more potential for optimizing solar power than barren land. [CleanTechnica]

Sheep and solar power (Mark Floyd, Oregon State University)

¶ “Old Oil Rigs Could Become CO₂ Storage Sites” • North Sea oil and gas rigs could be modified to pump CO₂ emissions into rocks below the seabed, locking away CO₂ produced by power stations, Edinburgh scientists have found. Refitting old platforms for storing CO₂ would be 10 times cheaper than decommissioning the structures. [BBC] (I think this is a really bad idea – George)

¶ “The Gulf Stream Is Slowing Down. That Could Mean Rising Seas And A Hotter Florida” • The Gulf Stream, the warm current that brings the east coast of Florida the mixed blessings of abundant swordfish, mild winters and stronger hurricanes, may be weakening because of climate change. It has reached its weakest point in 1,600 years. [Phys.Org]

Gulf of Mexico (Public domain image)

¶ “Marine Heatwaves Kill Coral Instantly” • Scientists studying coral after a heat event discovered that extreme temperature rises decayed reefs much more rapidly than previously thought. Increasingly frequent marine heatwaves can lead to the almost instant death of corals, scientists working on the Great Barrier Reef have found. [BBC]

World:

¶ “Extinction Rebellion Protesters Block A38 In Birmingham” • UK Climate campaigners blocked one of the busiest roads in and out of Birmingham during rush hour. Up to forty protesters from Extinction Rebellion stopped traffic for seven minutes at a time on the A38 Bristol Street between 08:00 and 09:00 BST. Police said no one was arrested. [BBC]

Extinction Rebellion protesters stopping traffic

¶ “SECI’s Solar Tender Has Few Takers” • The Solar Energy Corporation of India found few takers for its latest 1,200-MW solar power tender. It got one bid of 450 MW and one of 150 MW. Many developers felt the tariff cap of ₹2.65/kWh (3.7¢/kWh) was unviable. Also, Andhra Pradesh’s move to renegitiate tariffs has increased risks. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “German MPs Want Higher Meat Tax” • German Green and Social Democrat politicians say the 7% sales tax rate on meat should be raised to 19% to help curb global warming and fund animal welfare improvements. The German agriculture minister objected. UN research says methane from livestock accounts for 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions. [BBC]

Bone-in pork for sale in Germany (Getty Images)

US:

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Outsold BMW, Mercedes, Audi, And Lexus Competitors In 2nd Quarter In USA – By A Landslide!” • No car in its category comes close to matching the Model 3 for sales. Tesla sold much more than three times as many Model 3s as the runner-up BMW 3 Series. Its sales were almost as great as all other top five cars put together. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EV Price Parity Coming Soon, Claims VW Executive” • The Center For Automotive Research hosts a conference for industry leaders each year in Michigan. This year, Reinhard Fischer, senior vice president for Volkswagen Group and head of strategy for VW in North America, commented on the costs of EVs, saying price parity is coming soon. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen

¶ “First Energy To Close Last Coal-Fired Plant In Pennsylvania Earlier Than Expected” • First Energy is closing its last coal-fired energy plant two years earlier than expected. The plant in Beaver County will cease operations on November 7.  Representatives of First Energy say with competition from gas and renewables, the plant is not making much money. [CBS Pittsburgh]

¶ “Gap Signs Renewable Energy Agreement With Enel Green Power” • Global apparel retailer, Gap Inc, has signed a 12-year, 90-MW, virtual power purchase agreement for the Aurora Wind Project with Enel Green Power. Gap also announced that it has set a goal to get 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Wind turbines (NREL image)

¶ “PG&E Pledges To Keep All Power Purchase Agreements Despite Bankruptcy” • PG&E said it would honor all existing power purchase agreements in a forthcoming plan to reorganize and emerge from bankruptcy. Whether legacy power contracts would survive has been a hot topic in power industry circles since bankruptcy proceedings began. [Greentech Media]

¶ “NM Governor Wants Changes In Utility Regulation For More Renewables” • New Mexico Gov Michelle Lujan Grisham is questioning decisions recently made by a powerful regulatory commission as it weighs the pending closure of a major coal-fired power plant in a case that will test the state’s new energy transition law. [Electric Light & Power]

Have an exuberantly cheery day.

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August 9 Energy News

August 9, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “The Shipping Industry Must Go Carbon Neutral To Survive” • A report from Maritime Strategies International predicts the value of all the world’s oil tankers will enter a period of dramatic decline from 2025 onward due to a dramatic collapse in demand for oil and coal. Ships built in 2015 may not be worth more than scrap metal prices in just 10 years’ time. [CNN]

Supertanker (US Navy photo, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Exxon Pressure Tactics On Potential Witnesses May Breach Ethical Boundaries” • A suit by the State from New York claims Exxon misled its investors on climate change to their financial detriment. Exxon wrote to several key investors to ask if they plan to testify. If the answer is yes, Exxon says it will serve them with subpoenas. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Change Food Production And Stop Abusing Land, Major Climate Report Warns” • Humans have damaged around a quarter of the ice-free land on Earth, a major report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned. It stressing that further degradation must be stopped to prevent catastrophic global warming. [CNN]

Industrial farming (Andre Penner | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Climate Change Food Calculator: What’s Your Diet’s Carbon Footprint?” • Switching to a plant-based diet can help fight climate change, according to the report by the UN’s IPCC. It says the West’s high consumption of meat and dairy is fuelling global warming. To find out the climate impact of what you eat and drink, use our calculator. [BBC]

World:

¶ “Expanded Shanghai Free Trade Zone Will Include Tesla Gigafactory 3” • Instead of bowing to Trump on the trade war, China elected to refocus its attention on expanding its business relationship with other countries to make up for diminished exports to the US. So it expanded Shanghai’s Free Trade Zone. And Tesla’s Gigafactory 3 is in it. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 in Shanghai (Jengtingchen, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “India Issues 1.2-GW Renewable Energy Storage Tender” • The Solar Energy Corporation of India has offered developers a new renewable energy tender for a capacity of 1.2 GW equipped with energy storage. According to tender conditions, developers can set up wind, solar, or hybrid projects for sizes ranging from 50 MW to 300 MW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Enel Fires Start Gun On Spanish Wind Build” • Enel Green Power has started construction of the Los Arcos wind farm in Spain. The €35.5 million project is located in Malaga, and is expected to be fully operational in the last quarter of 2019. Its ten turbines will each have about 3.5 MW of capacity, but details on the supplier were not given. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Image: Enel Green Power)

¶ “Japan’s TEPCO Establishes Separate Renewables Company” • Japanese electric utility TEPCO has announced its decision to establish a separate company to manage its renewable energy generation activities. TEPCO hopes to develop renewable energy projects with a total capacity of up to 7,000 MW in Japan and worldwide. [Kallanish Energy]

¶ “Chile To Reach 50% Renewable Energy By 2030” • Renewable energy is expected to comprise 50% of Chile’s power mix by 2030, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. In 2018, the share of non-hydro renewable power reached 19% of the power mix and is expected to exceed 50% of the power mix by 2030. [Electric Light & Power]

Wind farm

¶ “Power Purchase Agreements Sacrosanct, Can’t Be Reviewed” • The Union Minister of State for Power and New and Renewable Energy, RK Singh, said that PPAs are sacrosanct and that no such agreement can be reviewed. He spoke about the recent row over renewable power tariff renegotiations proposed by the Andhra Pradesh government. [The New Indian Express]

¶ “Japan To Resume Effort To Tackle Contaminated Water Problem At Fukushima” • Japan is resuming efforts to disperse a build-up of contaminated water at Fukushima Daiichi, which is stalling progress on cleaning up the site. A panel of experts will meet for the first time in eight months to consider options to get rid of the water the government said. [Japan Today]

Fukushima Daiichi water tanks (Photo: Reuters)

US:

¶ “Energy Innovation Report Claims Fuel Economy Rollback Will Cost Americans Big Bucks” • Energy Innovation studied the financial and environmental impacts of the Trump emissions rollback for automobiles. It concluded in a report that the administration’s plan will cost consumers billions while adding significantly to carbon emissions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Organic Valley Goes 100% Renewable Like Nobody Has Before” • Organic Valley joined the club of companies that committed to 100% renewable power, but with a difference. Instead of a rooftop installation or buying energy credits, it has entered into PPAs with ten Wisconsin community solar projects, totaling 32-MW. [pv magazine USA]

Renewable energy (Organic Valley image)

¶ “Study Shows How US Can Maximize Benefits Of Waste-Derived Fuels” • The US could produce enough energy each year by harnessing waste, largely bio-waste, to power the states of Oregon and Washington, all while cutting the equivalent of 37 million cars’ worth of carbon. That is according to research published in Nature Energy. [Biomass Magazine]

¶ “NY Wraps Up Offshore Transmission Study” • New York Power Authority has published a report based on lessons learned from European offshore wind transmission models. The report will help guide New York state as it achieves its 9-GW offshore wind target by 2035 and will also inform regional and national offshore wind development. [reNEWS]

Have a simply magnificent day.

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August 8 Energy News

August 8, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Cheap Renewable Energy: Cracking The Photosynthetic Process That Enables Plants To Split Water” • Scientists have identified an important photosynthetic process that enables plants to split water and powers all plant life on Earth. The process could make possible a limitless supply of cheap renewable fuel. [Phys.Org]

Hydrogen (Australian National University image)

¶ “Inside The ‘Living Laboratory,’ A Neighborhood Of Smart Homes In Alabama” • Reynolds Landing is a neighborhood of 62 smart homes developed by Alabama Power near Birmingham. The utility company is experimenting to imagine how homes will look in 2040, with predicted growth of microgrids and the internet of things. [CNN]

World:

¶ “Global Renewable Energy Market 2018 By Top Manufactures With Production And Forecast To 2025” • The Global Renewable Energy Market is projected to reach $2,152.9 billion by 2025 and is expected to grow at 4.90% during forecast period 2018 through 2025, according to a report recently produced by Big Market Research. [Innovative Reports]

Renewable energy

¶ “EU Cash Backs 547-MW Spanish Wind Build” • The European Investment Bank is to provide up to €385 million for 21 wind farms in Spain totaling 547 MW.  They are being built by Alfanar, which is based in Saudi Arabia. The projects, which are located across Spain and will generate approximately 1.491 GWh of electricity per year. [reNEWS]

¶ “Argentina Auctions 259 MW Of Clean Power” • A total of 38 renewables projects, totaling 259 MW, won in Argentina’s latest auction. Ten wind projects were awarded 128.7 MW and 13 solar plants won for a total capacity of 96.75 MW. For wind farms, the average weighted price was $58.04/MWh, while for solar the price was $57.59/MWh. [reNEWS]

Working on a wind turbine (ALE image)

¶ “A Global Drinks Giant Is Spending Over $200 Million To Build ‘Green’ Breweries In Africa” • Diageo, the British owner of iconic brands including Guinness and Johnny Walker, is going green at brewing sites across Africa with an ambitious investment drive worth $218 million. It will install solar power, biomass boilers, and water recovery equipment. [Quartz]

¶ “TEPCO Taps Peer, Toshiba, And Hitachi To Resume Nuclear Project” • TEPCO is in talks with Toshiba, Hitachi, and Chubu Electric Power on a joint venture to resume a stalled nuclear plant project in northern Japan, Nikkei has learned. They would form a company to build, operate, and maintain the Higashidori nuclear plant. [Nikkei Asian Review]

Nuclear plant in Japan (Mugu-shisai, Wikimedia Commons)

Australia:

¶ “Oz Regulator Sues Wind Farm Operators” • The Australian Energy Regulator started proceedings in federal court against four wind farm operators in South Australia for alleged breaches of the National Electricity Rules in 2016. Proceedings concern events arising from severe weather conditions that damaged transmission lines. [reNEWS]

¶ “Winds Of Change For Renewable Energy Future” • Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has officially opened one of Queensland’s largest wind farms, another major step towards a cleaner future for the state powered by renewable energy. She said the $400 million 53-turbine project was part of the renewable energy boom in Queensland. [Mirage News]

Windy Hill Wind Farm in Queensland
(Carole Mackinney, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Investors Interest In Renewable Energy Assets And Corporate PPAs Remain, Allens Says” • There is continued investor interest in both renewable energy assets and corporate power-purchase agreements, according to the multinational law firm Allens. It confirmed another PPA matter with a deal linked to cereal maker Kellogg’s. [Australasian Lawyer]

US:

¶ “Smithfield Foods Completes ‘Manure-To-Energy’ Project In US” • US pork processor Smithfield Foods completed a major ‘manure-to-energy’ project in Missouri. The firm has built a pipeline from one of its pig farms in the state to the natural gas mainline. It sends low-pressure natural gas to the pipeline for the city of Milan. [Bioenergy Insight Magazine]

Pigs at a farm

¶ “New Mexico Ranked Third In The Nation For Wind Energy Development” • According to the AWEA’s Q2 market report, New Mexico has 2,774 MW of windpower under construction or development, trailing Wyoming’s 4,831 MW and Texas’ 9,015 MW. It is ahead of Iowa, with 2,623 MW, and South Dakota, with 2,183 MW. [Carlsbad Current-Argus]

¶ “Dominion Energy Plans To Build Four Storage Pilots And Study Them For Five Years” • Virginia utility Dominion Energy asked regulators for permission to build four battery storage facilities as pilots to test the technology’s functionality. After expected completion in 2020, Dominion will study the pilot operations for five years. [Greentech Media]

Dominion Energy solar array

¶ “Regional Water Authority To Be Completely Powered By Green Energy” • In South Central Connecticut, the Regional Water Authority announced that it has signed a contract allowing it to be completely powered by renewable energy, starting in December 2019. The contract will not increase energy costs over what it pays today. [Milford Mirror]

¶ “Ormat Commences Operation of First Geothermal Solar Hybrid Power Plant” • Ormat Technologies, based in Nevada, has commenced commercial operation of its first geothermal and solar hybrid project. The project is a 7-MW AC solar expansion of its Tungsten Mountain geothermal project in Churchill County, Nevada. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Have a superlatively exhilarating day.

