Posts Tagged ‘photovoltaic’

October 6 Energy News

October 6, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “The Time Has Never Been Better For Community Solar In The US” • Community solar used to be a perk for upper income people. Just as some people spend big bucks to drive a luxury EV so they can lower their carbon footprint, others were willing to pay more for electricity to help the planet breathe easier. With the IRA, times have changed. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array (US Bureau of Land Management)

Science and Technology:

¶ “This Solar-Powered Electric Car Cleans Carbon From The Air As It Drives” • Silver, sleek and sporty, Zem wouldn’t look out of place at a supercar championship. But Zem isn’t like other sports cars – or any car, for that matter. The one-of-a-kind prototype cleans carbon from the air while driving, using a carbon capture device fitted to its underside. [CNN]

¶ “Northern Hemisphere’s Extreme Summer Drought Was Made Twenty Times More Likely By Climate Change” • All across the Northern Hemisphere this summer, drought scorched the soil, dried up rivers and triggered mass crop failure. The drought was made at least twenty times more likely by the climate crisis, a new analysis found. [CNN]

Failed crop (Md Hasanuzzaman Himel, Unsplash)

World:

¶ “Tesla Model Y Beats Ford And Toyota Best Sellers In New Zealand” • New Zealand’s aggressive bonus malus approach has enabled a fully electric vehicle , the Tesla Model Y, to become the top selling car in September. With 1,502 registrations, the Tesla Model Y beat the top models of Ford, which had 1,043, and the Toyota Hilux, which had 989. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Model Y Is Best Selling SUV In Australia!” • “[T]here is a clear market trend towards zero emission technology,” Tony Weber, chief executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, says. This is a significant admission from the FCAI, which has long downplayed electric vehicles due to Toyota’s dominance of the group. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model Y (Screen Post, Unsplash, cropped)

¶ “How Europe’s Energy Crisis Has Impacted Corporate Renewable PPAs” • The corporate renewable power purchase agreement market in Europe grew by almost seven times between 2016 and 2021, but it looks like the energy crisis will make 2022 the first year it sees a slowdown, data from the trade association WindEurope shows. [Energy Monitor]

¶ “Switching To Renewable Energy Could Save Trillions, New Study Finds” • Switching from fossil fuel energy to renewable energy could save trillions, a report involving the University of Oxford found. Furthermore, the faster we make the switch, the more money we will save. This study, was published on journal Joule in September. [The Oxford Student]

http://Solar panels (Andreas Gücklhorn, Unsplash)

¶ “Vladimir Putin Decrees Russian Takeover Of Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Plant” • Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his government to take control of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, Europe’s largest nuclear power facility. The boss of Ukraine’s state energy agency, Energoatom, announced that he would be taking over the plant, also. [RTV]

¶ “Nuclear Share In Energy Generation Falls To Lowest In Four Decades” • The share of nuclear power in global gross electricity generation fell below 10% last year to the lowest in around four decades, an industry report showed. Nuclear energy generated 2,653 TWh of electricity last year, accounting for 9.8% of global generation, the lowest since the 1980s. [Reuters]

Nuclear power plant (Frédéric Paulussen, Unsplash)

US:

¶ “Report: Transitioning Only 6% Of American Vehicles To Electric Could Prevent 67,000 Premature Deaths” • Changing America’s fleet of trucks and buses to run on electricity while changing the nation’s power grid to renewable fuels could prevent 67,000 premature deaths by 2050, according to a report from the American Lung Association. [CNN]

¶ “California Offers To Cut 130 Billion Gallons A Year To Save Colorado River; Expert Says It’s Not Enough” • A group of water agencies in California that consume the largest proportion of lower Colorado River water are offering to cut their usage in an effort to save the river basin voluntarily and stave off a larger crisis. One expert says it is not nearly enough. [CNN]

Colorado River (Donald Giannatti, Unsplash)

¶ “White House Releasing Progress Reports On Agencies’ Efforts To Combat Climate Change Risks” • The White House is showing a series of reports detailing agencies’ progress in steeling federal facilities, programs, and operations in the face of climate change. The progress reports come a year after more than 20 agencies released plans to ensure resilience. [CNN]

¶ “Ford Used Its Lightning Trucks, Sent Them To The Rescue For Hurricane Ian” • Ford has helped people who lost power before. For Hurricane Ian, it was a much more organized effort. In addition to other corporate aid efforts, Ford sent F-150 Hybrids, F-150 Lightning electric trucks, E-Transits, and other vehicles to assist non-profits. [CleanTechnica]

Ford F-150 Lightning (Ford image)

¶ “Chevy Bolt EV And EUV Saw Record Sales, GM To Almost Double Production” • GM announced record sales of the Chevy Bolt EV and Bolt EUV. With price drops and factory incentives, the Bolt Brothers have been selling like hotcakes. The total sales for Q3 alone were 14,709, the biggest quarter the Bolt Family has had since things started in 2017. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Mississippi sets new rule on incentive for renewable energy” • Mississippi utility regulators approved a new incentive program for renewable energy despite objections from Republican Gov Tate Reeves and large utility companies. Some lower-income customers who pay most of the cost of installing a system such as rooftop solar panels could receive a $3,000 rebate. [WRAL]

Have an serendipitously rewarding day.

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October 5 Energy News

October 5, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Election In Brazil Is A Fight For The Planet” • Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been called “the world’s most dangerous climate denier.” He just lost a reelection bid, but since his opponent, leftist former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, did not win by a majority, there will be a runoff election. The climate will be affected by the result. [CleanTechnica]

Brazilian forest (Mateus Campos Felipe, Unsplash)

¶ “Why Should We Pay Extra For Nuclear Power?” • As the governor of Virginia wants to switch support from renewables to nuclear power, it might be a good idea to revisit reports from last June. NextEra Energy, the biggest US investor in nuclear energy, made it clear that its cost analysis shows reasons to switch from nuclear to renewables. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “For Offshore Wind Hopes To Become Reality, Transmission Hurdles Must Be Cleared” • Amid news releases touting offshore wind’s megawatt targets and jobs, there’s been less attention on the challenge of bringing the electricity ashore and connecting it to a grid that was designed to bring power to the coast, not the other way around. [Virginia Mercury]

