Posts Tagged ‘nuclear’

February 18 Energy News

February 18, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Can Rationing Carbon Help Fight Climate Change?” • Carbon allowances for individuals have been tested experimentally from Finland to Australia, and some have proved popular. Politicians may shy away from talking about carbon allowances, but the dozens of smartphone apps available to track and reduce your carbon footprint show the idea’s popularity. [BBC]

Reducing emissions (Jack Guez | AFP via Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scottish researchers say climate change will ‘100%’ lead to more rainfall” • More water in the atmosphere is “an entirely inevitable consequence of climate change,” according to Dr Michael Byrne, lecturer in climate science at the University of St Andrews and research fellow at the University of Oxford. And this will lead to more floods. [HeraldScotland]

World:

¶ “German Court Orders Halt To Tesla Giga Berlin Tree Clearing Pending Review” • A ruling by the higher administrative court of the states of Berlin and Brandenburg prohibits Tesla from cutting down any more trees on the site where it intends to build its first European factory until a final determination is made on the matter. [CleanTechnica]

Forest (Chanan Bos | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Fossil Fuel Companies Dominate ‘Top Tax Dodgers’ List” • Given the links between government and fossil fuels, it should be no surprise that fossil fuel companies dominate the list of the top 40 tax dodgers in Australia. ExxonMobil Australia, racked up a total income of $42.3 billion over the past five years but paid no income tax in this country. [The Big Smoke Australia]

¶ “Fraunhofer Opens Grid Study Of Offshore Giants” • A research project in Germany seeks to improve the integration of offshore wind farms into the grid. The Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems project, Mobil-Grid-CoP, is aimed to develop and commission a mobile grid simulator. The project will run for three years. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (Image: EnBW)

¶ “DEWA Emphasises That The Clean And Renewable Energy Sector Provides Key Opportunities For Women In The UAE” • Speaking during the Global Women’s Forum in Dubai, DEWA CEO Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer said that Dubai Electricity & Water Authority employs 1,933 women, including 646 female engineers and technicians. [MEP MiddleEast]

¶ “Arab World’s First Nuclear Reactor Cleared For Startup” • The United Arab Emirates took a final step toward switching on the Arab world’s first commercial nuclear power plant, even as the country prospers by producing and selling fossil fuels. The plant can now start loading fuel and ramp up to commercial operation within several months. [msnNOW]

Moon above a reactor dome (© Bloomberg)

UK:

¶ “Shell Signs PPA With Largest Storage Battery In Europe” • Shell signed a power purchase agreement with the developers of what is being called “the largest battery in Europe.” The 100-MW / 100-MWh Minety power storage project, which is located in Wiltshire (arguably no longer part of Europe), is expected to be complete by the end of this year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “West Midlands Canals To Help Heat Hospitals In Renewable Energy Drive” • The canals of the West Midlands may seem an unlikely source of warmth, but they could soon be used to heat hospitals and tower blocks under a plan to harness Britain’s hidden heating sources. The government promised to spend over £20 million on such schemes. [The Guardian]

Birmingham (Photo: tupungato | Getty Images | iStockphoto)

¶ “200-Year-Old Weir To Create Renewable Energy For Generations To Come” • After almost four years of detailed work, a group of volunteers in Congleton, a town in Cheshire, unveiled plans for a new community-funded hydro-electricity scheme. The system’s 75-kW Archimedes screw will create enough power for around 60 homes. [So Cheshire]

¶ “ScottishPower Launches 100% Green Energy Tariff” • All new ScottishPower domestic fixed price tariffs are being supplied by 100% green electricity. All electricity for the new tariffs will come from the company’s UK wind farms and energy generated by these facilities will only be sold to ScottishPower’s domestic and commercial customers. [Energy Live News]

Wind farm (Image: Shutterstock)

US:

¶ “Jeff Bezos Commits $10 Billion To Fight Climate Change” • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced a new fund, called the Bezos Earth Fund, to back scientists, activists and organizations working to mitigate the impact of climate change. Bezos will commit $10 billion “to start,” he said. The initiative will begin giving out grants this summer. [CNN]

¶ “Louisville 160th City To Pass 100% Renewable-Energy Resolution” • In Kentucky, the Louisville Metro Council voted to commit to 100% renewable energy use for city’s operations within the next two decades. The city will work to shift public transit and other operations to run on clean energy, such as electricity and solar power. [Public News Service]

Louisville (Adobe Stock image)

¶ “Good News: USA Had Largest CO₂ Reduction In The World In 2019” • There is a bit of good news to share that might have slipped under your nose. The USA had the largest CO₂ reduction in the world in 2019 on a country basis. (The entire EU, in total, did slightly better.) This news comes from data gathered by the International Energy Agency. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Virginia Senate Advances Bill Expanding Access To Renewable Energy” • A bill that would allow state residents, nonprofits, and schools to more easily seek and secure alternative energy sources such as rooftop solar passed the Virginia Senate by a vote of 22-18. Senate Bill 710 cleared the hurdle on crossover day, the last chance for passage. [WWBT NBC12 News]

Have a perfectly glorious day.

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February 17 Energy News

February 17, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Tesla Semis Are Cheaper Than Rail Enough Of The Time To Reshape Ground Freight” • Later this year, the first Tesla Semis will be rolling out of a gigafactory. This article deals with the question: “What dynamics will shift in the rail vs. road shipping equation?” The Tesla Semi isn’t a “rail killer.” But it will change the dynamics of ground freight. [CleanTechnica]

Elon Musk unveiling Tesla Semi (Tesla image)

¶ “One Of My Favorite Political Commenters Bombs On 21st Century Energy” • In a video segment and column, “Bernie Sanders’ magical thinking on climate,” Fareed Zakaria of CNN communicates several falsehoods and misleading claims. His talking points definitely stem from energy industry propaganda sources, not good science. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Australia’s Bushfires Show Drastic Effects Of Climate Change” • Scientists say climate change is transforming Australia’s environment, making it hotter and drier, and exposing it to longer, more intense fire seasons. Bushfires are a part of life in Australia and they’re often deadly. But the scale of these fires is unprecedented. [CBS News]

Bushfires approaching a home (David Gray | Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scientists Are Deeply Concerned These Five Cascading Crises Threaten Future Generations” • A report from Future Earth includes a survey of 222 leading scientists who identified five global risks: failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation; extreme weather events; major biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse; food crises; and water crises. [ScienceAlert]

World:

¶ “French Ski Resort Uses Helicopters To Deliver Snow For Bare Slopes” • A French ski resort used helicopters to deliver snow after mild weather dried out its slopes, threatening to close it. The Luchon-Superbagnères resort in the Pyrenees had around 50 tonnes of snow dropped on slopes for beginners and children. The snow was taken from higher mountains. [BBC]

Ski resort in France (Getty Images)

¶ “GivePower Solar Desalinization Plant Brings Clean Water To Desperate People” • Non-profit GivePower was spun off from SolarCity in 2016. Its mission is to bring solar power to areas of the world without access to electricity, but seeing a great need for water, it developed a desalinization plant that could fit in a shipping container. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vestas debuts EnVentus in Sweden” • Vestas has secured a 39-MW order for its new turbine EnVentus from Stena Renewables for the Riskebo wind project in Sweden. Riskebo, located in the Hedemora municipality, will be the first wind farm in the country to use the EnVentus V162-5.6MW. Commissioning is planned for the fourth quarter of next year. [reNEWS]

EnVentus turbine (Vestas image)

¶ “Coronavirus ‘To Hit Chinese Wind Rush'” • Production delays, as a result of the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19), could cause a 10% to 50% decrease in wind turbine installations in China in 2020, according to Wood Mackenzie. The COVID-19 outbreak has put much of China’s wind turbine component production at a “standstill” in recent weeks. [reNEWS]

¶ “More Wind Energy Needed To Meet EU Green Deal” • Europe is not building enough wind energy to deliver the European Commission’s Green Deal, according to trade body WindEurope. Last year, installations were up 27% compared with 2018, but the rate of installations needs to double to reach the goals set out in the Green Deal, it said. [reNEWS]

Giles Dickson, CEO of WindEurope (WindEurope image)

¶ “UK’s Renewable Adoption Rate Has Driven World’s Fastest Decarbonization” • The UK’s move towards renewable energy has helped drive the world’s fastest rate of decarbonization, an independent analysis by academics from Imperial College London shows. Power sector’s emissions, 161 million tonnes in 2010, fell to 54 million in 2019. [Energy Live News]

¶ “Small Is Beautiful As Solar Farms Look For Ways Around Grid Chaos” • At a crisis meeting last week, the Australian Energy Market Operator warned developers of large-scale wind and solar projects Victoria and New South Wales about delays of up to seven years because of transmission congestion. Developers are looking into smaller projects. [RenewEconomy]

Solar array (Supplied: Kinelli Pty Ltd)

¶ “Cape Town Moves To Set Up Own Electricity Supply” • South Africian President Cyril Ramaphosa announced during his Sona address that municipalities in good financial standing will be allowed to procure their own power from independent power producers. Now, Cape Town wants to set up its own IPP office to secure renewable energy.  [Daily Maverick]

US:

¶ “NextEra’s Bid For Santee Cooper Includes ‘Land Mine’ In Charging For Incomplete Projects” • Florida-based NextEra Energy, the main suitor for state-owned power provider Santee Cooper, wants to bypass South Carolina’s utility regulators to charge customers $2.3 billion on new power plants even if those projects are canceled. [Charleston Post Courier]

Site of the VC Summer nuclear expansion (Photo: High Flyer)

¶ “Wind, Solar Generating Capacity Rising” • The share of US grid electricity generated by natural gas will be relatively steady from 2019 through 2021, at 37% in 2019, 38% in 2020, and then falling back to 37% in 2021, according to the Energy Information Administration. Meanwhile, the share generated by renewables will rise from 17% to 21%. [Kallanish Energy]

¶ “NY Green Bank Hits Record $117.5 Million Of Clean Energy Deals In Q4” • In the fourth quarter of 2019, the NY Green Bank registered $117.5 million (€108.4 million) of investments in clean energy. In terms of financing commitments the quarter was its strongest yet. NY Green Bank supports investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency. [Renewables Now]

Have a vastly beautiful day.

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February 16 Energy News

February 16, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Christiana Figueres On The Climate Emergency: ‘This Is The Decade And We Are The Generation’” • Christiana Figueres is a founder of the Global Optimism group and was head of the UN climate change convention when the Paris agreement was achieved in 2015. In an interview, she talks about her new book, The Future We Choose. [The Guardian]

Christiana Figueres (Photo: ©Jimena Mateo)

¶ “How Solar Works On Cloudy And Rainy Days May Surprise You” • “Renewables are the dole bludgers of the energy system; they only turn up to work when they want to,” said Australia’s ex-federal resources minister Matt Canavan recently. I decided to crunch numbers about solar production on rainy days. The result was a pleasant surprise. [Daily Examiner]

¶ “Santee Cooper’s Fate Could Be Up To Legislative Supporters” • The first-blush reading of the eight-month winnowing of bids to purchase or manage Santee Cooper is that there’s no slam-dunk case for either. Santee Cooper is a 33% owner of the VC Summer nuclear plant, which had to abandon construction of two reactors recently. [Charleston Post Courier]

Virgil C Summer Nuclear Generating Station (Wikipedia)

World:

¶ “Hyundai Gets Serious On Electric Cars – Still Does Not Understand Demand” • When Hyundai added the fully battery electric version of its Ioniq, because there appeared to be some demand for it, the management, was astonished at the result. Demand for the BEV was higher in many markets than the demand for the plug-in hybrid. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Warm Winter Helps Enefit Green Set New Renewable Energy Production Record” • Eesti Energia’s renewable energy company Enefit Green produced 165 GWh of electricity in January, setting a new record with the help of unusually warm weather. Most of the production came from the company’s wind farms in Estonia and Lithuania. [ERR News]

Paldiski Wind Farm (Source: Eesti Energia)

¶ “Dozens Protest Cumbrian Coal Mine” • Around fifty people gathered outside County Hall to protest a planned deep coal mine near Whitehaven, Cumbria. A number of environmental activism groups, including Extinction Rebellion Cumbria, took part in the demonstration. The coal is intended for the European steel-making market. [The Westmorland Gazette]

¶ “France President Macron Vows ‘Fight Of The Century’ Against Climate Change” • France’s leader called the battle against climate change and environmental destruction “the fight of the century” after visiting a melting glacier in the French Alps. But Macron faces vociferous opposition on multiple fronts over climate change. [WIZM News]

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc (Photo: David Azia | AP, File)

¶ “Morocco’s MASEN Announces Tender For Construction Of 400 MW Solar Power Plants” • The Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy called for tenders seeking Independent Power Producers to build several solar power plants. The Noor Midelt solar project is to use PVs, concentrated solar, and energy storage. [Utilities Middle East]

¶ “BayWa ‘Powers Through’ 27-MW Solar Floater Build” • BayWa Renewable Energy is building its largest floating photovoltaic farm, a 27-MW project in the Netherlands. Once complete in about two months’ time, the 27.4-MW Bomhofsplas floating solar plant will be the world’s largest renewable energy installation of its kind outside of China. [reNEWS]

Floating solar array (BayWa image)

¶ “Drilling For Geothermal Project To Proceed On The Azores, Portugal” • Local news reports in Iceland say the Iceland Geothermal Drilling Company has secured a drilling contract valued at around €18.6 million for EDA on the Azores Islands. The company is tasked to drill nine wells for extension of current geothermal operations. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

US:

¶ “The Boring Company Completes First Tunnel For Las Vegas Loop Project” • The Boring Company has completed the first of two tunnels it is building for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. The tunnel’s electric trains will take about a minute to cover a route that would take a car on surface streets about 15 times that. [CleanTechnica]

Boring tunnel (Credit: The Boring Company)

¶ “Instead Of Releasing This Greenhouse Gas, Beer Brewers Are Selling It To Pot Growers” • The state of Colorado and three small businesses are trying a novel approach to reduce carbon emissions that sounds like something out of the fever dreams of Willie Nelson: using carbon dioxide produced from beer brewing to help marijuana plants grow. [Times Record]

¶ “Sea Levels Around The US Aren’t Just Rising, They’re Accelerating Year On Year” • The worst case scenario for sea level rise in the US is more than just a dim possibility. It’s getting more likely. An annual “report card” for the US coastline shows sea levels are speeding up in most places measured. The acceleration is fueled by climate change. [ScienceAlert]

Flooding (Shannon Honey | EyeEm | Getty Images)

¶ “West Virginia Senate Passes Solar Bill With Nods To Coal” • The West Virginia Senate passed a bill encouraging use of solar energy by power companies. The state commerce department pushed for the bill, saying big companies want to know that they can use renewable energy before relocating to a state. But the bill gives a nod to coal.  [Jackson County Newspapers]

¶ “Michigan State Green-Lights Installation Of Solar Array” • Michigan State University officials approved a solar array as part of an effort to boost environmental sustainability. The MSU Board of Trustees gave the go-ahead to install a 20-MW solar array on roughly 100 acres south of the East Lansing school’s main campus. [The Detroit News]

Have a copiously fruitful day.

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February 15 Energy News

February 15, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “How To Sell Climate Action To Your Rural Conservative Neighbors” • “What is the most important thing we can do to contribute to climate action? Open our mouths and talk about it!” Cognitive scientist John Cook told that me as I researched the subject. “This is the key to building the social momentum that is the foundation of political action.” [Gen]

Wind turbines in North Dakota (Ken Cedeno | Getty Images)

¶ “A Third Of Fossil Fuel Assets May Soon Be Stranded” • Fossil fuel companies hold vast oil, gas and coal riches that they frequently tout to the investing universe to help elevate their market values. Few, if any, have ever told investors that a large chunk of these assets could be doomed to forever remain buried in the ground. [OilPrice.com]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Why The Vegan Diet Is Not Always Green” •  Having a vegan smoothie to start your day may be packed with nutrients and will do wonders for your health. But it may be doing far less good for the planet. Anyone looking to adopt a vegan or vegetarian diet for environmental reasons may also want to consider the heavy price that comes with some vegan food. [BBC]

Avocado

¶ “Wildfire Smoke May Cause Life-Long Harm” • Smoke from wildfires may have long-term health effects, US research on juvenile monkeys shows. Analysis shows their immune systems were lower than normal, twelve years after they were naturally exposed to wildfire smoke. There are indications that the animals passed on the defect to their offspring. [BBC]

World:

¶ “No More Money For Polish Coal” • Polish power producers Enea SA and Energa SA have revealed that they will suspend financing for Ostrołęka C, the last coal power plant to be built in northeastern Poland. They said they had decided to suspend financing for the project largely due to difficulty of obtaining external financing. [pv magazine international]

Bełchatów Power Station (Image: Fotopolska.eu, Wikipedia)

¶ “Coastal Erosion: The Homes Lost To The Sea” (Video) • As sea level rise, a senior figure in the UK Environment Agency says he wants the country to start “difficult conversations” about which areas should be protected and which should not. Science editor David Shukman has been investigating the dilemma of where to save and where to retreat. [BBC]

¶ “A plague of locusts has descended on East Africa. Climate change may be to blame” • A plague of locusts is spreading across East Africa, threatening the food supply of tens of millions of people. Desert locusts thrive following periods of heavy rainfall that trigger blooms of vegetation. There has been a series of cyclones in the last two years. [National Geographic]

Desert locust swarm (Magnus Ullman, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Power Bills To Fall In Next Two Years As Political Stoush Over Coal Continues” • Australia’s national grid is getting so much solar power that some areas are now experiencing daytime periods of negative prices for power. On the question of a new coal-burning power plant, one business expert said “It would be daft in every sense of the word.” [ABC News]

¶ “Australia Weather: How Much Rain Did It Take To Put Out NSW Fires?” • Since July there have been fires – sometimes hundreds at once – burning across New South Wales. Things finally changed though when rain arrived in NSW last weekend. It was a massive dump of water – more than 400 mm (15.7 in) in some places. [BBC]

Relief from fire (NSW Rural Fire Service)

¶ “Climate Skeptic Asset Managers Face Pressure To Reveal Donations” • Principles for Responsible Investment, a United Nations-backed framework, is now considering requiring asset managers to disclose information about their own executives. This would include their outside roles and donations to groups that seek to influence government policy. [Yahoo Finance]

US:

¶ “Portland General Electric And Avangrid Renewables Announce Major Solar Facility In Oregon” • Portland General Electric and Avangrid Renewables have announced an agreement to purchase power from a new 162-MW solar generation facility – the largest in the state – to be developed and built in eastern Oregon.  [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Copper Crossing Solar Farm in Arizona (Avangrid)

¶ “Pacific Power: ‘Green’ Energy Move Will Trim 2021 Rate Hike” • West Coast utility Pacific Power asked Oregon energy regulators for a 2021 rate hike, expected to raise the average homeowner’s bill by 1.6%, or $4.03 monthly. But it said a recent major shift toward renewable energy sources trimmed the potential rate increase considerably. [KTVZ]

¶ “US Doubled Renewables Capacity Since 2010: Factbook” • Power-generating capacity from renewable energy – including solar, wind and utility-scale hydropower – has doubled in the US since 2010, while generation has jumped 77% in that time, a report from BloombergNEF and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy shows. [Smart Cities Dive]

Wind farm (Credit: Dominion Energy)

¶ “Rural Renewable Energy Alliance Partners To Bring Solar Energy To Disabled Vets” • The Rural Renewable Energy Alliance partnered with Minnesota Power and Tri-County Community Action Partnership to bring community solar to ten low-income, disabled veterans. They installed a community solar array in Little Falls. [Brainerd Dispatch]

¶ “US Nuclear Regulators: Fuel Loading At Vogtle Unit 3 Could Begin In November” • Georgia Power announced this week that workers had completed the final concrete placement inside Vogtle Unit 3’s containment vessel, which houses the reactor. Work also is proceeding on Unit 4 as part of the overall $25 billion project. [Power Engineering Magazine]

Have a distinctly excellent day.