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August 7 Energy News

August 7, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “How Shorter Workweeks Could Save Earth” • There can be no doubt that we are living unsustainably, but there’s a novel idea that could turn this around: we work less, thus slowing down the global economy and curbing our seemingly endless appetite to consume more stuff. Is that feasible? And would it really save the world? It could at least help. [BBC]

Flooding (Photo: Joe Raedle | Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Antineutrino Detection Could Help Remotely Monitor Nuclear Reactors” • Technology to measure subatomic particles known as antineutrinos as they flow from nuclear reactors could allow continuous remote monitoring designed to detect fueling changes that might indicate the diversion of nuclear materials, even of a single fuel assembly. [Newswise]

¶ “How Vaccines Could Fix Our Problem With Cow Burps” • Livestock may be responsible for up to 14% of all greenhouse emissions from human activities. But scientists at AgResearch hope a vaccine targeting methane making microbes could make it possible to reduce the contribution livestock farming is making to global warming. [BBC]

Cows grazing (Credit: AgResearch)

World:

¶ “Indian EVs Become Cheaper After Tax Rate Cut” • To promote the sale of EVs, the Goods and Services Tax Council, a committee of finance ministers of all states of India headed by the finance minister of the country, have agreed to reduce the GST rate on electric cars from 12% to 5% and the rate on electric chargers from 18% to 5%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Car Sales In UK Falter As BEV Sales Soar” • The Society of Motor Manufacturing and Traders says that in July, UK new car sales were down by a whopping 4.1%. And diesel sales, which have trended downward for 28 months, were off by a further 22%. Sales of new fully electric cars, however, were up 158% in July compared with a year ago. [CleanTechnica]

EV charging station (Photo: Zachary Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Don’t Reduce Purchase Of Green Power: High Court” • The Andhra Pradesh High Court has ordered the state’s power transmission company to refrain from arbitrarily reducing the power it transmits from renewable projects, giving a breather to developers who have set up more than 7,500 MW of solar and wind energy capacity. [Economic Times]

¶ “Report Puts North Queensland At The Frontline Of Climate Change” • A Climate Council report shows North Queensland is one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change but is also leading the renewable energy charge. It outlines the threats facing Queensland as well as the economic opportunities for the state. [TropicNow]

Wetland in Queensland (Photo: Wt Tropics Waterways)

¶ “Finley Solar Farm Starts Sending Power To NSW Grid” • Just days after the 70-MW West Wyalong solar and battery project got the all-clear to connect to the grid in the New South Wales Riverina region, the nearby 175-MW DC (133-MW AC) Finley Solar Farm is starting to show signs of activity on the National Electricity Market. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ “Proterra Launches Proterra Powered To Help” • Electric bus company Proterra has a new vehicle electrification offering called Proterra Powered. It makes the same technology Proterra has used in its vehicles for years available to other manufacturers to use in theirs. Most recently, Proterra electrified Thomas Built Buses’ Jouley school bus. [CleanTechnica]

School bus powered by Proterra (Proterra image)

¶ “Illinois Starbucks Now Powered With 100% Wind Energy” • It’s official. More than 340 Illinois Starbucks-operated stores are now powered with 100% renewable energy from wind power generated by the HillTopper wind farm in Logan County, Illinois. This will include the Starbucks Chicago Roastery, which is set to open later this year. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Dominion Energy Calls 500-MW Solar RFP In Virginia” • Dominion Energy Virginia issued a solicitation for up to 500 MW of solar capacity to be operating in 2021 and 2022. Projects are required to be larger than 5 MW. Dominion Energy’s goal is to have 3 GW of solar and wind energy in operation or under development in Virginia by 2022. [Renewables Now]

Dominion Energy solar array (Dominion Energy image)

¶ “US Installs 736 MW Of New Wind As Pipeline Grows To Record Highs” • The US wind energy sector saw record wind capacity under construction or in advanced development in the second quarter of 2019, with its pipeline reaching nearly 42 GW, and 736 MW of capacity commissioned. One factor is demand by Fortune 500 companies. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EDF Preps 300-MW Nebraska Giant For Construction” • EDF Renewables North America is preparing to start construction of its 300-MW Milligan 1 wind project in Nebraska. Milligan 1, to be located in Saline County in south-eastern Nebraska, will use a combination of Vestas V110 turbines as well as turbines supplied by Siemens Gamesa. [reNEWS]

EDF wind farm (EDF image)

¶ “South Dakota Green Light For 200-MW Sweetland” • Scout Clean Energy has secured construction permit approval from the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission for its 200-MW Sweetland wind farm. The project, which will comprise up to 71 GE 2.82 MW series turbines. The approval means Scout now can take the power to market. [reNEWS]

¶ “EDPR Makes California PV-Storage Power Play” • EDP Renewables North America is to sell 110 MW of electricity from the Sonrisa solar farm and battery storage facility to California community choice aggregator San Jose Clean Energy. The 20-year power purchase agreement covers 100 MW of solar energy and 10 MW of storage capacity. [reNEWS]

Have a wonderfully happy day.

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August 6 Energy News

August 6, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Shout It From The Rooftops: Solar Delivers Far More Than Renewable Energy” • A new study from Environment America Research and Policy Center and Frontier Group lays out benefits that rooftop solar panels deliver beyond those their owner gets. Solar power benefits all grid energy customers and society as a whole. [Greentech Media]

Installing rooftop solar panels

Science and Technology:

¶ “July Confirmed As Hottest Month Recorded” • July 2019 has replaced July 2016 as the hottest month on record. This July’s global temperatures marginally exceeded the previous record, according to meteorologists of the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Programme, which analyzes temperature data from around the planet. [CNN]

World:

¶ “Extinction Rebellion: Ex-Government Adviser Fined Over Climate Protest” • A former government adviser has been fined for his part in the Extinction Rebellion protests which brought parts of London to a standstill. Dr Steven Melia, 57, broke down as he told a court that his actions were a justified response to a “catastrophic” climate emergency. [BBC]

Extinction Rebellion protest (Getty Images)

¶ “Protests Come To Coal Country In Germany And Kentucky” • It’s a tough time to be in the coal business. Though they are doing so for different reasons, protesters in Kentucky and the Mannheim region of Germany are blocking coal plants. The Block 9 coal plant, at less than two years old, is said to be the dirtiest coal facility in Germany. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Utility Giants Urge Government To Establish New Onshore Wind Strategy” • Utility giants, including EDF Renewables UK, SSE Renewables, and Siemens Gamesa, are calling on the UK’s government to establish a new onshore windpower strategy. They say it is needed so the UK can meet a 2050 net zero goal at the least cost to consumers. [Energy Live News]

Onshore wind turbine (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Canadian Solar Fires Up 100-MW Cafayate” • Canadian Solar has started commercial operation of the 100-MW Cafayate PV facility in Argentina, the country’s largest solar farm. The PV plant is located in the Salta province and comprises over 289,000 of Canadian Solar’s high efficiency modules. It will generate over 216 GWh of electricity annually. [reNEWS]

¶ “Geothermal Energy To Power Factories Of Food Giant Nestlé In The Philippines” • Food giant Nestlé has reportedly signed a power purchase agreement with AboitizPower for 17 MW of electric power from the MakBan geothermal plant. Nestlé Philippines has a goal of minimizing its environmental impact by using renewable energy. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

Geothermal plant (Mike Gonzalez, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “EU Makes A New Bet On Green Hydrogen” • The European Commission has awarded a contract for the construction of one of the world’s largest electrolysis plants for producing green hydrogen. The project partners will work and conduct research to develop an innovative hydrogen demonstration plant in Linz, Austria. [Transmission & Distribution World]

¶ “Europe’s Record Heat Melted Swiss Glaciers” • According to initial findings from the Swiss Glacier Monitoring Network, Swiss glaciers experienced unusually high melt rates during the last two heat waves, which occurred in June and July. The network’s head tweeted that Swiss glaciers lost about 800 million metric tons of ice. [Science Magazine]

Aletsch Glacier (Sam Rayner | Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

US:

¶ “Little Rhody Hits The Climate Change Litigation Big Time” • After Rhode Island filed a lawsuit against oil companies on climate change, the defendants tried hard to move the case to federal court, where they hope any final appeal would favor them. But a Republican-appointed federal judge has moved the case back to the state’s legal system. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Voices Of 100%: Cleveland Commits To Clean And Equitable Energy” • Cleveland was once a center for oil refining and the environmental pollution that accompanied it. But the city has committed itself to 100% renewable energy. Now, as the city celebrates the 50th anniversary of the infamous Cuyahoga River fire, ILSR takes a look at its history. [CleanTechnica]

Cuyahoga River and Cleveland (Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “How Nevada Is Leading The Renewable Energy And Battery Storage Charge ” • Lawmakers throughout the US debated new energy policies during the 2019 legislative session. Nevada is among the states leading the way forward. Several new laws were passed in the state that will affect both power companies and consumers for years to come. [POWER magazine]

¶ “As Climate Reckoning Arrives Over Agriculture, USDA’s Scientists Face Censorship” • A government climate scientist, who says the Trump administration buried a groundbreaking report he authored, has left the US Department of Agriculture in protest over the “political views” top officials allegedly imposed on his work. [ThinkProgress]

Agriculture (Matthias Bein | Picture Alliance via Getty Images)

¶ “Dominion’s 100% Renewables Tariff Could Kill Virginia’s Retail Choice Ambitions” • Dominion Energy filed an application with Virginia’s State Corporation Commission in May for approval of its 100% renewable energy tariff. That tariff offering would keep other retail electricity providers from competing with 100% renewable options. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Energy Dept Plans Nuclear Test ‘Fast’ Reactor” • A new nuclear test reactor is needed as part of an effort to revamp the nation’s fading nuclear power industry by developing safer fuel and power plants, according to the DOE. The agency will prepare an environmental impact statement on building the test reactor in Idaho or Tennessee by the end of 2025. [KTVZ]

Have a thoroughly charming day.

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August 5 Energy News

August 5, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Overlapping Crisis Of Climate Change Cause Of Ecological Land Grab” • The crises of climate change, unsustainable food systems, and mass species extinction are on a course towards what might best be called an ecological land grab. Experts who once touted “win-win” scenarios for the environment now talk about “trade-offs.” [Deccan Chronicle]

Tropical forest (Photo: AFP)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Bigger Is Not Always Better: How Small Scale Wind Turbines Could Save The Sector” • Halo Energy has developed a shrouded wind turbine that brings efficient energy production to small-scale turbines. The shroud doubles the output of electricity. It could improve the performance of US wind and address the imbalances in the sector. [Power Technology]

¶ “The Animals That Will Survive Climate Change” • With one in every four species facing extinction, which animals are the best equipped to survive the climate crisis? American bullfrogs might benefit from climate change, but some scientists say we humans, even with our extraordinary capacity for innovation and ability to adapt, probably won’t survive. [BBC]

American bullfrog (DrStew82, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “Elizabeth May Weighs In On Whether Elected Officials Could Be Criminally Liable For Their Climate Policies” • Elizabeth May, the leader of the Green Party of Canada, warned other politicians that they could face legal consequences in their lifetimes if they fail to take the climate crisis seriously. Some people are calling for trials for crimes against humanity. [Straight.com]

¶ “Stop Abusing Land, Scientists Warn” • Scientists and officials on the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are meeting in Geneva to finalizing a document on the climate. It will deliver a stark condemnation of the damage we are wreaking on the land surface of the planet with farming and land use that cause CO₂ emissions. [BBC]

Clearing forest for palm oil plantations (EPA image)

¶ “Wood Mackenzie Report Claims World Will Still Get 85% Of Its Energy From Fossil Fuels In 2040” • According to Wood Mackenzie, renewable energy provides 8% of global electricity, a figure that will triple by 2040. But by then, growth in developing countries is expected to increase the demand for energy in all sectors by 25%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Construction Starts At Yandin Wind Farm, Set To Be WA’s Biggest” • Alinta Energy has announced that construction has commenced at the Yandin wind farm, which is set to become Western Australia’s largest wind project, with some of Australia’s best wind resources. The 214-MW wind farm is expected to have a capacity factor of 50%. [RenewEconomy]

Wind turbines (Alinta Energy)

¶ “Indigo Council Declares Climate Emergency, Aims For 100% Renewables” • Victoria’s Indigo Shire Council voted to declare a climate emergency and is now looking to reduce emissions and energy costs with a renewables PPA. Doing so, it joins such other councils across Australia as the cities of Darwin, Sydney, and Melbourne. [Solar Quotes]

¶ “Fears Of ‘Chernobyl On Ice’ As Russia Prepares Floating Nuclear Plant” • Russia is planning to dispatch its first floating nuclear power station, on a 4,000-mile journey on the Northern Sea Route. It is a milestone for the country’s growing use of nuclear power and its plans for Arctic expansion. Greenpeace has fears of a “floating Chernobyl.” [The Guardian]

Akademik Lomonosov nuclear station (Peter Kovalev | Tass)

US:

¶ “Power Struggle Hindering US Growth Of Renewable Energy, Experts Say” • As more consumer options emerge in the US for greener technologies, there is a power struggle raging for control of the electricity market. It is between customers and vendors of solar power, on the one hand, and utilities that sell and deliver energy to the masses, on the other. [UPI.com]

¶ “US Businesses Are Benefiting From Ambitious Environmental Goals” • A study led by Deloitte shows that while businesses are still driven to manage their resources with a view to economics, they have also become more engaged in pursuing sustainable development. Environmental considerations have become a more serious talking point. [Forbes]

Solar panels on a rooftop (Photo: Chuttersnap | Unsplash)

¶ “Al Gore And The Climate Reality Project Visit Minneapolis” • Former Vice President Al Gore led a Climate Reality Leadership Corps training in Minneapolis, giving climate activists, leaders, and organizers an opportunity to further their knowledge about the science surrounding climate change and solutions to prevent further harm to the planet. [Mpls St Paul Magazine]

¶ “Voters Really Want Presidential Candidates To Talk More About Science” • A survey in Iowa found that 74% of Iowans say it is important for the presidential candidates to tell us how science and scientific research will affect their policymaking decisions, but only 22% recall them discussing science issues during the past two months. [Lab Manager Magazine]

Have a flawlessly satisfying day.

