Posts Tagged ‘nuclear power’

August 15 Energy News

August 15, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Trump Administration Completes Climate Dismantling with Methane Rollback” •  The final rollback of Obama-era methane rules was announced by EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler during a trip to Pittsburgh. The move marked the culmination of a 3 ½-year struggle by the Trump administration to undo the Obama emissions rules. [Scientific American]

Pump jack and refinery (Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Last Decade Was Earth’s Hottest On Record, Exposing Grim Reality Of Climate Change” • The State of the Climate in 2019, a report published by the American Meteorological Society, says 2019 was among the warmest years on record, this decade is the hottest since records began in the mid-1800s, and the warmest six years on record were all in the last six years. [CNN]

¶ “Greenland’s Ice Sheet Has Melted To A Point Of No Return, According To Study” • Greenland’s ice sheet has melted to a point of no return, and efforts to slow global warming will not stop it from disintegrating, according to a study by researchers at Ohio State University. Over 280 billion metric tons ice melt from Greenland each year. [CNN]

Melting Greenland (Steffen M Olsen, Danmarks Meteorologist)

¶ “UK Firm’s Solar Power Breakthrough Could Make World’s Most Efficient Panels By 2021” • Oxford PV claims the next-generation solar panels will generate almost a third more electricity than traditional silicon-based solar panels by use of a thin layer of perovskite. The company plans to sell them to the public within the next year. [The Guardian]

World:

¶ “Tesla Had 28% of World’s Fully Electric Vehicle Sales in 1st Half of 2020” • Among fully electric vehicle sales, Tesla’s has a 28% market share, while Volkswagen Group and the Renault-Nissan Alliance each had 10%. BYD and Hyundai-Kia round out the top five with 7% each. The top five accounted for 62% of EV sales in the first half of 2020. [CleanTechnica]

VW ID3 cars (Image courtesy of Volkswagen)

¶ “Mexico’s Renewables Fiasco Keeps Getting Worse” • Investor interest in Mexico’s emerging renewables market was at an all-time high when Andrés Manuel López Obrador came to power. Less than halfway through the his term, expectations have hit rock-bottom, the market is in tatters, and the Covid-19 pandemic is making things worse. [Greentech Media]

¶ “NSW To Fund Four New Big Battery Projects As It Flicks Switch On Transition From Coal” • The New South Wales Liberal government has announced funding support for four new big battery projects in the state as it flicks the switch on the transition from coal to a grid dominated by “on demand” renewables and storage. [RenewEconomy]

Sapphire wind farm (Supplied)

¶ “Khairy Says Nuclear Energy ‘Not On The Table’ For Now, Focus On Renewable Energy Sources” • Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the idea to develop nuclear energy will be a last option for Malaysia, as there are many other sources of energy in the same category which the country has yet to explore. [Malay Mail]

¶ “Batteries To Help Alice Springs Secure Its Renewable Energy Future” • Alice Springs is turning to battery storage to overcome its grid challenges and facilitate its transition towards a future dominated by renewables. Under the Alice Springs Future Grid project, the town is looking to address the challenges it has with its isolated grid. [pv magazine Australia]

Epuron’s Uterne Solar Farm in Alice Springs (CEFC image)

US:

¶ “Michigan Building the Road of the Future between Ann Arbor And Detroit” • Gov Gretchen Whitmer announced an initiative to develop an innovative corridor for connected and autonomous vehicles. The first phase of the project will test technology in a driverless vehicle corridor of over 40 miles between downtown Detroit and Ann Arbor. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Study Shows Air Pollution Has Decreased In The US – Mostly In Rich, White Communities” • A study shows that fine particulate concentrations in the US have declined around 70% since 1982. But the areas that were the most polluted in 1982 are still the most polluted in 2020, and they are largely low-income and minority communities. [CleanTechnica]

New Orleans French Quarter (Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Tesla Continues To Ramp Up Solar Roof Installations Across The Country” • After two iterations of the solar roof tiles, Tesla finally ramped up production of version 3 of the Solar Roof tiles in late 2018 and through 2019. This week, a story confirms Tesla continues to rapidly expand its installation area across the state and into new areas of the country. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Generac Power Systems and Momentum Solar Forge Strategic Relationship” • Generac Power Systems and Momentum Solar, the largest privately-owned US residential solar installer, forged a strategic relationship to accelerate residential adoption of solar plus storage. They will give homeowners a source for solar plus back-up power. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Home solar system (Courtesy of Momentum Solar)

¶ “Analysis: States’ Renewable Mandates Continue To Grow” • States in the US continue to boost renewable energy goals, with Virginia and Colorado recently joining the growing number with 100% clean energy targets. At the same time, multiple others, including Ohio and New Hampshire, are in heated political battles over state energy needs. [S&P Global]

¶ “Malibu CPA Customers Will Receive 100% Green, Renewable Power Starting October 2020” • Last October, the Malibu City Council approved the selection of 100% Green Power as the default electricity choice for Clean Power Alliance customers in the City. Starting in October 2020, that plan is going into effect, saving customers money. [Patch.com]

Have a conspicuously serene day.

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August 14 Energy News

August 14, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Look Over There! Jason Kenney’s Phoney Nuclear Power Distraction” • When Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says small nuclear reactors “could be a game changer in providing safe, zero-emitting, baseload power in many areas of the province,” as he did this week in a tweet, he’s pulling your leg. These nuclear reactors make no economic sense. [TheTyee.ca]

Small modular nuclear reactor (NuScale Power image)

¶ “The End Of Oil & Gas: A Different View” • I have come to believe that the end of Oil & Gas could look very different than what people expect, even appearing to defy the accepted law of supply and demand. If I am right, loss of demand in the face of continued availability of the resources could drive retail prices up instead of down. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Green Practices Can Negate Climate Emissions On NY Farms” • In New York, agriculture can mitigate its own greenhouse gas emissions, two Cornell researchers say in a report commissioned by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. The 65-page report addresses carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. [Cornell Chronicle]

Manure cover and flare (Tim Fessenden, provided)

World:

¶ “Over Seven Million BMW Plug-In Vehicles By 2030” • The BMW Group already offers the world’s widest selection of premium automobiles with electrified drive systems. With a ten-year plan for sustainability, the BMW Group is underscoring its commitment to the goals of the Paris climate agreement with a focus on expanding electric mobility. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Over 150 Solaris Electric Buses Now In Poland” • Despite the difficulties and challenges for Europe brought by the pandemic, Solaris managed to use the past few months very productively. This was an extremely busy time, in particular with regard to the performance of contracts for the delivery of electric buses in Poland. [CleanTechnica]

Solaris Urbino electric bus (Solaris image)

¶ “AES Subsidiary Plans 863-MW Chile Hybrid Scheme” • South American developer AES Gener has filed plans for an 863-MW wind, solar, and battery storage hybrid project in Chile. The $750 million Parque Terra Energia Renovable project will consist of a 350-MW wind farm, 513 MW of solar power and two energy storage banks of lithium batteries. [reNEWS]

¶ “Why Chile’s Mining Firms Are Switching To Renewable Power Supply” • As international markets are starting to demand clean certification for mining products, Chile’s mining companies are looking to switch to clean energy sources. Mining giant BHP is to terminate coal-fired supply contracts early with Chilean power at a cost of $840 million. [BNamericas English]

Solar array in Chile

US:

¶ “In A Move That Could Be Catastrophic For The Climate, Trump’s EPA Rolls Back Methane Regulations” • The US EPA announced a long-anticipated rollback of methane emission regulations for the oil and gas industry, marking the latest in a long series of attacks on federal climate policy by the Trump administration. [InsideClimate News]

¶ “JB Hunt’s First Delivery With Fully Electric Freightliner eCascadia” • JB Hunt, one of the largest US shipping companies, made its first Intermodal delivery using an all-electric Class 8 truck. The 120-mile haul for Walmart kicked off a three-month testing phase. JB Hunt plans to integrate the eCascadia with its fleet operations in Los Angeles. [CleanTechnica]

Intermodal eCascadia (JB Hunt image)

¶ “EDPR Provides Benefits For Communities In Indiana” • EDP Renewables North America committed $300,000 to support the Chalmers, Brookston, Reynolds and Wolcott communities near its six-phase 801-MW Meadow Lake wind farm in Indiana. The four towns, all in White County, will receive $75,000 each to put toward projects of their choice. [reNEWS]

¶ “Masdar And EDF Renewables Agree To Partner In Eight Renewable Energy Projects In The US” • EDF Renewables North America and Masdar announced Masdar’s second strategic investment in the US. Masdar will acquire a 50% stake in a 1.6-GW clean-energy portfolio that EDF Renewables has under construction in Texas and California. [REVE]

EDF Renewables wind farm

¶ “New Solar Farm To Power New Facebook Data Center In Tennessee” • Silicon Ranch is building the Tennessee’s biggest solar array. The new complex in Jackson, Tennessee, is to supply the energy needs for a new $800 million Facebook data center. It will be nearly ten times as big a huge array Silicon Ranch built in the state in 2012. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

¶ “Tesla Begins Construction Of World’s Largest Energy Storage Facility” • Tesla and PG&E recently broke ground on a record-setting energy storage system in Moss Landing, California that will be the largest such installation in the world, when it is complete. The battery park will be able to dispatch up to 182.5 MW for four hours. [Forbes]

Drawing of Tesla’s 1-GWh battery (Tesla image)

¶ “Renewable Properties starts work on largest community solar project in Marin County, California” • Renewable Properties, a developer and investor of small-scale utility and community solar energy projects in the US, has started construction on the Silveira Ranch Solar Project, the largest community solar array in Marin County, California. [Solar Power World]

¶ “US utility goes to market for 1.3 GW of new renewables” • CenterPoint Energy has opened a request for proposals for wind, solar and solar-storage projects in Indiana. Southern Indiana Gas and Electric Company, a CenterPoint Energy subsidiary, put the RFP out, for up to 1000 MW of solar and solar-storage as well as 300 MW of wind. [reNEWS]

Have a captivatingly lovely day.

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August 13 Energy News

August 13, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “This Hydrogen-Powered Supercar Can Drive 1,000 Miles On A Single Tank” • Hyperion, based in California, has unveiled a hydrogen-powered supercar. The Hyperion XP-1 will be able to drive for up to 1,000 miles on one tank of compressed hydrogen. Its motors will will generate over 1,000 hp, and it will do 0 to 60 in just over two seconds, the company said. [CNN]

Hyperion XP-1 (Hyperion image)

¶ “Continued Climate Change Will Lead To Future Flooding In SoCal, UCLA Study Says” • Global warming will increase extreme rainfall and reduce snowfall in the Sierra Nevada by the 2070s, a UCLA study says. This double whammy could overwhelm the Southern California’s reservoirs and heighten the risk of flooding in much of the state. [NBC Southern California]

¶ “Why The Mauritius Oil Spill Is So Serious” • The amount of oil spilled from MV Wakashio, the Japanese-owned ship that ran aground near coastal areas and lagoons of south-east Mauritius, is relatively low compared to the big oil spills the world has seen in the past, but the damage it will do is going to be long-lasting because the area is especially sensitive. [BBC]

MV Wakashio (Greenpeace image)

World:

¶ “Wind And Solar Double Global Share Of Power In Five Years” • Wind and solar energy doubled their share of the global power mix over the last five years, moving the world closer to limiting the worst effects of global warming. The sources of renewable energy made up nearly 10% of power in most parts of the world in the first half of this year. [Bloomberg]

¶ “Wind And Solar Generation Are Cutting Down Coal Use” • Climate think tank Ember’s new half-year analysis of global electricity use shows wind and solar energy generation increased in most countries to the point where it is reducing the use of coal. Global generation from coal fell 8.3% in the first half of this year, compared to last year. [ESI Africa]

Wind turbines at dawn (Dirk Ingo Franke, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Suppliers Commit To Achieving 100% Renewable Apple Production” • As Apple seeks to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, 71 of its suppliers have committed to using 100% renewable energy for the company’s products. Manufacturing emissions account for about three-quarters of Apple’s overall carbon footprint. [The Chemical Engineer]

¶ “Cheap Electric Vehicles More Affordable Than Petrol Cars In UK” • If you don’t think cheap EVs exist, DriveElectric can show you five. The examples are vehicles that motorists can drive today – with zero tailpipe emissions and all the other benefits that electric cars offer, including being virtually silent, very refined, and easy to drive. [CleanTechnica]

Renault ZOE (Renault image)

¶ “AGL Targets 1.2 GW Of New Battery Storage By 2024, Plans Tender” • AGL Energy has set a goal of installing 1,200 MW of new battery storage and demand response capacity by 2024. And the company is tying the bonuses for its executives and senior management to hitting growth targets for its clean energy and storage portfolio. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “France’s Golfech 2 Reactor Offline As Heatwave Lifts River Temperatures” • France’s 1.3-GW Golfech 2 reactor was taken offline August 12 for a second 24-hour outage as a heatwave lifted river temperatures in the Garonne in Southern France, operator EDF said. High temperatures and low water levels have affected other plants, as well. [S&P Global]

Golfech (Julian Nitzsche, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Renewable Energy Is Fueling Rural Texas Economies” • Texas rural counties are realizing dramatic financial benefits from renewable energy projects, a study from Powering Texas and Conservative Texans for Energy Innovation says. The analysis focused on county tax revenue and landowner payments from wind and solar projects. [Alice Echo News-Journal]

¶ “Lucid Air Could Have An EPA Range Of 517 Miles” • Recently Lucid Motors sent a pre-production Lucid Air to FEV North America for independent testing. The car was put through the standard range testing protocol, and FEV verified an estimated EPA range of 517 miles on a single charge, confirming the Lucid Air as the longest range EV to date. [CleanTechnica]

Lucid Air EV (Image: Lucid Motors)

¶ “America Could Go Fully Electric Right Now” • Complete electrification and close to 100% renewable energy generation: this is a vision of the US 15 years from now. According to the a report released by Rewire America, this objective is completely possible to achieve, and the transition to it would be painless. The report says it is all about scale. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “US Coal Power Generation Plummets 30% In 2020, EIA Says” • US coal power generation plunged by 30% in the first half of 2020 off an already-depressed base, shoved out by natural gas and renewables amid low energy prices linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to figures from the Energy Information Administration. [Greentech Media]

Stack Emissions (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Living In The Dark: Native Reservations Struggle With Power Shortages In Pandemic” • The pandemic has exacerbated already severe energy and economic inequalities in Indian country. In the face of these challenges, Native people are increasingly turning to renewable energy to help their tribes achieve energy and economic independence. [The Guardian]

¶ “Lightsource BP Appoints Bighorn Solar Contractor” • The EPC contractor for the 300-MW Bighorn Solar project in Pueblo, Colorado, will be McCarthy Building Companies, Lightsource BP announced. Construction is set to begin this autumn. It will be the country’s largest on-site solar facility for a single customer, which is EVRAZ Rocky Mountain Steel. [reNEWS]

Have a mystifyingly easy day.

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August 12 Energy News

August 12, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “So, It’s Kamala Harris For Veep – What Are The Pros And Cons?” • For months, Kamala Harris has been appearing in the photons and sound waves of CleanTechnica. Her climate change plan was assessed when she was putting herself forward for the presidential nominee, and it was ranked #1 on CleanTechnica after thorough analysis. [CleanTechnica]

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris (Courtesy Biden campaign site)

¶ “The Economics Of Small Nuclear Reactors, Touted By Jason Kenney As A ‘Game Changer,’ Just Don’t Add Up” • For economic and technical reasons, the Alberta Premier’s idea that small nuclear reactors “could be a game changer in providing safe, zero-emitting, baseload power in many areas of the province,” is unlikely to be realized. [albertapolitics.ca]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Rolls-Royce And Tecnam Electrifying Air Transport: High Power, High Scalability, Hybrid Powertrain – H3PS” • Rolls-Royce, with aircraft manufacturer Tecnam, and engine producer BRP-Rotax, has been developing a parallel-hybrid electric aircraft powertrain to reduce fuel use without compromising endurance and performance. [CleanTechnica]

Hybrid airplane

¶ “Powerhouses: Nanotechnology Turns Bricks Into Batteries” • A new technology exploits the porous nature of fired red bricks by filling the pores with tiny nanofibres of a conducting plastic that can store charge. The first bricks store enough electricity to power small lights. The bricks are supercapacitors, operating without chemical change. [The Guardian]

World:

¶ “Tesla May Offer German Customers Energy Options As Well As Cars” • Tesla has already taken steps to become an electric power supplier in the UK. Now, according to a report by PV Magazine, it is surveying potential customers in Germany to gauge their interest in a range of Tesla energy products and services. [CleanTechnica]

House with Tesla solar system and Powerwall battery

¶ “Seoul: Dirty Diesel Vehicles Banned From Public Fleets In 2025” • The city of Seoul, South Korea, is taking a half-step toward vehicle electrification with a new plan to phase out diesel vehicles from its public fleets by 2025, including mass transit fleets. Seoul will be one of the largest cities in the world to implement such a ban. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Net-Metering Gaining Favour Throughout Middle East And Africa” • Countries in the Middle East and Africa are increasingly developing solar PV systems to increase their energy capacity while reviewing greenhouse gas emissions. Data and analytics company GlobalData says the countries are specifically starting to implement net-metering schemes. [ESI Africa]

Sunset (Pixabay image)

¶ “China’s LONGi To Power Global Operations With 100% Renewables By 2028” • The world’s largest mono-crystalline PV products manufacturer LONGi set an 8-year roadmap to 100% renewable energy use for its global operations. The group has jointly launched RE100 China Initiative with renewable energy leaders in China. [Power Engineering International]

¶ “Beer That Went Unsold During Australia’s Coronavirus Lockdown Has Been Turned Into Renewable Energy” • During Australia’s Covid-19 lockdown, bars and restaurants shut down, leaving breweries with huge inventories of unsold beer. Instead of going to waste, some of the stale beer in South Australia will be used to power a water treatment plant. [KTVE]

Draft beer (Saeed Khan | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Gupta Flags 3,000 MW New Renewables For Whyalla ‘Green Steel’ Plans” • Sanjeev Gupta, the UK steel billionaire, has flagged the potential investment of another 3,000 MW of renewable energy projects in South Australia to support his plans to turn his Whyalla Steelworks into an internationally competitive “green steel” hub. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Mining City Broken Hill To Host One Of World’s Biggest Renewable Micro-Grids” • The iconic mining city of Broken Hill in the far west of New South Wales is set to host one of the world’s largest renewable mini-grids, powered almost entirely by solar, wind, and grid scale storage. The proposal comes from the transmission company Transgrid. [RenewEconomy]

AGL’s Silverton wind farm (Courtesy of PARF)

¶ “Corporate Clean Power Demand Outstripping Supply” • The demand among corporates worldwide for renewable electricity is exceeding the supply, according to analysis by BloombergNEF. The shortfall in RE100 clean electricity demand is now projected to reach 224 TWh in 2030, up from BNEF’s previous estimate of 210 TWh. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “House Panel Asks Watchdogs To Investigate Army Corps Of Engineers’ Review Of Alaskan Mine Project” • The House Oversight Committee called for two inspector general offices to investigate the Army Corps of Engineers’ recent environmental review of the controversial Pebble Mine project proposed for Bristol Bay, Alaska. [CNN]

Bristol Bay (echoforsberg, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Renewables in 2020 Will be Fastest Growing Source of Electricity in the US: EIA” • In 2020, the fastest-growing US source of electric generation will be renewables, the US Energy Information Administration has forcast. It expects the power sector to add 23.2 GW of new wind capacity and 12.9 GW of utility-scale solar capacity this year. [Saurenergy]

¶ “New Guidebook For Zero-Emission Bus Deployment” • The Center for Transportation and the Environment has released a Guidebook for Deploying Zero-Emission Transit Buses. It is the first comprehensive document that highlights key considerations for zero-emission bus deployments and infrastructure, according to the CTE. [CleanTechnica]

Have a happily constituted day.

