Posts Tagged ‘nuclear’

June 3 Energy News

June 3, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Extinction Crisis ‘Poses Existential Threat To Civilisation'” • Human impacts on the places on Earth with the most richness of life have brought hundreds of wild animals to the brink of extinction, a study shows. We are in the sixth mass extinction, with only ourselves to blame. And what we do in the next few decades will shape the future of humanity. [BBC]

Endangered bontebok (Gerardo Ceballos)

¶ “Game Over For Coal: Renewable Energy Best Bet For Covid-19 Recovery” • The economic argument for keeping older coal power plants in operation seems clear enough: they’re already here. That’s it. That’s the case. If that seems like weak tea, it is. Coal is resting on bottom line respectability, when reneable energy is cheaper. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Oil & Gas Industry Doesn’t Have A Bright Future” • The oil and gas industry has been in a recession, effectively since the global financial crisis 11 years ago. Each year, production volumes have increased by more than global demand, meaning that the market has been in decline, with lower prices for crude oil and natural gas the natural result. [CleanTechnica]

Fully loaded oil tankers sitting idle (PO3 Aidan Cooney | USCG)

World:

¶ “Northvolt And Hydro Team Up For EV Battery Recycling” • Swedish lithium-ion battery manufacturer Northvolt and Norwegian aluminum producer Hydro have formed a new partnership to recycle EV batteries. It’s all part of a push to make the EU a more circular economy instead of discarding its waste products in landfills and junk yards. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nordex Swoops On 90-MW Brazil Order” • Nordex has received a turbine order for a 90-MW wind project in Brazil. The agreement, with new customer Companhia Paranaense de Energia, is for the supply and construction of 26 AW132/3465 turbines plus a 20-year servicing contract. The Jandaira Copel wind farm will be completed in 2022. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Nordex image)

¶ “Lanzajet Launches To Make Renewable Jet Fuel A Reality” • Over a fifteen year stretch, LanzaTech has been developing technologies that can turn carbon emissions into ethanol. The company announced the spinout of LanzaJet with partners Mitsui, Suncor, and All Nippon Airways, to bring sustainable aviation fuel to market. [TechCrunch]

¶ “UK Electricity Coal Free For First Month Ever” • The UK’s electricity system had its “greenest” month ever and ran without coal-fired electricity for the full month of May. National Grid, the energy system operator, said the UK’s sunniest spring on record helped reduce the carbon intensity of the grid to its lowest level ever recorded. [The Guardian]

Solar and wind power in Lincolnshire (Paul Glendell | Alamy)

¶ “Adani Chief Talks Solar And Hydrogen Storage Opportunity” • Covid-19 presents an opportunity to pause, rethink, and design a faster transition to a clean energy future, according to Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani. He pointed to a 99% drop in the cost of solar modules over a 40 year period, and said he expects the trend to continue. [pv magazine Australia]

Australia:

¶ “Renewables Power On Despite Recession: CER Report” • In Australia, the Clean Energy Regulator’s Quarterly Carbon Market Report for the first three months of 2020 shows the renewable sector has exhibited remarkable resilience in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. Renewables are being installed even as a recession is going on. [EcoGeneration]

PVs and grazing animals

¶ “Insurers, Scientists Team Up In ‘Ground-Breaking’ Australian Initiative” • Leading Australian experts in climate change science and disaster modeling are working with Australian financial institutions to provide a common, scientifically robust standard for industry disclosure and reporting of climate-related financial risks in Australia.” [Insurance Business Australia]

¶ “Australia’s Biggest Wind Farm Starts Sending Power To The Grid” • Goldwind Australia’s 530-MW Stockyard Hill wind farm is sending power to the grid, after its first turbine was connected to the Victorian transmission network. So far, a total of 90 of the wind farm’s 149 Goldwind 3S turbines have been installed at the site in Western Victoria. [RenewEconomy]

Stockyard Hill wind farm (Image: Goldwind Australia)

US:

¶ “State Now Has Plan For Climate Resilience” • In 2012, North Carolina passed a bill restricting the use of sea level rise data for regulatory purposes, which brought it criticism for “outlawing science.” Since that time, it has changed more than a little. This week it introduced what it calls its most comprehensive effort to address climate change. [Coastal Review Online]

¶ “Oil Pipeline Projects Continue To Burden Landowners During Pandemic – Misuse Of Eminent Domain” • Pipeline giant Kinder Morgan is cutting a 400-mile line across the middle of Texas, digging up vast swaths of private land for its planned Permian Highway Pipeline. The project continues, through the pandemic, without health precautions. [CleanTechnica]

Clearing land for the pipeline (Source: Big Ingen Media)

¶ “Louisiana’s SWEPCO Test Virtual Power Plant Using Solar And Storage” • Battery storage provider SimpliPhi Pwer announced a new partnership with Helia Technologies to deploy intelligent energy solar-plus-storage systems at a demonstration project in Shreveport, Louisiana with the support of Southwest Electric Power Co. [Smart Energy]

¶ “Bill Gates And Big Oil Chasing The Nuclear Fusion Dream” • The debate over nuclear fusion vs fission may be on the edge of a breakthrough. Startup Commonwealth Fusion Systems has won over Bill Gates and other backers. The company’ system is to be powered by high-temperature superconducting magnets. It has hopes to run it in the early 2030s. [OilPrice.com]

Have a notably salubrious day.

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June 2 Energy News

June 2, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “How Should California Wind Down Its Fossil Fuel Industry?” • California is a leader in renewable energy, particularly rooftop solar. But it remains the seventh-largest oil-producing state, with 162 million barrels of crude coming up in 2018, translating to tax revenue and jobs. So how can the state reconcile its divergent energy path? [GreenTech Media]

Oil field in Kern County, California (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Energy Efficiency Is Cheaper Than Gas” • Energy efficiency programs save money and ease the effects of climate change. They also generate high-quality jobs. Efficiency accounted for nearly half of the energy industry’s overall net of new jobs in 2019, and it employs twice as many US workers as the entire fossil fuel industry. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “SpaceX Crew Dragon Gets To The ISS, But What About Doing It With Renewable Energy?” • SpaceX and NASA  launched two astronauts to the ISS on the SpaceX Crew Dragon. Calculations show that we could turn water into rocket fuel sufficient for a Shuttle launch using a month’s wind power from a small wind farm at a cost of about $285,000. [CleanTechnica]

May 30 SpaceX launch (Daniel Oberhaus, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “EDF Fires Starting Gun At Fecamp” • Construction is set to start at the 500-MW Fecamp offshore wind farm off northwest France, with financing agreements between the consortium developing the project and its financial partners finalized. Fecamp will have 71 Siemens Gamesa 7.0-154 turbines located and is to be commissioned in 2023. [reNEWS]

¶ “Australia’s Largest Renewables Employment Study Released” • A Clean Energy Council report found that the renewables sector could employ 44,000 Australians by 2025, with a majority in regional areas. Clean Energy At Work is Australia’s largest study of current and projected employment in the renewable energy sector to date. [Energy Magazine]

Wind turbine technician enjoying the view (Shutterstock image)

¶ “AFC Energy And Acciona Partner To Test Fuel Cell Systems At Construction Site” • UK alkaline fuel cells developer AFC Energy Plc said it partnered with Acciona SA to conduct field tests of the H-Power fuel cell platform at one of Acciona’s construction sites in Spain. The partners will evaluate safety and cost effectiveness of both hydrogen and ammonia. [Renewables Now]

¶ “What Offshore Wind Can Bring To The Corporate PPA Party” • As corporate onshore wind and solar deals pick up in Europe, the first handful of offshore wind deals are now being made. The market for corporate onshore renewables deals is now “mature,” Rasmus Errboe, senior vice president at Ørsted Offshore told GTM. [GreenTech Media]

MHI Vestas Offshore Wind Turbine

¶ “Study Shows Decrease In Renewable Energy Costs May Serve As An Accelerator For Clean Energy Expansion” • A study led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Stony Brook University projects further declines in the cost of renewable energy in China. The study, published in Nature Communications, could be a model for the US. [Tech Xplore]

¶ “Plunging Cost Of Wind And Solar Marks Turning Point In Energy Transition: IRENA” • Plunging costs of renewables mark a turning point in a global transition to low-carbon energy, as it is increasingly cheaper to build solar or wind farms than to run existing coal plants, a report from the International Renewable Energy Agency shows. [Reuters]

Wind farm in France (Pascal Rossignol | Reuters)

¶ “MingYang Installs Storage Technology At Huian Quanhui” • MingYang Smart Energy deployed energy storage technology at the 43-MW Huian Quanhui offshore wind farm in China’s Fujian province. The turbine manufacturer’s subsidiary, Quant-Cloud, developed the technology to enhance the typhoon resiliance of MingYang’s offshore wind turbines. [reNEWS]

¶ “Climate Change: Older Trees Loss Continue Around The World” • Older, carbon-rich tropical forests continue to be lost at a frightening rate, according to satellite data. In 2019, an area of primary forest the size of a football pitch was lost every six seconds, according to the University of Maryland study of trees more than 5 meters. [BBC News]

Tree loss in Bolivia due to fires (Getty Images)

US:

¶ “EPA Mounts A New Strike On States’ Rights, This Time To Boost Pipeline Companies” • As chaos grips the nation, the EPA is changing water permitting rules to make it harder for states to block construction of fossil fuel pipelines. The EPA’s new rule prohibits regulators from factoring in a project’s impacts on climate change. [Huffpost]

¶ “Under Construction: Two Solar Farms with 230 Million kWh of Energy Output in Western Kentucky” • Western Kentucky will be home to two new solar farms with a combined capacity of 100 MW. This results from a deal between Community Energy and Big Rivers Electric Corporation, which will buy 100% of the solar farms’ output. [Environment + Energy Leader]

Somewhat unusual olar panels (Pixabay image)

¶ “Cities Need More Expertise And Utility Support In 100% Renewables Push: Report” • A report says greenhouse gas emissions are “rising at an unprecedented rate,” and with the federal government largely taking a back-seat in the fight against climate change, it is up to state and city governments to do much of the heavy lifting. [Smart Cities Dive]

¶ “Operators Shut Down Seabrook Reactor After ‘Unplanned Event'” • A manual trip at the Seabrook Station nuclear plant on Friday, followed an unplanned insertion of control rods. David Lochbaum of watchdog group C-10 Research & Education Foundation, said the event was more interesting economically than for safety. [The Daily News of Newburyport]

Have an exceedingly splendid day.

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June 1 Energy News

June 1, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “How Cities Might Change If We Worked From Home More” • Many people now work from home. Major tech companies say they are open to their staff working from home permanently. Employees are coming to realize remote working is not only possible but, in some cases, preferable. A shift to a new way of working might already be under way. [BBC]

Tverskaya Street in Moscow on May 9 (Reuters)

¶ “What Will Coronavirus Do To Renewable Energy?” • Before the Covid-19 pandemic, renewable energy was growing, but not fast enough to meet the Paris Agreement’s carbon reduction goals, let alone to deal with climate change. Now, the economic shock of Covid-19 is slowing the growth of renewables, at least temporarily. [Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists]

¶ “Finally There Is Real Movement On Australia’s Climate Policy But Time Isn’t On Our Side” • If speed weren’t a factor, we could probably rely on the market to incentivise the uptake of green technology at its own pace. Battery costs are down and new renewables generate power more cheaply than fossil fuels. But time is running out. [The Guardian]

Solar panels (Carly Earl | The Guardian)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Marine Species Are Moving Towards The Poles Six Times Faster Than Terrestrials Amid Climate Change” • Greenhouse gases have been increasing from human activity exponentially. One of the biggest impacts on species is migration toward cooler temperatures. A study compares detailed differences between marine species and land animals. [Science Times]

World:

¶ “NIO Completes More Than 500,000 Battery Swaps” • NIO is a Chinese electric car maker. One of the things that sets it apart is its focus on battery swapping technology, which has advantages aside from speed. NIO has 136 automated swap stations along many of China’s busiest highways. It has now performed over 500,000 battery swaps. [CleanTechnica]

NIO battery swap station (Image credit: NIO Power)

¶ “West Africa: Hydro To Support Solar And Wind In Smart Renewable Grid” • A study published in the journal Nature Sustainability maps the potential of solar-wind-water strategies for West Africa, a region where power grids are expected to expand. The study explores how hydropower can firm solar and windpower in a climate-friendly manner. [ESI Africa]

¶ “Serbia’s New Energy Solutions To Build 220-MW Wind Farm” • New Energy Solutions, a Serbian management consultancy for renewable energy, is to build a 220-MW wind farm in Kovačica, a document posted on the website of Kovačica municipality shows. The wind farm is to have 31 turbines, each with a 7 MW capacity, and a power substantion. [Renewables Now]

Kovačica wind farm (Source: Windpark Kovačica)

¶ “Power Consumption Dips 14% To 103 BU In May Due To Coronavirus Lockdown” • In India, Power consumption in May declined by 14.16% to 103.02 billion units (kWh) compared to 120.02 BU a year ago, mainly due to low demand during the pandemic lockdown. But the May number is a rise from the 22.65% decline for April. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Confirms Order For 496-MW Offshore Wind Plant” • Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy received a firm order from Ailes Marine, an Iberdrola affiliate, for 62 SG 8.0-167 DD offshore wind turbines for the 496-MW Bay of Saint Brieuc offshore wind plant in France. The order includes a 10-year maintenance agreement. [Saurenergy]

Offshore wind farm

¶ “Renewables Gain Investors As Some Flee Oil, Gas, And Coal” • The global fossil fuel sectors are taking a beating, as the supply far outstrips falling demand. Investors seeking safer havens could drive growth in renewable energy even as the solar and wind energy sectors try to weather the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic. [Power Magazine]

¶ “Enel Wins 106.3 MW Of Wind, Hydro Projects In Italy” • Enel SpA announced that Enel Green Power was awarded 106.3 MW of capacity in Italian tenders held by the Italian state-owned energy service system operator. The auctions targeted 500 MW of new wind and solar projects and 98.5 MW for renovations of existing plants. [Renewables Now]

Endesa’s Enel Green Power Espana wind parks

¶ “Questions Emerge Over The Need For A Japanese Nuclear Reprocessing Plant” • Japanese nuclear regulators announced that the Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant had met new safety regulations, taking a crucial step toward becoming operational. But now, some people are questioning the need for the project to be continued at all. [NHK World]

US:

¶ “Empire State Building Reduces Carbon Emissions By 40% With Energy Saving Upgrades” • When it was built, during the depression, the Empire State Building projected a message of hope by keeping every room lit for all to see. Today, the energy retrofits the building has had reduce its emissions, enough to show a new hope for the future. [CleanTechnica]

Empire State Building (Image credit: esbnyc.com)

¶ “Edgewater Coal Plant Closure Signals A Move Towards Renewable Energy” • By the end of 2022, Alliant Energy, based in Madison, Wisconsin, will shutter the Edgewater coal plant in Sheboygan. The company said in a press release that it hopes to transition to renewable energy, and avoid long-term costs for current customers. [Wisconsin Examiner]

¶ “Cities ‘Could Generate Hundreds Of Times More Solar Power Than They Do Today’” • While applauding the rooftop solar progress of dozens of cities, a report from Environment Texas offers policy options for further progress. Per capita solar leaders are Honolulu, San Diego, Albuquerque, San Jose and Burlington, Vermont. [pv magazine USA]

Have thoroughly pleasing day.

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May 31 Energy News

May 31, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “New-Wave Urban Farming” • People continue to lose their jobs amid pandemic, raising concerns about whether farmers and growers in the production chain can still get their supplies to market. The question also arises as to whether consumers can afford to buy them. Some people have been developing ideas to address food security. [Bangkok Post]

Vegetable plots occupy a secluded garden

¶ “Scripps Scientists Identify Climate Change As Major Marine Heatwave Contributor” • Two studies, led by scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego, highlight the significance of long-term observations to understand ocean climate trends and events, including marine heatwaves. [San Diego Community Newspaper Group]

¶ “Thanks To Renewables And Machine Learning, Google Now Forecasts The Wind” • Using machine learning, Google and the Google-owned Artificial Intelligence firm DeepMind have been able to better predict wind production, better predict electricity supply and demand, and as a result, reduce operating costs for win plants. [Forbes]

Wind turbine (Photo: Vitaly Nevar | TASS via Getty Images)

World:

¶ “Largest Solar Power Plant In UK History Gets Final Approval” • Three years in the planning, the Cleve Hill Solar Park has final approval from the UK Planning Inspectorate Office. Completed, it will be the largest solar power plant in the UK with a capacity of 350 MW. It will provide enough electricity each year to supply 91,000 UK homes. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Audi’s New ‘Mission:Zero’ – Protecting Natural Habitats & Biodiversity” • Audi has been a member of the “Biodiversity in Good Company” initiative for five years. Volkswagen Group has numerous projects to preserve biodiversity at Audi sites. The Audi Environmental Foundation has plans to expand that commitment to benefit biodiversity. [CleanTechnica]

Bug hotel at an Audi site (James B via Twitter)

¶ “Inuit Communities Are Shaping Research Priorities” • In northern Canada, climate change can make travel on ice deadly. In Nunavut, the SmartICE research project integrates traditional ice knowledge with real-time data gathered from sensors out on the sea ice. SmartICE aims to make reliable maps of ice travel hazards, accessible by computer or smartphone. [Grist]

¶ “Electric Bicycle Sales Blooming Since The Lockdown, Cities And Commuter Habits Shifting” • Cities are rethinking space and adding bicycle infrastructure continuously, and the pandemic presents an extra opportunity to reflect and take bolder action that some cities are seizing. Paris, Milan, and Brussels are among the examples. [CleanTechnica]

Cyclists in New York (Image: Bike New York via Twitter)

¶ “All Iran’s JCPOA deviations resulted from US provocation: Russia” • Under the JCPOA (the Iran nuclear deal), Iran agreed to limit its nuclear activities in exchange for ending economic and financial sanctions. After the US withdrew from the deal, Iran had no reason to honor it, but Iran’s President said Iran would return to it, if other countries do also. [Tehran Times]

US:

¶ “Trump’s Fossil Fuel Agenda Gets Pushback From Federal Judges” • Federal courts have delivered a string of rebukes to the Trump administration, ruling that it has failed to protect the environment and address climate change. The latest ruling came when an appeals court refused to revive a permitting program for oil and gas pipelines. [Daily Rocket Miner]

Nodding donkey

¶ “Advancing Offshore Wind Community Acceptance Practices: New Report” • The US potential for offshore wind is nearly twice the electricity it uses, an American Wind Energy Association analysis shows. The report provides money-saving lessons the offshore wind sector can take from other clean economy sectors in dealing with local governments. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Decommissioned Nuclear Reactor A Heavy Haul For Nevada Roads” • A nuclear reactor vessel from the decommissioned San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in Southern California made its way through Las Vegas by rail, headed to a transfer site and placement on a truck to become the heaviest object ever moved on a Nevada highway. [Mohave Valley News]

Have an extraordinarily fun day.