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August 4 Energy News

August 4, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Big Auto’s Existential Problem: Cannibalize Cash Cows Or Evolve Too Slowly” • Legacy automakers have a dilemma on their hands. Transitioning to electric cars is hard. A few German automakers have calmly voiced their concerns. Others have resorted to all-out whining. So what about Big Auto in America? Here is a look. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 (Photo Credit: Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Electrify America And Stable Partner On Robochargers For Autonomous Vehicles” • Autonomous electric cars will have to be capable of being charged without human operation. Electrify America partnered with Stable Auto, an EV fleet charging company based in San Francisco, to deploy a handful of robotic EV chargers. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Saudi Arabia Invites Bids For Six Solar Energy Projects” • Saudi Arabia has invited sixty companies to submit bids for six solar energy projects with a combined capacity of 1.5 GW. The Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources expects the projects to attract about 5.2 billion Saudi riyals ($1.4 billion) of private-sector investment. [The National]

PVs in Saudi Arabia (Photo: Reuters)

¶ “Scientist who called out Bolsonaro on Amazon deforestation is fired” • Ricardo Galvão, the director of Brazil’s National Space and Research Institute, said he was terminated after defending satellite data that showed deforestation was 88% higher in June compared to a year ago. Brazilian President Bolsonaro called the findings “lies.” [CNN]

¶ “Renewable Energy Sources To Be Introduced In Libya” • Fayez al-Sarraj, head of the presidential council of the Libyan Government of National Accord, met in Tripoli with Eni’s CEO Claudio Descalzi to discuss the general situation of Libya, with a focus on introducing renewable energy in the country and Eni’s activities there. [Technical Review Middle East]

Wind turbines at sunrise

¶ “Five International Developers Bid To Establish First Solar Power Project In Qatar” • Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation has received five bids for the first solar power project in Qatar. The West Doha Solar Power Plant is to have a capacity of at least 700 MW, with 350 MW to be grid connected in the first quarter of 2021. [The Peninsula Qatar]

¶ “Nervous Power Networks Look Beyond The UK” • In the political changes in the UK, it is the companies behind the gas pipes and electricity wires which have emerged as the easiest political targets. After greater regulation pushing down profits, Labour has pledged to bring the energy companies back under public control. [The Guardian]

Pylons and turbines in Kent (Photo: Gareth Fuller | PA)

¶ “Germany Hopes To Replace Coal With Hydrogen” • Germany is increasingly looking to hydrogen as an alternative to gas to end the dependence on coal. Last month the Economy Ministry announced funding for 20 hydrogen research labs, and natural gas pipeline owners asked for rule changes to allow hydrogen to be added to the mix. [Energy Reporters]

¶ “Nuclear Power In Australia To Be Examined By Multi-Party Parliamentary Inquiry” • The potential for nuclear power in Australia is set to be examined by a parliamentary inquiry, as requested by Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor. He insisted Australia’s moratorium on nuclear energy would remain in place during the inquiry. [ABC News]

EDF nuclear plant in France (Benoit Tessier | Reuters)

US:

¶ “Solar Power On The Rise In Susquehanna Valley” • Nine separate utility-grade solar energy projects are proposed to be built in Montour, Northumberland and Snyder counties, a database for the PJM electric grid shows. If constructed, each would tie into PJM, which serves 65 million people across 13 states and Washington, DC. [Sunbury Daily Item]

¶ “Colstrip Owner’s Losses Mount As Hunt For Cheaper Coal Continues” • With two of its four units shutting down this year, Colstrip Power Plant is still struggling to find cheap coal and retain employees, plant operator Talen Energy told Montana lawmakers. The company abruptly announced in June it would close two units three years early. [Billings Gazette]

Colstrip power plant (Adam Fondren, Billings Gazette file photo)

¶ “MECO Makes Next Big Push For Renewables” • Maui Electric Co had a goal of 30% renewable energy by 2020. It is already at 37%, according to its website, and it is on track to reach the state’s goal of 100% renewable energy by 2045. A second phase in growth is to take it to 80% renewable energy, or maybe even close to 100%. [Maui News]

¶ “Is Diablo Canyon Safe During Fire Season?” • After high winds caused deadly fires at electric lines, PG&E and SoCal Edison plan to shut off parts of their grid during high wind events. The Diablo Canyon nuclear power station relies on the grid to power its own nuclear reactors. So what does that mean if a sudden blackout happens? (Podcast) [KCRW]

Have an excitingly outstanding day.

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August 3 Energy News

August 3, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “We May Have A Future Without Joshua Trees Thanks To Climate Change, Study Says” • Can you imagine a world without Joshua trees? A study by University of California-Riverside scientists says that could be the new reality, thanks to climate change. It says the hearty American desert trees could be driven to extinction by a drier climate. [CNN]

Joshua trees (National Park Service image)

¶ “Climate Change Made Europe’s July Heat Wave Up To 3°C Hotter, Scientists Say” • The scorching heat wave that broke records across Europe last month was made a hundred times more likely, more intense, and up to 3°C hotter by climate change, according to a study from an international alliance of meteorological researchers. [CNN]

¶ “Amid Historic Heat, Greenland Ice Sheet Loses 11 Billion Tons Of Water In One Day Of Melting” • Greenland, home to the world’s second largest ice sheet, is melting at such an alarming rate that scientists are warning it’s on track with worst-case scenario models for the year 2070. On July 31 alone, the island lost 11 billion tons of ice. [Sand Hills Express]

Greenland’s melting ice (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center)

World:

¶ “Arctic Wildfires: How Bad Are They And What Caused Them?” • Wildfires are ravaging parts of the Arctic, with areas of Siberia, Alaska, Greenland, and Canada engulfed in flames and smoke. While wildfires are common at this time of year, record-breaking summer temperatures and strong winds have made this year’s fires particularly bad. [BBC]

¶ “Amazon To Develop Second Wind Farm In Ireland” • Amazon is to develop a second wind farm in Ireland. Once operational, the new Amazon Wind Farm will provide 23.2 MW of renewable capacity, with expected generation of 68,000 MWh of electricity annually. Amazon’s earlier Irish wind project was announced in March of this year. [Big News Network]

Wind farm

¶ “Share of Fossil Fuel In Indian Power Mix Drops For 14th Consecutive Quarter” • According to CleanTechnica Research, the share of fossil fuel-based capacity in India’s total installed capacity declined for a 14th consecutive quarter at the end of June 2019. From 69.60% in Q2 2015, use of fossil fuels fell to 63.05% in Q2 of 2019. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “‘Bolder Action Needed’ To Meet Paris Climate Goals” • Without bolder action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions the world will not meet the Paris climate accord’s goals, according to a report by Wood Mackenzie. The report shows that the world is on a trajectory for global warming above pre-industrial levels of 3°C rather than the target of 2°C. [reNEWS]

Coal-burning power plant (Pixabay image)

¶ “Falling Renewable Prices To Aid India Achieve Its Clean Energy Target, Says Amitabh Kant” • India will easily meet its goal of installing 175 GW of renewable capacity by 2022 given the rate at which clean energy tariffs, especially solar tariffs, are falling, according to NITI Aayog’s Chief Executive Officer Amitabh Kant. [BloombergQuint]

¶ “Hohe See Nears The Finish Line” • Fred Olsen Windcarrier jack-up Blue Tern is in Esbjerg for its final load of turbines for EnBW’s 497-MW Hohe See offshore wind farm in the German North Sea, with sister vessel Brave Tern soon to arrive in the port for its final load. Hohe See will feature 87 Siemens Gamesa 7-MW turbines. [reNEWS]

Offshore installation (EnBW image)

¶ “Ottawa To Buy Back Renewable Energy To Power Federal Facilities In Nova Scotia” • An agreement between the province and Ottawa will see more renewable energy added to Nova Scotia’s power grid to help the federal government meet its targets. The agreement is for supplying federally-owned facilities in Nova Scotia. [TheChronicleHerald.ca]

¶ “Low River Levels To Affect French Nuclear Power Generation From August 8” • French utility EDF may curb power generation at its 3,000-MW Chooz nuclear reactor in the north of France due to the low flow rate of the Meuse river which it uses to cool the two reactors at the plant. This summer’s heat waves have caused other closings. [Reuters]

Chooz nuclear plant (MOSSOT, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Disposable Plastic Water Bottles Banned From San Francisco Airport” • Gone are the days of buying a last-minute pre-flight plastic bottle of water at San Francisco International Airport. In an effort to make SFO more environmentally friendly, the airport is adding plastic water bottles to its list of restricted food service items starting August 20. [CNN]

¶ “Amazon Announces Renewable Energy Project In Virginia” • Amazon announced a new renewable energy project in Virginia, its seventh solar farm in the state. The project will produce clean energy starting in 2020 in support of the company’s long-term goal to power 100% of its global operations with renewable energy. [WSLS 10]

Solar array (Copyright 2019 by WSLS 10 – All rights reserved)

¶ “Organic Valley Reaches 100% Renewable Energy Goal With Completion Of Three Community Solar Projects” • Organic Valley, the farmer-owned organic dairy and produce cooperative headquartered in La Farge, Wisconsin, announced that it has reached its 100% renewable energy target set in 2017 as three solar projects are completed. [La Crosse Tribune]

¶ “California Farmers Are Planting Solar Panels As Water Supplies Dry Up” • Solar projects could replace some of the jobs and tax revenues that may be lost as constrained water supplies force California’s agriculture industry to scale back. In the San Joaquin Valley alone, farmers may need to take more than half a million acres out of production. [Seattle Times]

Have a spectacularly successful day.

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August 2 Energy News

August 2, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Aerosol Emissions May Not Cool The Planet As Much As We Thought” • While humans have been overheating our planet for the last couple of centuries, other forms of our pollution have been quietly offsetting a bit of the damage, helping to cool the climate. But the extent of the cooling provided by aerosols isn’t thoroughly understood. [Ars Technica]

Cloud rising from a fire near Yosemite National Park

¶ “This Irish Teenager May Have A Solution For A Plastic-Free Ocean” • A teenager from Ireland may have found a solution for plastic pollution in the ocean. Ferrofluids, nontoxic magnetic liquids made up of oil and magnetite, attract the microplastics because of similar properties. The microplastics can the be removed with magnets. [CNN]

World:

¶ “UK’s 10 Warmest Years All Occurred Since 2002” • The top 10 warmest years on record in the UK have all occurred since 2002, analysis from the Met Office says. When it comes to the coldest years, the most recent in the top 10 was in 1963. The patterns of warm and cold years in Britain are a clear signal of climate change, say scientists. [BBC News]

UK train in shimmering heat (Photo: PA Media)

¶ “Just 10% Of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Cash ‘Could Pay For Green Transition'” • Fossil fuels get over $370 billion (£305 billion) a year in support, while renewables get only $100 billion, a report from the International Institute for Sustainable Development found. Just 10% to 30% of the fossil fuel subsidies would pay for a global transition to clean energy, it said. [The Guardian]

¶ “Portugal Bags Lowest-Cost Solar Bid In The World” • The Portuguese energy secretariat received bids on 1.15 GW of solar power at an average cost of €20.33/MWh ($22.53/MWh). One of the bids was made at €14.76/MWh ($16.44/MWh or 1.644¢/kWh), probably a new world record. The bids represent investments of about €800 million ($887 million). [CleanTechnica]

Solar plant in Portugal by Acciona (Acciona courtesy image)

¶ “German Utilities Firm RWE To Close Its Last UK Coal Plant In 2020” • The German utility giant RWE will close its last UK coal plant after the coming winter, leaving only four remaining coal plants in Britain.The Aberthaw B power station in south Wales will close at the end of March 2020, after generating electricity from coal for half a century. [The Guardian]

¶ “Hamburg, Germany, Has Its First Autonomous Shuttle Bus” • Hamburg’s first autonomous shuttle bus starts its trial run next month. By mid 2020, it should start carrying passengers. There is room in it for up to ten passengers. By the time the ITS World Congress opens in October 2021, the bus should be operating autonomously. [CleanTechnica]

Autonomous bus presentation (Courtesy of Hamburg Marketing)

US:

¶ “Yellow Cab Getting 10 Tesla Model 3s In Columbus, Ohio” • The Yellow Cab taxi fleet in Columbus, Ohio, is getting a boost this week with the news that it is adding 10 Tesla Model 3s to its fleet. The move comes as part of the fleet’s transition to cleaner alternatives and a desire to put the current generation of electric cars to the test as taxis. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Blackjewel Miners Block Railroad To Demand Pay From Bankrupt Coal Company” • Some coal miners left without pay by the bankruptcy of coal company Blackjewel LLC are protesting by blocking a coal train in eastern Kentucky. The stand-off began when five miners blocked the train from leaving the plant, which is in Cumberland, Kentucky. [WMKY]

Protesting miners (Sydney Boles | Ohio Valley Resource)

¶ “Deadly Blast On Major Natural Gas Pipeline Spurs US Probe” • A deadly explosion on an Enbridge Inc natural gas pipeline killed one woman and burned several structures in central Kentucky, including nearby homes. The blast prompted a local evacuation. Flames shot up over 300 feet (91 meters) and were visible from up to 70 miles away. [Bloomberg]

¶ “37 Injured In Texas Exxon Mobil Refinery Explosion And Fire” • An explosion and fire at an Exxon Mobil oil refinery in Texas left 37 people with minor injuries. It is the latest of a series of petrochemical industry blazes this year in the Houston area. The fire began after an explosion at about 11:07 am at an Exxon Mobil plant in Baytown. [EMS1.com]

Exxon Mobil plant fire (Yi-Chin Lee | Houston Chronicle via AP)

¶ “On The Road To Renewables: New Energy Storage Facility Slated For Chateaugay” • New York Power Authority announced it’s spending nearly $30 million on an energy storage facility in Chateaugay, in Franklin County, on the state’s northern border. The investment is part of the state’s effort to increase reliance on renewable energy. [North Country Public Radio]

¶ “US Boasts ‘Record’ Wind Activity” • Total US wind capacity reached 97,960 MW in the second quarter of 2019, with a further record 41,801 MW under construction or at an advanced stage of development, according to data from the American Wind Energy Association. Work on more than 200 wind farms is underway across 33 states. [reNEWS]

Worker on a turbine blade (AWEA image)

¶ “Enel On 302-MW Double Time In The US” • Enel Green Power North America has started construction of two wind farms in the US with a combined capacity over 302 MW. The 66-MW Whitney Hill wind project is in Logan County, Illinois, and The 236.5-MW White Cloud wind project is in Nodaway County, Missouri. [reNEWS]

¶ “Exelon Could Shut Plants, Take Other Actions To Address US Power Market Challenges” • Exelon is prepared to meet power market headwinds by shutting uneconomic power plants if necessary, executives said during the company’s second-quarter 2019 earnings call. One plant it will close is the Three Mile Island nuclear plant. [S&P Global]

Have an extraordinarily jolly day.