Offshore turbine installation (Dominion Energy image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Green Hydrogen Pipeline And Shipping Question” • To transition to a green hydrogen future, we need access to cheap renewable energy, clean water, and economical electrolyzers. These parts of the puzzle seem to be falling into place. Rethink Energy is tackling the question of how to transport this hydrogen and what it will cost. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Observations Confirm Model Predictions Of Sea-Level Change From Greenland Melt” • Rising sea levels from melting glaciers pose an increasing threat to coastal communities. An analysis of high-resolution satellite observations takes a major step forward in assessing this risk by confirming theoretical predictions and computational models. [CleanTechnica]

Sea level change (Los Alamos National Laboratory)

World:

¶ “‘Unproven’ Small Nuclear Reactors Would Raise Australia’s Energy Costs And Delay Renewable Uptake” • The small nuclear reactors being advocated by the Coalition would raise electricity prices, slow the uptake of renewables and introduce new risks from nuclear waste, according to a report from the Australian Conservation Foundation. [The Guardian]

¶ “White House Launches Last Ditch Effort To Dissuade OPEC From Cutting Oil Production To Avoid A ‘Total Disaster’” • The Biden administration has launched a full-scale pressure campaign in a last-ditch effort to dissuade Middle Eastern allies from dramatically cutting oil production, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter. [CNN]

Offshore oil rig ( Genghiskhanviet, public domain)

¶ “World’s Largest Storage-as-Transmission Project Announced by Fluence and TransnetBW” • Fluence Energy GmbH and TransnetBW GmbH, the transmission system operator in the German state of Baden-Württemberg, announced they would deploy the world’s largest battery-based energy storage-as-transmission project. [GlobeNewswire]

¶ “Australia Post’s Goal Is 100% Renewables By 2025” • Australia Post is aiming to source 100% renewable electricity by 2025 as part of a newly released “road map” to decarbonise and align itself with the Paris climate goal of net zero emissions by 2050. The government-run mail carrier will pursue rooftop solar generation and RECs.[Renew Economy]

Australia Post delivery EV (Kgbo, CC-BY-SA 4.0, cropped)

¶ “Rolls-Royce Power Systems and The German Renewable Energy Expert SOWITEC Partner Over The Production of Green Hydrogen” • Rolls-Royce Power Systems and the renewable energy expert SOWITEC will partner for production of green hydrogen. They plan total electrolysis capacity of up to 500 MW by 2028. [Hydrogen Central]

¶ “RWE pledges €15 Billion German Green Drive” • RWE has pledged to accelerate its efforts to phase out coal power generation, boosting its investment in renewables to replace the fossil fuel. RWE said it is ready to end lignite-based electricity generation in 2030 and confirmed that it will “invest massively” in renewable energy. [reNews]

Wind turbines (RWE image)

¶ “Nuclear Power Won’t Help Climate Urgency, Says Renewables Chief” • Francesco La Camera, the head of the International Renewable Energy Agency, said the world needs to accelerate a shift away from fossil fuels but building new nuclear capacity was not the right way to do it. He said new nuclear power plants will take too long to build. [Nikkei Asia]

US:

¶ “NY Governor Hochul: Electrovaya To Establish Lithium-Ion Battery Gigafactory In Chautauqua County” • Governor Kathy Hochul announced Electrovaya, Inc, a producer of lithium-ion batteries for transportation and utility storage, has selected the Town of Ellicott in Chautauqua County, New York, as the site for its first US plant. [CleanTechnica]

Electrovaya battery energy storage system (Electrovaya image)

¶ “EVgo And Chase Open First Charging Station Of 50-Station Partnership” • EVgo and Chase announced that they opened the first of 50 fast charging stations at banking branches in the US. The first station opened in Carmel, Indiana, with 100-kW and 350-kW speeds. Chase is also looking to continue its on-site solar power growth. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Entergy Arkansas Announces 250-MW Solar Facility Near Osceola” • The Arkansas Public Service Commission approved the Entergy Arkansas Driver Solar Project. The 250-MW AC solar plant was developed by Lightsource bp. Its site is about 2,100 acres near Osceola in Mississippi County. Driver Solar will supply power to over 40,000 homes. [Entergy Newsroom]

Have a manifestly resplendent day.

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October 4 Energy News

October 4, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Trains, E-Bikes, And Blimps: Bill McKibben Envisions Slower, Cleaner Transportation” • Years ago, a group of people in France founded a “slow food” movement, celebrating the joy of dining rather than downing a burger with fries and dashing back into life’s fray. Could we be ready for a “slow travel” movement? McKibben certainly thinks so. [CleanTechnica]

Inside an Airlander 10 blimp (Hybrid Air Vehicles image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Microgrids For Anyone” • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory published a description of the improvised controls that saved NREL during its own outage. It describes a microgrid approach that sidesteps the central controller, an expensive and complicated component, to make microgrids easy and low cost where they are needed most. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Can Agrivoltaics Fuel The Growth Of Sustainable Farming?” • The Inflation Reduction Act, lauded as the largest climate change investment in US history, features a $369 billion investment in clean energy. It includes more than $20 billion for climate-smart agricultural practices, and that will likely produce more grants or subsidies for agrivoltaic projects. [CleanTechnica]

Agrivoltaics (Image courtesy SolarEdge)

World:

¶ “Bad News For Fossil Fuels: Barbados Seeks Green Hydrogen With Sheep, Too” • A new green hydrogen project in the tiny island nation of Barbados is providing a glimpse of the future that awaits after the global economy wakes up from its collective fossil energy nightmare. Unless, of course, sheep give you nightmares. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tata Tiago EV Is A $10,000 Electric Car For India” • Tata Motors, one of India’s largest vehicle manufacturers, announced a new made-in-India electric car called the Tiago EV, a 5-door hatchback based on the the company’s Ziptron electric car platform, which is optimized for driving conditions in India. The Tiago EV starts at around $10,000. [CleanTechnica]

Tata Tiago EV (courtesy of Tata Motors)

¶ “German Measures To Support Renewable Energy Production Granted EU Approval” • The European Commission approved three additional measures for Germany to support production of electricity from renewable energy sources. The approval is in the context of EEG 2021, which aims to increase climate protection and expand renewable energy. [Energy Live News]