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February 14 Energy News

February 14, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Airbus MAVERIC Design Study Project Is 20% More Efficient Than Today’s Airplanes” • At the Singapore air show, Airbus took the wraps off a super secret design project. That project, started in 2017, could lead to exotic new commercial aircraft which are up to 20% more efficient than the single aisle planes used by most commercial airlines today. [CleanTechnica]

Airbus MAVERIC design (Airbus image)

¶ “A Small Change In Airplane Altitude Could Reduce Climate Impact Of Contrails By 59%” • Getting planes to fly just 2,000 feet (610 metres) lower could cut the climate impact of their contrails by a whopping 59%. While most contrails vanish in minutes, some can stick around for up to 18 hours, mixing with other contrails and cirrus clouds. [ScienceAlert]

World:

¶ “Antarctic Island Hits Record Temperature Of 20.75°C” • Antarctica has exceeded 20°C for the first time, after researchers logged a temperature of 20.75°C (69.35°F) on an island off the coast of the continent. Brazilian scientist Carlos Schaefer told AFP they had “never seen a temperature this high in Antarctica.” It is the second record high in just days. [BBC]

Adélie penguins (Getty Images)

¶ “Sri Lanka Needs 10,000 MW Of Renewable Energy To Meet 2030 Target: Official” • The Government will need to implement forward-looking policies to keep up with an estimated 6% increase in annual energy demand, with a staggering 10,000 MW of renewable energy to meet its target of 80% renewables by 2030, a top official warned. [ft.lk]

¶ “Love Skiing? Enjoy It While It Lasts” • A report from the International Olympic Committee examines the impact of climate change on future winter games. It forecasts that an increase of 1°C (1.8°F) would push the snowline up by 150 meters. “The ski season may start up to a month later and finish up to three months earlier,” the committee said. [CNN]

Skiing in Germany (Christof Stache | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Hydrogen Association Formed In Asia-Pacific” • Several Asia-based renewable energy industry executives have set up the Asia-Pacific Hydrogen Association. The Singapore-based association aims to coordinate international policy, research, communications, and analysis and will provide services to support members’ development needs. [reNEWS]

¶ “Telco Orange Dials In Iberdrola Power Play In Spain” • Telco Orange has entered into a long-term power purchase agreement with Iberdrola for 200 GWh of electricity from the 328-MW Ceclavin solar plant in Spain. Electricity from the PV project, due online later this year, will power 9000 sales offices and buildings Orange operates in the country. [reNEWS]

Solar plant under construction (Iberdrola image)

¶ “Renewables Account For Almost Half Of Turkey’s Installed Power” • Turkey’s renewable energy capacity has registered a remarkable surge over the last decade. Turkey’s installed power capacity was calculated at a total of 91,267 MW by the end of last year, while only around a decade ago, the country possessed only 15,500 MW in renewable capacity. [Daily Sabah]

¶ “South Africa To Procure More Renewable Energy To Ease Power Shortages” • South Africa will soon procure additional renewable energy to ease electricity shortages, ramping up generation capacity outside struggling state utility Eskom, President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a state of the nation address on Thursday. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Renewable energy

US:

¶ “Calculating The True Cost Of A Society Based On Automobiles” • Researchers at the Harvard Kennedy School set out to find out just how much money the state of Massachusetts and its citizens spend each year to maintain a transportation system based on private car ownership. The answer, they said, is a staggering $64.1 billion. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “As Groundwater Depletes, Arid American West Is Moving East” • Even under modest climate warming scenarios, the continental United States faces a significant loss of groundwater – about 119 million cubic meters, or roughly enough to fill Lake Powell four times or one quarter of Lake Erie, a first-of-its-kind study has shown. [EurekAlert]

Horseshoe Bend, Colorado River (Credit: Daniel Stolte)

¶ “Oregon Bill To Give Covanta Incinerator Renewable Energy Credits Put On Hold” • A bill to provide millions of dollars in renewable energy credits to a garbage incinerator, has moved to the House Rules Committee, where negotiations may continue. State law requires 50% of electricity come from renewable sources by 2040. [Statesman Journal]

¶ “Bill To Penalize Utilities For Renewable Energy Returns To Wyoming Legislature, Quickly Fails” • Wyoming lawmakers proposed a bill to penalized utility companies for using renewable energy sources to supply electricity to ratepayers. It would have required utilities to fuel all electricity from coal, oil, or gas. It failed. [Casper Star-Tribune Online]

Solar arrays (Michael Quine | Las Vegas Review-Journal)

¶ “Industry Leader: Wyoming Uranium Industry On ‘Its Death Bed’” • A potential addition to President Donald Trump’s budget for the purchase of domestic uranium might not be enough to save Wyoming’s uranium mining operations, an industry leader said. John Cash of Ur-Energy said, “The uranium industry is on its death bed.” [Cowboy State Daily]

¶ “Meredith Town Warrant Takes Up Climate Change” • New Hampshire town warrants do not usually address global issues, but an exception will play out on March 11. In the town of Meredith, Warrant Article 16 asks voters to “take action on climate pollution.” It is advisory only, urging lawmakers to take action. [The Laconia Daily Sun]

Have an altogether superb day.

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February 13 Energy News

February 13, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Study Shows Air Pollution Can Cross State Lines, And With Deadly Consequences” • A study shows that air pollution can contribute to serious health issues hundreds of miles away. The study, published in the journal Nature, found that around half of the pollution-related early deaths in the US occur outside the borders of the state where the toxic air originated. [CNN]

Smog (Drew Angerer | Getty Images)

World:

¶ “Myanmar To Increase Renewable Energy Sources” • Myanmar is trying to increase the content of renewable energy sources by tapping all available energy sources to generate electricity, said Union Minister for Electricity and Energy Win Khaing. The country is blessed with solar energy, wind power and other renewable energy sources. [The Star Online]

¶ “Djibouti Secures First Renewables Project: 60-MW Wind Farm” • Africa Finance Corporation, Climate Fund Managers, FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, and Great Horn Investment Holdings have announced an investment for the construction and operation of a 60-MW wind farm near Lake Assal in Djibouti. [ESI Africa]

Wind farm (Stock image)

¶ “PH Could Attract $20-B Renewable Energy Investment” • The Philippines could attract US$20 billion of renewable energy investment over the next decade through the use of auctions under the DOE’s  proposed Green Energy Tariff Program, according to a new report. The report is expected to increase competition in the energy sector. [Manila Bulletin]

¶ “Yukon Aims To Sell Renewable Power To Skagway Cruise Ships” • Yukon Energy rolled out a 10-year plan for renewable electricity in the territory. One of its goals is to sell excess renewable energy to green up cruise ships in Alaska ports. The utility plans to expand its southern infrastructure in order to store a projected surplus of summer power. [KHNS Radio]

Disney cruise ship (Emily Files)

¶ “New $1 Billion Mine Looks To Solar, Wind, Batteries For 80% Of Power Needs” • Australian mining company Oz Minerals plans to power its proposed $1 billion West Musgrave copper nickel mine with up to 80% renewables. A study shows the deposit has the potential to produce 28,000 tonnes of copper and 22,000 tonnes of nickel a year for 26 years. [RenewEconomy]

¶ Deutsche Telekom Taps Vattenfall For Solar”” • A Deutsche Telekom subsidiary has signed a 10-year supply contract with Vattenfall for electricity from its new solar park in Germany. Vattenfall and Power & Air Solutions have signed a corporate power purchase agreement for clean electricity generated by the 60-MW PV plantin west Pomerania. [reNEWS]

Vattenfall renewable plant (Vattenfall image)

¶ “Baltic States Will Not Buy Energy From Belarus NPP” • Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are joining forces to oppose energy imports from a Belarusian nuclear power plant Lithuania has declared a national security threat. The governments of the three Baltic nations have announced that they will sign a declaration of intent to oppose electricity purchases. [Emerging Europe]

 

US:

¶ “The Exxon Plant Near My House Caught Fire” •The Exxon plant here in Baton Rouge has caught fire. Even though officials say there wasn’t an explosion, several witnesses reported hearing one. I also heard what seemed like an explosion, and I live just about 5 miles away. They also say the fire is out and no one was hurt. [CleanTechnica]

Exxon plant burning (Image: KDH via Twitter)

¶ “University Of Utah’s Electricity Fueled By Renewable Energy” • The University of Utah agreed to an energy deal to allow the school to get more than half of its electricity through renewables. The university finalized the purchase of geothermal energy with Cyrq Energy for 53.7% if its electricity supply. [Daily Herald]

¶ “Dueling Opinions On Clean Energy Jobs Act” • Illinois lawmakers could enact new legislation this spring that would put the state on a path to using 100% renewable energy by 2050, but just what the Clean Energy Jobs Act would mean for the state’s ratepayers remains unclear. Both the Senate and the House have their own bills. [Alton Daily News]

Have an abundantly rewarding day.

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February 12 Energy News

February 12, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Is This The Start Of An Aviation Revolution?” • Electric flight has been around since the 1970s, but it’s been limited to light-weight experimental planes. But as the threat posed by the climate crisis deepens, there has been renewed interest in developing electric passenger aircraft as a way of reducing emissions and airline operating costs. [BBC]

Aircraft converted to electric (Photo: Diane Selkirk)

¶ “Environmentalism And The Electric Car” • I know people who are concerned about the anti-environmental actions of the Trump administration (undermining protection of waterways, giving industry carte blanche to pollute more). Several of those same individuals just bought new gas cars in the last year. That’s the problem! [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Lithium-Sulfur Batteries Could Be Cheaper And More Energy Dense” • Transportation is a major generator of greenhouse gases, so many more EVs are needed. Lithium-sulfur batteries eventually could help speed up EV production and adoption. They could expand EV ranges while costing less because sulfur is so abundant. [CleanTechnica]

Researcher (Credit: Monash University)

¶ “Global Carbon Emissions ‘Flatline’ In 2019” • Global carbon dioxide emissions plateaued in 2019, defying expectations of a rise, according to International Energy Agency data. After two years of growth, global CO₂ emissions were unchanged at 33 GT in 2019, even as the world economy expanded by 2.9%, IEA found. [reNEWS]

World:

¶ “Australia Fires: 113 Animal Species ‘Need Emergency Help'” • Australia has identified 113 animal species which will need “urgent help” after their numbers and habitats were devastated by recent bushfires. There appeared to be no extinctions, the government said, but almost all species on the list had lost at least 30% of their habitats due to fires. [BBC]

Koala with mittens (Reuters)

¶ “Nikola Motors Locks In Ulm, Germany As The Production Site For The Nikola TRE” • Nikola Motors partnered with IVECO on a manufacturing hub for its first production vehicle in the city of Ulm, Germany. The facility will produce battery electric and fuel cell electric versions of the company’s heavy duty truck, the Nikola TRE, for the EU market. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Solar Power Surges In Vietnam, Dimming Prospects For New Coal Plants” • As China and the US wrestle over which country will dominate the world, Vietnam is the beneficiary. Low wages in Vietnam have led to a surge in manufacturing there. That means more electricity is needed. And there is great interest in providing solar power. [CleanTechnica]

Solar plant (Zach Shahan | CleanTechnica.com)

¶ “In A World-First, India’s Dozen Major Ports Now Run Fully On Renewable Energy” • The dozen state-owned major ports in the country have switched to renewable energy to meet their entire power requirements. This makes India the first nation in the world to have all government-owned ports running on solar and wind energy. [The Hindu BusinessLine]

¶ “2020 Starts With A Bang For Italy’s EV Market – January Sales Up 587%!” • January sales are out for the Italian car market, and electric cars are up by nearly 600%(!) over the same month last year. There were 1943 fully electric vehicles) were sold in the country, an epic surge over last year’s 283 units during the same period. Surprised? [CleanTechnica]

Peugeot e 208

¶ “Gas ‘Critical’ For Renewable Energy Future, Chief Scientist Says” • Australia’s Chief Scientist Alan Finkel is backing Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s gas-filled vision for an energy market transition to lower emissions and arguing Australia should not invest in nuclear power, but focus instead on emerging hydrogen technology. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “WPD Inks Finnish Wind PPA” • WPD is to supply electricity to pulp and paper company UPM Kymmene with up to 192 MW from the Karhunnevankangas wind farm in the municipality of Pyhajoki in western Finland, under a long-term power purchase agreement. It will feature 32 turbines, each with an individual capacity of about 6 MW. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (WPD image)

US:

¶ “Electric Vehicles Can Help California Hit 2030 Emissions Reduction Target” • Energy Innovation, a nonpartisan energy and climate policy firm, recently released research showing the state of California may not meet its 2030 climate emissions reduction target. In order to remedy this situation, the organization recommended six policies. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tennessee Valley Authority Grows Solar Portfolio By 44%” • In its latest quarterly financial call, the Tennessee Valley Authority announced the addition of 484 MW of new contracted solar capacity since December, an increase of 44%. Five new projects resulted from TVA’s 2019 request for proposals for renewable energy projects. [Transmission & Distribution World]

Solar farm (Getty Images)

¶ “Southern Reaches Wildhorse Mountain Summit” • Southern Power started commercial operations at the 100-MW Wildhorse Mountain wind farm in Oklahoma. Wildhorse Mountain has 29 Vestas turbines. Electricity and associated renewable energy credits will go to Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation under a 20-year PPA. [reNEWS]

¶ “Mayflower Wind To Deliver $58/MWh Power” • Output from the 804-MW Mayflower Wind offshore wind farm off the US east coast will be sold to Massachusetts utilities for $58/MWh (€53/MWh), according to documents filed on the power purchase agreement. The regular wholesale market prices are projected to be $84/MWh. [reNEWS]

Have an excitingly happy day.

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February 11 Energy News

February 11, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Some Antarctic Penguin Colonies Have Declined By More Than 75% Over 50 Years” • Penguin colonies in some parts of the Antarctic have declined by more than 75% over the past half century, largely as a result of climate change, researchers say. The colonies of chinstrap penguins were last surveyed almost 50 years ago. [CNN]

Chinstrap Penguins (Abbie Trayler | Greenpeace UK)

¶ “Arctic Permafrost Thawing Will Double Previous Carbon Emissions Estimates” • A study by the Colorado University Boulder shows that the abrupt thawing of the Arctic permafrost will double previous estimates of potential carbon emissions. In fact, it is already changing the landscape and ecology of the circumpolar north. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “New Zealand To Test Wisk eVTOL Flying Taxi” • Wisk is no flash in the pan operation. It is a partnership created last year between eVTOL start up Kitty Hawk and Boeing. Kitty Hawk itself was once a subsidiary of Boeing. The first fruit of that collaboration is an electric VTOL aircraft known as Cora. Trials are soon to start in New Zealand. [CleanTechnica]

Cora (Image courtesy of Wisk)

¶ “Tata Power-DDL Tenders For 150 MW Non-Solar Renewable Power” • Tata Power-Delhi Distribution Limited, a joint venture of Tata Power and India’s National Capital Territory, issued a tender inviting bids for 150 MW of non-solar renewable power on a short term basis to meet its renewable purchase obligation for the fiscal year. [Saurenergy]

¶ “What’s Happening With The Renewable Heat Initiative?” • With the UK government committed to making the country carbon neutral by 2050, schemes such as the Renewable Heat Incentive are coming under the spotlight. The scheme launched in April 2014 but it will be closing its doors to new applications in March 2021. [Energy Saving Trust]

Homes in the UK (Getty Images)

¶ “Scots Communities Reap £20 Million Clean Power Benefits” • Over one year, Scottish communities got £20 million in benefits from renewable energy businesses, the Scottish government said. The benefits, are the voluntary arrangements offered by businesses to communities located near onshore renewables developments. [reNEWS]

¶ “GE Renewable Energy To Support The Clean Energy Growth In The Philippines” • GE Renewable Energy booked a contract with Angat Hydropower Corporation to rehabilitate the 218-MW Angat hydropower plant located in the Philippines. This 53-year-old Angat hydropower facility also supplies water for Metro Manila and for irrigation. [REVE]

Angat hydropower plant

¶ “All Unilever Operations Now Run On 100% Renewable Electricity” • British-Dutch manufacturing giant Unilever made the switch to 100% renewable grid electricity for its entire value chain. It will now turn its attention to sourcing the entirety of its energy needs from renewable sources. It has a goal of carbon-neutrality by 2030. [CSO Magazine]

¶ “Red Rock Lights 1-GW Rocket At Inch Cape” • Red Rock Power has applied to boost capacity at its Inch Cape offshore wind farm off east Scotland to up to 1 GW from 700 MW. The capacity increase can be achieved without raising turbine numbers thanks to “technological advances,” the Chinese-owned company told Scottish authorities. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (Image: Nicholas Doherty | Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Competitive Power Ventures Building 150-MW Maple Hill Solar Farm” • Privately held energy infrastructure investment and management firm Competitive Power Ventures, known for building numerous gas-fired power plants in the US, announced its latest renewable project will be a 150-MW solar farm built in Pennsylvania. [Power Engineering Magazine]

¶ “NY State Officials Are Pleasantly Surprised By Tesla’s Buffalo Factory” • Assemblyman Sean Ryan, of the New York State Assembly, says that he is “pleasantly surprised” at progress at Tesla’s factory in Buffalo. After touring it, he said, “The factory is built out. It has complete lines running … [It is] what we’ve been hoping for.”  [CleanTechnica]

Making roof tiles (Tesla image)

¶ “Department of Energy Invests $74 Million In Building and Construction Technologies And Innovations” • The DOE announced $74 million for 63 selected projects to research, develop, and test efficient and flexible building technologies, systems, and construction practices to improve the energy performance of buildings and the grid. [Energy.gov]

¶ “Evergy To Add 660 MW Of Wind Energy To Portfolio” • Evergy, Inc, based in Kansas and Missouri, announced it will expand its wind energy portfolio by 660 MW, and reduce carbon output by 80% below 2005 levels by 2050. Electricity from four new wind sites will be used to attract and retain large commercial and industrial customers. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Wind turbine (Courtesy of NREL)

¶ “Construction Completed At $300 Million, 205-MW Bright Stalk Wind Energy Farm” • Energy EPC firm Mortenson completed construction on a $300 million wind farm in Illinois. The 205-MW Bright Stalk Wind Farm project northeast of Bloomington-Normal in McLean County. EDP Renewables is the project developer. [Power Engineering Magazine]

¶ “Trump Budget Proposes $150 Million For Creation Of Uranium Reserve” • President Donald Trump’s 2021 budget proposed $150 million for the creation of a US uranium reserve, as the administration seeks to help struggling producers of the fuel for nuclear reactors. The budget proposal does not outline where the reserve would be built. [Yahoo Finance]

Have a respectably awesome day.

