Posts Tagged ‘nuclear’

May 20 Energy News

May 20, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Don’t despair about the climate emergency. Coal is not the future” • The Coalition government has been re-elected. But there are strong international pressures, most of the Australian business community does not want the economy stuck in the past, and the states will not accept a vacuum on climate and energy policy. [The Guardian]

Low-cost renewable energy (Tim Phillips Photos | Getty Images)

¶ “Unlocking The Economic Potential Of Adapting To Climate Realities – Jay Inslee Gets It” • Among Democrats running for president, Jay Inslee has distinguished himself with a bold zero-carbon climate plan. He says it will create 8 million clean tech jobs at a cost comparable to what has been spent on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scientists Fear Impact Of Deep-Sea Mining On Search For New Medicines” • Scientists who view the deep ocean and its wealth of unique and undocumented species as a prospecting ground for new medicines, fear such potential will be lost in the rush to exploit the deep sea’s equally rich metal and mineral resources. [The Guardian]

Ocean life (Office of Ocean Exploration and Research)

¶ “‘Earthworm Dilemma’ Has Climate Scientists Racing To Keep Up” • Worms are wriggling into Earth’s northernmost forests, creating major unknowns for climate-change models. The forests have had no earthworms since the last ice age. Now the worms are invading, and scientists fear possible negative environmental effects. [The New York Times]

World:

¶ “Eskom Woes Pushing SA Business Toward Green Buildings” • As Eskom, South Africa’s public utility, keeps failing to meet demands for electric power, businesses are moving to produce their own. Property company Redefine recently noted that installing renewable energy interventions is an area with scope for growth. [TechCentral]

Modern buildings

¶ “China Invests In Renewable Energy In Cuba” • Cuba began investing in renewable energy back in 2014. Now China is ramping up its efforts in a push to make renewables Cuba’s principal source of electricity by 2030. According to Xinhua News, China is one of the leading investors in Cuba’s renewable energy program. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “China Sets Renewable Power Quotas For 2019 And 2020” • Reuters reported that China set mandatory renewable power quotas for each of its region for 2019 and 2020, based on their energy structure. The 2019 targets for local grid companies range from 10%, in the eastern province of Shandong, to 88%, in the southwestern province of Sichuan. [SteelGuru]

Solar panels over water (Reuters image)

¶ “Wärtsilä And Lut University To Collaborate On Research For 100% Renewable Energy Systems” • Technology group Wärtsilä and Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology have signed a research agreement on strategic power system modelling. Their aim is to  understand and develop paths towards 100% renewable energy systems. [Golden Casino News]

¶ “Japan’s Orix To Buy Seven 874 MW Wind Energy Plants Of IL&FS” • Debt-ridden IL&FS said Japan’s Orix Corporation, which owns 49% share each in its seven operating wind farms, expressed intent to buy the remaining stake in those assets. The plants are in 12 Indian states and have a total generation capacity of 874 MW. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Wind turbines

¶ “India Is Now Investing More in Solar than Coal, but Will Its Energy Shift Continue?” • Renewable energy investments in India are outpacing spending on fossil fuel power generation, a sign that the world’s second-most populous nation is making good on promises to shift toward cleaner power. But coal is still growing. [InsideClimate News]

¶ “The Gas-Addicted Scots Have Europe’s Worst Record On Renewable Heat” • New statistics reveal the country, despite an excellent record on clean electricity, remains dangerously dependent on burning climate-change-causing gas to stay warm. Only 6% of all heating in Scotland is sustainable, just a tenth of the proportion in Sweden. [HeraldScotland]

Gas terminal

US:

¶ “Repowering Old Mines With New Energies In The US  Southwest” • Across the US, there are swaths of mine lands that are now prime locations for renewable energy. Rocky Mountain Institute’s Sunshine for Mines Initiative has a goal of helping the mining industry shift from a paradigm of extraction to one of stewardship. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Bolt Mobility Unveils $9,999 Electric Car Designed For Car-Sharing In Cities” • An electric car startup based in Florida called Bolt Mobility has unveiled its first car, the B-Nano, which it says it has been working on in secret for the past two years. The B-Nano is designed for car-sharing, and the base model will sell for a mere $9,999.  [CleanTechnica]

Usain Bolt showing off the B-Nano (Credit: Bolt Mobility)

¶ “Maine Solar Bill Would Expand Access And Increase Net Metering Cap” • A bipartisan bill making its way through the Maine Legislature would set the state on a path to develop 400 MW of distributed solar energy. The legislation would allow more people to participate in community solar projects and raise caps for net metering. [Energy News Network]

¶ “Ads Flood Airwaves As Debate Continues Over Nuclear Bailout Bill” • Ohioans are being bombarded by an ad campaign focused on an energy bill, House Bill 6, that is under debate in the state legislature. FirstEnergy Solutions is in bankruptcy proceedings and may need to shut two Ohio nuclear plants down for economic reasons. [WKSU News]

Have an appreciably rewarding day.

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May 19 Energy News

May 19, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Climate Change: One Man’s Fight To Save A California Tree” • After a huge wildfire killed a forest in San Diego, California, in 2002, Cody Petterson set his heart on replanting the trees. He planted hundreds of Bigcone Douglas-firs, but they are being killed by heat and drought. Their only habitat is California, where climate change is killing them. [BBC]

Cody Petterson (Photo: Cody Petterson)

¶ “One Size Doesn’t Fit All: How Commercial Electric Vehicles Present Unique Challenges For Charging Infrastructure” • In the climate crisis, reducing emissions requires an all-hands-on-deck approach to goods and services, including how they are designed, produced, sourced, and transported. Transportation is the biggest source of emissions in the US. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The heat is on over the climate crisis. Only radical measures will work” • Drowned cities; stagnant seas; intolerable heatwaves; entire nations uninhabitable. A four-degree-warmer world is the stuff of nightmares and yet that’s where we’re heading in just decades. Meeting our emissions targets may seem hard. It will be far harder for our children if we don’t. [The Guardian]

As permafrost melts, grave markers tumble.
(Mark Ralston | AFP | Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “ABB Unveils Blockchain Inverter Pilot As Tech Emerges From Buzzword Status” • Inverter manufacturer ABB has launched a blockchain pilot to examine how the technology could boost the role of solar in peer-to-peer energy trading and smart grids. If successful, the firm intends to ensure that all inverters in the same class are blockchain ready. [PV-Tech]

¶ “New Report On Plastics And Climate – The Hidden Costs Of A Plastic Planet” • The Center for International Environmental Law published Plastic & Climate The Hidden Costs of a Plastic Planet. It says that greenhouse gas emissions associated with plastic “threaten the ability of the global community to keep global temperature rise below 1.5°C.” [CleanTechnica]

CIEL report

World:

¶ “Australia Poll Result Divides The Nation” • The result of yesterday’s election in Australia triggered rage and disgust for those hoping for a change of government deemed fairer and kinder to the environment. Many took to social media to express dismay after an election in which climate change was a major issue. [The Straits Times]

¶ “Climate Change Concerns Sour Germany’s Love For Cars” • In car-loving Germany, climate change has become a leading – but divisive – issue for voters going into European elections. A new Deutschland Trend poll by national broadcaster ARD, shows that 48% of respondents listed climate change as their biggest concern. [CNN]

Protest (Christoph Soeder | DPA | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “India: Share Of Non-Fossil Fuel Generation Tops 22% In 2018–2019” • Data released by India’s Central Electricity Authority and analyzed by CleanTechnica shows that the share of non-fossil fuel generation, including renewable energy, nuclear power, and large hydropower, topped 22.2% in the financial year 2018-19 (April 2018 to March 2019). [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Energy Ministry To Support Private Renewable Power Plants For Electricity Exports” • The Iranian Energy Minister, Reza Ardakanian, said the country’s renewable power plants operated by the private sector will be provided with necessary facilities to export electricity to the neighboring countries, Tasnim news agency reported. [Tehran Times]

Solar power system in Iran

¶ “UN Urges Universities To Be Catalysers Of Sustainability” • Young people are driving a global wake-up call on climate change and the need to reduce our carbon footprint. Many universities struggle with the concept of ‘greening,’ however, and their achievements to date have been “scattered and unsystematic”, UN Environment warned. [University World News]

¶ “Seven Solar Energy Projects Worth $1.5 Billion Unveiled In Saudi Arabia” • In Saudi Arabia, as part of its Vision 2030 economic diversification push, seven PV solar power projects with a combined capacity of 1.52 GW and worth $1.51 billion were launched on the side-lines of the recently concluded Saudi Elenex exhibition. [Utilities Middle East]

Large solar system

¶ “Guardian Drops Neutrality In Climate Crisis Reporting” • The Guardian updated its style guide to introduce terms that more accurately describe environmental crises. “Climate emergency, crisis, or breakdown,” are preferred to “global warming,” and “global heating” is favoured over “global warming.” The original terms are not banned. [Outside the Beltway]

US:

¶ “Children Of The Sun Solar Initiative Rises Out Of Devastating Fire” • The 2016 Cayuse Mountain Fire burned over 18,000 acres, destroyed 14 tribal homes on the Spokane Indian Reservation, and burned transmission lines for buildings and wells. The tribe has a solar system designed to foster resilience, autonomy, and sustainability. [CleanTechnica]

Solar installation

¶ “Republican Justin Amash Calls For Trump Impeachment” • Rep Justin Amash is the first Republican congressman to call for impeachment of Pres Donald Trump. He accused AG William Barr of misleading the public about the Mueller report, which found 10 instances where Mr Trump possibly attempted to impede the investigation. [BBC]

¶ “Nonprofits Using Community Solar To Help Veterans, Families” • Community solar usually comes with barriers such as credit score checks that can put it out of reach for some of those who have the most to potentially gain, but several Minnesota nonprofit organizations are turning to community solar as a tool to fight poverty. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Have a triumphantly agreeable day.

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May 18 Energy News

May 18, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Who’s Behind The War On Electric Cars?” • According to two attendees at a closed-door meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council, here was a contentious discussion between utility companies, which stand to benefit financially from sales of electricity for electric cars, and the fuel companies, which stand to lose. [CleanTechnica]

VW e-Golf Envoys

¶ “Cities Hold The Keys To Greener, More Efficient Homes” • Our homes may be a source of safety, comfort, and stability, but they also represent a considerable slice of our country’s carbon emissions, estimated by the Energy Information Administration to be 20%. Addressing this piece of our energy system is essential to achieving our climate goals. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Stalling Renewables Growth Raises Concern About Global Decarbonization Efforts” • In 2018, for the first time this century, global growth rate of new renewable energy capacity did not show a year-to-year increase. This leveling off has raised concern that efforts to advance a low-carbon energy transition may be stalling at just the wrong time. [Forbes]

Wind Farm (Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Air Pollution Is Slowly Killing Us All, New Global Study Claims” • A comprehensive global study by the International Respiratory Society’s Environmental Committee appeared in the official publication of the American College of Chest Physicians. It says that air pollution may damage every organ in the human body. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Another Electric Vehicle Benefit: No Carbon Monoxide Poisoning” • Several hundred Americans die each year from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, and far more are made sick. A number of the deaths occur in gas-powered vehicles where CO can build up without the occupants knowing, because the gas is colorless and odorless. [CleanTechnica]

Nissan LEAF

World:

¶ “German Brands Recover Ground In German Electric Car Market – April EV Sales Report” • The German plug-in electric vehicle market continued on the right track in April, having scored 7,771 registrations. Fully electric vehicles grew at 50% year over year, and plug-in hybrids grew at 14%. The overall market was stagnant and fell 3%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “In A First, India’s Quarterly Solar Generation Exceeds 10 TWh” • According to data reported by the Central Electricity Authority, India generated 11.3 TWh of solar power during the quarter of January-March 2019. This marks a 16.5% increase from the previous quarter and a huge 57% jump from the same quarter last year. [CleanTechnica]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “NB Green Party Makes Progress In Bill That Promotes Municipality-Based Renewables” • New Brunswick’s Green Party is pushing to increase the amount of renewable energy for municipal governments and First Nations. The plan is to allow local governments and First Nations to partner with local renewable energy producers. [Huddle Today]

¶ “BYD Lands Deal For 15 Electric Buses In Madrid” • BYD has taken another step forward in electrifying mass transit in Spain, as the company has landed a deal with EMT Madrid for 15 BYD 12-meter buses. The new order marks the first order of fully electric buses from BYD for EMT Madrid, the city’s primary public surface transit operator. [CleanTechnica]

BYD 12-meter bus in Santiago, Chile (BYD image)

¶ “It Just Became Much Easier For Businesses To Move Off Eskom’s Grid – Here’s Why” • Business Day reported that South Africa’s Minister of Energy gave the country’s energy regulator leave to licence 500 MW for small-scale embedded generation projects, sized between 1 MW and 10 MW, without his signing off on them. [Business Insider South Africa]

¶ “OPT PowerBuoy Passes MWh Milestone” • Ocean Power Technologies PB3 PowerBuoy system has delivered more than 1 MWh of electricity since deployment in the Adriatic Sea in November. The company said the wave device has operated “continuously and error-free” while being controlled remotely from its New Jersey facility. [reNEWS]

OPT PowerBuoy (Ocean Power Technologies image)

US:

¶ “Deadly Flooding Is Rocking Texas. Scientists Say This Is Our Future Under Climate Change.” • Across the US, trends indicate that flooding is becoming the new normal. Climate scientists say it is a challenge to connect isolated events to climate change, but they have linked the wider trend uptick in rain and disasters to global warming. [ThinkProgress]

¶ “White Cloud To Deliver For Enel In Missouri” • Enel Green Power is to supply electricity to Associated Electrive Cooperative from the White Cloud wind farm in Missouri under a long-term power purchase agreement. The White Cloud wind farm will have a capacity of over 236 MW and is expected to be operational by the end of 2020. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Enel Green Power image)

¶ “New York Updates Price Signals To Recognize Full Value, Spur Distributed Energy Resources” • New York regulators continue to hone the state’s rates and policies to expand the use of clean, distributed energy resources. Commissioners want distributed energy resources to increase on the grid, but also must ensure customer bills are fairly assessed. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Plant Vogtle Update: Further Behind Schedule, Still Billions Over Budget” • The Georgia Public Service Commission has been reviewing the status of the Vogtle nuclear expansion project this week after receiving a required update from Georgia Power. The update shows each reactor is now one more month behind schedule.  [Georgia Public Broadcasting]

Have a fabulously fine day.

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May 17 Energy News

May 17, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Five Reason’s Why HB 6, Ohio’s Nuclear Plant Subsidy Proposal, Should Be Rejected” • By giving a blatant handout to the nuclear and fossil fuel industries at the expense of renewable energy and energy efficiency, the latest proposal for a “Clean Air Program” in Ohio is bad for consumers, the economy, and the environment. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

Davis Besse power plant

¶ “Australia’s climate election: Where do parties stand on renewables?” • Australia’s 2019 federal election has been dubbed “the climate election” for a reason. The nation has just had its hottest summer on record, and greenhouse gas emissions rise without federal regulation. Many voters are concerned about climate change. [pv magazine International]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Instability Spreading In West Antarctic Ice Sheet” • Almost a quarter of the West Antarctic ice sheet is now affected by ice thinning, according to a study. It found that the ice sheet has thinned by as much as 122 meters in some places, and thinning has left glaciers unstable, according to scientists at the University of Leeds in England. [CNN]

Antarctic glacier melt (Andrew Shepherd)

¶ “414 Million Pieces Of Plastic Found On Remote Australian Islands: Study” • A study published in the journal Scientific Reports, found that Australia’s remote island territory of Cocos was littered with 238 tonnes of plastic. The group of 27 islands, home to about 500 people, is marketed to tourists as “Australia’s last unspoilt paradise.” [CNN]

World:

¶ “Engie Wins 200 MW Of Wind In India’s Latest Auction” • Due to undersubscription, the Solar Energy Corporation of India decided to auction just 480 MW of capacity, the smallest amount in its windpower auction history. Engie made a 200-MW bid at ₹2.79/kWh (3.98¢/kWh), matching its highest-ever win in India’s wind energy auctions. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Pexel image)

¶ “Vattenfall And GE Renewable Energy To Co-operate On Next-Generation Turbine” • Offshore wind developer Vattenfall and GE Renewable Energy are joining forces to deploy GE’s new offshore wind turbine, the Haliade-X. With a capacity of 12 MW, the Haliade-X is the largest offshore wind turbine currently being marketed. [Offshore Wind Journal]

¶ “Tilt Makes 130-MW New Zealand Power Play” • Australian renewables developer Tilt Renewables is to sell electricity to Genesis Energy from the 130-MW Waverley wind farm in New Zealand. Their 20-year power purchase agreement will allow Tilt to complete the remaining development activities. The project is to be online in September, 2021. [reNEWS]

Wind project construction (Tilt Renewables image)

¶ “2K MW Of Solar, Wind Energy Added To Egypt’s National Network” • The total amount of electricity generated from renewable energy in Egypt has reached 6,000 MW. The country had adopted the strategy of incorporating renewable energy in the mix a few years ago to reduce the reliance on traditional energy resources. [Egypttoday]

¶ “BC Renewable Energy Efforts Extend To Its Costal Lighthouses” • British Columbia is working on powering its lighthouses with green energy. After getting experience with renewable energy, the Canadian province wants to transition its 27 staffed lighthouses from diesel power to renewably sourced sustainable energy. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

Lighthouse

¶ “UK Solar Output Hits Record Peak Of 9.55 GW” • According to the Solar Trade Association, the UK’s solar fleet broke its peak output record on May 13, when it hit 9.47 GW. This was followed a day later by yet another announcement of yet another record, after peak solar output reached 9.55 GW at around 12:30 pm on May 14. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Canberra Will Be First Australian City To Run On 100% Renewable Energy From October” • Canberra will be effectively powered by renewable energy from October 1, with completion of the third stage of the Hornsdale wind farm. It will be the first Australian jurisdiction to do so, the Australian Capital Territory’s Climate Change Minister said. [ABC News]

Solar panels (Jake Evans | ABC News)

US:

¶ “Inslee Releases $3 Trillion Jobs Plan Centered On Clean Energy, Green Infrastructure” • Washington Gov Jay Inslee has unveiled his presidential campaign’s jobs plan, providing details of a proposal that has a laser-like focus on combating climate change. The proposal projects the creation of 8 million jobs over the next 10 years. [CNN]

¶ “Jay Inslee Calls Out Joe Biden On Combating Climate Change: ‘We Have To Live In The Real World Here'” • Washington Gov Jay Inslee repeatedly called out Joe Biden for his approach on climate, suggesting that the former vice president is naive about working with Republicans on the issue. Biden said critics are not looking at his record. [CNN]

CNN Town Hall with Jay Inslee (Karen Ducey | Getty Images)

¶ “Clearway Cash Rich For 419-MW Texas Titan” • US company Clearway Energy Group has closed financing of the 419-MW Mesquite Star wind farm in Texas and has started construction. Mesquite Star will have a total of 118 Siemens Gamesa turbines. It is being built by Blattner Energy, and commercial operations are to begin in early 2020. [reNEWS]

¶ “Hawaii Court Halts Biomass Plant Over Climate Concerns” • The Hawaii Supreme Court stopped plans by a biomass company to burn locally grown eucalyptus trees to provide energy to the state’s largest utility. The court ruled that the state Public Utility Commission approved the plant without considering Hawaii’s emissions goals. [Climate Liability News]

Have a stunningly lovely day.