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May 30 Energy News

May 30, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “The Coming Recession Is The Best Reason To Step Up The Pace Of Renewables Investment” • The Covid-19 recession will bring fiscal stimulus on a massive scale. There are high hopes that the recovery will be green but it could be an uphill struggle. A big opportunity for Australia’s governments is to keep the renewable energy revolution going. [The Guardian]

Wind turbine (Carly Earl | The Guardian)

¶ “Managed Retreat in the Face of Climate Change, Part 1” • In the first episode of a two-part podcast interview for CleanTech Talk, Michael Barnard, of TFIE Strategy Inc, and Dr. AR Siders, of the University of Delaware’s Disaster Research Center, sit down to talk about her work as a researcher in managing retreat in the face of climate change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Managed Retreat in the Face of Climate Change, Part 2” • AR  Siders and Michael Barnard start the second half of this episode by discussing case studies of communities dealing with climate change impacts and managed retreat. Mike and AR compare and contrast the challenges with managed retreat within Canada and the US. [CleanTechnica]

After a levee failed (Infrogmation, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Chile Advances In Breeding Gene-Edited Crops That Weather Climate Change” • Chile has played a leading role in genetically modified seed production for two decades. Now, it is now at the lead in publicly developed gene-edited crops to address climate change impacts on local farming, according to a peer-reviewed study in GM Crops & Food. [Alliance for Science]

World:

¶ “Global Auto Sales Down 26%, By More Than 6 Million Units, In 1st Quarter” • When US new auto sales were reported down by 496,600 units in Q1 of 2020 from Q1 of 2019, it was stunning. But now we see that globally, Q1 saw new auto sales down by over 6 million units. According to JATO Dynamics, the world market declined 26% from 2019. [CleanTechnica]

Teska Model S (Chanan Bos | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Colombia Enables Private Ports To Import Equipment For The Construction Of Renewable Energy Projects” • Now, private service ports may provide services to third parties to import equipment for building non-conventional renewable energies in Colombia. This is to help the country toward its resilience and environment goals. [BNamericas English] (Written in PR-ese)

¶ “UK EV Owners Got Paid To Charge Their Cars Over The Holiday Weekend” • In the UK, a bank holiday, sunny skies, and  reduced demand due to the coronavirus pandemic left Octopus Energy, a UK utility that uses only renewable energy, with an oversupply. So, to use up excess electricity, it paid some lucky EV owners to charge their cars. [CleanTechnica]

Octopus Energy: Kia-ora

¶ “UK Government Committee To Probe Offshore Wind Potential” • A UK Government select committee is to consider the potential of offshore wind and how policy can facilitate the making the technology best and most cost-effective for the UK. The UK has the largest market in the world for offshore wind, and it is growing rapidly. [reNEWS]

¶ “France, UK, Germany Regret US Decision To End Iran Nuclear Waivers” • France, Germany, and Britain criticized a US decision to end sanction waivers allowing work on Iranian nuclear sites designed to prevent weapon development. “We deeply regret the US decision to end the three waivers,” the three countries said in a joint statement. [Daily Sabah]

Iranian technician at Iran’s Uranium Conversion Facility (AP Photo)

¶ “Canadian Court Slams Trump Climate Advisor In Successful Libel Case” • Climate science denier and Trump transition team advisor Dr Tim Ball, who was earlier derided by a Canadian court as incompetent, ill-intended, and apparently indifferent to the truth, has again been rebuffed in the British Columbia Court of Appeal. He is accused of libel. [NationofChange]

US:

¶ “The World’s ‘Largest All-Electric Commercial Aircraft’ Has Completed Its First Flight” • The “largest all-electric commercial aircraft” completed its maiden flight. The Cessna 208B Grand Caravan was flown at Moses Lake, Washington, and used a 750-horsepower all-electric motor developed by magniX, a company based in Redmond. [CNBC]

Electric Cessna 208B Grand Caravan (magniX image)

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Is The Top Selling Car in California” • For the first time ever, the Tesla Model 3 was the top selling vehicle in California last quarter, a bit of a surprise. The Model 3 has often been in the top 5 in California, but decades-long leaders from Honda and Toyota, with the Civic, Accord, Corolla, and Camry, have been hard to pass. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “This Huge Natural Gas Company Looks To Power Operations With Solar Energy” • US natural gas processing and transmission firm Williams is looking to develop solar installations on land it owns close to its existing facilities to power its operations with electricity from solar energy. Williams owns and operates about 30,000 miles of pipelines. [OilPrice.com]

Solar panels

¶ “EIA: US Renewable Energy Consumption Surpasses Coal For The First Time In Over 130 Years” • In 2019, US annual energy consumption from renewable sources exceeded consumption of energy from coal for the first time since before 1885, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s Monthly Energy Review. [Power Engineering Magazine]

¶ “ExxonMobil And Chevron Challenged On Climate Lobbying By Investors” • Investor resolutions on climate lobbying gained momentum at the annual shareholder meetings of ExxonMobil and Chevron. How companies and their lobby groups influence the climate policy imperative is now firmly set as a topic on the investor agenda. [Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide]

Have a serenely invigorating day.

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May 29 Energy News

May 29, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Just How Good An Investment Is Renewable Energy? New Study Reveals All” • Renewable energy investments deliver massively better returns than fossil fuels in the US, the UK and Europe, according to analysis. Despite this, the total volume of investment is still nowhere near what will be required to mitigate climate change. [Forbes]

Wind farm (DPA | Picture Alliance via Getty Images)

¶ “Rapid Shift To Renewable Energy Could Lead Australia To Cheap Power And 100,000 Jobs” • Rapid expansion of renewable energy over the next five years could establish Australia as a home for new zero-emissions industries, cut electricity costs, and create more than 100,000 jobs in the electricity industry alone, an analysis suggests. [The Guardian]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Antarctic Ice Sheets Capable Of Much Faster Melting Than We Thought” • Antarctic ice sheets retreated at speeds of up to 50 meters (164 feet) a day at the end of the last Ice Age, researchers have found. They warn that we could soon see similar levels of ice retreat, should climate change carry on weakening ice shelves in coming decades. [CNN]

View from research ship Agulhas II (Julian Dowdeswell)

World:

¶ “GM Chinese Brand Wuling Launches New Electric Minivan” • Wuling, a brand of General Motors, recently launched its first electric minivan. The Rong Guang EV, an upgrade to the 2008 Rong Guang, will have two variants. One, with a starting price of $11,722, is designed for businesses. The other, starting at $12,561, is for personal users. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Consortium Created To Promote Zero-Emission Electric Vessels” • Seven Japanese companies have joined forces to launch a zero-emission electric vessel consortium, the e5 Consortium. Three of them, Asahi Tanker, Exeno Yamamizu Corporation, Mitsubishi Corporation, recently built the world’s first electric ocean vessel, the e5 tanker. [CleanTechnica]

e5 tanker (Courtesy of Asahi Tanker | e5 Consortium)

¶ “Enel Accelerates Last Chile Coal Plant Shutdown” • Enel will exit Chile’s coal power sector early by bringing forward closure of its Bocamina coal-fired power plant. Enel Generacion Chile will ask Chile’s National Energy Commission to authorise it to move the cessation date on one unit from 2023 to 2020, and on a second from 2040 to 2022. [reNEWS]

¶ “City of Cracow Orders 50 Electric Buses” • In Poland, the city of Cracow has decided to order 50 Solaris Urbino 18 electric buses to help clean up its air and help stop global warming. The new 50 buses will be added to an existing fleet of 28 Solaris electric buses. The order, including 50 bus charging stations, is to be delivered this year. [CleanTechnica]

Solaris Urbino 18 electric bus in Cracow (Solaris courtesy image)

¶ “Environmentalists Challenge Limits On Renewable Energy Firms” • The Mexican Center for Environmental Law and Greenpeace filed complaints against National Energy Control Center measures that suspended national grid trials for wind and solar projects. The trials must be completed before the projects are alowed to sell power. [Mexico News Daily]

¶ “Wind, Solar, And Drought Drive Down Emissions, But Australia Still Lags On Targets” • The latest quarterly update to the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory has been published. It shows that Australia’s emissions fell by 0.5% in the last quarter of 2019, driven by 40.7% jump in solar generation, and a 1.7% decline in coal power. [RenewEconomy]

Canva Power station in Australia

¶ “Surplus Wind Energy Could Heat Scottish Homes” • National Grid Electricity System Operator and Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks are exploring the potential to use surplus wind energy for heating Scottish homes, instead of reducing the wind farms’ output when wind farms are generating too much power for the level of demand. [reNEWS]

¶ “Uzbekistan Formulates Low-Carbon Strategy” • Uzbekistan has devised a low-carbon energy strategy to aid its transition to renewables and cleaner power sources while meeting increasing energy demand. Uzbekistan plans to develop alternative energy sources, including solar, hydro and wind, to produce electricity with low carbon emissions. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Image: Unsplash | Science in HD)

¶ “Lithuania Must Step Up Efforts To Pursue Maximum Security Of Belarusian Nuclear Plant – Official” • The delivery of nuclear fuel to the Astravyets nuclear plant in Belarus forces Lithuania to step up efforts to pursue the maximum security of the facility, a Lithuanian official said. The plant is under construction near the Lithuanian border. [Baltic Times]

US:

¶ “Court Blocks Trump Solar Tariff Plan” • A US trade court has blocked a Trump administration plan to enact tariffs on a type of two-sided solar panel, dealing a blow to US manufacturers that had sought levies against cheap imports. The bifacial solar panels, which can generate power from both sides, are used in a minority of projects. [E&E News]

Solar panels (Prism Solar image)

¶ “PG&E Keeps Adding Electrons To Energy Storage Plans” • California utilities are moving past battery pilot projects. Pacific Gas and Electric Company requested that the California Public Utilities Commission approve five new energy storage projects totaling 423 MW in power capacity. All are lithium-ion battery storage proposals. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “California Pumps $9.5 Million Into Lithium Extraction And Geothermal Energy” • Despite the pandemic, the California Energy Commission awarded $9.5 million for three geothermal and lithium projects. They will help provide continuous supply of renewable energy and stimulate California’s budding lithium recovery industry. [CleanTechnica]

Have a exceptionally glorious day.

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May 28 Energy News

May 28, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “The Climate Change Clues Hidden In Art History” • As scientists, policy-makers, and members of the public attempt to make sense of the climate crisis, art historians are finding clues about how our relationship with nature has changed, about past and present societies’ ideas of climate, and even about the physical changes of our planet. [BBC]

The Icebergs, Frederic Edwin Church (Dallas Museum of Art)

¶ “A Single Mega-Project Exposes The Morrison Government’s Gas Plan As Staggering Folly” • The Australian government’s “technology investment roadmap” says natural gas will help in “balancing” renewable energy. But just one proposed project could produce 1.5% of the CO₂ the entire world can allow, if it is to limit warming to 1.5°C. [Australian Times]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Migratory Birds In The Eastern US Are Struggling To Adapt To Climate Change” • As their breeding grounds shrink, migratory birds in eastern North America may be particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, compared with birds that stay put during the winter, scientists reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. [MSN Money]

Male Indigo Bunting (© Steve Rushing | Popular Science)

World:

¶ “Algeria Plans 4-GW, Five Year Solar Power Initiative” • Algeria is talking about building 4 GW of solar power capacity in 5 years. Algeria has a population of 44 million. It also has an abundance of sunshine. Nonetheless, 4 GW means increasing the country’s solar power capacity ten times over. To do that, it’s getting a large infusion of cash. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Turkey Records All-Time Daily High In Domestic And Renewable Electricity” • The Turkism Minister for Energy and Natural Resources announced that on May 24, Turkey set a record daily high for renewable energy power generation, Daily Sabah reported. Turkey’s renewable sources provided nearly 90% of the country’s electricity. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

Turkish geothermal power plant (Source: Zorlu Enerji)

¶ “Oman Using Bifacial Solar Panels In Giant 500 MW Solar Farm” • Oman has a lot of solar resources and it is building a giant 500-MW solar farm to make use of them. But it’s not just any 500-MW solar behemoth. It will have high-efficiency bifacial solar modules. China’s Jolywood (Suzhou) Sunwatt has shipped the modules already. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Solar Leads Australia’s Energy Transition As Renewables Set New Record” • According to Australian federal government statistics, renewable sources contributed 55,481 GWh in 2019, 21% of total electricity generation. This represents an increase of 12%, compared with 2018. Solar power led the way, with a 46% increase in the year. [pv magazine Australia]

Renewable energy in Australia (Image: SMA Solar Technology)

¶ “Plans Go In For Sizewell C” • The development consent order application to build Sizewell C, an £18-billion nuclear power plant in Suffolk, was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate. Sizewell C will be a near replica of Hinkley Point C being built by EDF in Somerset. It is to have a pair of 1670-MW European Pressurised Reactor units. [The Construction Index]

US:

¶ “Rooftop Solar And Grid-Scale Storage Move Forward In Hawaii” • Hawaii has the most aggressive zero emission electricity policy of all US states – 100% by 2045. Lots of states like to talk about their low carbon goals, but Hawaii is walking the clean energy walk. It’s possible it could reach its zero emissions goal ahead of schedule. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it. (Hawaiian Electric)

¶ “US To Halt 1.75 Million Barrels Of Oil Production Per Day – Just The Beginning” • The oil industry is in trouble. Peak oil demand was gone long before the coronavirus and dumping by other countries. And the long-term outlook doesn’t look any rosier for this fossil industry. IHS Markit forecasts production curtailment in the US. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewables Crushing Coal – Won 100 Days Already In 2020” • The US has seen year-to-date performance for renewables that is dramatically above any previous year’s. Renewables are on a streak going on right now, overtaking coal for production of electricity on a daily basis for 100 days so far this year, and for 60 days in a row. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm (Image: blog.ucsusa.org, via Twitter)

¶ “US Provides Additional Safe Harbour For Renewables In Post-Covid-19 World” • US renewable energy projects that have been hit by supply chain delays caused by the Covid-19 crisis have been granted an extra year to meet safe harbour requirements and qualify for federal tax credits. A notice published by the IRS offers tax relief. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Coal’s Decline Continues With Thirteen Plant Closures Announced In 2020” • Power companies have announced plans to close thirteen coal plants this year, according to an E&E News review of federal data and companies’ closure plans. Two other plants will be converted to natural gas. Burning coal is no longer economically sound. [Scientific American]

Coal loading facility (Richard Hamilton Smith | Getty Images)

¶ “US Renewables Produce 17.5% More Electricity Than Coal During Q1 Of 2020 – Solar Grows 23% And Wind 17%” • US Renewable energy sources produced significantly more electricity than coal during the first quarter of 2020 and also topped nuclear power in both February and March, a SUN DAY Campaign analysis of EIA data shows. [pvbuzz media]

¶ “Shell Seals Offtake For Virginia Solar Double” • Shell signed power purchase agreements for the output from two PV projects under construction in Virginia totaling 45 MW. Shell Energy North America will take 90% of the electricity generated by the Briel Farm and Gardy’s Mill solar plants over the next ten years. Both will be commissioned by the year-end. [reNEWS]

Have a superbly gorgeous day.

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May 27 Energy News

May 27, 2020

World:

¶ “Copenhagen Airport Spearheads Green Hydrogen Project For Transport Fuel” • Renewable energy company Ørsted and Copenhagen Airport are amongst the consortium of businesses aiming to develop a hydrogen and sustainable transport fuel facility in the heart of the Danish capital. The facility could become operational by 2023. [edie.net]

Copenhagen Airport

¶ “Nissan Zero-Emission Ambulance Now Part Of ‘Zero Emission Tokyo’ Initiative” • Nissan Motor Co and the Tokyo Fire Department announced an addition to the ambulance fleet of the Ikebukuro branch. A Nissan NV400 Zero Emission Ambulance is part of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s “Zero Emission Tokyo” initiative. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “KIA Says Micro-EV Could Replace Public Transportation” • Cities rely on buses, trams, and subways, but the coronavirus pandemic has many people rethinking public transportation. KIA is looking at inexpensive, ultra-compact, short range electric cars, as an alternative to public transportation, with the Citroen Ami as a model. [CleanTechnica]

Citroen Ami (Credit: Citroen)

¶ “Enel Green Power Connects Two Wind Farms Near Pincher Creek” • With an investment of over $210 million, Enel Green Power has grid-connected its 105-MW Riverview and 29.4-MW Castle Rock Ridge II wind farms in Pincher Creek, Alberta. The company also operates the 76.2-MW Castle Rock Ridge I wind farm in Pincher Creek. [Lethbridge Herald]

¶ “Singrobo Hydropower Project To Deliver Electricity Under A 35-Year PPA” • Africa-focused power company Themis Group issued a Full Notice to Proceed with construction of the 44-MW Singrobo Hydropower Project, in Ivory Coast. When completed, Singrobo will be the first hydro independent power project of its kind in West Africa. [ESI Africa]

Hydropower plant (Featured image: Stock)

¶ “Michael Moore Film Planet Of The Humans Removed From YouTube” • YouTube has taken down the documentary Planet of the Humans in response to a copyright infringement claim by a British environmental photographer. The movie, produced by Michael Moore, allegedly includes a clip that was used without the permission of its owner. [The Guardian]

¶ “Renewables Share Overtakes Gas Generation For First Time, As Coal Falls To Record Low In 2019” • More electricity was produced from renewable energy sources Australia-wide than gas generation for the first time in 2019, as a surge in wind and solar generation also pushed the share of electricity generated from coal to an all-time low. [RenewEconomy]

Murra Warra wind farm in Victoria

¶ “Investment In Global Energy To Drop By $400 Billion” • The International Energy Agency expects global Investment in global energy to fall by $400 billion this year, the biggest slump in the industry’s history, as demand collapses in face of the Covid-19 pandemic. The IEA had forecast an investment increase of 2% in 2020. Now it expects a 20% fall. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ “SunPower Offers $1,000 Rooftop Solar Discount For Veterans And Active Duty Military” • In honor of Memorial Day, rooftop solar power firm SunPower has been offering a $1,000 rebate for current and former members of any arm of the US military who go solar. SunPower offers a 25 year warranty on rooftop solar power systems. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop solar system (SunPower image)

¶ “Big Oil Loses Appeal To Stop Climate Lawsuits From Going To Court In California” • Big Oil has lost two big court battles. A federal court ruling could lead to trials in lawsuits by California cities and counties seeking damages for the impact of climate change. In a similar case brought by Baltimore, a federal court issued a similar decision. [Los Angeles Times]

¶ “San Diego May Have To Pay SDG&E Millions For Natural Gas It Doesn’t Want” • San Diego’s new government-run utility wants to provide, at minimum, 50% renewable energy starting in March 2021. But a state law essentially requires that it invest in a pricey piece of natural gas-based energy from the get-go under a knotty set of regulations. [Voice of San Diego]

Gas pipeline near San Jose (Image via Shutterstock)

¶ “Alliant Energy Plans Acquisition Of 675-MW Solar Bundle In Wisconsin” • US utility Alliant Energy Corp intends to buy and advance a portfolio of solar PV projects in Wisconsin totaling 675 MW, it said. The portfolio will be able to produce enough power to provide the annual electricity needs of about 175,000 homes, once operational. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Plus Power’s 185-MW Kapolei Energy Storage Project Selected By Hawaiian Electric” • Plus Power, an independent developer of utility-scale battery storage projects, announced that its 185-MW, 565-MWh Kapolei Energy Storage project was selected by the Hawaiian Electric Companies as part of the utility’s transition to renewables. [EnerCom Inc]

Kapolei Energy Storage project (Rendering: Plus Power)

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Lands 2.6-GW Dominion Deal With 14-MW Unit” • Siemens Gamesa has secured a second major order for its 14-MW turbine, from the 2640-MW Dominion Energy Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project. The exact number of units needed for the project is yet to be confirmed, as it will be based on site-specific conditions. [reNEWS]

¶ “Federal Appeals Court Upholds Dismissal Of Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Claims” • The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has rejected an appeal brought by US service members seeking damages for alleged radiation exposure from the March 2011 nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan. [Jurist]

Have an ineffably superior day.