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February 10 Energy News

February 10, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Correcting Anti-Renewable Energy Propaganda” • In 1989, pro-nuclear lobbyists claimed that wind power couldn’t even provide 1% of Germany’s electricity. With passing years, as the amount of renewable power on the grid increased, the limits given for renewables were raised. Bad data is also used to say renewable energy costs too much. [CleanTechnica]

Walking through a solar array

Science and Technology:

¶ “January 2020 Warmest On Record: EU Climate Service” • Last month was the warmest January on record globally, while in Europe temperatures were a balmy three degrees Celsius above the average January from 1981 to 2010. New temperature highs have become commonplace, mainly due to the impact of climate change, scientists say. [eNCA]

¶ “Scientists Demonstrate Rain As An Effective Source Of Renewable Energy” • Researchers have developed a raindrop electricity generator that uses a field-effect transistor-style structure to instantly produce a surprisingly high voltage from water drops. It can produce 140 V from just one drop of rain, enough to power 140 small LED bulbs. [Designboom]

Rain on a river

World:

¶ “Sydney Rains: Record Rainfall Brings Flooding But Puts Out Mega-Blaze” • Sydney has been hit by its heaviest rain in 30 years, bringing widespread flooding but also putting out two massive bushfires in New South Wales. Australia’s weather agency said 391.6 mm (15.4 inches) of rain had fallen in the past four days in Sydney. [BBC]

¶ “Bosnia’s Elektroprivreda BiH To Start Building 48-MW Podvelezje Wind Farm Soon” • Bosnian state-controlled power producer Elektroprivreda BiH said it will soon start erecting the 15 wind turbines of the future 48-MW Podvelezje wind farm near the town of Mostar. A 110/30 kV transformer station and network facilities are already in place. [Renewables Now]

Wind turbine (Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA)

¶ “New South African Lithium-Ion Cell Mega-Factory, Plans For 32 GWh/Year By 2028” • The Megamillion Energy Company has outlined plans for a South African battery factory. After setting up a pilot plant this year, the company plans to increase cell production gradually to about 32 GWh per annum by 2028. It will use local production resources. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Innogy seeks PPAs through DNV GL platform” • Innogy is making 770 MW of its renewable energy portfolio available for sale to corporate buyers on DNV GL’s Instatrust digital platform. The projects are onshore wind and solar facilities located across seven countries. The projects are in advanced development stages or already under construction. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Innogy image)

¶ “Malaysia Not Ready For Nuclear Energy: Mahathir” • Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia will not build nuclear power plants until there is a safe way to dispose of the radioactive waste that would be generated. He pointed out that Malaysia did not have adequate knowledge in that field. He spoke of solar PVs for clean energy. [The Sun Daily]

¶ “Cheap Solar And Wind Send Power Prices To Three-Year Low, As Coal Output Falls” • Australia’s record renewables growth in 2019 has helped to deliver a dramatic decline in wholesale electricity prices in the year’s final quarter – despite and possibly even because of a marked fall in output from the nation’s coal-fired generator fleet. [RenewEconomy]

Landscape with wind turbines

¶ “Total, Adani Group Sign 2-GW Partnership To Boost India’s Solar Sector” • Total is expanding its partnership with Adani Group, India’s largest privately-owned energy and infrastructure conglomerate, to grow Indian solar power generation. The Indian government is pushing to reach a renewable capacity of 225 GW by 2022. [Power Engineering International]

US:

¶ “Race To Carbon-Free Generation Is On” • New Mexico’s utilities are drawing up the most comprehensive plans in decades to completely overhaul the state’s electric grid to reach 100% carbon-free generation by 2045. That’s the ultimate goal outlined in the state’s new Energy Transition Act, which took effect last June. [Albuquerque Journal]

Solar farm (Courtesy of Kit Carson Electric Cooperative)

¶ “Tri-State Will Replace Coal Plants With A Gigawatt Of New Wind And Solar” • Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association will close its coal plants in Colorado and New Mexico and build renewable projects. Tri-State announced 304 MW of new wind projects and 715 MW of new solar projects in Colorado and New Mexico. [Energy and Policy Institute]

¶ “Democratic Party Quietly Launches National Climate Platform Planning Effort In NH” • Leaders of the Democratic Party voted unanimously to form a climate change council last summer, after criticism for declining to hold a climate-focused presidential debate. The council met in New Hampshire just ahead of the primary. [New Hampshire Public Radio]

Have an amazingly adventageous day.

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February 9 Energy News

February 9, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Is Trump’s USDA Ready To Address Climate Change? There Are Hopeful Signs” • After three years of sidelining climate change research and thinning its roster of scientists, the US Department of Agriculture announced a five-year scientific plan to help American farmers cope with the worsening effects of the climate crisis. [InsideClimate News]

Cattle feedlot in Oklahoma (Credit: Alice Welch | USDA)

¶ “Could This Be The Decade Of Green Hydrogen?” • Of the alternatives to fossil fuels, renewable energy is already making steady progress in electricity generation capacity, while another source of energy – hydrogen – is also gaining momentum and is being touted as a key fuel in the energy transition. However, not all hydrogen is created equal. [OilPrice.com]

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Shrubs Can Help Solve Climate Change” • In South Africa, there used to be a thicket the size of Cyprus that could suck up the equivalent of three times the US’s annual carbon emissions. Spekboom is a shrub that grows in semi-desert. Not only useful as a carbon sink, it has the ability to alter local soil and weather conditions, so other plants grow. [BBC]
Please Note: Numbers in this article seem to be confused about US emissions. They are not 5,783 million tonnes, as the article states, but 5,783 billion tonnes. Instead of drawing down three times US emissions, the thicket would appear to draw down 0.3% of it. The news is still very good – and the numbers are easier to believe. GHH

Planting to restore spekboom (UN Environment Programme)

¶ “Old Town High School Students Help UNH Scientists Research Climate Change In Maine” • Students in a course at Old Town High School are collecting data to help climate researchers at University of New Hampshire’s Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space study changes in regions where winters have historically been harsh. [Bangor Daily News]

World:

¶ “India Makes Clean Energy Strides, With Renewables Set To Generate Wider Share Of Power” • Renewables will soon generate over a fifth of India’s electricity, its Power Minister said. Behind the trend are steps the country has taken to encourage investing in renewables. With a population of 1.31 billion, a lot of development is needed. [EnergyInfraPost]

Hydropower dam

¶ “Minister Says Queensland Doesn’t Need A New Coal-Fired Power Station” • Queensland does not need a new coal-fired power station, state Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch says. She pushed back against a federal government announcement that it had set aside $4 million to investigate a new coal-fired power plant. [Brisbane Times]

¶ “Fossil Fuel Giants Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan Slowly Going Green” • Long beholden to fossil fuels for all of their energy, the two most populous countries in Central Asia finally seem to be tapping into their abundant renewable resources. But along with renewables, Uzbekistan has plans to add nuclear power as an alternative energy source. [Radio Free Europe]

Kazakh power plant (Mountins13, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Trump Administration Is Not Trying To Save The Coal Industry, New Energy Secretary Says” • Coal will probably continue to decline as a fuel for US power plants, the secretary of energy said, but it might supply the rare earth elements needed for batteries. The US coal industry has declined faster under Trump than under Obama. [Forbes]

¶ “The 2020 Chevy Bolt – GM Changes The Game, Again” • In 2016, the Chevy Bolt became the first affordable long range EV, beating the Tesla Model 3 to market. Now, it is updated. You can buy a Bolt for around $26,000. It undersells all other affordable EVs you can buy in America, and it also has a longer range than any of them. [CleanTechnica]

Chevy Bolt

¶ “NC Judge Approves Duke Energy’s Coal Ash Agreement” • A North Carolina judge approved a settlement over Duke Energy cleaning up coal ash dumps. The company will excavate almost all of the coal ash at its current and former coal plants and rebury it in lined landfills to keep toxic chemicals out of water supplies. The plan could cost $9 billion. [Kallanish Energy]

¶ “Coal Plants Are Closing Across The West. Here Are The Companies Sticking With Coal” • January began with two coal-fired generators shutting down for good. More early closures were announced. There are just 20 coal plants in the continental West whose owners haven’t committed to retiring them fully by specific dates, studies show. [Frederick News Post]

PV array (Marcus Yam | Los Angeles Times)

¶ “Experts Weigh In On Reality Of Renewable Energy In WV” • West Virginia Commerce Secretary Ed Gaunch recently told a House committee that the lack of renewable energy sources in the Mountain State is a deterrent to some companies wanting to consider moving here. But experts in renewable energy say the difficulty is policy, not resources. [WV News]

¶ “Top Climate Scientist Makes Faith Case For Action” • Dr Katharine Hayhoe, director of Texas Tech University’s Climate Science Center, delivered the keynote address a forum on faith and business in Alabama. As an evangelical Christian, she argues that Christians and other people of faith have a moral obligation to reduce harmful impacts of climate change. [al.com]

Have an unprecedentedly successful day.

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February 8 Energy News

February 8, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Why Clouds Are Key To New Climate Change Projections” • An apparently settled conclusion on climate sensitivity has been thrown into doubt by a series of studies from the world’s top climate modeling groups. They suggest that the ability of clouds to keep us cool could be drastically reduced as the world warms, speeding global heating. [PBS NewsHour]

Weather in Singapore (Woo Yiming | Reuters)

World:

¶ “65 Degree Weather in Antarctica Appears to Have Broken Heat Record” • The temperature in northern Antarctica hit nearly 65°F (18.3°C), a likely heat record on the continent best known for snow, ice and penguins. The reading was taken at Esperanza Base, in an area that has warmed almost 5.4°F (3°C) over the past half century. [KTLA]

¶ “Stopping Venice Choking On Its Own Pollution” • Hundreds of diesel-powered commuter boats and water buses spew out tons of CO₂ as they zigzag through the city’s canals. Zipping to and from the Italian mainland, they ferry the 25 million tourists that visit annually, as well as food, hotel laundry and goods. Hydrogen power may offer a solution. [BBC News]

Venice (Getty Images)

¶ “Fossil Fuel Vehicles Plummet 40% In Sweden As EVs Triple To Over 30% Market Share” • In Sweden, January saw sales of fossil fuel passenger vehicles fall by almost 40% year on year, with diesels more than halved, as plug-in vehicle market share rose to over 30%. Sweden’s auto industry organization expects that 30% to be maintained for 2020. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Now Is The Right Time To Invest In Renewables – Report” • According to Andrew van Zyl, the director of Consultancy firm SRK, given the positive movements in some commodity prices, there is no better time to consider investing part of miners’ windfall gains in creating their own renewable energy generating capacity. [Mining.com]

Solar power supporting mining (Teck Resources)

¶ “ACT’s Power Bills Set To Fall As Renewables Make Their Mark” • Households in Australia’s capital could soon be paying more then $100 less a year for their electricity thanks to the growth in renewable energy. The ACT Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission sees a  6.75% fall in average retail electricity prices in 2020-21. [The RiotACT]

US:

¶ “3,000 US Audi e-tron Buyers Can Drive On Sunshine For Free” • The first 3,000 Audi e-tron buyers in the US after February 3 are getting free 10-year subscriptions to solar power for their electric driving, according to a press release from Audi. The German automaker has partnered with Arcadia to provide the clean energy bonus. [CleanTechnica]

Audi e-tron (Image courtesy of Audi)

¶ “Justice Department Notifies Four Automakers It Has Dropped Antitrust Investigation” • The Justice Department notified four major automakers that it has closed an antitrust investigation involving the companies, launched after they rejected the Trump administration’s relaxed air pollution and mileage regulations, a department official told CNN. [CNN]

¶ “Mad Money’s Jim Cramer Is Done With Fossil Fuels” • Jim Cramer, a stock analyst and money manager known for yelling about one stock or another on his show Mad Money, was asked about investing in Chevron or Exxon Mobil. This gave him the opportunity to speak out against buying into these oil companies or any other fossil fuel stocks. [Forbes]
(Thanks to Tad Montgomery for bringing this to my attention.)

Jim Cramer (Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

¶ “Tesla Model Y Performance: 315 Mile Range, 121 MPGe (Most Efficient SUV)” • The Tesla Model Y Performance has received its official range and efficiency rating from the EPA. Its range is 315 miles on a full charge, and it is officially the most efficient crossover SUV in the US based on the agency’s fuel economy formula for MPGe. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “CSU Pueblo Will Be First Solar-Powered University” • CSU Pueblo President Timothy Mottet said the university’s solar project is  a one-of-kind project, marking the first university in the state to reach “net zero electric” efficiency, which means the solar panels will produce enough electricity to meet the school’s electricity needs. [Ag Journal]

CSU Pueblo visitor center
(Carol M. Highsmith, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Majority Of US Adults Believe Climate Change Is Most Important Issue Today” • As the effects of climate change become more evident, over half of US adults (56%) say climate change is the most important issue we face today, a poll says. But 4 in 10 have not made any changes in their behavior to reduce their contribution to climate change. [Science Daily]

¶ “Idaho Nuclear Lab Needs 2035 Deadline Extended For Research” • A 1995 agreement requires all nuclear waste from the Idaho National Laboratory to be out the state by 2035. The lab’s director lawmakers on a House Committee that a supplemental agreement will be needed, because the lab is developing new types of reactors. [News Radio 1310 KLIX]

Have a transcendentally nifty day.

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February 7 Energy News

February 7, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “When It Comes To Climate Hypocrisy, Canada’s Leaders Have Reached A New Low” • Canada has made pledges about “net-zero emissions by 2050.” The government would seem to believe the climate crisis is real and dangerous. But it is about to approve a shale oil mine that could use up about a third of the Earth’s carbon budget. [The Guardian]

Greta Thunberg and Justin Trudeau (Andrej Ivanov | Reuters)

¶ “How To Tell If A Republican Is Serious About Climate Action (Or Not)” • How do conservatives who care about climate change tell which Republican politicians are actually serious about the issue? To answer this and other such questions, Grist turned to three Republicans who’ve been beating the climate action drum for years. [Grist]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Bumblebees’ Decline Points To Mass Extinction – Study” • Bumblebees are in drastic decline across Europe and North America owing to hotter and more frequent temperature extremes, scientists say. Data collected for a 115-year period on 66 bumblebee species show how bumblebee populations have changed over the years. [The Guardian]

Bumblebee (Natalia Fedosenko | Tass)

World:

¶ “Winter In Germany: Fossil Vehicle Sales Slide 15% As EV Market Share Increases From 2.5% To 6.5%” • Europe’s largest auto market, Germany, saw January fossil fuel vehicle sales drop by over 15% year-on-year, with gasoline vehicles alone down over 17%. Meanwhile, EVs increased their market share to 6.5% from 2.5%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Australia Fires: Heavy Rain Extinguishes Third Of Blazes In NSW” • Torrential rain across the east coast of Australia has extinguished a third of the fires in the region and could put more out, officials say. A wide band of rain sweeping New South Wales has put out 20 of about 60 fires in the state in the past day. Now authorities warn of flash flooding. [BBC]

Sydney rainfall (Getty Images)

¶ “Indonesia To Replace Fossil Fuel Plants With Renewable Plants” • With an aim to achieve its target of 23% renewable energy share in the energy mix by 2025, Indonesia reportedly plans to replace its old fossil fuel plants with renewable energy. The country has renewable energy potential of over 400 GW but is dominated by fossil fuels. [Saurenergy]

¶ “Vattenfall Installing First Floating Solar Power Farm” • The first floating solar farm to be installed by Vattenfall going up in Gendringen, Netherlands at the site of operations for a gravel and sand extraction company. The 1.2-MW floating solar system is expected to generate about half of Netterden Equipment’s yearly electricity needs. [CleanTechnica]

Floating solar array (Vattenfall screenshot)

¶ “Power Ledger Wins Contract With Italian Energy Utility” • Australian peer-to-peer energy trading pioneer Power Ledger has won a lucrative contract with Alperia SpA, one of Italy’s largest renewable electricity utilities. Power Ledger’s technology, a potentially significant Australian digital export, is useful to enable virtual power plants. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Rentel Seeks Power Off-Taker” • The operator of the Rentel offshore wind farm off Belgium has opened a competition call for companies to buy electricity generated by the 309-MW project under a long-term power purchase agreement. According to the call documents, the PPA would start on 1 October this year and run until the end of June 2036. [reNEWS]

Rentel offshore wind farm (Image: Otary)

¶ “Finland To Become EU’s Only Uranium Producer” • The Finnish government gave the green light for state-owned Terrafame to extract and refine uranium, paving the way for the country to become the EU’s only uranium producer. Terrafame plans to produce uranium at a mine that has been producing nickel and other metals for years. [Infosurhoy]

¶ “Sub-Saharan Africa Spent Record $2.8 Billion On RE Projects In 2018: BNEF” • The region of sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) spent a record $2.8 billion on renewable energy projects in 2018 and added about $600 million more than the previous year in renewables, according to a recent report by BloombergNEF. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Solar array

US:

¶ “King County (Washington) To Get 120 Electric Buses” • King County Metro, which serves Seattle and the rest of King County, Washington, recently agreed to purchase 40 sixty-foot Xcelsior CHARGE articulated electric buses from New Flyer. And looking ahead, it intends to order another 80 of the battery-electric buses next year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “AEP, Toyota To Buy Power From 110-MW Wind Park In West Virginia” • US power company Clearway Energy Group agreed to sell the output of its 110-MW Black Rock wind project in West Virginia to AEP Energy and Toyota Motor North America. The Black Rock wind park will be installed in West Virginia’s Grant and Mineral counties. [Renewables Now]

Farm with wind turbines (USDA image)

¶ “Metro Council Passes Resolution Calling For Louisville’s Transition To Renewable Energy By 2040” • In Kentucky, the Louisville Metro Council passed a resolution pushing for the city to be fully powered by clean energy in no more than 20 years. Through a series of steps, Louisville would transition to 100% clean energy community wide by 2040. [WDRB]

¶ “Saint-Gobain Turns To Illinois Wind” • Glass maker Saint-Gobain North America is to buy 120 MW of electricity from the 250-MW Blooming Grove wind farm in Illinois, under a 12-year virtual power purchase agreement with Invenergy. This will result in a 41% reduction in Saint-Gobain’s carbon footprint in the country. [reNEWS]

Have an especially cheery day.