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August 11 Energy News

August 11, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “New 6-Bladed Vertical Axis Wind Turbines Can Power Your Off-Grid Home For 30 Years Safely” • The Icelandic renewable energy company IceWind is now launching its innovative six-bladed wind-powered turbines for home use in the US. The new Freya model from IceWind, which starts at $3,200, is an entirely different design. [Forbes]

¶ “The Stronger Rains In A Warmer Climate Could Lessen Heat Damage To Crops, Says Study” • Intensified rainstorms predicted for many parts of the US as a result of warming climate may have a modest silver lining: they could more efficiently water some major crops, and this would at least partially offset yield declines caused by the rising heat. [Science Daily]

World:

¶ “Hyundai Ioniq To Become Dedicated EV Brand With 3 New Models Coming Soon” • Hyundai introduced the Ioniq in 2016, as a smallish car that came as a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or battery electric. Hyundai has now announced it will make Ioniq into a separate brand for EVs. Apparently the battery electric Ioniq will continue in production. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai concept car (Hyundai image)

¶ “Australia’s Covid Commission Downplays ‘Green Recovery’ And Confirms Gas Push” • The head of Scott Morrison’s Covid advisory commission says some business leaders want to use the recovery from the pandemic to lock in low-emissions energy, but his organisation is recommending building gas pipelines as part of the response. [The Guardian]

¶ “Plummeting Renewable Energy, Battery Prices Mean China Could Hit 62% Clean Power And Cut Costs 11% By 2030” • A study shows plummeting clean energy prices mean China could run its grids reliably on at least 62% non-fossil electricity generation by 2030, while cutting costs 11% compared to a business-as-usual approach. [Forbes]

Construction at Yuxia wind farm (VCG via Getty Images)

¶ “Renewables Company Proposes ‘Grid-Strengthening’ Battery For Rockhampton” • A renewable energy developer wants to build a 75-MWh lithium-ion battery project in Queensland. The executive director of Genex Power said the company would see 10 to 15 modules connected to a substation near Rockhampton, at a total cost of about A$50 million. [ABC News]

¶ “‘Profound Implications’ For Livestock As EU Works On New Methane Policy” • The European Commission is setting new standards on methane, including those from agriculture. It is being urged by some independent climate scientists to embrace science that shows it can achieve carbon neutrality goals without destroying animal agriculture. [Beef Central]

Cattle (Oxford University)

¶ “Facebook Signs 806 MW Of Renewable PPAs In Ireland And US” • Facebook has signed eight wind and solar power purchase agreements that will provide a total 806 MW of additional power when they are completed. Back in 2018, the social media and advertising company pledged to be fully renewably powered by the end of 2020. [DatacenterDynamics]

US:

¶ “Nikola Books Order For 2,500 Electric Refuse Trucks” • As Nikola’s first factory is going up in Arizona, it announced that it signed an agreement with Phoenix-based Republic Services for 2,500 zero emissions all electric refuse trucks, with possibly 2,500 more at a later time. Republic is the second largest refuse hauler in the US. [CleanTechnica]

Nikola truck (Nikola image)

¶ “BYD Electric Buses: 13 Million Zero-Emissions Miles In USA” • A new milestone for BYD is particularly uplifting. BYD electric buses sold to customers in the US have travelled more than 13 million miles – all emission-free. BYD is a Chinese company, but it has an electric bus factory in California, and it is “proudly Buy America compliant.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “A ‘Major Gas Explosion’ In Baltimore Has Killed One Person, Injured Seven” • A “major gas explosion” destroyed three houses in northwest Baltimore, killing a woman and critically injuring seven people as at least three dozen firefighters continue to search for people buried in the rubble and debris, the Baltimore Fire Department said. [Forbes]

Explosion scene (Baltimore Fire Department via Twitter)

¶ “After Scrapping Gas Pipeline, Duke Looks To Plug Hole With Renewables, Grid Investments” • Duke Energy reported a $1.6 billion charge related to abandoning the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The utility also showed how its plans for renewable energy and grid modernization will fill in the capital-investments hole left by the canceled pipeline project. [GreenTech Media]

¶ “Vestas, The First To Service 100 GW Of Wind Turbines, Is Concerned Over Transmission Line Permitting” • Chris Brown, the head of sales and service in the US and Canada for Vestas. has called for streamlining the permitting process for high voltage interstate transmission lines, to bring renewable energy from rural areas to high demand centers. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm (Enel Group image)

¶ “FERC Staff To Congress: HV Transmission Essential To Reducing Carbon, Deploying Renewables” • Federal regulators have sent a report to Congress outlining opportunities and barriers around transmission development, in a move clean energy advocates see as a “strong endorsement” of the need for large scale transmission. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Army Finally Tearing Down Fort Belvoir’s Nuclear Plant” • Northern Virginia’s very own nuclear reactor facility at Fort Belvoir, a product of our country’s initial research into nuclear power generation, is finally going to be torn down next year. The SM-1 was the first nuclear generating plant in America to feed into an electrical power grid. [Inside NoVA]

Have an agreeably uncomplicated day.

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August 10 Energy News

August 10, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Solar-For-Coal Swaps Could Turbocharge Clean Energy Revolution” • US coal power plants have been retiring at an average of 10 GW per year. That is not nearly quick enough to avoid trouble. Energy Innovation has identified 179 GW of coal plants that can’t compete on cost with solar, and focused on 22.5 GW of these. [CleanTechnica]

Solar panels (Image: US DOE, EERE)

¶ “Does BP’s Conversion Signal The End Of Big Oil?” • The plunge in oil demand caused by the pandemic won’t fix the climate crisis. But it could force the oil industry to accelerate a shift away from fossil fuels as executives try to carve out a future in clean energy. BP has said it is moving away from Oil and Gas, toward renewables. Others could follow. [CNN]

¶ “Electrification of the Mining Industry” • In this episode of our CleanTech Talk podcast interview series, Zach Shahan chats again with Alf Poor, CEO of Ideanomics, Inc, about the electrification of the mining industry, and the benefits of choosing electric power for the large and site-specific heavy-duty equipment that’s needed at the mining sites. [CleanTechnica]

Heavy truck (Image courtesy of Ideanomics)

¶ “Nuclear-Free World Is Crucial For Sustainable Development” • Dr Udayakumar is a writer and anti-nuclear activist from Tamil Nadu, India. He points out that as source of power, nuclear energy is very unstable and gives way to catastrophic results if misused or mishandled. In fact it can be, and has been, used to kill people in wars. [The Island.lk]

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Fish Stocks Will Change In Warming Seas” • A study conducted in the UK highlights the future effects of climate change on important fish stocks for south-west UK fisheries.The study suggests changes that could have important implications for fisheries management, and for the future fish diets of the British public. [Science Codex]

Fishing boat (Image: Katherine Maltby)

World:

¶ “World Bank Grants $300 Million To Promote Electricity Trade In West Africa” • The World Bank announced that it would provide $300 million to International Development Associations to accelerate reforms to help the countries of Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, and Sierra Leone move toward regional power market. [Mercom India]

¶ “Shanghai Electric: 5G And IIoT Essential To Wind Power Strategy” • Shanghai Electric is riding the growing momentum of China’s 8-MW offshore turbine market, which is expected to see the grid-connected wind power surging to 26 GW by the end of 2025. It is considering 5G and industrial internet of things for integrating renewable energy systems. [FutureIoT]

Shanghai Electric 8-MW turbines

¶ “Grid Scale Stationary Battery Storage Market To Hit $40 Billion By 2030, Says Global Market Insights, Inc” • Global grid-scale stationary battery storage market is poised to surpass $40 Billion by 2030, said a study by Global Market Insights, Inc. Growing use of renewable energy sources and curbs on carbon emissions will boost storage. [GlobalNewswire]

¶ “ARENA-Backed Origin Energy Trial To Demonstrate The Value Stack Of EVs” • Origin Energy is getting behind electric vehicle uptake in Australia, approaching EVs and their chargers as possible flexible sources of distributed energy. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency said that it would provide a grant of $838,000 for a trial. [pv magazine Australia]

Charging an EV (Moixa image)

¶ “Renewable Energy Is Now The Least-Cost Option In The Power Sector” • Switching to renewable power is a no-brainer, but progress is slow in the two larger sectors, heating/cooling and transport. Governments still subsidise fossil fuels and maintain regulatory frameworks that support centralised, high-carbon energy production and consumption. [REVE]

¶ “Engie Renewable PPA Starts Greening Australia’s Mining-Industry Supply Chain” • Weir Minerals Australia, a supplier of engineered solutions to the mining industry, achieved electricity price stability and savings, and it took a first big leap towards sustainability, with an innovative power purchase agreement with energy provider Engie. [pv magazine Australia]

Workers at Weir Minerals Australia (Engie image)

US:

¶ “Citi Announces $250 Billion Environmental Finance Goal” • Citi announced its five-year 2025 Sustainable Progress Strategy to help transition to a low-carbon economy. It includes a $250 billion goal to finance climate solutions globally. This builds on Citi’s 2015 goal of $100 billion, completed last year over four years ahead of schedule. [Smart Energy]

¶ “Apple Plans To Go 100% Carbon Neutral – Including Supply Chain – By 2030” • Apple announced on its website that it’s already carbon neutral for corporate emissions globally and that it wants to bring its entire carbon footprint to “net zero.” If it succeeds in doing this by or before 2030, it will be 20 years earlier than the IPCC goals of 2050. [CleanTechnica]

Montague wind farm in Oregon (Image via Apple)

¶ “Trump Pledged To Bring Back Coal. He Didn’t” • Trump first promised to bring the coal industry back in 2016. But coal has not come back under Trump. It’s continued to decline. In 2016, the US had 48,900 coal-mining jobs, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Now, the same agency says there only about 43,800 coal-mining jobs left. [Roanoke Times]

¶ “EPA Finalizes Rules Of Coal Ash” • The Trump administration extended by six months a deadline for utilities to stop dumping coal ash from power plants into unlined basins and ponds, Kallanish Energy reports. The rule impacts about 400 facilities. The initial deadline, April 2019, had been pushed back before. The new deadline is April 11, 2021. [Kallanish Energy]

Have an unprecedentedly exuberant day.

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August 9 Energy News

August 9, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Drawdown Review 2020: How To Address Global Warming In A Responsible Manner” • Three years later publishing Drawdown, Project Drawdown published Drawdown Review, which suggests humanity can manage the climate crisis effectively using only the tools available today. Of course, that assumes we start acting like responsible adults. [CleanTechnica]

Solar trackers (Image credit: Project Drawdown)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Argonne National Lab Breakthrough Turns Carbon Dioxide Into Ethanol” • According to ANL, its researchers, working with partners at Northern Illinois University, have discovered an electrocatalyst that converts carbon dioxide and water into ethanol with very high energy efficiency, high selectivity for the desired final product, and low cost. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Denmark’s 300-Year-Old Homes Of The Future” • On the Danish island of Læsø, houses are thatched with thick, heavy bundles of silvery seaweed that have the potential to be a contemporary building material around the world. The eelgrass used for thatching has some interesting properties. For example, it makes a roof that cannot burn. [BBC]

Houses thatched with eelgrass (Carstenbrandt | Getty Images)

World:

¶ “56 Countries Gather Online In Their Quest To Fix Climate Change” • Despite Covid-19, green entrepreneurs across the globe continue to create positive climate impact and economic opportunities. A record 3,000 startups from 56 countries entered this year’s edition of ClimateLaunchpad, a global competition for green business ideas. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Pakistan Pushes Renewables Amid Coal Projects” • This week, Pakistan set in motion a plan to boost the share of its electric power that comes from renewables to 30% by 2030, up from about 4% today, government officials said. That will include mainly wind and solar power, but also geothermal, tidal, wave and biomass energy. [The Express Tribune]

Coal (AFP image)

¶ “India’s Coal Import Drops 43% In July Owing To High Stockpile At Pitheads, Plants” • India’s coal import fell 43.2% to 11.13 million tonnes in July this year on account of high stockpile of the dry fuel at pitheads, plants and ports. The country had imported 19.61 MT of coal in July 2019, according to data in a provisional compilation. [The New Indian Express]

¶ “Broad Prospect For Renewable Energy Cooperation Between China, Pakistan” • China has wind and PV generating technology, and it has capital. Pakistan needs to develop renewable energy. So there is a great potential for cooperation between China and Pakistan in the field of renewable energy, according to Professor Cheng Xizhong. [Associated Press of Pakistan]

Rooftop solar system (Smilingsaifi, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Alberta Latest Region To Leverage Nuclear To Fight Climate Change” • Alberta Premier Jason Kenney signalled intent to add his signature to the Memorandum of Understanding to advance the development and deployment of small modular reactors. The MOU was signed in December 2019 by premiers of Ontario, Saskatchewan, and New Brunswick. [EnerCom Inc]

¶ “Is This The End For ‘King Coal’ In Britain?” • According to figures released last week, a mere 8 million tonnes of coal were incinerated in UK factories and power plants last year. That is roughly the same amount that was burned nationally in 1769, when James Watt was patenting his modified steam engine. It has been an extraordinary transformation. [The Guardian]

English coal miners ca 1925 (Photo: Hirz | Getty)

US:

¶ “Eli Zero Comes Back To Life” • We covered the cute, fun, little tiny Eli ZERO electric concept car in 2017 and 2018. But after a while, Eli dropped off the radar. Did another one bite the dust? Did the ZERO get run over by a Cybertruck? Apparently not. The Eli team just shared an update. Marketing had been paused for engineering updates. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US DOE Clobbers Fossil Fuels With $$$ For Bioenergy And Solar Fuel R&D” • The DOE is putting up more than $97 million to extend federal support for bioenergy alternatives to fossil fuels, $68 million to improve bioenergy crop production with a focus on marginal lands, and another $100 million to re-up a solar fuel research hub. [CleanTechnica]

Energy research (Dennis Shroeder | NREL)

¶ “Lake Erie’s Toxic Green Slime Is Getting Worse With Climate Change” • As the summer winds down, much of western Lake Erie stinks. Green goo, miles and miles of it, floats on the surface, emanating a smell like rotting fish as it decays. The scum isn’t just unpleasant. It’s dangerous. And the blooms are worsening with climate change. [InsideClimate News]

¶ “Solar Energy Facility With Potential To Power Laramie Could Come To Monolith Ranch” • The Laramie City Council voted unanimously to approve a lease agreement and MOU between the city and Boulevard Associates, LLC, Delaware, an affiliate of Next Era Energy, for the development of a solar energy center on the Monolith Ranch. [Laramie Boomerang]

Have an undemandingly wonderful day.

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August 8 Energy News

August 8, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Five Lessons From The Pandemic To Tackle The Climate Crisis” • In the wars against coronavirus and the climate crisis, we have met the enemy and the enemy is us. Such is the sentiment of virologists and climatologists alike as they point out how much the pandemic can teach us about the fight for the survival of life on Earth. [CNN]

Power plant

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Costs Of Owning A Conventional Car Are Far Higher Than People Think” • A study published in the journal Nature found that the majority of people greatly underestimate the total cost of conventional car. When they learn the truth, a significant proportion of them say that knowledge makes them more likely not to use cars. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Swarm Of Tiny Robots Could Help Eliminate Pesticides” • Imagine a future of foods free of harmful chemicals, where crops still grow strong and dense in the absence of choking weeds, but bees and other pollinators buzz and frolic among the crops. At Clint Brauer’s farm in Kansas, that future is very nearly a reality, thanks to autonomous robots. [CleanTechnica]

Autonomous robots (Image courtesy of Greenfield Robotics)

World:

¶ “Ship Aground Off Mauritius Begins Leaking Oil” • The island nation of Mauritius has declared a state of emergency after a vessel offshore began leaking oil into the ocean. MV Wakashio ran aground on a coral reef off the Indian Ocean island on 25 July and its crew was evacuated. But the ship has since begun leaking the 4,000 tons of fuel it has aboard. [BBC]

¶ “Hyundai And Urban-Air Port Working On Urban Air Mobility Infrastructure In UK” • Hyundai Air Mobility and Urban-Air Port teamed up to “explore new, purpose built, multifunctional, and scalable infrastructure for urban air mobility.” Hyundai plans to invest $1.5 billion over 5 years to develop an air vehicle and the broader urban air mobility ecosystem. [CleanTechnica]

Urban-Air Port (Image courtesy of Hyundai Air Mobility)

¶ “Nissan And E.ON Partner On Large UK Vehicle-To-Grid Project” • Nissan formed a new partnership with E.ON and a number of other organizations. They have deployed 20 V2G chargers to get a sense for how fleets of EVs could support the UK electricity grid in a financially sensible way for both business fleets and the grid. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “German Utility RWE Inks Solar PPA With Direct Energy” • German utility RWE has signed a power purchase agreement with Direct Energy Marketing Limited to supply electricity from a solar plant in Canada. The 25-MW Canadian Hull solar plant in Southern Alberta is expected to supply up to 50,000 MWh of electricity annually. [Energy Live News]

Solar array (RWE image)

¶ “European Renewables Are Growing Despite Pandemic” • In Europe, renewables grew during the pandemic despite an overall reduction in energy consumption, according to Fitch Ratings. This supported the earnings of renewables-focused utilities. Renewables generation grew by 8.4% over 2019 in Q2, while total energy generation fell 9.7%. [Fitch Ratings]

¶ “Facebook, Brookfield Renewable Announce New Wind Farm” • Facebook and Brookfield Renewable announced a new onshore wind farm for County Tipperary. The Lisheen III collaboration includes a long-term corporate power purchase agreement to produce and supply 100% renewable energy to the national electricity grid. [TechCentral.ie]

Irish wind farm

¶ “Fukushima’s Contaminated Wastewater May Be A Bigger Problem Than Realized” • TEPCO is considering dumping the wastewater from the Fukushima Disaster into the ocean slowly, after treating it chemically to remove most of the radioactive elements. A study published in the journal Science shows this is riskier than had been assumed. [IFLScience]

US:

¶ “AAA Adds 55 Electric Vehicles As Part Of Sacramento’s Green City Initiative” • AAA is adding 55 VW eGolf EVs to its vehicle subscription service in Sacramento, in support of Electrify America’s Green City Initiative. Electrify America is subsidizing the additional EVs for the AAA program to promote the benefits of driving electric vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

VW eGolf (mage courtesy of Electrify America)

¶ “The Value Of Rooftop Solar Power In Michigan: 24 Cents Per kWh” • The Solar Energy Industries Association discovered that the value of rooftop solar in Michigan is 24¢/kWh, well above what is paid to net-metered customers with solar power. It is less costly to serve residential customers with solar than those without it. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Verdant Power Progressing Tidal Energy Project In New York” • Verdant Power is moving ahead on installation of three, fifth-generation tidal power turbines on its TriFrame mount at its Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy Project site in the East River in New York City. The turbines have been mounted in preparation of a move to the site. [Offshore Oil and Gas Magazine]

Tidal turbines (Courtesy Verdant Power)

¶ “In Renewable Energy Boom, Great Lakes States Struggle To Kick Fossil Fuels” • Coal still dominates power generation in many Great Lakes states like Indiana, Illinois and Ohio. But they are beginning to embrace renewable energy. And some believe that the region has the potential to become the next hot spot for renewable energy development. [S&P Global]

¶ “Gideon Offers Climate Change Agenda, Decries Washington Inaction” • After touring a ReVision Energy facility, Maine’s Democratic US Senate challenger Sara Gideon proposed a climate change agenda focused on reducing carbon emissions that cause global warming and investing more in such renewable energy sources as solar and wind. [WMTW Portland]

Have a perfectly relaxing day.