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May 26 Energy News

May 26, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Getting Climate Resilience Right In North Carolina” • As hurricane season looms large, and COVID-19 reveals the deep cracks and fissures in our nation’s response preparedness, North Carolina is gearing up to release its long-awaited plan to bolster climate resilience. The state’s resilience plan can’t come soon enough. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

North Carolina Flooding in 2016 (Jocelyn Augustino | FEMA)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Planting Trees Doesn’t Always Help With Climate Change” • Protecting existing forests and planting new ones are surely good things to do. However, scientists say we must not place too much faith in trees to save us. They say that while trees will definitely help us slow climate change, they won’t reverse it on their own. The situation is complex. [BBC]

¶ “The Remarkable Power Of The Prickly Pear” • In Mexico, nopal, or prickly pear, is consumed as salad or in healthy shakes, or in less virtuous tortillas and nacho chips. The inedible waste products are normally discarded. but local businessmen in one town saw the potential of turning it into a fuel source. And desert land can produce a lot of it. [BBC]

Preparing nopal for food (Getty Images)

¶ “Nanotech Energy Claims Its Graphene Lithium Battery Will Charge 18 Times Faster Than Conventional Li-Ion Battery” • Investors have just pumped $27.5 million into Nanotech Energy, based in Los Angeles. Why? The company claims its graphene-based lithium batteries can charge 18 times as fast as the more conventional lithium-ion batteries. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Polizei Goes Electric – Hyundai Kona EV Popular With Police Fleets Around Europe” • Some police forces in Europe are now moving into the future. A growing number of police manage to cut through the bureaucractic sluggishness and start the switch to EVs. Interestingly, many of them are choosing Hyundai Kona EVs to use in their fleets. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai Motors police car (hyundai.news via Twitter)

¶ “More Diesel Cheating Pain For Volkswagen As German Court Rules For Owners” • Volkswagen is still under a diesel-infused cloud of its own making. Even though its emissions cheating scandal happened in 2015, the chickens are still coming home to roost. This week, a federal court in Germany ruled in favor of the owners, Automotive News reported. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Total And Gaussin Creating World’s 1st Fully Electric Aircraft Fuel Truck” • Energy giant Total Group and engineering firm Gaussin are working together to create the world’s first 100% electric fuel truck for the aviation industry. The partnership calls it an “aircraft refueller transporter.” Its lithium-ion battery will be made by Total subsidiary Saft. [CleanTechnica]

Aircraft refueller transporter (Image: Gaussin and Total)

¶ “India’s Solar Park Scheme Offers $700 Billion Opportunity For Investors” • According to the thinktank Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, India could attract investment worth up to $700 billion for its solar power park scheme. The investment is likely to come not only for power generation but also for transmission systems. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Oz Crew To Survey Australia-Singapore Cable Route” • Sun Cable hired an Australian company to carry out initial surveys for a proposed cable to trasmit renewable energy from Australia to Singapore and Indonesia. Guardian Geomatics will start the preparatory work this month, and the vessel Offshore Solution is to deliver results later this year. [reNEWS]

Offshore Solution (Guardian Geomatics image)

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Secures First Order For 14-MW Titan” • Siemens Gamesa has been lined up to deliver its new 14-MW turbine for the 300-MW Hai Long 2 offshore wind farm off Taiwan. The manufacturer said deployment of the 14-222 DD machine is also being considered for the remaining 744 MW of phases of the project. [reNEWS]

¶ “Renewable Energy In Uruguay Is Surpassing Expectations” • The South American country of Uruguay stands out among its neighbors in many ways. Among other things, it is a leader for renewable energy. Uruguay has invested about $7 billion in its green resources since 2010, and now, Uruguayans are seeing the fruit of their country’s labor. [Borgen Project]

Wind farm

¶ “Orsted Consortium Plans Offshore Power-To-X Play” • Orsted and a consortium of Danish companies formed a partnership to develop a transport fuel production facility in the Copenhagen area. It is to be powered by offshore wind in the Baltic Sea, and could become one of the largest electrolyzer and sustainable fuel production facilities in the world. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “US Wind Power Plants Show Little Decline With Age” • A report published in the journal Joule by researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory concludes that wind turbines in the US remain relatively efficient over a period of time. The report shows only a 13% drop in performance over 17 years of operation. [CleanTechnica]

Assembling a rotor (AWEA image via Twitter)

¶ “California May Soon Mandate Uber And Lyft Shift To Electric Vehicles” • Despite the ongoing pandemic, California believes now is the time for Uber and Lyft to get their environmental act together. The state plans to mandate a phased shift to EVs for transportation network companies. The California Air Resources Board described the plan. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Folly Of Removing US Caps On Russian Nuclear Fuel Imports” • The Trump administration’s recent Nuclear Fuel Working Group report provides a sobering view of the national security threat posed by Russia’s aggressive global strategy to dominate the nuclear power and fuel industry to extend its geopolitical influence. [The Hill]

Have an enchangingly inspiring day.

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May 25 Energy News

May 25, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Why Are We Subsidizing Fossil Fuels? Seriously” • Supporting renewables can cut emissions and boost the economy, all while providing cost-competitive energy. The Trump Administration, however, continues propping up the fossil fuel industry, despite the sector’s real financial problems, which began long before the COVID-19 pandemic. [CleanTechnica]

Disney World solar installation (Cynthia Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Experts Warn Climate Change Is Already Killing Way More People Than We Record” • In a published correspondence, a physician from the Australian National University and four other public health experts estimated that Australia’s mortality records have substantially underreported heat-related deaths, which may be fifty times what is reported. [ScienceAlert]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Activists Want To Clean The Oceans With Catamaran Vacuum Cleaners” • The Ocean Cleanup, a non-profit engaged in cleaning the oceans from plastic pollution, introduced a new device that can autonomously collect garbage. To do this, they use a FRED (Floating Robot for Eliminating Debris) catamaran powered mostly by solar panels. [Free News]

Plastics cleanup

World:

¶ “Iran Oil Tanker Reaches Venezuela Amid US Tension” • Venezuela is suffering a shortage of refined fuel, despite having the world’s largest oil reserves. The first of five Iranian oil tankers has entered Venezuela’s waters carrying more than a million barrels of fuel. The US has imposed sanctions on both countries and is monitoring the convoy. [BBC]

¶ “Coal-Fired Generation ‘Over’ In Germany” • The age of coal power generation in Germany is over, says BEE, the country’s renewable energy federation. BEE president Simone Peter said the Covid-19 crisis has changed the energy industry significantly. Hard coal plants are idle, few lignite facilities are connected, and Peter says it can stay that way. [reNEWS]

Burning coal for electricity (Pixabay image)

¶ “Number 1 Tesla has 29% of Global Electric Vehicle Market in Q1 2020” • EV Volumes has shared the first quarter breakdown by brand for the world as a whole. It is interesting that the top two brands have had dramatically different approaches to their plug-in vehicle sales rise. Tesla is number one; it is followed rather distantly by Volkswagen. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “UK Power Emissions Fall To Record Low” • The UK power system’s carbon intensity fell to a record low on 23 May, pushed down bin increased solar and windpower, according to research by Drax Electric Insights. Average carbon intensity reached 61 grams of CO₂ per kWh, beating the previous record, 76 grams of CO₂ per kWh, set on 17 August last year. [reNEWS]

Canola and wind turbines (Innogy image)

¶ “Zambia’s Zesco And Power China Lock 600-MW Solar Deal” • Zambia’s state-owned electricity company Zesco Ltd has teamed up with Power China to install 600 MW of solar PVs in Zambia, one 200-MW grid-connected solar park in each of three districts. According to Zesco, the three projects have a combined cost of $548 million (€502.7 million). [Renewables Now]

¶ “Kazakhstan Approves New Green Projects In A Bid To Cut Fossil Fuels In Half By 2050” • Kazakhstan‘s new leadership, faced with concurrent challenges of volatile oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic, has approved 19 new renewable energy projects worth $1.1 billion in the country’s latest effort to go green and diversify its energy supply. [Euractiv]

Solar energy in Kazakhstan (Alexandr Zevakin | Shutterstock)

¶ “NSW Calls For Wind, Solar, Storage Ideas For First Renewable Zone In Central West” • The government of New South Wales issued a call for 3,000 MW or more of wind, solar, and storage project proposals to join the state’s first Renewable Energy Zone. The zone will be in the Central-West region, centered around the town of Dubbo. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Silverton Wind Farm Now Up And Running” • In New South Wales’ Barrier Ranges, the A$450 million ($295 million) Silverton Wind Farm is generating at full capacity. The project was built by AGL Energy and Powering Australian Renewables. AGL Project Director Adam Mackett, said all 58 turbines are now running and generating for the grid. [Energy Magazine]

Kangaroo and wind turbines

¶ “Britain’s Largest Solar Farm Poised To Begin Development In Kent” • Britain’s largest solar farm, capable of generating enough electricity to power 91,000 homes, is set to receive the greenlight from ministers this week. The subsidy-free renewables park is expected to have a capacity of 350 MW. It will be on farmland in the Kent countryside. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ “The Coronavirus Should Signal The End Of Fossil Fuels” • Two surveys conducted in April by the Center For Climate Change Communication at George Mason University and Yale Climate Change Connection show that more Americans than ever believe the climate is changing. And 75% want funding to go to renewables instead of fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

Survey (Credit: Yale Climate Change Communication)
Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “EIG Unveils $1.1 Billion Final Close For Energy-Focused Fund” • An institutional investor based in Washington DC, EIG Global Energy Partners, achieved a $1.1 billion (€1.01 billion) final close for a fund to support energy projects, including renewables. It also raised $1.5 billion for separately managed accounts that will invest alongside the fund. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Puerto Rico’s Transformation Could Begin With Building Small Modular Reactors: Study” • The bankrupt Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority plans to install renewables and natural gas as it continues recovery from the 2017 hurricanes. A study financed by the US DOE says it should invest in small modular nuclear reactors. [Executive Intelligence Review]

Have a comprehensively awesome day.

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May 24 Energy News

May 24, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “With The Navajo Generating Station Gone, We Need Help Luring Renewable Energy Investment To Our Land” • Navajo Generating Station closed last December, over twenty years early, because it was no longer economically viable for its corporate owners. Navajo Power can provide renewable energy and jobs, but it needs funding. [AZCentral.com]

Navajo Generating Station (David Wallace | The Republic)

Science and Technology:

¶ “MIT Study Says Using Retired EV Batteries For Grid-Scale Energy Storage Could Be Profitable” • Using a hypothetical 2.5-MW solar farm in California as a model, the researchers found adding a new lithium-ion storage battery would cost more than using re-purposed EV batteries, if the used batteries cost 60% or less of their original value. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Roadster Will Really Use SpaceX Rocket Thrusters” • The idea of a car with rocket thrusters may seem silly, but when you have a CEO who is well versed in rocket science, silly becomes possible. The next-gen Tesla Roadster will have SpaceX thrusters, of the cold variety, meaning compressed inert gases instead of a mix of volatiles. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Roadster and Starman (Image: Kyle Field)

Strange Weather:

¶ “NOAA Predicts More Active Atlantic Hurricane Season In 2020” • NOAA predicts a 2020 hurricane season that follows a pattern that began in 1995. with climatic factors that produce larger, stronger, more life-threatening storms. Increasingly active storms are due to warmer surface waters stirring wild dervishes of storms in the Atlantic. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Siberia Is Experiencing Record Highs: 40°F Above Average” • Siberia is seeing record high temperatures that are nearly 40°F (22°C) above average. To put that in perspective, The Washington Post writes that some areas of Siberia are hotter than Washington, DC. Snow cover is disappearing, sea ice is melting, and really intense fires are raging. [CleanTechnica]

World temperatures, Q1 2020 (Berkeley Earth image)

¶ “Western Australia Prepares For ‘Once-In-A-Decade’ Storm” • Australia’s western coastal areas are bracing for a massive storm. Torrential rains, strong winds, and waves of up to eight meters (26 feet) are forecast in some areas. A senior official in Australia’s Department of Fire and Emergency Services said it would be a “once-in-a-decade” storm. [BBC]

World:

¶ “Italians Can Now Install Rooftop Solar PV Systems For Free” • Italian homeowners now have new opportunities to put clean energy on their roofs. Sustainably focused building-renovation projects can now get a 110% tax rebate instead of a 65% rebate, and PV installations and storage systems associated with such projects also get 110%. [CleanTechnica]

Tuscany (Cynthia Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Nearly 85% Of Power Capacity Added In India In Q1 2020 Was From Solar And Wind” • All new generating capacity added in India in the first three monts of 2020 was from non-thermal technologies. Solar power dominated the new capacity, followed by wind power. Capacity additions overall suffered great declines, and thermal capacity shrank. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Seven Governors Form Common Front Against Federal Energy Policy Changes” • Governors of seven Mexican states formed a common front to oppose federal energy policy changes that seek to consolidate control of the electricity market under the federal government and limit the participation of private, renewable energy projects. [Mexico News Daily]

Group photo of seven governors during Covid-19 pandemic

¶ “O’Connor: West Coast Offshore Wind Could Generate €21 billion Per Year Revenues” • Realising the potential of offshore wind power off the west coast alone could generate annual revenues of €21 billion per year from 75,000 MW of installed capacity, according to Airtricity and Mainstream Renewable Power founder Eddie O’Connor. [Independent.ie]

¶ “UAE Adding Nuclear To Portfolio Of Energy Sources” • The UAE has turned to nuclear power to free up oil and gas fossil fuels for use in other areas, according to Mohamed Al Hammadi, CEO of Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation. ENEC recently completed the Cold Hydrostatic Testing at Unit 4 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant. [ArabianBusiness.com]

Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant

US:

¶ “How Some Mississippi Teens Are Saving Their Town From Climate Change” • Since 2018, teens and community leaders of Duck Hill, Mississippi, have been tackling the climate-related problems that their state and local government have not been able to fix. In the process, they have worked to change how their tiny town views climate change. [The Hechinger Report]

¶ “Electric Bus Fleet In Washington Has Completed 50 MWh Of Wireless Charging” • In 2018, electric buses started running on urban routes in Wenatchee, Washington. That may not sound groundbreaking, but Link Transit also chose wireless charging for those buses. The buses have now used 50 MWh of energy, charging wirelessly. [CleanTechnica]

Wireless charging (Momentum Dynamics courtesy image)

¶ “Judge In Montana Ends Moratorium On Coal Leasing On Federal Land” • A federal judge in Montana tossed out a lawsuit seeking to continue a ban on coal leases on federal land, opening thousands of acres of public land for coal development. The ruling may be an industry win, but it doesn’t change the collapse of coal worldwide. [KTVQ Billings News]

¶ “DTE, EPA, Sierra Club Settlement Results In Cash And Closed Coal-Burning Power Plants” • DTE Energy, the EPA, and the Sierra Club have an agreement that ends a ten year old dispute about some changes the power company made to its Monroe power plant. Under the deal, DTE will give some Wayne County communities $7.5 million dollars. [Michigan Radio]

Have a highly amusing day.

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May 23 Energy News

May 23, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Australian Researchers Announce Perovskite Solar Cells That Stand Up To Heat And Humidity” • Perovskite solar cells are cheap to produce and have a number of big advantages. The trouble is that they can’t last very long in the real world. Now, researchers at the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales say they can fix that. [CleanTechnica]

Professor Anita Ho-Baillie (Credit: University of Sydney)

¶ “Natural Gas Leaks Deadly For Trees” • We have long known that drilling, gas extraction, and fracking are associated with huge amounts of water contamination, explosion hazards, and corruption of human health. But the situation is worse than that. Natural gas leaking from pipes is also deadly for the trees that line our city streets. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “ABB Hooking Up ASKO To Electrify Delivery Trucks” • ABB charging stations are scattered all across the world. Norway knows a thing or two about charging stations. After all, plug-in vehicles have a 70% to 75% share of all vehicle sales these days. This story, however, is about a deal that definitely deserves its own spotlight. [CleanTechnica]

Charging an ASKO electric truck (Image courtesy of ABB)

¶ “Cuba Is Boosting Climate Resilience In Agriculture” • The Environmental Defense Fund put up a blog post saying Cuba is boosting climate resilience in agriculture. It explains three things that the small island country is doing. Author Katherine Angier went to Cuba for a symposium, and found that that agriculture can be all about resilience. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “LG Chem And Panasonic In Tight Race To Be #1 EV Battery Supplier, CATL Solidly #3” • A handful of battery companies are getting battery costs (per kWh) to low levels. Even slow-walking automakers can’t help but put out hyper-competitive electric vehicles that will show us more and more that the Osborne effect is arriving for fossil fuel vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

Battery Improvement (LG Chem courtesy image)
Please click on the image to enlarge it

¶ “Mexico Must Contribute To Grid Backup – CFE Chief” • A dispute on the future of the local industry is roiling the market in Mexico. Manuel Bartlett, director of the state-owned Comision Federal de Electricidad, said private renewable energy firms should pay for part of the baseload power underpinning the flow of electricity on the grid. [Reuters]

¶ “Danish Consortium Eyes 10-GW Energy Island” • Danish pension funds PensionDanmark and PFA, energy company SEAS-NVE, and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners formed a consortium to invest in an offshore wind energy island of up to 10 GW in the North Sea. The project, VindO, could include 25 traditional offshore wind farms. [reNEWS]

Offshore windpower (Shaun Dakin | Unsplash)

¶ “Russia Commissions Floating NPP” • The floating nuclear power plant Akademik Lomonosov has been commissioned in Pevek, in the Chukotka region of Russia’s Far East. The official commissioning came with approval by General Director Andrey Petrov of Rosenergoatom, a subsidiary of the state nuclear corporation Rosatom. [World Nuclear News]

US:

¶ “Miami’s Fight Against Rising Seas” • Just down the coast from Donald Trump’s weekend retreat, the residents and businesses of south Florida are experiencing regular episodes of water in the streets. In the battle against rising seas, the region is becoming ground zero. And it has more to lose than almost anywhere else in the world. [BBC]

Miami Beach (Credit: Alamy)

¶ “Big Oil States To Elon Musk: We Want Tesla!” • In a weird, tripped-out version of reality in which Tesla is suddenly at odds with “green,” liberal California, states that produce most of our domestic oil, particularly Texas (the top oil producing state) and Oklahoma (number four), are welcoming Elon Musk and Tesla with open arms. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Park City Wind Files Delayed PPA” • A power purchase agreement for the 804-MW Park City offshore wind farm off the East Coast has been filed with the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority. The filings follow several extensions to the deadline to deliver the contract because of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (Rachel Cooper | Unsplash)

¶ “Butte-Silver Bow Commissioners Approve Land Option To Renewable Energy Developer ” • Butte-Silver Bow, Montana, could potentially become home to a key cog in the Western power grid in the near future as the march toward embracing renewable energy solutions while severing ties with fuels that produce CO₂ continues. [Montana Standard]

¶ “40 years and counting, NOAA renews partnership with UW” • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has partnered for 40 years with the University of Wisconsin-Madison on its Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies. NOAA announced that CIMSS will continue at UW–Madison for the next five years. [University of Wisconsin-Madison]

Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences building (UW News)

¶ “ND Facing Realities Of Coal Decline” • Great River Energy, a Minnesota company, announced recently that it was closing its Coal Creek Station near Underwood, North Dakota, in 2022. It is short notice for a move that will have significant impact on the city and surrounding area. North Dakota is forced to accept the realities facing its coal industry. [Minot Daily News]

¶ “Final Module Placed for Vogtle Unit 3” • The final module for Georgia Power’s Vogtle Unit 3, a massive water tank, has been placed atop the containment vessel and shield building roof at the Vogtle nuclear expansion project in Georgia. The large module is a major part of the AP1000 reactor’s advanced passive safety system. [marketscreener.com]

Have a supremely gratifying day.