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May 16 Energy News

May 16, 2019

World:

¶ “Volkswagen Continues To Ramp Up Its Electric Car Push” • VW’s board of supervisors announced that it is prepared to invest €1 billion in a battery cell factory. The preferred site is Salzgitter in Lower Saxony, where pilot production of battery cells is to begin later this year. The new factory siting is contingent on negotiations with the government. [CleanTechnica]

VW Scania truck (Image: Scania)

¶ “Project Developers Continue To Avoid Renewable Energy Auctions In India” • Project developers in India are unwilling to bid for large-scale solar and wind energy tenders, sounding alarms across government circles. The western state of Gujarat witnessed significant under-subscription of solar and wind energy tenders last week. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ireland Failing To Meet EU Energy Targets – Report” • Ireland will fall short of 2020 EU renewable energy targets, according to a report from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. The report predicts that 13% of the country’s energy will be derived from renewable sources next year. Ireland’s European target is 16%. [RTE.ie]

Wind turbines and a colorful sky

¶ “India’s Largest Power Company Shifts Away From Coal” • Tata Power, India’s largest integrated power company, announced that it will build no new coal-fired plants. In India, over 40 GW of coal-fired power plants are financially stressed, and new additions are coming to a near halt. Peak coal capacity may be closer than anticipated. [Sierra Magazine]

¶ “Scottish Renewables Firms Exporting To More Than 70 Countries” • Industry body Scottish Renewables found that businesses have exported renewable energy goods or services to a total of 72 countries. The most popular export destination was the US. Nine of the 15 Scottish businesses that responded to the survey export to the US. [Energy Voice]

Scotrenewables SR2000 deployment (Scotrenewables image)

¶ “Labour Reveals Plans To Fit Solar Panels To 1.75 Million Homes” • The UK Labour Party announced plans to fit solar panels to 1.75 million homes of socially housed or low-income households as part of its promised “green industrial revolution” to try to combat climate change and boost jobs. Another goal is free energy for needy people. [The Guardian]

¶ “Floating Wind ‘Buoys’ RE Investment In France” • While China and the US have maintained the top two places, in that order, in the EY Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index, France has moved up two notches into third place on the back of developments in floating offshore wind and bigger onshore targets. [reNEWS]

Floating offshore windpower (Image: Naval Energies)

¶ “ACT Declares Climate Change Emergency – Slams Federal Government Failure To Act” • The Australian Capital Territory has become the first state or territory in the country to make a formal declaration of a climate change emergency. The passage of the motion follows similar declarations made in the UK and Ireland. [RenewEconomy]

US:

¶ “2-GW Offshore Bill Advances In Connecticut” • Connecticut’s House of Representatives voted 134 to 10 in favor of legislation that would see the state buy or develop up to 2 GW of offshore wind power. The proposed legislation now goes to the state’s Senate for consideration. Connecticut Gov Ned Lamont is in favor of the measure. [reNEWS]

London Array (reNEWS image)

¶ “Renewable Energy Capacity In Texas REC Program Grew By Almost 10% In 2018” • For Texas’ voluntary Renewable Energy Credit program, including areas not in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the total capacity increased by about 2.6 GW, almost 10%, between 2017 and 2018. Analysts differ over whether the growth can continue. [S&P Global Platts]

¶ “Florida PSC Deems TECO Shared Solar Program ‘In The Public Interest’” • The Florida Public Service Commission has approved Tampa Electric Co’s optional solar energy tariff. This permits electric service customers to purchase energy from a designated TECO solar energy resource to replace all or part of their monthly energy consumption. [Solar Industry]

Tampa, Florida

¶ “Colorado Town Commits To 100% Renewable Electricity By 2035” • The Frisco Town Council unanimously voted to approve a resolution committing the community to shift away from fossil fuels and transition to 100% clean, renewable electricity by 2035. Eleven Colorado cities have made clean energy commitments since 2017. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Icebreaker Inches Towards Construction” • The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation has reached an agreement with the staff of the Ohio Power Siting Board about the 21-MW Icebreaker offshore wind project. The next step is to get formal board approval. The company is “optimistic that the permit will be issued later this year.” [reNEWS]

Icebreaker test installation (LEEDCo image)

¶ “More Renewable And Clean Energy Is Coming To The Northland” • Minnesota Power and parent company Allete have announced more investments in clean energy. It recently sold a water company in the Twin Cities area for nearly $300 million, and some of those funds will allow them to invest in more solar and wind energy. [FOX 21 Online]

¶ “Santee Cooper Sues VC Summer Contractor Westinghouse Over Abandoned Nuclear Equipment” • Santee Cooper sued the lead contractor of its failed VC Summer nuclear plant project. The lawsuit is the latest swing in a fight over who owns the abandoned equipment and parts left at the massive construction site in South Carolina. [Greenville News]

Have a charmingly pleasant day.

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May 15 Energy News

May 15, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Donald Trump Can’t Stop America From Going Green” • Despite Donald Trump’s vows to save coal, American oil companies (!) are investing in cleaner technology, according to a report from two World Bank economists. And state governments are filling the regulatory breach left by the do-nothing regime occupying Washington. [WBUR]

Coal mine in Wyoming (US BLM image, public domain)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Army Research Lab Water-Based Battery Is Lighter, Uses No Cobalt Or Nickel” • Researchers at the Army Research Lab in Adelphi, Maryland report they have created lighter batteries with high energy density that use no flammable electrolyte and operate without cobalt or nickel in their chemistry. The concept needs to be field-proven. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “187 Nations Signed UN Plastics Waste Protocol, But The US Was Not One Of Them” • After China stopped importing waste, delegates from 187 countries met in Geneva to figure how to deal with plastic refuse. They agreed that waste may not be shipped to a country, if it refuses its permission. The US did not sign the protocol. [CleanTechnica]

Plastic waste (Image: CC0, Public Domain)

¶ “Germany’s SCHMID Plans Saudi Energy Storage JV With GW-Scale Production” • German technology group SCHMID and two Saudi investors plan to form a joint venture in Saudi Arabia to develop and manufacture vanadium redox flow batteries. They plan a GW-scale manufacturing facility in the kingdom to enter production in 2020. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Ørsted Divests Danish Coal Station And Transit Harbor” • Ørsted announced that it had signed an agreement with Danish consortium Stigsnæs Industripark A/S for the sale of a coal-burning power, transit harbor, and coal terminal, near Skælskør, in Denmark. The buyer has experience in demolition and cleanup. It will develop the site. [CleanTechnica]

Stigsnæs Transit Harbour (Ørsted image)

¶ “China Still Most Attractive Renewables Market Despite Subsidy Cuts – EY” • China is the most attractive market for investment in renewable energy for the fourth year in a row and growth there is set to continue despite the country’s efforts to trim subsidies, a report by UK accountancy firm Ernst & Young showed. The US is number two. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Aussie Businesses Take Renewable Energy To The Next Level” • A customer-owned bank has become the first Australian bank to switch to 100% renewable electricity amid a growing push for clean energy in the business sector. Bank Australia joins Westpac and tech company Atlassian as recent Australian companies to join RE100. [Pro Bono Australia]

Wind farm

UK:

¶ “UK Solar Soars To Record High” • Solar generation records were broken in the UK on 13 May on the back of clear and bright weather conditions, according to the Solar Trade Association. STA said a generation peak of 9.47GW was achieved, surpassing the previous record of 9.38GW set in May 2017. Another  new record may be set today. [reNEWS]

¶ “Glasgow Aims To Be The UK’s First ‘Net-Zero’ City” • Plans unveiled by Glasgow would make it the first UK city to reduce its greenhouse emissions to net-zero. The city wants to reach the target before 2045, beating the Scotland-wide ambition of the Scottish government. Glasgow’s plan includes mass EV charging stations. [BBC News]

Glasgow at night (Barnabas Csomor, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Scots To Reap £2 Billion Pumped Hydro Benefits” • Scottish companies are set to benefit from £2 billion investment in three pumped hydro schemes in Scotland, according to ILI Group chief executive Mark Wilson. Speaking on the eve of the All-Energy 2019 trade fair in Glasgow, he said the projects will create thousands of jobs. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Teachers Grapple With Climate Change: ‘A Pretty Scary Topic'” • The Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network reviewed more than 30,000 free online resources and found only 700 acceptable for use in schools. The rest include materials from climate change doubters, the oil industry, and others with misleading information. [NBC 10 Philadelphia]

Teaching science (Sarah Blake Morgan | AP)

¶ “Boulder City Looks To Make More Than $1.6 Million Per Year With New Renewable Energy Plant” • Nevada has the best solar power potential in the nation, the US EIA says. Boulder City, which sits between Las Vegas and Lake Mead, is looking to capitalize on a renewable energy push that Nevada is particularly ripe for. [News3LV]

¶ “Students press Portland school board to adopt climate curriculum promised 3 years ago” • Dozens of students packed the auditorium at Portland school district headquarters to demand a science and social studies curriculum that addresses climate change. The school board passed a resolution three years ago promising just that. [OregonLive.com]

Students attending
(Eder Campuzano)

¶ “Springtime Showers Brings State Legislation In The US Friendly To Solar And Wind Energy” • In the months of March and April alone, eight states in the US passed legislation in an attempt to either make the permitting process easier for solar and wind power or to commit to the use of renewable power by a certain date. [The National Law Review]

¶ “A Strong Bipartisan Vote For Wind Power In Connecticut” • Connecticut’s House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly for a bipartisan measure that proponents say would make Connecticut a reliable customer of electricity produced by offshore wind turbines, a step to match the output of the aging Millstone nuclear power station. [The CT Mirror]

Have a thoroughly delightful day.

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May 14 Energy News

May 14, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “China, Japan, And South Korea Lie To Themselves (And Us) About Renewable Energy Intentions” • There are about 67 GW of new coal plants scheduled to receive foreign funding in countries around the world. According to EndCoal.org, more than 80% of them are being financed by China, Japan, and South Korea. [CleanTechnica]

Mountaintop removal coal mining

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scientists Say They Have Created An Environmentally Friendly Alternative To Styrofoam” • From an environmental perspective, styrofoam is a disaster. Scientists at Washington State University say they have developed an environmentally friendly material derived from plants that works better than Styrofoam for insulation. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Deepest Ever Dive Finds Plastic Bag At Bottom Of Mariana Trench” • An American undersea explorer, Victor Vescovo, has completed what is claimed to be the deepest manned sea dive ever recorded, 10,927 meters (35,853 feet). He returning to the surface with the depressing news that there’s plastic trash down there. [CNN]

Victor Vescovo piloting (Discovery | Five Deeps Expedition)

¶ “Cement Giant Heidelberg Pledges Carbon Neutral Concrete By 2050” • The world’s fourth largest cement manufacturing company, Heidelberg Cement, pledged to bring its emission reduction targets in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, in a first for the industry. The cement sector accounts for around 7% of CO₂ emissions. [Climate Home]

¶ “New Breakthroughs In Fuel Cell Technology Announced” • Scientists at the University of Waterloo announced that they have succeeded in making fuel cells that last ten times longer than the ones commercially available today. They have the potential to make electric cars that cost no more than cars powered by fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

Fuel Cell and Green Energy Lab, University of Waterloo

World:

¶ “Gupta’s Cultana Solar Farm Gets Green Light” • The first solar farm in Sanjeev Gupta’s ambitious plans for Whyalla received planning approval from the South Australian government. The Cultana project will see the construction of a 280-MW solar farm he wants to develop to support steel manufacturing plants in the region. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “43 Cities Score ‘A’ Grade In CDP Climate Change Ranking” • A total of 43 cities, including Barcelona, London, Paris, Cape Town, and Hong Kong, populate a new “A List” ranking cities’ action to cut emissions and set climate strategies published this week by environmental impact non-profit CDP to celebrate the start of EU Green Week. [CleanTechnica]

London

¶ “Business, Homes Urged To Turn To Renewable Energy” • Industrialists have called on the business sector and individuals in Zimbabwe to adopt renewable energy sources as a long-term solution to the country’s power shortages. The call came after utility Zesa Holdings started a load-shedding regime due to low water levels in Kariba Dam. [NewsDay]

¶ “‘Step-Change’ In Energy Investment Needed To Meet Climate Goals: IEA” • The world must double spending on renewable power and slash investment in oil and coal by 2030 to keep the Paris climate treaty temperature targets in play, the International Energy Agency said. That would mean reversing the energy trends of 2018. [Phys.Org]

Solar farm in China

¶ “French Watchdog Investigates Potential Nuclear Safety Fraud” • French nuclear regulator ASN said it was looking into possible fraud and falsification regarding nuclear safety, after receiving several warnings from whistleblowers. The ASN said since November it had received 22 warnings and passed four of them to criminal courts. [ETEnergyworld.com]

US:

¶ “US Offshore Wind Industry Sucking Up Talent From Oil And Gas” • The US oil and gas industry is facing a workforce crisis in the next five years or so, and now here comes the red-hot US wind industry to add fuel to the fire. It seems that the offshore wind industry is beginning to steal talent from its offshore oil and gas competition. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind industry at work at Block Island

¶ “Jury Returns $2 Billion Verdict Against Monsanto For Couple With Cancer” • A jury awarded $2.055 billion to a couple who blamed Monsanto’s weed killer Roundup for their cancers, their attorneys said. They spoke of a “mountain of evidence showing Monsanto’s manipulation of science, the media and regulatory agencies to forward their own agenda.” [CNN]

¶ “Renewable Energy Center Coming To Brayton Point” • The former Brayton Point power station has become the Anbaric Renewable Energy Center, with a 1,200-MW HVDC converter. Commercial Development Company also plans to develop a 400-MW battery storage facility at the site, which is in Somerset, Massachusetts. [newportri.com]

Anbaric Renewable Energy Center (AREC image)

¶ “‘No Middle Ground’: Ocasio-Cortez And Activists Take Aim At Biden At Green New Deal Rally” • Sen Bernie Sanders and Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made the case for radical action to combat climate change at a rally in Washington. “There is no ‘middle ground’ when it comes to climate policy,” Sanders tweeted. [KRTV Great Falls News]

¶ “Venetian Resort Las Vegas, NV Energy Reach Long-Term Agreement” • The Venetian hotel-casino and Nevada utility NV Energy announced that they have reached a long-term energy supply agreement committing to a partnership that advances renewable energy. The resort had considered leaving NV Energy over the issue. [KTNV Las Vegas]

Have a terrifically rewarding day.

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May 13 Energy News

May 13, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “These Days, It’s Not About the Polar Bears” • Social-science investigators have found that the most effective tools for engaging the public in the subject of climate change are those that appeal to core human tendencies. For example, people tend to focus on personal and local problems that are happening right now. [The New York Times]

Children protest (Chris J Ratcliffe | Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “There Is More CO₂ In The Atmosphere Today Than Any Point Since The Evolution Of Humans” • According to data from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, the concentration of CO₂ in the atmosphere is over 415 ppm, far higher than at any point in the last 800,000 years, since before the evolution of the species Homo sapiens. [CNN]

World:

¶ “Yes, The International Monetary Fund Is Waking Up To Financial Risks Of The Climate Crisis” • The IMF is exploring ways in which it can help address the climate crisis. It is working to reflect climate resilience, assess the fiscal impacts of climate policy choices, and evaluate climate risks in its assessments of countries. [CleanTechnica]

Extraction machine at a coal mine (Max Pixel)

¶ “Elonroad EV Charging System To Get First Trial In Sweden” • After eight years of research by the University of Lund, with funding from the Swedish government, the city of Lund is about to begin installing the first kilometer of Elonroad track along a heavily used bus route to recharge electric bus batteries as they drive. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EDF Climate Corps Fellows Unearth Energy Savings For BYD” • As a leader in not only plug-in vehicles, but also in stationary energy storage, and grid scale solar, BYD is always looking for ways to reduce its carbon footprint. It reached out to the Environmental Defense Fund’s Climate Corps program for external expertise. [CleanTechnica]

BYD Electric Truck factory (Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Australian Islanders To Lodge Landmark UN Complaint On Climate Change” • According to lawyers involved in the action. a group of indigenous people is filing an unprecedented legal complaint against the government of Australia, accusing it of breaching their human rights by falling short on its Paris climate accord pledges. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Climate And Energy Goals Can Be Met Without Sacrificing Rivers: WWF” • A report from the Nature Conservancy and the WWF showed that the renewable energy transition can solve the world’s climate and energy challenges without sacrificing its remaining free-flowing rivers and the benefits they provide to people and nature. [Saurenergy]

Renewable energy and river

¶ “Renewables MMI: World Bank Launches Fund For Sustainable Mining Practices” • As the world increasingly moves toward having its energy needs met by renewables, the environmental impact of the metal mining needed for renewable energy has come into focus. So the World Bank launched a Climate-Smart Mining Facility. [MetalMiner]

¶ “German Onshore Wind ‘Collapse’ Jeopardises EU Renewable Energy Goals” • The “collapse” in the growth of onshore wind energy in Germany is jeopardising renewable energy targets, Trade body WindEurope says. Only 134 MW of German onshore wind capacity was installed in Q1 of 2019. It was the worst first quarter since 2000. [Energy Live News]

Onshore wind turbines (Shutterstock image)

¶ “UN Chief: Climate Change ‘Running Faster Than We Are'” • UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said “Climate change is running faster than what we are.” He pointed out that Countries are not living up to their commitments under the 2016 Paris Agreement, even though the last four years have been the hottest in history. [Aljazeera.com]

¶ “TEPCO tests halting water injection into crippled reactor at Fukushima No 1 nuclear power plant” • The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant conducted a test, temporarily halting the water injection into one of the reactors that suffered a core meltdown in 2011. The test will provide core temperature data. [The Japan Times]

Fukushima Daiichi (Kyodo image)

US:

¶ “Tech Giants Get Antsy In Northern Virginia: Give Us Renewable Power, There’s A Planet To Save… And PR To Harvest” • A letter signed by Apple, Microsoft, and several other businesses demands that “energy providers” in Virginia – which basically means Dominion – offer more solar and wind power to data center operators. [The Register]

¶ “On Climate, Washington State Back In The Lead” • The state of Washington closed out its 2019 legislative session with some big wins for the climate. The legislature passed a 100% clean electricity standard, new efficiency policies, and regulation of super-pollutants. But there is more to do, especially in regards to transportation emissions. [CleanTechnica]

Charging station (Washington State Dept of Transportation)

¶ “Minnesota Power Offers Renewable Energy Programs” • Some energy resources are more environmentally friendly than others. Minnesota Power has rolled out several different options for home and business owners to use clean energy sources with its EnergyForward program for customers looking to turn to clean energy. [KBJR 6]

¶ “Tucson Electric To Save $13 Million Through Partnership With ‘Real-Time’ Wholesale Power Market” • Tucson Electric Power Co announced that it will join the Western Energy Imbalance Market, a move it says will save $13 million a year. It signed with the California Independent System Operator to participate starting in April 2022. [Arizona Daily Star]

Have a transcendentally gleeful day.