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August 1 Energy News

August 1, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Jay Inslee: I’ve witnessed the devastation climate change can cause” • Businesses flooded out in Davenport, Iowa; homes burned to ashes in Agoura Hills, California; families breathe in toxic fumes in south Philadelphia. American communities are paying the price for American politicians who refuse to confront the fossil fuel industry. [CNN]

Jay Inslee (Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “Former Audi CEO Rupert Stadler Charged With Fraud Over Diesel Scandal” • German prosecutors have charged former Audi CEO Rupert Stadler with fraud in connection with the 2015 diesel emissions scandal that rocked the Volkswagen Group. Volkswagen has admitted that it rigged millions of diesel engines to cheat on emissions tests. [CNN]

¶ “LEVC Says Electric Taxis Have Saved £3.5 Million In Fuel Costs For London Cabbies” • The London Electric Vehicle Company says London taxi cab operators have saved £3.5 million in fuel costs since it introduced its PHEV electric cab last year. The electrified black cab has a range of 80 miles and an onboard range extender gasoline engine. [CleanTechnica]

Electric Taxi (Courtesy LEVC)

¶ “Russian Army Ordered To Tackle Massive Wildfires” • Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian army to help fight massive wildfires raging in the east. The decision was taken after Mr Putin was briefed on the growing crisis by the head of the emergencies ministry. About 3 million hectares (7.4 million acres) have been affected. [BBC]

¶ “Clean Energy Set To Provide 35% Of Australia’s Electricity Within Two Years” • Analysts say clean energy will be providing 35% of Australia’s total electricity needs within two years, as data provided by a report from consultants Green Energy Markets underlines the pace at which solar power is transforming the national energy market. [The Guardian]

Rooftop solar systems in Australia (Dan Himbrechts | AAP)

¶ “Queensland – Australia’s Greatest Fan Of Renewable Energy” • Australia’s soon-to-be largest wind farm is already generating power in Queensland. All 123 planned turbines will be up and running early next year. The state has more than 2400 MW of large‑scale renewable energy capacity operating already and 900 MW more have been financed. [Mirage News]

¶ “Second Wind For GE” • GE India is making a bold bet on wind power, disruptive technology, and a new business model. The company has patented a hybrid technology to make renewable power available to a grid 24×7 through different combinations of solar, wind, hydro, and storage, managed by intelligent control systems. [Fortune India]

GE manufacturing facility in Pune (Image: Sanjay Rawat)

¶ “Energy Storage To ‘Top 1 TW By 2040′” • Energy storage will grow to 1095 GW in 2040, compared with 9 GW last year, boosted by cheaper lithium-ion battery technology, according to new research by BloombergNEF. The 122-fold boom will require $662 billion of investment, said BNEF in the ‘Energy Storage Outlook 2019’ report. [reNEWS]

¶ “Fukushima Governor Accepts TEPCO Plan To Scrap No 2 Nuclear Plant And Store Spent Fuel On Site” • Fukushima Gov Masao Uchibori said his prefecture will accept a decision by TEPCO to scrap the Fukushima No 2 nuclear complex. The Fukushima No 2 plant is located near the No 1 plant crippled in the March 2011 disaster. [The Japan Times]

Fukushima No 2 (IAEA Imagebank, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Colorado Comes To Terms With All Major Automakers On Emissions And ZEV Mandates” • Just after Jared Polis took office as governor of Colorado in January, he announced that his state would join 11 other states to implement California’s auto emissions policies. Now, like California, Colorado has made a deal to move ahead on that. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Southwest Monsoons Getting More Frequent And Intense” • Scientists studying monsoon storms in the Southwest found that, compared to 1970, storms are now producing 6-11% more rain per storm, while the time the storms last hasn’t changed. This means each storm is not only dumping more water, but is more intense. [CleanTechnica]

Monsoon storm (Photo by Jennifer Sensiba)

¶ “Entergy Says It Plans To Invest Big In Renewable Energy Over The Next Decade” • Entergy Corp said Wednesday that it plans to add substantially to its renewable energy capacity over the next decade, riding a trend of technological advances and lower costs, as well as bowing to political pressure to move away from fossil fuels. [NOLA.com]

¶ “Microsoft’s Planned Arizona Data Centers Will Run On 100% Renewables” • Microsoft’s upcoming data center campuses in El Mirage and Goodyear, Arizona, will be powered by 100% renewable energy. The cloud company is partnering with First Solar and will be getting electricity from its 150-MW Sun Streams 2 PV solar plant. [DatacenterDynamics]

Horses and Solar panels (Sebastian Moss)

¶ “US Consumers Expect Changes In Energy Supplies, Autos In 10 Years: Survey” • US consumers expect that in the next 10 years they will be able to switch to new forms of energy with a lower impact on the environment once the price has dropped an affordable level, according to a survey by accountants Ernst & Young LLP. [ETAuto.com]

¶ “Georgia Power Orders Fuel For Plant Vogtle Unit 3” • Georgia Power has ordered the first nuclear fuel load for Unit 3 at Plant Vogtle, which is under construction. It is the first such order for a new reactor in the US in decades. The order comprises 157 fuel assemblies, each 14 feet tall, to be loaded into the Unit 3 reactor vessel for startup. [Aiken Standard]

Have a fabulously exquisite day.

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July 31 Energy News

July 31, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Greenland Is Melting In A Heatwave. That’s Everyone’s Problem” • Extreme heat bowled over Europe last week, smashing records in its wake. Now, the heatwave that started in the Sahara has rolled into Greenland, where more records are expected to crumble in the coming days. This has effects across the globe. [CNN]

Greenland (Jakec, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Turning Heat Into Light Could Make Solar Panels 80% Efficient, Rice Researchers Say” • Scientists at Rice University are turning heat into light which can be used to make electricity. They say their research could ultimately lead to solar panels that are 80% efficient, nearly four times as efficient as any panels that are commercially available today. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Porsche Has 30,000 Reservations For Its Taycan Electric 4-Door Sports Car” • The new Porsche Taycan all-electric 4-door sedan will be in production soon and the company says it already has 30,000 reservations for the car. In light of that level of interest, the initial plan to build 20,000 cars a year has been doubled to 40,000. [CleanTechnica]

Porsche Taycan (Porsche image)

¶ “University Of Cambridge Announces Science Based Target For Carbon Reduction” • The University of Cambridge in the UK announced last week that it is the first university in the world to adopt a 1.5°C Science Based Target for carbon reduction, which will see it reduce its energy-related CO₂ emissions to “absolute zero” by 2048. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “India And Australia To Lead Cost Competitive Renewables In Asia Pacific” • India and Australia are expected to lead a regional shift in power generation costs over the next few years, according to new figures from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. The shift will see renewable energy sources cost competitive with fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

Hamilton Solar Farm in Australia (Edify Energy image)

¶ “State Minister For Energy And Mining Opens New Engie Wind Farm To Help Power South Australia” • Engie opened its Willogoleche Wind Farm in South Australia, one of the largest renewable energy projects completed in the state. It has a capacity of 119 MW, enough to deliver renewable energy to 80,000 homes. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Welsh Port Moves 100% Of Its Electricity Usage To Renewable Energy” • In Wales, the Port of Milford Haven has continued its commitment to renewable energy by switching its energy provider to Octopus Energy. The move to Octopus means that 100% of the Port’s electricity usage is guaranteed to be coming from renewable sources. [Business News Wales]

Welsh solar array

¶ “Enel Signs With AngloAmerican In Chile Group’s Largest Renewable Energy Supply Deal” • Enel Generación Chile and global mining company AngloAmerican signed an agreement for supply up to 3 TWh of renewable energy per year over a 10-year period. It will help AngloAmerican reduce its total CO₂ emissions in Chile by over 70%. [REVE]

US:

¶ “Coke And Pepsi Abandon The Plastics Lobby” • Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, two major sellers of plastic bottles, have made sweeping sustainability commitments. Now they are stepping away from a plastics lobbying group. The association took positions that “were not fully consistent with our commitments and goals,” Coca-Cola said in a statement. [CNN]

Plastic bottles (Shutterstock image)

¶ “New York Times Champions Two ‘Leave It In The Ground’ Proponents, Jay Inslee And Lee Wasserman” • Two op-ed pieces in The New York Times look at advocates for reducing our use of fossil fuels. They are Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington and presidential candidate, and Lee Wasserman, director of the Rockefeller Family Fund. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Ramping Up Production Of V3 Solar Roof Tiles To 1,000 Systems Per Week By End Of 2019” • Tesla CEO Elon Musk has confirmed on Twitter that the company is working to ramp up the production of its solar roof tiles to a rate of 1000 per week by the end of the year. Better solar cells could also see efficiency as high as 23%. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla solar roof (Tesla image)

¶ “Engie Secures Storage Six Pack In Massachusetts” • Engie Storage is to supply and operate a 19-MW portfolio of six energy storage systems in Massachusetts, to be coupled with solar power plants. The combined solar and storage portfolio will participate in ISO-New England wholesale markets. It is being developed by Syncarpha Capital. [reNEWS]

¶ “New Dairy Renewable Natural Gas Facility Expected To Become Largest In The US” • Calgren Dairy Fuels and Southern California Gas announced the completion of Calgren’s dairy renewable natural gas facility. The project, in the Central Valley, is expected to be the largest dairy biogas operation in the US within six months. [Bioenergy Insight Magazine]

Grazing cows

¶ “Arizona Utility Targets 400 MW Of Clean Power” • Arizona Public Service Company will add solar and wind capacity with a combined total capacity of 400 MW by 2021. The company plans to issue two requests for proposal. One is for proposals for up to 150 MW of APS-owned solar resources. The other will be for up to 250 MW of wind capacity. [reNEWS]

¶ “Georgia Regulators Raise Fresh Concerns About Nuclear Project’s Timing” • Georgia regulators are raising fresh doubts about Georgia Power’s latest timeline for completing the nuclear power expansion at Plant Vogtle, partly because of lingering risks, productivity slips and concerns about aging equipment that has not been maintained. [Atlanta Journal Constitution]

Have a positively invigorating day.

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July 30 Energy News

July 30, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “The new electricity boom: renewable energy makes staggering leap but can it last?” • Nearly 3.5 GW of large-scale clean energy projects were built in 2018 in Australia. Installations are expected to grow 36% this year and another 25% next year. Despite federal government hostility, the country should meet its 2020 carbon goals. But will the growth last? [The Guardian]

Solar farm in Canberra (Lisa Maree Williams | Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Intel And 10 Auto Industry Leaders Publish First Standardized Self-Driving Safety Rules” • In a recently published paper Safety First for Automated Driving, Intel and ten auto industry leaders outline a comprehensive set of rules for developing, testing, and validating autonomous driving. The paper provides a framework for safety standards. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “200 Reindeer Died On An Arctic Island, And Researchers Think Climate Change Is To Blame” • More than 200 reindeer have been found dead this summer in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard. It looks like they were killed by climate change, according to researchers. They appear to have starved to death after being unable to find food. [CNN]

Arctic rein deer (Daniel J Allen)

World:

¶ “Daimler Is Building Electric Trucks To Make Online Shopping Greener” • Agora, a think tank, says that 38% of European road emissions come from heavy duty vehicles. Emissions from trucks and buses have risen at a rate of 2.2% annually since 2000, according to the International Energy Agency. Daimler’s heavy trucks can help reduce emissions. [CNN]

¶ “Ethiopia Plants More Than 350 Million Trees In Twelve Hours” • Ethiopia planted more than 353 million trees in twelve hours on Monday, which officials believe is a world record. The burst of tree planting was part of a wider reforestation campaign named “Green Legacy,” spearheaded by the country’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. [CNN]

Planting trees (Ethiopian Prime Minister’s Office)

¶ “Global Solar PV Installations Expected To Hit 114.5 Gigawatts In 2019” • Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables published a report predicting that global solar PV installations will reach a new high of 114.5 GW in 2019, growing by 17.5% on 2018 and putting the industry on track to reach around 125 GW per year by the early 2020s. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Greta Thunberg Will Sail Across The Atlantic On A Zero-Emissions Yacht For The UN Climate Summit” • Climate activist Greta Thunberg will cross the Atlantic on a zero-emissions sailboat on her way to speak at the UN Climate Action Summit on September 23. They will set off in mid-August from an undisclosed location in the UK. [CNN]

Sailor, father, and activist (birte lorenzen)

¶ “China Pursues More Renewable Energy At Home And Abroad” • Renewable energy subsidies cost China a lot of money, so it curtailed many of them. When installations of renewable resources, especially solar, plummeted, the government changed policies again, and the country is now on track for 40 GW of solar installations this year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Scotland’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm Officially Opened” • Scotland’s largest offshore wind farm has been officially opened by Prince Charles. The Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm, located about eight miles (13 km) off the coast of Wick in the far north, can generate enough energy to power 450,000 homes. Its 84 turbines produced 588 MW. [BBC News]