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May 22 Energy News

May 22, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Why The Covid Crisis Is A Pivotal Moment For Renewables” • The global energy and travel industries have been some of the hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis. The silver lining that the biggest drop in CO₂ emissions on record may be followed by renewables playing an even more prominent role in the mix of electricity generation. [OilPrice.com]

Changes in demand (Please click on the image to enlarge it.)

¶ “Industry 4.0 – The Spark Behind Big Tech And Tesla’s Q1 2020 Strength” • Industry 4.0 is the coordinated use of digitally enabled technologies like artificial intelligence, sensors, and robots. In a fiscal climate that’s unparalleled in recent history, a company’s success can be grounded in Industry 4.0. Tesla is one such company. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scientists Find Climate Change Tipping Point For Tropical Forests” • Tropical forests can still act as effective carbon sponges in a warmer world. A team of researchers coordinated by the University of Leeds found rainforests can continue to absorb huge volumes of carbon if global warming remains less than 2°C (3.6°F) above pre-industrial levels. [The Irish News]

Tropical forest

¶ “Study Finds That Access To Education And Markets Vital For Coastal Fishing Communities Adapting To A Warming World” • A study of coastal communities and coral reefs in Madagascar and Kenya found that access to education and markets can help to mitigate vulnerabilities of communities struggling with poverty and reliant on overfished ecosystems. [Newswise]

¶ “China’s Svolt Announces Cobalt-Free Battery Production Launch” • Svolt, a Chinese battery company founded in 2018, announced in 2019 that it would build a 24-GWh cobalt-free lithium-ion battery. It seems to have made good on its promise. Svolt says the technology will work in a car for 15 years or up to 1.2 million km (746,000 miles). [CleanTechnica]

Svolt battery (Svolt courtesy image)

World:

¶ “Chinese Solar Perseveres During Pandemic” • The economic disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic is having a negative effect on virtually every industry. Solar power is no exception. In China, the rate of solar installations dipped by about 25% in Q1 of 2020, compared to Q1 of 2019, but the total was still a respectable 3.95 GW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “100% Solarization of Konark Sun Temple And Town” • India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has proposed that the town of Konark, Odisha, go the complete route to renewable, sustainable, 100% solar energy. That’s fitting since the Konark Sun Temple is located there. The plan is to install 10 MW of solar power for the town. [CleanTechnica]

Sun Temple at Konark, Odisha, India (Antoniraj, CC BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “India’s Power Houses Sign Offshore Wind Pact” • NTPC Ltd signed a memorandum of understanding with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited to set up a joint venture for renewable energy business, especially offshore windpower. NTPC, India’s largest power company, has a target of developing 32 GW of renewable energy by 2032. [Offshore Wind]

¶ “Volkswagen R Division To Go All In On Electric Cars” • Many automakers have high performance or racing programs in house. At Volkswagen, it is the  R division. The company has unveiled an R variant of the Taureg SUV. Its hybrid powertrain has a 336-hp gasoline engine coupled with a 130-hp electric motor powered by a 14.1-kWh battery. [CleanTechnica]

Powerful Volkswagen cars (Image credit: Volkswagen)

¶ “Amazon Announces 5 New Solar Projects In China, Australia And The US” • Global e-commerce major Amazon announced five new solar energy projects in China, Australia, and the US. They support its commitment to reach 80% renewable energy by 2024 and 100% renewable energy by 2030, as well as to reach net-zero carbon by 2040. [Saurenergy]

¶ “Enel Connects 185 MW Of North America Wind” • Enel has connected two projects in Canada and a 50-MW wind farm extension in the US. The Canadian projects are the 105-MW Riverview and 29.4-MW Castle Rock Ridge 2 wind farms, both in Alberta. The High Lonesome wind farm in Texas had a 50-MW capacity increse to 500 MW. [reNEWS]

High Lonesome wind farm (ENEL Image)

¶ “Belarus Nuclear Plant: Minsk Set To Fire Up Reactor Just 45 Kilometres From Vilnius” • Europe could pay a heavy price if Belarus is not stopped from firing up its first nuclear plant, Lithuania’s ex-energy minister has told Euronews. The facility at Ostrovets lies just 45 km from the Lithuanian capital Vilnius and is set to go online in July. [Euronews]

US:

¶ “School Focused On Climate And Sustainability Will Amplify Stanford’s Impact” • Stanford University’s president announced that it is designing a school focused on climate and sustainability. The school will draw on the considerable expertise that is in its academic units already, aligning those efforts around research, education, and impact. [Stanford University News]

Solar power at Stanford (Image credit: M Scott Gould)

¶ “Turbine Restrictions May Be ‘Fatal’ To Icebreaker” • Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation, the developers the 21-MW Icebreaker offshore wind farm on Lake Erie, said it is stunned by the regulator’s approval of the project on condition that the six turbines are switched off from dusk to dawn for the most of the year. It may be fatal to the project. [reNEWS]

¶ “Digital Crossroad Chooses Munters For Its Renewable Energy Data Center” • Digital Crossroad placed an order for Munters to cool its 105,000 square foot data center in Hammond, Indiana. The data center, which will run on 100% renewable energy by 2028, is a conversion of a former coal-fired power plant known as State Line. [ThomasNet News]

Have a magically lovely day.

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May 21 Energy News

May 21, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Our Environment Has Always Affected Our Mortality, Should We Add Climate Change To Death Certificates?” • Australians have breathed hazardous air, watched rivers dry up, lived in towns without water, and suffered record-breaking temperatures. But the death certificates record heart and lung problems instead of their environmental causes. [The Guardian]

Caution: Air Unsafe to Inhale (Photo: Xinhua | Rex | Shutterstock)

¶ “In The Coming Renewable Energy Boom, Australia Is Once Again The ‘Lucky Country'” • One of the themes emerging for a post-coronavirus world is that investment should flow into renewable energies, both as economic stimulus and as a way of limiting the impact of climate change. Australia has the mines to provide the minerals. [Reuters UK]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Why Is Everybody Talking About Solid State Lithium-Metal Electric Vehicle Batteries All Of A Sudden?” • Researchers in the solid state lithium-metal field are working on ways to improve in energy density and reduce costs. With that in mind, this article takes a look at a newly released energy storage study from Oak Ridge National Laboratory. [CleanTechnica]

Pathway through thin film solid-state electrolyte
(Xi Chen | Oak Ridge National Laboratory, US DOE)

World:

¶ “Volkswagen Transitions To Online Sales For All ID. Cars” • Volkswagen says 100% of its dealers worldwide have agreed to an online sales model for all its ID. branded electric cars. The agreement means dealers will act as agents of the company with Volkswagen responsible for sales, marketing, and financing, a press release says. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GE Swoops On 103-MW India Double” • GE Renewable Energy got a 103-MW turbine contract for two wind projects in Gujarat. The company will supply 38 of its 2.7-132 wind turbines, for low wind speed conditions, for the Rajkot and Khambaliya projects being developed by Powerica. The projects are to be complete in the first half of 2021. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (GE Renewable Energy image)

¶ “Renewable Energy Should Be At The Heart Of Virus Recovery Plans: IEA” • The International Energy Agency on has called on governments across the world to put clean energy at the heart of their coronavirus economic recovery plans, as it forecast the first slowdown in new renewable power installations worldwide in two decades. [EnergyInfraPost]

¶ “Wind To Supply Half Of UK Power By 2030” • The UK’s installed wind capacity could reach 66 GW by the end of this decade, providing more than half the country’s power, a report from RenewableUK says. The UK offshore wind industry could attract £54 billion (€59 billion, $66 billion) in private investment to grow to 40 GW by 2030. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbines (Nicholas Doherty | Unsplash)

¶ “Only Solar Wins In Germany’s Latest Renewable Power Tender” • Germany’s latest tender for wind and solar capacity was for 200 MW. Solar bids came to 553 MW, but there were none for wind, the country’s federal networks agency said. The average price for winning solar bids fell slightly from the auction in November, to €53.30/MWh. [Recharge]

¶ “Unilever, H&M Among 150 Companies Worth $2 Trillion Urging Net-Zero Pandemic Recovery” • In a CEO-led climate advocacy effort backed by the UN, 155 multinational companies with a combined market capitalisation of over $2.4 trillion signed a joint statement urging world governments to align recovery efforts with climate science. [Green Queen Media]

Sustainable London (EG Focus | Flickr)

¶ “IEA: The Renewable Energy Boom Will Restart In 2021” • The renewable energy industry will see a decline in growth this year but will recover and start growing again next year, according to an International Energy Agency report. Many projects will be delayed, but total new renewable energy additions will recover to 2019 levels, the report says. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “Coalition Energy Roadmap For Gas Over Coal” • Australia’s government has highlighted gas as a crucial energy source to back up renewable power generation over the next decade. A long-awaited roadmap to meeting the country’s emission reduction commitments uses gas and pumped hydrogen to back up solar and wind capacity. [Forbes Advocate]

Australian wind turbines

¶ “UK Renewables Output Overtakes Fossil Fuels” • In the UK, renewables generated more than fossil fuels for the first quarter of 2020. In February, UK wind farms averaged a 50% capacity factor for onshore and 60% for offshore, Drax Electric Insights said. By contrast, gas had a capacity factor of 34%, coal had 17%, and nuclear had 59%. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “The University Of California Has Fully Divested From Fossil Fuels” • The University of California announced it had divested completely from fossil fuels. It is the largest in the country do so. Going green is a trend gaining steam nationwide, as educational institutions refuse to profit from fossil fuels and turn to invest in renewable energy. [CNN]

UCLA campus (Robyn Beck | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “US Southeast’s Solar Industry Doing Better Than Most, But Still Losing Many Jobs” • Compared to most states, the large installations of North Carolina’s solar industry have been less influenced by the economic slide from the pandemic. Other states in the US Southeast are also lucky enough to see less than 30% solar job loss. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Coal Plants Disappear In Virginia, But CO₂ Emissions Are Rising” • Over the last decade, the switch from coal to gas has driven down CO₂ emissions associated with generating electricity in much of the US. But the opposite has happened in Virginia, where retiring coal plants were replaced by a massive build-out of natural gas. [E&E News]

Have a justifiably rewarding day.

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May 20 Energy News

May 20, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Ohio’s Governor Listened To The Science On Coronavirus. Why Not Climate Change?” • Ohio’s Republican Governor, Mike DeWine, listened to science on the coronavirus. His response is supported by 84% of his Republican constituents and 90% of Democrats. His performance on the environment and climate change, however, has been less consistent. [Grist]

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (Tony Dejak | AP)

¶ “Lies Republicans Tell Themselves – And You – About The Green New Deal” • The Republican party has allowed itself to be captured by the fossil fuel industry. Ordinary people struggle to pay their bills after being laid off because of the coronavirus, and Republicans are putting together a $750 billion lifeline for oil and gas companies. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Another Hole In The Ozone Layer? Climate Change May Be To Blame” • NASA has kept track of the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica for 40 years. It has shrunk, thanks to policies curbing the use of ozone-depleting chemicals. But another hole briefly opened up in the Arctic in March, and climate change may be partly to blame. [CleanTechnica]

Polar stratospheric clouds (NASA image)

¶ “Top 10 Tips To Reduce Carbon Footprint Revealed” • Climate change can still be tackled, but only if people are willing to embrace major shifts in the way we live, a report says. The authors have put together a list of the best ways for people to reduce their carbon footprints. The list is based on an analysis of 7,000 other studies. [BBC]

¶ “Climate Change Is Turning Parts Of Antarctica Green, Say Scientists” • Scientists have mapped “the beginning of a new ecosystem” on the Antarctic peninsula as microscopic algae bloom across the surface of the melting snow. While the algae tint the surface green, they potentially creat a source of nutrition for other species. [The Guardian]

Snow algae on Anchorage Island in Antarctica (Dr Matt Davey | University of Cambridge | SAMS | AFP via Getty Images)

World:

¶ “Coronavirus Crisis To Hit Renewable Energy Installations This Year, But IEA Praises Sector’s ‘Resilience’” • This year, renewable installations are set to fall due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the International Energy Agency said. The agency’s “Renewable Market Update” projects the first decline in the growth rate in 20 years. [CNBC]

¶ “Northvolt Enters The Portable Energy Storage Market With The Voltpack Mobile System” • A Swedish battery producer, Northvolt, launched the Voltpack Mobile System in partnership with Vattenfall. The modular system was designed to replace diesel generators, providing energy as a service in temporary installations. [CleanTechnica]

Voltpack Mobile System (Image courtesy of Northvolt)

¶ “Renewable Energy Sector Is Expected To Bounce Back Quickly Despite The Impact Of Covid-19” • Despite the Covid-19 global slowdown, the renewable energy sector is expected to bounce back quickly. The “55th EY Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index” says long-term drivers for investment remain strong. [Windtech International]

¶ “Nobel Prize Winner Urges Use Of Renewable Energy Over Fossil Fuels” • Just as Mexico moves to give higher priority to electricity produced with petroleum, Mario Molina, a Mexican winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, has called for fossil fuel energy generation to be phased out over the next 10 years in favor of renewable energy. [Mexico News Daily]

Wind turbines

¶ “Mexican Judge Suspends Official Order That Froze Opening Of New Renewable Power Plants” • In Mexico, a judge has provisionally suspended an official order that froze the opening of new renewable power plants and sparked complaints from some of Mexico’s main allies, including the European Union, according to judicial sources. [Vallarta Daily]

¶ “Massive 1000-MW ‘Baseload’ Wind, Solar And Hydrogen Plant Pitched For NSW” • Infinite Blue Energy proposed a A$3.5 billion ($2.3 billion) concept called “Project NEO,” which would see combining up to 1,000 MW of wind, solar, and hydrogen fuel cell generation capacity to deliver continuous power, around the clock, in New South Wales. [RenewEconomy]

Solar array (Canva image)

¶ “2nd Kyushu Electric Reactor Halted Over Delayed Antiterror Steps” • Kyushu Electric Power Co suspended the operation of a second reactor at its Sendai nuclear plant, as it will miss the regulators’ deadline to implement antiterrorism measures. The only other unit at the Sendai complex had been halted for the same reason in March. [The Mainichi]

US:

¶ “Solar Industry Poised To Lose 114,000+ Jobs From COVID-19 Through June” • The Solar Energy Industries Association is projecting the US solar industry will lose nearly 114,000 jobs through June, to have 38% fewer jobs than the pre-COVID-19 forecast, according to new analysis. This would negate five years of solar industry job growth. [CleanTechnica]

Percentage of solar industry jobs lost by state (SEIA image)

¶ “Department of Energy researchers say blockchain may be revolutionary for renewable energy” • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a unit of the US DOE, has been investigating blockchain for energy transactions. Some use cases are a natural fit for blockchain, as renewable energy proliferates through the country. [Ledger Insights]

¶ “Federal Judge Won’t Dismiss Lawsuit Against Justice-Owned Companies” • An effort by several companies owned by West Virginia Gov Jim Justice to dismiss a lawsuit alleging they owe Canadian steel manufacturer millions of dollars was denied by a federal judge. The suit involves complex financial issues among Justice holdings. [Wheeling Intelligencer]

Have a wonderfully fruitful day.

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May 19 Energy News

May 19, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Pandemics And Public Transportation – Can They Co-Exist?” • Public transportation and social distancing are impossible to reconcile. To be economically viable, buses, trains, and subways must pack lots of people into confined spaces to transport them efficiently. But viruses and other diseases thrive under such crowded conditions. [CleanTechnica]

F train (Pacific Coast Highway | Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Why It’s Short-Sighted To Do Centralized Planning In A Decentralizing Electricity Grid” • State regulators, expecting the grid future to unfold from a utility’s central plan, rarely push back. But central planning may cost nearly everyone more, because the most cost-effective electricity system can be built from the bottom up. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Hurricanes, Typhoons, And Cyclones Are Becoming Stronger, According To A New NOAA Study” • It is becoming increasingly evident that cyclonic storms are becoming stronger and deadlier with global warming, according to a study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. [CNN]

Eye of Hurricane Irma (NASA SPoRT via Twitter)

World:

¶ “Renewable Energy Investors Increasingly Look To UK, Says Report” • The UK has become more attractive to renewable energy investors after the government decided to lift its block on financial support for onshore wind and solar projects. Britain has taken the sixth spot in EY’s “attractiveness index” for renewable energy. [The Guardian]

¶ “Campaigners Launch Legal Case Over UK Energy Policy” • UK climate campaigners have launched a judicial review against the government challenging its “outdated” energy policies. They said the government’s policies contradict its promises to tackle CO₂ emissions and could be used to support major fossil fuel power plants or fracking. [reNEWS]

Coal-burning power plant (Pixabay image)

¶ “Zimbabwe Tenders For 500 MW Of Solar Power Plants In Renewable Energy Drive” • Zimbabwe’s state power transmission company invited bids to build 500 MW of solar power plants as it moves to end power cuts by relying more on renewable energy. Local hydropower has been hit by drought, and the country’s old thermal plants fail often. [DispatchLIVE]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Unveils 14-MW Offshore Titan” • Siemens Gamesa has unveiled a new 14-MW offshore wind turbine. It is equipped with a 222-meter rotor that offers a 25% increase in annual energy production, compared to its 11-MW predecessor. Each unit will be able to supply annual power needs for around 18,000 European households. [reNEWS]

Artist’s impression of the 14-MW turbine (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “Berlin Amends Onshore Wind Distance Rule” • The German federal government agreed to allow regional governments to decide whether or not to impose a rule on a minimum 1-km distance between new onshore wind farms and the nearest settlements. Berlin also agreed to remove a cap on support for solar projects that stood at 52 GW. [reNEWS]

¶ “Trianel Turbine Triumph At Borkum West 2.2” • Fred Olsen Windcarrier jack-up ship Blue Tern has installed the last of 32 turbines at the 200-MW Trianel Windpark Borkum 2 offshore wind farm in the German North Sea. The project, also known as Borkum West 2.2, features Senvion 6.2M152 hardware installed on monopile foundations. [reNEWS]

Blue Tern – installation complete (Image: Fred Olsen Windcarrier)

¶ “RES, Energy Estate To Collaborate On 2-GW Renewables Hub In Queensland” • UK-based Renewable Energy Systems Ltd has teamed up with Aussie advisory firm Energy Estate to develop a 2-GW-plus hybrid renewable energy project in Queensland. The Central Queensland Power project will bundle wind, solar, and storage developments. [Renewables Now]

US:

¶ “Hyzon Motors To Begin Production Of Heavy Duty Fuel Cell Trucks And Buses This Year” • Hyzon Motors, based in New York, specializes in fuel cell-powered heavy trucks, buses, and delivery vans. It will be the first company in the US offering commercial vehicles equipped with proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems that exceed 100 kW. [CleanTechnica]

Hyzon hydrogen-powered bus (Hyzon image)

¶ “US Becomes The ‘Most Attractive Country For Renewable Energy Investment’” • The US is the “most attractive country for renewable energy investment,” the 55th EY Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index says. The survey suggests the renewables sector is expected to quickly bounce back from the Covid-19 downturn. [Energy Live News]

¶ “The Nature Conservancy To Unlock Solar Potential On Retired Appalachian Coal Mine Land” • With its 65 years of work protecting the environment through conservation, the Nature Conservancy is making its way deeper into coal country. The organization wants to help develop solar power on up to 13,000 acres of cleared coal mine lands. [CleanTechnica]

Appalachian River (Cynthia Shahan)

¶ “Wind Farm In Northwest Missouri Begins Commercial Operation” • Tenaska Clear Creek Energy Center, a 242-MW wind farm in northwest Missouri, is now fully operational and is in commercial operation. Tenaska Clear Creek has 111 Vestas turbines on about 31,000 acres north of Maryville, in Nodaway County. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “DOE Launches Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program” • The DOE has announced the launch of the Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program to help domestic private industry demonstrate advanced nuclear reactors. It will provide $160 million for initial funding of two reactors to be operational within seven years. [Nuclear Engineering]

Have a perfectly marvelous day.