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May 12 Energy News

May 12, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Life As We Know It” • Species of plants and animals are disappearing faster than at any time in human history. We know who is to blame. Our planet has suffered five mass extinctions, with the last about 66 million years ago, probably because of an asteroid hit the Earth. Now, the sixth extinction is here, and the asteroid is us. [The New York Times]

Threatening extinctions (Yann Kebbi)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Google Supports WattTime Power Plant Emissions Tracking Project” • WattTime intends to create a public database that will track carbon emissions from all the world’s large power plants using artificial intelligence, using AI and satellite technology in combination. The project will receive $1.7 million in funding from Google.org. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Elaphe Debuts New High-Torque In-Wheel Hub Motor” • Elaphe, a Tier One auto industry supplier, is a leader in designing in-wheel motors, with products for everything from small passenger cars to light trucks. At the Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo in Stuttgart, the company unveiled its new L1500 gearless in-wheel motor. [CleanTechnica]

Elaphe L1500 high-performance in-wheel motor

¶ “Just Add Water: Salt Battery Could Help Renewable Energy Use” • Vattenfall and Swedish start-up SaltX are working on a thermal battery. When calcium oxide reacts with water to make calcium hydroxide, it releases a lot of heat. When the water is removed, the material changes back into calcium oxide. The thermal battery stores heat. [Japan Today]

World:

¶ “Tesla Model 3’s March Tsunami In Europe – CleanTechnica EV Sales Report” • The European passenger plug-in vehicle market had a record 60,000 registrations in March, with growth of 38% compared to the same period last year. Considering the 4% drop  in the stagnating mainstream market, this was really good performance. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3 in Germany

¶ “China: BAIC EU-Series Hit 13,000 Sales In March, Tesla Model 3 Scored 5,000 – CleanTechnica EV Sales Report” • March saw the Chinese plug-in EV market surpass 110,000 units, up 86% year over year. Meanwhile, the mainstream market was down 7% in March, allowing the March plug-in vehicle share to reach 5.8% of total sales. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Aswan Solar Power Park Highlights Egypt’s Renewable Energy Strategy” • Egypt is preparing to open a huge solar PV park at the southern city of Aswan. The 1,600-MW Benban Solar Park has been under construction since 2017 by nearly two dozen major renewable energy companies. It will be fully operational later this year. [The Arab Weekly]

A cheaper alternative (AFP photo)

¶ “Proportion Of Renewable Energy Reaches A Record High Of 7% Of Total Power Generation In Q1” • In the first quarter this year, renewable energy made up a record-high proportion of South Korea’s total power generation at 7.5%, up from 5.5% the year before. Coal was at 40%, down 5%, and LNG was down 3% to 26% of the total. [Arirang News]

¶ “Rack ’em Up: Another Riverina Solar Farm Approved” • A large-scale ESCO Pacific-championed solar project received New South Wales Government approval, bringing to 26 the number of solar farms given the green light by the State since 2017. That’s another 100 MW towards the NSW goal of more than 10 GW of renewables by 2021. [pv magazine Australia]

Sunraysia Solar Farm (Maoneng image)

¶ “The UN Push On Climate Change Is Shaping Up Amid Geopolitical Shifts” • A major UN push for progress on climate change kicks off next week when UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Guterres travels to New Zealand and several Pacific islands, where rising sea levels are threatening the very existence of small countries. [The Asian Age]

¶ “Fukushima’s Mothers Became Radiation Experts To Protect Their Children After Nuclear Meltdown” • Inside a laboratory in Fukushima, sophisticated equipment clicks, beeps, and buzzes, tended by women in lab coats. But the lab workers are not typical scientists. They are ordinary mums who have built their own extraordinary laboratory. [ABC News]

Checking for radiation (Yumi Asada | ABC News)

US:

¶ “Joe Biden looks to revive Obama’s climate plan. Scientists say that’s not good enough.” • Presidential candidate Joe Biden favors reinstating Obama-era regulations on emissions. “There may have been a chance for modest, ‘all of the above,’ ‘middle ground’ climate strategies 20 years ago but we’ve passed that point now,” said one climate scientist. [Grist]

¶ “Mount Diablo State Park Could Be Opened For Drilling Under Federal Proposal” • The Trump administration has proposed opening new stretches of San Francisco Bay Area land to oil and gas exploration. The Bureau of Land Management areas that could be opened to drilling includes land in and near Mount Diablo State Park. [KCBS]

Mount Diablo (Getty Images)

¶ “GOP Candidate Weld Talks Trump At Valley News-Sponsored Forum” • Former Massachusetts Gov Bill Weld, campaigning in the Republican primary against Pres Trump, visited towns in the Upper Valley region of Vermont and New Hampshire. Among the Trump’s positions he attacked were climate change, fossil fuels, and renewable energy. [Valley News]

¶ “Sanders To Join Ocasio-Cortez In Headlining Green New Deal Rally Monday” • Sen Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) will be joining Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) in headlining a rally on May 5 at Howard University in Washington, DC, to support the Green New Deal resolution, which calls for sweeping reforms to combat climate change. [The Hill]

Have a vastly contented day.

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May 11 Energy News

May 11, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “The Weekend Read: Drivers Of Energy Convergence” • The risks posed by the energy transition to the stability of electricity networks appear to have been misrepresented. With Germany’s Energiewende, electricity network stability has increased as penetrations of solar PV and wind generation continue to creep higher. [pv magazine International]

Intersolar Europe trade fair

Science and Technology:

¶ “Seeing Energy From Space: 5 Tools Using Remote Sensing To Improve Life On Earth” • Tracking changes in the electricity sector has massive implications for how countries develop, and how we can tackle climate change. Several organizations are gathering data on the changes using geospatial data and satellite imagery. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Dual Axis Solar Tracker Field Performance Yields 27.7% ROI” • The slow adoption of new technology in the US solar industry allows time to establish performance data. In the case of large-format dual axis trackers, the latest numbers are eye-catching: a 27.73% return on investment, or a payback period of only three years. [CleanTechnica]

Large format dual axis trackers (Credit: Charles W Thurston)

World:

¶ “Volkswagen Books 10,000 Online Reservations For ID.3 Electric Car In First 24 Hours” • Volkswagen announced that it will build just 30,000 units of its special edition ID.3 electric hatchback. Within 24 hours, more than 10,000 people ponied up €1,000 to reserve theirs. The VW ID.3 is scheduled to go into production this year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Report: MENA Renewable Capacity Growth Accelerates In 2018” • Renewable capacity expansion sped up during 2018 in many developing countries in the Middle East and North Africa region along with parts of Asia. This is driven by rapidly falling costs for wind and solar PVs, an International Energy Agency report says. [Al-Bawaba]

Sun and solar PVs (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Ireland Goes 25 Days Without Using Coal To Generate Electricity” • The island of Ireland has gone a record length of time without using coal-fired electricity generation on its power system, according to Eirgrid. The Irish all-island grid operated without coal between April 11th and May 7th, a total of 25 days, Eirgrid confirmed. [Irish Times]

¶ “Powering Up Clean Energy On Semakau” • Semakau Island might be known for being Singapore’s only landfill site, but it also produces 100% clean energy to power a fish farm there. The island’s solar panels and wind turbine have a combined 1.5-MW peak capacity. Using it, Barramundi Asia runs its fish farm on 100% clean energy. [The Straits Times]

Solar panels on Semakau Island (Mark Cheong | Straits Times)

¶ “TEPCO To Slice Dangerous Chimney At Fukushima Plant” • TEPCO plans to start work on May 20 to dismantle a 120-meter-tall, highly contaminated chimney that could collapse at the crippled Fukushima Daichi nuclear power plant. It will be the first highly radiated facility at the plant to be taken apart, the company said. [Asahi Shimbun]

US:

¶ “NREL And ExxonMobil Team Up For Renewable Energy Research” • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has teamed up with ExxonMobil to “pursue new breakthroughs in low-emission energy technologies,” the Denver Post says. The oil giant will invest $100 million over the next decade in the NREL’s research programs. [CleanTechnica]

NREL research lab (Credit: NREL)

¶ “Sanders Says Biden’s ‘Middle Ground’ Approach to Climate Crisis Would ‘Doom Future Generations'” • “There is no ‘middle ground’ when it comes to climate policy,” the Vermont senator tweeted, quoting from a Reuters report on Biden’s efforts to develop a climate plan that would leave the door open to so-called “fossil fuel options.” [Common Dreams]

¶ “Duke CEO Threatens Action Against South Carolina Customers After Officials Vote Down Steep Rate Hike” • The head of Duke Energy, the largest US utility, threatened to pull back future investments in customer services in South Carolina after state regulators voted to cut the steep rate hike proposed by the utility. [Environmental Working Group]

Home PV system

¶ “Avant-Garde Ag: Idaho Farmers Embrace Technology” • The recent Census of Agriculture shows Idaho farmers are embracing modern technology, from renewable energy systems to the internet. The Census of Agriculture, which is produced by the Department of Agriculture, collects data every five years from farms and ranches. [Idaho State Journal]

¶ “California’s Mid-Day Solar Power Glut Has Become Obvious” • California’s Independent System Operator, or CAISO, has long cautioned that renewable power production would eventually grow to a point where supply exceeds demand on pleasant spring and autumn days. This could produce economic headwinds for solar companies. [Seeking Alpha]

CAISO power production

¶ “The Fight Over Green Jobs In Coal Country: ‘We Can Become Important Again'” • For much of coal country, alternative energy is almost a bad word. The coal industry, which sustained families for generations, is regularly lambasted by environmentalists. There were near-record coal plant closures in 2018. But there are jobs with renewables. [CBS News]

¶ “Ameren Missouri Plans Third In-State Wind Generation Facility” • Ameren Missouri announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire a third wind generation facility in Missouri after it is built. The 300-MW facility, developed by Tradewind Energy, an Enel Green Power company, will be in Atchison County. [EnerCom Inc]

Have a gloriously cheerful day.

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May 10 Energy News

May 10, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “These Scientists Did More Than Tell Us We Were Doomed” • In the past few days, a series of apocalyptic headlines appeared, telling us that a million species were threatened with extinction, based on an IPBES report. It is important to remember that the report didn’t just talk about doom. The committee also offered solutions. [Sierra Magazine]

Mangrove forest (Photo: The X File Photo | Istock)

¶ “Climate Change Finally The Most Important Issue To US Democratic Voters. Will It Last Until Election Day?” • In past US presidential elections, candidates steered clear of climate change. But according to two polls of registered Democratic voters, those who are lining up to take on Donald Trump in 2020 will ignore it at their peril. [Bellona]

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Weeds Help Fight Climate Change” • Most people see weeds as a problem. But one farmer has found they can help make dry, damaged land lush again, and they also absorb carbon from the atmosphere. His observations of the flow of water from high to low places inspired what is called natural sequence farming. [BBC]

Re-establishing vegetation on parched land (Getty Images)

¶ “Fully Recyclable Plastics Breakthrough! This Could Change Everything” • Scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have created a recyclable plastic that can be disassembled into its constituent parts at the molecular level. It can then be reassembled repeatedly into a different forms without loss of quality. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Simple, Yet Elusive, Key To Fighting The Climate Crisis” • Unsustainable human behaviors over-consuming and depleting environmental resources are becoming a threat to human health and prosperity. Preserving and restoring forests is an effective step toward mitigating climate change. And it comes with a host of other benefits. [CleanTechnica]

Fishing in Benin, Western Africa (Pixabay image)

World:

¶ “WindEurope Launches EU Election Campaign” • WindEurope launched a campaign to mobilize the 300,000 people who work in European wind energy to be sure to vote in the European elections on 23-26 May. The campaign aims to encourage voter turnout to ensure Europe remains on the right track in terms of its climate ambition. [reNEWS]

¶ “Solar Energy Is On The Rise, As Coal-Fired Power Stations Age And Gas Prices Rise – But Is The Grid Ready?” • Last year, the amount of electricity generated by Australian solar panels and wind turbines rose by almost a third from 9.8% to 12.6% of total generation. The rate of installations is increasing, and the grid has to be prepared. [ABC News]

Solar array (Jane Cowan | ABC News)

¶ “Top Scientists Call For A Halt To Nuclear Power Generation” • For the tenth anniversary of the signing of the Indo-US nuclear cooperation agreement, a paper published in the India Forum provided a biting criticism. The deal’s goals have not been realized, but its threats to India’s economics, democracy, and safety have become clear. [Kashmir Times]

¶ “Ofgem Grid Changes ‘To Hit UK Renewables’” • UK regulator Ofgem’s targeted charging review proposals will lead to a 6-GW reduction in onshore wind and solar installations by 2035, energy consultancy Aurora said. The findings are in contrast to Ofgem’s impact assessment, which assumed renewables deployment would remain unchanged. [reNEWS]

Penyrheollas solar farm (BayWa image)

US:

¶ “US Residential Solar Installs Hit 2 Million In Q2” • The US now has over 2 million solar systems installed, and forecasts are that the number will double by 2023, according to Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables and the Solar Energy Industries Association. The first million installations took 40 years, but the second took just three. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vestas Feeds Wyoming Whoppers” • Vestas has secured a turbine order totalling 459 MW from PacifiCorp for two wind farms in Wyoming. The deals for the TB Flats 1 and 2 projects are for V136 machines, each of 4.3-MW capacity. With previously purchased turbines, the wind farms will have a total capacity of 503 MW, Vestas said. [reNEWS]

Installing a blade (Vestas image)

¶ “Sunrun Nearly Doubles Tesla Solar Installations In Middling First Quarter” • The largest residential solar, storage, and energy services provider in the US, Sunrun, installed 86 MW in the first quarter of 2019, which could be described middling. Doing so, it trounced former US residential solar leader Tesla, which installed only 47 MW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “200+ Groups Demand Senate Kill Bill That Would Pour ‘Fuel On Fire of Climate Crisis'” • Over 200 national climate action groups demanded that the Senate reject a bill that would help keep both Europe and the US dependent on fossil fuels for decades to come, providing billions of dollars for natural gas infrastructure projects. [Common Dreams]

Fracking in Wyoming (Photo: Wendy
Shattil, Bob Rozinksi, Creative Commons)

¶ “Coal’s Slide To Continue In US As Renewables Fill The Gap” • US demand for coal to generate electricity will continue its slide in coming months, federal officials said, despite efforts by the Trump administration to shore up the struggling industry. Wind, solar, and hydropower are expected to fill much of the gap left by coal’s decline. [Great Falls Tribune]

¶ “New Report Finds It’s A Buyer’s Market: Wind And Solar Costs Are Down” • LevelTen Energy’s latest quarterly report shows significant declines in the cost of electricity from wind and solar sources. Across markets, an evenly weighted index of wind and solar prices decreased $0.39/MWh, which is 2.3% quarter-over-quarter. [Windpower Engineering]

Have an enthrallingly pleasing day.

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May 9 Energy News

May 9, 2019

World:

¶ “Sweden Looks To More Solar To Reach 100% Renewables By 2045” •  Sweden is currently eyeing plans to generate 100% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2045. And though the country is often without any sunlight during winter, the country’s energy agency is still considering the role of solar PV in its plans. [RenewEconomy]

Sweden

¶ “Renewable Energy Overpowers Coal In Germany” • According to Fraunhofer Institute evaluations, Germany’s renewable power sector pulled bigger production numbers than coal in 2018 for the first time ever, with 40% of the country’s electricity coming from wind, biomass, solar, and hydroelectric sources compared to 38% from coal. [ThomasNet News]

¶ “Solar Power Generation In India Increased By 34% Year-Over-Year In Q1 2019” • According to the data released by the Central Electricity Authority, solar power accounted for over 11.4 billion kWh of electricity produced in Q1 2019. This marks a growth of 34% year-over-year from the 8.5 billion kWh generated in the Q1 2018. [Mercom India]

Solar array

¶ “India To Exceed Climate Compliance Under Paris Agreement: Moody’s” • India will exceed the compliance of its commitment made to address climate change under the Paris agreement, according to Moody’s Investors Service. Non-fossil-based fuel sources are likely likely to increase to 45% of Indian capacity by 2022. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Britain Records First Coal-Free Week Since The Victorian Era, Thanks To Gas, Nuclear Power And Renewables” • Britain has now gone seven days without using any electricity generated from coal, for the first time since the Victorian era. Ten years ago, coal produced about a third of the Britain’s electricity. Since May 2, the country has been powered by natural gas and nuclear energy, and renewables. [ABC News]

Walney Extension wind farm (Reuters: Phil Noble)

¶ “Europe’s First Gigafactory For Battery Storage Systems” • Europe’s first gigafactory for battery storage systems is being put into operation in Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Germany. Battery maker Tesvolt is working to establish new production facilities for lithium storage systems with an annual production capacity of over 1 GWh. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Beatrice Nears Finish Line” • The last batch of the Siemens Gamesa 7-MW turbines for the 588-MW Beatrice offshore wind farm have been loaded onto Swire Blue Ocean jack-up Pacific Orca for installation off the coast of Scotland. Beatrice will have 84 turbines and is scheduled to be fully commissioned later this year. [reNEWS]

Offshore installation (Swire Blue Ocean image)

US:

¶ “FERC Report Indicates Shining Days For Renewable Energy Sector” • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission report said solar, wind, and hydropower accounted for 59.6% of new capacity added to the US electricity generation mix during the first quarter of 2019. Renewables now account for 21.49% of our installed capacity. [Greentech Lead]

¶ “Renewables Secured: EVgo Contracts 100% Renewables For Customer Charging” • EVgo is the first EV charging network in the US to contract 100% of the energy needed to power its customers with renewable energy. EVgo is responding to customers asking to have 100% of the electricity for EV charging sourced from renewables. [CleanTechnica]

EVgo Fast Charging station in California (EVgo image)

¶ “Walmart Signs 46 Solar Deals With C2 Energy Capital” • C2 Energy Capital LLC has executed 46 power purchase agreements and leases with Walmart Inc to provide solar electric power at the retailer’s operations in five states. The projects are expected to supply approximately 10%-60% of each store’s overall electricity consumption. [Solar Industry]

¶ “Block Island Offshore Wind Farm Improves Fishing And Tourism” • Researchers at the University of Rhode Island studied the effects the Block Island wind farm had on local fishing and tourism. They found recreational fishing was increased, though feeling were mixed among those who fish commercially, and tourism improved. [CleanTechnica]

Block Island wind farm (Deepwater Wind image)

¶ “Solar Energy Legislation That Could Lower Power Bills Wins Senate Approval” • With just a day left in the legislative session, the South Carolina Senate approved a solar energy bill that boosters said will keep the state’s rooftop solar industry in business and help homeowners use sun panels to save money on power bills. [The State]

¶ “Renewable Energy Firm Heads To Maine’s High Court To Fight CMP’s $1 Billion Transmission Line” • NextEra Energy Resources is appealing the Maine Public Utilities Commission’s granting of an important certificate for Central Maine Power’s proposed hydropower corridor from Canada through western Maine. [Bangor Daily News]

Transmission lines (Courtesy of Central Maine Power)

¶ “South Miami Commits To Running On 100% Renewable Energy By 2040” • After succeeding on his own off-grid trial, South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard is taking the entire city with him. The South Miami City Commission unanimously passed a resolution saying the city will transition to 100% clean, renewable energy by the year 2040. [Miami New Times]

¶ “Exelon To Shut Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant” • Exelon Corp says it’s moving forward with plans to close the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in Pennsylvania after a bid to bail out struggling reactors failed to advance in the state legislature. Exelon had hoped to get $500 million per year in subsidies to keep the plant open. [Bloomberg]

Have an amazingly fun day.