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August 7 Energy News

August 7, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “How Falling Solar Costs Have Renewed Clean Hydrogen Hopes” • The world is increasingly banking on green hydrogen fuel to fill some of the critical missing pieces in the clean-energy puzzle. For decades, researchers have heralded a new “hydrogen economy,” but it’s barely made a dent in fossil fuel demand, so far. Now, that might change. [MIT Technology Review]

H2FUTURE green hydrogen plant (Voestalpine image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “UK Peat Emissions Could Cancel Forest Benefits” • A peat bog is a Jekyll and Hyde thing. A wet, pristine peat bog soaks up CO₂ and, unlike trees, has no limit to the amount of carbon it can capture. Trees only capture CO₂ until they are mature. But a dry, degraded bog is a big source of CO₂ as the carbon in the bog oxidises. [BBC]

World:

¶ “Northvolt: $3 Billion For 2 Battery Gigafactories In Europe” • Northvolt raised another $1.6 billion in debt, bringing total debt and equity raised to $3 billion. This and the previously raised $1.4 billion are for two battery gigafactories, one each in Sweden and Germany, along with “investments in R&D, industrialization, and recycling.” [CleanTechnica]

NorthVolt Labs (NorthVolt image)

¶ “Sembcorp Commissions 800 MW Of Wind Power Projects In India” • Sembcorp Energy India Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore-based Sembcorp Industries, has announced the completion of three 800 MW wind energy projects in India. Together, the projects will provide enought electricity to power more than 600,000 homes. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Mercedes-Benz And CATL Team Up” • One of the largest EV battery producers on the planet, CATL, and a luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz have teamed up to “lead in battery technology.” In particular, they are combining their R&D efforts. The batteries they produce are also intended to be manufactured in a such a way as to be CO₂-neutral. [CleanTechnica]

Mercedes EQS (Image courtesy of Daimler/Mercedes Benz)

¶ “JinkoSolar Will Run Entirely On Renewable Energy By 2025” • JinkoSolar announced that it will be 100% powered by renewables by 2025. It has unveiled its RE100 roadmap, which provides details on its approach. The company has crystalline silicon solar module manufacturing facilities in China, Malaysia, and the US state of Florida. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Borssele 3&4 Delivers First Power” • First power has been achieved from the Blauwwind consortium’s 732-MW Borssele 3&4 offshore wind farm in the Dutch North Sea. The developer said 36 of the 77 MHI Vestas 9.5-MW turbines are now installed, and it is expected that one additional machine will become operational each day. [reNEWS]

Blauwwind wind turbine (Blauwwind image)

¶ “Korea May Let KEPCO Generate Power Directly, But Only From Renewable Sources” • A bill before South Korea’s National Assembly would allow state-run utility firm Korea Electric Power Corp to generate power directly for the first time in 20 years. The new power would be restricted to renewable sources, under the government green drive. [Pulse News]

¶ “Offshore Wind To Reach Over 234 GW By 2030 Led By Asia-Pacific” • Global offshore wind capacity will surge to over 234 GW by 2030 from 29.1 GW at the end of 2019, led by the exponential growth in the Asia-Pacific region and continued strong growth in Europe, according to a report from the Global Wind Energy Council. [Power Engineering International]

Offshore wind farm (David Will | Pixabay)

¶ “US ‘Scrutinizing’ Saudi Arabia’s Nuclear Program After Chinese Help” • Saudi Arabia was reportedly close to completion of building its first nuclear reactor in 2019. It has also built a facility for extracting uranium yellowcake from uranium ore with Chinese help, a Wall Street Journal report says. It cites Western officials with knowledge of the site. [Haaretz]

¶ “Aker Offshore Wind Unveils Norway Floater Plans” • Aker Solutions’ new offshore wind spinoff is planning to develop floating and deepwater wind projects, totalling 1700 MW, in the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Aker Offshore Wind said one project, Sorlige Nordsjo 2, could potentially be the site of the 1.2-GW Sonnavindar project. [reNEWS]

Floating offshore windpower (Principle Power image)

US:

¶ “First Solar Joins RE100 And Pledges To Power 100% Of Global Operations Renewably By 2028” • First Solar Inc makes thin-film PV modules and provides EPC services. The company, based in Tempe, Arizona, committed 100% renewable power for its global PV making operations by 2028. US operations are to use carbon-free electricity by 2026. [Semiconductor Today]

¶ “Lawsuit Challenges Trump’s Overhaul of Environmental-Review Law” • A legal battle with far-reaching consequences for industry and ecosystems has kicked off with a federal lawsuit over the Trump administration’s revamp of a longstanding law that requires extensive environmental reviews for road, industry and building projects. [Courthouse News Service]

Yellowstone National Park (Chris Marshall | Courthouse News)

¶ “Invenergy Reaches Financial Close On Oregon Solar” • Invenergy and CoBank have completed construction financing for two solar projects totalling 100 MW, the Prineville and Millican Solar Energy Centers. The two projects in Crook County, Oregon are under construction and scheduled to be operational at the end of 2020. [reNEWS]

¶ “Facebook To Purchase Power From Apex’s 300-MW Lincoln Land Wind Project” • Apex Clean Energy has announced that Lincoln Land Wind executed a power purchase agreement with Facebook for about 170 MW of renewable power from the Illinois project. This makes Facebook the largest corporate customer of Apex by megawatt. [Citybizlist Real Estate]

Have an amusingly care-free day.

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August 6 Energy News

August 6, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Toxic Chemicals From Burning Fossil Fuels Poison Dolphins And Whales On East Coast” • High levels of toxic chemicals have been found in stranded dolphins and whales along coast of the the southeastern US, according to a study. Arsenic, mercury, and other chemicals from burning fossil fuels and mining were found in their bodies. [CNN]

Bottlenose dolphin (NASA, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “UK’s July EV Market Share At 9% – Up Almost 4× Year On Year” • The UK saw plugin electric vehicle market share hit 9.0% in July 2020, which is up significantly from 2.5% in July 2019. Overall, the auto market has seen a very strong recovery from this year’s Covid-19 downturn, growing 11.3% compared to the same month last year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Germany’s EV Market Share Hits All-Time Record, 11.4% in July – Up 4× Year on Year” • Germany, Europe’s largest auto market, saw record 11.4% plugin electric vehicle market share in July, up over 4× from the same month last year. For the overall auto market, sales in July 2020 sales were down 5% from July 2019, as the market recovers. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen e-Golf (Image courtesy of Volkswagen)

¶ “Vestas Hits 100 GW Service Milestone” • Vestas has claimed it is the first wind turbine supplier to have a portfolio of more than 100 GW under service. As installed capacity has grown, Vestas has expanded its service business, from a new business unit with a “high potential” in 2014 into a “strong and highly profitable” division today, the company said. [reNEWS]

¶ “China Promotes Grid Price Parity For Renewable Energy” • China will strengthen the construction of projects that facilitate wind and photovoltaic power to connect to the grid with price parity, China’s National Energy Administration said. The country will implement subsidy-free projects for wind and PV power to increase installed capacity. [ecns]

Installing PVs (Yao Feng | For China Daily)

¶ “Tender Announced For A Battery Energy Storage System In South Africa’s Western Cape” • Eskom Holdings SOC Limited, a South African power utility, has floated a tender for a battery energy storage system with a minimum of 80 MW / 320 MWh usable capacity at South Africa’s Skaapvlei substation, in Western Cape, Vredendal. [Mercom India]

¶ “Opportunities For Coastal Communities To Become “Project Shareholders” In Renewable Energy, Report Says” • A study by Eirwind showed that Ireland has more offshore wind resources than energy demand and could be exporting hydrogen. The report emphasized the importance of such stakeholders as rural communities and the fishing industry. [Afloat]

Offshore wind turbines (Andy Dingley, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Vestas Becomes First Renewable Energy Manufacturer With Verified Climate Targets In Line With 1.5°C Scenario” • Vestas is the first renewable energy manufacturer to have its targets validated by the SBTi as consistent with a 1.5°C scenario. The target validation follows Vestas’ announcement in January 2020 to be carbon neutral by 2030. [REVE]

¶ “Statkraft Secures 330 MW In Irish Auction” • Statkraft has secured capacity totalling 330 MW in Ireland’s first clean power auction, which awarded almost 1300 MW in total. The projects that were successful for Statkraft are the 34-MW Cloghan and 24-MW Taghart wind farms and the 78-MW Blundeltown and 198-MW Gallanstown solar parks. [reNEWS]

Mathias Kjellsson, Statkraft

US:

¶ “Covid-19 Bankrupts 19 Energy (Oil & Gas) Companies” • A total of 19 energy companies have filed for bankruptcy this year. These are not the only recent ones in the US industry, though. There are around 225 bankruptcy cases across the country in the energy sector that are still pending in federal bankruptcy courts as of May 31, 2020. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Underground HVDC Line To Connect Renewables, Other Generators In MISO, PJM Markets” • The developer of the SOO Green project announced a solicitation to allocate transmission capacity rights on a first-of-its-kind project co-locating electric transmission underground with a railroad corridor running from Iowa to Illinois. [Power Engineering Magazine]

Co-location of rail and power line (Image: Direct Connect)

¶ “Berkeley Lab Scientists To Help Advance Geothermal Energy Thanks To California Energy Commission Grants” • Deep under California’s Imperial County sits an immense reserve of critical metals, dissolved in brine. Among them is a huge amount of lithium. They are becoming available because of geothermal energy production. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “RWE, Mitsubishi Corp JV Joins Maine Floater Team” • A joint venture of Mitsubishi Corporation’s Diamond Offshore Wind and RWE Renewables is joining with the University of Maine to develop the Aqua Ventus 1 floating offshore wind demonstration project. The project will have one commercial turbine with a capacity of up to 12 MW. [reNEWS]

Floating wind turbine (Image: University of Maine)

¶ “Denver Looks To Install 15 MW Of Community Solar Gardens” • The City and County of Denver will host up to 15 MW of community solar gardens on municipal rooftops, over parking lots, and on vacant land as part of a Master Services Agreement signed with McKinstry, GRID Alternatives, and Unico Solar Investors. [Solar Power World]

¶ “City Council Weighing Investment In Nuclear Power Project” • Members of the Logan City Council are weighing whether to cut their losses or bet the bank on an increasingly expensive nuclear power project. As a member of the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, Logan City owns a partial interest in a proposed first-of-its-kind nuclear plant. [Cache Valley Daily]

Have a resoundingly successful day.

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August 5 Energy News

August 5, 2020

World:

¶ “Yamaha Creating High Performance Electric Motors For Mainstream Manufacturers” • The EV revolution keeps pushing forward, and Yamaha has turned its attention to designing and building high output electric motors that are as small and light as possible. It will soon offer a range of motors ranging from 35 kW (47 HP) to 200 kW (268 HP). [CleanTechnica]

Yamaha electric motor for cars (Image credit: Yamaha)

¶ “BP To Cut Oil Production 40% By 2030, And Invest Billions Into Green Energy” • BP announced that it is planning to cut oil and gas production by 40%, and it will invest billions of dollars into clean energy. This is part of a major strategic plan that was unveiled along with a gigantic second-quarter loss and a cut in dividends. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “RWE, Vattenfall To Feed Bosch Solar Power In Germany” • RWE Supply & Trading is to supply 50 MW of electricity to German technology and service company Bosch from solar power projects. And Vattenfall will also supply 10 MW. The solar farms can be built based on power purchase agreements, so they do not rely on subsidies. [reNEWS]

Solar farm (RWE image)

¶ “Japan’s Industry Ministry Reviewing Power Line Rules To Bolster Renewable Energy” • Japan is reviewing grid priorities that prioritize energy from coal. With most nuclear power plants still offline after the Fukushima Disaster, Japan gets 32% of its electricity from coal, compared with just 17% from renewable resources. [The Japan Times]

¶ “Green Power Auction Wins For 19 Wind Farms And 63 Solar Projects” • Nineteen new wind farms, totalling 479 MW, and 63 solar power projects, totalling 796 MW, won contracts under Ireland’s Renewable Electricity Support Scheme. Average contracts in the “general pot” of the auction were priced at €74.08/MWh. [The Irish Times]

Renewable energy (iStock image)

¶ “Ireland May Allocate 796 MW Of Solar In First Renewables Auction” • The Irish government announced provisional results of its first auction for large scale renewables. If the results are confirmed, they will have more than doubled the ambition of generating 1 TWh of clean energy, with 2,237 GWh of generation facilities allocated. [pv magazine International]

Australia:

¶ “Global Gold Miner Sets Sights On “Realistic” 99% Renewables Share On Mining Projects” • A gold mine in Western Australia recently shifted to a more than 50% mix of wind, solar, and battery storage. Now the global resources company behind that says it could aim much higher and has set its sights on a target of 99% renewables. [RenewEconomy]

Goldfields solar array

¶ “Goldwind To Deliver Turbines To Oz Hybrid Scheme” • Two turbines totalling 9 MW will be supplied by Goldwind Australia to a hybrid energy project in Western Australia that combines wind, solar, and battery storage. The project comprises the wind energy portion plus a 4-MW solar farm, a lithium-ion battery, and gas generators. [reNEWS]

¶ “GE Renewable Energy Wins 209-MW Australian Turbine Contract” • GE Renewable Energy announced contracts for the construction and operation of the 209-MW Murra Warra II wind farm in Victoria, Australia. The wind farm will use 38 GE Cypress 5.5-158 wind turbines. Victoria’s renewable energy target is 40% by 2025. [Power Engineering International]

GE Cypress prototype

¶ “GE Co-Develops Pumped Hydro Storage To Underpin 4-GW Wind And Solar Complex In Australia” • GE Renewable Energy signed an agreement with Australia’s Walcha Energy for joint development of the 500-MW Dungowan pumped hydro storage project in New South Wales. The project is to enable construction of a 4-GW wind and solar complex. [Recharge]

US:

¶ “Siemens Seeks To Optimize Microgrid Solutions With New Building Management System Integration” • Siemens is pushing into microgrid development with the launch of a microgrid test bed at its New Jersey R&D facility. It is a ‘living lab’ to explore the integration of a wide range of traditional microgrid components with the building itself. [CleanTechnica]

New Jersey R&D facility solar array (Courtesy of Siemens)

¶ “Connecticut’s Largest Ever Renewable Energy Investment Nears Final Approval” • Connecticut ratepayers are one step closer to funding the state’s largest ever purchase of renewable electricity, an offshore wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts. It is expected to provide 14% of Connecticut’s electricity once it’s completed in 2025. [Hartford Business]

¶ “Wind Powers Minneapolis Data Center” • US data center services company DataBank is powering a facility in Minneapolis with 100% renewable electricity from wind. The company signed an agreement with Dakota Electric Association to purchase 100% renewable energy to meet all 6 MW of critical IT load for the MSP2 data center for the next five years. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Abby Anaday | Unsplash)

¶ “Irish Solar Developer’s Projects In Maine Attract $100 Million Investment” • A global solar-electric development company from Ireland, BNRG Renewables, is partnering with a Maine firm, Dirigo Solar LLC, to develop eight large-scale projects over the next year. The enterprise has attracted roughly $100 million in private capital investment. [Lewiston Sun Journal]

¶ “Utah Taxpayers Association Calls On Cities To Back Out Of Nuclear Power Project” • Citing the potential for cost overruns, the Utah Taxpayers Association is calling on the 27 of the state’s municipalities that are involved in a small nuclear reactor project to back out ahead of a September deadline that will commit them to further costs. [Salt Lake Tribune]

Have an appropriately ecstatic day.

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August 4 Energy News

August 4, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “It’s Time For American Leaders To Wake Up To The Threat Of Climate Change For The Good Of The Planet And Business” • If left unchecked, the impact of climate change will alter our world, reshaping our coastlines and coastal cities, accelerate extinctions, devastate agriculture, cause famine, ravage our economy, and threaten our health. [TIME]

Wind farm in Texas (Paul Harris | Getty Images)

¶ “Is Energy Still A Natural Monopoly?” • In the past it made sense to monopolize utility services, but does it make sense now? Considering the ever-increasing access to solar energy, co-op and neighborhood power, and independence from electrical utilities, where can we afford to compete? Scott Hempling addresses these integral questions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Road Revenue Plummets – New Ways To Fund Infrastructure Projects Needed” • With Covid-19, traffic has been reduced to a fraction of what it had been. As road revenue plummets because of low sales of gasoline and diesel oil, road infrastructure projects that keep our labor force on the job and support the economy are in real jeopardy. [CleanTechnica]

Lonely truck (Image from Transportation.gov)

¶ “Watching The Baseload Paradigm Fail” • A nuclear power plant being used for load-following may be a symptom of an inexorable move away from baseload power toward a new paradigm built around less expensive combinations of renewable power with storage. The new technologies are also more reliable, more secure, and far more flexible. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “The ‘Solar Canals’ Making Smart Use Of India’s Space” • One of the main challenges in building solar farms in India is finding good places to build them. The high population density makes it hard to find sites for solar arrays. Rooftop solar is used, but roofs are inadequate for the need. In Gujarat, the answer has been to cover its canals with solar panels. [BBC]

Irrigation canal covered with solar panels (Getty Images)

¶ “Coastal Erosion: The ‘Forgotten’ Community Left To Fall Off A Cliff” • Across England in the next decade, it is estimated that up to 2,000 homes could be destroyed due to coastal erosion, which is expected to be accelerated by climate change. While other properties have been protected by costly coastal defences, these are not considered worth saving. [BBC]

¶ “Tesla Has 19% of Global Plugin Vehicle Market” • According to data from EV Volumes, in H1 of 2020, Tesla was #1 in terms of plugin vehicles sold globally, with just slightly more sales than the combination of the next three, Volkswagen, BMW, and BYD. Overall, Tesla took home 19% of the world’s plugin vehicle sales in the first half of 2020. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 (CleanTechnica image)

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Success Convinces Hyundai To Accelerate Transition To Electric Cars” • According to a report by Reuters, South Korea’s Hyundai plans to introduce two production lines dedicated to making electric vehicles, one next year and another in 2024. Reuters says the information was seen by its reporters in an internal union newsletter. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Melbourne’s Gigantic Solar Farm To Power On In January” • Melbourne Airport announced it will finish construction of its enormous solar farm next month, ready for it to be switched on in January. The panels will generate 17 GWh of electricity per annum, which will be sufficient to cover 15% of the airport’s electricity needs. [Australian Aviation]

Melbourne Aiport solar system under construction

¶ “World’s Largest Solar Farm And Battery To Export Green Energy” • A plan to build a huge solar farm and battery in the Northern Territory to supply power to Singapore and Indonesia was granted “major project status” by the Australian government. The project could provide Singapore with enough electricity to meet 20% of its demand. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “France’s Revolutionary Nuclear Reactor Is A Leaky, Expensive Mess” • A revolutionary French reactor design is 10 years overdue and nearly four times over budget. The country’s new energy minister has called the European pressurized reactor, which is being built at the Flamanville nuclear power plant, “a mess” in public interviews. [Popular Mechanics]

Flamanville construction (schoella, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Is Hydrogen The Future For US Power Companies?” • The US DOE has unveiled the H2@Scale initiative, through which a handful of companies will receive $64 million in government funding for hydrogen research projects. The companies include Cummins Inc, Caterpillar Inc, 3M Company, Plug Power Inc, and EV startup Nikola Corp. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “$4.5 Million Federal Grant Looks To Upgrade Borrego Springs Microgrid To 100% Renewable Energy” • A San Diego Gas & Electric’s microgrid in the desert town of Borrego Springs got a $4.5 million grant from the DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Office. The grant is for upgrades so the microgrid can run 100% on renewable energy. [The San Diego Union-Tribune]

Borrego Springs microgrid (San Diego Gas & Electric)

¶ “San José Clean Energy, Peninsula Clean Energy Launch Joint Request For Offers For Renewable Energy + Battery Storage” • San José Clean Energy and Peninsula Clean Energy launched a joint Request for Offers for the purchase of 1,000 GWh annually of new, long-term renewable energy or renewable energy-plus-battery storage resources. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Report: ‘Total Decarbonization’ Would Create 25 Million Jobs” • “Rapid and total decarbonization” of the US economy, by tripling the size of the electric grid and replacing nearly every fuel-burning machine with an electric one, would create 25 million US jobs, according to a report. Its authors compare the effort with that undertaken for World War II. [E&E News]

Have a majestically gorgeous day.