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May 18 Energy News

May 18, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “After The Covid-19 Crisis, Will We Get A Greener World?” • The current Covid-19 crisis has revealed a sobering truth: the global economic shutdown has barely dented our carbon emissions. They may be down by 6% to 8%. They have to fall by 7.6%  of what they now are every year to 2050 in order to keep global warming below 1.5°C. [The Guardian]

Painting a new cycle path sign in Milan (Claudio Furlan | AP)

¶ “Time To Set A Course Away From Japan’s Troubled Nuclear Fuel Cycle” • The Rokkasho Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Facility being constructed in northern Japani cleared a safety inspection by the Nuclear Regulation Authority. Given the circumstances surrounding nuclear power, the value of the facility’s existence is no longer clear. [The Mainichi]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Plant-Based Bottles Could Degrade In One Year” • Virtually all plastics are derived from oil. Plastic bottles take decades or even centuries to decompose. They cost so much to recycle that it is cheaper to make new ones. Avantium is a Dutch company that has a solution to these problems. Its industrial products are not reliant on petroleum. [CleanTechnica]

Avantium laboratory (Avantium image)

¶ “Six Years In A Row, A Named Storm Forms Early In The Atlantic” • For the sixth year in a row, a tropical cyclone was named before the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season. Reportedly, there is even a debate going on at the National Hurricane Center in Miami over moving the hurricane season opening to some date in May. [WTSP.com]

World:

¶ “Lithium-Sulfur Batteries To Help Electrify Brazil’s Bus Fleets” • Oxis Energy makes lithium-sulfur batteries, which are getting competitive with lithium-ion batteries. It announced that it had negotiated a 15-year lease with Mercedes-Benz Brazil to use an idled production site in the state of Minas Gerais in southeastern Brazil for its new factory. [CleanTechnica]

Oxis Energy facility, circled (Image courtesy of Oxis Energy)

¶ “Nineteen Environmental Monitoring Requirements For Oil Sands Suspended By Alberta” • After the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers sent a long letter to the government of Canada, the Alberta Energy Regulator indefinitely suspended 19 environmental monitoring requirements for oil sands producers, citing the Covid-19 pandemic. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Solar-Wind-Battery Microgrid Completed And Powering Remote WA Gold Mine” • A groundbreaking 56-MW solar, wind and battery project built to power a gold mine in remote Western Australia has been completed. It is the largest hybrid microgrid of its kind in Australia and the first in the country to use the wind to power a mine. [RenewEconomy]

Wind turbines at the Agnew Hybrid Renewable Project

¶ “The Renewable Energy Transition Is Finally Coming To Asia: IEEFA” • Despite the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the renewable energy transition is still well underway, and it is coming to Asia, according to a study by the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. Renewable energy technology has become disruptive. [Saurenergy]

¶ “GE Selected For 52-Turbine Turkish Deal” • GE Renewable Energy has been selected by Fina Enerji to supply 52 of its 3-MW platform onshore wind turbines for four wind farms in Turkey. The wind farms, Baglama, Tayakadin, Yalova, and Pazarkoy, are to have a total capacity of 193 MW. The scope includes a 10-year servicing agreement. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (GE Renewable Energy image)

¶ “Mexican Government Blames Covid-19 For Seizing Renewables Energy” • The Mexican government has cited the coronavirus pandemic as a justification for new rules that will reduce the role of renewable energy, including solar and wind power. The new rules grant a reprieve to the government’s own aging, fossil-fuel power plants. [Saurenergy]

US:

¶ “Electric Vehicles Are Cleaner Than Gasoline Vehicles (New Fact Sheet)” • EVs get their energy from grids that produce emissions. The Union of Concerned Scientists calculated the total emissions for electric vehicles and found that the average EV produces global warming pollution equal to a gasoline vehicle that gets 88 mpg. And that will improve. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it. (UCS image)

¶ “US Auto Sales Down 496,000 In First Quarter” • After falling in 2019 as a whole, the US auto industry has been slammed by the coronavirus in the first quarter of 2020. With few exceptions, sales of car brands are off badly from last year. One noteable exception to the trend is Tesla, whose sales have increased by 17% from Q1 of 2019. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Climate Change Linked To Decline Of Smallmouth Bass In Potomac” • Smallmouth bass are the most popular sport fish in the nontidal portion of the Potomac. But they’ve suffered from poor reproduction every year since 2007. State fishery managers are worried about the future of the recreational fishery, valued at $23 million a year. [The Chesapeake Bay Journal]

Biologists conducting a fish survey (Courtesy of John Mullican)

¶ “US Oil And Gas Rig Count Plunges To Record Low For 2nd Week – Baker Hughes” • The US rig count, an early indicator of future output, fell by 35 to a record low of 339 in the week to May 15, data from energy services firm Baker Hughes Co shows. The data goes back to 1940, and the previous record low of 374 was set last week. [Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide]

¶ “DTE May Switch To Natural Gas At Four Coal-Fired Plants” • Michigan utility DTE must switch from coal to natural gas or install new anti-pollution equipment at four power plants under a proposed settlement with the EPA. The EPA had sued in 2010, alleging that DTE violated the New Source Review provisions of the US Clean Air Act. [Kallanish Energy]

Have a fantastically untroubled day.

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May 17 Energy News

May 17, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Climate Options: Seawalls, Flooding, or Emissions Cuts?” • Climate change, it’s fair to say, is complicated. And it’s big. One of the main challenges of responding effectively is simply getting your head around the scale of the problem. A study published in the journal Nature Communications clarifies the situation through cost analysis. [The Maritime Executive]

Dutch surge barrier (Rens Jacobs | Rijkswaterstaat)

¶ “Risk, Doubt, And The Burden Of Proof In The Climate Debate” • This article is an Excerpt from Industrial-Strength Denial: Eight Stories of Corporations Defending the Indefensible, from the Slave Trade to Climate Change by Barbara Freese, published by the University of California Press. © 2020 by the Regents of the University of California. [GreenBiz]

Science and Technology:

¶ “New Way To See How Much Methane Is Being Released From Arctic Lakes” • There’s a new way to see how much methane is being released from Arctic lakes. Using synthetic aperture radar, a research team at the University of Alaska Fairbanks was able to study satellite images differently, giving scientists a new tool to measure emissions. [CleanTechnica]

Methane bubbles under ice (Melanie Engram | UA Fairbanks)

¶ “New Study Could Help Better Predict Rainfall During El Niño” • Researchers discovered a connection between tropical weather events and US rainfall during El Niño years. It helps explain why California received significantly less rainfall than predicted during the 2015 El Niño event while massive flooding occurred in the Mississippi River basin. [Science Daily]

¶ “NASA Explains Sea-Level Rise – And Yes, It’s Real” • NASA science writer Alan Buis published a blog post, “Can’t ‘See’ Sea Level Rise? You’re Looking in the Wrong Place.” We loose 2.5 meters of beach for every inch the sea rises. So what are our options? Either spend a lot of money to combat it with things like higher sea walls or abandon ship and move. [Electrek]

Flood in Key West (Image: Union of Concerned Scientists)

World:

¶ “IEA Sees Unique Opportunity For Clean Energy During Covid-19 Crisis” • In the midst of a pandemic that has shaken energy markets to the core and threatens to send the global economy into a depression, renewable energy is holding steady. In the apt words of ihe International Energy Agency, renewables remain ‘resilient.’ [OilPrice.com]

¶ “Romanian Oil Company Powers Its Gas Stations With Solar Panels” • Romanian oil and gas company OMV Petrom installed solar panels on the canopies that cover the gas pumps at forty service stations in Romania. The output of those solar arrays will offset approximately 10% of the electricity need to operate those service stations. [CleanTechnica]

OMV Petrom station (Image credit: OMV Petrom)

¶ “Canada, EU Raise Concerns To Mexico Over Renewable Energy Policy Dispute” • The European Union and Canada have formally raised concerns to Mexico about rules that they said endanger renewable energy projects, escalating tensions with its government. Mexico had moved to tighten its control over the power industry. [q107.com]

¶ “Union Government Permits Commercial Coal Mining” • In a major reform, Finance News suggests, India’s Union government has decided to permit commercial mining of coal. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said there would be no eligibility conditions for commercial bidders apart from upfront payment with a ceiling. [newsgram.com]

Coal mine (Pixabay image)

¶ “White House Official Urges Britain Not To Hand China Control Of Its Electricity” • The US State Department’s assistant secretary for non-proliferation and international security delivered a stark warning to Britain not to continue to let a Chinese state-run nuclear energy company control a large part of our electricity supply. [Daily Mail]

US:

¶ “As Big Oil Declines, Bill McKibben Says, ‘So Will Its Political Power'” • In a recent editorial, Bill McKibben declared, “Big Oil is not so big anymore.” At least 90 fossil fuel companies are part of the Federal Reserve coronavirus bond buyback program. “But the key point is that,” McKibben reminds us, “as the industry flags, so will its political power.” [CleanTechnica]

Pump jacks (Image retrieved from YouTube)

¶ “Two Multimillion-Dollar Solar Energy Projects Could Come To Lowndes County” • Two 200-MW solar energy projects, potentially with energy storage, could come to Lowndes County, Mississippi, after supervisors unanimously approved resolutions of intent to enter agreements with the companies pitching the projects. [The Commercial Dispatch]

¶ “Groups Sue Over Western Colorado Coal Mine’s Emissions” • Conservation groups filed a federal lawsuit against Arch Coal, based in St Louis, over methane and other toxic air emissions at the company’s West Elk Mine in Colorado’s North Fork Valley. The Sierra Club is one of several groups that filed the suit in US District Court in Denver. [OutThere Colorado]

Grand Mesa at Land’s End in Colorado (Jeremy Janus | iStock)

¶ “Guernsey Braces For Layoffs As Coal’s Decline Quiets The Rails” • For Guernsey, Wyoming, the railroad is the town’s backbone. With less coal mined, there are fewer trains, a decline townspeople say is notable. Recently, BNSF Railway told local and state officials the company would eliminate 87 jobs there as it closes a mechanical shop in July. [Oil City News]

¶ “Trump Administration Forced To Review Coal-mining Threats To Endangered Species Nationwide” • In response to a lawsuit from environmentalists, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement agreed to consult with the US Fish and Wildlife Service to review impacts of coal mining on endangered species. [Center for Biological Diversity]

Have a decidedly lighthearted day.

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May 16 Energy News

May 16, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “BLM Planning Vast Overhaul of Greater Chaco Land Management Plan During Pandemic” • The US Bureau of Land Management is holding final public comment sessions on oil and gas drilling in the Greater Chaco region online through May 28, effectively excluding local Navajo, and Pueblo peoples, many of whom have no internet access. [Earth Island Journal]

Great Chaco landscape (Jim Rhodes | Flickr)

¶ “Wind and Solar Profits: The Race Between Falling Costs and Declining Revenue” • Dramatic reductions in the cost of wind and solar lead to optimism that they can be primary contributors to low-carbon electricity grids. But there’s an important obstacle to their profitability. With increased presence of renewables, revenues decline. [Greentech Media]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Study Shows Wetter Climate Is Likely To Intensify Climate Change” • A study published in the journal Nature indicates that the increase in rainfall forecast by global climate models is likely to hasten the release of carbon dioxide from tropical soils. That increase in greenhouse gas emissions would further intensify global warming. [National Science Foundation]

River in India (Valier Galy | WHOI)

¶ “Fast-Charging Super-Capacitor Could Accelerate Renewable Energy Usage” • Researchers at the University of Surrey have developed super-capacitor technology that can store and deliver electricity at high power rates for mobile applications. It also has potential to forward advancements in wind, wave, and solar energy, researchers said. [Electronics360]

World:

¶ “Households In UK Are Earning Money By Consuming Green Electricity” • This spring the UK electric grid was occasionally challenged by the fall in consumption due to Covid-19 and increased production in solar and wind power plants. To help overcome the issue, supplier Octopus Energy paid households to use electricity. [Balkan Green Energy News]

Offshore wind power (Pixabay image)

¶ “London Is Creating The World’s Largest Car-Free Zone” • Some restrictions on vehicles in London have been relaxed due to disruptions of the coronavirus pandemic, but London Mayor Sadiq Kahn and Transport for London announced that they will be reinstated on Monday, May 18. In fact, they will be expanded to allow more foot and bike traffic. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Goverment of Croatia Adopts Decree To Introduce Premiums For Renewables” • The Government of Croatia has adopted a decree on quotas to incentivize the production of electricity from renewable energy generating sources and high-efficiency cogeneration. The decree marks the introduction of premiums for stimulus. [Balkan Green Energy News]

Tracking solar panels (Pixabay image)

¶ “PFF Demands Replacing Coal With Renewables For Power Generation” • The Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum demanded that the government stop power generation through dirty fuels, such as coal, and instead invest in the development of renewable and alternative energy. The government had proposed nine coal-burning power plants. [The News International]

¶ “Lithuania Considers 700-MW Offshore Zone” • Lithuania has opened a consultation on a draft resolution proposing the site of an offshore wind farm of up to 700 MW. The area in the Baltic Sea covers 137.5 km² and is about 29 km from shore. Wind speeds at the site average about nine metres per second, according to the energy ministry. [reNEWS]

Offshore windpower (Nicholas Doherty | Unsplash)

¶ “Labor Calls For End To ‘Decade-Long Barney’ On Climate Wars In Post-Pandemic Recovery” • Australian shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers says if the Morrison government is serious about kickstarting the economy after the coronavirus, it will seek bipartisan agreement with Labor on a new energy policy, and end the decade-long climate wars. [The Guardian]

¶ “Southeast Asia’s Shift To Renewables A Blow To Japan’s Plant Builders” • Philippine conglomerate Ayala plans to exit coal-fired power generation by the end of the decade. The move comes as renewable energy is now on par with fossil-fuels. The trend will be a blow to Japanese plant exporters, such as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. [Nikkei Asian Review]

Ayala coal-burning plant in the Philippines

US:

¶ “Facebook Data Center Installation In Los Lunas Lifts Local Economy” • Construction of a major data center in Los Lunas, New Mexico, has lifted the local economy and accelerated the state’s transition toward renewable-powered electricity, a report published by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis concludes. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Governor Cuomo Rejects The Williams Pipeline” • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has rejected the Williams Pipeline, which would have carried natural gas that had been fracked in Pennsylvania to parts of New York City. This pipeline would also have trapped New York into several decades of dependence on fracked gas. [CleanTechnica]

Governor Andrew Cuomo
(Darren McGee | Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

¶ “Study Finds Methane Leaks In PA Much Higher Than State Reports” • Pennsylvania’s natural gas industry has made the state second only to Texas for gas production. But scientists working for the Environmental Defense Fund found that the industry releases a lot of methane, which is responsible for around 25% of global warming. [WSKG.org]

¶ “Doe Announces $230 Million To Build Advanced Reactor Demonstration Project” • Building on its contention that nuclear power must be a vital part of the American energy future, the US DOE announced that it is going to invest $230 million into a demonstration of advanced reactor technology within this decade. [Power Engineering Magazine]

Have a beautifully pleasant day.

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May 15 Energy News

May 15, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Boiling Point: Giant Batteries Are Changing Everything For Clean Energy” • Southern California Edison announced that it’s buying 770 MW of batteries. So one California utility is buying more energy storage than was installed in the entire US last year. But the CEO of SCE’s parent company called it “just another stepping stone.” [Los Angeles Times]

Solar farm in California (Sammy Roth | Los Angeles Times)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scientists Warn About Risk Of Massive Tsunami In Prince William Sound” • A landslide in Prince William Sound could trigger a large tsunami in an area sometimes frequented by hundreds of fishermen and recreational boaters, according to scientists and state officials. A slope is unstable because a glacier is retreating due to climate change. [Anchorage Daily News]

World:

¶ “Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund Divests Itself Of Climate-Destroying Stocks Worth $3 Billion” • The Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund has sold $3 billion worth of stock in companies it finds are seriously harming the environment. Most of the energy stocks it sold are for Canadian companies involved in extracting oil from the Alberta tar sands. [CleanTechnica]

Alberta tar sands (Howl Arts Collective, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Spain’s Renewables Thrived During Covid-19 Lockdown In April” • Renewables generated 47.3% of Spain’s electricity in April, the first full month that Spain confined people to their homes because of Covid-19. Spanish grid operator Red Electrica de Espana said renewables successfully “resisted the pandemic” and increased production. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Q1 2020 Wind Energy Auctions Database” • From January to April 2020, a total of 3.35 GW of wind power capacity has been auctioned, with 2.1 GW in Europe and the remaining 1.2 GW in Asia. This is down from nearly 5 GW in 2019, largely because of the Covid-19 crisis, with delayed and postponed auctions in a number of key markets. [REVE]

Wind turbines in Austria

Australia:

¶ “Renewable Energy Park For Central West NSW Community Part Of ‘Energy Democracy’ Movement” • Aiming to diversify a farming area hit by drought, the Orange Community Renewable Energy Park won state funding for its own solar farm. The energy it produces will provide over 2,000 homes in New South Wales with cheap, clean energy. [ABC News]

¶ “Swinburne University Inks Deal With Infigen To Go 100% Renewables” • Swinburne University of Technology is Australia’s latest tertiary institution to go 100% renewable. It made a deal with Infigen Energy to match electricity demand at its campuses with energy generated by Infigen’s 57.6-MW Cherry Tree Wind Farm in Victoria. [RenewEconomy]

Wind farm in Australia

¶ “Australia’s Reserve Bank Fuels Call For Post-Pandemic Renewables Push” • Research by the Reserve Bank showing renewable energy investment fell sharply last year is fuelling calls for federal and state governments to back changes to help the industry rebound and drive a post-pandemic recovery. One thing needed is clear energy policy. [The Guardian]

US:

¶ “Multi-User US Offshore Grid Could Save $1 Billion” • A multi-user, ‘planned’ transmission system for offshore wind off the coast of New England could generate grid savings of up to $1 billion, according to a report by consultancy The Brattle Group. The report highlighted the limitations of connecting each wind farm to shore individually. [reNEWS]

Block Island offshore wind farm (Shaun Dakin | Unsplash)

¶ “US Expected to Generate More Electricity From Renewables Than Coal This Year” • Despite Trump administration efforts to bail out the fossil fuel industry during the coronavirus pandemic, the US is projected to produce more electricity from renewable sources than from coal this year – for the first time ever, as The New York Times reported. [Green Matters]

¶ “Duke Energy, City Of Charlotte Team Up For Renewable Power Agreement” • The City of Charlotte has become the first municipality to execute a renewable power agreement under Duke Energy’s Green Source Advantage program. The city said getting power from a new solar plant will save it nearly $2 million over a twenty year period. [WRAL Tech Wire]

Installing solar panels (Duke Energy photo)

¶ “GM To Run Largest North American Factory On Solar Power” • General Motors has secured up to 100 MW of solar power capacity to supply its largest facility in North America under a new green tariff agreement with the Tennessee Valley Authority. GM’s goal is to source 100% of renewable power at its own sites in the US by 2030. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Saudi Oil Rush Threatens to Disrupt Stabilizing US Oil Market” • Over 30 tankers laden with Saudi oil are set to arrive at the Gulf Coast and West Coast during May and June, according to ship tracking data compiled by Bloomberg. The oil they bring threatens to disrupt a positive supply development: a decline in US crude stockpiles. [Yahoo Canada Finance]

Tanker (Eddie Seal | Bloomberg)

¶ “Intel Aims To Reach 100% Renewable Energy Use, Zero Waste By 2030” • Intel unveiled its environmental goals for 2030, committing to cut down its greenhouse gas emissions and waste. The company aims to rely on renewable energy for all of its global electricity use and eliminate the trash it is sending to landfills by the end of the decade. [The Verge]

¶ “GE Research Awarded $5.4 Million To Reduce Nuclear Power Plant Costs” • GE Research won a $5.4 million grant from the DOE’s GEMINA project. The program is designed to harness artificial intelligence to reduce costs at next-generation nuclear power plants, making them more cost-effective and competitive with fossil fuel power plants. [mySanAntonio.com]

Have a fabulously delightful day.