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May 8 Energy News

May 8, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “We’ll Soon Know The Exact Air Pollution From Every Power Plant In The World. That’s Huge.” • A nonprofit AI firm called WattTime will use satellite imagery to track the air pollution (including carbon emissions) coming out of every single power plant in the world precisely, in real time. And it’s going to make the data public. [Vox]

Keeping an eye on the polluters (Shutterstock)

¶ “How To Overcome Obstacles To Microgrid Financing” • Microgrid financing is still evolving. This is due in part to the complexity of microgrids, which use numerous technologies and are deployed using many different models, including utility, community, and remote options. The complexity can make it difficult to find financing. [Microgrid Knowledge]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change Is Helping Spread A Fungus That Attacks Bananas” • A fungal plant disease from Asia has been spreading across banana-growing areas of Latin America and the Caribbean since the 1960s. New research indicatess that the changing climate is aiding the spread of this highly destructive plant infection. [CNN]

Bananas (Helene Valenzuela | AFP | AFP | Getty Images)

World:

¶ “Australian Mayors Want More Ambition On Climate Change, 100% Renewables” • Ahead of Australia’s Federal Election, a group of mayors from across the country has called for Federal leaders to prioritize climate action and commit to phasing out fossil fuels. They want the government to lock in 100% renewable energy targets. [Sask News Now]

¶ “Germany Is Opening Its First Electric Highway For Trucks” • One answer to the problem of pollution from diesel trucks is using overhead lines to power big rigs. A system that allows trucks to draw electric power from overhead cables went into operation on 10 km (6.2 miles) of the Autobahn, according to the German government. [CNN]

Trucks equipped to operate on electric power
(Silas Stein | Picture Alliance | Getty Images)

¶ “Iran Nuclear Deal: Tehran May Increase Uranium Enrichment” • Iran pulled out of key commitments of the 2015 international nuclear deal, a year after it was abandoned by the US. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gave the deal’s remaining signatories 60 days to choose between meeting their commitments to the deal or following US sanctions. [BBC]

¶ “Age Of Cheap Coal Power Is Over For Australia, Says BNEF” • The era of cheap coal power in Australia is over, brought to an abrupt end by ever cheaper solar and wind power generation, and by rising coal prices, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Kobad Bhavnagri. The change happened more quickly than anyone had predicted. [RenewEconomy]

Scott Morrison, now prime minister, extolling
the virtues of coal (Image: Lukas Coch | AAP)

¶ “Siemens Spins Off Struggling Gas And Power In Smart Digital Shift” • Siemens is spinning off its gas and power business, which has dragged on the German engineering firm’s performance as the rise of renewable power hits demand for gas turbines. The gas and power unit’s 2018 profit had fallen by 75% as revenue dropped 19%. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Swedish Partners Target 1 GW Of Wind” • Swedish pulp and paper producer SCA is working with OX2 to develop up to 1000 MW of new wind power on its land within five years. To start, SCA and OX2 have identified a small number of areas that are suitable for wind power in Norrland county and have begun to develop four projects. [reNEWS]

Installing a wind turbine (Joachim Lagercrantz | OX2)

US:

¶ “1 In 5 Americans Now Live In Places Committed To 100% Clean Power” • With Washington state, Nevada, New Mexico, California, Hawaii, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico, all committed to goals of 100% renewable energy, one in five Americans lives in places with such a goal. Seven more states have bills to meet the same goal. [Grist]

¶ “Fossil Fuel Complicity No Longer Hidden Behind ‘Fiduciary Duty’” • One argument against divestment of fossil fuel holdings is breach of fiduciary duty to invest for the highest financial returns. That argument is failing as the world turns ever more to renewables, for reasons relating to the environment, economics, and security. [CleanTechnica]

Polluting plant (Pixabay image)

¶ “Massachusetts’ Multipronged Policy Approach Spurs Distributed Energy Storage” • Massachusetts is a leader in the deployment of distributed energy storage in America, due to forward-thinking legislative approaches and other measures aimed at unlocking the full potential of the resource, analysts told Utility Dive. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Montana Solar Farm Deal Would Provide Power To 4,900 Homes” • A utility and a solar energy company in Montana agreed to launch a solar farm large enough to power 4,900 homes. The 20-MW, $18 million system would be developed as a Community Renewable Energy Project. It is expected to come online in 2021. [Great Falls Tribune]

NorthWestern Energy solar pilot (Photo: NorthWestern Energy)

¶ “Bipartisan Group Of Legislators Reintroduces Bills To Get PA 100% Powered By Renewable Energy” • A bipartisan group of state legislators is re-introducing a pair of bills aimed at getting Pennsylvania to have 100% renewable energy by 2050. Sen Tom Killion (R-Chester) said “It’s not just about the environment. It’s about jobs.” [WHYY]

¶ “Illinois Weighs Novel Approach To Quitting Coal” • NRG Energy Inc, Illinois’ second-largest coal plant owner, wants coal units to be eligible for payments by converting to natural gas or even shutting down under a broader utility plan to help reduce carbon emissions. The measure faces long odds, joining a crowded field of complex energy bills. [E&E News]

Have an unquestionably magnificent day.

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May 7 Energy News

May 7, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Warren Buffett Is Betting On Solar: Should You?” • In his annual shareholder meeting, Warren Buffett reiterated his interest in the renewable energy sector, saying that company was prepared to spend tremendous amounts of money to deploy more renewable solutions moving forward. Investors should not overlook the opportunity. [The Motley Fool Canada]

Solar and wind (Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Scientists Find Human Link To Drought As Early As 1900” • In the study “Twentieth-century hydroclimate changes consistent with human influence,” published in the journal Nature, scientists claim they detected evidence that human activity was already contributing to drought conditions in many parts of the world in the early 1900s. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Arctic Permafrost Is Melting So Fast It’s Damaging The Equipment Scientists Use To Measure It” • Permafrost is the Arctic region’s bedrock. A study says it is melting so fast that it’s not just ripping up the landscape; it is wrecking the scientific equipment used to measure it. And it is making climate change even worse for all of us. [CNN]

Disko Bay (Education images | Getty Images)

¶ “Global Health Benefits Of Climate Action Offset Costs” • The price for cutting global emissions rapidly may appear to be high, but a study published in Nature Communications shows that immediate, dramatic cuts in carbon emissions to meet the Paris Agreement are economically sound when human health benefits are factored in. [EurekAlert]

World:

¶ “Mercedes-Benz ‘Flips The Switch’ On EQC Production At Its Bremen Factory” • Mercedes-Benz announced the start of production for its electric EQC, starting at €59,900 euros ($67,132). Board chairman Dieter Zetsche called the move “the dawn of a new era at Mercedes.” Later this year, the EQC will also be made in China. [CleanTechnica]

Showing a Daimler Accumotive battery

¶ “Renewable Power Capacity Stalls For First Time Since Turn Of Millennium” • After nearly two decades of strong annual growth, renewables added as much net capacity globally in 2018 as they did in 2017, an unexpected flattening of growth trends that raises concerns about meeting long-term climate goals, according to the IEA. [Portfolio English Edition]

¶ “Daintree Rainforest Solar To Hydrogen Microgrid An Australian First” • A test-run for Australia’s first solar-to-hydrogen microgrid is great news for the ecologically sensitive Daintree Rainforest. Energy from rooftop solar power systems will go into a reticulated microgrid. There, energy can be used to create hydrogen for fuel. [Energy Matters]

Daintree Rainforest

¶ “Britain Goes Coal-Free For 100 Hours, Setting New Record For Energy Use” • Britain was powered by sources other than coal for over 100 hours at the weekend, setting a record. The National Grid says coal is less impartant as renewable energy sources are more reliable and the public is installing more solar panels. [Telegraph.co.uk]

¶ “Rising Coal And Gas Costs Push Australia Electricity Prices To Record Highs” • Electricity prices across much of Australia’s main grid rose to record highs in the first quarter of 2019, the Australian Energy Market Operator said. It blames the record heatwave, rising coal and gas costs, and the rising cost of hydro power because of the drought. [RenewEconomy]

Installing solar power

US:

¶ “Renewables Outproduced Coal Power In The US For The First Time Ever” • Last month, for the first time, renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and hydro outpaced coal generation, according to data from the Energy Information Administration and an analysis by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. [Popular Mechanics]

¶ “ABB Electrifies The Niagara Falls’ Iconic Maid Of The Mist Ferries” • ABB announced that its zero emission technology will power the next generation fully electric ferries for the iconic Maid of the Mist tour. The two new vessels will go into service next year, powered completely by high-capacity battery packs, according to ABB. [CleanTechnica]

ABB Maid of the Mist electric ferries (ABB)

¶ “Los Angeles Green New Deal Will Change City’s Car Culture” • LA Mayor Eric Garcetti is proposing his own version of a Green New Deal. If he gets his way, the impact on personal vehicles will be profound. Among other things, Garcetti’s plan calls for 80% of the vehicles in LA to be powered by electricity or zero emissions fuels by 2035. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “C2 Energy Capital To Build Up C&I Solar Portfolio To 400 MW” • C2 Energy Capital, based in New York, plans to increase the size of its commercial and industrial-focused solar portfolio by a factor of four, to 400 MW, within two years, a co-founder and managing member of the company said. C2 owns over 100 solar projects in 9 US states. [CleanTechnica]

Napa County solar array (Credit: Far Niente Winery)

¶ “Akamai To Power Its Dallas Data Center With Wind Energy” • Texas’ Seymour Hills Wind project is complete and expected to become commercially operational in the coming weeks. The project is an investment of Akamai Technologies, a content delivery network and cloud service provider that invested in the wind farm. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Conservatives Criticize FirstEnergy Nuclear Bailout Bill As ‘Corporate Welfare’” • The Ohio Republicans pushing a bill to subsidize two nuclear plants are finding themselves at odds with conservative groups in the state. The bill would make customers pay over $300 million to keep the Davis-Besse and Perry nuclear power plants going. [Energy News Network]

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May 6 Energy News

May 6, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Coal’s Future Is In The Hands Of The People, Not Banks” • Climate change is at the top of many American voters’ minds, as evidenced by a CNN poll last week. And elsewhere, even while some governments continue to promote coal to generate power, surveys show the people want to use renewable power and to breathe clean air. [Bloomberg]

Coal and wind (Ina Fassbender | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Why Climate ‘Paralysis’ Looms Over Australia’s Election” • In an ABC poll of over 100,000 Australian voters, it’s clear the environment has become the number one issue. It was rated as the matter of biggest concern by 29% voters, up from just 9% in the 2016 election. Australia has many climate deniers in office, and they may lose their jobs. [BBC]

¶ “How Global Warming Has Made The Rich Richer” • Global temperatures may be rising, but not all of us feel the impact in the same way. The gap between the world’s poorest and richest countries is about 25% larger today than it would have been without global warming, according to researchers at Stanford University in California. [BBC]

Life in Nigeria (Luis Tato | AFP | Getty Images)

¶ “Trump Is Dissing Green Energy But China Is Financing Its Growth With Its Belt And Road Initiative” • With its Belt and Road Initiative, China is seizing on an international opportunity that the Trump administration has forsaken, helping other countries expand their domestic infrastructures, potentially with green power plants. [Forbes]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Targeting Agricultural Pests Without Pesticides” • According to Science Daily, Dr Konstantin Blyuss, a mathematician at the University of Sussex, has developed a chemical-free way to target precisely a parasitic worm that destroys wheat crops. It works with the plant’s own genes to kill nematodes without harming insects, birds, or mammals. [CleanTechnica]

Agriculture

¶ “New Research Touts Benefits Of Solar Power For Schools” • Data collected by researchers at Stanford University showed that taking advantage of all viable space for solar panels could allow schools to meet up to 75% of their electricity needs and reduce the education sector’s carbon footprint by as much as 28%, according to Science Daily. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “How Carbon Farming Can Help Stop Climate Change In Its Tracks” • Photosynthesis produces sugar and atmospheric oxygen. “Everything that grows here starts with sugar. Soil microbes eat sugar.” And feeding these soil microbes builds soil and sequesters atmospheric carbon in the ground “at a rate previously thought impossible.” [The Nation]

Soil to sequester carbon

¶ “Climate Change Threatens One Million Species With Extinction: Scientists” • Relentless pursuit of economic growth and the impact of climate change, have put an “unprecedented” one million species at risk of extinction, scientists said in a landmark report on the damage done by modern civilization to the natural world. [Insurance Journal]

World:

¶ “Wind And Solar Projects Poised To Lead Hunter’s Clean Energy Transition” • Two projects slated for New South Wales are spearheading the Upper Hunter region’s transition away from coal to a low-carbon economy. Proposals for a 250-MW wind farm and a 25-MW solar farm would provide power to more than 100,000 homes. [Newcastle Herald]

Wind farm

¶ “Battery Storage Market Will Be Worth $13 Billion By 2023” • A report from analyst Globaldata says falling system prices, the need for more resilient grids, and favorable policies, continue to fire the energy storage industry around the globe. It says the Asia-Pacific region is likely to remain the biggest market for energy storage. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Energy Storage Scheme ‘Vital’ In Climate Change Emergency” • ILI Group has more than 2 GW of pumped storage schemes in the pipeline with their first 450-MW development currently in planning and further two projects to be submitted for approval later this year. It plans to support Scotland’s switch to renewable energy. [The National]

Hydro power in Scotland

US:

¶ “Bernie Mocks Trump ‘Profound Scientist’ for Wind Energy Quip” • At a rally at Iowa State University, Sen Bernie Sanders touched on wind energy. It is an issue of importance in Iowa, which leads the country. He reminded the audience of Trump’s claim that wind turbines cause cancer, calling him a “profound scientist.” They laughed. [Newsmax]

¶ “There Were 137 Oil Spills In The US In 2018 – See Where They Happened” • Oil spills don’t make the news very often unless they are big like the Deepwater Horizon spill, which may have released 205 million gallons into the Gulf of Mexico. But oil spills happen frequently. According to data from NOAA, there were 137 in 2018. [CleanTechnica]

Spill in American Samoa (NOAA image)

¶ “With Or Without Green New Deal, Kentucky’s Energy Future Is Heading Away From Coal” • Over the past five years, Kentucky has shifted significantly shift away from coal power, thanks to cheaper natural gas. Now, the Green New Deal is pushing conversations about Kentucky’s energy future further into the political arena. [Courier Journal]

¶ “Powering Down: Iowa’s Only Nuclear Plant Nears End” • After 45 years of operation, Iowa’s only nuclear power plant is slated to close. Its Florida-based owner, NextEra Energy, announced last summer that Duane Arnold would end energy production by the end of 2020. The old nuclear plant can no longer compete with cheaper sources of energy. [The Gazette]

Have an astonishingly splendid day.

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May 5 Energy News

May 5, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Can Microgrids Really Bring Power To The Last Billion?” • After Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico turned to microgrids for resiliency. Puerto Rico’s embrace of microgrids hints at a different energy future. Some of the 1 billion people around the world without electricity may finally get it without ever needing a central power grid. [Quartz]

Line workers (Amit Dave | Reuters)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Groovy New Solar Technology May Be Future Of Renewable Energy” • An innovative 3D solar-cell design with a radically different architecture, which drives down the costs of cell manufacture, may define the future of renewable energy as it potentially reduces optical losses within a device, according to UK scientists. [ETEnergyworld.com]

World:

¶ “Civil Society Organizations Are Learning To Track Climate Adaptation Spending To Ensure It Reaches The Communities That Need It Most” • Countries on the frontlines of climate change are already using their own scarce domestic resources for adaptation to supplement international flows. CSOs have been learning to help. [CleanTechnica]

Flooding in Manila (Photo: EU Civil Protection
and Humanitarian Aid Operations | Flickr)

¶ “Energy Consultants Urge East Lancashire Firms To Put Faith In Wind Power” • Businesswise Solutions, an energy consultant in East Lancashire, is urging firms to play their small part in climate change by switching to greener alternatives. It is helping businesses switch to a 100% wind-based energy option by pooling resources. [Lancashire Telegraph]

¶ “Oman Goes Big On Solar Power” • A consortium composed of ACWA Power, Gulf Investment Corporation, and Alternative Energy Projects Co has executed the project agreements to develop first utility scale solar power project in Oman. The project will use Solar PV technology to yield 500 MW (AC) of power. [Al-Bawaba]

PV panels (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Sabang Renewable Showcases Off-Grid Electrification Projects” • The Philippine Department of Energy expects the hybrid mini-grid project of the Sabang Renewable Energy Corp to showcase off-grid electrification projects that supports the government’s thrust of total electrification once it is completed this month. [Philippine Star]

¶ “Kuwait To Cooperate With South Korea On Renewable Energy” • Kuwait is looking to expand cooperation with South Korea on renewable energy. This follows a visit to Kuwait by South Korea’s Deputy Minister for Trade, who visited a test complex for layered solar power generation run by a consortium from the two countries. [Utilities Middle East]

Solar array (Getty images)

¶ “Siemens Weighs Carving Out Gas And Power Unit” • German industrial conglomerate Siemens is weighing options for its Gas and Power unit, possibly to spin it off, two people close to the matter said. The Gas and Power unit’s gas turbines business has seen orders slump as utilities shift towards renewable energy sources. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Ocean Waves An Alternative Source Of Power” • A Universiti Malaysia Terengganu school of ocean engineering associate professor, Dr Mohd Zamri Ibrahim, said an initiative by the government of Malaysia to use solar PV panels to generate renewable energy was a good move, but there are other sources of renewable energy. [New Straits Times Online]

Wave hitting a breakwater

¶ “Iran To Keep Enriching Uranium Despite US Move: Parliament Speaker” • Iran will continue with low-level uranium enrichment in line with its deal with world powers, parliament speaker Ali Larijani was quoted as saying. The US is trying to force Iran to stop producing low-enriched uranium and expanding its only nuclear power plant. [Himalayan Times]

US:

¶ “PG&E Corp Unable To Strike Deal Over Renewable Power Contracts” • PG&E Corp was unable to reach a deal with NextEra Energy Inc and other companies with which it has billions of dollars in power contracts. The matter will be decided in the next several weeks by the judge overseeing PG&E’s bankruptcy, court documents said. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Renewable energy

¶ “Jay Inslee Promised Serious Climate Policy And He Is Delivering” • Washington governor and presidential contender Jay Inslee released the first of what he says will be a series of proposals on climate policy. Together they will form what he calls his Climate Mission agenda. He is already delivering in Washington what he promises in the US. [Vox]

¶ “Legislature Tries Again To Save Biomass Plants” • Six months after the New Hampshire legislature overrode a veto to pass a law to save biomass plants, Eversource has still not negotiated contracts for the energy because of an appeal to federal authorities. A bi-partisan group of senators has a bill to end the impasse. [The Union Leader]

DG Whitefield biomass plant (John Koziol | Union Leader)

¶ “Erie’s Climate Is Changing” • In recent decades, temperatures in Erie, Pennsylvania have increased between 1.6° and 4.06°, studies show. With higher temperatures there is less winter ice coverage on the Great Lakes, and more moisture can feed lake-effect snowstorms, like the ones that dumped over 156 inches of snow on Erie two winters ago. [GoErie.com]

¶ “Wall Street Gobbles Up Tesla Securities” • Tesla short sellers bet the price of Tesla stock will go down and love any bad news for the company. When Tesla went to raise $2 billion in new capital, they promoted the news as a sign of bad times. But the price of Tesla stock increased anyway, and investors bought the offerings all up quickly. [CleanTechnica]

Have a jubilantly restful day.