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February 6 Energy News

February 6, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Arctic Sinkholes Open In A Flash After Permafrost Melt” • Arctic permafrost can thaw so quickly that it triggers landslides, drowns forests, and opens gaping sinkholes. This rapid melt can dramatically reshape the Arctic landscape in just a few months, a study shows. Previous climate models overlooked a particularly vulnerable type of soil. [Livescience.com]

Lake formed at a sinkhole (Image: © David Olefeldt)

¶ “Scientists Warn Multiple Overlapping Crises Could Trigger ‘Global Systemic Collapse'” • Overlapping environmental crises could tip the planet into “global systemic collapse,” more than 200 top scientists warned in a 50-page report. Climate change and issues related to it each poses a monumental challenge to humanity in the 21st century. [ScienceAlert]

World:

¶ “Malmö, Sweden Goes Electric With An Order For 60 Fully Electric Buses From Volvo” • Volvo is making a significant dent in transit emissions in its home country of Sweden. The company announced that it has received an order for 60 fully electric articulated buses from the transit operator in Malmö, Sweden. Each bus can carry 150 people. [CleanTechnica]

Volvo articulated bus (Photo: Volvo via Green Car Congress)

¶ “Fossil Vehicle Sales In France Crash By 25% As EVs Quadruple To 11% Market Share” • France, the world’s 8th largest auto market, just hit 11% EV market share in January, quadrupling in a year-on-year growth. Meanwhile, diesel and gasoline vehicle sales crashed by about 25%. Almost half of all Renault Zoe units sold were EVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Europe Adds ‘Record 3.6 GW Of Offshore Wind'” • A record 3.6 GW of offshore windpower was built in Europe last year, with 10 new wind farms in five countries, WindEurope said. European offshore capacity is now 22 GW. The UK and Germany account for three-quarters of that; nearly all the rest belongs to Denmark, the Netherlands, and Belgium. [reNEWS]

Floating offshore wind turbine (Credit: WindEurope)

¶ “Thousands Of Blood-Sucking Ticks Found On Bodies Of Canadian Moose” • In nearby New Hampshire and Maine, over a three-year period, scientists found an alarming 70% of calves didn’t make it through their first winter due in large part to tick infestation. Now, ticks are a growing problem for the Canadian moose population also. [CBC.ca]

¶ “CO₂ Emissions Fell By 12%, As Wind And Solar Took The Lead In Europe” • The report “The European Power Sector in 2019” was recently published by climate think-tanks Sandbag and Agora Energiewende. It says that wind and solar provided 18% (569 TWh) of EU electricity in 2019, while coal fell to just 15% (469 TWh). [Saurenergy]

Power generation in Europe by wind, solar, and coal

¶ “Fukushima Wastewater Release: Diplomats Briefed” • The government of Japan briefed foreign embassy officials on an increasingly preferred method of disposal of treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean. Attendees reportedly included 28 diplomats representing 23 countries. [OOSKA News]

¶ “Greenland Rising: The Future of Greenland’s Waterfront” • While much of the world is planning for flooding and inundation from changes in sea level, Greenland is facing a much different future. Greenland’s melting ice has translated into rising sea levels along most world coastlines, but for Greenland itself, the effect has been a rising land. [State of the Planet]

Nuuk, Greenland’s capital (Photo: Margie Turrin)

US:

¶ “Exxon’s Market Value Has Crumbled By $184 Billion” • ExxonMobil, the world’s most valuable public company in 2014, looks like it is in steady decline. A stunning $184 billion, 41% of its value, has been wiped off Exxon’s market valuation since its 2014 peak. It just posted dreadful results that suggest a turnaround is unlikely any time soon. [CNN]

¶ “Twitter Data Shows Major Cities Are Flooding More Than Previously Thought” • A study published in the journal Nature Communications used Twitter to measure tidal flooding impacts of  along the East and Gulf coasts. It suggests flooding happens more frequently in some areas than current flood monitoring technologies can detect. [CNN]

Florida shore (Matt Gannon | CNN)

¶ “Trump Withholding $823 Million For Clean Energy, Democrats Say” • The Trump administration is withholding funding for a clean energy program it unsuccessfully tried to cut, according to Democrats on the House Science Committee. This raises the specter of political interference. The unspent funds now amount to $823 million. [Yahoo News]

¶ “Southern Minnesota Power Generator Commits To Being 80% Carbon-Free By 2030” • Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency plans to replace coal, its main source of electricity generation, with renewable power. With co-owner Xcel, it will close the coal-fired Sherco 3 power station. SMMPA will be 80% carbon-free by 2030. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Sherco 3 (Glen Stubbe | Star Tribune)

¶ “Voters Seek Leadership On Climate Change At Forum With 2020 Candidates” • Voters heard new specifics and a sense of urgency around climate change from several Democratic candidates at a youth-focused forum in Concord. Eleven presidential candidates out their plans to tackle global warming at the event. [New Hampshire Public Radio]

¶ “John Glenn Columbus International To Rely Entirely On Renewable Energy” • John Glenn Columbus International Airport announced it will get 100% of the energy it and Bolton Field use from renewables, joining other leading US airports in their sustainability efforts. It forecasts saving $13 million in energy costs. [International Airport Review]

Have a majestically lovely day.

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February 5 Energy News

February 5, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “From Billie Eilish To Maroon 5, Green Touring Is Becoming The New Normal” • Green touring has been around for decades, with musicians including Neil Young and Bonnie Raitt among the movement’s pioneers. But as effects of climate change continue to intensify, the music industry is now making this approach mainstream. [CNN]

Billie Eilish greening her act (Scott Dudelson | Getty Images)

¶ “Trump’s New Trade Deal Is Disastrous For The Planet” • A number of leading members of Congress and virtually every major environmental group have one thing made clear, Trump’s United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement opts for ignoring the health of the planet. Despite these warnings, Trump signed his pro-polluter trade deal last week. [CNN]

World:

¶ “Vestas Lauds ‘Busiest Year To Date'” • Vestas order intake hit a record of almost 18 GW in 2019, which the company described as its “busiest year to date.” The company’s turbine order intake increased year-on-year by 3,663 MW to 17,877 MW in 2019 and the value of the service order backlog increased by €3.5 billion to €17.8 billion. [reNEWS]

Vestas nacelle (Vestas image)

¶ “Airport Runways Underwater: Rising Seas Threaten 80 Airports” • Using sea level rise data from Climate Central and airport locations from OpenFlights, we found that 80 airports could be underwater with one meter of sea level rise, which researchers at the UN’s expert climate panel predict is likely to occur by 2100 if emissions aren’t reduced. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “City Of Adelaide Inks Deal To Go 100% Renewable From July 2020” • The City of Adelaide will power all of its operations and council-owned facilities with 100% renewable energy via a power purchase deal with Flow Power that start in July. Flow Power will supply it from a mix of locally generated wind and solar power, the city announced. [One Step Off The Grid]

Adelaide, South Australia

¶ “China Leads In Renewable Energy Sector” • Since China’s renewable energy law took effect in January 2006, its renewable energy sector has grown from modest beginnings to become the world’s largest. In 2018, 26.7% of the electricity generated in China was from renewables, increasing 10.6 percentage points from the level in 2005. [China.org.cn]

¶ “Wind Power Grows 12% In Americas” • Over 13 GW of new wind capacity was installed in the Americas region in 2019, an increase of 12% on the previous year, according to research by the Global Wind Energy Council. It said 13,427 MW was installed last year in the Americas, including the Caribbean, bringing the total to more than 148 GW. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Enel image)

¶ “Thanks To Renewable Energy: Electric Bulbs Will Finally Glow In 1200 Government Schools” • Students in far flung areas across Kashmir division have a reason to smile as more than 1200 government schools will be provided round the clock electricity from the clean renewable energy sources. Previously, only 36% of the schools had power. [The Kashmir Monitor]

¶ “Queensland Requests $1 Billion In Renewable Energy Funding” • In a letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Deputy Premier of Queensland Jackie Trad called for more renewable investment and Federal government backing to help create and support more jobs in more industries. Gas is not out of the picture, however. [pv magazine Australia]

Daydream Solar Farm (Image: Edify Energy)

¶ “Saugeen Ojibway Nation Has Saved Lake Huron From A Nuclear Waste Dump” • In a major victory for Canada’s First Nations, the Saugeen Ojibway Nation overwhelmingly voted down the proposed deep geological repository for storage of low-level and intermediate-level radioactive nuclear waste next to Lake Huron. [CounterPunch]

US:

¶ “Largest US Offshore Wind Farm Hinges On Fossil Fuel Giant” • Some Virginia Democrats, who had previously been adversarial to Dominion Energy, are easing that position a bit, as they see the company work on the Mid-Atlantic’s first offshore wind farm. Dominion proposes to build hundreds of turbines off the coast of Virginia. [E&E News]

Depiction of turbine installation (Dominion Energy via YouTube)

¶ “Tar Sands Pipeline ‘Line 3’ Faces Ongoing Opposition Despite PUC Rubber Stamp” • Minnesota activists opposed to Line 3 committed to continued opposition to the controversial tar sands pipeline despite a ruling from the Public Utilities Commission approving the certificate of need for the project. Line 3 would cross 211 bodies of water. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Something In The Air” • In the Texas Panhandle, which produces a fifth of the US beef supply, communities are being choked by fecal dust from nearby feedlots. Complaints reveal problems potentially far graver than the smell. The state’s regulatory agency isn’t doing anything about it, and it’s about to get a whole lot worse. [The Texas Observer]

Site of a proposed giant feedlot (George Steinmetz)

¶ “Solar Innovations Abound At The San Diego Show” • New solar energy innovations are being unveiled at Intersolar 2020 in San Diego. Among them are a concrete solar shingle and under-the-panel battery storage. One forward-looking company is now buying up broken solar panels in expectation of mining the components for recycling. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Arlington County To Use Renewable Energy From A Solar Farm” • The sun is shining brightly on Arlington County. The Virginia region approved a partnership with Dominion Energy to purchase power from a solar farm in Pennsylvania County. This project aligns with Arlington County’s mission to be 100% reliant on renewable energy by 2025. [WUSA9.com]

Have an outrageously relaxing day.

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February 4 Energy News

February 4, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Bad news for coal: India lands world’s largest, super cheap solar and storage tender” • India clocked a major renewable energy milestone – and drove another nail into coal’s coffin – when it wrapped up what is described as the world’s largest “firmed renewables” auction. Time-of-use pricing was an important specification. [RenewEconomy]

Solar park in India

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scientists Find Another Threat To Greenland’s Glaciers Lurking Beneath The Ice” • Warmer air is not the only threat to Greenland’s ice sheet. A study published in the journal Nature Geoscience found that the ice is being attacked from below: Warm ocean water moving underneath the vast glaciers is causing them to melt even more quickly. [CNN]

World:

¶ “Coronavirus And Oil: Why Crude Has Been Hit Hard” • The world’s biggest oil producers could be about to reduce output as they grapple with the fallout of the coronavirus. As China has responded to the medical emergency, travel restrictions are in place factories, offices and shops remain shut. The result is a 20% reduction in demand for oil. [BBC]

Oil terminal (Getty Images)

¶ “A Climate Activist Swam Under The Antarctic Ice Sheet To Prove How Quickly Glaciers Are Melting” • Fifty-year-old Lewis Pugh says he was terrified when he plunged into the water of East Antarctica in nothing but swim briefs, a swim cap and goggles. He was even more terrified when he swam below the Antarctic ice sheet, through melting tunnels. [CNN]

¶ “Teck Inks New 118-MW Renewable PPA With AES In Chile” • Teck Resources Limited, based in Canada, has signed a long-term power purchase agreement with AES Corp to supply 118 MW of renewable energy to a copper project in Chile. The contract will cover more than 50% of the project’s total operating power needs for twenty years. [Renewables Now]

Wind farm in Chile (Photo: Diego Correa)

¶ “Greta Thunberg Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize” • Two members of the Swedish Parliament nominated 17-year-old Greta Thunberg for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Thunberg started just three years ago with lone climate protests on Fridays at the Swedish Parliament. Since then, she has emerged as a world leader. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Costa Rica Is At Nearly 100% Renewable Energy For Electricity” • In 2019, 99.62% of Costa Rica’s electricity came from renewables, according to REVE. In addition to hydro, 10.29% was derived from wind turbines, 10.23% from geothermal energy, and 0.84% from solar. The country is committed to being 100% carbon neutral this year. [CleanTechnica]

Geothermal power plant in Costa Rica (Credit: Grupo ICE)

¶ “Sweden Takes Another Step Toward Freedom From Fossil Fuels” • Sweden now has a commission in place to decide on the year by which a full phaseout of fuel burning cars seems best. The commission must submit plans for the policy proposal by February 1, 2021. Transportation accounts for about a third of Sweden’s greenhouse gases. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Chennai Metro Tenders For Renewable Power Purchase From Group Captive Projects” • The Chennai Metro Rail Limited seeks to procure 90 GWh/year of solar or solar-wind hybrid power, or 72 GWh/year of wind power through tariff based competitive bidding. The tariff ceiling is fixed at ₹3.50/kWh (4.9¢/kWh) for 25 years. [pv magazine India]

Delhi Metro station (varunshiv, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Petrol And Diesel Car Sales Ban Brought Forward To 2035” • A ban on selling new petrol, diesel or hybrid cars in the UK will be brought forward from 2040 to 2035 at the latest, under new government plans. The change comes after experts said 2040 would be too late if the UK wants to achieve its target of emitting virtually zero carbon by 2050. [BBC News]

¶ “Australians Back Climate Change Action While Science Divides Along Party Lines” • A clear majority of Australians have backed the case for action on climate change in a survey that shows 68% believe the trend poses a “serious threat” to their way of life. But the findings also reveal a deepening partisan divide on climate science. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Dust storm (Nick Moir)

¶ “High-Level Radiation At Fukushima No 2 Reactor” • Japan’s nuclear regulators say high-level radiation was detected in the No 2 reactor building of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. A robot on the floor directly above the reactor detected 683 millisieverts per hour, so the site is inaccessible to humans nine years after the accident. [NHK World]

US:

¶ “In Massachusetts, Activists Say Net-Zero Not Enough Without 100% Renewables” • Gov Charlie Baker and the state Senate are receiving widespread praise for their commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, but some activists say the state needs to be more ambitious for a meaningful impact on climate change. [Energy News Network]

Massachusetts Statehouse in Boston

¶ “BYD Adding 2 MW Solar System From Apparent At Lancaster Factory” • Construction of a 2-MW solar power system with 2 MWh of battery storage has begun at the BYD electric truck and bus manufacturing facility in Lancaster, California. Once it is operational, the system is expected to save the company over $100,000 a year in utility bills. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “How ConEd And National Grid Are Experimenting With Energy Storage In New York” • New York has adopted an aggressive energy storage target to have at 3 GW by 2030. By the end of 2022, the state’s six investor-owned utilities are each to procure 10 MW of storage, except for Consolidated Edison, which must adopt at least 300 MW. [Utility Dive]

Have an unmistakably ducky day.

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February 3 Energy News

February 3, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “If There’s A Silver Lining In The Clouds Of Choking Smoke It’s That This May Be A Tipping Point” • As a climate scientist on sabbatical in Australia, I’ve had plenty of conversations about the climate crisis lately. Although the Murdoch media make it seem as if there’s plenty of debate, the reality is that most Australians I talk to get it. [The Guardian]

Fire nearing Canberra (Photo: Barcroft Media | Xinhua)

¶ “Leave ‘Em Laughing Instead Of Crying: Climate Humor Can Break Down Barriers And Find Common Ground” • Largely gloomy approaches and interpretations typically stifle audiences rather than inspiring them to take action. Instead, we could potentially take more effective ways to communicate about climate change. [Red, Green, and Blue]

¶ “Fighting Climate Change Is The Cheapest Option We Have Left, Modeling Shows” • You would think that ensuring the survival of the human race is something you can’t put a price on, but one of the reasons that governments aren’t always keen to take action on climate change is the economic cost. And saving humanity turns out to save money. [ScienceAlert]

Desert (Jared Verdi | Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Brazil Clears Debentures Issuance For 151 MW Of Renewables” • The Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy has allowed four renewable energy projects with a combined capacity of 151 MW to issue infrastructure debentures. With the permits, the projects, of which one is PV and three wind, now have priority status. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Electric Deliveries Are Spreading Across Africa, Botswana Startup MyFoodness Adopts Electric Scooters On Its Routes” • Chinese manufacturers have been selling tens of millions of electric scooters in China. Now they are selling them in Africa. Electric scooters for deliveries make perfect sense in a small city like Botswana’s capital Gaborone. [CleanTechnica]

Electric scooter (Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai)

¶ “Storage Added To Honduras Solar Hybrid Plant” • Wärtsilä is to add energy storage to a power plant on the Honduran island of Roatan. The existing 28-MW plant has four Wärtsilä propane-fired engines and solar PV. Wärtsilä will now install storage with a software package that will eliminate the need for mechanical spinning reserve. [Power Engineering International]

¶ “Marubeni Hits Financial Close On Japan Offshore First” • A Marubeni-led consortium has reached financial close on two offshore wind farms totalling 140 MW in Japanese waters. Construction of the projects, located off Akita and Noshiro ports in the Akita Prefecture, will will begin shortly, and commercial operations are to begin this year. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (GWEC image)

¶ “Forum Draws Attention To Threat Of Nuclear Terrorism” • Speaking on behalf of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the seventh annual Cybertech Global Conference in Tel Aviv, Israel’s Minister of Energy Yuval Steinitz stressed the need for governments to use artificial intelligence to proactively prevent nuclear terrorism. [Daily Nation]

¶ “Lightsource BP Flush For Spanish PV Cluster” • Lightsource BP signed a senior debt facility with NatWest Markets to fund a 250-MW cluster of solar farms in Spain and secured a seven-year power purchase agreement for the all the electricity generated. The cluster is to be operational by January 2021 and deliver about 500 GWh per year. [reNEWS]

Solar array (Lightsource BP image)

Australia:

¶ “Scientists Call On MPs To Urgently Reduce Australia’s Emissions Amid Bushfire Crisis” • After a catastrophic summer of fires, a group of more than 200 scientists is urging returning parliamentarians to act decisively to reduce Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions, and work diplomatically to achieve coordinated global climate action. [The Guardian]

¶ “‘News Corp Is A Climate Criminal Of The Highest Order’: Protestors Lie In Holt Street To Demand Advertiser Boycott” • Three to four hundred people lay in the street outside News Corp’s Sydney offices on Friday afternoon, urging advertisers to boycott what organiser Brad Pedersen called “a climate criminal of the highest order.” [MuMbrella]

Protesting News Corp (Photo: Robert Coluccio)

¶ “South Australia Paves The Path To 100% Renewables” • South Australia set its sights on reaching its target of 100% renewables in the next 10 years, with aims to provide generated power to New South Wales. This will offset the shutdown of coal plants. The Australian Energy Regulator gave the approval for the gameplan. [Energy Matters]

US:

¶ “Power To The People: Bernie Calls For Federal Takeover Of Electricity Production” • Sanders has laid out a $16 trillion climate change plan that would transition US electricity generation away from fossil fuels to renewable resources like wind, solar and hydropower by 2030. That’s far faster than any other Democratic candidate’s target. [Politico]

Bernie

¶ “Super Bowl Ads Announce Hummer Electric Truck And The “Quiet Revolution”” • General Motors will start selling a battery-powered Hummer pickup truck in May 2020. To whet the appetite of the truck-driving public, the new Hummer is the topic of a 30-second television ad running during the Super Bowl. You can see it here. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “AEP Renewables Signs PPA For Kansas Wind Project” • AEP Renewables, a subsidiary of American Electric Power, signed a long-term power purchase agreement with Evergy Inc for the output of the new Flat Ridge 3 wind project, near Kingman, Kansas. The project, with 62 wind turbines totaling 128 MW of capacity, is to be online this year. [Energy Global]

Have a thumpin’ good day.