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May 14 Energy News

May 14, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Heat Tolerant Microalgae Could Save Coral Reefs From Bleaching” • Scientists have developed a way to help coral reefs fight the devastating effects of bleaching. The process, described in the journal Science Advances, involves giving microalgae that live in the tissues of corals the ability to withstand higher temperatures. [sciencefocus.com]

Great Barrier Reef (Credit: CSIRO)

World:

¶ “Iberdrola Scores 165-MW Scottish Wind Double” • Iberdrola-owned ScottishPower acquired two wind projects in central Scotland that will total 165 MW when developed. The projects, which could see a combined investment of over £150 million, have been developed by local individual shareholders of 3R Energy and Mitchell Energy. [reNEWS]

¶ “Resalta Enters Romanian Market” • Slovenian energy services provider Resalta established a joint venture with Next Energy Partners, a leader in the development of renewable energy and energy trading in Romania. The joint venture will focus its service offering on solar PV, combined heat and power projects and industrial lighting. [Energy Industry Review]

Bucharest (Shutterstock image)

¶ Energy Majors Slash Capex By Nearly $30 Billion”” • The energy-producing world is dominated by five major companies: BP, Total SA, Shell, ExxonMobil , and Chevron. Prior to the start of this year, these majors had more than $112 billion in capital expenditures planned. Then 2020 happened, and that figure was cut by roughly 25%. [Motley Fool]

¶ “Offshore Wind Boosts Northland Income” • Northland Power, based in Toronto, saw its operating income and adjusted earnings from offshore wind jump 55% and 63%, respectively, in the first three months of 2020, compared with last year. The company’s income figures were boosted by output from the Deutsche Bucht project and higher sales. [reNEWS]

Deutsche Bucht substation and turbine (Northland Power image)

¶ “Vestas To Deliver 46-MW Dutch Delight” • Vestas has booked an order for 11 turbines totaling 46 MW with Dutch developer E-Connection for the first phase of the Oosterscheldekering Wind Optimization development in the Netherlands. The project is directly on a storm surge barrier in the Zeeland province, in the southwest of the country. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Wind Power And Hydropower Race To Crush Coal For Covid-19 Recovery” • Overall electricity demand has fallen during the Covid-19 crisis, but technologies have been hit unevenly. The cost of renewable energy has dropped, and coal just can’t keep up. The bottom line is that grid managers are now avoiding coal power when they can. [CleanTechnica]

Wind power (Photo courtesy of Avangrid)

¶ “America Is Trailing In The Clean Energy Race” • The US is falling behind other countries in the race to transition to a clean energy future, a report released by the World Economic Forum says. For the second-straight year, the US lost ground in rankings that measure countries on such key issues energy security and environmental sustainability. [CNN]

¶ “Revealed: Long-Troubled US Oil Firms Are Capitalizing On Coronavirus Assistance” • Many American oil and gas companies were in financial trouble well before the coronavirus economic crisis and now are asking for taxpayer assistance to cushion their fall. Many independent drillers had got mired in debt chasing the fracking boom. [The Guardian]

Pump jacks (Paul Ratje | AFP via Getty Images)

¶ “Strata Solar Replaces Peaker Plants With Massive New Tesla-Powered Energy Storage Facility” • Strata Solar said it completed pre-construction development work on one of the largest US stationary energy storage facilities. The 100-MW / 400-MWh facility is to be installed in Ventura County, California, replacing gas-powered peaker plants. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Hawaiian Utility Selects Huge Solar And Storage Proposals On Way To 100% Renewables” • The Hawaiian Electric Company has selected sixteen solar-plus-storage or standalone storage projects on the islands of Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii for contracts to provide a combined 459 MW of solar generation and nearly 3 GWh of power storage. [RenewEconomy]

Rooftop solar system in Hawaii

¶ “Utah Inland Port Authority And Rocky Mountain Power Announce Cooperation Agreement” • The Utah Inland Port Authority and Rocky Mountain Power have signed a Joint Clean Energy Cooperation Statement on sustainable energy. The goals include net 100% renewable energy with electrification of freight, cargo, and logistics equipment. [Utah Policy]

¶ “FERC Order Could Bar Offshore Wind From US Power Market” • A controvercial order the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued late last year could block offshore wind developers from the nation’s largest capacity market, analysts say. Now, states with ambitious clean energy goals say they are grappling with how to respond. [E&E News]

Planned project (Maryland Energy Administration)

¶ “Labor Data: Clean Energy Jobs Taking Major Beating In Early Coronavirus Era” • An analysis of Department of Labor figures on unemployment indicates that almost 600,000 clean energy industry workers have lost their jobs since coronavirus forced an economic shutdown. This is nearly one-fifth of the clean energy workforce. [Power Engineering Magazine]

¶ “Fermi-2 Reactor In Michigan Sees Over 200 Workers Test Positive For Novel Coronavirus During Outage” • Nearly 250 workers at DTE Energy’s 1,250-MW Fermi-2 nuclear reactor in Newport, Michigan, tested positive for the novel coronavirus during the ongoing refueling and maintenance outage, according to a union official. [S&P Global]

Have a gleefully memorable day.

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May 13 Energy News

May 13, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “The Renewable Energy Transition Is Coming To Asia” • Even in the era of the coronavirus, technology disruption is reshaping the global energy landscape fundamentally. A key impetus is the dramatic, ongoing deflation in the cost of solar energy and battery storage. Both have seen costs drop 80% to 90% over the last decade. [East Asia Forum]

Cleaning a solar array (Amit Dave | Reuters)

¶ “Covid-19 Could Spark A Renewable Energy Boom” • The world finds itself at a crossroads. The coronavirus pandemic has ravaged the global economy, leading to massive unemployment. The recovery looks like it will take a long time. At the same time, the climate problem is not going away. We have the opportunity to “build back better.” [OilPrice.com]

¶ “Tasmania’s Renewable Energy Plan Could Force Tough Choice On The Coalition” • Tasmania’s multi-billion dollar renewable energy plan to drive its economic recovery from coronavirus could force the federal government to choose which to support, renewables or coal. Tasmania’s plan is only viable if use of coal is reduced sharply, a study shows. [Brisbane Times]

Wind and coal power (Martin Meissner | AP)

World:

¶ “Lexus UX300e Comes With 10 Year, 1 Million Kilometer Battery Warranty” • Lexus has been late to the EV party, but it is about to introduce the UX300e, a battery electric version of its compact SUV, in Europe. The battery in the Lexus UX300e will be warranted by the company for 1 million kilometers (600,000 miles) or 10 years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Green Energy Firms On Track To Deliver Multi-Billion Pound Wind Farms” • Britain’s biggest green energy companies are on track to deliver multi-billion pound wind farm investments in the north-east of England and Scotland to help power a cleaner economic recovery. This puts recovery from the coronavirus in line with climate goals. [The Guardian]

Artist’s impression of the Dogger Bank wind farm (PR image)

¶ “Port Of Tyne To Become Base For World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm” • Equinor and SSE Renewables, the two companies behind the world’s biggest offshore wind farm Dogger Bank, announced plans to build a new Operations and Maintenance Base at the Port of Tyne, in northeastern England. The wind farm will have three 1.2-GW phases. [North East Times]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Delivers Philippines Hybrid” • Siemens Gamesa is working on a hybrid energy project in the Philippines for Berkeley Energy. It will combine an existing 16-MW wind farm, battery storage, and a central control system. The project will provide a stable electricity supply in an area with a weak grid link, reducing its dependence on diesel. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine in the Philippines (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “Renewables Ease Innogy Pain In Q1” • Innogy income from discontinued operations, which includes renewables, increased to €303 million in the first quarter of 2020, up from €192 million last year, driven by a strong showing from wind assets. Innogy’s renewables are included with discontinued operations because of a complex deal with RWE. [reNEWS]

Australia:

¶ “Lion Commits To 100% Renewable Electricity-Powered Brewing By 2025” • Lion, an Australian brewery, announced an increase in efforts to be carbon neutral, with a goal of 100% renewable energy powering its breweries by 2025. It is initiating a “whole brewery” carbon reduction approach throughout the company and its supply chain. [AuManufacturing]

Brewing vessels (iStock image)

¶ “BP Looks To Add 1.5 GW Wind And Solar In WA For Huge Renewable Hydrogen Project” • Oil and gas giant BP is looking to build 1.5 GW of new wind and solar capacity in Western Australia if it goes ahead with a full commercial project to build a facility producing renewable hydrogen in that state. It has an eye on the potential export market. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Tasmania Unveils Action Plan To Reach 200% Renewables” • The Tasmania state government unveiled a draft action plan to reach its target of 200% renewables by 2040, saying the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the economy meant there had never been a more important time to manage the transition to renewable energy. [RenewEconomy]

Musselroe wind farm, Tasmania

US:

¶ “Transformative Solar Power Agreement Will Help Emory Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions” • Emory University awarded Cherry Street Energy a 20-year agreement to install 5.5 MW of solar capacity on its Druid Hills campus. Over 15,000 solar panels on 16 buildings will generate about 10% of Emory’s peak energy demand. [Emory News Center]

¶ “Avangrid Begins Construction On La Joya Wind Farm” • Construction has begun on 35,000 acres of state trust land for the La Joya Wind Farm in New Mexico. When completed, the project will consist of 111 turbines and have a total generating capacity of 306 MW. It is expected to be in operation by the end of the year. [North American Windpower]

Wind farm (Image: Public Service Company of New Mexico)

¶ “Replace NYC Peakers With Renewables+Storage? The Plant Owners Say They’re Working On It” • New York City ratepayers put up $4.5 billion in capacity payments in the last decade to keep 16 fossil gas-fired peaking plants available, analysis by PEAK Coalition shows. The plant owners say work to replace them is under way. [Utility Dive]

¶ “DOE Argonne Scientists Use 3D Printing To Recycle 97% Of Used Nuclear Fuel” • Argonne National Laboratory scientists are turning to 3D printing to improve nuclear waste recycling. The process reduces waste after recycling to 3%, which needs to be stored at a maximum of about one thousand years, according to one scientist. [3D Printing Industry]

Have an impressively satisfying day.

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May 12 Energy News

May 12, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Extreme Heat Events Have Arrived Earlier Than Feared, Climate Study Finds” • Climate scientists have previously warned that a lethal combination of heat and humidity will make some inhabited parts of the planet uninhabitable for months at a time in the decades to come. New research published in the journal Science Advances finds that future is now. [ThePrint]

Arctic ice (Pixabay image)

¶ “Water Loss In Northern Peatlands Threatens To Intensify Fires, Global Warming” • A group of 59 international scientists, led by researchers at Canada’s McMaster University, has new information about the distinct effects of climate change on boreal forests and peatlands, which threaten to worsen wildfires and accelerate global warming. [Science Daily]

World:

¶ “India’s Carbon Emissions Fall For First Time In Four Decades” • India’s CO₂ emissions fell for the first time in four decades. Even before India’s coronavirus lockdown, falling electricity use and competition from renewables had weakened the demand for fossil fuels, according to analysis by the environmental website Carbon Brief. [BBC]

Wind turbines (Getty Images)

¶ “Climate Change: Study Pours Cold Water On Oil Company Net Zero Claims” • Claims by oil and gas companies that they are curbing their carbon emissions in line with net zero targets are overstated, according to a new review. The independent analysis of six large European corporations acknowledges they have taken big steps on CO₂ recently. [BBC]

¶ “China Invests In EV Charging Infrastructure To Offset Coronavirus Economic Slump” • The response by the Chinese and US governments to the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus could not be more different. While the US is propping up wealthy corporations, China is investing in EV charging infrastructure. [CleanTechnica]

WiTricity to install wireless charging (Screenshot: WiTricity)

¶ “11,000 Air Pollution-Related Deaths Avoided In Europe As Coal And Oil Consumption Plummet” • Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air points out in a report that approximately 11,000 air pollution-related deaths were avoided as cars and factories were idled and coal and oil consumption plummeted in Europe. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Construction Of Two Renewable Energy Projects In Spain Begins” • Construction of two renewable energy projects by Enel Green Power has begun in Spain. The Los Naranjos PV plant, which will have a capacity of about 50 MW, is being built in Andalusia, and the 21.3-MW Los Gigantes wind farm is under construction in Aragon. [Construction Review]

Solar plants already installed in Andalusia
(Abengoa Solar, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Mexico Suspends Work On Under-Construction Renewable Projects During Covid-19 Emergency” • Mexico announced the suspension of all trials for solar and wind projects. Neoen’s 375-MW El Lano solar plant, completed earlier this year, will have to sit idle until trials restart. The loss in earnings is calculated to be $2 million per month. [Energy Live News]

¶ “Belgium’s Nuclear Power Gamble” • Over 50% of electricity generated in Belgium in 2019 was from the country’s two nuclear power plants, but the plan is to phase them out by end-2025. Volatile and unpredictable prices for power, gas and EU carbon allowances makes investments in new gas-fired plants a risky business. [Energy Voice]

Vilvoorde site and gas-fired power plant (Via Twitter)

US:

¶ “Federal Approval For 690-MW Nevada PV” • The US federal government has given the green light for the 690-MW Gemini solar and battery storage project in Nevada. The Bureau of Land Management and the US Department of the Interior approved the $1.1 billion project, backed by Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners. [reNEWS]

¶ “Coronavirus: Musk Defies Orders And Reopens Tesla’s California Plant” • Tesla has reopened its only US electric car plant in California, despite local orders against manufacturing. On Monday, the company’s chief executive Elon Musk tweeted that production had restarted and he would be “on the line with everyone else.” [BBC]

Elon Musk (Getty Images)

¶ “US Coal-Fired Electricity Generation In 2019 Falls To 42-Year Low – EIA” • Output from the US coal-fired generating fleet dropped to 966,000 GWh in 2019, the lowest level since 1976. The decline in last year’s coal generation levels was the largest percentage decline in history (16%) and second-largest in absolute terms (240,000 GWh). [Renewables Now]

¶ “Arkansas Green Lights AEP 810-MW Wind” • Southwestern Electric Power Company, a subsidiary of American Electric Power, got approval from Arkansas regulators to add 810 MW of wind energy from three projects. The projects are to be finished in 2020 and 2021, to supply power to customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Matt Artz | Unsplash)

¶ “PacifiCorp Readies Huge Solicitation for Renewables, Energy Storage” • Utility group PacifiCorp has an integrated resource plan that envisions reliance on wind farms and solar backed by energy storage. Now, it is preparing a solicitation for projects to meet that plan’s needs through 2024, taking a concrete step toward its vision. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Great River Energy To Exit Coal, Close 1.15-GW Plant, But North Dakota Governor Vows Rescue” • Minnesota’s Great River Energy plans to retire the 1,151-MW Coal Creek Station in the second half of 2022 and add 1,100 MW of wind energy purchases by the end of 2023. Republicans in North Dakota vowed to keep the coal plant open. [Utility Dive]

Have an abundantly agreeable day.

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May 11 Energy News

May 11, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Covid-19 Will Not Slow Southeast Asia’s Shift From Coal To Renewables” • From oil price shocks to billion-dollar bailouts, Covid-19 has caused mayhem. Early signs are that fossil fuel sector volatility is further driving the case for Asia to embrace the security of domestic renewable energy and, if anything, hasten the clean transition. [Nikkei Asian Review]

Floating solar farm in Vietnam (© Sipa | AP)

¶ “Trump’s Environmental ‘Blitzkrieg’ Advances Under Cover Of Coronavirus” • Even amid a pandemic, the Trump administration is weakening US environment protections, continuing its rollback as the November election approaches. During the coronavirus lockdown, US federal agencies are pursuing an appalling series of environmental rollbacks. [The Guardian]

¶ “Renewables To Drive A Clean Recovery From Covid-19” • In the past few months, the outlook for the renewable energy industry has drastically changed. Nevertheless, many of the pressing issues that the Australian energy industry needed to address at the start of the year haven’t changed, and renewables may only become more important. [EcoGeneration]

Wind turbine

World:

¶ “Japan’s Renova Takes Part In 144 MW Wind Portfolio In Vietnam” • Japanese renewable power producer Renova Inc announced it has entered into a 40/60 partnership with Vietnamese power producer Power Construction Joint Stock Company No 1 to implement three onshore wind projects in Vietnam, each of 48 MW. [Renewables Now]

¶ “African Clean Energy’s Off-Grid Solar Power Technology” • A Dutch-South African social enterprise, African Clean Energy, is providing an off-grid energy solution that enables decentralized access to clean energy for rural households in Sub-Saharan Africa. The ACE1 comes with a 10-V / 10-W solar panel and an LED lamp. [AZoCleantech]

Small solar panel

¶ “Bank Of Bangladesh Adds €200 Million To Its Green Transmission Fund” • The Bank of Bangladesh has decided to introduce €200 million along with the existing $200 million for the Green Transmission Fund. Authorized dealers will be able to draw loans from GTF at Euro Interbank Offered Rate (or 0%, if that is negative) plus 1%. [Mercom India]

¶ “‘Another Milestone For Britain’: UK Grid Completes First Coal-Free Month” • The UK’s record-breaking run without coal power passed another milestone. National Grid ESO confirmed that the grid had completed a full month without any input from the country’s coal-fired power stations. The coal-free run is still continuing. [www.businessgreen.com]

Drax power plant (James Brownbridge | Wikimedia Commons)

Australia:

¶ “Queensland To Play Home To The Biggest Solar Farm In Australia” • Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said in an online meeting of the Smart Energy Council Summit that after Neoen’s 400-MW Darling Downs development, Queensland will have more renewable energy projects to help restore the economy from coronavirus. [Energy Matters]

¶ “Fossil Fuel Incumbents Push To Delay Another Crucial Energy Market Reform” • Two crucial reforms to Australia’s electricity market rules, designed to modernize the National Electricity Market, are being put on the back burner under pressure from large incumbent fossil fuel generators, using Covid-19 as a cover to stymie progress. [RenewEconomy]

Transmission lines

¶ “Record Growth In Rooftop Solar Pushing Coal Out Of Australia Market” • Strong growth in rooftop solar installations has been pushing coal fired generation out of the Australian electricity market, an audit of the National Electricity Market shows. Rooftop solar in total generation in South Australia has jumped to 16% in the first quarter. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Green Steel Industry Could Secure Jobs Future For Australia’s Coal Mining Heartland” • An Australian green steel industry could create tens of thousands of jobs in regionals reliant on coal mining, giving them a future as demand for carbon-intensive goods falls, a report by the University of Melbourne’s Grattan Institute says. [The Guardian]

Making steel (Dean Lewins | AAP)

US:

¶ “‘Get The Hell Off’: The Indigenous Fight To Stop A Uranium Mine In The Black Hills” • Lakota elders are staring down yet another encroachment on their historic lands: a 10,600-acre uranium mine proposed to be built in the Black Hills. This puts the Lakota on a collision course with the Trump administration, which is doubling down on nuclear power. [Grist]

¶ “The Tesla Fremont Factory Roller Coaster – Reopening Or Not Reopening?” • California is starting to allow manufacturing companies to operate, if they can show they have taken prudent steps to protect workers from contracting the virus at work. Elon Musk told some workers to be ready to work on Friday. Alameda County still has other ideas, however. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla seat factory (CleanTechnica)

¶ “Villanova University Enters Renewable Energy Agreement And Enhances Commitment To Environmental Sustainability” • In Pennsylvania, Villanova University announced that it will be furthering its commitment to environmental sustainability by entering into a multi-year renewable electric energy agreement with ENGIE Resources, LLC. [Villanovan]

¶ “NV Energy Introduces Long-Awaited, Renewable-Based Pricing Plan For Large Businesses, Customers” • NV Energy’s longstanding plan to woo back large businesses and other major electric customers from leaving utility service now has a name, structural outline, and a promise by the utility that the program won’t cost ratepayers. [The Nevada Independent]

Have a mighty worthwhile day.