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May 4 Energy News

May 4, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Will Gompertz Reviews Chernobyl Starring Emily Watson And Jared Harris On Sky Atlantic ★★★★★” • The catastrophic disaster at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Soviet Ukraine on 26 April 1986, is graphically played out over the course of five one-hour episodes. This is TV that doesn’t just get you thinking, it stops you sleeping. [BBC]

Review of Chernobyl

¶ “Brain-Dead Zuckerberg Hires Daily Caller Group To Fact Check Climate News” • Thanks to Joe Romm at ThinkProgress, we learned that Facebook has hired CheckYourFact.com to fact check information on climate change. CheckYourFact.com, Romm says, is “an arm of the conservative, anti-science media site The Daily Caller.” [CleanTechnica]
(Note: I have fact checked The Daily Caller a number of times to find out how it could publish information so different from what such financial advisers as Lazard provide. The Daily Caller seems to back its positions consistently with obsolete data. Following the money, I arrive at Koch Industries. GHH)

¶ “India Election 2019: The Killer Air No One’s Talking About” • Pollution killed at least 1.2 million people in India in 2017, but as the country votes in a general election, is fixing the bad air any party or politician’s priority? Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other political candidates visited Kanpur to campaign. Not one of them mentioned pollution. [BBC]

Exhaust (Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Tesla Talks Mineral Shortages, Europe Plans New Battery Factory” • Tesla has concerns about having access to enough nickel, copper, and lithium for its future needs. It is also working aggressively to lower the amount of cobalt used in its batteries, because much of today’s cobalt mining relies on abusive child labor practices. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Eliminating Household Fuels Could Dramatically Lower Air Pollution In India” • Wood, cow dung, coal, and kerosene are the primary sources of heat and cooking for about half of India’s 1.4 billion people. In a recent study, researchers show that mitigating the use of these household fuels in India could save 270,000 lives per year. [CleanTechnica]

Wood fire (Pixabay image)

¶ “Amsterdam Is Using Freebies To Help Ban Polluting Cars By 2030” • Amsterdam is handing out perks including free charging stations to residents who help rid the city’s streets of polluting cars. It announced that it will gradually expand a crackdown on dirty vehicles that will culminate in a ban on cars powered by gasoline and diesel oil in 2030. [CNN]

¶ “Winds Of Change As Mars Goes 100% Renewable In Mexico” • RE100 member Mars, Inc has arranged to be powered by 100% renewable electricity for its Mexican operations, as the company signs a new power purchase agreement for energy from a wind farm in Yucatán. Mars was the one of the first members of RE100. [The Climate Group]

Wind turbines (The Climate Group)

¶ “World Bank Invests ‘Three Times More’ In Oil And Gas Than Renewables, Report Finds” • A report by Urgewald, a German NGO, said the World Bank Group plowed investments of £16 billion into the oil and gas sector between 2014 to 2018. This is triple the £5.3 billion that it put up for renewable energy projects over those years. [Energy Voice]

¶ “GE To Build Kosovo’s New 500-MW Coal Power Plant” • Kosovo and London-listed power firm ContourGlobal said they have chosen a consortium of General Electric subsidiaries to build and equip a new 500-MW coal-fired power plant in the Balkan country. Kosovo has 14 billion tonnes of proven lignite reserves. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Lignite-fired plant in Kosovo (Lograsset, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “US House Passes First Climate Bill In A Decade” • The US House of Representatives passed its first climate-change bill in a decade, voting 231-190 to require that Trump administration keep the US as a party to the Paris Climate Agreement. It would require the administration to set climate goals in accord with the agreement. [Reuters]

¶ “‘Shale Is Not Superman.’ Geopolitical Chaos Is Testing The Limits Of America’s Oil Boom” • America’s new role as the world’s leading oil producer made it easier for President Donald Trump to crack down on Venezuela and Iran with punishing sanctions. But don’t be fooled. The US cannot rely solely on domestic oil. [CNN]

Pump jacks (David McNeil | Getty Images)

¶ “ComEd Loses Bid To Bar Local Utilities From Selling Credits On Renewable Energy Market” • A three-justice panel of the Illinois Second District Appellate Court said ComEd cannot block local utilities from participating in the renewable energy credit market, affirming an Illinois Commerce Commission ruling. [Cook County Record]

¶ “As Nuclear Costs Soar, Sides Split Over Energy Source’s Future” • Activists in Monroe, Michigan held a “funeral” for nuclear energy, represented by an old power industry mascot, Reddy Kilowatt. They were celebrating the nuclear industry’s financial struggles, which forced several reactors to close while others seek bailouts. [Detroit Free Press]

Reddy Kilowatt’s funeral (Photo: JC Reindl)

¶ “Michigan Regulators Reject DTE System-Access Charge For Renewables” • The Michigan Public Service Commission denied DTE Electric Co’s request to assess a special access charge for customers who have renewable energy systems. The MPSC found that DTE’s proposed charge is not based on customer usage and is not equitable. [Solar Industry]

¶ “Scott Pruitt Fails To Stop Indiana’s Move To Renewable Energy” • Indiana’s third-largest utility analyzed the economics of its power plants and decided to shift from coal-fired power plants to renewable sources. Coal companies hired former EPA chief Scott Pruitt to fight back. Pruitt failed, according to a post at Utility Dive. [Digital Journal]

Have an enthrallingly exquisite day.

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May 3 Energy News

May 3, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Six Signs Of Hope For The Ocean” • It is easy to lose sight of good news amid the barrage of negative stories about the threats facing the ocean. We see everything from growing plastic pollution to dying coral reefs. Increasingly, however, there is a lot to celebrate when you look more closely at ocean-related developments. [CleanTechnica]

Coral reef (US Fish and Wildlife Service | Flickr)

¶ “100% Clean Energy: The New Normal” • Nevada and Washington state joined a growing number of states and local jurisdictions taking action to build an equitable 100% clean energy economy, further propelling a national movement of climate and clean energy leadership that has emerged despite Trump Administration policies. [Sierra Magazine]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Could High-Flying Drones Power Your Home One Day?” • A growing number of companies believe using tethered kites and drones provide a viable way to harness the stronger and more consistent high-altitude winds that just keep blowing. Could this tech release wind power’s full potential, or will it always remain a niche solution? [BBC News]

Makani’s tethered generating drone (Makani image)

¶ “Study Shows Value Of Sharing Energy – Including Wind And Solar – Across America’s Grids” • A visualization tool prepared by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory models what could happen if a “macrogrid” of major transmission lines connected the country’s two largest power grids. It shows a large payback. [Iowa State University News Service]

¶ “Electric Cars, Buses, And Trucks Could Charge While Driving On eHighways – Will Soon In Sweden” • An eHighway is a part of a road with a conductive charging pad along a lane. Trucks, buses, and cars can recharge as they drive for what could be limitless miles, as long as the cars ride on inductive pads and have the necessary hardware. [CleanTechnica]

Electric car in Sweden

World:

¶ “Scottish Government Commits To Net-Zero By 2045” • Just hours after a UK Committee on Climate Change report came out, Scotland’s government announced it had lodged amendments to its Climate Change Bill to set a legally binding target for Scotland to be carbon neutral by 2040 and have net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Volkswagen Launches International e-Mobility Marketing Campaign” • At the start of the pre-booking phase for its new full-electric ID in Europe on 8th May, Volkswagen is launching a broad-based international e-mobility marketing campaign. The media budget for the campaign will run well into the double-digit million range. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

VW SUV ID Crozz [Is that a name or random characters?]

¶ “Port Augusta Leads The Way In Renewable Revolution” • Leaders from across Australia congregated in Port Augusta to see why the city carries the crown of Australia’s renewable energy capital. Port Augusta’s coal to clean energy transformation has been at the forefront of discussion since its power station closed in 2016. [The Transcontinental]

¶ “Tata Power Added 200 MW Renewables In FY 2018-19, Another 400 MW In Pipeline” • Integrated power company Tata Power Group identified renewables, transmission and distribution, and value-added businesses such as rooftop solar, smart metering, EV charging stations, and micro-grids in rural areas as key growth areas. [pv magazine India]

Solar canopy over parking (Image: Tata Power Solar)

¶ “Solar Energy Production In Great Britain Hits Record-High; Plateau Seen Ahead” • Solar energy generation reached a Q1 record-high in Great Britain in 2019’s first quarter. Solar energy systems produced 2.7 TWh of emissions-free electricity. Solar and wind incentives have been phased out, however, and a plateau may be reached. [Solar Magazine]

¶ “Sweden Set For 2.3-GW Wind Rush In 2019” • Final investment decisions were made on 1225 MW of Swedish wind projects in the period from January to March, up from 550 MW on-year. This is according to the Swedish Wind Energy Association, which expects 2329 MW of new capacity to be added in the 2019 calendar year. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine in Sweden (Arise image)

US:

¶ “Trump Administration Loosens Protections Created After BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Disaster” • The Trump administration is eliminating parts of a rule meant to protect the environment and worker safety that was passed following the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Environmentalists have criticized the move. [CNN]

¶ “As Ohio Nuclear Bill Advances, Democrats Seek To Raise Renewable Standard” • A second version of legislation in Ohio designed to subsidize the operation of two nuclear power plants appears to have the same limitations on renewable energy development as the first version. Democrats have produced an alternative bill. [Energy News Network]

Cooling tower at the Davis-Besse nuclear plant

¶ “Bill Introduced To Overhaul Renewable Fuel, Energy Tax Credits” • Sen Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and 25 colleagues introduced legislation to overhaul the federal tax code and consolidate the current 44 energy incentives into three technology-neutral provisions that encourage clean energy and energy efficiency. [Ethanol Producer Magazine]

¶ “New Mexico Utility PNM To Buy Renewable-Linked Transmission Project From Pattern” • Plans to link New Mexico’s abundant wind energy resource to bigger markets in California continue to come together, with utility group PNM Resources announcing it will buy Pattern Development’s 800-MW Western Spirit transmission project. [Greentech Media]

Have a totally triumphant day.

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May 2 Energy News

May 2, 2019

World:

¶ “UK Parliament Declares Climate Change Emergency” • Members of Parliament of the UK have approved a motion to declare an environment and climate emergency. This proposal, which demonstrates the will of the Commons on the issue but does not legally compel the government to act, was approved without a vote. [BBC]

Climate protesters reacting to parliament’s declaration (Reuters)

¶ “UK Should Slash Emissions To Net Zero By 2050, Say Climate Change Advisers” • The UK should aim to cut its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, a report from the government’s Committee on Climate Change says. If adopted, the target would be the most ambitious emissions reduction goal set by any large economy. [CNN]

¶ “German Wind Energy, Solar Power Capacity Grows 448 MW In March” • German onshore wind farm installations dropped by 87% in the first quarter of 2019. Data from regulator BNA showed that Germany’s solar energy capacity grew by 350 MW in March, while wind power growth amounted to 98 MW, of which 42 MW were offshore wind energy. [REVE]

Wind turbines in Germany

¶ “JinkoSolar Has Already Secured More Than 10.7 GW In Orders In 2019” • Chinese solar PV manufacturing giant JinkoSolar has continued its strong recent performance, announcing that it had already secured over 10.7 GW in orders over the first third of the year. The company shipped 11.4 GW of solar in the full year of 2018. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ “Green Mountain Power Plans 100% Renewables By 2030 With Help From Tesla” • Green Mountain Power says it wants to speed up its move to 100% renewable energy and it has developed a plan to get to zero emissions no later than 2030. The plan calls for achieving 100% carbon free energy by 2025 and to be 100% renewable by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Powerwall in a home (GMP image)

¶ “California Aggregators To Seek 10 GW Of Clean Power By 2030” • California’s Community Choice Aggregators are slowly assuming the traditional utility role of acquiring renewable energy generation for customers. The CCAs are now faced with the massive task of securing 9 to 10 GW of new clean energy by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Environmentalists Call Duke Energy ‘Public Energy Enemy No 1′” • Duke Energy is holding the US back from a fast transition to renewable energy, a report from the Environmental Working Group says. It says Duke has focused on coal, natural gas, and nuclear power, while neglecting to add many renewable energy sources. [Northeast Indiana Public Radio]

Duke substation (Patrick Finnegan | Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Mary Barra Says GM Will Build An Electric Pickup Truck” • During a conference call with investors, General Motors CEO Mary Barra said “We intend to create an all-electric future that includes a complete range of EVs, including full-size pickups.” She said details about an electric pickup truck from GM would be forthcoming. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Marijuana Prices Have Collapsed, Forcing Growers To Focus On Energy Efficiency” • As marijuana growing becomes more mainstream, an increasing number of utilities are seeing growers set up shop in their service territories, at times creating distribution system issues, and in general bringing significant new demand. [Utility Dive]

Growing cannabis under lights

¶ “Keystone State Goes Full Climate Change With New Action Plan” • In the latest climate action development, Pennsylvania has just cast off the fossil fuel mantle of the past and taken up the sparkling green sword of the future, by signing on to the US Climate Alliance. The alliance now counts 23 states and Puerto Rico among its members. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Blueprint To Battle Bay Area Sea-Level Rise Focuses On Natural Solutions” • A blueprint outlining how San Francisco Bay communities should combat sea-level rise was released by ecosystem scientists and urban planners who envision a ring of man-made reefs, rocky beaches, and graded marshlands around Bay Area. [San Francisco Chronicle]

Marsh in the Bay Area (Jessica Christian | The Chronicle)

¶ “Peck Electric Completed Seven Solar Projects In Q4 2018” • Peck Electric Co, a leading commercial solar engineering, procurement and construction company based in Burlington, Vermont, announced completion of seven solar projects in the fourth quarter of 2018. They range from a 7-MW utility-scale array down to 20.6-kW on a rooftop. [Vermont Biz]

¶ “US Renewable Energy Just Set An Historic Record” • In a historic first, renewable energy may have generated more electricity than coal in the entire US for the month of April. Coal has long been the backbone of the country’s electric grid. In the 2000s, coal accounted for over half of electricity generation. But it does no longer. [OilPrice.com]

Solar array in Colorado (Photo: Scott Ely, US DOE)

¶ “End Of An Era: Power Plant Closure Expected To Reduce Salt Lake Valley Pollution” • After 75 years of operation, a coal-fired power plant in Utah  is shutting down for good. State officials and clean air advocates hailed the move after Rio Tinto Kennecott announced the retirement of the plant following regulatory approval. [Deseret News]

¶ “Colorado Communities And State Energy Office Urge Public Utilities Commission Oversight Of Tri-State” • The Colorado Energy Office and some municipalities are urging the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to oversee Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association’s resource planning, just as it does with investor-owned utilities. [Clean Cooperative]

Have a fascinatingly beautiful day.

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May 1 Energy News

May 1, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Vicious Climate-Wildfire Cycle” • While wildfire risk has increased with forest management and human development, climate change has exacerbated the trend of large fires and made the fire season longer. In some places wildfires are a year-round phenomenon. In the past 35 years, the area burned has nearly doubled. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

Alaska wildfire (BLM | Alaska Fire Service)

World:

¶ “Roundup Cancer Cases Could Cost Germany’s Bayer Billions” • Bayer is in the grip of a huge shareholder revolt after its $63 billion purchase of Roundup’s owner, Monsanto, put the German company at risk from thousands of US cancer lawsuits tied to the weed-killer. Bayer’s stock is down about 40% since it purchased Monsanto. [CNN]

¶ “VW Is Creating An Electric Future. This Is What It Looks Like” • The Volkswagen Group is pursuing a strategy to move strongly into electric vehicles. Over the next decade, the Volkswagen Group, the VW car brand’s parent company, intends to release seventy different electric models, including the Audi E-Tron and Porsche Taycan. [CNN]

The ID Roomz, a big SUV unveiled in Shanghai (VW image)

¶ “Battery Storage To Surpass $13 Billion By 2023” • The global battery energy storage market is forecast to grow to over $13 billion by 2023 according to new research by GlobalData. The report found that the Asia-Pacific will continue to be the largest market reaching over $6 billion in 2023. Demand is driven by falling prices of renewables. [reNEWS]

¶ “South Australian Pilot Program Uses Human Waste Biogas To Deliver Renewable Energy” • A pilot program in South Australia will use biogas from human waste to store and deliver clean energy. Biogas from a wastewater treatment plant will be used to heat silicon to 1,414°C, and the energy will be delivered back as heat or power. [ABC Local]

Wastewater treatment plant (Supplied: Peter Barnes)

¶ “100% Renewable Energy To Power Cutting-Edge Infill Estate” • East Village Knutsford, in Western Australia, will become an innovation hub for sustainable living; residents will use their own micro grid and battery storage to generate power. Energy bills will be cut by about 50%, and each home will be wired for electric vehicle chargers. [pv magazine Australia]

US:

¶ “Autonomous Drone Delivers Human Kidney Successfully” • In a first of its kind event, an unmanned aircraft delivered a human kidney to an operating room for a transplant to save a person’s life. An organ transplant requires rapid transportation between the donor and the recipient. The faster the journey, the higher the chance of success. [CleanTechnica]

Unmanned aircraft delivers kidney (See article for credit)

¶ “Governor’s Bill Moves Maine Toward 100% Renewable Energy By 2050” • Maine would take an ambitious turn to fight climate change with a new bill announced by Gov Janet Mills. The bill’s goals are to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions 45% by 2030 and 80% by 2050. And by 2050, 100% of electricity will come from renewable sources. [Public News Service]

¶ “Tesla Plans To Boost Solar Business By Slashing Costs” • The average cost of a residential rooftop solar system today is about $2.85 per watt, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. Sanjay Shah, the head of Tesla’s solar business, says Tesla expects to cut costs down to between $1.75 and $1.99 per watt. [CleanTechnica]

SolarCity PV installation

¶ “Pennsylvania Democrats Back Renewables Subsidy Expansion” • Pennsylvania Democrats want to nearly quadruple subsidies for renewable resources in the first tier of the state’s 2004 Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards mandate, hoping the expansion will push the state closer to its looming carbon-reduction goals. [RTO Insider]

¶ “Geothermal Making Inroads As Baseload Power” • The Earth can be its own sustainable and environmentally friendly source of energy. In some areas, geothermal systems can be easy; the recently restarted Puna Geothermal Venture supplies about 30% of the electricity on the island of Hawaii. But geothermal can be used in many places. [POWER Magazine]

Geothermal plant in Iceland (Courtesy: Gretar Ívarsson)

¶ “LA Announces A Green New Deal For The City, Including A 100% Renewable Electricity Goal” • As part of LA’s Green New Deal, Mayor Garcetti pledges to use carbon-free energy sources for the city’s electricity, buildings, and transportation by 2050. The plan makes LA the the biggest US city to set a goal of 100% renewable electricity. [Green Matters]

¶ “Eagle County Commits To 100% Renewable Electricity At All Facilities, Operations” • In Colorado, the Eagle County Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution committing to 100% renewable electricity for all county operations. The county could reach this goal through Holy Cross Energy’s Renewable Energy Purchase Program. [Vail Daily News]

Wind turbines (Shutterstock image)

¶ “NH House Committee Backs Suite Of Renewable Energy, Efficiency Reforms” • A set of renewable energy bills got bipartisan support in a state legislative committee. The House energy committee voted to advance bills expanding net energy metering in the state and setting a goal of 60% renewable energy by 2040. [New Hampshire Public Radio]

¶ “Nuclear Waste Piles Up, And Private Companies Want In On Storing It” • As the waste from nuclear power plants piles up, private companies are stepping in with their own solutions for the nation’s radioactive spent fuel. One is proposing a temporary storage site in New Mexico, and another is seeking a license for a site in Texas. [KQED]

Have an unimaginably fulfilling day.