Beatrice offshore wind farm (BOWL image)

¶ “Planned Pilbara Renewable Energy Hub Scales Up” • The capacity of a giant renewable energy project proposed for the Western Australia has been scaled up by more than one third of its former capacity. The hybrid wind and solar development the Asian Renewable Energy Hub has had its capacity increased from 11 GW to 15 GW. [The West Australian]

¶ “Robots Come To The Rescue After Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster” • When three of the six reactors at Fukushima Daiichi melted down, hot fuel turned to molten lava and burned through steel walls and concrete floors. To this day, no one knows exactly where the fuel is. Human beings cannot survive the radiation, so TEPCO is turning to robots to find the fuel. [CBS News]

Six-legged robot to be used at Fukushima Daiichi

US:

¶ “Green New Deal In Action: Renewable Energy Trifecta For Oklahoma” • Long before the Green New Deal, the US gave birth to hundreds of rural electric cooperatives. In the 1940’s these member-owned utilities lit up the vast swaths of rural America. Today, RECs are still going strong, renewing their relevance with renewable energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Corporate Investment In Solar Energy Surges” • America’s top corporations, led by Apple and Amazon, are pouring investments into solar energy, a report from the Solar Energy Industries Association says. Declining costs, more flexible financing, and climate-friendly state and local policies are accelerating commercial solar adoption. [Forbes]

Target retail store with rooftop solar array (SEIA image, 2018)

¶ “Denver Ranks Among Best For Renewable Energy” • Denver has been ranked the 8th best city in the nation when it comes to building toward a clean-energy future. The annual rankings were released last week by the nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, which scores 75 large cities across five key areas. [Patch.com]

¶ “Pittsfield’s Renewable Energy Work Highlighted” • Pittsfield, Massachusetts, got to renewable energy early. It replaced its streetlights with LEDs, joined a municipal aggregation program to get renewable energy at lower costs, and put up a 2.9-MW solar array on a former landfill. Now, it is studying prospects for a micro-grid. [iBerkshires.com]

Have an exceptionally lovely day.

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July 29 Energy News

July 29, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Edmunds: Tesla Model 3 Is The “Ultimate Driving Machine”” • Edmunds makes a ton of money funneling internet surfers to local auto dealers to buy gasmobiles. So, for Edmunds staff to bash a conventional auto company by saying that its popular tagline fits Tesla better is … well … sort of shocking. But that’s just what it did. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3

Science and Technology:

¶ “Electric Aircraft News: AirVenture In Oshkosh, Bye Aero eFlyer, Opener BlackFly, XTI And GE Catalyst, And More” • One of the biggest air shows in the world, AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, just wrapped up. As with any major air shows, companies use that time to reveal plans and purchases. This year, a lot of them were electric. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Do airplane contrails add to climate change? Yes, and the problem is about to get worse” • Scientists say contrails add to climate change by trapping heat that radiates upward from Earth’s surface. A study published in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics suggests that the global warming effect will triple by 2050 as air travel grows. [NBCNews.com]

Contrails (Larry MacDougal | AP file)

¶ “‘Nuclear Energy Is Never Profitable,’ New Study Slams Nuclear Power Business Case” • A study from DIW Berlin, a leading German economic think-tank, found that nuclear power has never been viable. The average 1,000-MW nuclear power plant built since 1951 resulted in an average economic loss of €4.8 billion (A$7.7 billion, $5.34 billion). [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Many Animals Can’t Adapt Fast Enough To Climate Change” • As oceans and forests transform and ecosystems go into shock, perhaps a million species teeter on the edge of extinction. Some may survive by changing behaviors in response to soaring global temperatures. Others may get smaller or otherwise evolve. Some will disappear. [Ars Technica]

Bonobos (Reflexiste | Flickr)

World:

¶ “Lithium-ion Battery Manufacturing Heating Up In India” • Having missed out on building its own manufacturing base for solar PV, India seems determined not to miss the opportunity for EVs, especially for manufacturing lithium-ion batteries. The Indian government has new benefits for battery makers and to push the sale of EVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “India Leads Asia Pacific With Lowest Renewable Cost: Report” • A report by  consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables revealed that the levelised cost of electricity using solar PVs in India has fallen to ₹2,617/MWh ($38/MWh) this year, 14% cheaper than coal-fired power, which had been the cheapest source of power. [Saurenergy]

Bringing electricity to homes (ABD image)

¶ “EU Coal Regions Could Supply 730 GW Of Solar Power While Providing Employment For Miners” • A report from the Joint Research Center of the European Commission looked at areas of the EU used for coal production and power generation. It said converting them to use for PVs could provide both electricity and jobs for coal workers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “China Renewable Power Capacity In June Up By 9.5%” • China’s total renewable power capacity rose 9.5% in the year to June amid Beijing’s push to boost clean energy consumption as part of its anti-pollution campaign. The country’s capacity additions include 1.82 GW of hydro, 9.09 GW of windpower, and 11.4 GW of PVs for the period. [SteelGuru]

Renewable energy in China

¶ “Solar Sabres Are Drawn As Victoria And NSW Fight For Most-New-Renewables Title” • Although South Australia still retains the trophy for the highest volumes of renewable generation, New South Wales and Victoria are battling it out to take its place, according to The Australia Institute’s July National Energy Emissions Audit. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Queensland Drops Bidding Directions, Says Wind And Solar Less Than A$50/MWh” • For many years Queensland, despite being the state most reliant on coal-fired generators, rivalled South Australia for the rank of most expensive wholesale price of electricity. Now, with changed bidding directions, renewables are pushing costs of power down. [RenewEconomy]

Wind farm construction

¶ “Chile Spearheads LatAm Renewables Investment” • Chile is leading Latin American countries when it comes to investing in new renewable energy capacity, S&P Global Ratings’ latest credit update for utilities in the region has highlighted. Chile plans to shut down 1.6 GW of coal power generation in the next two-to-three years. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Elon Tweets Tesla Pickup Truck Reveal Only A Few Months Away, While Ford Impresses Joe Sixpack” • After Elon Musk was asked on Twitter when the Tesla pickup truck will be revealed, he replied, “We’re close, but the magic is in the final details. Maybe 2 to 3 months.” Musk has suggested the Tesla pickup will be priced at under $50,000. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla event (Photo: Kyle Field, CleanTechnica)

¶ “Renewable Energy Accounted For 20.3% Of Electrical Generation In US” • Renewable energy sources accounted for 20.3% of net electrical generation in the US during the first five months of 2019, data published by the US. Energy Information Administration shows. Renewable energy outproduced both coal and nuclear for the period. [Greentech Lead]

¶ “RI Says Clean Energy Plan Falls Short” • National Grid is set to negotiate a contract for another batch of renewable energy for Rhode Island, but the state energy office says the selection falls short. It says National Grid chose only one project, which does not come close to the 400-MW capacity in the request for proposals. [The Providence Journal]

Have a perfectly delightful day.

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July 28 Energy News

July 28, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “The Best Trees To Plant For Global Warming Have Three Blades And Generate Electricity” • What is better, a forest or a wind farm? Calculations show a wind farm is about eight times more effective at reducing CO₂e annually than a forest. Also, it eliminates a bunch of other air and water pollution, and reduces habitat destruction. [CleanTechnica]

Solar+wind farm (Washington State Department of Commerce)

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Set To Grab Global #1 Premium Vehicle Spot In 2020, Crushing Mercedes C-Class And BMW 3 Series” • Tesla aims to produce 600,000 to 650,000 vehicles in 2020, including about 500,000 of the Model 3. In 2018, Mercedes sold 478,000 of its C-Class, and BMW sold 366,000 of its 3 Series, but those numbers are declining. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “A Wind Turbine Farm The Size Of Delaware Could Power The Entire United States” • What if we wanted to generate all the primary energy that the US uses for everything, heating, cooling, industry, and transportation, with wind generation? How many wind turbines would that take? How much land? It turns out, it is not much. [CleanTechnica]

US energy, 2018 (Please click on the image to enlarge it.)

¶ “Republican Politicians May Start Accepting Climate Change” • In the US, Republican politicians could actually start to accept the science of global warming and attendant climate change, and offer actual solutions. That’s probably because Republican voters are much more aware of reality than the party’s political rhetoric makes it seem. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Despite Hinkley, The New Plan For Nuclear Is Hardly Better Than The Old One” • The government’s new funding model at the heart of its plan for a nuclear renaissance is an improvement since it struck a deal three years ago to support Hinkley Point C in Somerset. This is the best that can be said for the new strategy, and it is very faint praise. [The Guardian]

Cranes at Hinkley Point (Photo: Sam Frost | The Observer)

Science and Technology:

¶ “A Fungus Is Now Infecting Humans And Global Warming May Be To Blame” • A fungus is beginning to infect human beings for the first time. Three distinct strains appeared in three continents, as the fungus had to adapt to ambient temperatures closer to the body temperatures of mammals. It also became resistant to drugs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Is This Still The Best Place To Be A Puffin?” • When Prof Mike Harris started research on puffins on the Isle of May in the 1970s, there were 2,000 breeding pairs. Today, there are 40,000. But life has not always been easy, and the number was 80,000 only ten years ago. Weather, driven by climate change, has been a growing problem. [BBC]

Puffins on the Isle of May (Photo: Marine Quintin)

World:

¶ “Tunisia Faces Worsening Energy Deficit” • The Tunisian government admits the risks faced by the country’s economy because of its inability to meet growing domestic demand for energy. And Tunisia’s oil income is down. It produces about 40,000 barrels of crude oil per day, down from about 110,000 barrels per day in 2010. [The Arab Weekly]

¶ “Adani Green Energy To Add 800 MW Of Renewable Energy Projects” • In a planned expansion of its energy business, the Indian company Adani Green Energy plans to add over 800 MW of renewable energy projects in the current financial year and 3300 MW in two more years. The company is committed to 10,000 MW by 2022. [Pressroom Today India]

Solar system (Adani Green Energy image)

¶ “No Need For Transition Period In Shift To Renewable Energy – Group” • Murang Kuryente, a Philippine clean energy advocacy group, claimed there is no transition period needed in the shift the renewable energy, and coal-power plants should be closed immediately. The Philippine Department of Energy takes the position that a transition is needed. [GMA News]

¶ “Amazon Deforestation Is Fast Approaching A ‘Tipping Point,’ Studies Show” • New satellite data shows that the rate of deforestation is increasing in the Amazon, prompting fears that the rainforest could reach a tipping point beyond which it could not recover. The rainforest plays a vital role in stabilizing the global climate. [The Weather Channel]

Amazon rain forest (Weather Channel | Getty Images)

¶ “Shopping Mall Banking On Solar, While Going Green” • South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal Province is known for its beaches and sunshine. Local retail businesses are starting to take advantage of all those sunny days to generate their own electricity with a view to “going green” and reducing their monthly electricity costs. Mtuba Mall is one of them. [ESI Africa]

US:

¶ “Nashville Man Uses Solar Power To Empower Minority Communities” • Jason Carney has been around the industry for years. He runs his own clean energy company. He came to notice something unusual: he didn’t know any other families of color with solar grids. His new mission to use solar power to empower minority communities. [NewsChannel5.com]

Jason Carney (Photo: Eric Hilt)

¶ “Andrew Yang Understands The Climate Crisis. Here Are Five Ways He’ll Tackle It As President.” • As climate change quickly became an important point of discussion for politicians, most presidential candidates have kept the pace and announced plans to tackle the issue. Andrew Yang says he gets the climate crisis and he has a plan. [The Rising]

¶ “A Louisiana Republican Reckons With Climate Change” • Garret Graves is a forty-seven-year-old Republican congressman from Louisiana who, earlier this year, bet his considerable political future on the proposition that the age of conservative climate denial is over. Democrats and climate activists view his position with some cynicism. [The New Yorker]

Have a resplendently fine day.