¶ “372-MW Bjornberget Wind Farm Generates First Power” • Enlight Renewable Energy’s Bjornberget onshore wind farm has achieved all necessary regulatory requirements to start moving to commercial operation. Bjornberget is in Sweden. It is one of the largest wind farms in Europe, at 372 MW, and it is Enlight’s largest operational project to date. [reNews]

Wind turbines (Image by Emil Serrgel)

¶ “Head Of Russian-Held Ukrainian Nuclear Plant Freed: UN Watchdog” • The detained chief of Ukraine’s Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has been released, according to Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Ihor Murashov had been detained by a “Russian patrol” on Friday. [Kyiv Post]

Australia:

¶ “Kaban Wind Farm Powers Up And Connects To Queensland’s Renewable ‘Supergrid’” • Neoen Australia’s 157-MW Kaban wind farm has connected to Queensland’s “SuperGrid,” the state’s grand name for the beefed up electricity network that will need to accommodate 80% renewables by 2035. The wind farm has 16 of its 28 turbines fully installed. [Renew Economy]

Transporting masts (CleanCo image)

¶ “Queensland Seeks Local Manufacturers To Build The State’s Renewable Energy ‘Supergrid’” • Queensland is looking for local manufacturers to build its “supergrid” and ambitious renewable energy rollout, with a plan to set up new local clean technologies supply chains. It is aiming to switch its energy supply from coal to 80% renewables by 2035. [Renew Economy]

¶ “Telstra Dials Up Wind Power Generation” • Ark Energy announced it would supply Telstra, the telecommunications giant, with renewable electricity from the 923.4-MW MacIntyre Wind Farm, now under construction. Telstra has bankrolled over $1 billion of renewable energy projects in Queensland, Victoria, and New South Wales. [The Canberra Times]

Wind turbine construction (PR handout image)

US:

¶ “Death Toll From Hurricane Ian Surpasses 100 As The Search For Survivors Continues In Florida” • The number of people killed in Florida by Hurricane Ian rose to at least 101 on Monday, days after the Category 4 storm made landfall, wrecking coastal areas and leaving rescue crews searching for survivors while residents face the daunting task of rebuilding. [CNN]

¶ “Babcock Ranch Was Designed To Be Resilient. Hurricane Ian Was Its First Real Test” • Florida Power & Light is invested in building community solar facilities. It installed battery storage as part of the solar plant at Babcock Ranch, creating a microgrid. But compliance with a strong building code was an important factor in keeping BR safe. [CleanTechnica]

Babcock Ranch solar array (Babcock Ranch image)

¶ “Vermont’s New ‘Replace Your Ride’ Funds Cleaner Options For Transportation” • Under the Replace Your Ride program, incentives of $3,000 are available on a first-come, first-served basis to income-eligible Vermont residents who retire a working high-polluting vehicle that is at least 10 years old and switch to a new or used plug-in EV. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Youngkin Plan Calls For Reevaluating Major Clean Energy Law” • On Monday, Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin called for expanding nuclear power generation in Virginia, reevaluating a recent clean energy law celebrated by environmentalists, and restoring greater authority to state regulators who oversee the state’s powerful utilities. [AP News]

Have a rather flawless day.

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October 3 Energy News

October 3, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Hurricane Ian Amplifies Urgent Need For Resilient, Renewable And Just Energy Grid” • Climate change is fueling more intense storms, with power outages that can be lethal. But distributed renewable energy – generated at or near the place where it will be used – can keep the power flowing to homes, hospitals, and businesses when disasters hit. [The Hill]

Solar array (Jason Blackeye, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Tesla Powerwalls Survive Hours Underwater In Hurricane Ian” • Kelly Roofing, a licensed Tesla Solar Roof installer in Southwest Florida where Ian made landfall, says a solar roof it installed has no damage, apart from a small amount it got when a 30-foot boat landed on it. And two Powerwalls that were under water for hours are doing fine. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Renewable Energy Sector Excluded From Philippine Foreign Investment Cap” • Foreign ownership in the renewable energy market is not covered by the so-called 60-40 investment rule, according to the Department of Justice. The legal opinion stated that the investment cap seeks to “preserve for Filipinos limited and exhaustible resources.” [CNN Philippines]

Philippine wind farm (Froi Rivera, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Revenge Of The ICE Car In Italy As Plug-Ins Down To 7% In August” • There is no sign of relief for the ongoing EV crisis in Europe’s fourth largest auto market. As the rest of the continent continues to enjoy an increasing share of plug-in vehicles across all major countries, Italy is showing a worrying pullback, with causes that are political. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Iran To Produce 10 GW Of Nuclear Power ‘With Or Without Foreign Help’” • Iran’s nuclear  generating capacity is planned to hit 10 GW, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization said, noting that the target does not rely on international partnership. The target will be achieved with national self-sufficiency and local technologies. [Eurasia Review]

Tehran (Sajad Nori, Unsplash)

¶ “Uttar Pradesh To Start Solar Rooftop Projects” • The Uttar Pradesh government decided to develop solar rooftop projects on government and semi-government buildings and offices as part of its new renewable energy initiative. It plans to have twenty-five 2-MW solar PV projects on government buildings and offices. [The Economic Times]

UK:

¶ “Owner Of UK Power Station Drax Cuts Down Primary Forests In Canada” • Drax, which got billions of pounds in green energy subsidies from UK taxpayers, is cutting down environmentally important forests, a BBC investigation found. Drax says it only uses sawdust and waste wood. The BBC discovered some of the wood comes from primary forests in Canada. [BBC]

Canadian forest (Eelco Böhtlingk, Unsplash)

¶ “Equinor Hits The Construction Start Button On UK Storage Project” • Equinor has approved the final investment decision on its Blandford Road battery storage project in the south of the UK. This is Equinor’s the first commercial battery storage asset. The Blandford Road project is a 25-MW, 50-MWh battery storage asset in Dorset. [reNews]

¶ “Siemens And Aker Sign Norfolk Boreas EPCI Grid Contract” • Siemens Energy and Aker Solutions, both preferred bidders to provide the power system to the full 3.6-GW Norfolk zone, have signed a contract with Vattenfall to deliver infrastructure for grid connection for Vattenfall’s 1800-MW Norfolk Boreas offshore wind farm off England’s east coast. [reNews]

Offshore living quarters platform (Vattenfall image)

US:

¶ “Death Toll Soars To 76 In Florida After Entire Communities Are Demolished By Hurricane Ian” • Newly homeless Floridians are struggling to restart their lives while rescuers scramble to find any remaining signs of life in the wreckage left by Hurricane Ian. In some cases, there are emergency workers who juggle both unimaginable tasks. [CNN]

¶ “This 100% Solar Community Endured Hurricane Ian With No Loss Of Power And Minimal Damage” • Babcock Ranch says it’s “America’s first solar-powered town.” Its solar array makes more electricity than the 2,000-home town uses. When Hurricane Ian came barreling through southwest Florida this week, the lights in Babcock Ranch stayed on. [CNN]

Babcock Ranch solar array (From babcockranch.com)

¶ “Ford F-150 Lightning Powers Florida Man’s Cooking, Lights, Fridge, Entertainment During Hurricane Ian” • A Ford F-150 Lightning helped one Florida man and his family ride out the storm. They used their electric Ford pickup truck to power their refrigerator, lights, fans, TV, electric stove burner, record player, speakers, and probably more. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tesla Achieves Record 343,830 Deliveries In 3rd Quarter” • Tesla published its 3rd quarter production and delivery totals. The company produced a record 365,923 vehicles and delivered a record 343,830 vehicles to customers. The deliveries could have been higher, but there were delays, with more cars in transit at the end of the quarter. [CleanTechnica]

Have an enjoyably reflective day.

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October 2 Energy News

October 2, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “IEA Head Fatih Birol: Electric Cars Are Transforming The Auto Industry. That’s Good News For The Climate” • The global energy crisis sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is causing hardship around the world and shining a spotlight on the flaws in today’s energy system. But the current crisis can be a turning point for clean energy. [CNN]

¶ “Queensland’s Renewable Energy Plan Confirms The Politics Of Coal Have Changed For Good” • Four years ago, Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson wasn’t convinced by renewable energy. Recently, Williamson went to the Mackay steelworks and said green energy would be “the future saver, the job protection” for regional Queensland. [The Guardian]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Noru Became A Super Typhoon In Six Hours. Scientists Say Powerful Storms Are Becoming Harder To Forecast” • While Noru didn’t inflict as much damage or loss of life as other recent typhoons in the Philippines, it stood out from the others because it gained strength so quickly. It went from being a typhoon to a super typhoon in just six hours. [CNN]

Noru from space in false colors (Earth Observatory, NASA)

¶ “What Is Blue Carbon?” • Blue carbon refers to carbon dioxide that is absorbed from the atmosphere and stored in the ocean. “Blue” refers to the watery nature of this storage. Most, by far, of blue carbon is CO₂ that has dissolved directly into the ocean. Much smaller amounts are stored in underwater sediments, soils, and coastal vegetation. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “100% Electric Vehicles Are 11% Of New Vehicle Sales Globally!” • Global plugin vehicle registrations were up 60% in August 2022 compared to August 2021, reaching 847,000 units. September could be the first month when the world reaches one million plugin vehicle registrations, making the third quarter of 2022 the best ever for plugins. [CleanTechnica]

BYD Song Plus interior (Courtesy of BYD)

¶ “Climate Change At ‘Point Of No Return’: Jane Goodall” • The Earth’s climate is changing so quickly that humanity is running out of chances to fix it, primatologist Jane Goodall has warned in an interview. Goodall, whose activism has spanned decades, said time was rapidly running out. “We are literally approaching a point of no return,” she said. [Malay Mail]

¶ “RWE Agrees To Acquire Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses, Inc” • German renewable energy company RWE AG signed a purchase agreement with Con Edison to acquire all shares in Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses. Con Edison CEB has about 3 GW of capacity operating in the US and another 7 GW in its development pipeline. [RWE]

Wind farm near Madison, New York (Russell Lovrin, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “IAEA Head Seeks Release Of Ukrainian Nuclear Plant Head” • Rafael Grossi, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN nuclear watchdog, called for the release of the director-general of Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, saying his detention posed a threat to safety and security. [Reuters]

Russian wind turbine (kallerna, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Rosatom Keen To Offer Renewable Energy Solutions To Bangladesh” • Amid the fossil fuel price volatility, Rosatom, the Russian nuclear power company is offering renewables to foreign partners, said a top official. Rosatom is Russia’s biggest wind operator, at 600 MW. (So Rosatom has four times as much wind capacity as Vermont does.) [The Business Standard]

US:

¶ “Behind The Blackout Triggered By Hurricane Fiona Is A Long-Embattled History Of Puerto Rico’s Weak And Outdated Electrical Grid” • Less than two weeks ago, Hurricane Fiona made landfall on Puerto Rico. It triggered an islandwide blackout for 1.5 million customers. Power has been restored to 84% of residents, officials said. [CNN]

¶ “Lack Of Flood Disclosure Laws Is Putting Home Buyers At Risk As Extreme Storms Become More Frequent” • According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, most states either have inadequate flood disclosure laws or none at all. This means that homebuyers completely in the dark about the history of flood damage at a property, unless they ask. [CNN]

Fort Lauderdale neighborhood (Luiz Cent, Unsplash, cropped)

¶ “Power In Parts Of Florida Could Be Out For Over A Week As Flooding Lingers In Ian’s Wake” • It could be over a week before power lines are fully restored in some parts of Florida. And many residents are still dealing with major flooding. Deadly Hurricane Ian is expected to be the most expensive storm in the Sunshine State’s history. [CNN]

¶ “US Commercial Buildings Continued To Increase Energy Efficiency Through 2018” • According to the Energy Information Administration’s recently released 2018 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey, the total floorspace in commercial buildings has increased but energy consumption has not, since the previous survey, of 2012. [CleanTechnica]

Have an actually dreamy day.