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August 3 Energy News

August 3, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “How To Build A Nuclear Warning For 10,000 Years’ Time” • The Waste Isolation Pilot Project, which was built over 2,000 feet down through stable rocks beneath the desert of New Mexico, is a huge complex of tunnels and caverns designed to contain the US military’s most dangerous nuclear waste. It will be lethal for hundreds of thousands of years. [BBC]

Drums of nuclear waste

¶ “Just How Much Does Tesla Get In Subsidies Anyways?” • A common theme Tesla critics have focused on from time to time for years regarding Tesla is subsidies. The idea from critics is that Tesla is getting billions of dollars of subsidies and that’s why it’s a viable company. Let’s take a look at that thought and see how accurate it really is. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Who Will Own The Hydrogen Future: Oil Companies Or Power Utilities?” • Within the span of a week, major utilities Iberdrola, Uniper, and NextEra all made big moves into the hydrogen market. But whether utilities will have the ability – or need – to compete with oil companies in the emerging hydrogen market remains an open question. [Greentech Media]

Gas storage facility of German utility Uniper (Credit: Uniper)

World:

¶ “Is Mexican Utility CFE Entering The Solar Business?” • Mexico’s Federal Electricity Commission is seeking approval to develop 350 MW of solar in Baja California. The arrays will be co-sited with the 820-MW Cerro Prieto geothermal project. It remains unclear whether this marks the company’s formal entry into the solar business. [pv magazine International]

¶ “OPEC Struggles To Manage ‘Permanent Demand Destruction'” • The last year has been hard for the oil industry. An oil glut, a coronavirus pandemic, and competition from EVs are all doing their parts to undermine oil. A report by Reuters says some people in oil-producing nations wonder whether we are seeing “permanent demand reduction.” [CleanTechnica]

Ships at anchor, full of oil (PO3 Aidan Cooney | US Coast Guard)

¶ “Envision Commissions Peninsula Wind Farm Project” • Green tech company Envision Group has commissioned the Peninsula Wind Farm project in the Yucatan, with a total installed capacity of 90 MW. The wind farm  is jointly owned and developed by Envision Energy, Mexican developer Vive Energia and Spanish conglomerate ACS. [North American Windpower]

¶ “More Coal Power Generation Closed Than Opened Around The World This Year, Research Finds” • The size of the global coal power fleet fell for the first time on record over the first six months of the year, with more generation capacity shutting than starting operation, according to Global Energy Monitor, a US research and advocacy group. [The Guardian]

Coal (Robert Cianflone | Getty Images)

¶ “China’s Renewable Energy Capacity Up In H1” • China saw a robust growth in renewable energy capacity in the first half of the year, data from the National Energy Administration showed. The generating capacity of PV power increased 20% year on year to 127.8 billion kWh, while that of wind power rose 10.9% to 237.9 billion kWh in H1. [China.org.cn]

¶ “Open Up Offshore Windfarm Subsidy Scheme, Urges Scottish Power” • One of Britain’s biggest wind power developers called on the government to scrap the limit on its next offshore wind subsidy auction to push a green economic recovery, claiming it will not lead to a rise in energy bills but will deliver a “huge wave” of investment and jobs. [The Guardian]

Offshore wind farm (Darren Cool | E.On | PA)

¶ “251 GW Of New Chinese Wind Expected This Decade” • China is expected to add 251 GW of new wind capacity through 2029 but additions will take a 16% hit from next year due to the end of subsidies, according to Wood Mackenzie. The country’s wind power market could reach a cumulative grid connected capacity of 461 GW by the end of the decade. [reNEWS]

¶ “Ireland ‘On Track’ To Meet 2020 Clean Power Goal” • Ireland is on track to reach its 2020 renewable energy target to get 40% of its electricity from clean power, after a strong second quarter saw wind energy alone deliver 28.5% of the country’s electricity. That is up from 26.1% in the second quarter of last year, and new wind farms are coming online. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Jonathan Mitchell | IWEA)

¶ “Murra Warra 2 Reaches Financial Close In Oz” • RES and Macquarie’s Green Investment Group have reached financial close for the second stage of the 209-MW Murra Warra Wind Farm near Horsham, Western Victoria, with its sale to global private markets investment manager Partners Group. GE will provide 38 turbines, each of 5.5 MW. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “As Activists Push NJ To Divest From Fossil Fuels, State Turns To Green-Energy Fund” • New Jersey’s public-worker pension system is committing up to $100 million of its assets to the Stonepeak Global Renewables Fund, a private-equity fund that will invest solely in renewable-energy infrastructure projects around the globe. [NJ Spotlight]

Solar array (Credit: Samuel Faber | Pixabay)

¶ “NextEra Energy Sees Hydrogen As A Zero Emissions Alternative To Natural Gas” • The parent company of Florida Power & Light, NextEra Energy, is eyeing a technology that may help it eliminate all emissions related to the electricity it sells. Hydrogen may be made by electrolysis using renewable energy that would otherwise be curtailed. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “July Was Hottest Month On Record In Portland, Weather Service Says” • July was the hottest month on record in Portland, Maine, sparking conserns about heat related health issues. Portland averaged 73.7°F during the month, 4.6° above normal and 0.6° above July 2019, the previous hottest month, according to the National Weather Service. [Press Herald]

Have an altogether untroubled day.

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August 2 Energy News

August 2, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “‘Getting Back To Normal’ Is The Last Thing Governments Should Be Doing” • Normal is a society with 99% of the wealth owned by 1% of the people. Normal is pollution that kills more Americans each year than Covid-19. Normal is a Senate that funds fighter jets before human beings. America may not be able to survive more a return to normal. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.
(Image: European Society of Cardiologists)

¶ “Trump Is Emboldening Other Countries’ ‘Bad Behavior’ On The Climate Crisis” • Donald Trump’s of withdrawal from the Paris Agreement will take effect on November 4. The divisions his stance opened up within the US have also been starkly in evidence at the annual UN climate talks, where two different US groups have been showing up for three years. [Grist]

¶ “The (Renewable) Power And Politics Fueling The UAE’s New Nuclear Plant” • The United Arab Emirates’ Barakah nuclear power plant, a first for the Arab world, successfully started up Saturday in a region grappling with conflicts. Here are some facts about the nuclear plant in a country with vast oil reserves that is investing heavily in renewables. [The Times of Israel]

Barakah nuclear plant (Arun Girija | WAM via AP, File)

¶ “Realistic Proposals Needed To Deal With Coal’s Decline” • State and local governments in coal-producing areas must plan for what budgeting will be like as revenues from coal severance taxes and income taxes from businesses that depend on coal decline. The problem has been around for years, but it needs to be better addressed. [Huntington Herald Dispatch]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Rasberries Can Grow Under Solar Panels!” • What may have been a crazy idea a few years ago, it turns into a project in the Netherlands. A Dutch farm had 10,250 solar panels deployed across 3.2 hectares of raspberry crops to provide renewable energy for the area and create a more sustainable environment for the raspberries to grow in. [Energy Live News]

Raspberries under solar panels (Image: BayWa re)

World:

¶ “France EV Market Share Hits 9.5% In July – And 4× Volume Growth Year-on-Year” • July saw France’s plugin passenger vehicle market share hit 9.5%, compared to 2.5% in July 2019. While the overall auto market in France was up 3.7% from last year, plugin sales grew impressively; 16,967 were sold in July 2020, up from 4,258 in July 2019. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Largest Floating Solar Park In Europe Connected To Grid In Netherlands” • The largest floating solar power park outside of China was recently completed in the Netherlands by BayWa re’s Dutch subsidiary GroenLeven. It is expected to provide energy for 7,200 homes. It has 72,000 solar panels. And it was built in just seven weeks. [CleanTechnica]

Zonnepark Bomhofsplas (Energiefonds Overijssel image)

¶ “Lower-Range BEVs Are Seeing Strong Sales In Europe” • Will consumers buy BEVs with less than around 250 miles of range based on the EPA test cycle? Elon Musk doesn’t think so. But for the first 6 months of 2020, European sales of EVs were led by the Renault Zoe, which has a WLTP range of 245 miles (219 miles under the EPA test cycle). [CleanTechnica]

¶ “India’s Shift To Renewable Energy Driven By Lower Costs” • Sustainability goals, consumer awareness, and, especially, lower costs are spurring India to shift to using renewable energy. Indian companies are switching to clean energy sources for more than altruistic reasons, according to speakers at a webcast held by the Global Wind Energy Council. [EnergyInfraPost]

India (ReNew Power image)

¶ “Deutsche Bank To Discontinue Lending To Coal Miners” • Deutsche Bank announced that it would discontinue doing business with companies that are most exposed to coal mining by 2025 at the latest. Deutsche Bank also said it would cease financing of new projects in the Arctic and of oil sand projects immediately. [EconoTimes]

¶ “Ottawa Taps The Brakes On Huge Coal Mine Expansion Near Jasper National Park; Alberta’s UCP Stays Mum For Now” • Federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson tapped the brakes on the Vista coal mine expansion near Hinton with an announcement Ottawa will take a look at the environmental impact of the project after all. [albertapolitics.ca]

Coal mine near Hinton, Alberta (Photo: Bighorn Mining)

US:

¶ “Xpeng Motors Ready For IPO In USA” • Xpeng Motors, a popular EV startup in China that has unabashedly followed Tesla’s lead, that used patents that Tesla opened up for anyone to use, and that designed and developed cars that clearly resemble Teslas (yet do have their own design language) is readying for an IPO in the US. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Report Details The Promise Of Plum Island” • A 72-page report, “Envision Plum Island,” lays out a road map for turning New York’s Plum Island into a prized public jewel under state and local ownership. The report is from the Preserve Plum Island Coalition, 110 organizations seeking to prevent its sale by the US government to the highest bidder. [theday.com]

Lighthouse on Plum Island (Day file photo)

¶ “Climate Change Deniers Get More News Coverage Than Scientists, Study Proves” • A study found that climate change deniers get far more news coverage than climate scientists and activists. This helps explain why the US seems to have such a hard time accepting science. We are allowing the coverage to be skewed by corporations. [The Ring of Fire Network]

¶ “WEC Pledges To Be Carbon-Neutral By 2050” • WEC Energy Group, which owns We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service, is pledging to go carbon-neutral by 2050, joining a growing list of companies that are looking to step up their carbon reduction goals. It has set a new goal to reduce carbon emissions 70% in the next decade. [Urban Milwaukee]

Have an extraordinarily rewarding day.

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August 1 Energy News

August 1, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “China’s Three Gorges Dam Is One Of The Largest Ever Created. Was It Worth It?” • Three Gorges Dam is the largest hydropower project ever. It was designed to generate electricity for China’s breakneck economic growth. It was also to tame China’s longest river, shielding millions of people from fatal floods. But it hasn’t quite worked out that way. [CNN]

Releasing water from the Three Gorges Dam

Science and Technology:

¶ “Tesla Autopilot Accidents: 1 Per 4,530,000 Miles; US Average: 1 Per 479,000 Miles” • Tesla released its quarterly “Tesla Vehicle Safety Report.” The Tesla Q2 figure for accidents was far better than the US average – about 10 times better when the Autopilot is engaged. The figures clearly show that Tesla’s safety features are impressively effective. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “CRI Successfully Demonstrates Chemical Storage With Renewable Methanol” • Carbon Recycling International has shown that its renewable methanol can be used to store surplus renewable energy chemically. CRI developed a process to convert captured CO₂ and hydrogen directly into methanol by use of catalysts. [The Chemical Engineer]

CRI installation in Germany (CRI image)

¶ “Tata Power To Raise Green Energy Portfolio To 50% With Focus On Renewables” • Indian utility Tata Power will focus on renewable resources for future growth, and it aims to raise its green energy portfolio to 50%. Its growth is to concentrate on renewables, distribution, and transmission of power along with new and value-added business. [Business Standard]

¶ “Águas De Portugal Group To Go Energy Self-Sustaining With 100% Renewable Power” • Águas de Portugal Group has set out its ZERO Energy Neutrality Program. AdP Group is moving to achieve energy neutrality within ten years by reducing levels of consumption and raising its own production of 100% renewable energy. [WaterWorld]

Solar powered facility (Águas De Portugal Group)

¶ “Solar Project Set To Break Ground Will Produce Up To 39 MW” • According to BluEarth Renewables, a utility-scale solar project will begin construction this month southwest of Medicine Hat, Alberta. BluEarth announced that it has signed a PPA with Bullfrog Power to “directly support the construction” of the 39-MW project. [Medicine Hat News]

¶ “Enel Enters Into 164-MW PPA In Guatemala” • Enel Green Power signed a PPA with the Guatemalan energy distributor, Comercializadora de Energia para el Desarrollo, for the supply of renewable electricity over the next 10 years. The deal is for 1.26 TWh of power that will be generated five hydro plants owned by by Enel Green Power Guatemala. [reNEWS]

Enel Green Power facility (Enel Green Power image)

¶ “UAE Launches Start-Up Operations At First Nuclear Power Plant” • The United Arab Emirates began start-up operations in the first unit of the Barakah nuclear power plant, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation said. It is the first nuclear power plant to operate in the Arab world. It was originally due to open in 2017 but faced delays. [TheChronicleHerald.ca]

¶ “Fossil Fuel Industry Engaging In ‘Pervasive Fraud’ That Threatens Global Economy, Report Warns” • A report from the National Whistleblower Center says deception on the financial risks of climate change by fossil fuel executives is widespread and is likely actionable fraud. Further securities fraud lawsuits against fossil fuel companies can be expected. [DeSmog]

Pumpjack (Penn State via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

US:

¶ “News Corp: Rupert Murdoch’s Son James Quits Company” • James Murdoch, son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, resigned from the board of News Corporation citing “disagreements over editorial content.” The exact nature of the disagreements was not detailed, but Mr Murdoch has previously criticised News Corp outlets for climate change coverage. [BBC]

¶ “100% Renewable Energy For 2,700 New EV Fast Charging Stations In USA” • GM paired with the leading fast charging company EVgo to install more than 2,700 public EV fast charging stations across the country, all running through clean power contracts. The plan aims to ramp up EV sales by making more fast chargers. [CleanTechnica]

Chevy Bolt (Photo: Tina Casey)

¶ “GM’s Ultium Battery Factory Is Sprouting Up In Ohio” • When you think of a US automaker building a large EV battery factory, Tesla tends to come to mind, but it’s worth remembering that GM is doing this as well. The company proudly showed off some pictures from the site, to remind people of its progress and cheer on its employees and contractors. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Oil Giants Post Historic Losses As COVID-19 Obliterates Demand” • With a pandemic and a crude oil glut, the country’s two largest oil giants posted their steepest losses in modern history. ExxonMobil posted a $1.1 billion loss in the year’s second quarter. Chevron Corporation lost $8.3 billion, including a $5.2 billion write-down on assets. [HuffPost]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “CMS Energy Takes Control Of 525-MW Texas Aviator” • US company CMS Energy has bought a majority stake in the 525-MW Aviator wind farm in Texas for an undisclosed price. Aviator will be operated by CMS Enterprises, a subsidiary of CMS Energy that develops, owns, and operates renewable energy facilities. It is to be online this year. [reNEWS]

¶ “Xcel Energy Temporarily Stops Load Following At Prairie Island After NRC Inspection” • Xcel Energy temporarily stopped load following operations at Prairie Island in Minnesota after NRC determined that plant procedures should have required further analysis of such operations due to their long-term effects on safety. [S&P Global]

Have a monumentally mirthful day.