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February 2 Energy News

February 2, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “It’s Time For Solar And Wind To Fight Back In Fossil’s War On Renewables” • Fossil-fuel companies are doing all they can to thwart the development of renewable energy, one renewables developer said this week, but renewables now have the clout to fight back. It’s a pitched battle because both industries are forcing new megawatts into a shrinking market. [Forbes]

Wind turbines near an aging pumpjack (Getty Images)

¶ “Scott Morrison Is Stuck In A Time Warp – More Gas Is Not The Answer” • Australia’s prime minister, advised by fossil fuel industry experts, claims, “there is no credible energy transition plan, for an economy like Australia in particular, that does not involve the greater use of gas as an important transition fuel.” He is demonstrably wrong. [The Guardian]

World:

¶ “Okanagan Company Braves High Winds With High Hopes Of Renewable Energy In Nunavut” • Spearheaded by the Arctic Research Foundation, the project titled Naurvik, Inuktut for “growing place,” consists of two sea cans outfitted to grow vegetables that proponents hope will help ease Arctic food costs. They are powered by the wind. [KelownaNow]

Sea can and wind turbine (Contributed photo)

¶ “Up For sale: Eskom’s Pebble Bed Modular Reactor” • Eskom, South Africa’s public utility, was developing a nuclear Pebble Bed Modular Reactor some years back, but work was eventually halted. While various options were explored to commercialize its PBMR in the past, Eskom now intends to dispose of the company and is looking for a buyer. [ESI Africa]

India:

¶ “India Bets On Barren Land, Rail Tracks To Raise Solar Power Capacity” • India aims to boost solar power generation by encouraging the installation of panels along rail tracks and on barren land, the finance minister said on Saturday as the country looks to cut its carbon footprint and accelerate clean energy production. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Indian solar thermal power (Bkwcreator, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Energy Storage Industry Sees New Opportunities In Sitharaman’s Budget 2020” • Analyzing Sitharaman’s second Union Budget, the energy storage industry found that it has numerous opportunities. It will not only provide a further boost to the economy but also help in further boosting the renewable energy sector as a whole. [Saurenergy]

¶ “Union Budget: Old, Polluting Coal Power Stations To Be Closed” • India’s Union government announced that all coal-fired power plants not meeting prescribed carbon emission standards will be shut down. About 80 Indian coal-fired power plants, all below 100 MW of capacity, are likely to be affected by the government decision. [Yahoo India News]

Coal-burning plant (Ashish.prajapati90, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “Super Bowl LIV Will Feature Recyclable And Compostable Products” • If you buy a Bud Light at this year’s game, it will be served in a recyclable aluminum cup made by Ball. Aluminum can be recycled many times. In fact, three quarters of all the aluminum ever produced in the US is still being used, according to a report by Ad Week. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “$64 Million Makes It Official: Renewable Hydrogen In, Natural Gas Out (Eventually)” • As it puts research dollars into hydrogen and fuel cell technology, the DOE’s latest effort is all about using wind and solar energy to bring the cost of renewable hydrogen down. The DOE is spending $64 million for funding projects related to the H2@Scale initiative. [CleanTechnica]

Hydrogen facility (US DOE image)

¶ “Lake Tahoe Airport Now Runs On Renewable Energy” • The mayor of South Lake Tahoe told 2 News that the city’s goal is 100% renewable energy by 2032 as conservationism has gained momentum. The city has added solar panels to the Lake Tahoe Airport. They will supply 95% of current demand, and efficiency will reduce demand. [KTVN]

¶ “Allegiant Stadium To Be Powered By Renewable Sources” • After NV Energy saw 10 companies make moves to leave in 2018, the Nevada utility started to offer long-term deals with reduced energy prices. Allegiant Stadium had been given authority to leave NV Energy, but instead will use its renewable resources to power its facility. [Las Vegas Review-Journal]

Allegiant Stadium (KM Cannon | Las Vegas Review-Journal)

¶ “Documents Show Scientists’ Revolt At Trump’s ‘Crazy’ Hurricane Claims” • A flurry of emails from NOAA’s top officials and scientists shows their consternation and alarm after President Trump falsely claimed Hurricane Dorian could hit Alabama. The emails were released in response to Freedom of Information Act requests. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “Paradise Lost: Unit 3 Coal Operations Cease Today” • The last of the three coal-fired units at Kentucky’s Paradise Fossil Plant is history. TVA workers at Unit 3 burned the last of the coal today at the steam plant that opened over 50 years ago. Units 1 and 2 were replaced with natural gas units in 2017, largely due to economical and environmental reasons. [SurfKY News]

Have a rewardingly effective day.

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February 1 Energy News

February 1, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “The Death Knell For Nuclear And The End Of Cameco” • Nuclear energy is in a state of terminal decline because of concerns over its safety and the inexorable rise of renewable energy. Not only are renewables safer than nuclear energy, but costs have fallen sharply over the last three years, and many sources are now far cheaper. [The Motley Fool Canada]

Rotten apple (Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “How To Plant A Trillion Trees And Get Real Climate Results” • Climate scientists have shown that reducing emissions will not be enough to stay below the 1.5°C threshold for global warming. We need to get active about drawing down CO₂ in addition to our already-planned emissions cuts. If we plant trees, they have to be planted correctly. [Ecosystem Marketplace]

¶ “We May Avoid The Very Worst Climate Scenario. But The Next-Worst Is Still Pretty Awful” • Commentary published in the journal Nature argues that a total warming of around 3°C (5.4°F) is now where the world is likely headed. That’s appreciably better than 4°C to 5°C (7.2°F to 9°F), which is regarded as a worst case scenario, but it is still severe. [Anchorage Daily News]

Melting Greenland (Keith Virgo | AP)

World:

¶ “Australia Fires: Residents Told To Seek Shelter In Canberra Region” • A bushfire near the Australian Capital Territory grew to more than 35,000 hectares (135 square miles) on Saturday, as officials closed a major motorway. Residents in some areas near the capital, Canberra, were warned that it was “too late to leave” and they should try to seek shelter. [BBC]

¶ “Capstone Captures 132 MW Alberta Solar Share” • Capstone Infrastructure Corporation has acquired a 51% interest in the 132-MW Claresholm solar farm in Alberta, Canada, from Perimeter Solar for an undisclosed price. Construction of Claresholm, which will be located in Willow Creek, will start in the spring of this year. [reNEWS]

Solar array (APPA | Unsplash)

¶ “Ocean Viewed As The Best Place To Dump Water From Fukushima Plant” • A government panel wound up three years of discussions by effectively suggesting that releasing more than 1 million tons of water contaminated with radioactive substances at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant represented the most feasible option. [Asahi Shimbun]

India:

¶ “Budget Allocates ₹22,000 Crore To Power And Renewable Sector For FY 21; Consumers To Get Choice Of Supplier” • India’s Finance minister allocated ₹22,000 crore ($3.3 billion) for the power and renewable sector and urged states to implement smart meters within three years, so consumers could choose suppliers and the rate. ETEnergyworld.com]

Renewable energy

¶ “Greenko, ReNew Win World’s Largest Renewable-Cum-Storage Based Firm Supply Tender For 1.2 GW” • Greenko and ReNew Power won a reverse auction to supply 1200 MW of clean power after Solar Energy Corporation of India concluded the world’s largest renewable-cum-energy storage power purchase tender. [Economic Times]

¶ “SECI Issues NIT for 5000 MW Power From Renewable and Thermal Sources” • The Solar Energy Corporation of India has issued a Notice Inviting Tender for the procurement of 5000 MW power on Round-The-Clock based, from renewable energy projects, complemented with occasional use of high-cost thermal power to address intermittency. [Saurenergy]

Sun setting on coal

¶ “India To Have 450 GW Renewable Energy By 2030” • India has taken on an ambitious target of having 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030, President Ram Nath Kovind said. It will also provide 17 lakh (1.7 million) solar pumps to farmers to capitalize on this clean resource. India’s current goal is to have 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022. [Economic Times]

US:

¶ “Republican Strategists Praise Carbon Pricing As A Way To Win Votes” • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called for conservative solutions to address climate consequences. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) talked of a possible existential crisis for the party. Republicans are starting to talk about carbon pricing. [CleanTechnica]

Sunset over Newport Bridge (Carolyn Fortuna | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Donald Trump’s EPA, Ruled By The Swamp, Is Letting Companies Dump Sewage Into Our Rivers” • The EPA under Donald Trump is now allowing cities to dump raw sewage into rivers. A New York Times article says the Trump administration has decided to reverse almost 95 environmental rules because it considers them too costly. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “ACEEE: Honolulu, NYC Lead Clean Energy Resilience Plans” • Honolulu and New York City are the two top-scoring US cities for incorporating energy efficiency and renewable power policies into resilience plans, according to a study from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. They were ranked as “exemplary.” [Smart Cities Dive]

Honolulu (Roxanne Ready | Flickr)

¶ “PRC Approves 140 MW Of Wind Power For PNM” • New Mexico’s Public Regulation Commission approved PNM’s 2020 Renewable Energy Plan. It includes the 140-MW La Joya Wind Farm to be built in Torrance County by the end of the year, allowing PNM to meet a legal requirement to provide 20% of its electricity from renewable energy in 2020. [KRWG]

¶ “Expect Increasing Climate Threats In NC, Scientists Warn” • A North Carolina research group is putting the final touches on a state climate report that details an array of major changes it expects through the end of the century, including the dynamics of rising seas, wetter storms, and more frequent flooding, a preview shows. [Richmond County Daily Journal]

Have an extraordinarily gratifying day.

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January 31 Energy News

January 31, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “US Government Sees Renewables Passing Natural Gas In 20 Years” • For the first time, the EIA’s default projection places renewables as the largest single source of electricity generation, with renewables surpassing natural gas somewhere around 2040. But renewables’ prices seem to make the report’s projections obsolete already. [Ars Technica]

Block Island (University of Rhode Island)

World:

¶ “GE Renewable Energy To Supply Cypress Wind Turbines For 132-MW Onshore Wind Farm In Finland” • GE Renewable Energy selected by OX2 to supply 24 Cypress onshore wind turbines units to the 132 MW Metsälamminkangas wind farm. The project is GE Renewable Energy’s first deal in Finland with its Cypress platform. [REVE]

¶ “Volvo Opens Preorders As The Fully Electric XC40 Recharge Nears Production” • Volvo is officially opening up preorders for its highly anticipated XC40 Recharge in the US and Europe on the heels of strong demand after the unveiling event in Los Angeles in October. According to the company, several thousand preorders already locked in. [CleanTechnica]

Volvo XC40 Recharge (Image courtesy of Volvo)

¶ “Japanese Turn To Crowdfunding To Pay For Public-Interest Lawsuits” • When a citizens group in Nagoya, calling for the decommissioning of an old nuclear power plant, kicked off a crowdfunding campaign to cover costs for ongoing litigation, it successfully raised about ¥3.7 million ($33,960), 1.5 times its goal, in about two months. [The Japan Times]

¶ “SSE Renewables Plans Subsidy Free First In Scotland” • SSE Renewables will build its first subsidy free onshore wind project in the Scottish Highlands, a 47-MW extension of its existing 70-MW Gordonbush project. The merchant project is one of only a handful to get the green light in the UK since the government halted supports for onshore wind in 2015. [reNEWS]

Hadyard Hill wind farm (SSE image)

Australia:

¶ “NSW Strikes ‘Landmark’ Energy Deal With Federal Government, Greens Mp Calls It ‘Climate Criminality'” • An agreement between Autstralia’s federal government and New South Wales will see more than $2 billion invested into new gas-fueled energy. The deal has been slammed as “little more than climate criminality” by the Greens. [ABC News]

¶ “Canberra Residents Flee Their Homes As State Of Emergency Is Declared” • Out-of-control bushfires are forcing residents near Canberra, the capital of Australia, to flee their homes as a state of emergency was declared. Worsening “erratic” conditions have prompted authorities to release a series of urgent “Leave Now” alerts to people in affected areas. [Daily Mail]

Fire nearing Canberra (© Martin Ollman | MEGA)

¶ “Australian Research Council Members Condemn Lack Of Climate Action” • In the wake of Australia’s disastrous bushfire epidemic, which is still going on, 80 of the most prominent members of the ARC penned an open letter urging the Morrison government to take reasonable and realistic action to lower the country’s CO₂ emissions. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ “Building Projects In New Jersey Will Now Have To Account For Climate Change” • An executive order signed by Gov Phil Murphy requires that rising sea levels and other effects of climate change be considered in the permitting process for buildings and infrastructure. It also sets up requirements for monitoring and reduction of greenhouse gases. [CNN]

Flooding in New Jersey (NJ Dept of Environmental Protection)

¶ “US Wind Hits 9.1 GW In 2019” • The wind industry has experienced its third strongest growth year on record in 2019 with 9143 MW added to the grid, according to the American Wind Energy Association. Utilities and businesses also set a new record in 2019, announcing 8726 MW in new power purchase agreements. [reNEWS]

¶ “BYD Builds New Lithium-Powered Forklift Plant In Southern California” • BYD continues to sprint towards electrifying every type of vehicle. It is adding an electric forklift production facility in the Southern California city of Rancho Dominguez. The new 50,000 square foot facility will include warehouse, supporting offices, and demonstration space. [CleanTechnica]

BYD Forklift (Credit: Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Lincoln Electric SUV Will Be Built On Rivian Skateboard” • Last August, Ford CEO Jim Hackett cautioned against assuming his company’s $500 million investment in Rivian meant the two would build an electric pickup truck together. Now, a press release says Ford’s Lincoln division is working with Rivian to develop an all-new SUV. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Evergy To Expand Wind Energy Portfolio By 660 MW” • US-based investor-owned utility Evergy has announced plans to add 660 MW of wind energy to its portfolio and reduce carbon emissions by 80% below 2005 levels by 2050. The new wind energy projects will extend direct access to renewable energy for Evergy customers. [Power Technology]

Wind turbines (Frederik Schönfeldt | Unsplash)

¶ “The Volvo XC90 And Its Battery Packs Will Be Assembled At Volvo’s South Carolina Plant” • The Volvo XC90 is on track to become the brand’s second fully electric vehicle behind the XC40 Recharge and this week the company announced that it will build the next generation XC90 at its only US plant, in Ridgeville, South Carolina. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Under Cuomo Mandate, White Plains Goes Solar In Massive Renewable Energy Project” • New York State is mandating a dramatic expansion of renewable energy over the next decade, and White Plains is a pioneering community. Its solar power plan will save hundreds of residents 10% off their electric bills, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reports. [CBS New York]

Have a thoroughly agreeable day.

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January 30 Energy News

January 30, 2020

World:

¶ “Australia fires: NSW Inquiry To Probe Climate Change Impact” • The Australian state of New South Wales announced an independent inquiry into the ongoing bushfires, promising to “leave no stone unturned.” The six-month inquiry will examine the causes of the fires, as well as how the state prepared and responded to them. [BBC]

New South Wales fire (Getty Images)

¶ “Rolls-Royce Claims Its Latest Electric Airplane Battery Has The World’s Highest Energy Density” • Rolls-Royce is designing the fastest single seat electric airplane in the world, according to IEEE Spectrum. Its new airplane is expect to crack the 300 mph barrier this spring with a range of up to 200 miles (322 km) on a single charge. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Bangladesh Set To Develop A 55-MW Solar Project in Chattogram” • The Government of Bangladesh awarded a 55-MW solar power project to a consortium led by Metito Group together with Jinko Power and AlJomaih Group. The project will be developed on a build-own-operate basis under a 20 years’ concession agreement. [Mercom India]

Solar farm (Image credit: Greenskies)

¶ “Ørsted Throws Down ‘Net Zero By 2025’ Gauntlet” • Ørsted has set a target to be carbon neutral by 2025, making it the first global energy company to reach net zero emissions in energy generation. According to the company, it has installed one third of all offshore wind turbines globally and has reduced its carbon emissions by 86% compared with 2006. [reNEWS]

¶ “Nordic Steel Giant To Use Renewable Hydrogen To Produce Fossil-Free Steel By 2026” • Momentum is growing towards the decarbonization of one of the world’s most energy intensive industries. Svenskt Stål AB is turning to renewable hydrogen to replace coal in the production of steel – nearly 10 years earlier than it thought possible. [RenewEconomy]

Making steel

¶ “Wind Capacity To ‘Grow By 627 GW By 2028′” • Almost 627 GW of new wind capacity is expected to be installed by 2028, according to analysis by Navigant Research. Its “Global Wind Energy Overview” report said the new capacity represents a market worth of more than $92 billion in 2019 and over $1 trillion during the period. [reNEWS]

¶ “EDF To Deliver For Royal Mail Car Fleet” • EDF is to deliver EV infrastructure to the Royal Mail Group in the UK. The three-year framework agreement will support Royal Mail Group’s commitment under the “Optimise Prime Project” – the world’s largest commercial EV project. EDF will provide charging points and related equipment. [reNEWS]

Royal Mail Group EV (EDF image)

¶ “UAE Nuclear Reactor Ready; Qatar Views It As A Threat” • Underscoring the risks inherent in Barakah’s design, Qatar says UAE`s power plant activities are a threat to Gulf stability and the environment. Last year Qatar urged the International Atomic Energy Agency to create a framework for regional nuclear security, Al Jazeera reported. [Middle East Monitor]

US:

¶ “UPS Orders 10,000 Electric Delivery Vans From Arrival” • Arrival’s electric delivery vans are priced about the same as conventional delivery vans but have 50% lower operating costs. Arrival’s unique skateboard platforms allow the company to create vehicles in any weight, type, size, or shape to match customer requirements. [CleanTechnica]

UPS electric delivery vehicle (Courtesy of UPS)

¶ “108 Million Americans Live In Areas That Had 100+ Days Of Polluted Air In 2018” • One-third of all Americans live in areas that suffered through at least 100 days of poor air quality due to air pollution in 2018, according to a new report by Environment America Research & Policy Center, Frontier Group, and US PIRG Education Fund. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Hampshire To Get 6 New EV Fast-Charging Corridors” • New Hampshire has a $4.6 million plan to boost electric vehicle road trips across the state, with installations of EV fast chargers along 6 major routes in the geographically small state. The $4.6 million is courtesy of the Volkswagen Group, as settlement for the diesel emissions scandal. [CleanTechnica]

EV charging (Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Renewables Set To Overtake Natural Gas In US Power Mix, EIA Says” • The DOE’s Energy Information Administration has finally come around to the view that renewables will overtake natural gas in the country’s electricity mix. The EIA has long been known for its implausibly conservative predictions about renewable energy. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Amazon To Buy Power From 120-MWp Virginia Solar Park” • Amazon.com Inc will purchase almost 70% of the output of a 120-MWp solar PV park that Dominion Energy Inc will build in Virginia. The power generated from 31.7% of the capacity will be sold to the Commonwealth’s Arlington County under a separate power PPA, the utility said. [Renewables Now]

Whitehouse Solar (Image: Dominion Virginia Power)

¶ “Clarkson now powered by 100% renewable energy” • Clarkson University announced that it’s now getting all of its power from renewable electricity. Potsdam, New York, is buying almost half of its electricity from Brookfield Renewable. The rest of its electricity comes from a hydro power dam in the village, and a solar PV system. [North Country Public Radio]

¶ “Coal Plants Increasingly Operate As Cyclical, Load-Following Power, Leading To Inefficiencies, Costs” • Increasingly, Coal plants operate as cyclical or load-following generation units, as the power market becomes more saturated with intermittent resources, a whitepaper from the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners says. [Utility Dive]

Have a wonderfully worthwhile day.