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October 1 Energy News

October 1, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Australia’s Great Energy Transition Reaches A ‘Tipping Point’ As Clock Winds Forward For Coal” • Bruce Mountain from the Victoria Energy Policy Centre may have summed up a big week for Australia’s energy industry best. “I think it’s a tipping point,” he said. His comment was about AGL deciding to close the Loy Yang A early. There were other similar events. [ABC]

Loy Yang power station (Marcus Wong, CC-BY-SA 3.0, cropped)

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Effective Are Rooftop Solar Plus Storage Systems In A Blackout? Berkeley Lab Has The Answer” • How timely! Just as millions in Florida lost power due to Hurricane Ian, Berkeley Lab released a report that examines how effective rooftop solar plus storage systems can be at keeping the lights on for a 3-day period in every county in the US. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Artemis Technologies Unveils Fast Electric Ferry Design” • A maritime design and applied technologies firm based in Belfast, Artemis Technologies, unveiled the design of its 100% electric EF-24 Passenger vessel for the global high-speed ferry market. This revolutionary ferry is one of several zero-emission vessels being created by the company. [CleanTechnica]

Electric ferry (Artemis Technologies image)

¶ “Study Finds That Climate Change Added 10% To Ian’s Rainfall” • Climate change added at least 10% more rain to Hurricane Ian, a study prepared immediately after the storm shows. “The real storm was 10% wetter than the storm that might have been,” said Lawrence Berkeley National Lab climatologist Michael Wehner, study co-author. [CBS19 News]

World:

¶ “Everrati Accelerates Global Production Of Classic Car EV Conversions Following Surging Demand” • Everrati has been working hard to ensure that timeless classics are also part of the transition to EVs. By converting legendary cars of yesteryear, Everrati is preserving them for a new generation to drive and enjoy without gas-guzzling guilt. [CleanTechnica]

Electrified classic (Everrati image)

¶ “EU Agrees To Tax Windfall Oil And Gas Profits Amid ‘Insane Race’ To Tame Energy Crisis” • EU governments agreed Friday to tax the windfall profits of oil and gas companies and to cap the revenues of some electricity generators as the cost of Europe’s energy crisis spirals higher. But they have not agreed to impose a price cap on imports of Russian natural gas. [CNN]

¶ “Sono Motors Debuts Solar Trailers, Solar Refrigeration For The World’s Current Diesel Fleet” • One promising way to cut some diesel usage in the existing fleet is to use solar retrofit kits on buses and large trailers for subsystems that ventilate, heat, air condition, or refrigerate. Sono Motors unveiled systems that cover those needs. [CleanTechnica]

Solar trailer (Sono Motors image)

¶ “Hunter-Central Coast Renewable Energy Zone Takes Crucial Shape” • The New South Wales government has moved closer to opening up of one of the state’s most promising renewable energy zones, with the release of a draft declaration of the Hunter-Central Coast REZ. It is envisioned to have 40 GW of renewable energy and storage. [Renew Economy]

¶ “Costa Rican Future Is Focused On Renewable Energy And Reducing Dependence On Crude Oil” • Costa Rica has had great achievements in areas including electrical energy and even progress with renewable energy. The Central American country covered 99.92% of its electricity demand with renewable energies in 2021. [The Costa Rica News]

¶ “Head Of Ukrainian Nuclear Power Plant Was ‘Kidnapped By Russian Forces’” • Ukraine’s nuclear power provider has accused Russia of “kidnapping” the head of Europe’s largest nuclear plant, a facility occupied by Russian troops. Energoatom said Russian troops stopped Murashov’s car, blindfolded him, and took him to an undisclosed location. [TheJournal.ie]

¶ “GE Renewable Energy To Supply Turbines To Continuum Green” • GE Renewable Energy announced it will supply, install, and commission onshore wind turbines for Continuum Green Energy’s 218-MW wind power projects in Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The orders have been placed by two Continuum subsidiaries. [Construction World]

GE wind turbines (Dietmar Rabich, CC-BY-SA 4.0, cropped)

US:

¶ “Ian expected to dissipate soon after striking Carolinas and killing at least 45 in Florida” • Ian made its second landfall in the US near Georgetown, South Carolina, Friday afternoon as a Category 1 hurricane. By Friday night, it was continuing to pack 60 mph winds, but it was expected to weaken overnight and dissipate over North Carolina or Virginia. [CNN]

¶ “Electric Cars And Politics – NY Follows California’s Lead, And Georgia Seeks Relief For Hyundai” • California announced it will prohibit the sale of passenger cars and light duty trucks with internal combustion engines by 2035. New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced this week that her state is following the lead of California on this. [CleanTechnica]

Car on the road (Michelin image)

¶ “RE+ 2022: SEIA’s Vision For The Solar+ Decade” • “I simply can’t overstate how impactful the IRA is for the solar and storage industry,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of SEIA. “We are closer than ever to meeting our ambitious goals by 2030. By the end of this decade, we’ll be at least a $150 billion industry, we’ll employ over one million workers…” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “SWEPCO Issues Requests For Proposals Renewable Energy Resources” • Southwestern Electric Power Co issued two RFPs for the purchase of wind and solar generation resources in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas or Missouri. The RFPs solicit bids for up to 1,900 MW of wind resources and up to 500 MW of solar power. [Shreveport Times]

Have a singularly superb day.

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September 30 Energy News

September 30, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “The hurricane problem Florida could have avoided” • After Hurricane Andrew, thirty years ago, Florida got new building codes. They may have somewhat protected against damage and enhanced survivability, but other disaster factors, such as rapid population growth and climate change, have tipped the disaster scale in the wrong direction. [CNN]

Housing in Naples, Florida (pennsyloco, CC-BY-SA 3.0, cropped)

¶ “Carmakers’ Lifetime Emissions 50% Higher Than Reported” • Carmakers’ global emissions average 50% more than they report, Transport & Environment analysis shows. Obligatory scope 3 (lifetime) emissions disclosure is set to be introduced in 2023. Exposure to carbon intensive carmakers is a ‘ticking carbon bomb,’ for asset managers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Last Gasp For Mountain Valley Pipeline Natural Gas Project” • Natural gas stakeholders thought they had the Mountain Valley Pipeline in the bag. Federal legislation that would have cleared the way for it and other fossil energy projects was cut from a spending bill by its own sponsor, Senator Joe Manchin. There is a lot to this story. [CleanTechnica]

West Virginia (DJCohenour, CC-BY-SA 3.0, cropped)

World:

¶ “US Points Finger At Russia Over Gas Pipeline Sabotage” • The US has said it “seems” Russia is to blame for this week’s leaks in the two Nordstream gas pipelines. US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said an investigation was being carried out into the cause of what she called “an act of sabotage.” Russia has dismissed suggestions that it was to blame. [BBC]