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July 27 Energy News

July 27, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Wallbox Launches In US And China, Adds Residential Bi-Directional DC Fast Charger” • Electric vehicle charging station manufacturer Wallbox launched a new charging unit in the US and China. The unit adds bi-directional DC charging capability to the home. It is the first such unit to be offered in more than one major world market. [CleanTechnica]

Wallbox bi-directional residential DC charger (Wallbox image)

¶ “Climate Change Blamed For Europe’s Latest Heatwave” • “This is clearly as a result of climate change,” Andreas Friedrich said, referring to the current heat wave. A meteorologist at the German federal weather service, he added, “If you’d have said five years ago we’d see temperature records fall this frequently, I wouldn’t have believed you.” [Insurance Journal]

World:

¶ “Zimbabwe Descends Into Darkness” • A financial crisis shut off Zimbabwe’s imported electricity because it could not pay bills. Its one hydro dam is not producing power because of drought. People have power only for six hours starting 10:00 pm. Solar power is definitely the country’s one growth area – panels are mushrooming on rooftops. [BBC]

Homework by candle light (Getty Images)

¶ “Environmental Groups Wary Of Mismatch Between Duterte Words, Gov’t Actions On Clean Energy” • Environmental groups have welcomed Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to fast-track development of clean, sustainable energy, but they question what appears to be a disconnect between his promises and actions. [ABS-CBN News]

¶ “The Dam That Could Kill Myanmar’s Biggest River” • In 2011, construction work on a massive dam project on the Irrawaddy river in Myanmar was halted after large protests. China is now lobbying hard to resume the work, but as BBC News Burmese’s Soe Soe Htoon found, local people are still not convinced they will ever see its benefits. [BBC]

Fishing boats on the Irrawaddy (Getty Images)

¶ “European Investment Bank Proposal Would End Funding Of Fossil Fuels” • A draft proposal to end investments in fossil fuels is circulating among the heads of the European Investment Bank for discussion at a September board meeting. If approved, EIB would stop funding fossil fuel activities at the end of 2020, Oil Change International reported. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewable Energy Sources Now Generate One-Third Of UK Energy” • Renewable sources generated 33% of the UK’s energy in 2018, according to statistics published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The proportion of energy from renewable sources generation rose by 3.8% from 29.2% in 2017. [Power Technology]

Tummel hydro station (Peter Ward, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “China Uses 14% More Renewable Energy In H1” • China’s renewable energy generation rose 14% in the first half of the year from the same period last year to 887.9 billion kWh, official data showed. Hydropower topped 513.8 billion kWh, up 11.8%. Wind power, at 214.5 billion kWh, was up 11.5%, and PVs, at 106.7 billion kWh, were up 30%. [Global Times]

¶ “Nampower Reveals N$4.7 Billion Five-Year Renewable Energy Strategy” • Namibia’s national power utility, NamPower, revealed that it will construct four renewable energy plants over the next five years at an estimated cost of N$4.7 billion ($329 million). This is part of the corporation’s new business plan covering the years 2019 to 2023. [New Era Live]

Solar panels in Namibia (GbbIT, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Delay In Compliance With Nuclear Security Regulations To Boost Japan’s LNG Imports” • Japan’s LNG imports are projected to recover in 2020 and 2021 as nuclear plants are unlikely to meet the deadlines of the new anti-terrorism nuclear regulations. They require new backup power and water systems, among other things. [Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide]

US:

¶ “War On Science: Trump Administration Muzzles Climate Experts, Critics Say” • According to whistleblowers, Trump officials are censoring warnings about the climate crisis, moving critical agencies out of Washington and enacting far-reaching changes in what facts regulators can consider when they choose between industry and the public good. [The Guardian]

Pollution (Photo: Jeff Zehnder | Alamy)

¶ “Renewable Natural Gas Close To Taking Off In US” • RNG, Renewable natural gas, is methane collected from waste and manure. It is a popular source of energy in Europe, but is just establishing itself in the US. New York City joined a growing network of 530 RNG fueling stations run by a T Boone Pickens company, Clean Energy Fuels. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “New Bipartisan Bill Seeks To Increase Renewables On Public Lands” • US Representatives Mike Levin (D-CA) and Paul Gosar (R-AZ) have introduced a bill to help combat the climate crisis and to reduce dependence on fossil fuels by promoting the development of wind, solar, and geothermal energy on public lands. [Windpower Engineering]

Public lands

¶ “Lawmakers Propose Clean Energy Victory Bonds In Fight Against Climate Change” • The Clean Energy Victory Bond was introduced in the House by Reps Zoe Lofgren and Doris Matsui and in the Senate by Sen Tom Udall. It calls for the government to issue up to $50 billion per year in bonds people could buy for as little as $25 per bond. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Koch-Funded Group Wants You To Believe It’s Scandalous To Support Clean Energy Policies” • The Club for Growth, a group that has received significant funding from the petrochemical billionaire Koch brothers, launched a new ad this week smearing a North Carolina congressional candidate. Why? Because he was advocating for clean energy. [ThinkProgress]

Have a thrillingly hunky-dory day.

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July 26 Energy News

July 26, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “The True Toll Of The Chernobyl Disaster” • Kate Brown, a science historian at MIT, has been researching the impact of the Chernobyl disaster. Her determination to unravel the true cost of the disaster has seen her travel to many parts of Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia, to interview survivors, examine official archives, and search old hospital reports. [BBC]

Women with pictures of men who died (Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Sodium-Ion Battery Research Shows Promising Results” • Professor Jong Min Yuk and a team of scientists at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology report in the journal Advanced Science that they have made significant progress toward creating high performing sodium-ion batteries with copper sulfide electrodes. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Europe’s Heat Wave Is Shattering Temperature Records And Cities Are Struggling To Cope” • Europe is suffering through the latest heat wave in a summer that has seen at least 12 countries experience record-breaking temperatures. Scientists warn that the world should expect more scorching heat waves due to climate change. [CNN]

Notre Dame Cathedral (Bertrand Guay | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “India’s Greenko Raises $950 Million Through Green Bonds Sale” • According to media reports, Greenko raised $950 million in green bond sales priced at a yield of 5.5%, a highly attractive rate. As a result, the bond issue was oversubscribed by a factor of three, and the entire bond issue process was completed within five days. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Private Utility In India Issues 350-MW Solar-Wind Hybrid Tender” • Adani Electricity Mumbai Limited, a private power distribution company in India, issued a tender to buy energy from solar-wind hybrid projects with a goal of fulfilling its Renewable Purchase Obligation, and possibly, to reduce the cost of power procurement. [CleanTechnica]

Solar and wind farm (Photo: Jennifer Sensiba | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Philippines Readies New Renewable Energy Policies To Curb Coal Dependence” • The Philippines’ Department of Energy has vowed to fast-track the implementation of two key renewable energy policies, following President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive to reduce dependence on coal. The directive came in his annual address to congress. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “RA Opts Against Natural Gas In IRP” • Bermuda’s Regulatory Authority has opted against natural gas as a principal generation fuel and in favor of an offshore wind farm and more solar power. The RA said the high renewable option will have a low long-term cost, while it will exceed Bermuda’s renewable energy policy objective. [Royal Gazette]

Solar panels in Bermuda (Royal Gazette file photograph)

¶ “High Court Stays Andhra Pradesh Government Plan To Review Renewable Energy PPAs” • The Andhra Pradesh High Court has stayed the state government’s move to review power purchase agreements of renewable energy companies. Justice M Ganga Rao granted a stay and posted the matter for further hearing on August 22. [The Hindu BusinessLine]

¶ “First Turbine Rises At Formosa 1” • The first Siemens Gamesa turbine has been installed at the 120-MW Formosa 1 phase two offshore wind farm off Taiwan. The project will feature 20 6-MW machines and is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Seajacks jack-up Zaratan is carrying out the installation in the Taiwan Strait. [reNEWS]

First turbine at Formosa (Ørsted image)

¶ “Clean Energy Regulator Tips Australia To Exceed 2020 RET By A ‘Substantial Margin’” • Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator released its 2018 Administrative Report. Not only does it project that Australia will easily meet its 2020 Large-scale Renewable Energy Target, it also predicts that the target will be exceeded substantially. [pv magazine Australia]

US:

¶ “Ford, Honda, Volkswagen, And BMW Negotiate Their Own Deal With California (Go Around USA)” • California has the right to set its own emissions standards, and other states are allowed to use them. While the Trump administration tries to end that right, four big car makers made a deal with California. It offers predictability. [CleanTechnica]

BMW i3 sedans (Photo: Zach Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “CNN To Host Climate Crisis Town Hall With Democratic Candidates” • CNN will host a Democratic presidential town hall in September focused on the climate crisis. The event will take place on Wednesday, September 4. CNN is inviting candidates who meet the DNC’s polling threshold for the September primary debate to participate. [CNN]

¶ “PSEG Plans To Power Down All But Three Natural-Gas Power Plants” • Public Service Enterprise Group intends to shutter all but three of its newest natural-gas-fired power plants by 2046, a step driven by a company push to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. But it says it needs policy changes, like putting a price on carbon. [NJ Spotlight]

PSEG’s Keys Energy Center in Maryland (PSEG image)

¶ “Kirsten Gillibrand Releases $10 Trillion, 10-Year Plan To Combat Climate Change” • New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democratic presidential contender, is proposing $10 trillion in public and private funding over the next decade to combat climate change and bring the US to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. [CNN]

¶ “Oklahoma Co-op Targets Largest Wind, Solar, And Storage Facility In US” • In Oklahoma, Western Farmers Electric Co-op has signed a Power Purchase Agreement with NextEra Energy Resources. The Skeleton Creek project will supply the electricity. It will have 250 MW of wind power, 250 MW of solar power, and a 200-MW/800-MWh battery. [CleanTechnica]

Have an incomparably splendid day.

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July 25 Energy News

July 25, 2019

 Opinion:

¶ “The Cheapest Way To Save the Planet Grows Like a Weed” • One of the fastest ways to sequester CO₂ is the widespread cultivation of industrial hemp, the nonintoxicating form of cannabis grown for fiber, cloth, oil, food, and so on. Hemp grows to 13 feet in 100 days, making it one of the fastest CO₂-to-biomass conversion tools available. [Truthdig]

Hemp

¶ “Could Wooden Buildings Be A Solution To Climate Change?” • Because making concrete emits so much CO₂, some architects are arguing in favor of a return to wood as our primary building material. Wood from managed forestry actually stores carbon as opposed to emitting it, so atmospheric CO₂ can be sequestered in wooden buildings. [BBC]

¶ “French Labor Union Will Support 350.org Climate Change Protest. Here’s What You Can Do” • 350.org is sponsoring a global week of climate protest beginning Sept 20. Among its supporters is CGT, one of France’s largest labor unions. 350.org has a blueprint for how all of us can organize family, friends, and co-workers to join in. [CleanTechnica]

Greta Thunberg set to talk at the National
Assembly in Paris (Image via Twitter)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change: Current Warming ‘Unparalleled’ In 2,000 Years” • The speed and extent of current global warming exceeds any similar event in the past 2,000 years, three papers published in Nature and Nature Geoscience say. They show that historic events like the “Little Ice Age” don’t compare with the scale of warming seen over the last century. [BBC]

World:

¶ “Europe Heatwave: Records Tumble In Belgium, Germany And The Netherlands” • Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands have recorded their highest ever temperatures, in a heatwave searing Western Europe. Germany’s weather service said a new record of 40.5°C (104.9°F) had been set in Geilenkirchen, near the Belgian and Dutch borders. [BBC]

Beachgoers cooling off in the Baltic Sea (AFP)

¶ “Opposing PPA Reviews, Renewable Developers Move High Court Against Andhra DISCOM” • After the state distribution company in Andhra Pradesh issued letters to operators to revise tariffs for solar and wind projects that already have power agreements in place, the operators declined to comply and are going to court. [Mercom India]

¶ “Global Mining Giant Announces $400 Million Program To Cut Emissions” • Australian mining giant BHP announced a $400 million Climate Investment Program intended to cut both its own and its customers’ emissions. It has a short-term goal to cap 2022 emissions at 2017 levels, and a long-term goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. [CleanTechnica]

Mining truck (BHP courtesy image)

¶ “TEPCO Tells Fukushima Governor No 2 Plant’s Reactors Will Be Scrapped” • TEPCO notified the Fukushima governor that it will decommission all four reactors at its Fukushima Daini plant. The six reactors at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant were already being scrapped, so all ten of TEPCO’s nuclear reactors in Fukushima will closed permanently. [The Japan News]

US:

¶ “GE Renewable Energy Announces Two Hydropower Services Contracts In The US” • GE Renewable Energy announced at HydroVision that it signed two US hydropower contracts. One is for the Northfield Mountain project in Massachusetts, which can generate 8,700 MWh per day, and the other is for the Caribou One hydropower station, in California. [HydroWorld]

Upper pond at Northfield Mountain (Credit: GE)

¶ “New REV Site Guides Vermont Residents Through Switch To Clean Energy” • Renewable Energy Vermont has an improved website for Vermonters looking to use renewable electricity, heating and cooling, and transportation. The website showcases innovative technologies and helps guide accelerating energy transformation. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Texas Has Generated More Electricity From Wind Than Coal So Far This Year” • For the first time ever, wind has surpassed coal as an energy source in Texas. According to data released this month by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, wind created 22% of the electricity used in the first half of the year, edging out coal by 1%. [KERA News]

Texas wind turbines (Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon | KUT)

¶ “California EV Rebate Could Go From $2500 To $7500 – A CleanTechnica Interview With Bill Author Phil Ting” • California Assembly member Phil Ting (D, San Francisco) introduced a bill to triple the EV rebate in California from $2500 to $7500. It would also change how the incentive is funded. He agreed to an interview. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Santa Barbara Gives Green Energy Plan The Green Light” • What seemed a far-fetched environmental scheme when it was launched 13 years ago ​– ​local governments buying and selling renewable energy to meet residents’ electrical needs ​– ​became a reality this week with the unanimous approval of the Santa Barbara City Council. [Santa Barbara Independent]

Santa Barbara (Caroline Culler, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “More Than 250 Mayors Nationwide Sign Letter Calling For Increased Solar Power” • A bipartisan group of 252 US mayors, representing every state and one territory, released a letter through Environment America Research and Policy Center. In it, they resolved “to make solar energy a key element of our communities’ energy plans,” [Environment America]

¶ “PSEG, One Of America’s Oldest Power Companies, Is Going Carbon Free” • PSEG, New Jersey’s largest and oldest power company, has relied on fossil fuels to keep the lights on for the past 116 years. Now, the power company is going carbon free by shutting down coal plants, betting on offshore wind, and working to keep its existing nuclear plant alive. [CNN]

Have an enchantingly groovy day.