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July 31 Energy News

July 31, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Flooding From Sea Level Rise Could Cost Our Planet $14.2 Trillion, Study Says” • If the world does nothing to mitigate rising sea levels, it could cost the global economy $14.2 trillion in lost or damaged assets by the end of the century, as larger areas of land, home to millions of people, are inundated, a study in the journal Science Reports says. [CNN]

Florida (Matt Gannon | CNN)

¶ “SK Innovation Will Collaborate With John Goodenough On Solid-State Batteries” • South Korean battery manufacturer SK Innovation announced it will collaborate with Dr Goodenough and Dr Hadi Khani to make his solid-state battery dream come true. The goal is a unique gel-polymer electrolyte for a lithium-metal battery. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “PSA Group Accelerates EV Transition With Dedicated Electric Car Chassis” • PSA Group is building sales of battery electric vehicles while continuing to make money – not an easy task with the Covid-19 market disruptions. The company’s e-208, a battery electric vehicle built on the same chassis as several other models in the 208 family, is selling well. [CleanTechnica]

PSA Group eVMP platform (Courtesy of PSA Group)

¶ “TenneT Plots €5 Billion Annual Investment Drive” • TenneT, a Dutch/German transmission system operator, expects to scale up investments to €4 billion to €5 billion in the next few years. The TSO invested over €1.4 billion in the Dutch and German grids in the first half of 2020, a 30% increase on the same period last year when just under €1.1bn was invested. [reNEWS]

¶ “100+ Ultrafast Charging Stations Coming To Aral Stations In Germany” • Germany, at last, has implemented strong new electric vehicle incentives, and EV market share is thus rising fast, with EV market share nearing 9% in June. Plus, automakers have to sell electric cars or pay big fines, so they’re finally trying to sell EVs. [CleanTechnica]

Aral charging stations (Image courtesy of Aral)

¶ “Singapore Set To Get A New Peer-to-Peer Renewable Trading Platform” • Singapore-based Senoko Energy announced that it had launched a pilot project for peer-to-peer renewable energy trading. The company says the project will allow producers and consumers to trade locally-produced solar energy after they had registered on the platform. [Mercom India]

¶ “Australia’s Trilemma Of Providing Good, Fast And Cheap Energy Finally Has A Clear Solution” • Good, fast, cheap. Pick only two” is a maxim that applies to almost any endeavor. The Australian Energy Market Operator’s Integrated System Plan has put paid to that trilemma, at least for energy in Australia with its vast renewable energy resources. [The Guardian]

Installing solar panels (Lucy Hughes Jones | AAP)

¶ “UK Wind Output Hits Record 64 TWh In 2019” • Total wind generation in the UK rose by 13% in 2019 to a record 64 TWh, the Government’s Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics said. Wind speeds in 2019 were down on 2018, by 0.31 knots on average, but this was more than offset by additional capacity coming online, the government said. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “It’s Time! A Majority Of People In The US Say The Federal Gov’t Should Do More About Climate” • A Pew Research Center study found a majority of US adults want the government to do more about climate change. And not just Democrats. Of those the center calls “Republican leaders,” 83% say climate change is impacting their local community. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it (From Global Change)

¶ “Duke Energy, SustainRNG Partner To Develop RNG On Dairy Farms” • Duke Energy announced partnering with SustainRNG to harness renewable natural gas on dairy farms, starting in the southeastern US. SustainRNG will engineer, finance, construct, and operate Renewable Natural Gas sites in collaboration with dairy farmers. [Biomass Magazine]

¶ “EDPR Reaches 200-MW Harvest Ridge Summit” • EDP Renewables has started commercial operations at the 200-MW Harvest Ridge wind farm in Illinois. The project, located in Douglas County, has long-term power purchase agreements to provide electricity to Wabash Valley Power Alliance, Walmart, and a private offtaker. [reNEWS]

Farm and wind turbines (EDPR image)

¶ “US Lawmakers Urge Change To Icebreaker Shutdown Rules” • A bipartisan group of 32 US legislators, from across north-east Ohio, sent a letter to state authorities requesting reconsideration of operating restrictions placed on the Icebreaker offshore wind project. Last minute conditions imposed by the authorities had made the project unfeasible. [reNEWS]

¶ “Chevron To Build 500 MW Of Renewables To Power Oil And Gas Facilities” • Chevron announced that it will build 500 MW of renewable energy plants to power some of its global facilities. This amounts to a sizable scaling up of clean energy resources for an oil giant that has made comparatively few big investments in renewables to date. [Greentech Media]

Yippee!

¶ “GoMacro To Power Viola With Renewable Wind Energy” • GoMacro, known for its organic, plant-based nutrition bars, says all residences, businesses and schools in Viola, Wisconsin, will be powered by 100% renewable wind energy thanks to a partnership it entered into with the village. The partnership is the first of its kind in the country. [North American Windpower]

¶ “JEA Settles Costly Lawsuit Over Plant Vogtle” • Florida utility JEA announced it had settled its lawsuit with the owners of Plant Vogtle, ending a legal fight that cost Jacksonville ratepayers more than $10 million while failing to free it from a controversial agreement to purchase power from the Georgia nuclear power plant. [The Florida Times-Union]

Have a totally awesome day.

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July 30 Energy News

July 30, 2020

World:

¶ “MHI, CIP Forge Japan Offshore Wind Joint Venture” • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners entered into a joint venture to develop offshore wind projects off the coast of Hokkaido. The 50:50 joint venture will have a team of staff from both owners. MHI already has a joint venture with turbine maker Vestas. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbine installation (Image: MHI Vestas)

¶ “Record EV Sales In Europe” • While the European automotive market is still in recovery mode in June, down 24% year over year, the European passenger plugin vehicle market has returned to the fast track, with almost 93,000 registrations in June, a 95% increase. In fact, it was a record performance – and it came during an industry slump. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewables Covered 50% Of Germany’s Power Demand In H1” • Germany’s Federal Environment Agency said this week that renewables generated around 138 billion kWh of electricity in the first six months of 2020, or roughly 10 billion kWh more than in the first half of 2019. Solar PVs accounted for about 28 billion kWh of the total. [pv magazine International]

Renewable energy (Winsol image)

¶ “Saudi SABIC To Build World’s First Renewable Power Chemical Plant” • SABIC plans to build a chemical plant in Spain fully powered by renewable energy in what is the first project of its kind anywhere in the world. The polycarbonate facility in Cartegena is expected to be fully operational by 2024, powered by a 100-MW PV solar plant. [ZAWYA]

¶ “Power Giant Highlights Potential Of Argyll Renewable Energy Plant” • Energy giant Drax sees great potential in the Cruachan pumped hydro storage power station in Argyll. It is considering a plan for dramatic expansion of the facility, which could provide a big boost to the local economy. It could invest hundreds of millions of pounds in it. [HeraldScotland]

Turbine hall at Cruachan facility (Drax image)

¶ “Shell And Eneco Win Dutch Offshore Wind Tender” • A consortium of Shell and Eneco triumphed in the latest subsidy free Dutch offshore wind auction, securing the right to build the 759-MW Hollandse Kust North project. The CrossWind joint venture will install 69 wind turbines from Siemens Gamesa, each with a capacity of 11 MW. [reNEWS]

¶ “World’s Fastest Energy Transition: AEMO Maps Path To 94% Renewables” • The Australian Energy Market Operator says Australia is in the midst of what is likely to be the world’s fastest energy transition. And it finalised its 20-year blueprint to make sure that the shift from coal to a grid dominated by wind, solar, and storage can happen smoothly. [RenewEconomy]

Wind turbines (Infigen Energy)

US:

¶ “Elon Musk Says Tesla Willing To Share Software And Powertrains With Competitors” • Tesla has been pleading with established automakers for years to please, please, please make competitive electric cars. For all those companies struggling to catch up, Elon Musk has a simple solution. Buy what you need from Tesla. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “China Is Crushing The USA In Electric Bus Growth. Proterra Wants To Change That” • China already has 420,000 e-buses in operation. The US has only about 600. Proterra has developed a battery-leasing program for local governments that brings the upfront investment in an e-bus down to the same level as that of a legacy diesel. [CleanTechnica]

Proterra bus (Courtesy of Proterra)

¶ “Arizona Regulators May Impose Big Boost In Energy Requirements – 100% Clean Energy By 2050” • Arizona utility regulators are proposing a substantial increase in renewable energy requirements, mandating that utilities eventually get all their power from carbon-free sources. This would put Arizona in line with many of its Western neighbors. [AZCentral.com]

¶ “US Department Of Energy Picks Five Projects To Receive Up To $28 Million For Geothermal Energy Research” • The US DOE announced that five projects will receive up to $28 million to promote the advancement of the next generation of geothermal energy technologies. The projects align with the goals of the 2019 GeoVision study. [CleanTechnica]

Geothermal energy (HERO image)

¶ “Renewables set to replace coal-fired San Juan Generating Station” • With a unanimous vote, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission ended part of the debate on the future of coal in the Four Corners region. Utility PNM will rely on 100% renewable energy and battery storage to replace coal-fired San Juan Generating Station. [New Mexico Political Report]

¶ “Texas Utility CPS Energy Kicks Off Search For More Than 1 GW Of Clean Resources” • San Antonio municipal utility CPS Energy is asking for ideas on how it can replace aging fossil-fueled generation with more than 1 GW of solar, flexible capacity, and storage. CPS’ “Flexible Path” plan calls for 80% of its energy to be emissions free by 2040. [Greentech Media]

San Antonio

¶ “ORNL-Produced Plutonium-238 To Help Power Perseverance On Mars” • After a long journey to Mars that starts this summer, NASA’s Perseverance rover will be powered across the planet’s surface in part by plutonium produced at the US DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Nuclear decay produces heat that is used to charge batteries. [Mirage News]

¶ “More Big Batteries Coming To The West, As EDF Renewables Nabs Deal With NV Energy” • EDF Renewables plans to build a 200-MW solar plant with a 180-MW / 720-MWh battery for NV Energy, the developer announced. It is one of a growing list of large solar-and-storage projects under construction in the state and the broader region. [Greentech Media]

Have a really fun day.

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July 29 Energy News

July 29, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Talking About Climate Change: It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It” • You might have found yourself talking to someone about Earth justice and climate change, and suddenly, you notice their eyes have started to glaze over. How do you talk to such a person? The answer lies in messaging, as has been explained by political author George Lakoff. [CleanTechnica]

Sen Whitehouse with US Fish & Wildlife officials (public domain)

Science and Technology:

¶ “World’s Largest Nuclear Fusion Project Begins Assembly” • The world’s biggest nuclear fusion project has entered its five-year assembly phase. When finished, it will be able to generate the super-hot “plasma” needed for fusion power. The £18.2 billion (€20 billion; $23.5 billion) facility has been under construction in southern France. [BBC]

¶ “Believe It Or Not, Forests Migrate – But Not Fast Enough For Climate Change” • We’re all familiar with migration: Wildebeests in Africa, Monarch butterflies in the Americas … but did you know that forests migrate, too? In his new book The Journeys of Trees, science writer Zach St George explores the agonizingly slow migration of forests. [GPB]

Giant Sequoia National Monument (David McNew | Getty Images)

World:

¶ “RBC Becomes First Canadian Bank To Sign Long-Term Renewable Energy Power Purchase Agreement” • RBC has announced signing a formal partnership with Bullfrog Power, a Spark Power company, and BluEarth Renewables for a long-term renewable energy Power Purchase Agreement. It is a first for a Canadian financial institution. [Stockhorse]

¶ “1.4 Million Ugandans To Access Reliable And Affordable Energy Under New Initiative” • Millions of people in villages of Uganda are set to access reliable, cheap electricity for the first time under a new off-grid solar scheme that Fenix International, an ENGIE subsidiary, and the European Investment Bank have agreed on. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Off-grid electricity charging a cell phone (Courtesy of Engie)

¶ “Greenlink Gains Onshore Planning Approvals In Wales” • Pembrokeshire County Council in Wales approved remaining planning applications for onshore works for the 500-MW Greenlink interconnector. The 200 km submarine cable will link the power markets of Great Britain and Ireland. The approval was unanimous. [reNEWS]

¶ “Nearly 3 Billion Animals Killed Or Displaced In Australia’s Fires, Scientists Say” • Nearly 3 billion animals were killed or displaced by the catastrophic bushfire season that scorched tens of millions of acres across Australia in 2019 and 2020, according to experts. They hope the research will demonstrate the urgent need for action to prevent future disasters. [HuffPost]

Animal rescue (John Moore | Getty Images)

¶ “Kayan And Cirata Renewable Power Plant Projects Continue Despite Pandemic” • The development of West Java’s Cirata solar power plant and North Kalimantan’s Kayan hydropower plant is moving forward despite the ongoing pandemic. The two plants are nearing the construction phase, bringing Indonesia closer to a boost in its green energy capacity. [Jakarta Post]

US:

¶ “Why America’s Schools Are Turning Into Solar Power Stations” • On the campus of Galesburg High School in Illinois, there is a football field, a track, eight tennis courts, two baseball and two softball diamonds, and an acre of PVs that can generate nearly 1,800 MWh of electricity per year. The array will knock $40,000 off the school’s energy bill. [HuffPost]

Galesburg High School (Courtesy of Galesburg CUSD 205)

¶ “Solar-for-Coal Energy Swaps Could Facilitate Utilities’ Renewables Transition, Analysis Shows” • Natural gas is often called a transition fuel between coal and renewables, but direct solar-for-coal swaps could enable utilities to skip that step entirely, according to an analysis by Energy Innovation: Policy and Technology LLC. [Morning Consult]

¶ “Study Finds Renewable Energy Has Created 6,300 Jobs In Rural Colorado” • The renewable energy industry has created 6,334 jobs and generates $388.6 million a year in economic activity in eastern Colorado, according to a study from The Western Way, a Denver-based conservative environmental group. [Colorado Springs Gazette]

Wind turbine in Colorado (Christian Murdock | The Gazette)

¶ “Switch Turns To Tesla For Renewable Energy Storage” • Global data center provider Switch has selected Tesla as the battery supplier for a massive solar project at its northern Nevada data center facilities. It is a geographically easy alliance as Switch’s campus is right near Tesla’s Gigafactory Nevada manufacturing facility. [Network World]

¶ “Duke Rolls Out Alternative Lifting Service In US” • Duke Energy Renewables is rolling out an alternative lifting service for turbine repair and maintenance. Duke says its new service is more efficient than traditional wind turbine maintenance, which can require many cranes, a large construction zones and precise scheduling of contractors and equipment. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Duke Energy image)

¶ “Hundreds Of Toxic Superfund Sites Imperiled By Sea-Level Rise, Study Warns” • A new study by the Union of Concerned Scientists concludes that more than 800 hazardous Superfund sites near the Atlantic and Gulf coasts are at risk of flooding in the next 20 years, distributing toxic chemicals, even with low rates of sea level rise. [InsideClimate News]

¶ “Boulder And Xcel Energy Reach A Potential Agreement On Boulder’s Clean Energy Future” • The City of Boulder and Xcel Energy announced reaching a settlement that, if approved by the City Council and Boulder voters, would create new pathways to reach the city’s clean energy and emissions goals and suspend the city’s municipalization effort. [City of Boulder]

Have a manifestly glorious day.

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July 28 Energy News

July 28, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Can India Provide Free Solar-Powered Irrigation To All Its Farmers?” • In India, agricultural irrigation accounts for about 18% of all electricity consumption. Wells supply 60% of the water for irrigation, requiring 21 million electrical pumps and 9 million diesel pumps. Solar pumps may be the country’s best application of solar energy. [CleanTechnica]

Rice farmer in Andhra Pradesh (Image: Water Alternatives)

¶ “Russian Control of US Uranium Is a National Security Threat” • America’s overreliance on uranium from Russia and other former Soviet states may be lost on the average American citizen, but Russian President Vladimir Putin may think about it a lot. Russian law says he can cut off nuclear fuel supplies to the US anytime he sees fit. [theTrumpet.com]

World:

¶ “First Ethiopian-Assembled All-Electric Hyundai Ioniq Rolls Out Of Haile Gebrselassie’s Marathon Motor Engineering Plant” • Marathon Motor Engineering, a joint venture of Hyundai Motor Company and Olympic Champion Haile Gebrselassie, is now assembling the all-electric Hyundai Ioniq in Ethiopia. The first one went to the prime minister. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai Ioniq (Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali via Twitter)

¶ “You Can Now Lease An All-Electric Sedan In Ghana For Just $160 Per Month!” • Driving electric in many African countries is a lot cheaper than driving on combustion engines. Ghana and other African countries have a huge opportunity for consumers to jump straight into the world of EVs, bypassing the Internal Combustion Era Age. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Future Living® Berlin Includes Panasonic’s Energy Management Solution” • Panasonic announced Future Living® Berlin as part of the company’s focus on decarbonizing society. Engineers at Panasonic’s R&D Center in Europe have developed an intelligent energy management solution to optimize the use of energy, including heating. [CleanTechnica]

Future Living® Berlin (Screenshot: Future Living® Berlin)

¶ “SPR Completes Construction At 714MW East Anglia 1” • The 714-MW East Anglia 1 offshore wind farm, off England’s east coast, has completed construction with all 102 turbines now fully operational. Around 20% of the turbine installation and around half the turbine connection work were finished during lockdown, with adaptations for health safety. [reNEWS]

¶ “WindFloat Atlantic Completes Hook-Up Phase” • A final video showing the hook-up of the 25-MW WindFloat Atlantic project off the coast of Portugal, part of a series documenting the installation, was released by the developing consortium. They deployed three 8.4-MW wind turbines, the largest installed on floating platforms to date. [reNEWS]

Floating wind turbine (EDPR image)

¶ “Era Of Subsidy-Free Offshore Wind Turbines Has Arrived, Researchers Say” • Researchers found that the cost of offshore wind farms in some parts of the world is now so low that they are generating ‘negative subsidies’ that leave energy users financially better off. The paper was published in the academic journal Nature Energy. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Clean-Energy Optimism Soars As World Struggles With The Pandemic’s Fallout” • As companies and governments try work to recover from the Covid-19 crisis, leaders in the renewable energy sector say business is chugging along, attracting new money and new players. The momentum is being fueled by falling costs and popular support. [S&P Global]

Solar farm in the state of Chihuahua (Source: NexTracker Inc)

¶ “TSMC Commits To 100% Clean Power, Pressuring Chipmaker Rivals To Follow Suit” • TSMC, the world’s biggest maker of semiconductors, has committed to source 100% of its power globally from renewable sources. This puts pressure on such rivals as Samsung, as well as large power consumers across Asia, to follow suit. [Forbes]

US:

¶ “EPA Watchdog To Review Trump’s Auto Emissions Rule Changes” • The Trump administration’s overhaul of vehicle emission standards is under review by the EPA inspector general to determine whether it met requirements for “transparency, record-keeping, and docketing, and followed the EPA’s process for developing final regulatory actions.” [CNN]

Traffic (Chad Myers NWS)

¶ “US Energy Savings From Light-Duty Plug-In Electric Vehicles Was 44.8 Trillion BTU In 2019” • Due to their efficiency, plug-in electric vehicles use less energy than their counterparts with internal combustion engines. Energy savings in the US due to light-duty PEVs in 2019 are estimated at 44.8 trillion BTU, up 47% from 2018, the DOE says. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Microsoft Tests Hydrogen Fuel Cells For Backup Power At Datacenters” • In a worldwide first that could jumpstart a long-forecast clean energy economy built around the most abundant element in the universe, hydrogen fuel cells have powered a row of datacenter servers for 48 consecutive hours, according to a Microsoft announcement. [Microsoft]

Hydrogen tanks at data center (Credit: Power Innovations)

¶ “Why Utilities In Minnesota And Other States Need To Plan For More Competition” • Many US utilities develop comprehensive resource plans every few years. Utility regulators often defer to the utility and blindly accept utility forecasts. The plans can undercount distributed solar, with significant financial and economic consequences. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Duke Kick-Starts North Carolina PV Double” • Duke Energy has started construction on solar farms with a combined capacity of 94-MW in North Carolina. The projects are the 25-MW Gaston development in Gaston County and the 69-MW Maiden Creek facility in Catawba County. They will generate enough electricity for about 20,000 customers. [reNEWS]

Have an enthusiastically sensible day.