¶ “Fraunhofer ISE Doubles Production Speed Of Silicon Wafers For Solar Panels” • Working with a consortium of companies and research organizations, Fraunhofer ISE devised an innovative production line that can produce 15,000 to 20,000 silicon wafers per hour. That is about double the output of most production lines in use today. [CleanTechnica]

Experimental wafer stack (Fraunhofer ISE image)

¶ “In Europe, 13% Of New Car Sales Are Electric (21% Plugins)” • For the first time since June 2021, the overall European car market grew YOY, though it was only by 3%. Plugin hybrid models continued to have falling sales, but at the same time, BEVs managed to maintain their two-digit growth rates last month, with 12% growth. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “WindEurope warns EU Power Plans Will Put Renewables At Risk” • WindEurope warned that new EU emergency regulations in response to the energy crisis could hold up many renewables investments. EU energy ministers are convening  to decide on emergency regulations aimed to curb rising electricity prices and coordinate members’ responses. [reNews]

Wind turbines (Thomas Reaubourg, Unsplash)

¶ “Europe Braces For Mobile Network Blackouts As Russia Halts Gas Supplies” • Russia’s decision to halt gas supplies to Europe in the wake of the Ukraine conflict has increased the chances of power shortages. The situation is made worse in France due to the maintenance cycles of several nuclear power plants. Even cell phones could be affected. [Business Today]

Australia:

¶ “Australia’s AGL Energy Plans Investments Of $13 Billion In Renewable Energy By 2036” • An Australian energy generator and retailer, AGL Energy Ltd, recently announced that it plans to spend up to A$20 billion ($13 billion) by 2036 on renewable energy. At the same time it will accelerate the end of coal-fired generating by ten years. [Saur Energy]

Solar panels and radio telescope (ESA_events, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “Queensland, Australia, Vows To Turn Its Coal Plants Into Renewable Energy Hubs By 2035” • Queensland is one of Australia’s most important coal-producing states, according to Reuters. But that might change. The government announced a $40 billion plan to transition its coal-fired generation stations into renewable energy hubs by 2035. [EcoWatch]

¶ “Queensland Is Building The World’s Largest Pumped Hydro System” • One takeaway from Queensland’s renewable energy plan is that the state is committed to pumped hydro technology. It’s the centerpiece of the state’s new renewables target, coming in the form of two new pumped hydro facilities, one of which will be the largest of its kind worldwide. [ABC]

Pumped hydro plant (Supplied by Snowy Hydro)

US:

¶ “‘Substantial loss of life’ possible in Florida as Hurricane Ian takes aim at South Carolina” • Ian’s combination of winds, rain, and storm surge caused at least a dozen deaths, flooded homes, cut off roadways, and left millions of Florida residents without power as it once more intensified into a hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean and heads toward South Carolina. [CNN]

¶ “Hurricane Ian’s Rainfall Was A 1-In-1,000 Year Event For The Hardest-Hit Parts Of Florida” • Hurricane Ian slammed into the Gulf Coast of Florida on Wednesday with record-breaking storm surge and devastating winds. But as it tracked inland, extreme rainfall became the most destructive aspect of the storm for central Florida. [CNN]

Lucky survivors (PCHS-NJROTC, CC-BY-SA 4.0, cropped)

¶ “The US Plan To Power 100% Of Its Flights With Renewable Jet Fuel” • This month, the US DOE released a roadmap on how to achieve carbon-neutral aviation emissions. The Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge Roadmap outlines steps to meet 100% of the domestic aviation fuel demand with sustainable fuel by 2050. [Oil Price]

¶ “Burlington Electric Issues RFP To Replace Expiring Renewable Energy Sources” • Burlington Electric Department issued a request for proposals for renewable energy resources to ensure that it can continue to source 100% of its power from renewable generation. BED has contracts that will be expiring in the next two to five years. [Vermont Business Magazine]

Have a thoroughly fortunate day.

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September 29 Energy News

September 29, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Hay! Alfalfa Is The Biggest Issue For Western Water” • All the reductions of water use cities can do will not be nearly enough to restore the Colorado River. But alfalfa farmers in one California irrigation district use far more water than the allotment for the state of Nevada. Alfalfa farms use almost enough water to cover the river’s shortfall. [CleanTechnica]

Growing alfalfa (USDA-NRCS image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Hurricane Ian’s Rapid Intensification Is Part Of A Trend For The Most Dangerous Storms” • Ian’s wind speed increased by 35 mph in less than three hours. Scientists say rapid intensification of hurricanes is getting more likely as the climate crisis pushes ocean temperatures higher, enabling them to grow at breakneck pace into deadly major hurricanes. [CNN]

World:

¶ “Big Oil’s Toxic Emissions From Flaring Undeclared” • Major oil companies are failing to declare significant greenhouse gas emissions from flaring gas at oil fields, a BBC News investigation revealed. Millions of tonnes of undeclared emissions come from gas flaring at oil fields that are operated by BP, Eni, ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Shell. [BBC]

¶ “West Shores Up Nord Stream Pipeline Security, Blaming Leak On Sabotage” • European countries say they will boost security around oil and gas installations after the suspected sabotage of two major pipelines. The EU, US, and Nato suggested damage to the pipelines between Russia and Germany was deliberate, but have not blamed Russia directly. [BBC]

¶ “Australia’s Most-Polluting Coal Plant To Shut Decade Earlier Than Planned” • Australia’s dirtiest power plant will shut down a decade earlier than planned. The coal-fired Loy Yang A power station in Victoria will close in 2035, owner AGL Energy said. It emitted 16.6 million tonnes of greenhouse gas in 2019-20, more than 3% of the country’s emissions. [BBC]

Loy Yang plant (Marcus Wong Wongm, CC-BY-SA 3.0, cropped)

¶ “Manchester Orders 50 Electric Buses, But It Would Be More Fair To Call Them 100 Electric Buses” • NFI announced that Transport for Greater Manchester had ordered 50 zero-emission double-decker buses from Alexander Dennis. These buses will be used in the first phase of the franchised Bee Network bus system, set to launch in September 2023. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vattenfall Swoops On 1 GW Of German Offshore Wind” • Vattenfall has decided to exercise its right to develop a 980-MW offshore wind project awarded to RWE Renewables in the German North Sea. Following a final investment decision by Vattenfall, the wind farm could be connected to the German electric grid in 2027. [reNews]