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January 29 Energy News

January 29, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Kathryn Murdoch: ‘We’re Really Excited To Back Whoever The Nominee Is’” • For Kathryn Murdoch, daughter-in-law of Rupert Murdoch, there comes a time when you have to speak out. She sees us in a “make or break” moment for both climate change and American democracy, two causes in which she’s investing $100 million of her own money. [Politico]

James and Kathryn Murdoch in 2015 (Scott Olson | Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Even Short-Term Exposure To Low Levels Of Air Pollution Can Increase Risk Of Cardiac Arrest” • Short-term exposure to air pollution is linked to a higher risk of sudden heart problems, especially among the elderly, and even low levels of air pollution can increase the likelihood of cardiac arrest, according to a study published in the journal The Lancet. [CNN]

¶ “Composting For Climate Change: More Important Than You Might Think” • High-tech renewable technologies are moving us to a world beyond fossil fuels. This truly can’t come fast enough. And yet, there are some decidedly low-tech opportunities that can make a big difference for climate change, like compost and reducing food waste. [CleanTechnica]

Compost bin (Mussklprozz, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “New Record In Renewable Energy Purchase By Corporates Globally” • Worldwide, corporate organizations purchased a record 44% more renewable energy through power purchase agreements last year than they did in 2018 and more than three times what they did in 2017, according to a recent research by BloombergNEF. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “AGL To Buy Power From Vena’s 100-MW Battery In Queensland” • Australian utility AGL Energy Ltd will buy power from a 100-MW / 150-MWh battery Singapore’s Vena Energy plans to install in Queensland. Vena Energy Australia will build, own, and maintain the system, and AGL will have full operational dispatch rights. [Renewables Now]

Battery system (Michael Durham | Portland General Electric)

¶ “Victorian Hospitals Continue To Make The Move To Solar Energy” • Australian hospitals have continuously made positive decisions to cut down on electricity costs and influence their carbon footprint. In Victoria, this is even more of a focus, with the East Grampians Service joining the latest line of facilities to receive panel installations. [Energy Matters]

¶ “Britain’s Renewables Pipeline Tops 24.5 GW, Most Projects Pending Construction” • The renewable energy and storage pipeline of projects in England, Scotland and Wales presently amounts to 24.7 GW, including just over 15 GW of schemes “awaiting construction,” according to research and analysis provider Cornwall Insight. [Renewables Now]

Fraisthorpe wind farm

¶ “UAE’s Nuclear Power Plant Ready To Start Operation” • The United Arab Emirates’ nuclear power plant’s first reactor is ready to start operating, news agency WAM reported. The Barakah plant will be the world’s largest when it is completed, with four reactors and 5,600 MW of capacity. It is being built by Korea Electric Power Corporation. [Gulf Digital News]

¶ “KEPCO To Halt Two Nuclear Reactors After Missing Their Counterterrorism Deadline” • Kansai Electric Power Co said it will suspend operations at two nuclear reactors after missing the industry regulator’s deadline to build counterterrorism facilities. Nearly half of Japan’s working nuclear reactors will go offline for required security upgrades. [The Japan Times]

Takahama nuclear power station (Tomohiro Ohsumi | Bloomberg

US:

¶ “Big US Utility Says ‘Near-Firm Renewables’ Soon To Be Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels” • The CEO of clean energy company NextEra Energy says wind and solar projects co-located with battery storage will be cheaper to operate than most fossil fuel-powered plants by 2025. He expects the LCOE from wind farms to be $20 to $30/MWh. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “General Motors Will Convert Hamtramck Factory To EV And Autonomous Vehicle Production” • GM says it will manufacture EVs and the Cruise Origin, an autonomous electric shuttle, at the Hamtramck Factory. Gerald Johnson, executive vice president of global manufacturing for GM sent a letter to factory workers telling them the news. [CleanTechnica]

Cruise Origin

¶ “GM’s Upcoming Electric Trucks And SUVs ‘Will Be Profitable From Day One'” • GM will invest a total of $2.2 billion to retool the Hamtramck plant, and $800 million in supplier tooling and other projects related to the launch of new electric trucks. GM said truck production is scheduled to begin in late 2021, but did not say what brand it would be. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Over 55 Climate Scientists Call BS On Joe Biden’s Claim No Scientists Support Bernie Sanders’ Climate Plan” • Over 55 scientists signed an open letter rebuking Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden for his claim that no climate scientist supports the plan of rival candidate Vermont Sen Bernie Sanders, the Green New Deal. [Gizmodo]

Biden and Sanders (Photo: Patrick Semansky | AP)

¶ “Texas Is The Center Of The Global Corporate Renewable Energy Market” • Texas accounted for more than a quarter of all corporate renewable energy deals signed worldwide last year. The global market for corporate renewable energy deals surged 40% in 2019, reaching 19.5 GW of new contracts. Texas’ share of this was 5.5 GW. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Amazon, IKEA, AT&T, DHL And Others Join Electric Vehicle Alliance” • The non-profit Ceres started the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance to support greater commercial EV adoption. So far, DHL, Amazon, AT&T, Clif Bar, Consumers Energy, Direct Energy, Genentech, IKEA North America, LeasePlan, Lime, and Siemens have joined. [CleanTechnica]

Have a salubriously uncomplicated day.

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January 28 Energy News

January 28, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Antarctica Melting: Journey To The ‘Doomsday’ Glacier” • It has been described by glaciologists as the “most important” in the world. Some call it the “doomsday” glacier. Roughly the size of Britain, Thwaites glacier already accounts for 4% of world sea level rise and it is melting increasingly rapidly. It holds enough water to raise sea levels over half a meter. [BBC]

View down a hole scientists made in
Thwaites glacier (British Antarctic Survey)

World:

¶ “Despite Industry Lies And Bribes, Single-Use Plastics Are On The Wane” • Single-use plastics are getting hammered everywhere you look. China has decided to phase out all single-use plastics over the next few years. Now the movement away from such plastics is picking up speed elsewhere. Here are a few examples. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Solar Generation Is Being Buffeted By Financial Headwinds That Are Killing Investment” • In the past five years Australia has seen a boom in renewable energy, both utility-scale and rooftop solar. But increased renewable capacity have caused the value of Large-scale Generation Certificates to plummet, and investment in large-scale solar have evaporated. [ABC News]

Solar construction (Supplied image: Power and Water)

¶ “Oil-Rich Gulf Turns To Renewable Energy” • The increased frequency of climate-induced weather extremes and public opinion are forcing even major fossil fuel exporting countries in West Asia to make a big push towards renewable energy. The UAE, the world’s 7th largest exporter of crude oil, is promoting itself as a low-carbon country. [Nepali times]

¶ “Weatherwatch: Nuclear Energy Now Surplus To Needs” • It is now is no longer true that baseload power is needed, and excess baseload power is becoming an embarrassment. Nuclear power, so inflexible that it cannot be turned down or off, is surplus to requirements when large quantities of cheaper renewable energy are available. [The Guardian]

Off the coast of Norfolk (Shaun Curry | AFP via Getty Images)

¶ “New Tasmanian Premier To Take On Climate Change With Renewables” • Last week Peter Gutwein replaced Will Hodgman as the leader of the Liberal Party in Tasmania and sworn in as the state’s 46th Premier. Soon after, Gutwein announced that he would also become the first Tasmanian Liberal Minister for Climate Change. [pv magazine Australia]

Germany:

¶ “Statkraft Plugs Daimler Into 100% Clean Energy Supply” • Statkraft is offering industrial energy consumers in Germany a 100% renewable power supply contract, signing up Daimler as the first major customer. The contract, implemented by Daimler’s energy provider Enovos, will deliver clean power to all of the carmaker’s sites in Germany. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Statkraft image)

¶ “German Study Finds Positive Wind Reception” • Most Germans are unperturbed by proximity of wind turbines, a new study by the Institute for German Business has found. Around 80% of respondents to a survey by the German government said they do not feel adversely affected by wind turbines in their surroundings. [reNEWS]

¶ “Trash Truck Is Next Electric Mercedes” • Electric garbage trucks make a lot of sense for a handful of reasons. Clearly defined range needs, low speed (good for range), a lot of torque (electric specialty), a lot of space on the bottom in which to pack batteries, and regenerative braking will help a lot. And Daimler is bringing one to market. [CleanTechnica]

Mercedes eActros, similar to its garbage truck (Daimler image)

US:

¶ “Massive Oil Refinery Leaks Toxic Chemical In The Middle Of Philadelphia” • Air monitors on the border of a huge oil refinery recorded high levels of benzene, a cancer-causing gas, even as all work wound down. In June, an explosive fire hit the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery. PES went bankrupt, and by now, the toxic site has been auctioned. [NBCNews.com]
(I had missed this. Thanks to Tad Montgomery for finding it)

¶ “The Pacific Ocean Is So Acidic That It’s Dissolving Dungeness Crabs’ Shells” • The Pacific Ocean is becoming more acidic, and that is taking its toll. The Dungeness crab is vital to commercial fisheries in the Pacific Northwest, but lower pH levels in its habitat are dissolving parts of its shell and damaging its sensory organs, a study found. [CNN]

Crabs (Theo Sten | NOAA)

¶ “LADWP Helps Launch New Organization To Focus On Green Hydrogen” • In most of the world renewable energy is the lowest cost source of electricity, and producing ‘green’ or ‘carbon-free’ hydrogen is possible. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power joined with others to found the Power Green Hydrogen Coalition. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Politics Overrule Science In At-Risk Coastal Residents’ Public Attitudes About Climate Change” • Despite scientific evidence that rising sea levels due to climate change threaten property and lives, science plays second fiddle to politics in public attitudes among coastal area residents most likely to be affected, according to researchers. [Georgia State University News]

Beach

¶ “Governor Unveils Energy Master Plan, Signs Executive Order to Reduce Emissions” • Gov Phil Murphy unveiled the state’s Energy Master Plan, which outlines key strategies to reach the Administration’s goal of 100% clean energy by 2050. The master plan underpins Executive Order No 28, which he signed in May of 2018. [Cape May County Herald]

¶ “The Massachusetts Senate is slated to vote on the state’s ‘next generation climate policy.’ Here’s what to know” • The Senate of Massachusetts is poised to debate “next generation” climate legislation: a package of bills proposing new initiatives ranging from meeting a net-zero emissions target by 2050 to installing a carbon pricing system. [Boston.com]

Have a magically propitious day.

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January 27 Energy News

January 27, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “The Climate Change Solution That Climate Deniers Can Get Behind” • Republicans and Democrats generally disagree about climate change, but they are likely to agree on renewable and clean energy. Among Republicans, 77% agree with funding more research into renewable energy, and 79% are behind generating renewable energy. [VICE]

Renewable Energy (hpgruesen, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Gas Boilers Should Be Replaced With Renewable Heat Technologies – Starting Now” • Scotland’s tradespeople are on the brink of an enormous opportunity – and grasping it would help meet our tough climate change targets. More than half of the energy Scotland uses – and more than half of its emissions – comes from heat. [Inverness Courier]

Science and Technology:

¶ “200 Years Since Antarctica Was Discovered, The Continent Faces Irreversible Glacial Melting” • On January 27, the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica, glaciologists say the continent is approaching a tipping point. Pass it and nothing will prevent the glaciers from melting, even if we cut out all GHG emissions overnight. [Newsweek]

Antarctic glacier (Murray Foubister, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “Mercedes And Geely Launch JV For smart Cars” • Geely, a Chinese company that owns Volvo, Lotus Cars, and Lynk & Co, has launched a joint venture with Daimler, Mercedes-Benz’ parent company, to co-develop and produce the next generation of autonomous electric city “smart” cars based on the smart Vision EQ concept. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Using Plastic Waste To Build Schools In The Ivory Coast” • The commercial capitol of the Ivory Coast is Abidjan. It has 300 tons of plastic are discarded every day. It also has a shortage of classrooms.  Conceptos Plásticos, a company that makes bricks out of plastic trash, is working with UNICEF to make bricks for nine new classrooms in Abidjan. [CleanTechnica]

School in Ivory Coast (Image: UNICEF via YouTube)

¶ “DEME Consortium Plans Ostend Green Hydrogen Drive” • A Belgian group is planning to construct a facility in the Port of Ostend by 2025 to produce green hydrogen from offshore wind-generated electricity. According to the three project partners, Hyport will cut CO₂ emissions in Flanders by around 500,000 to 1 million tonnes annually. [reNEWS]

¶ “Simec Atlantis Hails MeyGen Performance” • According to an update released by developer Simec Atlantis Energy, the 6-MW MeyGen tidal energy plant exported over 13.8 GWh of electricity to the grid in 2019. This is equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of around 3800 typical UK homes. It generated a revenue of £3.9 million. [reNEWS]

MeyGen tidal generator (Atlantis image)

¶ “Eskom Pushes For Independent Power In Mines” • Increased use of renewable energy, combined with investments by private capital, could be what South Africa needs for its energy mix, according to Andre de Ruyter, CEO of Eskom, the country’s public utility. A report says he wants mines to produce their own electricity to reduce grid loads. [ITWeb]

¶ “Glenmorangie Wastewater Energy To Power Distillery” • Alpheus Environmental won a contract to provide wastewater services at Glenmorangie Distillery, with a system that will return renewable energy to the building. The firm will install an anaerobic digestion process that will generate electricity from the distillery’s wastewater by-products. [insider.co.uk]

Glenmorangie Distillery in Tain

¶ “Japan Begins Nation’s Second Removal Of Spent MOX Fuel From Nuclear Reactor” • Operations have begun to remove a rare type of spent fuel made of plutonium-uranium mixed oxide from the Takahama nuclear plant in central Japan, according to Kansai Electric Power Co, the plant’s operator. The plant is in Fukui Prefecture. [The Japan Times]

US:

¶ “Rivian Says Lower Prices Are Coming For Its Electric Truck And Electric SUV Models” • Rivian brought prototypes of its electric truck and electric SUV to San Francisco at the end of January. The company has put the midrange vehicles at $69,000 and $72,000, but its CEO told Reuters that when final prices are revealed, they will be lower. [CleanTechnica]

Rivian electric truck

¶ “NextEra Energy Enjoys Busy Q4 But Posts Lower 2019 Net Profit” • Clean energy company NextEra Energy Inc more than doubled its fourth-quarter attributable net profit on a GAAP basis to $975 million (€884.1 million) but still faced a 43% year-on-year drop in earnings for the full 2019. Q4 net profits were up from $422 million 2018. [Renewables Now]

¶ “The Trump Administration Is Helping Nine States Prepare For Climate Change” • In 2018, Congress devised a plan to help disaster-ravaged states actually prepare for extreme weather for a change, and President Trump signed off on it. It’s the first time national legislation has designed block grants to help the states prepare for future disasters. [Grist]

Flood (Getty Images)

¶ “Groups Funded By Oil Industry Bash Plan To Reduce Northeast’s Dependence On Oil” • Last month Gov Chris Sununu announced that New Hampshire would not participate in the Transportation and Climate Initiative. The program just being developed, but groups tied to petroleum interests and the Koch empire are already fighting it. [DeSmog]

¶ “The 8-Year Project To Dismantle The San Onofre Nuclear Plant Is About To Begin” • Seven years after the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station officially went offline, the eight-year process of physically dismantling the plant and knocking down the domes that have loomed over the landscape for four decades is about to begin. [The San Diego Union-Tribune]

Have an outstandingly winsome day.

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January 26 Energy News

January 26, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “What Should You Know Before Signing Up For A Tesla Solarglass Roof” • The Tesla Solarglass Roof finally makes solar beautiful and easy to look at for folks who don’t appreciate the look of conventional solar panels. I think the Solarglass roof tiles are more beautiful, more functional, and more durable than most traditional roofing surfaces. [CleanTechnica]

Components in a Tesla Solarglass Roof (Image courtesy of Tesla) (Please click on the image to enlarge it.)

¶ “How The End Of A Major Tax Incentive May Impact Wind Energy” • Wind energy in the US has more than doubled since 2011. It’s had a big boost from a federal incentive, the Production Tax Credit. But after nearly 30 years, that is set to begin phasing out. Karla Murthy reports from Texas on how the industry is approaching the end of incentives. [PBS NewsHour]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Birds And Oceans And Wildfires, Oh My! How Machine Learning Is Changing Climate Research” • Many researchers are driving programs that will benefit us and the environment using machine learning technologies. Here is a roundup of several research initiatives delivering value both large and small with neural nets. [CleanTechnica]

Neural network (mikemacmarketing, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “Nissan LEAF And Uber Tag Team London” • Uber is getting a partner to help it electrify its fleet in the London area, and Nissan is getting a partner to help it sell a bunch of Nissan LEAFs. More specifically, 2,000 Nissan LEAFs will enter Uber’s London fleet. They will have 40 kWh batteries offering about 168 miles of range on a single charge. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Electric Ferrari Plans Leaked In Patent Filing” • In 2016, Sergio Marchionne, then chairman of Ferrari, said, “With Ferrari, [an electric car] is almost an obscene concept,” adding, “You’d have to shoot me first.” Well, Sergio, times sure do change, don’t they? At least, that’s what plans for an electric Ferrari from a leaked patent filing seem to tell us! [CleanTechnica]

Ferrari 812 Superfast (Porsche Taycan EV Forum, via Motor 1)

¶ “Data Centers To Consume 8% Of World’s Electricity By 2030” • More and more, people rely on the internet and cloud. Old files, photos, and e-mails from years past sit there, awaiting a search. But it takes energy to store them. Today, data centers consume about 2% of the world’s electricity, but that’s expected to reach 8% by 2030. [TechCentral]

¶ “Ambitious Zero Emission Tokyo Plan Wins Praise, Begs For Action” • Late last year, Gov Yuriko Koike revealed the Zero Emission Tokyo Strategy, Tokyo’s long-awaited plan to transition to clean energy. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government plans to spend over ¥74.6 billion ($683 million) to achieve a net-zero carbon emissions goal. [The Japan Times]

Tokyo (Kiyoshi Ota | Bloomberg)

¶ “Malta To Pay Estonia €2 Million In Return For Helping Island Reach Its Renewable Energy Targets” • Malta has agreed to pay Estonia a reported €2 million in return for renewable energy quotas that will help the island reach its EU-imposed targets. Malta’s Energy Minister said Malta was unable to meet this year’s carbon reduction deadline. [Lovin Malta]

¶ “Public And Private Sectors Unite On Need For More Renewables” • Current energy systems are falling short of supporting the transition to a renewables-based system, participants of the third Public-Private Dialogue agreed. The dialog was organised by the International Renewable Energy Agency’s Coalition for Action. [Modern Diplomacy]

Wind turbines

¶ “Hungary Vows To Be Carbon-Free By 2050, Remains Committed To Nuclear Power” • Hungary is developing a plan for emissions reduction. It includes a 90% reduction in carbon emissions 2030, mandating that from 2022 onwards only electric buses will be available in the cities, and a commitment to nuclear power. [International Business Times]

US:

¶ “Trump’s Dismantling Of Environmental Regulations Unwinds 50 Years Of Protections” • In Trump’s first two years in office, the EPA put its efforts into reversing regulations. And in the third year, other agencies also took up environmental regulation rollbacks. This even extends to some protections established under the 50-year-old Clean Air Act. [CNN]

Polluted river (USGS, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Sticker Shock: The Grid Is At Capacity For Solar Power In Parts Of Oregon” • When a PGE customer in Oregon wanted to put up a solar system, he got a report from the utility saying he couldn’t connect his 24.8 kW of solar power to the system until significant upgrades had been made to the grid. The cost of the upgrades was estimated at $539,038. [OPB News]

¶ “New Coal Mine Operator Behind On Federal, County Taxes” • The newest operator of three coal mines has fallen behind on federal and county mineral taxes, officials said. The Navajo Transitional Energy Company owes the federal government more than $10 million in unpaid taxes accrued in September and October. [Gillette News Record]

Have a clearly marvelous day.