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July 27 Energy News

July 27, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Bolivia Is Ransacking Lithium From Its Indigenous People” • In earlier times, Native American workers in Potosí, Bolivia, were forced to work in the silver mines for silver that they never saw, when colonizers forced them into slavery to mine the silver. Today, for the natives in Potosí, lithium is the new silver, for which they can be exploited. [CleanTechnica]

Potosí (Victor Hugo Cazas Sarmiento, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “The Surprising Blue Chips Demanding A Green Energy Stimulus” • The Hill reported this week, “McDonald’s and Pepsi are calling on Congress to include green energy in the next Covid-19 relief package…” They are not alone in this, with over 30 companies signing the letter. They see the US falling behind on the a major opportunity. [OilPrice.com]

Science and Technology:

¶ “How The World’s Smelliest Fruit Could Power Your Phone” • The lithium-ion batteries in our devices degrade over time and come with a large environmental cost. Are there better ways to store and carry energy that are kinder to the planet? The answer is certainly yes. And there are many better ways to choose from, including making them from smelly fruit. [BBC]

Durian fruit, ready to be made into capacitors (Credit: Alamy)

¶ “A Solar Roof That Only Comes Out When The Sun Is Shining” • Two Swiss companies have partnered to create something more than just a typical solar roof over a parking lot, making electricity while keeping vehicles cool. The solar folding roof can come out when the sun is out, soak up the rays, then go to bed when it’s cloudy, nighttime, or raining. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “What The Heroin Industry Can Teach Us About Solar Power” • Afghan opium growers switched to solar power, and the world supply of heroin increased significantly. Diesel-powered pumps are costly and unreliable. Replacing them with solar panels has allowed increased profits and expanded poppy farms into what had been desert. [BBC]

Solar powered irrigation for illegal poppy farm

¶ “Volkswagen Inks $1.4 Billion Battery Deal With Wanxiang A123” • Ric Fulop, one of the original founders of A123, tweeted that Wanxiang A123 will supply Volkswagen with batteries worth about $1.4 billion for its electric car models in China. The A123 batteries use LiFePO₄ technology, which does not use cobalt and has other advantages. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “World’s Largest Solar Power Plant Moves Forward In Abu Dhabi With Contract Award” • Plans for developing the world’s largest solar power plant in the deserts of the Gulf have been given the go-ahead, with the authorities in the UAE awarding the project to a multinational consortium. The project had been bid at the historic low of 1.35¢/kWh. [Forbes]

Desert PVs (Godong | Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

¶ “UK Power Sector ‘Could Have Negative Emissions By 2033′” • Installing offshore wind capacity of 40 GW in the UK, together with the deployment of bioenergy and carbon capture and storage, could lead to negative emissions in the power sector by 2033, according to research by National Grid ESO. The report looked at several scenarios. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Renewable Energy Provides More Than 25% Of US Electricity In May Of 2020” • Renewable energy produced significantly more electricity than either coal or nuclear power during the first five months of 2020, SUN DAY Campaign analysis shows. In May, renewable sources provided 25.3% of the nation’s electricity, an all-time high. [Renewables Now]

High Lonesome wind farm in Texas (Enel Green Power image)

¶ “Ford Reveals An Electric Mustang Mach-E SUV With 1,400 Horsepower” • Ford has created a one-of-a-kind demonstration version of its Mustang Mach-E SUV with seven electric motors that can produce a total of up to 1,400 horsepower. Next year, Ford will begin selling a street legal Mach-E GT SUV producing 459 horsepower from two electric motors. [CNN]

¶ “Standard Lithium Ramping Up Lithium From Brine Operations” • Standard Lithium, based in British Columbia, is one of the largest producers of bromine, which is extracted from groundwater. Now it has a process that captures lithium from its wastewater. It is developing that process at sites in Arkansas and California. [CleanTechnica]

Standard Lithium facility in Arkansas (Standard Lithium)

¶ “sPower Secures $700 Million In Financing For 620-MW Solar Project” • sPower announced that it closed on over $700 million of loan financing for Spotsylvania Solar Energy Center in Virginia. At 620 MW, this is the largest solar project east of the Rockies. The project is under construction, with phases coming online as they are finished. [Saurenergy]

¶ “How The Nuclear Industry Is Getting Past A Tough US Power Market” • Nuclear proponents are not ready to concede that nuclear power has been priced out of the US electricity market, but they look increasingly at other uses for reactors and other places to sell them. They have hopes for decarbonizing difficult processes, such as making aluminum. [Forbes]

Have a simply charming day.

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July 25 Energy News

July 26, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “To Solve The Climate Crisis, We Need An Investment Revolution” • We depend on our leaders in moments of crisis. We also depend on the tenacity and insights of scientists, the ingenuity and vision of entrepreneurs, and the resourcefulness and boldness of companies to solve big problems. But we also need investors. [World Economic Forum]

Dawn (Karsten Würth | Unsplash.com)

¶ “Recent Gutting Of Regulations Is Inhibiting Adequate Review Of Renewable Energy Projects” • With offshore wind energy activities underway in states along the Atlantic coast, we stand at the start of an exciting offshore wind energy boom. But these states are acting in the absence of federal leadership, and that poses an unnecessary hindrance. [MSN Money]

¶ “Suicide By A Thousand Cuts: Trump’s War On America” • There is a saying, “United we stand, divided we fall.” It comes in many forms, in many languages, including Abraham Lincoln’s “A house divided against itself, cannot stand.” I have no doubt that it is a reason for Vladimir Putin to support the the intentionally divisive Donald Trump. [CleanTechnica]

USS Bryant (DD-665) on its way to the Pacific, one
of my Dad’s ships (US Navy photo, public domain)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Seaweed To The Rescue, From Renewable Energy To Covid-19 Treatment” • Renewable energy researchers have been turning to seaweed as a source of biofuel, and while that’s bubbling up in the background, the COVID-19 crisis brings renewed attention to the all-around sustainability aspect of harvesting renewable resources from the sea. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “New Study Suggests That The EU Carbon Market Won’t Cut Pollution – Including Road Transport” • A study by Cambridge Econometrics found that the EU’s requirement for oil companies to buy EU pollution permits for diesel oil and petrol sold to motorists really won’t make a difference in regards to significant emissions reductions. [CleanTechnica]

Street in Groningen, Netherlands

¶ “VW’s Accra Factory Starts Production, And Toyota And Nissan Also Set To Open Plants This Year. We Hope They Add EVs Soon!” • Ghana’s Automotive Development Policy encouraged VW, Toyota, and Nissan to look into opening assembly plants in the country. VW Ghana’s new vehicle assembly plant has already started production. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “World’s Largest Hybrid Timber Tower Will Be Built In Sydney” • The world’s largest timber hybrid tower is going to be built in Sydney, Australia. This hybrid timber tower is made with a technique known as Mass Timber Construction. MTC has a steel exoskeleton supports the entire structure, largely built of wood and glass. [CleanTechnica]

Inside the MTC structure (Mike Cannon-Brookes | Atlassian)

¶ “WA Premier Mark McGowan unveils $2.7 billion stimulus to boost state’s economy” • The West Australian Government has unveiled $2.7 billion in new stimulus spending designed to boost the state’s economy, with a focus on renewable energy and building maintenance among other areas. A total of 21 sectors have been pegged for stimulus. [ABC News]

India:

¶ “CERC Plans To Ease Norms For Renewable Energy Projects To Get ISTS Connectivity” • India’s Central Electricity Regulatory Commission has eased the requirements for renewable energy projects to get connectivity to the Inter-State Transmission System , according to new draft procedures released on the matter. [The Indian Express]

Transmission lines

¶ “Indian States Announce Plans For 1.2 GW Of New Solar Power Parks” • India witnessed a surge in announcements of renewable energy projects in the past few weeks. Several have been made by states to develop solar parks and floating solar plants. India has an ambitious target of installing 175 GW of renewable generating capacity by 2022. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Azure Power Receives LOA For 2 GW Of Solar Projects With 500 MW Of Manufacturing Capacity” • Azure Power announced receipt of a letter of award for 2 GW of interstate transmission system solar projects under the greenshoe option in the Solar Energy Corporation of India’s manufacturing-linked solar tender. [EnergyInfraPost]

Installing solar panels

¶ “India Proposes Solar Park In Sri Lanka” • According to media reports, NTPC Limited, the largest power generation company in India, has proposed setting up a solar park in Sri Lanka. NTPC had earlier proposed to set up a coal-based power plant in the country, but that proposal was squashed because of concerns for the environment. [CleanTechnica]

US:

Repairs after a microburst (Kelly Presnell | Arizona Daily Star)

¶ “System Upgrades Are Helping Tucson Electric Power Improve Reliability, Reduce Outages” • Tucson Electric Power says it has spent over a billion dollars in recent years to improve its system and make it more resilient. Those investments helped reduce average TEP outage times by more than 15 minutes over the past two years. [Arizona Daily Star]

¶ “Geomega Will Recycle Rare Earths From USA Rare Earth” • Geomega Resources Inc, a cleantech developer for rare earth mining and recycling, is partnering with USA Rare Earth, a funding and development partner of the Round Top Heavy Rare Earth and Critical Minerals Project in West Texas. They are to recycle waste from rare earth production. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Wants To Build Nuclear Power Plants For The Moon And Mars” • The US wants to build nuclear power plants that will work on the moon and Mars. The DOE has put out a request for ideas from the private sector on how to do that. It is looking for a fission surface power system that could allow humans to live for long periods in harsh space environments. [KJZZ]

Have profoundly tranquil day.

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July 25 Energy News

July 25, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Biden Plots $2 Trillion Green Revolution But Faces Wind And Solar Backlash” • Joe Biden’s $2 trillion plan to eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions from the US electricity grid within 15 years has been applauded by climate campaigners, but the enormous overhaul will have to pick its way through a minefield of opposition. [The Guardian]

Wind turbines in Kahuku, Hawaii (Jennifer Sinco Kelleher | AP)

World:

¶ “Britishvolt To Build Battery Gigafactory In UK” • Apparently, the UK is getting a battery gigafactory. A manufacturer called Britishvolt is set to build a 30 GWh battery “gigaplant” in Wales. It will be powered by a 200-MW solar power plant at a former RAF base in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales. Production is expected to begin by 2023. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Indian Module Maker Vikram Solar Announces $700 Million Investment In New Production Line” • Following the Indian government’s appeal to the industry to push for self-reliance and reduce imports, solar energy solutions provider Vikram Solar announced its intent to set up a 3-GW solar manufacturing plant in the state of Tamil Nadu. [CleanTechnica]

Perovo solar farm

¶ “Renewables Giant Iberdrola To Build ‘Europe’s Largest Green Hydrogen Project'” • Iberdrola will build what it calls Europe’s biggest green hydrogen project yet, in a link up with chemicals group Fertiberia. They will spend €150 million to construct a 100-MW solar PV plant, a 20-MWh lithium-ion battery storage system and 20-MW electrolyzer. [Recharge]

¶ “Renewable Energy Push Has Fresh Wind In Its Sails” • Renewable power in looks set to add impetus to Scotland’s economic restart. Onshore wind already has 4 GW of capacity that have achieved planning consent. Another 4 GW of projects are currently in the planning process. Offshore wind too, had 4 GW of projects with planning consent. [HeraldScotland]

Onshore windfarm

¶ “1H20 saw a rise in global renewables investment” • Renewable energy capacity investment showed great resilience in the first half of 2020, in the face of the unprecedented economic shock caused by the coronavirus, according to the latest figures from research company BloombergNEF. Offshore wind financings were up 319% from of last year. [Energy Global]

¶ “Repsol To Purchase 1.6 GW Of Renewable Assets In Chile” • Repsol has agreed to form a joint venturewith Grupo Ibereólica Renovables to manage a portfolio of renewable energy projects in Chile. The projects may generate up to 1.6 GW in 2025, possibly exceeding 2.6 GW in 2030. Repsol will pay $195 million (€168 million) before 2023. [Power Technology]

Wind turbine (Jason Blackeye | Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Nuns Dedicated To Social Justice Create Climate Solutions Fund With Morgan Stanley” • A US-based group of Dominican nuns have partnered with Morgan Stanley to create an impact fund that allows the nuns to invest $110 million (other sources cite $130 million) and change the scope of how sustainable and positive investment is done. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Harvard Profs Plan Geoengineering Experiment, Igniting Ethics Debate” • Two Harvard professors say they are planning to inject about 2 kg (4.4 lbs) of calcium carbonate dust into the air over Arizona to see what effect it has on the amount of solar radiation reaching the Earth below. There are people who do not approve of this type of geoengineering. [CleanTechnica]

Eruption of Mt Pinatubo (Image credit: USGS)

¶ “BYD’s Fully Electric Refuse Trucks Make It Easy To Upgrade Fleets To Zero Emissions” • In partnership with Hudson County Motors, BYD is providing the first fully electric rear loader refuse collection trucks to the East Coast. The new trucks will have sufficient range to run typical full day routes in Jersey City, providing zero emission service. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Sununu Blocks Bill To Expand NH’s Required Renewable Energy Use, Now Lowest In New England” • Gov Chris Sununu handed down another expected veto of a clean energy plan. He rejected a bill that would expand New Hampshire’s Renewable Portfolio Standard and increase how much solar power utilities must use. [New Hampshire Public Radio]

Rooftop solar (Credit Joy Jackson | Unsplash)

¶ “NextEra Energy To Build Its First Green Hydrogen Plant In Florida” • NextEra Energy is closing its last coal-fired power unit and investing in its first green hydrogen facility. In an earnings call, NextEra said it was proposing a $65 million pilot in Florida with a 20-MW electrolyzer to produce 100% green hydrogen from solar power. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Pacific Northwest Utilities Seek Thousands Of Megawatts Of New Renewable And Non-Emitting Energy: A Huge Opportunity For Independent Power Producers” • In the Pacific Northwest, utilities have issued or are issuing requests for proposals that look for a total of roughly 6,000 MW of new renewable generating capacity and storage. [The National Law Review]

Wind turbines in Washington (Umptanum, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “House Bill 6 Repeal Would Address Only Part Of Ohio Lawmakers’ Recent Actions To Slow Renewables” • Lawmakers of both parties are pushing to repeal Ohio’s nuclear bailout bill after this week’s release of a federal criminal complaint. But clean energy advocates are saying that repelaing Bill 6 is just a start of what is needed. [Richland Source]

¶ “US Agency Ends Ban, Will Now Finance Advanced Nuclear Projects Abroad” • The US International Development Finance Corporation has ended a ban on financing nuclear power projects and “will prioritize the support of advanced nuclear technology in emerging and frontier markets,” the federal agency said in a statement. [S&P Global]

Have an outstandingly pleasant day.

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July 24 Energy News

July 24, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “European Renewables Just Crushed Fossil Fuels. Here’s How It Happened” • The EU has seen rosy results for green energy of late. There was a 7% drop in demand due to Covid-19, and plenty of sunny and windy weather. But more lastingly, Austria, Spain, and Sweden closed their last coal-fired power plants, while other countries had large reductions in its use. [Forbes]

Stealing fire from the Gods (DPA | Picture Alliance | Getty Images)

¶ “Nuclear Power: Still A Rip-Off After All These Years” • Nevada politicians, industries, and people fought Yucca Mountain for over three decades. It is interesting to see that the industry trying to ram that waste down our throats is at the heart of this week’s FBI arrest of the Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives on a racketeering charge. [Nevada Current]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Is Underground Farming The Future Of Food?” • Since last September, those who descend underground at Seoul’s Sangdo Station and push through the ticket gate are met with an unusual sight: behind a glass-panelled facade, leafy shoots, sprouts, and microgreens have sprung up from under bright LED lights as part of a subterranean, organic farm. [BBC]

Underground farm

¶ “Tesla’s Efficiency Advantage: Cheap And Abundant LFP Batteries Will Power Mass-Market EVs” • Tesla’s second quarter earnings call just confirmed what may be the hottest technology topic for the EV revolution. Relatively inexpensive and abundant Lithium Iron Phosphate (aka LiFePO₄) batteries can be well suited to affordable mass market EVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Best Case Scenario For Climate Warming Is So Not Happening” • The latest climate report prepared on behalf of the World Climate Research Program looks closely at three climate models and concluded that the best case 1.5°C path is extremely unlikely to happen. It says there is a 66% chance the planet will warm by 2.6°C to 3.9°C. [CleanTechnica]

Clouds (World Climate Research Programme)

World:

¶ “This Simple Rule Change Unleashes Energy Storage Rager Upon UK For Green Covid-19 Recovery” • The prospects for a green recovery look better daily in the EU, and the UK seems not about to be left behind. Its government announced a simple rule change to speed the construction of energy storage facilities for renewables in England and Wales. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EDF Plots Wind Expansion In Chile” • EDF Renewables has approval for the financing of a 60-MW extension to the Cabo Leone 1 wind farm in Chile. EDF is working with Spanish partner Grupo Ibereolica Renovables to bring total capacity up to 175.5 MW. It also won a 40-year concession for land that has potential for about 300 MW of wind capacity. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Image: Infigen)

¶ “Kiwi Power Launches Grid Flexibility Solution In North America” • Energy technology company Kiwi Power launched its distributed energy resource optimisation technology in North America. It offers a combination of its advanced virtual power plant software with expertise that serves energy flexibility in ten countries already. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Tunisia Boosting Renewable Energy Drive” • Climate Fund Managers and UPC Renewables will develop a 30-MW Sidi Mansour wind farm in Tunisia. The project will be among the first independent windpower producers in the country. Climate Fund Mangers is participating as co-developer, sponsor, financial advisor, and E&S advisor. [African Review]

Sidi Mansour Wind Project (Image: Free-Photos | Pixabay)

¶ “World’s Largest Economies Are Still Spending Big On Oil & Gas” • Spending on fossil fuels is still higher than on renewables among members of G20, an update from the Energy Policy Tracker shows. Since the pandemic started, governments have pledged at least $160.95 billion to fossil fuels, versus $123.75 billion to renewables. [OilPrice.com]

US:

¶ “Walhburgers Pilots The Fully Electric Arcimoto Deliverator In Key West, Florida” • Building on early adoption of the Impossible Burger, Wahlburgers continues to lean into sustainability with news of a pilot of Arcimoto’s Deliverator at the burger chain’s Key West location. The pilot is expected to kick off in August when the new location opens. [CleanTechnica]

Wahlburgers’ Arcimoto Deliverator

¶ “Standard Solar Gets $105 Million For US Solar Projects” • Standard Solar announced closing a tax equity commitment for up to $105 million to fund distributed generation PV projects in five states. Grid planners say the new Vermont facility could help relieve a transmission bottleneck without the need for expensive new transmission lines. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nikola Motor Breaks Ground On Factory In Coolidge, Arizona” • Arizona-based Nikola Motor celebrated breaking ground on its new 1,000,000 square foot factory with an event suitably small for Covid-19. It was attended by Nikola leadership, including CEO Mark Russell, and local supporters, including Coolidge Mayor Jon Thompson. [CleanTechnica]

Nikola Motor ground breaking (Image courtesy: Nikola Motor)

¶ “DeWine Reverses Course, Calls To Repeal Energy Law” • Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) reversed course and called for repeal of his state’s nuclear bailout energy law in the wake of a $60 million bribery scandal. He said he continues to support the policy in the bill, but the process that created the bill and the law tainted it irrevocably. [Wheeling Intelligencer]

¶ “In Latest Responsibility Report, Home Depot Sets Renewable Energy Goals” • Home Depot detailed its sustainability progress in its 2020 Responsibility Report. It introduced several new goals, including using 335 MW of renewable energy by 2025. It also provided an update on the company’s response to Covid-19 and social equality issues. [LBM Journal]

Have a demonstrably marvelous day.