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April 30 Energy News

April 30, 2019

World:

¶ “Indian Coal Company Issues 100 MW Solar Power Tender” • The latest public sector company to launch a large solar power tender is Singareni Collieries Co Ltd, which is jointly owned by the governments of India and the state of Telangana. The Solar Energy Corporation of India issued the 100-MW tender on behalf of SCCL. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array

¶ “Greta Thunberg To Parliament: Future Sold So Small Group Of People Could Make Unimaginable Amounts Of Money” • Greta Thunberg stood before the UK’s Parliament to deliver a message to the assembled solons. There is a saying, “Well behaved women rarely make history.” Thunberg was polite but hardly well behaved. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ørsted Commits To 900-MW Changhua” • Ørsted has taken a final investment decision to build the 900-MW Changhua 1 and 2a offshore wind farm in Taiwan. The company said the decision came after Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs approved its local supply chain plan. Ørsted has a power purchase agreement with Taipower. [reNEWS]

Turbine in the Burbo Bank Extension (Ørsted image)

¶ “More Renewable Energy Generated In China In Q1” • Installed capacity of clean power in China keeps expanding, according to the National Energy Administration. For the first quarter of 2019, renewable energy generation was up 13% year-on-year. It now accounts for 23.2% of the total generating capacity, according to a press release. [China.org.cn]

¶ “Finnish Newbie Makes Domestic Triple Play” • Newly-formed Finnish renewables investor Exilion Tuuli Ky acquired its first three projects in its home market as part of plans to invest €300 million in clean power. The new company was formed by Exilion Management Oy, an investment company owned by Finnish employee pension companies. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (Image: Exilion Tuuli Ky)

¶ “Scotland Declares ‘Climate Emergency’ Following School Strikes” • Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, warned the world is facing a “climate emergency” and vowed Scotland “will lead by example” by cutting carbon emissions. The declaration was inspired by student protesters who staged a school strike to urge action, she said. [The Independent]

¶ “SA Wind Industry To Promote Economic Growth” • Recent data from the International Renewable Energy Agency said Africa had an 8.4% growth in renewables capacity, largely due to windpower. The South African Wind Energy Association said South Africa is a leader, contributing to greater social and economic growth. [ESI Africa]

Windpower (Featured image: Stock)

US:

¶ “America’s Renewable Energy Set To Surpass Coal For The First Month Ever” • The renewable energy sector is projected to generate more electricity than coal during the month of April, according to a recent report published by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. That has never happened before. [CNN]

¶ “Coal Losing Death Grip On Yet Another Coal State” • West Virginia state policy makers are finally beginning to realize that mining for coal by flattening hundreds of pristine mountaintops with explosives is perhaps not the best strategy for long term economic growth. The result just may be a turn to installing solar PVs. [CleanTechnica]

Mountaintop removal mining

¶ “O’Rourke Releases Plan To Fight Climate Change With $5 Trillion Investment And Net-Zero Emissions By 2050” • Beto O’Rourke plans to invest $5 trillion over 10 years in innovation and infrastructure. He also has a goal to see net-zero emissions by 2050, according to an outline of O’Rourke’s proposal from his presidential campaign. [CNN]

¶ “US Wind Development Pipeline Grew By 6 GW In First Quarter Of 2019” • Wind power construction and development activity in the US grew to record levels in the first quarter of 2019, data from the American Wind Energy Association shows. The US wind development pipeline grew by 6,146 MW to a record-breaking 39,161 MW. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines in Iowa

¶ “New York Governor Cuomo Allocates $280 Million For Energy Storage” • New York Gov Andrew Cuomo announced $280 million to support energy storage projects, to speed the growth of the energy storage industry and drive down the cost of deploying energy storage projects. New York has a goal of 3 GW of storage by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “sPower Brings Online 130-MW Solar Park In California” • US solar and wind power producer sPower said it has kicked off commercial operations at the 130-MW Antelope Expansion 2 solar park in Lancaster, California. It will sell its output to MCE, a local non-profit public agency offering community choice aggregation. [Renewables Now]

sPower’s Solverde 1 solar farm (Photo: Business Wire)

¶ “Report Warns Enbridge, DTE, Part Of Pipeline “Bubble” That Could Burst” • A Global Energy Monitor report says companies are betting over $1 trillion in risky gas pipeline projects that are so expensive their payback periods are over decades. They could become stranded assets as we stop burning fossil fuels to deal with climate change. [Michigan Radio]

¶ “Ohio Democrats Call For ‘Honest Conversation’ On Nuclear Bill” • In a significant challenge to Republican leadership in Ohio’s House of Representatives, House Democrats said that they would hold their own review of controversial legislation designed to subsidize nuclear power and undercut renewable energy development. [Energy News Network]

Have an immoderately gratifying day.

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April 29 Energy News

April 29, 2019

Video:

¶ “Finland’s New Generation Of Climate Heroes” • The town of Ii in northern Finland wants to be the world’s first zero-waste community. They stopped using fossil fuels, and the community is reducing CO₂ emissions faster than any other in Finland. Their target is to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2020, 30 years ahead of the EU’s target. [BBC]

Children in Ii

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change Being Fueled By Soil Damage” • There is three times more carbon in the soil than in the atmosphere, but that carbon is being released by deforestation and poor farming. And this is fueling climate change. Problems include soils being eroded, compacted by machinery, built over, or harmed by over-watering. [BBC News]

¶ “eHang Shows Dazzled Public Its Autonomous eVTOL Aircraft” • True autonomous air taxis are coming soon and today’s battery technology is just enough to let these dreams take off. There is a major competition developing, a budding industry of electric air taxi startups. eHang aircraft are expected to go into producton next year. [CleanTechnica]

eHang eVTOL AV demonstration

World:

¶ “State Gas Company To Build 25 Hydrogen Production Facilities And Plumbing Network By 2030” • To help speed up the use of fuel cells, South Korea’s state gas company unveiled a 4.7 trillion won ($4.06 billion) roadmap to create 25 hydrogen production facilities and a network of 700 km of gas pipes by 2030. [Aju Business Daily]

¶ “Van Oord Wraps Up Norther Turbines” • Van Oord has completed turbine installation at the 370-MW Norther offshore wind farm off the coast of Belgium. The 44 MHI Vestas V164 8.4-MW machines were installed by the company’s jack-up Aeolus. First power was delivered by the project in February. The work was completed in nine months. [reNEWS]

Norther offshore wind farm (Van Oord image)

¶ “JRE Breaks Ground On 17-MW Wind Farm In Yamagata” • Japan Renewable Energy held a groundbreaking ceremony for a 17-MW wind park. Tsuruoka Hachimoriyama Wind Farm will have five turbines of 3.4 MW each. Construction is scheduled for completion in December 2020. The wind farm’s operational life will be around 20 years. [Renewables Now]

¶ “German Government Warming Towards Carbon Tax” • Germany looks set to introduce a system of carbon emissions pricing, a report said. Senior officials of the parties in Berlin’s governing coalition had reached a consensus. Chancellor Angela Merkel had earlier announced that the government was looking at proposals. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Power plant

¶ “German Asset Manager Snags Swedish Mega-Farm” • German renewables asset manager Luxcara has bought the Onusberget wind farm in Sweden, with a potential capacity of up to 750 MW, from developer Svevind. Luxcara plans to start construction this year and to have the project in commercial operation at the end of 2021. [reNEWS]

¶ “A South Korean Government-Owned Company’s $700 Million On A Bylong Coal Mine Now In Question” • The South Korean Government put the strategic case for its controversial Bylong coal mine proposal in question with new plans to significantly cut coal-fired power use over the next two decades. It was concerned about air pollution. [Newcastle Herald]

Site of the proposed Bylong coal mine

Australia:

¶ “Small Businesses To Access Three-Year Renewable-Energy PPAs” • In response to business interest, energy retailer ERM Power plans to aggregate handfuls of small customers eager to purchase renewables and large-scale generation certificates at an agreed fixed price. The customers will be matched to suitable projects. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Australia Can Be Powered 100% By Renewables By Early 2030s, Says Garnaut” • Leading economist and climate change policy expert Professor Ross Garnaut says that Australia could be powered 100% by “intermittent” renewables by the early 2030s. Operating this way, the grid would be reliable, secure and less expensive than it is now. [RenewEconomy]

Solar array (Photo: Zbynek Burival | Unsplash)

¶ “REALM Study Show How Businesses Can Get More Value Out Of Solar” • The Renewable Energy and Load Management study, which was funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, found that businesses can deliver flexibility in their electricity demand to match variable renewable energy, given the right price signals. [PACE Today]

US:

¶ “Colorado Kills Direct EV Sales Law But Fines For Blocking Chargers Are Likely” • A bill to make direct sales of electric cars legal in Colorado died after the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives voted 35 to 30 against the measure. The vote may appear to be directed at Tesla, but it was fears about Rivian that defeated the bill. [CleanTechnica]

Rivian pickup

¶ “University Adds Solar Panel Sites Around Campus” • The University of Minnesota is increasing the amount of renewable energy produced on campus. Its goal is to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2020. The University is working toward a bigger goal of offsetting 100% of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. [Minnesota Daily]

¶ “Legacy Of Three Mile Island Accident, Political Power Of Gas Industry Makes Nuclear Subsidies An Uphill Battle In Pennsylvania” • Pennsylvania is the latest state to debate whether to provide a rescue package to its nuclear power industry, but its unique history and current energy landscape may make subsidies a tougher sell here. [WHYY]

Have a superbly groovy day.

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April 28 Energy News

April 28, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Major Report To Highlight ‘Natural And Human Emergency'” • Scientists and government officials are in Paris to finalize a report examining humanity’s relationship with nature. One author says the report from the Intergovernmental Panel for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services highlights a “social and ecological emergency” the world faces. [BBC News]

Kingfisher (Getty Images)

¶ “EPA’s Document At Odds With Chief On Climate Change” • The US EPA published a 150-page document last week with a straightforward message for coping with the fallout from natural disasters across the country: Start planning now for the fact that climate change is going to worsen such catastrophes as floods, hurricanes and wildfires. [NWAOnline]

¶ “The Agriculture Industry Is Responsible For Multi-Drug Resistance And Resulting Deaths” • Agricultural applications are building drug resistance across multiple human infections. One yeast, Candida auris, is killing immunocompromised patients in hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes. In the US, drug resistance kills 23,000-100,000 annually. [CleanTechnica]

Wheat field (Pixabay image)

¶ “China’s Quest For Clean, Limitless Energy Technology Heats Up” • A ground-breaking nuclear fusion reactor built by Chinese scientists underscores Beijing’s determination to lead on clean energy technology, as it eyes a fully functioning plant by 2050. The plant is sometimes called an “artificial sun” for its heat and power. [ETEnergyworld.com]

World:

¶ “The Swiss And Austrian Posts Announce Commitment To 100% EVs By 2030” • The Swiss Post and the Austrian Post both committed to converting their significant delivery fleets to 100% electricity by 2030 in a move that puts more pressure on automakers to step up to the challenge of building functional, affordable electric vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

Solar panels in Switzerland

¶ “Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory On Track To Produce Cars As Early As September” • Tesla’s Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai, China, is on track to roll the first Model 3 off the production lines in September of this year, Tencent News reported. At the end of this year, production is expected to be at 1,000 to 2,000 cars per week. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Off-Grid Solar In Kenya” • Safaricom, the largest, most profitable corporation in East Africa, started offering money services, via cell phone, in 2011. By 2018, 44% of the total GNP of Kenya went through these mobile money systems. Since 2011, they have offered cheap solar electricity, with battery, lighting, radio, and cell phone charging. [CleanTechnica]

Safaricom electric system

¶ “Major Solar Power Complex And Renewable Energy Project Inaugurated In Ninh Thuan” • In Vietnam, a solar power complex with a total peak capacity of 330 MW, the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia, was inaugurated by Vietnamese BIM Group. Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam called for more renewable energy projects. [Nhan Dan Online]

¶ “Jamaica Aims To Boost Its Power Sector With Renewable Energy Projects” • Jamaica, which had depended on fossil fuel for its energy sector, is seeing some changes. Estimates are that Jamaica will reduce its oil dependency to 50% in 2019. The major shift came after approval of Jamaica’s Energy Security and Efficiency Enhancement Project. [Devdiscourse]

Renewable energy (Credit: Wikimedia)

¶ “UN Climate Chief Warns Current Path Leads To ‘Catastrophe’” • The UN climate chief says world leaders must recognize there is no option except to ramp up action to tackle global warming, warning that continuing on the current path will lead to “a catastrophe. She said we can still act, “but the window of opportunity is closing very soon.” [The Seattle Times]

¶ “CopperString Is Back, With Plan To Unlock Outback Wind And Solar” • The so-called CopperString project in north Queensland is now firmly back on the state government’s agenda, with the $1 billion transmission line declared a “co-ordinated” project, and with the promise of unlocking a vast tract of outback wind and solar resources. [RenewEconomy]

Kennedy Wind Park

US:

¶ “Democrat-Controlled Statehouses Endorsing Clean Energy” • The National Conference of State Legislatures says eleven states either flipped the governor’s seat from Republican to Democrat or saw Democrats win new legislative control in the elections of 2018. All have passed or are weighing legislation that would expand renewables. [The Columbian]

¶ “Big Automakers Grudgingly Buy Into EVs. Oil Majors Still Lag Behind” • The startups at the vanguard of the shift to EVs are celebrating their growing popularity, while big US automakers, though still firmly committed to trucks and SUVs, are grudgingly starting to build electric cars . And oil majors are just starting to build charging stations. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model S at an EVbox charging station (EVBox image)

¶ “Utility Directors In Colorado Calculate Changes As Prices Drop, Energy Concerns Rise” • Amid worries about greenhouse gas emissions, Directors of the La Plata Electric Association were told by consultants that the utility could maintain reliable power and save money by buying power with much higher levels of renewables. [Summit Daily News]

¶ “Ohio Nuclear Bailout Bill Has Split The Business Lobby In Columbus” • Ohio House Bill 6 is a bail-out for the state’s nuclear power plants. Based on subcommittee testimony last week, it is obvious that House Bill 6 has split the Statehouse’s business lobbies. And that sends a mixed message to General Assembly members. [cleveland.com]

Have a thumpin’ copacetic day.

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April 27 Energy News

April 27, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “The World’s Oceans Are Becoming Stormier” • The world’s oceans have become more turbulent over the past 33 years, with higher waves and stronger winds, a study by scientists at the University of Melbourne shows. One author said stormier oceans make coastal flooding more likely and erosion worse, increasing risks for coastal settlements. [CNN]

Wave (Owen Humphries | PA Images via Getty Images)

World:

¶ “China Plastic Ban Has ‘Created A Major Shock In The Global Market’” • For years, China took scrap plastic from around the world and processed much of it into material that could be reused. But in 2018, China closed its doors to almost all foreign plastic waste, and now developed nations are struggling to find places to send it. [Southeast Asia Globe]

¶ “World’s First 100% Solar Powered Train” • The Byron Bay Railroad Company’s charming 100% solar-powered train has been featured in a Fully Charged video, showcasing the possibility of zero-emission public transport. The train is super efficient, running on a 6.5-kW rooftop solar array and a lithium-ion battery. [CleanTechnica]

Byron Bay’s Solar Powered Train (Image: Fully Charged)

¶ “World Bank Provides Over $200 Million For African Off-Grid Solar” • The World Bank Group announced that its Board had approved over $200 million in funding for off-grid electrification projects in West Africa and the Sahel region, designed around stand-alone solar systems. The program will bring electricity to 1.7 million people. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Bye Aerospace Announces 60 Electric Airplanes Sold To OSM Aviation” • Bye Aerospace, based in Colorado, announced the successful maiden flight of the Sun Flyer 2, in April 2018. Now, just a year later, Bye Aerospace has announced that 60 of the aircraft, which have been renamed eFlyer 2, have been sold to OSM Aviation, based in  Norway. [CleanTechnica]

Sun Flyer Prototype

¶ “Germany’s RWE Says It Won’t Invest In New Coal Power Plants” • German energy company RWE says it will not invest in new coal-fired power stations and is scrapping plans for a lignite-fired plant. RWE operates several of Europe’s most-polluting power plants, but it said in a statement that it will focus on renewable sources. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Wind And Solar Investment Must Reach $13 Trillion Over 30 Years To Meet Emissions Targets” • Investments in wind and solar will need to reach $13 trillion over 30 years to reduce CO₂ emissions by 64% in 2050 compared to current levels, according to a report published by the global economists and strategists department of Dutch bank ING. [CleanTechnica]

Renewable energy in the mountains

¶ “New Solar Power Projects Inaugurated Under UAE-Caribbean Fund” • Three solar power projects in the Bahamas, Barbados, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines have been inaugurated under the UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund. The three projects have combined capacities of 2.35 MW of solar and 637 kWh of storage. [ArabianBusiness.com]

¶ “Citizens In Countries Where China Is Making Big Investments In Coal Prefer Renewables” • Citizens of countries participating in China’s Belt and Road Initiative strongly prefer clean energy over the coal projects that Beijing brings them, a survey shows. China is the world’s biggest investor in coal power development overseas. [Pacific Standard]

Steam rising from coal waste near an unauthorized steel mill

¶ “Remembering The Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster, 33 Years Later” • April 26 marks the anniversary of the world’s worst nuclear disaster to date at the Chernobyl power plant in northern Ukraine. Following the 1986 explosion at Chernobyl’s reactor number four, radioactive material spread across much of the Northern Hemisphere. [The Moscow Times]

US:

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Secures 487-MW US Wind Turbine Order” • Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy announced that EDF Renewables North America had awarded it a contract to supply 96 wind turbines. The turbines will go to two US wind farms, one in Texas and one in New Mexico with a combined capacity of 487 MW. [CleanTechnica]

Siemens Gamesa wind turbine

¶ “Solar And Wind Energy Advocates May Hold Swing Vote In Pennsylvania’s Divisive Nuclear Rescue Debate” • The debate over Pennsylvania’s proposed $500 million nuclear rescue package pits the natural gas and nuclear industries against each other. Renewable power advocates believe they hold the swing vote and want a seat at the table. [Philly.com]

¶ “California Restaurants Can Now Add A 1% Surcharge To Help Fight Climate Change” • People eating at California restaurants may start to see an optional 1% surcharge added to their bill. The money will go to a public fund that helps farmers who use practices that reduce carbon in the atmosphere. Payment would be optional for customers. [CNN]

Restaurant payment (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Tucson Electric Power Draws Scrutiny Over Ties To Pro-Coal Advocacy Group” • Tucson Electric Power Co has drawn scrutiny from state regulators over its involvement with a utility group, Utility Air Regulatory Group, that has lobbied against stiffer federal clean-air rules and is under investigation by Congress for alleged ethics violations. [Arizona Daily Star]

¶ “Arizona Public Service Secretly Funded Regulator Campaigns In Bid Against Solar Power” • Facing what it saw as a threat to its monopoly from a surging rooftop solar industry, Arizona’s largest utility secretly funneled millions of dollars to back favored candidates for the Arizona Corporation Commission, which regulates it. [Electric Light & Power]

Have a mystifyingly happy day.