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January 25 Energy News

January 25, 2020

World:

¶ “Davos Ends With Disagreement On Climate And Greta Thunberg On The March” • The annual meeting at Davos of business and political leaders wrapped up with two of the world’s most powerful people disagreeing over the climate crisis and youth activists excoriating the international elite for failing to do enough about global warming. [CNN]

Lagarde and Mnuchin clash over climate crisis (CNN image)

¶ “British Cities To Get Buses That Suck Pollution From The Air” • Using public transport is often a greener alternative to driving a car, and now one company is taking its green ambitions a step further – by developing a pollution-sucking fleet of buses. Go-Ahead Group, a British transportation company, is rolling out 11 new buses that clean the air as they go. [CNN]

¶ “Swedish Player Plans 155-MW Local Wind Build” • Swedish developer Stena Renewable will start work in the spring on the 155-MW Aby-Alebo wind farm in southern Sweden. The Skr1.7 billion (€161 million, $180 million) project will feature 36 Vestas V150 turbines. It is expected to produce about 500 GWh per year of electricity, starting in 2022. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Stena Renewable image)

¶ “Spain Closes 2019 With Nearly Half Renewable Energy Mix” • According to data furnished by the Red Eléctrica de España, the operator of the Spanish electricity grid, installed non-polluting power capacity in Spain grew by 10% during 2019. Renewable energy now represents 49.3% of the total installed generation capacity in the country. [Saurenergy]

¶ “ADB Loan To Unlock Long-Term Financing For Solar Power In Viet Nam” • The Asian Development Bank signed a $37.8 million loan deal with TTC Energy Development Investment Joint Stock Company to provide long-term financing to develop and operate a 50-MW PV solar power plant in Tay Ninh Province in Viet Nam. [Modern Diplomacy]

Solar farm in Armenia

¶ “Chilean Copper Mines Will Need Over 1 GW Of New Power In 2019-2030” • To meet the copper mining industry’s growing demand for electricity, Chile will have to add 1,387 MW of power capacity by 2030. Copper mines in the region of Antofagasta are expected to remain the biggest power consumers, demanding an estimated 16.7 TWh in 2030. [Renewables Now]

¶ “50Hertz To Turn Wind Into Heat In Rostock” • Some wind energy generated in northern Germany can’t be consumed or transported south. 50Hertz Transmission is working with Stadtwerke Rostock to turn it into heat to be used by a utility. The two companies are building a 20-MW power-to-heat plant in Rostock’s Marienehe district. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Zbynek Buriva | Unsplash)

¶ “Rolls-Royce Plans ‘Mini’ Nuclear Power Plants By 2029 Delivered In Chunks Via Trucks” • ‘Mini’ nuclear reactors delivered in prefabricated chunks on the back of trucks and assembled cost effectively onsite could become a reality by 2029, according to Rolls-Royce. The company is leading a consortium aimed at achieving the goal. [Forbes]

US:

¶ “The Kids’ Climate Lawsuit Isn’t Dead Yet” • Even though judges tossed out his big case last week, lawyer Phillip Gregory, who represents 21 youth in the climate lawsuit against the US government, was in a superb mood. The case is not allowed to go to trial, for now, but both Gregory and his young clients believe there will eventually be a ruling in their favor. [Mashable]

Climate plaintiffs (Robin Loznak | Our Children’s Trust)

¶ “Sneaky: Energy Department Pushes Electric Vehicles Under Trump’s Nose” • DOE dropped $133 million on a new round of funding for advanced vehicle technology, with the largest piece of the pie going to EVs, EV batteries, EV charging, and other EV things. This is part of the DOE’s Sustainable Transportation Research of almost $300 million. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NV Energy Seeks Proposals For Renewable Energy Projects” • NV Energy announced it is seeking proposals for biomass, biogas, solar, geothermal, and wind project that are compliant with the state’s renewable portfolio standards. Eligible projects must be at least 20 MW and allow for commercial operation by the end of 2025. [Biomass Magazine]

Transmission lines

¶ “UAlbany Research Says NY Goal Of 100% Renewable Energy By 2040 Possible” • Despite the challenges New York will face trying to meet the state’s move toward 100% renewable energy, Atmospheric Sciences Research Center researchers of the University at Albany say it’s possible. NY took the goal on as part of its Green New Deal. [NEWS10 ABC]

¶ “NextEra Looks To Add Batteries To Its Existing Solar Fleet” • NextEra Energy is combing through its base of existing solar facilities with an eye to retroactively adding batteries, as it adopts a more “aggressive” view of energy storage because of its falling costs. The company is expanding after experience it had with a system built in 2018. [Greentech Media]

Solar farm

¶ “2018’s Four Corners Drought Directly Linked To Human-Caused Climate Change” • Climate scientists from UC Santa Barbara’s geography department found that 60% to 80% of the Four Corners region’s increased potential for evaporation in 2018 stemmed from human-induced warming alone, which caused additional warming of 2°C. [Science Daily]

¶ “Dairyland Coal Plant At Genoa To Close By End Of Next Year” • Dairyland Power of La Crosse, Wisconsin, plans to shut down the coal-fired station near the Genoa lock and dam by the end of next year. Environmentalists have applauded the plan to shut down a coal-burning plant, but they’re not happy that natural gas could be used to replace it. [WIZM News]

Have a thrillingly comfortable day.

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January 24 Energy News

January 24, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “What The Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR) Means For Clean Energy In PJM” • PJM, which coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in all or parts of 13 states and DC, submitted proposed MOPR values in its last filing as required by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. They will support fossil fuels and raise costs for customers. [Resources Magazine]

Transmission towers (Teerawut Bunsom | Shutterstock)

¶ “Climate Experts Agree: ‘Steve Mnuchin Should Go Back To College’ – Not Greta Thunberg” • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was criticized by scientists after he claimed that teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg should not criticize American fossil fuel investments until she studies economics in college. They say he is the one who needs education. [Salon]

¶ “‘Blatant Manipulation’: Trump Administration Exploited Wildfire Science To Promote Logging” • Political appointees at the Interior Department sought to play up climate pollution from California wildfires while downplaying emissions from fossil fuels as a way of promoting more logging in the nation’s forests, internal emails reveal. [The Guardian]

2018 Woolsey fire in California (David McNew | Getty Images)

World:

¶ “Top Ten Countries With Highest Proportions Of Renewable Energy” • Compare the Market released the results of a study that looked at 21 countries to see which was using the highest and the least amounts of renewable energy. The study examined their investments in climate-friendly energy resources including wind, solar, hydropower and bioenergy. [Smart Energy]

¶ “Carbon-Neutral In 15 years? The Country With An Ambitious Plan” • Finland has pledged to be carbon-neutral by 2035. That is twice as fast as the UK government target. But to achieve this, it will have to make big changes, particularly in the peat industry, which currently provides energy, heating and jobs. That will make it a hard goal to achieve. [BBC]

Peat

¶ “‘Hypocrisy’: 90% Of UK-Africa Summit’s Energy Deals Were In Fossil Fuels” • More than 90% of the £2 billion in energy deals struck at this week’s UK-Africa investment summit were for fossil fuels, despite a government commitment to “support African countries in their transition to cleaner energy.” Just £161 million in deals related to clean energy. [The Guardian]

¶ “New Renewable Energy Platform O2 Power To Build 4 GW Of Solar And Wind Projects In India” • Singapore-based holdings company Temasek and Swedish firm EQT Infrastructure have announced the launch of O2 Power, a renewable energy platform in India. O2 Power aims to achieve 4 GW of installed solar and wind capacity in the country. [Mercom India]

Solar panels at sunset

¶ “Renewables Open Doors For Energy Solutions In Mining” • The year 2019 was the turning point for renewable energy projects at remote mines. More than a dozen projects were commissioned or announced. Mining companies have adopted solar and wind power to reduce their energy cost and carbon footprint in a rather lengthy process. [Mining Review]

¶ “Finnish Wind Farm Beds In For Ikea” • Swedish developer OX2 has commissioned and handed over the 30-MW Ponsivuori wind farm in Finland to owner Ikea. The project located in Kurikka in South Ostrobothnia consists of seven Nordex turbines with a 210-metre tip height. OX2 will continue to operate the Ponsivuori wind farm. [reNEWS]

Ponsivuori wind farm (OX2 image)

¶ “South Australia On Track To 100% Renewables, As Regulator Comes To Party” • South Australia’s plans to reach net 100% renewables within a decade, and help provide renewable power to New South Wales received a major boost as the Australian Energy Regulator green-lighted the business case for a major transmission line linking the two states. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ “US Associations Say MORP To Hurt Clean Energy’s Access To Wholesale Markets” • Four US organisations that represent clean energy companies in the country filed a request with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for rehearing on its order for a Minimum Offer Price Rule in the PJM capacity market. [Renewables Now]

Solar panels in Massachusetts (liz west, Creative Commons)

¶ “Challenged Federal Rule Could Price Many Renewables Out Of PJM’s Capacity Market” • Motions filed this week are asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to change a ruling that could price many renewables out of the PJM capacity market, while driving up prices for consumers and supporting fossil fuels. [Energy News Network]

¶ “Proposed Bill Would Include Large Hydro, Nuclear In California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard” • California GOP legislators introduced legislation to halt requirements of the state’s Renewables Portfolio Standard program temporarily and redirect funds to ensure utilities improve their infrastructure and vegetation management programs. [Utility Dive]

Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant (Credit: Wikimedia)

¶ “EPA Weakens Protections For Streams And Wetlands” • The Trump administration is removing some federal water protections, siding with requests from industry and farm groups over the advice of environmental experts and its own scientific advisers. It will no longer protect many smaller streams that flow seasonally or after rains, for example. [CNN]

¶ “NY PSC Approves Measure to Lower Costs for Clean Energy” • The Public Service Commission issued an order allowing the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to offer a new contracting mechanism. The takeaway is that this change will make it cheaper and easier for NY to meet its clean energy goals. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

Have an entertainingly grand day.

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January 23 Energy News

January 23, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “How Four Top US Utilities Are Grappling With The Energy Transition (Or Not)” • Utilities will be front and center in efforts to combat global warming, reducing both their own carbon emissions and those of others. Today, no US utility can be said to be close to that vision, aside from a few like Vermont’s Green Mountain Power. [Greentech Media]

Transmission line worker

¶ “I Brought Socially Conscious Change To Volvo Without Hurting Profits. Other CEOs Can Do The Same” • Ever since the Business Roundtable issued a Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation last summer, recommending a shift to a stakeholder capitalism business model, it has become a popular topic of conversation. [CNN]

¶ “After A Decade Of Fracking, Billions Of Dollars Lost And A Climate In Crisis” • Today’s climate impacts have been shaped heavily by actions taken during the last 10 years, particularly in the US, where the climate benefits of retiring coal power plants were undermined by the rise of natural gas due to fracking, a powerful money loser. [NationofChange]

Storm damage (Image Credit: ©2012 Julie Dermansky)

World:

¶ “Subaru Plans To Sell Only Electrified Vehicles – By 2035” • Going boldly where no Japanese auto company has gone before, Subaru announced this week it is planning on selling only electrified vehicles by 2035. How’s that for taking a strong stand? Subaru says it is developing a battery electric car with Toyota for introduction at some future date. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Prince Charles: We Need A New Economic Model Or The Planet Will Burn” • Only a revolution in the way the global economy and financial markets work can save the planet from the climate crisis and secure future prosperity, warned Prince Charles, a lifelong environmentalist. The heir to the British throne spoke in an interview with CNN. [CNN]

Prince Charles (CNN image)

¶ “Vestas Nabs 60-MW Polish Prize” • Vestas received a 60-MW turbine order from Eurowind Energy for the Janikowo wind project in Poland’s Kujawsko-Pomorskie province. The wind farm was awarded under the government’s wind-solar energy auction in December. Commissioning is planned for the fourth quarter of 2021. [reNEWS]

¶ “Botswana-Based Accite Holdings Brings Plant-Based Meat Revolution To Africa With Beyond Meat” • Infinite Foods, a subsidiary of Botswana-based Accite Holdings, plans to tackle Africa’s nutrition problem more sustainably by promoting plant-based food products across Sub-Saharan Africa. Meat and dairy demand is projected to grow there. [CleanTechnica]

Beyond Burger (Picture: Remeredzai Kuhudzai)

¶ “Endesa Guarantees 33% Renewables Share In Power Exports To Andorra” • Spanish utility Endesa SA guaranteed that 33% of the electricity imported by Andorra from Spain will come from renewable sources. The company has signed an agreement with Forces Electriques d’Andorra to supply 70 GWh of renewable electricity per year. [Renewables Now]

¶ “TEPCO Estimates It Will Take 44 Years To Decommission Fukushima Daiichi Plant” • TEPCO estimated it will take 44 years to decommission its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The company presented the outline of decommissioning plans to the municipal assembly of Tomioka, one of the two host towns of the nuclear plant. [The Japan Times]

Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (KYODO)

US:

¶ “Top US Bankers Don’t Want To Lead The Climate Fight” • While professing deep concern about global warming, top executives at the World Economic Forum expressed reluctance to act as referees in financial markets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. That, they said, is not their role, despite calls to stop funding carbon-intensive industries. [CNN]

¶ “APS Commits To 45% Renewables By 2030” • Conservation and consumer groups today welcomed Arizona Public Service’s announcement that will set the utility on a path toward 45% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% carbon-free electricity by midcentury. Currently, 13% of the utility’s electricity is generated from renewable sources.  [AZ Big Media]

APS Red Rock Solar Facility

¶ “Tesla Overtakes Volkswagen As Value Hits $100 Billion” • Tesla has displaced Volkswagen as the world’s second most valuable carmaker, after a dramatic rise in share price pushed its market value to more than $100 billion (£76.1 billion, €90 billion). Tesla shares rose 4% on Wednesday, making its valuation second only to Toyota. [BBC]

¶ “Union of Concerned Scientists: Inequitable Exposure to Air Pollution from Vehicles in the Northeast And Mid-Atlantic” • Asian American, African American, and Latino residents in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region are exposed to substantially more air pollution from cars, trucks, and buses than the other demographic groups. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Vanderbilt University Reaches Deal On Renewable Energy Push” • The Tennessee Valley Authority, Nashville Electric Service, and Silicon Ranch are partnering with Vanderbilt on a 20-year agreement to reduce Vanderbilt University’s annual indirect greenhouse gas emissions from purchased electricity by 70%, the university said. [Beloit Daily News]

¶ “Senate Committee Gives The Nod To Nuclear As Part Of Renewables Transition” • The Virginia Senate Commerce and Labor Committee signed off on updates to the Commonwealth Energy Policy, including proposals to classify nuclear energy as clean energy and to develop a strategic plan for how nuclear energy fits with renewable energy goals. [Virginia Mercury]

Have an awesomely commendable day.

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January 22 Energy News

January 22, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Agrovoltaics Could Help Calm Fears About Renewables For Iowa Farmers” • Iowa utility companies want to install more solar power, and they insist that prime farm land will not be used. Farmers are afraid of that, but they should see the advantages of getting paid for land that is not used. And they should take a look at agrovoltaics. [CleanTechnica]

Tomatoes growing under PVs (Asurnipal, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “On Climate, Trump Is Guilty Of Willful Ignorance” • The Trump administration’s studied avoidance of the threat from climate change smacks of willful blindness or worse. The Federal Emergency Management Administration’s recently released National Preparedness Report is its latest affront. It fails even to mention of climate change. [CNN]

World:

¶ “Greta Thunberg: ‘Nothing Has Been Done’ To Tackle The Climate Crisis” • Greta Thunberg took the stage at the World Economic Forum just hours before President Donald Trump’s appearance to admonish world leaders for doing “basically nothing” to reduce carbon emissions despite evidence of a looming climate catastrophe. [CNN]

Greta Thunberg (Michael Probst | AP)

¶ “Australia Fires: Malcolm Turnbull Accuses Scott Morrison Of ‘Misleading’ Nation” • Australian PM Scott Morrison has been accused of lacking leadership during the bushfire crisis by the man he replaced after a party room coup. Malcolm Turnbull, who was deposed in 2018, told the BBC that Mr Morrison had misled the country on global warming. [BBC]

¶ “Germany’s 50Hertz Power Grid Carried Record 60% Renewable Energy In 2019” • In Germany, 60% of the power carried by grid firm 50Hertz last year came from renewable sources, a record high, CEO Stefan Kapferer told Reuters. He said this shows the German goal of 65% by 2030 can be handled by transmission networks. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Renewable energy

¶ “SA Energy Minister Praises Bonney Big Battery” • Dan van Holst Pellekaan, South Australia’s Minister for Energy and Mining, is pretty excited about Infigen Energy’s Lake Bonney big battery. The 25-MW / 52-MWh lithium-ion battery system of Tesla Powerpacks is part of the Lake Bonney Wind Farm, near Millicent in South Australia. [Solar Quotes]

¶ “Scotland To Reach This Year 100% Renewable Energy Goal” • Scotland has been increasing the percentage of electricity it gets from renewables rapidly. It is to achieve a 100% renewables-based energy matrix this year, which would add Scotland to the list of other countries that achieved the same goal, such as the Congo, Iceland, and Paraguay. [ZME Science]

Wind farm in Scotland (Credit: Wikipedia Commons)

¶ “France Could Shut Next Two Nuclear Reactors Sooner Than Expected” • France could shut down two nuclear reactors in 2025 and 2026 if market conditions are right, earlier than expected, a government consultation document showed. It plans to close 14 reactors by 2035 as it reduces the amount of electricity it gets from nuclear power. [Devdiscourse]

US:

¶ “People still want plastic bottles, says Coca-Cola” • Coca-Cola will not ditch single-use plastic bottles because consumers still want them, the firm’s head of sustainability has told the BBC. Customers like them because they reseal and are lightweight, said Bea Perez. The firm is one of the biggest producers of plastic waste but has pledged to recycle. [BBC]

Coca-cola’s head of sustainability Bea Perez (Getty Images)

¶ “WSJ Takes A Victory Lap For Elon Musk, Tesla” • Elon Musk has a track record of being late. But Tesla gets things done on time. Less than a year after construction began, the Shanghai Gigafactory is already churning out over 1,000 Model 3s per week. The Wall Street Journal’s John  Stoll says, “Tesla’s win is a win for the disruptor.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Cuts Prices Of Solar Systems To Counter Drop In Federal Rebate” • Ringing in 2020 brought many changes to the US solar industry, including a drop in the US federal incentive for residential solar systems. The tax credit fell from 30% of the solar system cost to 26% effective January 1st, 2020. Tesla responded by reducing prices. [CleanTechnica]

Solar installation (Image courtesy: Tesla)

¶ “A Trump Administration Ruling Could Squash Maryland’s Renewable Energy Efforts, Regulators Say In Appeal” • The Maryland Public Service Commission asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to reconsider a decision that effectively raises the cost of renewable energy that receives state subsidies, so fossil fuels can compete. [Baltimore Sun]

¶ “Does Illinois Have The Energy To Opt Out Of FERC?” • The ruling by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to support fossil fuels could lead to spikes in energy bills. Illinois’ Citizens Utility Board, environmental groups, and legislators are putting forward a multifaceted package that includes a provision to opt out of FERC. [WTTW News]

Navajo coal-burning power station (Credit: Alan Stark | Flickr)

¶ “Proposed 2.2-GW Storage Project Plans To Use Navajo Coal Station Power-Lines” • A proposal for a 2.2-GW pumped hydro facility in Arizona moved a step closer to reality last week, as FERC accepted its application for a preliminary permit. The $3.6 billion project would rely on the transmission lines of the retired Navajo coal-burning generating station. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Bank Of America Reaches Green Power Goal” • Bank of America has met its 100% renewable energy target one year ahead of schedule. The bank said it had reached the renewables target through on-site solar capability at many facilities, power purchase agreements for wind and solar energy, and purchase of renewable energy credits. [reNEWS]

Have an unqualifiedly triumphant day.