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May 10 Energy News

May 10, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Clean Trucks Like The Tesla Semi Are More Important Than Ever” • According to Popular Mechanics, there were at least 2.8 million semi trucks registered in the US in 2016. These trucks are heavy polluters, and research shows that almost 80% of those who died of Covid-19 across four countries were in heavily polluted regions. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Semi Truck Specs Event

Science and Technology:

¶ “New Solution For Cooling Solar Panels” • A technique for cooling solar panels has been under development in Egypt. The PV modules are cooled from underneath by a mixture of water, aluminum oxide, and calcium chloride hexahydrate. Earlier work in France, which increased the PV power generation by 8% to 12%, provided a basis for the new research. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “3D Printing Has Entered The Nuclear Realm” • In 2017, Siemens achieved the industry breakthrough with the first successful commercial installation and continuing safe operation of a 3D printed part in a nuclear power plant. This was an amazing achievement because of the requirements put on the components used by nuclear power plants. [Forbes]

Oak Ridge National Laboratory 3-D printer (US DOE image)

World:

¶ “Argentina Halts Renewables Rollout Amid Coronavirus” • Like many other countries under quarantine, Argentina paused to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The measure has paralyzed the economy, and since renewable energy is not considered essential, Argentina’s recently reinvigorated renewable energy development has stalled. [Buenos Aires Times]

¶ “Finland Aims To Boost Wind Power By Leasing More State Land For Construction” • The government of Finland aims to expand wind power production by offering more state lands for construction. They are overseen by Metsähallitus, a state-owned company that administers more than 12 million hectares of state land and water areas. [YLE News]

Wind turbine near the Bay of Bothnia (Image: Yle)

¶ “ACWA Power And Silk Road Fund Announce Finalizing Their Partnership Owning ACWA Power Renewable Energy Holding Ltd” • ACWA Power, which focuses on power generation and water desalination, announced finalizing its parnership with the Silk Road Fund, now 49% owner of ACWA Power Renewable Energy Holding Ltd. [Construction Business News]

US:

¶ “Lawsuit Filed Over The Reopening Of Tesla’s Factory In Fremont” • Tesla wanted to reopen the Fremont plant safely, based on what it learned at its plant in China with 7,000 workers and not one death (as Elon stated on the Joe Rogan Experience). Alameda County officials are not allowing Tesla to reopen, so Tesla is going to court. [CleanTechnica]

Screen Capture from Joe Rogan Experience YouTube

¶ “Nautilus Solar Energy Leads Maryland’s Community Solar Market” • Nautilus Solar Energy LLC has become Maryland’s foremost owner and operator of community solar PV projects. With more than eleven projects the company has over 32.8 MW of total capacity, all qualified under Maryland Community Solar Pilot Program. [The Southern Maryland Chronicle]

¶ “Renewable Roundup: Solar And Wind Dominate New Energy Installations (Even After The Coronavirus)” • The US Energy Information Administration’s latest information on new capacity additions shows it expects 42 GW to start commercial operation in 2020. Solar and wind represent almost 32 GW, which is 76% of these additions. [Red, Green, and Blue]

Please click on the image to enlarge it. (Image source: EIA)

¶ “Company Seeks Its Shovels Back From Two Wyoming Coal Mines” • A mining equipment company based in Wisconsin wants to be paid or get its equipment back from a Wyoming coal mine that continues to operate the pair of its large coal shovels. Eagle Specialty Materials acquired the mine after Blackjewel went bankrupt. [Casper Star-Tribune Online]

¶ “New California Oil Permits Rose 7.8% In 2020’S First Quarter As Oil Prices Plunged” • As the price of oil went below zero, new oil and gas drilling permits actually increased 7.8% in California during the first quarter of 2020, according to a report by two watchdog groups. Another thing that increased was spending on oil lobbying. [SF Bay Area Indymedia]

Toluca Street, Los Angeles, ca 1900 (Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Oil Drilling Collapses To 11-Year Low With Explorers In Retreat” • Oil and natural gas exploration fell to an all-time low as the Covid-19 pandemic snuffed out the remnants of the US shale boom. In the span of just eight weeks, 53% of active oil and gas rigs in the country have gone dark, according to data released by Baker Hughes Co. [Free Malaysia Today]

¶ “TVA Refuels Nuclear Plants; Workers Screened And Work Limited Due To Pandemic” • Because of the COVID-19 virus, the Tennessee Valley Authority is scaling back some maintenance work it planned to do during refuelings, and it is performing health screenings of all TVA employees and contractors coming to the plants. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

Have an exquisitely outstanding day.

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May 9 Energy News

May 9, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Timeline: 23 Years Of Attempts To Restrict Public Health Science At EPA” • The EPA is advancing a far-reaching proposal to restrict its use of science with no official public hearings and a limited sixty-day comment period, ending May 18. The rule is the culmination of 25 years of attempts to weaken environmental and health laws. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

Pollution (Adobe Stock image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Sea Levels Could Rise More Than A Meter By 2100, Experts Say” • Sea-level rise is faster than previously believed and could exceed 1 meter by the end of the century unless global emissions are reduced, according to a survey of more than 100 specialists. The experts expect that the impact will hit sooner than predicted by the UN. [The Guardian]

¶ “Killer Heat And Humidity Combination Not Experienced Before Is Becoming More Common” • A report by The Earth Institute at Columbia University indicates that the combination of extreme heat and humidity once believed never experienced by humans, is already occurring. Such weather surpasses the theoretical threshold of human survivability. [CNN]

Child in a heat wave (STR | AFP | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Shedding New Light On The Ocean’s Living Carbon Pump” • Phytoplankton play a crucial role in ocean biology and climate. Using data from the European Space Agency’s Climate Change Initiative, a study has produced a 20-year time-series of global primary production in the oceans, shedding new light on the ocean’s living carbon pump. [SciTechDaily]

World:

¶ “Brazil’s Amazon: Surge In Deforestation As Military Prepares To Deploy” • Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest rose sharply last month as the country prepared to send troops to try to curb illegal logging and mining. Brazil’s space research agency said the area destroyed in April was 64% bigger than in the same period last year. [BBC]

Site of an illegal gold mine (Reuters)

¶ “Large Auto Leasing Company: Electric Cars Have Mostly Lower Total Cost In Europe” • Dutch leasing company LeasePlan has studied the total cost of vehicle ownership. The company is increasingly bullish about electric vehicles. Last year it released a white paper on the topic, after conducting nearly 1000 vehicle ownership scenarios. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renew Power Wins 400-MW Round-The-Clock Renewable Auction At ₹2.90/kWh” • The Solar Energy Corporation of India has concluded the 400-MW round-the-clock renewable power supply auction. Out of nearly 950 MW bid, Renew Power won the entire capacity of 400 MW by quoting the lowest first-year tariff of ₹2.90/kWh (3.8¢/kWh). [pv magazine India]

Solar farm (Image: fabersam | Pixabay)

¶ “Renewables Can Play Key Role In COVID-19 Response Strategies: IRENA” • The International Renewable Energy Agency’s Coalition for Action has asked governments to take effective response measures to address the immediate and long-term impacts of the global COVID-19 crisis. They emphasize a range of renewable energy options. [Mercom India]

US:

¶ “US Treasury to Tweak Tax Credit Deadlines for Renewables Projects” • A concise three-sentence letter sent by the Treasury Department suggests relief may be on the way for a renewables industry concerned about meeting quickly approaching tax credit deadlines. The letter was a response to a bipartisan group of senators. [Greentech Media]

Wind project

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Is Best Selling Luxury Car In USA – By Far (Q1 2020)” • The Tesla Model 3 accounted for approximately 21% of new small and midsize luxury car sales in the USA in Q1 of 2020. This should not be a surprise. It has better acceleration, lower operational cost, and higher resale value. It is also rated as the safest car you can buy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “DNREC Suit Claims It Must Have A Say In Whether To Freeze Renewable Fuel Use Under State Mandate” • In Delaware, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control is taking the Public Service Commission to court, in a long-term dispute over the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard and how it is managed. [Delaware First Media]

Solar array (Sophia Schmidt | Delaware Public Media)

¶ “Innergex Announces Financial Close of Hillcrest Solar Project In Ohio” • Developer Innergex Renewable Energy Inc closed on construction financing, tax equity commitment, and a seven-year term loan facility for the 200-MW Hillcrest solar PV project, to be built in Brown County, Ohio. Financing for the project came to $191.8 million. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “‘Inside The Struggle To Keep Reactors Running” • Canceling the refueling of a reactor at a site producing 40% of New Jersey’s power in the middle of a pandemic wasn’t an option for PSEG Nuclear. The Salem Nuclear Generating Station cannot operate at full output without having hundreds of workers refuel it every 18 months. [E&E News]

Have a simply magnificent day.

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May 8 Energy News

May 8, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Planting Trees Is No Panacea For Climate Change, Says Ecologist” • In a commentary that appears in Science, an ecologist at the University of California Santa Cruz and a forestry scientist at the University of São Paulo endorse the benefits of trees but caution against a simplistic view of tree-planting as a panacea for environmental degradation. [UC Santa Cruz]

Planting trees (Photo by Pedro Brancalion)

¶ “How Climate Change Is Contributing to Skyrocketing Rates of Infectious Disease” • Scientists who study how diseases emerge in a changing environment knew that a pandemic was coming. Climate change is making outbreaks of disease more common and more dangerous, and the number of emerging infectious diseases has been rising fast. [TPM]

World:

¶ “This Aircraft Is Powered With Electricity, And It Is Already Heading For The Skies” • Here is a look at some of the other decarbonization developments going on in the world of flight as the aviation industry crawls out of its COVID-19 hole.  First up is a newly unveiled family of low carbon aircraft called Cassio, from the startup VoltAero. [CleanTechnica]

VoltAero Cassio hybrid aircraft (courtesy of VoltAero)

¶ “Capital Dynamics Swoops On 133 MW Of Spanish Solar” • Asset manager Capital Dynamics has completed the acquisition of a 100% equity stake in the 133-MW Puerto Real 1 PV project in Cadiz in southern Spain. Puerto Real 1 is slated to start operating commercially in the first quarter of 2021, and it has a long-term power offtake agreement. [reNEWS]

¶ “IRENA And ESCAP Step Up Joint Efforts To Support Asia-Pacific’s Crisis Response” • The International Renewable Energy Agency and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific will make recommendations to governments in the Asia-Pacific region to make the energy transition an integral part of recovery efforts. [Modern Diplomacy]

Solar power

¶ “Global Trade In Soy Has Major Implications For Climate” • The extent of the contribution of the Brazilian soy sector to climate change depends largely on the location where soybeans are grown, a study says. In some municipalities, CO₂ emissions resulting from the export of soybean and derivatives are 200 times higher than in others. [Science Daily]

¶ “Mexico’s President Is Betting Big Against Renewables” • Mexico’s National Energy Control Center announced it would suspend grid connections of new solar and wind farms until further notice. Mexico’s president is dismissive of the value of renewable power generation, but the business community is angry at the suspension. [OilPrice.com]

Solar array

Australia:

¶ “Switching To Renewables Could Cut Industry Energy Costs By Almost A Quarter” • Australia’s major industrial energy users could cut their energy costs by almost a quarter by switching to renewable supplies and could be key to a revival in Australian manufacturing, a research report by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work shows. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Coffee-Table-Sized Units To Power New Gas Plant Near Roma” • The Australian Renewable Energy Agency is providing $1 million in funding to give authorities the chance to assess the benefits of using an electrolyzer powered by solar panels to extract hydrogen from the atmosphere. The hydrogen can be used to make renewable methane. [ABC News]

Rendering of the gas plant (Supplied: Southern Green Gas)

¶ “ARENA Funds Feasibility Study Into Renewable Hydrogen-To-Ammonia Plant” • The Australian Renewable Energy Agency will fund a feasibility study for a renewable production facility for hydrogen and ammonia. The project, powered by renewable energy, will produce hydrogen and use the hydrogen to make ammonia. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ “Dominion Energy Remains On Schedule To Build Largest Offshore Wind Project In United States” • Dominion Energy and its contractors are on track to ensure that the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project stays on schedule. They implemented processes to deal with the workplace issues arising out of the pandemic. [Transmission & Distribution World]

MV Sarah Bordelon (PR photo)

¶ “Long Duration Breakthrough? Form Energy’s First Project Tries Pushing Storage to 150 Hours” • Form Energy made a deal for its new energy storage technology with Minnesota utility Great River Energy. The battery is competitive on price relative to power output (kW), but it provides an enormous amount of electricity (kWh) at that price. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Minnesota’s Great River Energy Closing Coal Plant, Switching To Two-Thirds Wind Power” • Great River Energy will shutter a 1,151-MW coal-fired power plant several years early, a move that underscores the decline of coal power in electricity production. The Coal Creek Station will be replaced to a great extent with new wind farms. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Coal Creek Power Station (Richard Tsong-Taatarii | Star Tribune)

¶ “Study: As Climate Changes, Midwest Will Need More Water And Electricity” • By 2030, Indianapolis may need to generate up to 20% more electricity in the summer months based on a worst-case global warming scenario, researchers said in a recent report. The study used a modeling tool that was developed at Purdue University. [Terre Haute Tribune Star]

¶ “Pandemic Concerns Interrupt Michigan Nuclear Plant Outage” • Activities for a refueling and maintenance outage at the Fermi-2 nuclear reactor in Michigan were interrupted by a “stand-down” due to the coronavirus pandemic. Stephen Tait, a DTE Energy spokesman, said some work has resumed, but refueling will take longer than scheduled. [S&P Global]

Have an especially enjoyable day.

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May 7 Energy News

May 7, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change Could Reawaken Indian Ocean El Niño” • Global warming is approaching a tipping point that could reawaken an ancient climate pattern similar to El Niño in the Indian Ocean, according to a study published by scientists at the University of Arizona, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. [UANews]

Ocean weather

¶ “Oceans Are Record Warm, Which Likely Means Stronger Hurricanes & Larger Wildfires” • Highly destructive fires in places like California and Australia may be hard to remember adequately, now that they’re being eclipsed somewhat by the coronavirus pandemic. But the oceans are warm; large storms and wildfires are on the way. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Cold Air Rises. How Wrong Are Our Global Climate Models?” • Conventional knowledge is that warm air rises while cold air sinks. But a study from the University of California, Davis, found that in the tropics, cold air can rise due to the lightness of water vapor. This had been overlooked and may buffer some impacts of a warming climate. [SciTechDaily]

Graphic showing the vapor buoyancy effect (Da Yang | UC Davis)

¶ “Atlas Of 100% Renewable Energy Interactive Map Open For Use” • Technology company Wärtsilä has made available an extensive interactive map that provides valuable information on the potential of renewable energy in relation to 145 countries and geographical regions. It is a guide for cost-optimized  potential for 100% renewable electricity. [ESI Africa]

World:

¶ “Abu Dhabi To Have Cheapest Solar Power Ever At 1.35¢/kWh” • Abu Dhabi is to have the cheapest electricity ever from a solar farm reports say. As capital of the UAE,  Abu Dhabi is no stranger to solar price records. And the new low-PV bid chosen by Abu Dhabi’s public electric utility will bring down the cost of solar power to just 1.35¢/kWh. [CleanTechnica]

Solar farm in Masdar City (Marika Krakowiak | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Sweden’s EV Market Share At 23% In April, Doubles Year On Year” • With the coronavirus pandemic, the overall auto market volume was down 38% in Sweden. Plug-in vehicles, however, resisted the trend. The Swedish plug-in EV market share was up sharply in April, reaching 22.6%, more than double year on year from 10.1% in April 2019. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “How Renewable Energy Can Help A Nation Get Back On Its Feet” • Australia’s Clean Energy Council argued in a report that investment in renewable energy and energy storage has the potential to create 50,000 jobs, lower energy prices, stimulate economic activity in regional areas, and position Australia as a “global clean energy superpower.” [Mozo.com.au]

Wind energy (iStock image)

¶ “Coronavirus Impact Lays Bare Inflexibility Of German Power Generation And Demand” • Slumping power demand from the pandemic and April’s strong wind and solar power production have revealed that Germany’s fossil and renewable electricity generation, as well as electricity demand, need to become much more flexible, experts say. [Clean Energy Wire]

¶ “$5.5 Million Renewable Energy Projects To Be Developed In Mozambique” • GridX Africa Development finalized a binding agreement with Ncondezi Energy Limited to develop $5.5 of million renewable energy projects in Mozambique. The projects include solar and battery storage plants for the Commercial and Industrial sectors. [Construction Review]

Solar and battery plant

¶ “Evidence Abounds Of Renewable Energy Gains At The Expense Of Fossil Fuels, As The Clamor For A Green Recovery Rises” • English consultancy Cornwall Insights produced more evidence that renewable energy sources are carrying the Covid-19 lockdown power mix, with gas and coal generation relegated to peaking services. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Local Developer Turns Sod On 83-MW Spanish PV” • Clean energy investor Sunco Capital has begun construction of two PV plants in Ciudad Real in Spain totalling 83 MW. Construction of the projects will be complete in 2021. The power generated from them will be sold through a power purchase agreement with Shell Energy Europe. [reNEWS]

Solar array (American Public Power Association | Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Giant Economic Benefits Of The Clean Air Act” • The Clean Air Act’s annual benefits could be as high as 370,000 avoided premature deaths and 189,000 fewer hospital admissions for cardiac and respiratory illnesses, a study shows. Net economic benefits of up to $3.8 trillion for the economy may be 32 times the cost of regulations. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Alchemy Renewable Energy Closes The Financing For A 44-MW Solar Energy Portfolio” • Alchemy Renewable Energy, a company that owns and operates renewable energy facilities, has closed on a 44.51-MW (DC) solar renewable energy portfolio in Indiana, as a joint venture with its partner, Telamon Enterprise Ventures LLC. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Solar panels (NREL image)

¶ “Local Energy Authority Inks Big Contract With Big Solar Energy Farm In Kern County ” • DP Renewables SA, through its subsidiary EDP Renewables North America LLC, and Redwood Coast Energy Authority have executed a 15-year power purchase agreement for 100 MW of output from the Sandrini Sol 1 Solar Park in California. [Lost Coast Outpost]

¶ “Plant Vogtle Workforce Scaled Back Due To 185 Positive Covid-19 Tests” • Georgia Power, the company overseeing the expansion of Plant Vogtle nuclear facility, has scaled back one-fifth of its workforce after an outbreak of COVID-19 spread to 185 workers and left significant numbers of employees afraid to show up for work. [Savannah Morning News]

Have a totally advantageous day.