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July 23 Energy News

July 23, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “We Break It Down: How Renewables Will Be The Answer To The Economic Rebuild” • Australia is uniquely positioned to capitalize on renewable energy. While 2020 has seen disastrous bushfires and Covid-19 devastate local economies, renewables may provide the opportunity for us to come out of this crisis better than before. [The Guardian]

Renewable energy (Xuanyu Han | Getty Images)

¶ “Renewable Energy Is Seizing Market Share During The Pandemic” • Renewable energy has surged to capture a record share of global electricity generation, seizing more market share during the coronavirus downturn. In the downturn in demand, gas and coal were pushed out of the market because renewables have no variable costs. [OilPrice.com]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Key To Better Batteries Is Soft Solid Electrolytes, Say Researchers” • Dendrites grow in batteries, causing problems. Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, with help from others at Carnegie Mellon University, claim the way to conquer dendrites is soft yet solid electrolytes made from both polymers and ceramics. [CleanTechnica]

VTOL aircraft (Credit: Joby Aviation)

World:

¶ “Oil And Gas And Renewable Tech Firms Form Energy Transition Alliance” • The Energy Transition Alliance is a five-year collaboration to deliver next generation energy technologies and accelerate the UK’s transition to net zero. It was formed by the Oil & Gas Technology Center and the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult. [Energy Live News]

¶ “CEC Says Thousands Of Renewable Jobs At Stake In Queensland Election” • The Clean Energy Council says that Queensland has a chance to seize an enormous economic opportunity presented by an expanded clean energy sector, and has called on the state’s political parties to embrace renewables head of a looming state election. [RenewEconomy]

Solar farm in Queensland

¶ “Renewable Energy Revolution Underway In Ipswich” • Queensland’s renewable energy revolution is kicking in at Ipswich, with the city’s first solar farm approved and a solar-powered car park in operation. It is following businesses and homes in this, as over 26,000 private rooftop solar systems are already installed and operating. [Mirage News]

¶ “Flexible Energy Systems For Africa Accelerated By Crises” • In South Africa, responding to the department of mineral resources and energy’s first budget speech since a departmental merger, Standard Bank Group says the Covid-19 crisis highlights that Africa needs to develop flexible energy systems, renewables and decentralized. [ESI Africa]

Solar array (Featured image: Stock)

¶ “Ball Corporation Inks Power Purchase Deals For 93.4 MW Of European Wind Energy” • Ball Corporation as struck two major wind power deals in Spain and Sweden to provide almost two-thirds of the electricity load required by its European aluminium beverage packaging plants, it announced. The projects are set to come online next year. [businessgreen.com]

¶ “Offshore Wind ‘Critical’ To UK Covid-19 Recovery” • The UK expects the offshore wind sector to play a critical role in the country’s economic recovery post Covid-19, according to BEIS director of clean power strategy and deployment Declan Burke. He said, there are enormous opportunities for the local wind turbine supply chain. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbines (SPR image)

US:

¶ “Enel Green Power Starts Construction Of Its First Renewables + Storage Project In North America” • Enel Green Power started building the Lily solar + storage project, its first hybrid project in North America, integrating renewable energy with storage. It will have 146 MW of PVs and a 50 MW battery. Enel plans for 1 GW of battery storage in the US. [AltEnergyMag]

¶ “Tesla Tripled Solar Roof Installations In Q2 2020” • Tesla released what was perhaps the most highly anticipated quarterly earnings letter to date. While much of Tesla’s business was flat quarter on quarter due to coronavirus, we learned Tesla was able to triple the number of Solar Roof installations in Q2 compared to Q1 of this year. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Solarglass Roof installation (Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Confirmed: Tesla’s Giga Texas In Austin, Texas, Will Build Cybertruck, Semi, Model 3 And Y” • In Tesla’s quarterly earnings letter, CEO Elon Musk confirmed the location of the new factory. It will be Giga Texas, built just outside Austin. It will produce the Cybertruck, but also the Tesla Semi, Model Y, and Model 3 for customers in the Eastern US. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Ramping Up Fremont Factory’s Production of Model 3 And Y To 500,000 Per Year By End Of 2020” • Tesla said to help meet demand, it is increasing production capacity for the Model 3 and Model Y at its Fremont, California factory from the current annualized production rate of 400,000 vehicles to 500,000 by the end of 2020. [CleanTechnica]

Model 3 bodyshop in Fremont (Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Money From Pacific Power Program Helps Portland Nonprofit With Costs Of Housing For Veterans” • The Robert J Breitung Veteran Building in Northeast Portland is soon to become home to 28 previously houseless veterans. The nonprofit Do Good Multnomah funded the project with some help on operation costs from rooftop solar panels. [KGW.com]

¶ “Diablo Canyon Employees, Contractors Tested Positive For Covid-19” • At least ten employees of Diablo Canyon Power Plant have become infected with Covid-19 since the pandemic began in March, according to a Pacific Gas & Electric spokeswoman. There were eight PG&E employees and two contractors among them. [Santa Maria Times]

Have a thrillingly agreeable day.

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July 22 Energy News

July 22, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Nakhchivan: The World’s Most Sustainable Nation?” • As a result of regional conflicts, residents of Nakhchivan, an enclave of Azerbaijan, developed an unwavering sense of self-sufficiency born from scarcity and necessity. They began producing their own goods and planting their own food, based strictly on a pesticide-free, all-organic food policy. [BBC]

Nakhchivan countryside (Credit: Anar Aliyev | Getty Images)

¶ “How Big Is The Anti-Cleantech Propaganda Industry?” • As it turns out, anti-cleantech PR and influence peddling is a bonafide industry. It’s shadowy as it can be, and it’s impossible to tell how big or how deep it goes, but estimates put it in the $9 billion per year range. If only we would see that sort of investment in clean energy news sites! [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Revolutionary Boat Powered By The Ocean” • The Philippines’ traditional three-hulled boat is being redesigned, to draw its power not from fossil fuels, but from the energy of the waves. The hybrid trimaran’s use of wave energy could be a significant step toward reducing the need for environmentally damaging fuels. [BBC]

Traditional Philippine boats (Credit: Getty Images)

¶ “Link Between Air Pollution And Vascular Damage, Study Finds” • A link between exposure to air pollution and vascular (heart) damage has been found in a new study, which was led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health. The cross-sectional study that analyzed more than 3,000 people living in 28 villages south of Hyderabad, India. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Green Power Beats Fossil Fuels For First Time In Europe” • About 40% of the electricity in the first half of 2020 in the 27 EU countries came from renewable sources, compared with 34% from plants burning fossil fuels, the London environmental group Ember said. As a result, CO₂ emissions from the power sector fell 23%. [Yahoo Canada Finance]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

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

¶ “Green Energy Ratchets Up Power During Coronavirus Pandemic” • Renewable power has taken up a record share of global electricity production since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a Reuters review of data, suggesting a transition away from polluting fossil fuels could be accelerated in the coming years. [marketscreener.com]

Water released at a dam (Russell Cheyne | Reuters File Photo)

¶ “Global Offshore Pipeline Grows By 30%” • The global pipeline of offshore wind energy projects that are operational, under construction, consented, or being planned has soared by 30% in the last twelve months from 122 GW to 159 GW. RenewableUK’s latest Offshore Wind Project Intelligence report shows that the UK has retained its top spot. [reNEWS]

¶ “Hydrogen Part Of UK Heat Decarbonisation Strategy” • A new commission set up by the UK Government to advise on heat decarbonisation has identified hydrogen as one of the options to help achieve net zero. Its report said hydrogen needs “significant market building” in the UK in order to drive down production costs. [reNEWS]

Hydrogen cylinders (Colin Keldie | EMEC)

¶ “India To Have 60% Renewable Energy By 2030: Power Minister RK Singh” • India will have around 60% of its installed electricity generation capacity from clean sources by 2030, its Power and New & Renewable Energy Minister said. He also exuded confidence that the renewable energy capacity would touch 510 GW by 2030. [Business Standard]

¶ “Ireland’s Renewable Electricity Scheme Gets EU Approval” • Ireland’s Renewable Electricity Support Scheme has passed EU state aid rules, allowing it to take provided funding for future renewable projects. The scheme’s targets include making 70% of its energy from clean sources by 2030, while contributing to the EU renewable energy target. [Power Technology]

Wind farm (Karsten Würth | Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Crowdfunding For Clean Energy – Raise Green Launches New Marketplace” • An impact investment company set up “the first crowdfunding platform for investment in clean energy projects nationwide.” Its first listing, the National Energy Improvement Fund, is a Certified B Corporation® specialized energy efficiency and resilience lender. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New York State Announces 4 GW In Renewables Solicitations” • New York State Governor Andrew M Cuomo has announced 4 GW of renewable energy solicitations and a multi-billion dollar port strategy. This will include a second solicitation of offshore wind, seeking up to 2.5 GW of projects, said to be the largest in the nation’s history. [reNEWS]

Governor Andrew M Cuomo (Image: NYSGO)

¶ “Environmental Groups Want Controversial Ohio Nuclear Bailout Bill Reexamined; HB6 Now At The Center Of FBI Investigation” • Ohio House Bill 6 bailed out two FirstEnergy power plants and gave subsidies to coal plants, while dismantling mandates for clean energy. Now, it is the centerpiece of a federal bribery investigation. [cleveland.com]

¶ “Progress On Our Goal To Be Carbon Negative By 2030” • In January, Microsoft launched its environmental sustainability initiative with an announcement that it will be carbon negative by 2030. It also committed to providing updates on our progress. Today, Microsoft is announcing seven important new steps on our path to be carbon negative by 2030. [Microsoft]

Have an enchantingly superb day.

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July 21 Energy News

July 21, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Climate Change Is A Hoax, And These Books Prove It!” • A viable industry is built on denying that climate change is real, thanks to the Koch Brothers’ funding of a bevy of crackpots and a slew of so-called “institutes” designed to spread the message that pumping billions of tons of carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere is actually good for us. [CleanTechnica]

World Turtle (Public domain image via Wikipedia)

¶ “More Bad News For Oil & Gas: Plastic Recycling Targeted By University of Delaware” • The US DOE has earmarked $11.6 million for a new high-impact R&D effort called the Center for Plastics Innovation. It is to lead to a high value, high efficiency plastic recycling stream that will undercut the use of virgin oil and gas in the chemical industry. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Polar Bears Could Be Lost By 2100” • Polar bears will be wiped out by the end of the century unless more is done to tackle climate change, a study predicts. Scientists say some populations have already reached their survival limits as the Arctic sea ice shrinks. The carnivores rely on the sea ice of the Arctic Ocean to hunt for seals. [BBC]

Bears on thin ice (Katharina M Miller)

¶ “55.3% Of The World’s Population Exposed To Increasing Air Pollution” • A study led by Professor Gavin Shaddick at the University of Exeter shows that over half of the world’s people are exposed to increasing air pollution. The findings show that global efforts to improve air quality aren’t working as well as they are intended to. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Red Sea Corals’ Heat Tolerance Offers Hope For Climate Crisis” • Reefs from Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea survived when scientists cranked the heat above the lethal threshold and waited for them to die. The scientists said corals taken from the Gulf of Aqaba appeared untroubled by an increase in temperature of seven degrees. [The Guardian]

Coral (Photo: Maoz Fine)

World:

¶ “And The Award Goes To … Greta Thunberg” • Greta’s been named Time magazine’s Person of the Year and is among Forbes’ list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women of 2019. She has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Now, she’s won a major prize for humanity, with a €1 million award – which she’s donating to charity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ghana Pushes For Adoption Of EVs To Soak Up Excess Electricity Generation Capacity” • Ghana has found itself in the admirable position of having excess generation capacity. The installed generating capacity is about 4,990 MW, but the peak load is around 2,612 MW. To use excess electricity, Ghana is pushing a switch to EVs. [CleanTechnica]

Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV in
Accra, Ghana (Image courtesy of Accraine Ghana)

¶ “EDF Renewables Strengthens Development Of Wind Energy In Chile” • EDF Renewables announces two important advances in wind energy in Chile. The first relates to the 60-MW extension of the Cabo Leones I wind farm located in northern Chile. The second relates to the allocation of land that allows up to 300 MW of wind power capacity. [REVE]

¶ “France Seeks Input On Brittany Floaters” • France’s National Commission for Public Debate has kicked off a five-month consultation on plans to build up to 750 MW of floating wind off the south coast of Brittany. The government is looking to put up 250 MW of capacity for auction in 2021, with a second tranche of 500 MW from 2024. [reNEWS]

Floating wind turbine (Image: Ideol)

¶ “In Remote Canadian Communities, Renewable Energy Projects Have Doubled Since 2015” • Remote communities have long relied on diesel power. But a report from Pembina Institute found that the number of renewable energy projects in Canada’s remote communities nearly doubled from 2015 to 2020, and use of diesel is declining. [Yahoo News Canada]

US:

¶ “Chevron Will Buy Noble Energy For $5 Billion – The Biggest Oil Deal Since The Pandemic” • Chevron announced it would acquire Noble Energy for $5 billion. It’s the biggest energy deal since the Covid-19 pandemic decimated the oil industry. The shareholders of Noble will receive Chevron stock in this all-stock transaction. [CNN]

Noble Energy “thumper trucks” setting off seismic waves
used for oil exploration (BLM Nevada, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “VP Mike Pence On Biden: “Biden Would Destroy Our Fossil Fuel Industry”” • Vice President Mike Pence made it clear that the Trump administration favors the fossil fuel industry. He uses Biden’s approach to clean energy to paint him as a job destroyer, even though clean energy has created far more jobs than fossil fuels in recent years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “States Claim EPA Illegally Eased Off Mercury Pollution Standards” • A coalition of 20 states asked the DC Circuit to review the EPA’s determination that it is not necessary to limit emissions of mercury and other hazardous materials. The standards helped reduce power-plant mercury emissions by 86% between 2006 and 2017. [Courthouse News Service]

Apartments and a coal-burning plant (John Raby | AP file photo)

¶ “Co-op Power Raises The Bar For Community Solar” • An effort to address renewable energy goals and make renewable energy accessible to everyone is growing in the Northeast. Co-op Power is on the front lines, coordinating community power and buildng valuable policy resources to change legislation and the lives of many nationwide. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “DOE Targets End To US Reliance On Russian Nuclear Fuel, Revived Domestic Capability” • The DOE is working to end US reliance on Russia for nuclear fuel, Secretary Dan Brouillette told members of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy. The DOE plans to begin processing US uranium into high-grade fuel at a DOE facility. [Utility Dive]

Have a preposterously beautiful day.

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July 20 Energy News

July 20, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Coronavirus, EVs Put Pressure On Dealer Sales Model” • Dealer franchise laws were originally created to protect dealers from unfair competition. Today, those dealer franchise laws have a new purpose – preventing car makers like Tesla from selling directly to the public. Now, with customer pressure, car makers are looking into new models. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen ID.3 test fleet (Volkswagen image)

¶ “German Coal Power Exit Deadline Already Looks Dated” • A German coal phase-out law that came into effect in July requires the country’s 40-GW fleet to close by 2038. It already looks dated given the currently-weak outlook for coal-fired generation in Europe, incentives for early plant closures, and political pressure building for a faster phase out. [ICIS]

¶ “Africa Can Become A Renewable Energy Superpower – If Climate Deniers Are Kept At Bay” • African prosperity will not come if it is shackled to the outdated dirty energy infrastructure of the past. Rather than following in the paths of European countries, Africa can leapfrog to the clean, cheap and renewable technologies of the future. [The Guardian]

Technicians in Rwanda (Tom Gilks | Alamy Stock Photo)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Road Microplastics Are Polluting The Oceans And Heating The Planet” • Those minuscule particles of plastics produced by car tires and brakes can’t do much damage, right? They’re so tiny and nearly imperceptible. Road microplastics produce more than 200,000 tons of minute plastic particles that blow into the oceans every year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Lithium Can Be Extracted From Groundwater At Geothermal Installations” • Scientists at the KIT Energy Center, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, say there is enough lithium dissolved in the groundwater extracted by German geothermal heating and electricity plants to meet the needs of most, or possibly all, of Germany’s battery manufacturers. [CleanTechnica]

Lithium chloride (Amadeus Bramsiepe | KIT)

¶ “Air Pollution Linked To More Covid-19 Cases – Study” • Research has shown that long term exposure to pollutants such as fine particulate matter, NO₂, and SO₂ can cause a persistent inflammatory response even in relatively young people. This leads to increases in the risks of infection by viruses, including the coronavirus that causes Covid-19. [Inverse]

World:

¶ “Coronavirus And Deforestation Rip Through Brazil’s People And The World’s Lungs” • Brazilian President Bolsonaro is a climate denier who ran on a promise not to protect indigenous land. The Amazon is one of Earth’s most vital carbon sinks and a keystone of biological diversity. Under his watch, the Amazon is being destroyed at record rates. [CNN]

Forest cleared for farms (Julian Quinones | CNN)

¶ “Gas Companies Dominate Shortlist For ARENA Green H₂ Funding” • Gas companies have dominated the shortlist of companies seeking a share of $70 million in federal government funding to expand Australia’s renewable H₂ production capacity. At least two will receive funding, with projects to be put under construction in 2022. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Uganda-Based Bodawerk’s Electric Tractors, Motorcycle Conversion Kits, Threshing And Milling Machines Look Set To Transform Lives” • Bodawerk is looking to transform lives in Africa, starting in Uganda with its electric products powered by upcycled old laptop batteries. Bodawerk has run pilot programs, including one for an electric plow. [CleanTechnica]

Bodawerk’s electric plow (Image courtesy of Bodawerk)

¶ “Choppy Water Ahead As Residents Battle Energy Giant Over Proposed Pump Storage Facility” • TC Energy announced a proposal in 2019 to build a hydroelectric pumped storage plant on the shore of Georgian Bay. Whether the plan is vital for Ontario’s power grid or a threat to the pristine bay depends on who you ask. [OrilliaMatters]

¶ “Campaigners Press For Full Testing Of Nuclear Plant Sediment In Effort To Halt Dumping Off Cardiff Coast” • There are plans to dump mud from the construction of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station into the sea off Cardiff Bay. Some campaigners say there is evidence of plutonium contamination. They say the plan should be halted. [Nation.Cymru]

Construction at Hinkley Point (Nick Chipchase | CC BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Blockchain Plays Leading Role In Germany’s Renewable Energy Evolution” • Germany is ending coal and nuclear-based energy generation in a switch to renewable energy.  Blockchain’s Distributed Ledger Technology is gradually becoming the foundation for several systems developed for the German switch to its renewable future. [Business Blockchain HQ]

US:

¶ “Leeward CC Becomes UH’s First Net-Zero Campus” • Hawaii’s Leeward Community College has become one of the first virtually net-zero campuses in the country. It is generating 97% of its energy through on-site PV systems, including solar shade canopies and energy storage. It has also implimented efficiency measures. [UH System Current News]

Leeward Community College

¶ “US Scientists Rebuke Trump Over Coronavirus Response And Other Affronts” • In an unusual move for a community that tends to avoid politics, more than 1,200 members of the US National Academy of Sciences rebuked Donald Trump’s “denigration of scientific expertise.” The open letter they signed seeks to “restore science-based policy in government.” [The Guardian]

¶ “In Utah, A Debate Stirs Over Estonian Radioactive Waste” • In southeast Utah, nerves are frayed over a pile of radioactive material parked 5,000 miles away in Estonia. Regulators are weighing whether a local uranium company can import the material for processing at a mill near the border of a Native American reservation. [Fiji Times]

Have a delightfully refreshing day.