Offshore wind turbines (Vattenfall image)

¶ “GE Renewable Energy Secures 218.7-MW Indian Order” • GE Renewable Energy has secured orders from Continuum Green Energy Limited to supply, install, and commission 81 turbines for windpower projects in Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh. The order is for 2.7-132 onshore wind turbines for the projects with a total capacity of 218.7MW. [reNews]

¶ “Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Plant Hit By 26th Postponement” • The completion date for a spent nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in Japan, a key component in the cycle policy, was pushed back for the 26th time. The construction cost of the reprocessing plant was initially estimated at ¥760 billion ($5.25 billion). It has grown to ¥3.1 trillion ($21.4 billion). [Asahi Shimbun]

Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant (Nife, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

US:

¶ “Hurricane Ian Continues To Batter Florida As A Category 1 Storm While Officials Warn The Worst Is Yet To Come” • Ian made landfall as a Category 4 near Cayo Costa around 3:05 pm, with winds near 150 mph. It continued to batter Florida with high winds, heavy rain, and historic storm surge Wednesday night, even as it weakened to a Category 1. [CNN]

¶ “More Green Ammonia For The US, And More Electrofuels For Texas” • The Danish firm Topsoe announced that it is part of a scheme to drop a gigantic new electrofuel plant featuring green hydrogen in the state of Texas. The same company is also involved in a new green ammonia plan that could find a footing in Texas, too. [CleanTechnica]

Green ammonia and electrofuels (HIF Global, screenshot)

¶ “Electric School Buses Used To Support Maryland Energy Grid” • A widespread adoption of EVs with V2G technology can help balance the nation’s energy grids. The Montgomery County Public School district in Maryland put the idea into practice by using its electric school bus fleet to provide power reserves to support the PJM electric grid. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “ESS Flow Battery To Supply 200-MW, 2-GWh Of Storage To California Utility” • ESS is an Oregon-based company that makes flow batteries using abundant and inexpensive materials: iron, salt, and water. ESS is to supply the Sacramento Municipal Utility District with a flow batteries with a total capacity of 200-MW, 2-GWh beginning next year. [CleanTechnica]

ESS all-iron flow battery (ESS image)

¶ “Victory! Colorado Cancels Highway Expansion, Funds Transit Instead” • A plan to expand Interstate 25 through central Denver has officially been scrapped, and $100 million has instead been reallocated to Bus Rapid Transit and investments in projects that are friendly to walking and biking to support healthier, more vibrant communities. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tiny Oregon Town Hosts First Wind-Solar-Battery “Hybrid” Plant” • A renewable energy plant that was commissioned in in the tiny Oregon town of Lexingtonn combines solar power and wind power with massive batteries to store the energy that is generated there. It is the first utility-scale plant of its kind in North America. [NowThis News]

Have a sufficiently perfect day.

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September 28 Energy News

September 28, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “Could Living In A Bamboo Home Help Solve The Climate Crisis?” • While bamboo has been used in construction in Asia for thousands of years, it’s starting to be used for sustainable housing in parts of the US and elsewhere. Giant bamboo is the fastest growing woody plant on the planet. It can be harvested when it is just three years old. [CNN]

Bamboo house interior (Maria Orlova, Pexels)

¶ “Tesla To Employ Thousands Of Its “Humanoid Robots” In Its Factories” • Elon Musk has long talked about Tesla’s innovation in building “the machine that builds the machine.” He emphasized that he sees that manufacturing will be Tesla’s #1 competitive advantage. Now Tesla seems to be working on using humanoid robots in factories. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “To Get Lithium For Batteries, Geothermal Energy Could Soon Help” • The Lithium Story Map allows visitors to scroll through the role of lithium in renewable energy, see how the critical material is obtained, and understand why the Salton Sea region of California may prove a key domestic source – with a little help from geothermal energy. [CleanTechnica]

Aerial view of the Salton Sea (Dicklyon, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

World:

¶ “Hurricane Ian: Cuba Suffers Complete Blackout After Storm” • Cuba is completely without power after Hurricane Ian slammed the western end of the island, its government has announced. The electrical system is experiencing total collapse, after one of the main power plants could not be brought back online, leaving 11 million people in the dark. [BBC]

¶ “Hundreds Of Thousands Evacuated As Typhoon Noru Makes Landfall In Vietnam’s Da Nang” • Typhoon Noru made landfall near Vietnam’s popular beach city of Da Nang on Wednesday morning, bringing powerful winds and heavy rain as hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated. Typhoon Noru left the Philippines around 8 pm on Monday. [CNN]

Typhoon damage in the Philippines (Carl Kho, Unsplash)

¶ “Ukraine Accuses Russia Of Pipeline Terror Attack On Nord Stream Pipeline” • Ukraine has accused Russia of causing leaks in two major gas pipelines to Europe in what it described as a “terrorist attack.” Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhaylo Podolyak said the damage to Nord Stream 1 and 2 was “an act of aggression” towards the EU. [BBC]

¶ “Venice’s Fight Against Rising Seas” • This statement is far from hyperbole: Venice is at very real risk of being consumed by the sea. In worst-case scenario, the city could disappear beneath the waves by as early as 2100. Part of the problem is rising sea levels. But also, many buildings in the city are slowly sinking due to groundwater extraction. [BBC]

Flooded Venice (Egor Gordeev, Unsplash)

¶ “Queensland Takes Its Own Road To A Decarbonised Grid” • The Queensland government revealed details of its new energy blueprint, with A$62 billion ($40 billion) of new investment to 2035. The plan is for 25 GW of new wind and solar (50:50 mix) by 2035, in addition to 7 GW of new rooftop solar, new pumped storage, and transmission lines. [Renew Economy]

¶ “Scottish Power Secured Record-Breaking 19 Renewable Energy Projects In First Half Of 2022” • Scottish Power has confirmed it secured 19 renewable energy projects in the first six months of 2022 totalling more than 9 GW, a record for the firm. Along with others, ScottishPower received leasing through the ScotWind initiative in January 2022. [Current News]

Wind turbines (Scottish Power image)

¶ “GE To Work On Converting Old, Gas-Fired Power Station In Britain Into A Battery Storage Facility” • A decommissioned gas-fired power station in Britain is set to be repurposed and converted into a battery storage facility. GE will supply the 50-MW project’s battery storage system, which will store energy from 43 onshore wind farms. [CNBC]