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July 24 Energy News

July 24, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Climate Change: 12 Years To Save The Planet? Make That 18 Months” • Last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that to keep the rise in global temperatures below 1.5°C this century, emissions of CO₂ would have to be cut by 45% by 2030. But the decisive, political steps to make that possible will have to come very soon. [BBC]

The Planet Earth (NASA image, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Could Solar Energy Sharing Between Australia And Singapore Be A Model For Other Regions?” • An ambitious plan to export solar electricity from Australia’s Northern Territory to Singapore could erode the longstanding dominance of natural gas in Singapore’s fuel mix. It could also be a model for other regions of the world. [Eco-Business]

World:

¶ “Europe Heatwave: French City Of Bordeaux Hits Record Temperature” • The French city of Bordeaux has hit its highest temperature since records began, as Western Europe braces for the second heatwave to hit this summer. Meteo France registered 41.2°C (106.1°F) in the south-western city, breaking a 2003 record of 40.7°C. [BBC]

Water Mirror on the Place de la Bourse in Bordeaux (AFP)

¶ “Italian PM To Address Claims League Sought Money From Russia” • Italy’s prime minister will address the country’s senate to discuss allegations that the far-right League party sought money from Russia. Matteo Salvini, head of the populist League, has been accused of seeking to strike an oil deal in a Moscow hotel to fund his party. [The Guardian]

¶ “Nearly ₹29 Billion Allotted For Off-Grid Renewable Generation In Last Three Years” • A corpus of ₹29.37 billion ($430 million) has been provided for off-grid renewable energy over the past three fiscal years, starting in mid-2016. Important technologies include Bio-gas, bio-mass gasification, solar PV, and concentrating solar. [Mercom India]

Solar power on rooftops

¶ “India turns to electric vehicles to beat pollution” • Car makers successfully pushed back when India had announced a move to 100% EVs by 2030. But a new proposal is to have only electric three-wheelers running in the country by 2023, and to have only electric two-wheelers by 2025. These outnumber four-wheeled automobiles by far. [BBC]

¶ “South Korea Unveils Plans For 2.1-GW Floating Solar Plant” • South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced that it will develop a 2.1-GW floating solar power plant which, upon completion, will be 14-times larger than the world’s current largest floating project. The plant will be built in two stages, to be completed in 2022 and 2025. [RenewEconomy]

Floating solar array

¶ “Crowdfunded Solar Plant Goes Live In France” • Hanwha Q CELLS GmbH has supplied 14,592 solar modules to a large ground-mounted solar farm in northwestern France that had about 40% of its costs covered by crowdfunding. Located in Brittany, the 4.5-MW plant has been officially inaugurated and connected to the central grid. [Smart Energy]

¶ “Renewables Deliver ‘Over Half Of UK Power'” • More than half of the UK’s power was supplied by renewables for the first time on 30 June, according research by Drax Electric Insights. The researchers said 39% of the country’s electricity was supplied by wind, 9% by solar, 8% by biomass and 1% by hydro. On the same day, carbon intensity hit a record low. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (reNEWS image)

US:

¶ “Air Pollution May Have Killed 30,000 People In A Single Year, Study Says” • Over 30,000 deaths in the US in one year may have been caused by air pollution, a study published in the journal PLOS Medicine said. Since almost every county was within federal air quality standards, the study suggests that standards should be stricter, its authors say. [CNN]

¶ “Video And Photos Of Fully Electric Ford F-150 – Pulling A Train” • Ford just released photos and a video with a sneak peak at an all-electric prototype Ford F-150. Ford loaded 42 F-150s, one for each of the 42 years the model has been the #1 selling vehicle in the US, into rail cars. Then the electric prototype was shown off pulling the train. [CleanTechnica]

All-Electric F-150 pulling loaded rail cars (Source: Ford)

¶ “Lights Out? Not For This Michigan City” • In 2011, the neighborhoods of Highland Park, Michigan, went dark. The utility company had repossessed streetlights to collect on the city’s debt. Unwilling to stand idly by, the people of Highland Park organized to light the streets themselves using off-grid, renewable energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “This Is The First Airport In The US To Operate Fully On Renewable Energy” • Chattanooga Airport celebrated the completion of the final phase of its solar farm. The solar farm, with rows on rows of PVs across 12 acres of land, generates 2.64 MW of electricity, enough to support the airport’s total energy needs. [Lonely Planet Travel News]

Chattanooga Airport solar farm (Chattanooga Airport image)

¶ “400-MW Pumped Hydro Facility In Montana Secures $1 Billion In Funding” • A proposed 400-MW pumped hydro storage project near Martinsdale, Montana is a big step closer to reality. Its promoter, Absaroka Energy, announced this week it has $1 billion in financing from Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners in Denmark. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ohio Governor Signs Nuclear And Coal Bailout At Expense Of Renewable Energy” • The Ohio legislature passed a measure that cuts renewable energy and energy efficiency programs while adding subsidies for nuclear and coal-fired power plants. Ohio’s Republican Governor, Mike DeWine, signed the bill into law within hours. [InsideClimate News]

Have an intensely tranquil day.

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July 23 Energy News

July 23, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Record High Temperatures Far Exceed Record Lows – A Trend Of The Climate Crisis” • More than 400 places in the US reached record-breaking temperatures last week. Over the same week, only about 100 places saw record-breaking lows. The 4-1 record ratio is partly due to the heat wave. A 2-1 ratio is more normal in the US due to climate change. [CNN]

Melting Valdez Glacier (US Government image)

¶ “EV Transmissions Are Coming, And It’s A Good Thing” • Why would an EV have a transmission? There are two reasons. One is that torque is not actually constant; it is not usually as good at high speed as at low speed. Another is that motor efficiency is also not constant, which means that adding a transmission can improve range. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “South Australia Has 10-GW Wind And Solar In Pipeline As It Heads To 100% Renewables” • South Australia’s conservative Liberal government has boasted that it has 10 GW of large scale wind and solar projects in the development pipeline, moving the state toward its anticipated milestone of “net” 100% renewables by 2030. [RenewEconomy]

Wind turbines, old and new

¶ “Oil Giant Saudi Arabia To Start First Wind-Power Plant” • Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, is poised to start generating wind power within three years as part of an effort to harness renewable energy to cut local demand for fossil fuels. The 400-MW Dumat Al Jandal facility is to begin producing electricity early in 2022. [Energy Voice]

¶ “BP Announces Major Expansion In Renewable Energy, Combining Biofuels And Biopower With Bunge In Brazil To Create A World-Class Bioenergy Company” • BP agreed to form a joint venture with Bunge, a leader in agriculture and food, to create a bioenergy company in one of the world’s largest markets for biofuels. [Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide]

Farm tractor operating

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Seals 32-MW Nearshore Prize In Vietnam” • Siemens Gamesa is to supply seven turbines totaling 32 MW for Tan Hoan Cau’s Number 5 Thanh Hai 1 nearshore wind farm in Vietnam. Number 5 Thanh Hai 1 will be located between 2 km and 5 km off the coast of Ben Tre province, with commissioning expected in mid-2020. [reNEWS]

¶ “GE Finishes First Nacelle For 12-MW Offshore Wind Turbine” • In a plant in Saint-Nazaire, France, General Electric finished manufacturing the first nacelle for its new 12-MW offshore wind turbine, known as the Haliade-X. The company is pushing to establish itself as an offshore market rival to Siemens Gamesa and MHI Vestas. [Greentech Media]

Nacelle of the 12-MW Haliade-X (GE image)

¶ “Coalition Has An ‘Open Mind’ On Nuclear Power, Energy Minister Says” • Australia’s Energy Minister said the Coalition government has an “open mind” on developing a nuclear energy industry, as ratings agency Moody’s predicted the Coalition’s Snowy 2.0 hydro project may play a key role in premature coal plant closures. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

India:

¶ “Solar And Wind Met Over 50% Of An Indian State’s Energy Demand 3 Days This Month” • For three consecutive days earlier this month, the state of Karnataka satisfied more than 50% of its energy demand from solar and wind energy projects. Karnataka was the 7th largest energy consumer in India in the financial year 2018–2019. [CleanTechnica]

Karnataka wind turbines (Public domain, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Renewable Energy Projects With ₹21,000 Crore Debt Facing Risk” • Andhra Pradesh’s latest move to reduce the contracted price of wind and solar energy could aggravate a problem of delayed payments from distribution companies and bring under stress 5.2 GW of renewable projects with debt of over ₹21,000 crore ($3.16 billion). [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “India: Renewable Energy Dominates First Half Of 2019 With 58% Share In New Capacity” • In India, renewable energy, especially wind and solar power, continued to lead all other technologies in new capacity added in the first half of 2019. Of the 7.8 GW of new capacity added between January and June 2019, 3.5 GW were solar projects. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array in Uttar Pradesh (Citizenmj, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “United States Boasts 24 GW Of Wind Capacity Under Construction” • The US has 24 GW of wind capacity under construction, according to the latest preliminary figures from Windpower Intelligence. This is a 26% increase over the same period a year earlier. But it is difficult to know how much of this will actually be finished this year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “PGE Plan Calls For More Renewables, Energy Storage” • Portland General Electric’s resource steers clear of fossil fuels, a departure from 2016, when the possibility of new natural gas plants brought a wave of opposition. The company is looking at batteries and pumped hydro in a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050. [Portland Business Journal]

Biglow Canyon wind farm (Portland General Electric image)

¶ “North Carolina Coastal Flooding Is Worsening With Climate Change, Population Growth” • A historic 120-year-old data set is allowing researchers to confirm what data modeling systems have been predicting about climate change: Climate change is increasing precipitation events like hurricanes, tropical storms and floods. [EurekAlert]

¶ “Maryland High Court Finds State Authority To Approve Renewable Energy Projects Preempts Local Zoning Authority” • The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled unanimously on the case. It said, “Ultimately, the final decision regarding whether to approve a generating station lies exclusively with the [Public Service Commission].” [Lexology]

Have a triumphantly care-free day.

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July 22 Energy News

July 22, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “US Shale Is Doomed No Matter What They Do” • As financial stress sets in for US shale companies, some are trying to drill their way out of the problem, while others are cutting costs. The problems they face, however, include the continually falling prices of renewables, which are already out-competing them, and a market moving to cut CO₂ emissions. [OilPrice.com]

Shale drillers

Science and Technology:

¶ “Autonomous Tractors, Mining Equipment, and Construction Vehicles – Oh, My!” • Autonomous tractors are just one new technology that can increase farm productivity and efficiencies, bringing higher yields. AI can lead to detecting early symptoms of uneven emergence, weeds, nutrient deficiencies, disease, insect infestations, and more. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Geothermal Battery Directly Converts Heat To Electricity” • Japanese researchers say they have a new system for geothermal energy. Their design uses sensitized thermal cells, which are able to generate electricity at temperatures below 100°C (212°F), without needing a middle-ground carrier like water or steam. [New Atlas]

Geothermal energy (Credit: OlgaSinenkoBO | Depositphotos)

World:

¶ “How India In A Short Period Of Time Has Become The Cheapest Producer Of Solar Power” • India’s recent status of lowest-cost producer of solar power reflects a shift towards global energy transformation. Analysis by IRENA found that the costs for setting up solar PV projects dropped by about 80% in India between 2010 and 2018. [Economic Times]

¶ “Delhi To Replace Retired Thermal Power Plant With Solar Project” • In its efforts to reduce air pollution, the government of Delhi is taking steps beyond shutting down aging thermal power plants within city limits. It is replacing them with PV systems both within and outside the city. In this, it is following a trend seen in other parts of India. [CleanTechnica]

Delhi Metro station system (Rsrikanth05, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Hot Weather May Force Nuclear Plant Shutdown” • France’s nuclear power plant Golfech may have to stop generating power due to extremely hot weather. The 2,600-MW facility, operated by French electric utility EDF, may close beginning July 23, as weather services forecast an extreme heatwave in the area, Reuters reported. [Kallanish Energy]

¶ “Renewable Energy Creating Skilled Jobs In Africa And Asia” • Africa may skip right over the conventional utility grid and go directly to distributed renewables thanks to low cost solar panels and plummeting prices for storage batteries. With renewables, employment opportunities in Africa, India, and Asia are rapidly expanding. [CleanTechnica]

Solar power in Africa (Power For All image)

Australia:

¶ “Australia-Singapore Power Link project awarded Major Project Status” • The Northern Territory Government has awarded Major Project Status to Sun Cable’s Australia-Singapore Power Link. The proposed Australia-Singapore Power Link is a $20 billion, 10-GW solar farm and a storage facility of up to 30-GWh near Tennant Creek. [Utility Magazine]

¶ “Local Manufacture And Innovation Put Wind Into Victoria’s Renewable Energy Target” • The 43-turbine Berrybank Wind Farm in Western Victoria will produce 180 MW, enough to power around 138,000 homes. What sets the project apart is a decision to use 64% locally manufactured content, including turbine parts and hubs. [create digital]

Wind farm

¶ “Electricity Prices Across The Grid Fall To Zero As Renewables Reach 44% Share” • You don’t get to see this very often. For one 5 minute dispatch period, all of the state-wide power grids in Australia carried electricity priced at zero or below. These grids cover Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, and South Australia. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Melbourne’s Trams To Run On 100% Solar Power” • Trams in Melbourne will soon be fueled by 100% solar power, thanks to the largest operating solar farm in Victoria, making them green powered trams. The 128-MW Numurkah Solar Farm, north of Shepparton, will create enough energy to power Melbourne’s fleet of 450 trams. [Energy Matters]

Melbourne trams (Image: ABC News)

US:

¶ “Portland General Electric Proposes Clean Energy, Smart Grid Resource Plan” • Portland General Electric Company presented a new integrated resource plan for approval of the Oregon Public Utility Commission. It focuses on more renewable power, more energy efficiency, and working with customers to help balance energy supply and demand. [Yahoo Finance]

¶ “NextEra Energy Predicts 50% Renewable Energy In US By 2030” • In a meeting with investors in May, NextEra Energy used data from IHS Markit projecting that the US would get 25% of its electricity from renewable energy resources by 2030. For the June meeting, it used data from NREL projecting 50% renewables by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

NextEra Energy solar farm (From NextEra Energy website)

¶ “A Field In DC Will Soon Be Home To 5,000 Solar Panels. It’s All Because Of Local Catholic Groups And A Message From The Pope” • By next year, a five-acre plot in Northeast Washington will sprout about 5,000 solar panels, the largest ground array the nation’s capital has seen. It is a change wrought by local Catholic groups. [Washington Post]

¶ “University Of Alaska Budget Cuts May Affect Alaska Climate Researchers” • The University of Alaska says it is scrambling to determine where jobs will be eliminated if the Alaska Legislature does not intervene after Gov Dunleavy vetoed $130 million dollars in university funding. The university is facing a 41% reduction in state funding. [Reading Eagle]

Have an utterly flawless day.