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January 21 Energy News

January 21, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Tokyo University of Science Working on Sustainable, Nontoxic, Potassium-Driven Rechargeable Batteries” • Tokyo University of Science researchers have been studying potassium-ion batteries. They say their performance is similar to lithium-ion batteries, or even better. Also, they are nontoxic and use plentiful materials. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Machine Learning Experts Issue Call To Arms For Climate Focus” • The global machine learning community isn’t just applying the technology in an ad hoc manner, they are calling for their community to pay attention to several major areas of high value for climate change. Machine learning can be used to find key climate change solutions. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Works Begin At Dogger Bank, The World’s Largest Off-Shore Wind Farm” • Construction is underway at the gigantic Dogger Bank off-shore wind farm being built off the UK. It will outsize all others. Currently, the 659-MW Walney wind farm is the world’s largest. Dogger Bank will have a capacity of 3.6 GW. It is expected to begin operating in 2023. [New Atlas]

GE Renewable’s Haliade-X turbines (GE Renewable Energy)

¶ “Coal Makes A Comeback In India, New Capacity Up 73% In 2019” • India witnessed a sharp rise in new coal-based power generation capacity last year, with dirty power plants accounting for 44% of the total new power generation capacity added in the country. The share is a huge increase from just 21% in 2017 and 25% in 2018. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “India Added 50 Gigawatts Of Renewable Energy Capacity In Last Five Years” • India added 50 GW of renewable energy capacity over the last five years. Government data shows that between March 2015 and December 2019, India added 98 GW of power generation capacity, 52% of which was based on renewable technologies. [CleanTechnica]

Vestas wind turbines (John Turp | Moment | Getty Images)

¶ “Wind Energy Powerhouse Vestas Announces Plans For ‘Zero-Waste’ Turbines” • Vestas said it is aiming to produce “zero-waste” wind turbines by the year 2040. The Danish company said that this would be accomplished through a “circular economy approach” in the design, production, service, and end-of-life parts of the value chain. [CNBC]

¶ “Romania To Exit Deal With Chinese Company For New Nuclear Reactors” • Romania’s Government will exit the deal with the Chinese partner for the construction of reactors 3 and 4 at the Cernavoda nuclear power plant, prime minister Ludovic Orban announced in an interview with Hotnews.ro. He is looking for a new partner. [Romania-Insider.com]

Cernavoda nuclear plant (Photo: nuclearelectrica.ro)

¶ “Japan’s Resol Switches On 37-MW PV Plant In Fukushima” • Japanese company Resol Holdinds Co Ltd announced that commercial operations have started at a 37-MW PV plant in Fukushima Prefecture. With a total of 112,104 solar panels, Fukushima Ishikawa covers 72 hectares (177.9 acres) in the city of Ishikawa. [Renewables Now]

Australia:

¶ “Most Australian Chief Executives Believe Climate Crisis A Threat To Business” • PwC’s annual survey of CEOs shows bosses are preparing to cut jobs and don’t think Australia is doing enough to deal with global heating. That dismal picture will doubtless get worse when the effects of the past month’s deadly bushfires take hold. [The Guardian]

Australian bushfire devastation (Dan Himbrechts | EPA)

¶ “A New Disaster In Australia: Toxic Water” • The recent rains have resulted in ash washing into streams and rivers, poisoning the fish. The result is massive fish kills on rivers that run through areas that burned. The ash from the burned landscape is not only toxic to fish; it kills other wildlife also. And of course, it is also toxic to human beings. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Majority Of Electric Cars In Australia Are Charged With Renewable Power” • A whopping 75% of electric cars in Australia are charged almost exclusively with renewable power, according to an informal poll of 400 owners conducted by Future Smart Strategies managing director and electric vehicle advocate Prof Ray Wills. [The Driven]

Charging a Kona in New South Wales

¶ “Australian Renewables Sector Poised For New Records In 2020: Rystad” • Australia’s renewable energy market looks to another record year in 2020. Rystad Energy expects wind and PV projects totaling 3.6 GW to complete commissioning, up from 2.6 GW in 2019. The forecast comprises 1.96 GW of utility PVs and 1.57 GW of wind. [EcoGeneration]

US:

¶ “Renewable Energy At Record Levels; Fossil Fuels Face Uncertainties” • Tensions in the Middle East and differences between California and the White House have left the energy sector staring at uncertainty. National and state officials seem diametrically opposed in their approach to addressing the issue of imported oil. [Long Beach Business Journal]

AES Alamitos Energy Center (Photo: Brandon Richardson)

¶ “New Jersey & New York Push EV Purchase & Charging Incentives” • The states of New Jersey and New York ramped up their support for the transition to electric vehicles. New Jersey Gov Phil Murphy signed a new incentive package into law, and New York Gov Andrew Cuomo announced new incentives for installing EV charging equipment. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Energy Choice Falls Flat At Florida Supreme Court After Utility Offensive” • The Florida Supreme Court ruled on January 9 to keep the “Energy Choice” initiative off the Florida ballot in the upcoming general election. Doing this, they were siding with investor-owned utilities and quashing an effort to break up their electric monopolies. [Energy and Policy Institute]

Have a radically superior day.

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January 20 Energy News

January 20, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “Fires Set Stage For Irreversible Forest Losses In Australia” • Before the wildfires, ecologists divided up Australia’s native vegetation into two categories: fire-adapted landscapes that burn periodically, and those that don’t burn. Now, that distinction lost meaning. Even rainforests and peat swamps caught fire, likely changing them forever. [The Denver Post]

After a fire (Sebastian Pfautsch via AP)

¶ “NASA And NOAA: 2010s Was The Hottest Decade Ever” • NASA and NOAA both found that the last decade was the hottest ever recorded. NOAA’s data shows global annual temperature increases at an average rate of 0.07°C per decade since 1880 and over twice that since 1981. NASA says every decade has warmer than the one before it. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Single-Use Plastic: China To Ban Bags And Other Items” • China unveiled a major plan to reduce single-use plastics across the country. Non-degradable bags will be banned in major cities by the end of 2020 and in all cities and towns by 2022. Also, the restaurant industry will be banned from using single-use straws by the end of 2020. [BBC]

Rubbish (Getty Images)

¶ “Oil And Gas Companies Will Only Survive The Climate Crisis If They Spend More Now” • The oil and gas industry needs to work harder and faster to tackle the climate crisis if it wants to remain profitable. Oil and gas companies cannot rely on fossil fuels to keep driving returns, the International Energy Agency said in a report. [CNN]

¶ “Hornsea One Will Power Millions of UK Homes” • Hornsea One, the world’s largest offshore wind farm, is almost complete and will power millions of homes in Britain. The farm will span an area of 407 square kilometers and has a capacity of 6 GW. It is also located farther out to see than any other wind farm, 120 km off the coast of England. [CleanTechnica]

Last Hornsea One turbine being installed (Ørsted image)

¶ “Could Renewable Energy, Wind Energy, Concentrated Solar Power And PV, Overcome Coal In China?” • A report released this week by Wood Mackenzie Power and Renewables has heralded another energy milestone: China will soon be added to that list of countries in which coal energy is no longer more economical than renewable energy. [REVE]

¶ “Qatar To Build Solar Power Plant With Total And Marubeni” • Qatar has signed an agreement with France’s Total and Japan’s Marubeni to build a solar power project with capacity of about 800 MW, Qatar’s energy minister said. The cost of the project is about $467 million. It will reach full capacity by the first quarter of 2022. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Renewable Energy

 

¶ “Dust Storms And Giant Hail Batter Bushfire-Weary Australia” • Thunderstorms and giant hail battered parts of Australia’s east coast on Monday after “apocalyptic” dust storms swept across drought-stricken areas, as extreme weather patterns collided in the bushfire-fatigued country. Violent hail storms pelted the Australian capital, Canberra. [RTL Today]

¶ “Climate Refugees Can’t Be Returned Home, Says Landmark UN Human Rights Ruling” • It is unlawful for governments to return people to countries where their lives might be threatened by the climate crisis, a landmark ruling by the UN human rights committee has found. The judgement is considered to be a legal “tipping point.” [The Guardian]

South Tarawa (Dmitry Malov | Alamy)

US:

¶ “US Army Weighs Up Proposal For Gigantic Sea Wall To Defend NY From Future Floods” • Could a massive sea wall shield New York from the devastation of superstorm surges like Hurricane Sandy’s? The truth is, nobody knows for sure, but a giant sea wall is one serious proposal being investigated by the Army Corps of Engineers. [ScienceAlert]

¶ “Rhode Island Orders 100% Renewables Electricity By 2030” • The governor of Rhode Island, Gina M Raimondo, has signed an executive order that directs the state to source 100% of its power from renewable energy sources by 2030. While Rhode Island is not the first state to do so, it is the first state setting such a tight schedule. [Renewables Now]

Offshore wind farm (Beverley Goodwin, CC 2.0 Generic)

¶ “Conservation Groups Sue Trump Administration’s Plan To Frack California Lands” • Groups sued the Trump administration over its plan to allow oil drilling and fracking on over 1 million acres of public lands in Central California. They say the Bureau of Land Management illegally failed to consider the potential of fracking to cause harmful effects. [Santa Barbara Edhat]

¶ “Senate Hearing Evaluates Progress Of Nuclear Energy Innovation And Modernization Act” • The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing on progress of the Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act. It requires the NRC to develop a new licensing process for “commercial advanced nuclear reactors.” [The Depaulia]

Have a fabulously wonderful day.

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January 19 Energy News

January 19, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Behind The Smokescreen, The Coalition’s Stance On Climate Change Hasn’t Changed At All” • Conservatives have gone from assuring us climate change was not a problem, so we don’t need to worry about reducing emissions, to asserting that climate change is a problem, but we still don’t need to worry about reducing emissions. [The Guardian]

Covered up by smoke (Robert Cianflone | Getty Images)

¶ “Is This The Death Knell For Nuclear?” • Energy experts at Chatham House pointed out that despite continued industry enthusiasm and political support, nuclear power stations are not being built fast enough to replace those closing down. It looks like this is nuclear’s swan song, and we are now unequivocally entering the era of wind and solar power.  [OilPrice.com]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Australia Fires: Have Gum Trees Made The Bushfires Worse?” • Eucalyptus forests are some of the most flammable in the world. The trees, also known as gum trees, are fire resilient, but they can actually spread fires. Burning bark can break off and be carried in the wind. They can ignite new fires 30 km (18 miles) ahead of the main fire. [BBC]

Burning eucalyptus (Getty Images)

World:

¶ “Gas Heating Is The Biggest Threat To Britain’s Climate Goal” • The UK made history last year when it became the first major economy to commit to pumping no more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than it removes by 2050. By far the biggest threat to the UK’s 2050 ambition comes from the way it heats its homes, schools and hospitals. [CNN]

¶ “Norway Says Its New Giant Oil Field Is Actually Good For The Environment. Critics Call It Climate Hypocrisy” • Norway claims the newly opened Johan Sverdrup oil field is helping to “reduce emissions” because it is powered entirely by renewable energy. Emissions are credited where fuel is burned, not where it is made, so they are not Norway’s problem. [CNN]

Oil field (Carina Johansen | NTB Scanpix | AFP via Getty Images)

¶ “Trump Vs Thunberg: The Climate Crisis Could Dominate Davos” • President Donald Trump and activist Greta Thunberg are getting top billing at the Davos economic forum this year. Trump will deliver what the organizers describe as a special address on Tuesday. Two hours later, Thunberg will open debate on the question of “climate apocalypse.” [CNN]

¶ “Anheuser-Busch InBev’s South African Breweries Goes Electric With The Mitsubishi Fuso eCanter” • South African Breweries, part of the ABInBev family, launched its first electric commercial vehicle at its Chamdor Brewery in Krugersdorp, South Africa. Electrification of its fleet is part of ABInBev’s 2025 sustainability goals. [CleanTechnica]

Mitsubishi Fuso eCanter (Photo by Hideki Machida)

¶ “Fossil Vehicle Sales In Global Freefall – Down 4.7% In 2019! Electric Vehicle Sales Continue To Grow” • The world’s fossil fuel vehicle sales have continued to freefall in 2019, dropping by around 4.35 million, or some 4.7%, compared to 2018. Global electric vehicle sales meanwhile have continued to rise, reaching 4.7% in China and 3.8% in Europe. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Environmental Group Takes Legal Action Against Shell” • A legal case being taken against oil company Shell has a potential to have dramatic consequences. The legal action, which is led by Friends of the Earth Netherlands on behalf of more than 30,000 people from 70 countries, aims to compel the company to “cease its destruction of the climate.” [The National]

Greenpeace protest against Shell

¶ “China Continues To Lead US In Race To Sustainability” • Investment in renewable energy capacity worldwide was $282.2 billion last year, according to new data from BloombergNEF increasing by 1% compared to 2018’s $280.2 billion. China, the world’s largest market, is slipping back, but China is still leading the US. [Power Engineering International]

US:

¶ “The Unapologetic, Progressive Coal Miner’s Daughter Taking Another Run For US Senate” • Paula Jean Swearingen is a coal miner’s daughter and granddaughter. Mining diseases killed her father and her grandfather. She saw mountaintop removal take jobs away from coal miners and poison the water. She says, “We need to fight back.” [Beckley Register-Herald]

Paula Jean Swearingen (Rick Barbero | The Register-Herald)

¶ “Judge Orders Clean Energy Measures To Proceed” • After Oregon’s secretary of state blocked two ballot initiatives for clean energy, saying they violated a state requirement that legislative measures stick to one subject, a county judge ordered her to process them and bring them before voters in the November election.  [Lewiston Morning Tribune]

¶ “University At Albany Sets Out To Reduce Carbon Footprint” • The University at Albany is gearing up to chase net-zero carbon-neutral status. Last month, UAlbany received a $2 million grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to plan how to go net zero. It won’t be quick or easy, but it can be done. [The Daily Gazette]

Campus Center West (Patrick Dodson | University At Albany)

¶ “New Report Indicates Continued Decline In Gas Emissions” • Hawaii is making progress in mitigating the threats of climate change. According to recently reported data, the state is on target to meet the its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Hawaii has an energy goal is to achieve 100% clean energy by 2045. [Big Island Now]

¶ “First US Nuclear Power Plant To Be Removed From Fort Belvoir” • The first nuclear power facility providing electricity to the US power grid is nearing the final steps of dismantling. The SM-1 nuclear reactor was opened in 1957, and approximately 800 nuclear operators and technicians were trained there. It was decommissioned in 1973. [WTOP]

Have a seriously commendable day.

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January 18 Energy News

January 18, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Oil And Gas Sector Told To Step Up Climate Game Or Lose Investment” • The oil and gas industry is on the verge of losing its “social license,” the goodwill needed for companies to attract investors and avoid public backlash, as a result of its inadequate response to climate change, according to the chairman of the UK Oil and Gas Authority. [Greentech Media]

Oil platform (Credit: Michal | Wachucik Equinor | Abermedia)

¶ “Five Clean Energy Trends To Watch In 2020” • At the start of 2020, analysts bravely stepped out on a limb to predict how the turbulent energy market and energy systems will evolve at the beginning of the new decade. Five experts are optimistic that the US is set to make important steps toward a cleaner energy mix this year. [OilPrice.com]

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Climate Change Influenced Australia’s Unprecedented Fires” • Despite widespread conspiracy theories about the fires, emerging science continues to find links between global warming and worsening wildfires. Global warming directly intensifies wildfires by drying out soil and vegetation, creating more fuel to burn farther and faster. [Yale Climate Connections]

Wildfire

¶ “Australia’s Heat And Bushfires Are Signs Of Fundamental Shifts In Its Climate” • It is the frequency and intensity of heat and drought conditions causing fires that is so concerning, says University of Melbourne scientist Linden Ashcroft. She says the trends are “exactly in line with what the [climate] science said 10 or 20 years ago.” [Yale Climate Connections]

World:

¶ “Heavy Rains Hit Some Blaze-Hit Regions” • Heavy rains and thunderstorms have hit parts of Australia’s east coast, dousing some of its fires but bringing a new threat of flooding. Major roads were closed in Queensland, and power cuts were reported in parts of New South Wales as a result of the weather, but the rain is helping with fires. [BBC]

Rain in Sydney (EPA image)

¶ “India’s Renewable Energy Generation Registers Lowest Growth In Four Years” • India’s renewable energy generation grew at a dismal pace of 5.22% in the first eight months of the current financial year, the lowest rate of growth in the past four years since 2015-16, according to fresh data from the Central Electricity Authority. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Trianel Takes A Flexible Approach” • Trianel, a German company, is starting an initiative aimed to deliver grid flexibility management to cover Germany’s growing share of renewable energy. The ‘FlexStore’ cooperation network will help municipal utilities and other project partners to identify opportunities for flexible grid management. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine construction (Trianel image)

¶ “Work Starts On World’s ‘Largest Offshore Wind Farm,’ Which Could Power 4.5 Million Homes” • Construction work for a huge offshore wind farm in the North Sea is underway. Energy firm SSE said that onshore work for the 3.6-GW Dogger Bank Wind Farms project had begun near Ulrome, a coastal village in the East Riding of Yorkshire. [CNBC]

¶ “Sustainable Investors Target Renewables” • The primary focus of real asset investors looking to boost returns from sustainable investments is renewables, according to a report by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets. The ‘MIRA ESG (environmental, social and governance) Survey’ found 29% of ESG strategies by investors focused on clean power. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Abby Anaday | Unsplash)

¶ “Japanese Court Stops Nuclear Reactor From Resuming Operations Again, Cites Volcano And Earthquake Risks” • A Japanese nuclear reactor near a fault line must remain shut because of risks of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, a high court ruled. The Japanese public has largely turned against atomic power since the Fukushima Disaster. [News18]

US:

¶ “Kids’ Climate Lawsuit Thrown Out By Appeals Court” • A federal appeals court dismissed a lawsuit brought by a group of young people that had sought to compel the federal government to rein in the nation’s climate emissions. The court concluded that the youths lacked standing to sue the government over its actions. [InsideClimate News]

Youth suit over climate change (Robin Loznak)

¶ “More Americans Are Alarmed By Global Warming Than Ever Before, Survey Reveals” • The proportion of Americans who are “alarmed” by global warming is now at an all-time high, a survey shows. It was conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication. [CNN]

¶ “Eagle Joins Vail Valley Communities Spending More For Renewable Energy” • Eagle, Colorado will spend 10% more for electricity to buy it from renewable sources. In 2019 the town paid Holy Cross Energy $260,000 for electricity. Now, the town board voted to spend an extra $27,500 annually to get some of its electricity from renewable sources. [Vail Daily News]

Wind turbines in the mountains (High Plains Public Radio)

¶ “More Evidence Of A Republican Pivot On Climate” • The Republican Party has been locked to fossil fuel funding and Libertarian oligarchs. It has chosen for the past 20 years to use wedge politics to scoop up climate change denialists, along with other fringe groups. But things are changing, and in some ways surprisingly so. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “YouTube Still Promotes Climate Disinformation, Report Finds” • You don’t have to look far to find misinformation about climate science continuing to spread online through prominent social media channels like California-based YouTube. That’s despite the overwhelming scientific consensus that humans are driving the climate crisis. [EcoWatch]

Have a superbly well-ordered day.

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