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July 19 Energy News

July 19, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “The End Of Fossil Fuels: Is It Here Yet?” • Peak oil has been a topic of heated conversation for decades. The usual definition describes it as the theorized point in time when the maximum rate of extraction of petroleum is reached, after which it enters into terminal decline. It may be here already, driven by climate change and a coronavirus. [CleanTechnica]

Oil field in China (Yoshi Canopus, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Trump Rewrite Of Longstanding Environmental Law Pushes Climate Change Aside” • A deep dive into President Trump’s rollback of a bedrock environmental law shows how much the administration is narrowing the scope of government reviews for major projects by setting aside consideration of climate change and other impacts. [The Hill]

World:

¶ “Time Running Out To Prevent Oil Spill From ‘Ticking Time Bomb’ Tanker In Yemen, UN Warns” • Time is running out to prevent a decaying tanker off the coast of Yemen from dumping its load of 1.1 million barrels of oil into the Red Sea, sparking an environmental catastrophe, the UN has warned. The vessel is under the control of Houthi rebels. [CNN]

Stranded ship (SEPOC image)

¶ “NIA On Renewable Energy: Four Hydropower Sites, Pilot Floating Solar Project Already Operating” • In the Philippines, the National Irrigation Administration said four hydropower sites, ranging from 500 kW to 8.5 MW and with a combined capacity of 11 MW, have been put into operation, along with a 200-kW floating solar system. [Manila Bulletin]

¶ “First Solar Power Plant In Armenia” • The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group; and the EU agreed to support development of an Armenian solar plant. The 55-MW plant is the first utility-scale solar system in the Caucasus, where Armenia is located. [Energy Industry Review]

Solar plant in the mountains

¶ “Explosion Hits Central Iranian Power Plant Few Weeks After Natanz Nuclear Site Blast” • An explosion took place at a power plant in Iran’s central Isfahan province, the IRNA news agency reports. The blast occurred a few weeks after an explosion ripped through Iran’s Natanz facility for enriching uranium, reportedly caused by a bomb. [Sputnik International]

US:

¶ “GM Says 12 New EVs Coming, Including Full Size Pickup Truck With 400 Mile Range” • Buried within General Motors’ sustainability report is some information about its EV plans. Globally, GM will have 20 electric models available to customers by 2023, many of them aimed at the Chinese market. At least 12 models will be sold in the US. [CleanTechnica]

Buick Enspire concept (Courtesy of Buick)

¶ “Renewable Energy Showing To Be Growing Cost-Effective Alternative For Indiana” • In a study published by Ball State University’s Center for Business and Economic Research, researcher Michael Hicks found that using a greater mix of renewable energy, like wind, solar and biomass, will result in lower power costs. [KPCnews.com]

¶ “NOAA Gives UM Up to $310 Million To Continue Leading Climate And Ocean Research” • In Florida, the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, a research institute at the University of Miami that has done research on climate change, hurricanes, and sick reefs is getting up to $310 million from NOAA to continue its work. [WUSF News]

Studying the impact of warming oceans on reefs (CIMAS image)

¶ “We Now Know How Many Billions Of Gallons Of Water Colorado Will Save By Closing Coal-Fired Power Plants” • An analysis by the Energy and Policy Institute found that closing 30 coal-fired generating units in the West could free up over 76 billion gallons of river and groundwater a year in the increasingly parched region. [Steamboat Pilot and Today]

¶ “Pentagon Is Working To Develop Detection System For EMP Blasts” • The Pentagon is researching better ways to detect and respond to electromagnetic pulse weapons, which could disable or destroy electronic devices. A massive atmospheric nuclear blast could produce an EMP sufficient to wipe out the entire nation’s electricity grid. [Daily Mail]

Have an awesomely cool day.

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July 18 Energy News

July 18, 2020

World:

¶ “Italy’s BEV Sales Doubled In First Half Of 2020 – The Only Way Is Up” • Italy’s EV market is finally getting hot. Following months of unprecedented growth and despite an incredibly adverse time in history, electric mobility has now reached the halfway point of this infamous year with outstanding figures, doubling sales from 2019. [CleanTechnica]

Renault Zoe

¶ “Council’s Green Tariff Scheme Help Households Save £258 On Power Bills” • The Essex County Council organised an energy switching scheme to help residents reduce costs; registration was free and the eligible tariffs provided 100% renewable electricity. Participating households are expected to see gas and electricity bills reduced by £258. [Energy Live News]

¶ “NKT To Supply SSE’s Shetland Link” • SSEN Transmission has awarded NKT the contract to deliver and install a high voltage DC interconnector to the Shetland Isles. It is worth about €235 million. The turnkey order is for two 320-kV HVDC cables, installation by the cable-laying vessel NKT Victoria, and protection of the cables. [reNEWS]

Cable-laying vessel NKT Victoria (NKT image)

¶ “The London Underground Could Soon Run On 100% Renewable Energy” • The London Underground could soon be entirely powered by renewable energy. The move is part of a plan to make the city’s famous rail network zero-emissions by 2030, and have the entire city become carbon neutral by 2050. The Tube consumes 1.2 TWh per year. [Euronews]

¶ “Vodafone Claims Its Entire European Network Will Be Powered By Renewable Electricity By July 2021” • Mobile phone giant Vodafone said it will create a green network for customers in 11 European markets using only wind, solar, or hydro power sources by no later than July 2021. This is more than four years earlier than its previous renewable target. [Daily Mail]

Wind turbines in Germany (Husky22, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Risen Energy Seals 250-MW PV Deal In Vietnam” • Chinese company Risen Energy is to provide engineering, procurement, and construction services for a 250-MW solar farm in Vietnam. It is being developed by Xinghai Group in Loc Ninh and will have the first shipments of modules in December. The project is to reduce local energy costs. [reNEWS]

¶ “Wind Energy Will Play An Important Role In Making Renewable Energy The Base For Japan” • Japan will build more offshore wind farms as part of its shift away from fossil fuels, industry minister Hiroshi Kajiyama said. Japan will aim to add capacity to generate 1 GW each year, eventually reaching a combined 30 GW by 2040. [REVE]

Jack-up ship building offshore wind turbines

India:

¶ “India’s ReNew Power Aims At 20 GW Of Renewable Capacity” • ReNew Power aims to double its power generation capacity to 20 GW in five years. The expansion would require an investment of about ₹40,000-50,000 crore ($5.3-6.6 billion). This amount may vary depending on the location of the projects and cost of the land involved. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Government Move To Encourage Solar, Wind Energy Projects” • The AP state government announced the Andhra Pradesh Renewable Energy Export Policy-2020. The policy targets to generate 120 GW of energy. The policy was aimed at encouraging, promoting, and developing renewable energy projects to export energy outside AP. [The Hindu]

Wind turbines (Photo Credit: RVS Prasad)

¶ “20% Duty On Solar Power Equipment To Cut Imports: Anand Thakur” • The Indian government is considering a proposal to impose 20% basic customs duty on solar modules to provide an edge to domestic manufacturers and discourage solar imports, particularly from China, according to Anurag Thakur, Minister of State for Finance. [Saurenergy]

¶ “MNRE to examine bid for powering city transport from renewable sources” • The minister of new and renewable energy, RK Singh, said he asked the ministry to examine an innovative bid which would involve generating renewable energy to make hydrogen fuel and for charging batteries to power the transport of an entire city. [EnergyInfraPost]

Solar array

US:

¶ “EV Charging Juiced By Millions Of Federal Dollars, Silicon Edition” • The basic challenge of speeding up electric vehicle charging times is to balance performance with cost. Under the Trump administration, the DOE has continued an aggressive program of support EV R&D, with a sharp focus on battery cost and performance. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Solar Will Kick Most Of Texas’s Remaining Coal Fleet Offline” • The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis published a report showing the growth in PV production and it’s rapid changes to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas market. Solar now provides 3% of electricy, compared to 8% for nuclear and 16% for coal, and it is growing. [CleanTechnica]

ERCOT energy sources, May 4, 2020

¶ “Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company Reports On Progress For Solar Project On Landfill In Brattleboro, Vermont” • The 5.73-MW solar array at Windham Solid Waste Management District’s closed landfill in Brattleboro provides electricity to 17 subscribers, mostly towns and schools. In 2019, it saved them an estimated $470,000. [EnerCom Inc]

¶ “City Moves Forward On Local Power Work Plan In Parallel To Xcel Energy Negotiations” • The City of Boulder’s parallel actions to determine its energy future moved forward with the release of a request for proposal that seeks power supply and innovative financing for the city’s potential local electric utility. Responses are due by August 14. [City of Boulder]

Have a magnificently happy day.

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July 17 Energy News

July 17, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Low Cost Perovskite Solar Cells Breathing Down The Neck Of Coal, And Fossil Gas, Too” • Perovskite solar cells have hurdles to overcome, but their advantages keep researchers looking for ways to perfect them. One advantage is that they can be printed. Another is that they are cheap. They may soon pose threats to fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

Perovskites in custom colors (Photo via NTU)

World:

¶ “Brazil’s Beef And Soy Exports To The EU Linked To Illegal Deforestation, Study Finds” • A study shows that around half of Brazil’s beef exports and almost a quarter of soy exports to the EU could be linked to illegal deforestation in two of Brazil’s most ecologically important regions. This has serious implications for both the climate crisis and trade. [CNN]

¶ “Vestas Delivers 101-MW Vietnamese Second Helping” • Vestas secured a 101-MW turbine order for the second phase of the B&T wind farm in Vietnam. The contract is with AMI AC Renewables Corporation, a joint venture of AC Energy and AMI Renewables. Vestas will supply, transport, install, and commission 24 V150-4.2MW turbines. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines in Vietnam (Vestas image)

¶ “Ofgem Green Lights 600-MW Shetland Link” • Ofgem has given SSE approval to build a 600-MW HVDC interconnector between mainland Scotland and the Shetland Isles by Q1 2024. The decision will also enable SSE Renewables to move forwards with building the 443-MW Viking wind farm on Mainland, Shetland’s largest island. [reNEWS]

¶ “NTPC And NIIF Sign Pact To Attract Investment For India’s Renewable Sector” • Indian electric power producer NTPC Limited said it entered into a memorandum of understating with the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund to explore new opportunities for investment in areas of power distribution and renewable energy. [Mercom India]

Renewable energy

¶ “Korean Government Aims To More Than Triple Renewable Energy-Based Power Generation” • The government of South Korean released details of its Green New Deal project. It will more than triple the capacity of renewable power generation sources, and greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by 12.29 million tons by 2025. [BusinessKorea]

¶ “Offshore Boost ‘Needed To Meet German Hydrogen Goal'” • Germany will need to find new areas to develop offshore wind capacity if the sector is to deliver 3 GW to support production of  green hydrogen under the country’s national strategy for the gas, according to a group of renewable energy organisations in the country. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (EWE image)

¶ “EDF Unveils Design Center In The UK Focused On Nuclear Engineering Advancements” • Project owner EDF unveiled a new engineering design facility in Bristol to support the next phase of construction at the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. By 2021, some 700 engineers will be working at the UK EPR Design Center. [Power Engineering Magazine]

Australia:

¶ “New South Wales To Add Second Renewable Energy Zone” • When New South Wales announced its renewable energy zone, it was looking for 3 GW of clean energy. It got proposals for an unexpected 27 GW. Nothing succeeds like success, they say, and so, less than a month later, NSW is back with another zero emissions proposal. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array (Credit: Downer Group)

¶ “University Of Queensland Hits 100% Renewables With Warwick Solar Farm Opening” • The University of Queensland is one of Australia’s first universities to switch to 100% renewables, with the opening of the 64-MW Warwick solar farm. The $125 million project is supplying power to university campuses, along with two other solar projects. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Central Sydney Now Runs 100% On Renewable Energy” • Sydney is sourcing clean energy from wind and solar farms in New South Wales, and the central part of the city is now running on 100% renewable energy. The move is estimated to reduce CO₂ emissions by about 20,000 tonnes every year, and it will save around A$500,000 per year. [Happytrips]

Sydney Opera House (Diliff, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “A Third Of US Workers Want To Stop Commuting And Work Remotely” • A study by Morning Consult found that a third of Americans surveyed want to work from home. The majority say it has given them more time during the day, improved their health, and brought them closer to their family members – all without impacting productivity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “P&G Invests In ‘Natural Climate Solutions’ But Ignores Boreal Forest Protection In New ‘It’s Our Home’ Campaign, Critics Say” • Procter & Gamble joined other consumer-product businesses with an updated climate-change campaign, agreeing that the next decade is a critical time for action. Natural-resource groups are not satisfied. [Cincinnati Business Courier]

Forest in Brazil (Getty Images)

¶ “FERC Overhauls Carter-Era Law Promoting Renewable Power” • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a final rule overhauling the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, that has served since 1978 to support putting more renewable energy on the grid. Those opposed to the rule say it amounts to “gutting the heart of PURPA.” [E&E News]

¶ “New York To Invest $750 Million In EV Infrastructure, Including Building 50,000 Charging Stations, Cuomo Says” • New York is investing $750 million to build infrastructure supporting EVs, including over 50,000 charging stations, in an attempt to cap emissions in the long-term, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced. [Yahoo News]

Have a wholesomely celebratory day.

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July 16 Energy News

July 16, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Why Transmission And Distribution Are The Clean Energy Transition’s Secret Weapons” • As the world pushes towards the Great Reset, there is considerable talk about powering our future with renewable energy. Increasing energy generation from clean sources demands an increase in transmission and distribution networks. [World Economic Forum]

Texas farmland (Lucas Jackson | Reuters)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Lasers Etch An Efficient Way To Address Global Water Crisis” • A third of the world’s population does not have reliably clean water to drink. University of Rochester researchers have now found a way to address the shortage of potable water by using sunlight to evaporate and purify contaminated water with greater than 100% efficiency. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The World’s Methane Emissions Are At A Record High, And Burping Cows Are Driving The Rise” • Methane emissions are at their highest level ever, with agriculture and fossil fuels the biggest drivers, new research from the Global Carbon Project says. Climate models suggest that methane could drive global temperatures increase by 3-4°C by 2100. [CNN]

Cattle (David Gray | Bloomberg via Getty Images)

¶ “UNSW Research Disproves Outdated Claim That Energy Transition Is An Economic Hindrance” • Research from the University of New South Wales disproved claims by fossil fuel advocates, nuclear power supporters, and mercenary economists that the transition to renewable electricity would hinder the global economy. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Climate Change: Siberian Heatwave ‘Clear Evidence’ Of Warming” • A record-breaking heatwave in Siberia would have been almost impossible without human-caused climate change, a study has found. The Russian region’s temperatures were more than 5°C above average for the period between January and June of this year. [BBC]

Land surface temperature anomalies, 3/19 to 6/20 (NASA)

¶ “Small Lab Makes Big Breakthrough In Nuclear Fusion Tech” • Nuclear power has had high hopes for nuclear fusion, but high development costs have kept the goal out of reach for decades. A company in New Jersey, Lawrenceville Plasma Physics, Inc, may soon be leading the way in transitioning over to nuclear fusion through dense plasma focus. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “World Population Could Peak Decades Before UN Forecast, Study Says” • UN demographers projected a peak of 10.9 billion people in the world by century’s end, compared with roughly 7.8 billion now. But a study published in the Lancet asserted that the global population could peak at 9.7 billion by 2064 and decline to 8.8 billion by 2100. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Earth (NASA image via AP)

World:

¶ “Belgian school selling solar power to neighbors” • The energy regulator for the greater Brussels area has granted market and pricing exemptions to support development of a pilot project for selling energy in a local community. It will come from 34.7-kW solar sysem on a school building and a 2.4-kW system on the roof of a nearby homeowner. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Fossil Fuel Companies Are Losing Value Globally” • A paper published by the Australia Institute details how fossil fuels are the worst-performing sector on the ASX 300 and have been for the past decade. $100 invested in the S&P ASX 300 Energy Index back in 2010 was only worth $104 by January 2020. It dropped to $51 with COVID-19. [CleanTechnica]

S&P 500 vs S&P 500 Energy (Australia Institute)

¶ “Hoti: 105-MW Wind Park Bajgora In Kosovo To Come Online By April” •  Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti of Kosovo visited the future site of a wind farm in the municipality of Mitrovica. The project is a joint venture with investors from Israel and Germany. Hoti said the 105-MW wind park is scheduled to be completed by April. [Balkan Green Energy News]

¶ “Greenlink Interconnector Wins First Consent” •  A proposed 500-MW, 200 km Ireland-Wales Greenlink Interconnector was awarded the first of several consents the project needs to secure before it can start construction by Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority. This marks the first step in a series of planning consents required for the link. [reNEWS]

Big spool on a ship (DeepOcean image)

US:

¶ “Trump Weakens Environmental Law To Speed Up Infrastructure Projects” • President Trump has announced alterations to a landmark environmental law, in a controversial move to allow projects to go ahead with less oversight. Mr Trump touted changes to the National Environmental Protection Act as a “historic breakthrough.” [BBC]

¶ “Key Trends To Disrupt The US Renewables Market In The Next Six Months” • A Deloitte study examines the key trends, challenges, and opportunities that may affect the US renewable energy industry in the second half of 2020. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the US renewable energy industry’s long-term growth trajectory appears intact. [Smart Energy]

Renewable energy (Image credit: Stock)

¶ “Biden Plans Massive Electric Car Push” • Details about Joe Biden’s environmental plans are beginning to emerge, and they include a massive push for electric cars and trucks. According to Car and Driver, part of the plan is a program that offers financial incentives for Americans to trade in their gas guzzlers, replacing them with efficient EVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “FERC Data Shows Fossil Fuels Are Failing” • Currently the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has four commissioners, all Trump appointees. They have been seen as pushing a fossil fuel agenda. Nevertheless, for the first time, FERC is projecting a net decline of US fossil fuel generating capacity over the next three years. [CleanTechnica]

Have terrifically entertaining day.

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July 15 Energy News

July 15, 2020

Opinion:

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

Ørsted offshore wind farm (Ørsted image)

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

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

Solar array (Fabian Andres Cambero | Reuters)

World:

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

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

Making a whisky barrel (Diageo Reserve)

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

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

Solar array (Zach Shahan | CleanTechnica)

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

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

Floating wind turbines (Courtesy Carbon Trust)

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

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

Wind farm (Pixabay image)

US:

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

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

Work on a wind turbine (Getty Images)

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

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

Have a magically prepossessing day.

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