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July 21 Energy News

July 21, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “US Cities Are Losing 36 Million Trees A Year. Here’s Why It Matters And How You Can Stop It” • Trees can lower summer daytime temperatures by as much as 10°F, according to a recent study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. But tree cover in US cities is shrinking by 36 million trees annually, according to a US Forest Service study. [CNN]

Trees in Chicago (Crimson3981, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Coal, Gas Sink As New York Sails Into Offshore Wind Power Mega-Deal” • When New York Gov Andrew Cuomo committed his home state to the largest ever offshore wind power deal in US history, it didn’t bode well for the nation’s dwindling coal power fleet. Neither does the potential for replacing gas with batteries for grid reliability. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “‘Tech Companies Don’t Speak Auto, Auto Companies Don’t Speak Tech’ – But Tesla Speaks Both” • A computer systems engineer, Mick Ronson, who’s bullish on Tesla, recently warned in a media post, “If you’re shorting Tesla, you’re betting on incumbents that are signaling an acknowledgement of their impending obsolescence.” [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 (Zach Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “The War on Coal in California Is Over – It Lost” • In 2008, coal produced 18.2% of California’s electricity. By 2018, that number had fallen to 3%, with virtually all the electricity from coal coming from one plant in Utah. It is to be retired within five years and replaced with cleaner resources, pushing California coal generation down to zero. [Times of San Diego]

¶ “Gauge On Climate: Regions Must Secure Their Climate Future” • In Australia, with no credible federal approach to climate change in sight on the horizon, it’s time for our regional cities to step up to meet the challenge of climate change. And many of cities are moving forward with smart, ambitious climate and energy plans. [Tasmania Examiner]

Solar array

Science and Technology:

¶ “Can ‘Supercharged’ Plants Solve The Climate Crisis?” • The fight against climate change may seem hopeless, but humanity has a simple and powerful ally in plain sight: plants. At least that’s the belief of the botanist Joanne Chory and her team of scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego. They are modifying plants to absorb more CO₂. [Foreign Policy]

¶ “July Set To Smash Record As Hottest Month In Temperature History” • So far, July is the hottest on record. The past two weeks have been exceptionally warm across many areas of the planet, and this last week of July is forecast to bring new record highs to many areas of the northern hemisphere, from Europe to North America and Asia. [The Weather Network]

Weather in Europe (Image courtesy of Weather Bell)

World:

¶ “520+ Electric Cars Are 1st To Cross Montreal’s New Samuel de Champlain Bridge” • Over 500 electric cars enjoyed the honor of being the first to cross the Samuel de Champlain Bridge in Montreal, Canada, which opened at 5:00 am on Monday, June 24th. This special bridge-crossing EV parade was organized by Club Tesla Quebec and AVEQ. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GE Renewable Energy To Provide Equipment For Onshore Wind Farms To RT Enerji And Turkeler” • RT Enerji and Turkeler have chosen GE Renewable Energy to provide equipment for five onshore wind farms being built in Turkey. A total of 49 3-MW onshore wind turbines will be installed in Izmir, Bilecik, Sakarya, and Istanbul. [Ankeny Daily News]

Wind farm

¶ “New Partnership To Finance 60 Mini-Grids In Tanzania” • CrossBoundary Energy Access, Africa’s first project financing facility for mini-grids, announced its first transaction to finance 60 mini-grids in Tanzania in partnership with a mini-grid developer, PowerGen Renewable Energy. Funding is through the Renewable Energy Performance Platform. [ESI Africa]

US:

¶ “Speakers At DCD-San Francisco Ask, ‘Why Won’t Utility Companies Give Us The Renewable Energy We Want?'” • At this year’s Data Center Dynamics conference in San Francisco, speaker after speaker took to the stage to lament how utility companies refuse to provide even the largest corporations with the renewable energy they want. [CleanTechnica]

Google data center (Google image)

¶ “Solar Power Comes To Standing Rock Reservation” • A 300-kW solar power plant wouldn’t ordinarily be a CleanTechnica story. However, this particular solar facility is notable because it is located on the Standing Rock Reservation, just two miles from the Dakota Access pipeline that was the focus of a furious protest movement in 2016. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Planned Small Nuclear Project Reaches Milestone With More Utah Cities Signing On” • Enough communities in Utah and elsewhere have agreed to purchase nuclear power from a small modular reactor planned at the Idaho National Laboratory, to triggering a next phase in its development. They signed contracts for over 150 MW. [Deseret News]

Have a sublimely untroubled day.

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July 20 Energy News

July 20, 2019

World:

¶ “4.37¢/kWh Proposed As Maximum Solar Tariff In Indian Auctions” • The National Solar Energy Federation of India proposed that all national-level solar power auctions in the country have a maximum tariff bid threshold. The industrial body has proposed a maximum threshold of ₹3.00/kWh (4.37¢/kWh) for the auctions. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop solar system (Courtesy: MNRE, India)

¶ “London: More Than 50,000 EV Charging Points By 2025” • The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and his Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Taskforce have some serious plans to transition London to zero-emissions transport as fast as possible. They would provide Londoners with at least 50,000 electric vehicle charge points by 2025. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “European Electric Car Market News – Triple The Number Of Models And More Battery Factories” • Analysis by IHS Markit found that European car makers plan to triple the number of models with plugs by the end of 2021, from 60 today to 210 just eighteen months from now. Europe will also see rapid growth in the capacity of battery factories. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen EVs at the LA Auto Show

¶ “Renewable Energy Capacity To Reach 260 GW By 2024” • India expects to have a renewable energy capacity of 260 GW by 2024, a government official said. India has set a target of 175 GW by 2022, the secretary to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy said. India also plans a 30-GW capacity for manufacturing PVs by 2024. [The Asian Age]

¶ “Toyota And BYD To Jointly Develop EVs And Batteries In New Deal” • BYD and Toyota announced an agreement to partner on developing EV batteries. The agreement includes sedans and low-floor SUVs. The new set of vehicles will be produced under the Toyota brand specifically for the Chinese market, starting in the early 2020s. [CleanTechnica]

BYD bus battery (Image: Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Kenya’s President Formally Launches Africa’s Biggest Wind Power Farm” • Kenya has formally launched Africa’s largest windpower plant. The $680 million (€600 million) scheme, a 365-turbine wind farm on the eastern shores of Lake Turkana, is delivering 310 MW of power to the national grid of East Africa’s most dynamic economy. [Gulf Times]

¶ “Northern communities selected for U of S renewable energy project” • Two University of Saskatchewan professors are leading an $8.8 million international partnership project to explore how northern communities can achieve energy independence while benefiting economically and socially by developing renewable energy. [larongeNOW]

Installing PVs in Saskatchewan (file photo | paNOW Staff)

¶ “BayWa Commits To 100% Clean Power” • BayWa, a German company, has committed to cover all its electricity requirements with renewable energy from 2020 onwards. The company, which has businesses involved in agriculture, building materials, and energy, has joined the RE100 initiative led by the The Climate Group and CDP. [reNEWS]

¶ “TEPCO To Decommission Reactors At Fukushima No 2 Nuclear Plant” • TEPCO will formally decide to decommission the Fukushima No 2 nuclear plant. It informed the prefecture’s governor of its policy as early as this month, a company source said. The Fukushima No 2 was not damaged when the Fukushima No 1 plant had three meltdowns. [The Japan Times]

Fukushima No 2 (IAEA Imagebank, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Trump’s USDA Buried Sweeping Climate Change Response Plan” • The Agriculture Department quashed the release of a sweeping plan on how farmers could respond and adapt to climate change that was finalized in the early days of the Trump administration, according to a USDA employee with knowledge of the decision. [Politico]

¶ “New York Completes Nation’s Largest Renewable Energy Procurement” • New York has completed the single largest renewable energy procurement in any US state’s history. The state made awards for two offshore wind projects that total nearly 1.7 GW. The winning bids were Sunrise Wind for 880 MW and Equinor for 816 MW. [Energy Manager Today]

Ørsted turbine in the UK (Ørsted image)

¶ “Dangerous Heatwave Starts Hitting US And Canada” • Extremely hot weather has started to hit most of the US, with temperatures set to peak over the weekend, meteorologists say. The heatwave could affect about 200 million people in major cities like New York, Washington, and Boston in the East Coast, and the Midwest region too. [BBC]

¶ “Lucid Begins Work On Factory In Arizona” • This week, Lucid Motors finally broke ground on its factory in the city of Casa Grande, Arizona. David Salguero, Lucid Motors’ marketing manager, says the plant is on track to begin production of the Lucid Air electric car by late 2020, according to a report by the Houston Chronicle. [CleanTechnica]

Lucid Motors electric car (Courtesy of Lucid Motors)

¶ “Petition Seeks To Force New England Anti-Renewable Group To Disclose Its Donors” • Consumer advocacy group Public Citizen and New Hampshire legislators asked federal regulators to require a nonprofit that opposes state renewable energy subsidies to reveal its members, charging its claim that it represents ratepayers is misleading. [Energy News Network]

¶ “Continuing Shift To Renewables, AEP Commits To Coal Reductions” • The US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio has approved a modified agreement that will accelerate emission reductions from American Electric Power’s remaining coal-fueled power plants in the Midwest, along with other provisions. [Solar Industry]

Have a powerfully pleasing day.

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July 19 Energy News

July 19, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Car Parts From Weeds: The Future Of Green Motoring?” • Cars are responsible for a lot of the carbon emissions that contribute to global warming, but their manufacture can emit as much CO₂ as all the fuel they burn. Could plastics made from weeds, modular designs, and other innovations help the motor industry reduce its carbon footprint? [BBC]

“Dandelions (Ion Chibzii, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “This Is How Natural Gas Loses: One Building At A Time” • Natural gas investors in the US are already beset a host of problems no investor would want. Now here comes another problem to add to the list: The city of Berkeley, California, has banned gas hookups for certain types of new buildings built after January 1, 2020. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Crown Backs Down And ‘Refines’ Plans For Offshore Wind Auction” • The Crown Estate has bowed to criticism over plans for the biggest offshore wind auction in a decade by agreeing to fairer terms for renewable energy companies. It said it has “refined” the plans to make developing renewable energy more affordable. [The Guardian]

Offshore wind power (Gareth Fuller | PA)

¶ “India To Achieve 63% Of Power Capacity From Renewable Energy” • India is likely to have 63% of its installed power capacity be non-fossil fuel sources by 2029-30, according to a report from the Central Electricity Authority. This would significantly exceed India’s Paris agreement target of 40% non-fossil fuel sources by 2030. [Greentech Lead]

¶ “REN21 Report Calls For ‘Ambitious And Sustained’ Policies To Make Energy Systems Sustainable” • Renewable energy use is on the rise, but a lack of “ambitious and sustained policies” hinders the sector’s potential contribution to reducing emissions and achieving climate and development goals, according to a report published by REN21. [IISD Reporting Services]

Solar power (Photo by American Public Power Association)

¶ “Last Month Was The Hottest June On Earth Ever Recorded” • If you thought last month felt really, really hot, you were right. June 2019 was the hottest June on record for the globe. The sizzling average land and sea temperature of June 2019 was 1.71°F (0.95°C) above the global average temp, making June 2019 the hottest June in 140 years. [Live Science]

¶ “South Africa Plans To Replace Nuclear Reactor That Produces Medical Isotopes” • The Nuclear Energy Corp of South Africa and the country’s Department of Energy are working with other parties on a multi-purpose research reactor that would take over from the current plant that has been making medical isotopes since 1965. [Bloomberg]

Safari-1 reactor (Source: NTP)

US:

¶ “New York Climate Law Aims To Drive Dramatic Changes Over Next 30 Years” • A bill signed into law by New York Gov Andrew Cuomo sets the nation’s most aggressive targets for reducing carbon emissions. The law is intended to drive dramatic changes over the next 30 years. It calls for transitions in electricity, heating, and transportation. [PBS NewsHour]

¶ “A Raging Wildfire Is Burning Nearly 7,000 Acres Near Arizona’s Prescott National Forest” • A wildfire burning in central Arizona is forcing evacuations in a remote area near Prescott National Forest in Arizona, the US Forest Service said. The Cellar Fire has burned nearly 7,000 acres, and it was 0% contained as of Thursday, fire officials said. [CNN]

Fighting the Cellar Fire (KPHO | KTVK)

¶ “Expiring US Solar Power Subsidy Spurs Rush For Panels” • America’s biggest solar power developers, including Duke Energy, 8minute Solar Energy, and Shell-backed Silicon Ranch, are stockpiling panels to lock in a 30% federal tax credit set to start phasing out next year, a strategy that could backfire if panel prices slide substantially. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “DTE Energy Receives Approval To Purchase Three Wind Parks As It Transitions To Cleaner Energy” • DTE Energy announced that the Michigan Public Service Commission has conditionally approved its proposed purchase of three new Michigan wind parks to be completed in 2020. They add 455 MW to DTE’s wind portfolio. [Yahoo Finance]

Wind turbines

¶ “National Grid Increases Partners For Virtual Power Plant Project” • National Grid announced a partnership with SolarEdge Technologies for its ConnectedSolutions program in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Owners of solar inverters developed by SolarEdge will receive financial incentives for excess energy during demand peaks. [Smart Energy]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Scores US Offshore Hat-Trick” • JV partners Ørsted and Eversource signed a contract with Siemens Gamesa to supply turbines for a 1.7-GW portfolio of US offshore wind farms. The German-Spanish firm will deliver its 8-MW wind turbines to three projects, subject to final investment decisions, according to Ørsted. [reNEWS]

Building a wind turbine (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “Hawaiian Electric Finalizes Largest-Ever Renewables Procurement” • Hawaiian Electric Co says it plans to seek about 900 MW of new renewables, capable of generating about 2 million MWh each year. The requests for proposals are “among the largest single procurement efforts undertaken by a US utility,” the company said. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Illinois Agency Warns That State Is Not On Track To Meet Renewable Power Goals” • The head of the Illinois Power Agency, a state agency that procures power for Illinois utilities, is warning about a widening gap between the state’s ambitious renewable goals and its ability to meet them with existing funding and incentives. [Energy News Network]

Have a comfortably inspiring day.

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