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May 6 Energy News

May 6, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate change and Covid-19: Five charts that explain the impacts” • No war, no recession, and no previous pandemic has had such a dramatic impact on emissions of CO₂ over the past century as Covid-19 has in a few short months. But we have to remember that atmospheric CO₂ will not stabilize until the world reaches net-zero emissions. [BBC]

Nepal, without air pollution (Getty Images)

¶ “Billions Of People Could Live In Areas Too Hot For Humans By 2070, Study Says” • A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences said that if heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current pace, by 2070 up to three billion people could be living in areas that are too hot for human beings to live in. [CNN]

¶ “Polarstern sets records on Arctic climate mission” • The Polarstern is a ship laboratory, drifting in Arctic ice. Part of MOSAiC, a large-scale expedition led by Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute, it’s measuring climate change at the North Pole. And it’s setting new records. For one, it’s the northernmost mission during the Arctic winter. [Deutsche Welle]

Polarstern

¶ “Wärtsilä Gas Engines To Burn 100% Hydrogen” • The Finnish technology group Wärtsilä is developing the combustion process in its gas engines to enable them to burn 100% hydrogen fuel. Wärtsilä has researched hydrogen as a fuel for 20 years, and had been testing its engines with blends of up to 60% hydrogen and 40% natural gas. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

World:

¶ “Coronavirus: UK Warned To Avoid Climate Change Crisis” • The UK must avoid lurching from the coronavirus crisis into a deeper climate crisis, the government’s advisers have warned. They recommend that ministers ensure funds earmarked for a post-Covid-19 economic recovery go to firms that will reduce carbon emissions. [BBC]

Wind turbines and coal-burning plant (Getty Images)

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Is #1 Vehicle In UK, And Electric Vehicles Hit 34% Market Share” • The Tesla Model 3 was April’s best selling vehicle in the UK, as combustion vehicle sales fell by over 98% to fewer than 3,000. Plug-in vehicles were relatively unscathed by the coronavirus crisis and took an unprecedented 34% share of the auto market. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Norway’s April EV Market Share Jumps To 70%, Strongest Growth In 2 Years” • April saw clean transport pioneer Norway’s market share of plug-in electric vehicles jump to 70%, sharply up from 50% a year ago. This is the biggest year-on-year climb that we have seen in two years. The overall auto market saw a 34% drop in volume. [CleanTechnica]

Audi e-tron (Audi courtesy image)

¶ “Renewable Power To Boom On Cheap Money As Coal Loses Out, Garnaut Says” • Economist Ross Garnaut says the economic crisis will lead to growth in renewable energy at the expense of coal, which has high operating costs. He argues that we shouldn’t fear taking on debt to fuel a green economic recovery from the pandemic. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Aquarius Marine Renewable Energy solution undergoes feasibility study for LR2 tanker” • Marine renewable energy technology company Eco Marine Power, based in Japan, announced that it has started a feasibility study regarding the implementation of its Aquarius Marine Renewable Energy design for an LR2 Tanker. [Manifold Times]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Energy Firms Rally Behind Green Stimulus Call” • A coalition of 40 global businesses, including energy majors such as BP, Iberdrola, Orsted, and Shell, called on governments to support “a massive wave of investments in renewable electricity” and other low-carbon energy solutions when devising recovery plans from the COVID-19 pandemic. [Euractiv]

¶ “Neoen To Build Australia’s Largest Solar Farm After Power Deal With CleanCo” • French renewables developer Neoen will build a 400-MW solar farm in Queensland with a contract to sell most of the power to CleanCo, a state-owned clean energy company. Western Downs Green Power Hub will be Australia’s largest solar farm. [pv magazine Australia]

Neoen solar farm (Neoen image)

¶ “Old Coal Mines To Heat £7 Million Tyneside District Heating Scheme” • In England, South Tyneside’s hybrid Viking Energy Network aims to use water pumped from 300 meters below the former Hebburn Colliery combined with heat pumps, solar generation and a CHP unit. The scheme is expected to deliver benefits of £150,000 each year. [The Energyst]

US:

¶ “California On Verge Of Making Truck Manufacturers Produce Electric Trucks” • The California Air Resources Board released the final draft of the Advanced Clean Trucks standard, a policy that will require truck manufacturers to sell electric trucks. There will be a 30-day public comment period followed by a Board vote on June 25–26. [CleanTechnica]

BYD electric truck (BYD courtesy image)

¶ “Nearly Half Of Bloomberg LP Energy Usage Now Comes From Renewables, Up Sharply From 17% In 2018” • Bloomberg LP received 48.5% of its energy from renewable sources in 2019. This is up from 17% in 2018 and exceeds its 2020 interim goal of 35% of renewables use, according to the company’s 11th annual Impact Report. [AltEnergyMag]

¶ “Trump’s Push To Use Global Aid For Nuclear Projects Alarms Development Groups” • A Trump administration effort to bolster the nuclear industry is eyeing a surprising source of financing. It would support exporting nuclear technology with funding from the International Development Finance Corporation, a fund for fighting poverty in developing countries. [The Hill]

Have an upliftingly kind and gentle day.

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May 5 Energy News

May 5, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Key Takeaways From Joe Biden’s Podcast On Climate Change With Governor Jay Inslee” • In his “Here’s the Deal” podcast, Joe Biden had a conversation about climate change with Governor Jay Inslee of Washington, who ran for president on the single issue of climate change. The podcast says a lot about Biden’s understanding of the issue. [CleanTechnica]

Jay Inslee at COP21 (COP Paris, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Airborne Coronavirus: Scientists In Italy Find Coronavirus On Air Pollution Particles” • How far can the airborne coronavirus travel? Farther, perhaps, if it latches onto some particulates. Dr Leonardo Setti of the University of Bologna in Italy is making the significant finding that is possible a priority and delving deeply into the matter scientifically. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Meyer Burger Plans 10 GW Of Floating Solar For North Rhine-Westphalia” • The CEO of Swiss technology company Meyer Burger said it is developing plans to build a factory in Germany to make PVs that are up to 24% efficient. He said 10 GW of the panels could cover the lake left behind when the Hambach coal mine closes. [CleanTechnica]

Hambach coal mine (King Otto, Wikimedia Commons)
Please click on the image for a good look.

¶ “How Korea Is Winning The Fight Against Covid-19 And Increasing Climate Action” • The Republic of Korea’s response to Covid-19 has been among the most effective in the world. Aggressive action lowered its infection without locking down entire cities. The action on the pandemic also did not stop its work on climate change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Climeon Bags First Taiwan Geothermal Project” • Swedish energy company Climeon has clinched its first geothermal heat power order in Taiwan. The project, valued at $4.2 million, was commissioned by Baseload Power Taiwan. It includes Climeon heat power systems, as well as design and consultancy services for the surrounding power plant. [reNEWS]

Rural Taiwan (Climeon image)

¶ “Lithuania Approves Plan To Promote More Renewable Energy Communities” • The government of Lithuania recently approved legislation based on proposals by the Ministry of Energy that will encourage the establishment of renewable energy communities where people and businesses generate their own electricity and share it with each other. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Canberra Records 18% Fall In Emissions As Renewables Kick In” • The Australian Capital Territory recorded an 18% fall in greenhouse gas emissions in the 2018-19 year, as the territory’s wind and solar supplies come online. Now the ACT has to tackle emissions from transportion, waste, and gas, as it moves towards its zero net emissions target. [RenewEconomy]

Countryside in the ACT

¶ “Bangladesh Backs Renewables, Energy Efficiency Through $218.7 Million Fund” • Bangladesh has launched a $218.7 million (€200.8 million) Green Transformation Fund. It will support the renewable energy and energy efficiency, water conservation and management, waste management, resource efficiency, and recycling sectors. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Vestas Books 50-MW Chinese Order” • Vestas has booked a turbine order totaling 50 MW for an unnamed customer and wind farm in China. The contract is for the supply of V120-2.2 MW machines delivered in 2.4-MW power optimized mode, Vestas said. Commissioning of the wind farm is planned for the third quarter of 2020. [reNEWS]

Vestas wind turbine (Vestas image)

¶ “Nuclear Power Is Getting Hammered By Green Energy And The Pandemic” • Record output from wind and solar is creating frequent electricity oversupplies that push prices down to the point that nuclear reactors are no longer profitable, and even to where utilities give it away. The rout is all the worse with global pandemic gutting demand. [The Japan Times]

US:

¶ “Renewables Topped Coal in US Generation Every day in April” • Data from the Energy Information Administration shows that renewables generated more electricity than coal every day in the month of April. This impressive stretch actually began on March 25 and is still going on as of May 3, 40 days later. This point was not expected until 2021. [Saurenergy]

Solar array and a coal plant

¶ “San Bernardino Water Department To Use Renewable Energy Generated By Fuel Cell Plant” • In California, FuelCell Energy said that it started site construction for a 1.4-MW SureSource 1500 biofuels fuel cell project with the City of San Bernardino Municipal Water Department. The project is to be operational in December, 2020. [Environment + Energy Leader]

¶ “EDF Nets 7.5-Year Renewable Energy Deal With Dallas Area Data Centers” • Retail supplier EDF Energy Services will deliver 260,000 MWh of renewable energy to Digital Realty’s 13 data centers in the Dallas region. This will meet approximately 30% of the company’s electricity needs within that market over the next 7.5 years. [Power Engineering Magazine]

Wind farm

¶ “Large-Scale Solar Project In Oakland Set For Construction This Year” • A $7 million, 5-MW solar project in Oakland, Maine has all its permits, according to Encore Renewable Energy of Burlington, Vermont. Construction is set for later this year. The array should provide annual electricity needs for 10,000 Maine homes. [Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel]

¶ “California Utility Inks 770 MW Of Storage Deals” • Southern California Edison has signed seven contracts totaling 770 MW for battery energy storage to help enhance the state’s electric system reliability needs and integrate new renewable power. Most of the contracted battery projects are to be co-located with solar power plants. [reNEWS]

Have a charmingly beautiful day.

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May 4 Energy News

May 4, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “In A Post-Pandemic World, Renewable Energy Is The Only Way Forward” • Pollution affects us all. Not only does it kill seven million of us each year, it makes us more vulnerable to all kinds of respiratory diseases, including, of course, those caused by such viruses as the one that brought us Covid-19. Our failure to fix this problem is killing us. [Forbes]

Solar, wind, and batteries (Getty Images)

¶ “It’s Time Coalition Listened To Experts On Climate And Energy, And Plotted A Green New Deal” • Australian prime minister Scott Morrison often says he is yet to see the evidence that lowering emissions fast enough to avert a climate crisis can be achieved in a way that doesn’t create an economic crisis too. Clearly, he is not looking. [Renewables Now]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Oceans May Be Best Place To Get EV Battery Metals” • A study, which was commissioned by deep-sea mining company DeepGreen, shows it would be better to get the metals needed for batteries from ocean nodules than to mine them on land. There is less net cost for society and less environmental damage mining metals from the ocean. [CleanTechnica]

DeepGreen’s Exploration Vessel

World:

¶ “Heineken, Enel Form Historic 10-Year 100% Renewables Alliance” • Heineken Mexico and Enel Green Power have signed a 10-year renewable energy deal, under which the utility will provide the Dutch brewery firm’s Mexican operations with 100% renewable energy. Heineken Mexico will get 28.8 GWh of solar and wind energy each year. [Smart Energy]

¶ “34 European Cities Reach CDP’s A-List For Their Climate Action And Ambition” • This year, the CDP named 105 cities around the world on its Cities A-List for their transparency and action on climate change. Almost one third (34) of the crowned cities are from Europe. Last year, only 43 cities appeared on the CDP A-List. [Innovation Origins]

Vitoria-Gasteiz (Image: © Pixabay)

¶ “Coronavirus Risks Future Of India’s Coal-Fired Power Plants: IEEFA” • The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent nationwide lockdown highlighted a growing financial risks to India’s coal-fired power plant sector, which is being replaced by cheaper and cleaner renewable energy, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis said. [Outlook India]

¶ “Is A 7% Annual Emissions Cut Possible? Yes, Say NGOs” • In Ireland, the Green Party wants a commitment of a 7% reduction in annual carbon emissions as a precondition for entering talks on forming a government with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. Some of the country’s best climate and energy experts say that will be a challenge, but it is doable. [The Irish Times]

County Donegal (Jakub Michankow, Wikimedia Commons)

Australia:

¶ “Westpac To Shed Thermal Coal Investments By 2030, Switch To Renewables And EVs” • In an update to its climate change position statement, Australian bank Westpac said it would look to wind down its investments in the thermal coal sector and set a target of up to $3.5 billion for climate-friendly lending over the next three years. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “WA Watchdog Green-Lights World’s Biggest Hybrid Wind And Solar Hub” • A 15-GW wind and solar renewable energy project in Western Australia got a green light for environmental approval. The proposed Asian Renewable Energy Hub would supply the Pilbara power grid and develop a hub for generating green hydrogen. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Pilbara snakewood trees (Jim Bendon, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Government Offers $300 Million To Boost Hydrogen Investment Under Clean Energy Financing” • The Morrison government will change the investment mandate of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, directing it to make up to $300 million available for a new Advancing Hydrogen Fund as part of the national hydrogen strategy. [The Guardian]

¶ “Eastern Australia: Investments In Renewables Continue To Plunge Through 2021” • Investments in renewable energy projects will continue to decline in Eastern Australia through 2021, according to Wood Mackenzie. One of the key factors in the decline is grid congestion in Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland. [Smart Energy]

Victoria (Fernando de Sousa, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Ford Cancels EV Plans With Rivian” • Ford has canceled plans it had for a fully electric Lincoln SUV using Rivian’s battery pack and electric motor setup. Lincoln still plans to work closely with Rivian to create an “alternative vehicle” based on Rivian’s skateboard platform. How this is very different from the initial plans is a bit unclear. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Dominion Energy Issues 1-GW Renewables Call” • The utility Dominion Energy Virginia has issued a request for proposals for up to 1,000 MW of solar and onshore wind generation and up to 250 MW of energy storage in the state. The company said this was its largest ever annual solicitation for renewable energy project bids. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (MorgueFile image)

¶ “NorthWestern Awaits Bids In Community Renewables RFP In Montana” • NorthWestern Energy issued a request for proposals for electricity to be supplied by community-owned renewable projects in Montana. The utility said it currently needs 25 MW to 30 MW of community projects under the Montana Renewable Portfolio Standard. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Uranium Miners In Limbo” • Almost a year after the uranium miners asked the Administration to do something to promote domestic uranium mining, the Nuclear Fuel Working Group has a report and recommendations. One of its proposals is to build up a uranium reserve by spending $150 million per year for ten years for a total of $1.5 billion. [Seeking Alpha]

Have a entirely fortunate day.

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May 3 Energy News

May 3, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “In Midst Of Natural Gas Glut, Plastic Industry Bent, Not Broken (Yet)” • With energy demand dropping, there was the oil glut, and then a natural gas glut. Gas stakeholders have expanded petrochemical operations, anticipating an increase in the demand for plastic. But it seems that the plastic hedge is also starting to come apart at the seams. [CleanTechnica]

Natural gas flow (screenshot via US DOE)

¶ “Once Again Michael Moore Stirs The Environmental Pot – But Conservationists Turn Up The Heat On Him” • Planet of the Humans is an environmental documentary that has enraged renewable energy experts and environmentalists. And some of them are calling for its high-profile executive producer, Michael Moore, to apologize. [The Guardian]

¶ “Cheap Oil? A Pandemic? No Big Deal For Renewable Energy, Experts Say” • In the face of an oil glut and pandemic, renewable energy has moved ahead. Experts say the renewable energy market is stable enough to weather short-term fluctuations. It may even be poised to get a boost from as the pandemic subsides and economies restart. [EnerCom Inc]

Construction at East Anglia One (ScottishPower image)

¶ “Dominion Energy’s Costly New Energy Blueprint Fails To Meet Challenge Of Virginia’s Clean Energy Transition” • Despite clean energy commitments, Dominion Energy’s Integrated Resources Plan has more near-term reliance on fracked gas. It also has significant rate increases, and ratepayers would pay for a failed nuclear project. [Blue Virginia]

World:

¶ “Port Of Nigg Takes Delivery Of Massive Offshore Wind Farm Jackets For Moray East Development” • The heavy lift vessel MV Osprey, delivered the first eight out of 103 jacket structures for the 100-turbine Moray East Offshore Windfarm. The jacket structures will be taken to the wind farm site in the Moray Firth for installation. [Northern Times]

MV Osprey delivering jackets for Moray Firth East Wind Farm

¶ “Tesla Applies For License To Sell Electricity In UK” • A report in The Telegraph says Tesla applied to the UK’s energy regulator for a license to sell electricity. The newspaper says it reviewed the application and found it does not provide any information about why the company filed. And Tesla did not respond to requests for clarification. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Modvion Completes First Wind Turbine Tower In Sweden” • Cross laminated timber is lighter and stronger than steel, which permits a narrower base for tall wind towers. The towers are modular and can be shipped in sections to be assembled onsite, eliminating many transportation issues of wider steel masts. Now Monvion has its test mast built. [CleanTechnica]

Modvion CLT tower on ferry (Modvion image)

¶ “Dubai Achieves Record Lowest Tariff For Solar Project” • The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority awarded the 900-MW PV fifth phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Solar Park to a consortium led by ACWA Power. The winning tariff, which is 1.6953¢/kWh, establishes a new global benchmark for the cost of solar PV energy. [Arab News]

US:

¶ “Facing A Health Crisis, Cities Implore The Courts To Limit Pollution” • Against the backdrop of mismanagement during the Covid-19 pandemic, 23 cities and counties, the US Conference of Mayors, and the National League of Cities added their voice to a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s plan to weaken limits on carbon pollution. [CleanTechnica]

By Central Park (Aaron Barlow, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Solar And Wind Energy Struggle As Coronavirus Takes Toll” • The US renewable energy industry is reeling from the Covid-19 pandemic. Construction on renewable projects has been delayed, and thousands of skilled laborers are out of work. As many as 120,000 jobs in solar and 35,000 in wind could be lost, according to trade groups. [Honolulu Star-Advertiser]

¶ “The Southern Oak Solar Energy Center Achieves Commerical Operations” • Invenergy, a privately-held global developer and operator of sustainable energy solutions, announced that the 160-MW Southern Oak Solar Energy Center, located in Mitchell County, Georgia, began commercial operations during the first quarter of this year. [Solar Industry]

Southern Oak Solar Energy Center (Invenergy image)

¶ “Port Of Vancouver USA Receives Shipment Of Longest Wind Blades To Date” • The Port of Vancouver USA will receive nine wind turbines in a shipment that includes the longest wind turbine blades it has handled to date. The delivery is a joint effort of the manufacturer Goldwind and wind project owner Potentia Renewables. [Vancouver Business Journal]

¶ “Denver Receives $1,000,000 For Community Solar Gardens” • The Colorado Department of Local Affairs awarded Denver $1,000,000 to support the its Renewable Denver Initiative. The funds will help Denver host low-cost community solar gardens on municipal properties, moving it toward its goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2030. [Patch.com]

Have a stunningly relaxing day.

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