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April 26 Energy News

April 26, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “What That Flashy Renewable Energy Paper Got Wrong” • A much talked-about paper from the University of Chicago says renewable energy mandates have high costs. But the paper, which was not peer-reviewed, has serious problems. Its most recent data is from 2015, when costs were 50% higher than they are today. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

¶ “How A Key Energy Technology Can Help Developing Countries” • A global energy transition is under way. Its potential to redraw the landscape will be profoundly felt in developing economies. We can safely guess that the changing system will include a large role for batteries for both electric vehicles and power storage. [Scientific American]

Science and Technology:

¶ “‘No Plow’ Conservation Agriculture Movement Gaining In Popularity” • Industrial farming has already destroyed about a third of the world’s available topsoil. In six decades the rest could be degraded to the point where nothing grows. The conservation agriculture movement that began in the US is spreading rapidly to other countries. [CleanTechnica]

Farming (Pixabay image)

¶ “Tracking The Toxic Air That’s Killing Millions” • The World Health Organisation says air pollution causes the death of seven million people each year, including a third of fatalities from lung cancer, stroke, and heart disease. Until we can tackle its causes, mainly burning fossil fuels, we need at least to know where and when it is likely to be most dangerous. [BBC]

World:

¶ “Thousands Evacuated As Mozambique Is Hit With The Strongest Storm In Its History” • Northern Mozambique is being hit by Tropical Cyclone Kenneth, a little more than a month after the country was slammed by the deadliest and costliest storm in its history, Tropical Cyclone Idai. Now Kenneth is the strongest tropical cyclone in the country’s history. [CNN]

Kenneth approaching landfall (NASA | NOAH)

¶ “Iraq’s Oil Boom Could Be Derailed By A Lack Of Water” • Iraq’s oil production has doubled in the last ten years, but It needs as much as 1.5 barrels of water for every barrel of oil. Iraq relies on imports from neighboring countries for 70% of the water it consumes. River levels have fallen by as much as 40% in the last 20 years. [CNN]

¶ “The joys of springs: how Kenya could steam beyond fossil fuel” • Recently, Kenya has become a frontrunner in expanding access to electricity. Since 2010, the proportion of the 44 million population with power has reportedly surged from one in five to three in five. This is largely thanks largely to steam from the subterranean depths. [The Guardian]

Geothermal plant (Lisa Murray | UN Environment 2019)

¶ “French Utility Engie To Sell Some German And Dutch Coal Power Assets” • French utility Engie is selling coal-fired plants with a total capacity of 2,345 MW. Engie said that after the sale, coal will represent 4% of its global generation capacity, down from 13% at the end of 2015 when it announced plans to close or dispose of its coal assets. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “South Africa: 80% Against Coal, In Favour Of Renewable Energies” • A survey conducted by YouGov, through a sample of a thousand people, showed that 80% of South Africans believe that investment in renewable energy is better for long-term development than in coal, despite the fact that 85% of South Africa’s energy comes from coal. [AFRIK 21]

Coal-burning power plant (Shutterstock image)

¶ “World’s Only Floating Nuclear Power Station Dubbed ‘Chernobyl On Ice’ Launched By Russia” • A floating nuclear power plant that environmental campaigners have dubbed “Chernobyl on ice” is ready to begin supplying electricity, Russia has announced. The vessel, with two 70-MW nuclear reactors, is the first of its kind. [The Independent]

US:

¶ “Tesla Semi Truck Is Actually Delivering Cars To Customers” • Recently, Tesla shared a few videos of the Tesla Semi Truck that was being used as a car transport carrier. Now, the prototype truck is actually delivering cars to real customers, as we see in the latest video footage and photos shared by the California-based automaker. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla delivering Tesla

¶ “Solar Power Doubles In Most American Cities In Last Six Years” • According to a new report from the Environment America Research and Policy Center, solar power capacity at least doubled in 45 out of the 57 biggest American cities in the last six years. In some American cities the solar PV capacity quadrupled. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Nuro Partners With Kroger For Autonomous Delivery Service In Houston” • Nuro is making self-driving delivery service available to Kroger customers in the 77401 and 77096 zip codes in Houston for a fee of $5.95. Customers will be able to shop for their groceries online or via the app, schedule the delivery, and meet the vehicle at the curb. [CleanTechnica]

Nuro self-driving delivery vehicle (Courtesy of Nuro)

¶ “Fourteen Answer California Offshore Wind Call” • The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has received expressions of interest from 14 developers in the call for information and nominations for obtaining commercial wind energy leases off the West Coast. The leases are in three proposed areas off central and northern California. [Offshore WIND]

¶ “Ball Packs 100% Clean Power” • US can producer Ball Corp signed two virtual power purchase agreements for 388 MW of renewable energy. The PPAs, one for wind and one for solar, will allow the company to address 100% of its North American electricity load for its corporate, packaging, and aerospace operations by the end of 2021. [reNEWS]

Have an impressively gorgeous day.

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April 25 Energy News

April 25, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Old Coal Mines, Tarnished Nukes Usurped By Land-Saving Solar” • From Appalachia in the United States to Queensland in Australia and Chernobyl in Ukraine, solar and wind farms are being developed and built in places not normally associated with clean energy, and in some regions that have long been resistant to it. [Seattle Times]

Solar park at Chernobyl (Vincent Mundy | Bloomberg)

¶ “Self-Scheduling: How Inflexible Coal Is Breaking Energy Markets” • By operating when operating costs exceed revenues, coal-fired power plant owners cost US consumers $1 billion a year in inflated utility bills. Some utilities have chosen to shut down coal plants seasonally and only operate a few months of the year. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Leading Climate Scientists Gather In Orkney As Climate Change Threat Measured At World Heritage Sites” • Leading climate scientists and heritage professionals are gathering on Orkney to measure the threat climate change poses to world heritage sites. The event is piloting new risk assessment methodology. [Press and Journal]

Orkney Heritage site

¶ “nanoFlowcell Flow Battery Test Vehicle Surpasses 200,000 Miles” • A German company, nanoFlowcell, is testing a flow battery for automotive use. This means that the battery can be recharged by pumping out used liquids and replacing them with fresh ones. The test car has actually driven for over 220,000 miles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Thousands Of Emperor Penguin Chicks Wiped Out” • When the sea-ice on which they were being raised was destroyed in severe weather in 2016, thousands of emperor penguin chicks drowned. The colony’s 14,000 to 25,000 breeding pairs made no attempt to reestablish it, and it disappeared from satellite images altogether. [BBC]

Emperor penguin colony (Christopher Walton)

World:

¶ “$13.6 Billion Record-Breaking Solar Park Rises From Dubai Desert” • Under the Arabian sun, a monumental construction effort is making headway. Located deep within Dubai’s desert interior, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park continues to grow. It has just passed another milestone, with groundbreaking of phase four. [CNN]

¶ “The ‘Unlikely’ Group Calling For Climate Action” • Australia’s conservative capitalist farmers are beginning to push the government on climate change. They can see the devastating impacts of extreme weather on their land, as a prolonged drought cripples vast swathes of the nation. It is an issue for the election in May. [BBC]

Farm protest in Canberra (Farmers for Climate Action)

¶ “India Will Add 144 GW Renewables By 2022, Exceed 275 GW By 2027: IEEFA” • India will reach 144 GW of renewable energy capacity by fiscal year 2021-2022, not far from the 175-GW target set in 2015. This puts India on track to exceed its 275-GW target in 2027, according to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. [pv magazine India]

¶ “Tropical tree losses persist at high levels” • Around 12 million hectares of forest in the world’s tropical regions were lost in 2018. While this represents a decline on 2016 and 2017, it is still the fourth highest rate of loss since records began in 2001. Of particular concern is the continued destruction of what are termed primary forests. [BBC]

Amazon rain forest (Getty Images)

US:

¶ “Ford Drops $500 Million Into Rivian In Bid To Electrify Its F‑Series Trucks” • Ford announced a $500 million equity investment into electric truck and SUV builder Rivian. Ford seems to hope to get a foot in the door at Rivian so it can develop a line of electric trucks and SUVs built on top of Rivian’s electric vehicle skateboard platform. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Brayton Point Coal-Fired Generating Station Will Be Repurposed To Support Offshore Wind” • The Brayton Point plant in Massachusetts was so dirty that a Harvard University study blamed it for 106 premature deaths each year. It closed in 2017 because of economics. Now its site will be repurposed to support offshore windpower. [CleanTechnica]

Brayton Point (Credit: Z22, CC-sa | 3.0 via Wikipedia)

¶ “Occidental Trumps Chevron’s Deal For Anadarko” • A bidding war has emerged in America’s rich shale oil patch. Occidental Petroleum revealed a $76-a-share offer to acquire oil driller Anadarko Petroleum.The offer is about 20% greater than the $33 billion takeover deal Anadarko reached earlier this month with energy giant Chevron. [CNN]

¶ “Minnesota’s General Mills And Hormel Buy Wind Power To Offset Energy Used To Make Food” • General Mills And Hormel, two of Minnesota’s largest food companies, announced new wind power purchase agreements this month, to help offset the energy used to run their vast operations. The announcements came on Earth Day. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Cactus Flats wind farm in Texas (Courtesy of General Mills)

¶ “Smithfield Foods And RAE Launch Joint Venture To Create Renewable Energy, Wildlife Habitat” • Smithfield Foods and Roeslein Alternative Energy formed a joint venture to produce renewable natural gas from manure collected from Smithfield farms in Missouri. The deal also includes ecological services and developing wildlife habitat. [KTTN]

¶ “Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission Rejects Vectren’s Power Plant Proposal” • A proposal to build an 850-MW power plant fueled by natural gas to replace an old coal-burning plant was rejected by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. It said the owner, Vectren, had not adequately considered less expensive alternatives. [Evansville Courier & Press]

Have a pleasantly marvelous day.

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April 24 Energy News

April 24, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Your Renewable Energy Technology Is Growing Old – What’s Next?” • The cutting-edge research at the US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory will one day go to waste. But it will not go into a landfill. Researchers at NREL are making strides toward ensuring that old technology objects can be more easily recycled. [CleanTechnica]

NREL’s Flatirons campus (Dennis Schroeder, NREL)

¶ “Study Sets Economic Impact Of Melting Arctic Permafrost At $70 TRILLION!” • Researchers at Lancaster University studied the effects of melting Arctic ice. They concluded that permafrost melting, with a release of greenhouses gases, and melting the ice that reflects the sun’s heat back to space will increase the cost of climate change by $70 trillion. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Solar Dominates Latest German Renewable Auction” • Germany’s Federal Network Agency announced that the solar industry has walked away as the sole winner from Germany’s most recent solar and onshore wind tender, receiving contracts for the entire 210 MW awarded in an auction that was heavily oversubscribed. [CleanTechnica]

Saerbeck Energy Park

¶ “Solar Storage Team Eye Green Peaker Plants” • CellCube, a company based in Canada, is teaming up with Hive Energy and Immersa to build and develop grid-scale solar and energy storage projects in the UK. The consortium, known as HICC Energy, aims to offer green peaking and reserve power capacity to the market. [reNEWS]

¶ “Victorian Water Utilities Join Forces To Source Cheap Solar Power” • Thirteen Victorian water utilities have banded together to forge a major renewable energy off-take deal, Zero Emissions Water Ltd. The new company is to supply each corporation with 20% to 50% of its total electricity needs and lower water bills for their consumers. [RenewEconomy]

Hamilton Water Treatment Plant

¶ “UK Businesses Speed Up Shift To Clean Energy” • British companies RBS and Landsec have raised the bar for corporate leadership by taking ambitious steps across electric transport, energy efficiency, and renewable power, three critical areas for delivering a clean economy by 2050. Each company listed a set of steps it will take. [The Climate Group]

¶ “Penguin Primed For Tallinn Departure” • Finnish wave energy developer Wello’s WEC2 Penguin device has been completed and is ready to depart from a shipyard in Tallinn, Estonia, for testing in Orkney, Scotland. According to the company, the new technology has a 380% increased power production, compared to the WEC1 model. [reNEWS]

Wello WEC2 Device (Wello image)

¶ “Japan Will Not Extend Deadline For Anti-Terror Nuclear Retrofits” • Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority refused to extend deadlines for utilities to build emergency facilities for reactors in the event of a terrorist attack and will shut the units if the safeguards are not finished in time, officials from the agency said during a meeting. [Bloomberg]

¶ “‘Renewable Energy Is The Solution For Australia’ – Finance Expert Reveals Why” • Three reasons why a renewable energy solution is the answer to Australia’s future: cheaper, cleaner, and industry-building, according to a report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. It also demolishes the “baseload myth.” [Energy Matters]

Baseload power

US:

¶ “Verizon Commits To Going Carbon Neutral By 2035” • Leading American telecom giant Verizon announced that it is strengthening its commitment to sustainability. It is to go carbon neutral by 2035 through a range of tools including reducing emissions directly and procuring renewable energy for its operations. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Bloomberg Philanthropies Commits Another $5.5 Million To United Nations Climate Change Secretariat” • Michael R Bloomberg, the founder of Bloomberg LP and former mayor of New York City, has committed $5.5 million to the UN Climate Change Secretariat to make up for the funding gap left by the US federal government. [CleanTechnica]

Michael Bloomberg

¶ “Dominion Energy & Facebook Announce 350 MW Of New Solar” • American power and energy company Dominion Energy announced together with Facebook that it would add six new solar facilities in Virginia and North Carolina totaling 350 MW for the sole purpose of supplying electricity to Facebook’s local operations. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New York Opens Third Large-Scale Renewables Solicitation” • New York state is seeking bids in a request for proposals for its large-scale renewable energy projects, which are aimed at helping it reach a goal of sourcing 50% to 70%, of its electricity from renewables by 2030. This is the third solicitation under its Clean Energy Standard. [Renewables Now]

New York sunrise (Anthony Quintano, CC BY 2.0)

¶ “MTA Looks To Rooftop Solar Power To Raise Much-Needed Funds” • In New York, the MTA is looking to lease over 10 million square feet of rooftop space on its buildings to companies that install solar panels. Fully realized, the project could generate over 100 MW of renewable energy, enough to power 18,000 households in the state. [Curbed NY]

¶ “Ohioans Could Be Charged More Fees In Their Electric Bill” • Environmentalists and consumer advocates warned that a bill pending in the Ohio House would increase costs for consumers and stifle renewable energy and conservation programs. The bill is a bailout for two aging nuclear power plants that are owned by FirstEnergy Solutions. [Dayton Daily News]

Have an entirely enchanting day.

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April 23 Energy News

April 23, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “Greenland Is Melting Even Faster Than Experts Thought, Study Finds” • Climate change is eliminating giant chunks of ice from Greenland at such a speed that the melt has already made a significant contribution to sea level rise, according to a study. About 40% to 50% of the planet’s population is in cities that are vulnerable to sea rise. [CNN]

Arctic ice

World:

¶ “Lower Prices For Renewables Mean Fewer Coal-Powered Generating Stations In China” • China has a moratorium on building new coal-fired generating stations in ten regions where available power exceeds demand. That moratorium will end soon, but analysts believe the low cost of renewables will make new coal plants unattractive. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Canada iZEV Electric Car Incentive Program Begins May 1” • While the US hems and haws about the federal tax credit for electric vehicles, its cousins to the north in Canada have a mostly coherent policy that will provide a C$5,000 ($3,750) rebate to some electric car buyers. The program is called iZEV and goes into effect on May 1. [CleanTechnica]

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

¶ “Tata Power To Focus On Clean Energy, Won’t Build New Coal-Fired Plants” • Tata Power, India’s largest private integrated power company, will lead the country’s renewable energy transition by ceasing building new coal-fired power plants, a report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis says. [The New Indian Express]

¶ “Eni To Build Industrial-Scale Offshore Wave Power Plants” • The CEOs of Eni, Fincantieri, Cassa depositi e prestiti, and Terna signed an agreement to develop and build wave power stations on an industrial scale. They agreed to combine the expertise of the four companies to develop the Inertial Sea Wave Energy Converter. [The Maritime Executive]

ISWEC platform

¶ “Britain Has Been Surviving Without Coal Power Since Thursday” • Climate change activists are still blocking streets in London, but according to tweets from the UK’s national grid, the country gone without coal power for 86 hours straight. The streetlights are still working, the internet is still switched on, and the kettles are still boiling. [Metro]

¶ “Westpac Signs PPA With Bomen Solar Farm” • Westpac, one of Australia’s largest banks, signed a power purchase agreement with Bomen Solar Farm for 63 GWh of renewable electricity annually to power its operations globally. The PPA follows Westpac’s pledge to source 100% of its energy from renewable sources by 2025. [Energy Magazine]

Solar panels (Shutterstock image)

¶ “India Looks To Add Twelve New Nuclear Power Stations” • India will add twelve nuclear power stations to its lineup to shore up its power supply situation, the Department of Atomic Energy said, according to The Times of India. DAE secretary KN Vyas said that nuclear energy “irreplaceable,” at an industry event in Russia. [OilPrice.com]

US:

¶ “Hawaii’s Waikiki Beach Could Soon Be Underwater Because Of Climate Change. Lawmakers Are Fighting To Preserve It” • Hawaii state Rep Chris Lee has a 2-year-old niece. If recent climate reports about Hawaii are correct, he said, after she finishes high school, she may not be able to lie in the sun on Waikiki Beach. [CNN]

Waikiki beach (M Borsch | De Agostini Editorial | Getty Images)

¶ “Mayor Breed Unveils Plan To Power San Francisco Buildings With 100% Renewable Energy ” • San Francisco Mayor London Breed unveiled a plan for the city’s largest private commercial buildings to run on 100% renewable electricity. Those over 500,000 square feet would have to be 100% renewably powered by 2022. [CBS San Francisco]

¶ “Taylor Farms Slashes Greenhouse Gas Emissions” • Taylor Farms is North America’s largest producer of ready-to-eat vegetables. It celebrated Earth Day with the announcement that it has seen a reduction of 12,190 metric tons of CO₂ emissions over the course of the year, through use of solar, wind, fuel cells, and cogeneration. [Register Pajaronian]

Taylor Farms field (Courtesy of Taylor Farms)

¶ “New Mexico Utility Says It Will Be Emissions-Free By 2040” • Officials from the Public Service Co of New Mexico, the state’s largest electric provider, rolled out a plan to be emissions-free as early as 2040 during an Earth Day event in Albuquerque. They said PNM is the first investor-owned utility in the US to set such a goal. [Artesia Daily Press]

¶ “California Just Made More Clean Energy Than It Needed” • The California Independent Systems Operator, the state’s grid operator, has shown that for most of the period between 1:50 PM and 3:05 PM on Sunday April 21, the amount of carbon-free electricity generated in the region it covers exceeded customer demands. [pv magazine USA]

Desert wind turbines (Tony Webster, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “An Earth Day To Remember: Gov Sisolak Signs 50% RPS In NV” • Nevada Gov Steve Sisolak signed SB358 under blooming plums trees on the lawn between the Legislative Building and the State Capitol. Now, 50% of the state’s electricity will come from such clean renewable sources as solar, wind and geothermal, by 2030. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

¶ “Minnesota Power Offers New Way For Customers To Go Renewable” • Minnesota Power has introduced a new renewable energy program, and doing so exceeded a state energy-savings goal. Its customers will be able to choose more renewable electricity by enrolling in Minnesota Power’s Renewable Source program. [BusinessNorth.com]

Have a guiltlessly merry day.

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April 22 Energy News

April 22, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Are You Doing Enough To Fight Climate Change On Earth Day (And Every Day)?” • On this Earth Day 2019, people in the US say that they are taking environmentally-friendly actions, yet 44% believe their actions are too small to fight climate change. A total of 32% do not feel knowledgeable about the actions they can take. And NIMBYism prevails. [CleanTechnica]

Drought (Pixabay image)

¶ “Corporate Greed Is Accelerating Climate Change. But We Can Still Head Off Disaster” • America’s economy is not only failing American citizens. It is failing the planet, and that means it is failing future generations. Corporate greed is one cause of that, and it has been taking over American politics. But there is a real possibility of change. [CNN]

¶ “How Much Does Trump Admin Love Renewable Energy? Shhh, Don’t Tell!” • Leading US corporations have been hopping on the renewable energy bandwagon to save big bucks, despite a lack of support from the current occupant of the Oval Office. The good news is that the DOE still supports renewables, including wind and solar power. [CleanTechnica]

Lone Star Wind Farm

Science and Technology:

¶ “‘It’s Already Begun’ – Feedback Loops Will Make Climate Change Even Worse, Scientists Say” • Rising Arctic temperatures set free a vast amount of carbon previously locked beneath permafrost, these additional greenhouse gases speed up warming, and that melts more permafrost. It is a feedback loop, and scientists say it has begun. [Yahoo News]

¶ “Earth Day Affirmation: New Satellite Data Confirms Earth Is Warming And Possibly At A Faster Pace” • Just in time for Earth Day, new satellite data corroborates scientists’ findings that the Earth is warming at an alarming pace. The new data from NASA’s Aqua satellite corroborates findings from the Goddard Institute of Space Studies. [Green Car Reports]

Polar Bear on Arctic ice (AWeith | Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Alaska’s In The Middle Of A Record-Breaking Spring Melt, And It’s Killing People” • The average temperature for March recorded at the NOAA observatory in Utquiagvik (formerly Barrow), Alaska, was 18.6° F above normal. The above-normal temperatures are part of a trend that has been going on for many years. [ScienceAlert]

World:

¶ “Greta Thunberg’s Visit To Britain Is A Huge Moment For The Climate Movement” • This afternoon an international sensation is taking to the stage in central London. She’s young, but she is admired around the world. Her name is Greta Thunberg. She’s a 16-year-old climate hero. And she is much needed in a time of crisis. [The Guardian]

Greta Thunberg speaking in Rome (Matteo Nardone
| Pacific Press via ZUMA Wire | REX | Shutterstock)

¶ “China’s Solar Installations Dip 40% YOY To 5.2 GW In Q1 2019” • China installed 5.2 GW of solar PV capacity in the first quarter of 2019. This was a decline of nearly 40% from the first quarter of 2018, when China installed 9.65 GW of solar PV capacity. Most of what has been installed so far this year is distributed small-scale systems. [Mercom India]

¶ “Dutch Engineers Build World’s Biggest Sun-Seeking Solar Farm” • Dutch engineers are building what will be the world’s largest archipelago of islands made up of sun-tracking solar panels. Construction will begin this year on 15 solar islands on the Andijk reservoir in north Holland. Each of the first three will be 140 meters across. [The Guardian]

Floating solar system (ZoW5 Photo)

¶ “China Keen On Second Nuclear Plant In Bangladesh” • Chinese companies have expressed great interest in bidding for Bangladesh’s proposed second nuclear power plant. Two Chinese companies – Dongfang Electric Corporation and China State Construction Engineering Corporation – have started a huge lobbying effort. [Northeast Now]

US:

¶ “On Earth Day, North Carolinians Rally For 100% Clean Energy By 2050” • Citizens, scientists, legislators, and faith leaders are rallying for Earth Day on the campus of North Carolina State University in support of legislation calling for 100% clean energy by 2050. North Carolina is already a leading state for solar PV capacity. [Public News Service]

Wind turbine (Benedikt | Adobe Stock)

¶ “Clean Tech Jobs Lead Employment Statistics In Many US States” • Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and projections from the Projections Managing Partnership, Yahoo Finance has charted which jobs are in high demand in all 50 US states. It says solar panel installer is the fastest growing job in eight different states. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Energy Wonks Hope To Achieve Breakthrough At Basalt Vista Project” • The first phase of Habitat for Humanity’s Basalt Vista project in Colorado will serve as a laboratory for unparalleled management of household energy use and independence from the electrical grid. Each unit in the project will use “net-zero” energy. [Aspen Times]

Basalt Vista project (Anna Stonehouse | The Aspen Times)

¶ “Fate Of Northern Vermont Solar Projects Uncertain” • The waiting game continues for developers of eight solar projects planned for the congested northern tier of Vermont’s electrical grid. They remain on hold until grid constraint issues are addressed. The region they are in already has considerable renewable power production. [vtdigger.org]

¶ “Engie Begins Work On Jumbo Hill Wind Project In Texas” • ENGIE North America announced the start of construction of the 160-MW Jumbo Hill Wind Project in Texas. The project will use 57 GE Renewable Energy turbines, each with 127-meter rotors. The total capital investment of the Project is set to be over $150 million. [Saurenergy]

Have a wonderfully enjoyable day.

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April 21 Energy News

April 21, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “When Airplanes Are Designed To Be Energy Agnostic, You Know Electricity Is Banging At The Door” • Lift Air subsidiary Flight Design General Aviation GmbH, based in Germany, announced new 4-seat airplane that could be certified in a year. Importantly, it is energy agnostic, so it is ready for a full electric propulsion system. [CleanTechnica]

Flight Design aircraft

¶ “Chevron’s Fig Leaf Part 5: Who Is Behind Carbon Engineering, And What Do Experts Say?” • Carbon capture is a technology that burns so much natural gas that they produce and must capture 500 tons of CO₂ for every 1,000 they capture from the air. Who would want to do such a thing? Someone who loves seeing fossil fuels sell. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Texas Cities And Counties Can Partner With Colleges On Climate Change” • The Texas environmental movement is strong on college campuses, but Texans can do better. The situation is far more urgent than it was on the first Earth Day, in 1970. Texas higher education institutions need to reenergize the “town and gown” movement. [San Antonio Express-News]

After Hurricane Harvey (David J Phillip | Associated Press)

¶ “Finally, Smooth Sailing For Offshore Wind In Massachusetts” • Massachusetts was the scene of a long legal battle over the first offshore wind farm proposed for the US, the Cape Wind project. A group of opponents won that battle, with some help from one of the Kochs. Now the tide has turned and a massive new flotilla of wind turbines on the way. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “FirstEnergy’s Supposed ‘Green New Deal’ To Bail Out Nuclear Plants Is Really Just A Political Deal” • Oh, boy, do Ohio House Republicans have (what one GOP foe calls) a Green New Deal for you: a fast-moving plan to add $2.50 a month to each Ohioans’ residential electric bill to bail out nuclear power plants. Doesn’t that sound fair? [cleveland.com]

Nuclear power plant (Photo: AP)

World:

¶ “Sturgeon Urged To Leave Oil And Gas Behind To Create Green Deal And Jobs Boost” • Patrick Harvie, the Green Party’s co-convenor in Scotland, is to lead demands for First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to develop a Green New Deal policy. He believes it will lead to over 2,000 jobs in the country’s renewable sector by 2035. [The National]

¶ “NEVS Will Build Sion Solar-Powered Electric Car At Former SAAB Factory In Sweden” • Sono Motors’ Sion will be the first production car to have built-in solar panels. Sono says the panels can generate enough electricity to drive the Sion up to 21 miles on a sunny day. National Electric Vehicle Sweden and Sono will make them in a former SAAB plant. [CleanTechnica]

Sono Motors Sion

¶ “Power Outages Are A Thing Of The Past In Zambia” • The African Development Bank Group celebrated a success, tweeting, “Power cuts are now a thing of the past in #Zambia! A major boost in electricity production, – thanks to a robust hydraulic and solar power generation industry – means the country is now self-sufficient in energy.” [SaharaReporters.com]

¶ “Battle Of Waterloo Bridge: A Week Of Extinction Rebellion Protests” • “It’s been a resounding success,” said one of the group’s organisers on Thursday. “We are holding all the sites, we are attracting loads of new members, … the police are generally positive and friendly, … and we are getting our message out there.” It is still going on. [The Guardian]

Extinction Rebellion (Facundo Arrizabalaga | EPA)

US:

¶ “PNM: Clean Energy Moves Won’t Mean Rate Hikes” • Officials from the Public Service Company of New Mexico stopped at the Western New Mexico University campus to hold a brief public meeting on their company’s role in New Mexico’s clean energy future. They said coal was no longer cost-effective for power generation. [Silver City Daily Press and Independent]

¶ “State Funding Approved For Six McHenry County Solar Projects; Dozens More Wait-Listed” • In Illinois, a company spokesman said 438 community solar projects representing 864 MW of power signed agreements with ComEd and applied to participate in the Adjustable Block Program. A total of 78 were accepted by lottery. [Northwest Herald]

Solar array (Shaw Media file photo)

¶ “Arizona Regulators Look To Revamp Rules Requiring Utilities To Buy Renewable Power” • Arizona regulators are looking at changing decades-old rules requiring utilities to buy power from certain renewable energy facilities. There is an ongoing dispute between utilities, including Tucson Electric Power Co, and some solar project developers. [Arizona Daily Star]

¶ “Clean Energy Laws Force Colstrip Owners To Weigh Options” • As the state of Washington edges closer to banning coal power by 2025, the owners of Montana’s coal-burning Colstrip Power Plant are weighing options. Colstrip supplies customers in three states, but without those in Washington it will be hard to justify running the plant. [Billings Gazette]

Colstrip power plant (Adam Fondren | Billings Gazette)

¶ “The Hydrogen Fuel Strategy Behind Nikola’s Truck Dream” • The Nikola Motor Company wants to reinvent trucking by replacing diesel heavy-duty trucks with new ones powered by hydrogen fuel cells. To address environmental concerns, it held a two-day conference on how hydrogen will be made, transported, and stored. [Ars Technica]

¶ “Janet Mills Vows More Than Just Hot Air On Climate Change” • For Gov Janet Mills, climate change is not just a matter of political debate. It is an issue that cuts to the heart of what Maine is all about. In a recent speech, she wondered if Mainers in the not-too-distant future “may not know the state we call home” if the issue is not dealt with. [Press Herald]

Have an altogether excellent day.

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April 20 Energy News

April 20, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “You Can’t Stop The Wind. But These Folks Are Trying Anyway.” • In Texas, tax breaks for fossil fuels outpace tax breaks for renewables by a rate of two to one. Guess which sector whines about unfairness? But the renewables sector is actually unstoppable, and fossil fuel interests are starting to show their desperation. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

Wind turbines and oil refinery (Eric Gay | Associated Press)

¶ “Texas Proves That Booming Renewable Energy Doesn’t Bring Electricity Price Armageddon” • Many energy pundits still warn of an Armageddon of high electricity prices and unreliable grid electricity for those too reliant on renewable power generation. There’s just a tiny problem with such claims: The data do not support them. [Dallas News]

¶ “Renewable Energy: A Multi-Trillion-Dollar Marketplace Is Emerging” • The US energy grid is ageing and it’s the perfect opportunity for energy contractors to up their game and help improve the sector. And increasing commitments to renewable energy, now by four states and over a hundred cities, will push immediate change. [Born2Invest]

Solar array (Photo: Okawa Photo via Shutterstock)

¶ “Chevron’s Fig Leaf Part 4: Carbon Engineering’s Only Market Is Pumping More Oil” • The only industry group that still thinks carbon capture has merit is fossil fuels. They are spending a tiny fraction of their money so they can tout the wonders of their technology around the world while their products produce gigatons of CO₂ annually. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewable Energy Is Better” • To truly decarbonize the US economy, we need to fully use renewable energy technologies, which are significantly safer and more cost-effective than nuclear power plants. The American Council on Renewable Energy says it has proven them more advantageous than nuclear in terms of cost and safety. [The New York Times]

Nuclear plant (Julien Warnand | EPA, via Shutterstock)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Eco-Friendly Solid Could Replace Conventional Refrigerants” • Researchers at universities in Spain and the UK have discovered a way to achieve cooling by changing the microscopic structure of neopentylglycol, which is non-toxic, non-flammable, and inexpensively manufactured from readily available organic compounds. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “The World’s Biggest Electric Vehicle Company Looks Nothing Like Tesla” • The number one producer of plug-in vehicles globally is BYD, based in Shenzhen, China. Though it gets a tiny fraction of the attention of Tesla, BYD now has about a quarter-million employees and sells as many as 30,000 vehicles every month. [Bloomberg] (Thanks to Tom Finnell)

BYD plant (Billy HC Kwok | Bloomberg Businessweek)

¶ “Solar, Wind Power Capacity Addition Slows Down In 2018-19” • The pace of Indian renewable generation additions slowed down in FY19 with just 8.6 GW of solar and wind power plants being commissioned. India added 11.8 GW of renewable capacity in FY18. The country’s installed renewable capacity now stands at 77.6 GW. [Financial Express]

¶ “China To Promote Using Wind Energy To Power Heating Systems” • China’s National Energy Administration urged local authorities to set annual targets for generating heating using energy from wind farms over the period from 2019 to 2021. The country is pushing to reduce carbon emissions from all uses of coal, including heat. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Wind turbine

¶ “Sungrow Debuts A New Energy Storage System” • Sungrow, based in China, premiered its new fully integrated energy storage systems at an exposition in Phoenix, Arizona. The system’s main innovation is its use of Samsung’s latest E3 Battery for a smaller size and higher energy densities, with minimized on-site work. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

US:

¶ “Puerto Rico Will Stop Burning Coal Next Year” • The Puerto Rico Energy Public Policy Act, recently signed by Puerto Rico’s governor Ricardo Roselló, puts the island on track to completely ditch all non-renewable energy sources by 2050. But also, the bill says, Puerto Rico’s coal-burning power plants will get the axe in 2020. [Futurism]

Wind turbines (Distel2610 via Pixabay)

¶ “Washington Utility Avista Commits To 100% Clean Energy By 2045” • Avista announced its goal to serve its customers with 100% clean electricity by 2045 and to have a carbon-neutral supply of electricity by the end of 2027. Avista claims a long-standing history of providing clean, reliable, and affordable energy to its customers. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Nevada’s 50% Renewable Portfolio Standard Clears Legislature” • A bill increasing Nevada’s renewable portfolio standard to 50% by 2030 cleared the state assembly with no votes against it, sending it to Governor Steve Sisolak’s desk. The Senate had passed the bill unanimously. Sisolak is widely expected to sign it. [Greentech Media]

Nevada to be 50% green (Photo: Shutterstock.com)

¶ “Two-Thirds Of US Voters Say 100% Renewable Electricity By 2030 Is Important” • A 100% renewable energy mandate was considered the next most important of several options for fighting climate change in a poll, after funding innovation. But the people polled put taxes, wages, jobs, unemployment, and spending ahead of the climate. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “Missouri House Backs Landowners Fighting Wind Energy Line” • The Missouri House has passed legislation that could effectively block one of the nation’s largest wind energy projects by prohibiting its developers from using eminent domain to run a high-voltage power line across the Midwest. The line would run from Kansas to Indianan. [KBIA]

Have a fantastically fortunate day.

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April 19 Energy News

April 19, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “The Largely Ignored Problem Of Global Peak Oil Will Seriously Hit In A Few Years” • Data from the International Energy Agency shows that with no new investment global oil production will drop by 50% by 2025. That includes oil from all unconventional sources, and new oil exploration is at the lowest level it has been since 1952. [CleanTechnica]

Pump jack (Photo: Zbynek Burival)

¶ “The Green New Deal, Socialism, And The American Dream” • The Green New Deal has been vigorously attacked as “socialism.” Nothing could be further from the truth, argues Pulitzer Prize winning historian Joseph Ellis. In fact, it is the highest and best expression of the principles upon which the United States was founded. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “David Attenborough’s Climate Change Documentary Leaves Viewers Asking, ‘What Are We Doing To This World?!'” • Sir David Attenborough’s documentary, “Climate Change: The Facts,” has aired.  Putting the issue of climate change in layman’s terms it leaves many viewers with a burning question: “What the hell are we doing to this world?!” [Stuff.co.nz]

Sir David Attenborough

Science and Technology:

¶ “It’s A Match: Satellite And Ground Measurements Agree On Warming” • Ground-based sensors, ocean buoys, and different types of satellite measurements all broadly agree with one another on Earth’s warming, despite being collected in very different ways. That provides high confidence that the results are accurate. [Scientific American]

World:

¶ “LM Wind Rolls Out First Haliade-X Blade” • LM Wind Power has produced the first 107-meter blade that will be fitted to the prototype GE Renewable Energy Haliade-X 12-MW offshore turbine. Testing and validation will begin once finishing touches are done. The prototype is being installed in the Netherlands, later this year. [reNEWS]

Haliade-X 12-MW offshore turbine (LM Wind Power image)

¶ “Singapore’s DBS Bank Shifts Financing To Renewable Energy Projects” • Singapore’s DBS Bank has announced plans to stop financing coal-powered plants as it looks to support the country’s ramping up renewable energy projects. The bank is the second in the city-state to drop further coal energy initiatives, after OCBC Bank. [Business Times]

¶ “Korea Raises Renewable Energy Target To 30% To 35% By 2040” • The government of South Korea plans to increase the proportion of energy generated from renewable sources to as much as 35% of the total by 2040 in response to growing environmental concerns, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said. [The Korea Herald]

Solar panels

¶ “Solar Hits 500 GW” • Installed solar PV capacity reached 500 GW in 2018, analysis by the International Energy Agency shows. In the latest Snapshot of Global Photovoltaic Markets 2018 report, the EIA said that by last year’s end, 505 GW of PV capacity was installed worldwide in PV Power System Programme markets and other key countries. [reNEWS]

¶ “Chinese Offshore Pioneer Enters Service” • Chinese company Guodian Power has started commercial operations at the 252-MW Zhejiang Zhoushan offshore wind farm in the east China Sea. The project, which took just over two years to build, features 63 Siemens Gamesa turbines with 130-meter rotors, according to the developer. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (Guodian Power image)

US:

¶ “Bernie Sanders Calls For An End To Fossil Fuels” • Bernie Sanders made a rather stunning proposal, saying climate change is “not a hoax but is an existential threat.” He wants “to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel and into energy efficiency and sustainable energy and, in the process, create millions of good paying jobs.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Americans’ Energy Use Surges Despite Climate Change Concern” • Americans used a record amount of energy in 2018, with a 10% jump in natural gas consumption helping to lead the way, according to the Energy Information Administration. Total consumption of all fuels rose 4% year on year, the largest such increase in eight years. [Associated Press]

Rising smoke (Brian Peterson | Star Tribune via AP, File)

¶ “ENGIE North America Announces 160-MW Texas Wind Farm” • ENGIE North America, the local subsidiary of French multinational utility company ENGIE, announced that it has started construction of the 160-MW Jumo Hill Wind Project in Texas, which is expected to be completed and brought online by spring of 2020. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Massachusetts Approves Vineyard Power Deal” • Long-term off-take contracts for the 800-MW Vineyard Wind farm being developed off the state’s coast have been approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities. Officials said the off-take deals will spur economic development and ensure a “resilient energy future.” [reNEWS]

Offshore wind turbine (Image: MHI Vestas)

¶ “New York City Sets Ambitious Climate Rules for Its Biggest Emitters: Buildings” • Plans approved by the City Council of New York are expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions from large buildings by 40% compared to 2005 levels by 2030, about 26% below current levels. Buildings account for two-thirds of the city’s emissions. [InsideClimate News]

¶ “NJ Approves $300 Million Of ZECs For Salem, Hope Creek Nukes” • New Jersey regulators approved zero-emission credits totaling $300 million for the state’s three nuclear reactors, nearly a year after the governor signed off on an ambitious energy plan aimed at boosting the use of carbon-free resources to 50% over the next decade. [RTO Insider]

Have a fundamentally fabulous day.

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