¶ “Germany Delays Exit From Nuclear Power To Offset Energy Shortfall” • Germany’s planned exit from nuclear power by the end of this year has been officially delayed in order to shore up energy supplies during an expected shortfall this winter, the economic minister, Robert Habeck, announced. The decision is an awkward U-turn for Germany. [The Guardian]

Isar nuclear plant (E.ON, CC-BY-SA 3.0, cropped)

US:

¶ “Florida officials urge evacuation as Ian approaches” • More than 2.5 million Floridians were under some kind of evacuation warning Tuesday as Hurricane Ian marched closer to the state’s west coast. The Category 3 storm was churning 120 mph winds Tuesday night with its center roughly 180 miles south-southwest of the city of Punta Gorda. [CNN]

¶ “US Plan To Add 500,000 EV Chargers In All Fifty States Gets Final Approval” • An Associated Press report says that all fifty states have received final approval to begin construction of the first nationwide network of EV charging stations. When it is complete, there will be at least one DC fast charger every 50 miles along the interstate highways. [CleanTechnica]

EV chargers (Image courtesy of ABB)

¶ “Seventeen EV Models Have EPA Combined Rating Of Over 100 MPGe In Model Year 2022” • For Model Year 2022, 17 EV models achieved over 100 miles per gallon equivalent. MPGe is a unit of measure used by the EPA to represent EV fuel economy in a common unit with gas-powered vehicles. The best rating was for the Tesla Model 3, at 132 MPGe. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Seabrook Nuclear Plant False Alarm: Here’s Why It Took Nearly An Hour To Notify Public” • On July 12, it took nearly an hour to notify the public that the alarm at the NextEra Seabrook nuclear power plant was false. The state Department of Safety’s report finds that this happened because there was no procedure in place for an inadvertent alarm. [Seacoastonline.com]

Have a simply splendid day.

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September 27 Energy News

September 27, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Electric Vehicle Good, E-Bike Better, Cargo E-Bike Even Better” • “One bike that can do almost anything – commutes, trips to the store, daycare drop-off, leisure rides, and more.” So said the e-bike maker CERO, as it unveiled its CERO One. It’s all true! The CERO One feels like silk in motion to ride, and you can use it for local shopping. [CleanTechnica]


CERO One (CERO image)

¶ “If You’re A Climate Activist, Beware – Fossil Fuel Companies May Target You Next” • EarthRights International has uncovered a trend in the US and abroad of closing civic space, where those who exercise their fundamental rights to speak up about matters of public interest face retaliation through judicial harassment and physical violence. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change Is Causing Hurricanes To Intensify Faster Than Ever” • Rapid intensification has historically been a rare phenomenon, but human-caused climate change is stacking the deck in favor of more intense storms. As they generate more rainfall and larger storm surge, they are also more likely to be stronger and intensify faster. [CNN]

Super Typhoon Noru (NOAA/CIRA/RAMMB)

World:

¶ “Energy Dome To Partner With Ørsted For Energy Storage” • Energy Dome has technology that uses CO₂ as an energy storage medium. The company is building its first demonstration facility on Sardinia, where its CO₂ battery will help smooth the island transition to renewables when it shuts down its two coal-fired generating stations next year. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Project Agreements For 420 MW Of Onshore Wind Signed This Week In South Africa” • The first three project agreements of South Africa’s fifth bid window of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme have been signed. The bid window aims to procure 1,600 MW onshore wind and 1,000 MW of solar PV plants. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines (Brett Sayles, Pexels)

¶ “South Africa’s Eskom Announces New Partnership For Developing A Renewable Energy Training Facility” • South African power utility Eskom announced a partnership with the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet and the South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre on a training facility at the Komati Power Station. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Corio Partners On Development Of Spanish Floater” • Corio Generation partnered with global investment platform Q-Energy to explore opportunities for development of floating offshore wind power in Spain. The announcement comes as the Spanish government is aiming to build up to 3 GW of floating offshore wind by 2030. [reNews]

Floating wind turbine (WindEurope image)

¶ “Wärtsilä To Provide Energy Storage Systems To The Cayman Islands” • The technology group Wärtsilä will supply two 10-MW, 10-MWh energy storage systems under a contract to Caribbean Utilities Company Ltd in the Cayman Islands. This project will enable the utility to nearly double its renewable energy capacity on Grand Cayman. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “European’s Energy Independence Impossible Unless Wind Power Considered A Strategic Industry Says SGRE” • Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy published a white paper on Europe’s energy sovereignty. It highlights how the recent exceptional pressures on the wind industry led to a challenging financial situation. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Siemens Gamesa wind turbine (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “Victoria Targets 6.3 GW Of Renewable Storage By 2035” • Victoria’s new storage targets are Australia’s largest to date. Victoria is already home to the largest battery in the Southern Hemisphere, Neoen’s 300-MW Victorian Big Battery. The state’s new targets include batteries, hydroelectricity, and hydrogen technologies. [pv magazine Australia]

US:

¶ “Hurricane Ian: Florida Warned To Brace For ‘Major Disaster’” • Florida Governor Ron DeSantis warned the state to brace for a potential “major disaster” as category two Hurricane Ian gathers force in the Caribbean. Ian is expected to make landfall on the west coast of Florida on Wednesday, but the hurricane’s exact path is still uncertain. [BBC]

Governor Ron DeSantis (Gage Skidmore, CC-BY-SA 2.0)

¶ “GM Banks On Honking Big Electric Vehicles In First-Ever Propulsion Do-Over” • GM has announced its first retooling of one of its propulsion facilities to make the innards for EVs. That’s the kind of move that could make EV-only startups quake in their boots. But the real question is how to plump up the lithium supply chain. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Rheem Releases 120V Plug-In Heat Pump Water Heater That Can Be Plugged Into Typical Outlet” • Rheem released its 120V ProTerra(R) Plug-in Heat Pump water heater. This is really good news. When it comes to climate effects and price, heat pump water heaters are the energy equivalent of seven solar panels that cost one-sixth of the price. [CleanTechnica]

Rheem 120V heat pump water heater (Rheem image)

¶ “Activists Push Back Against Plan That Would Dump Nuclear Waste Into Ocean” • A crowd of about 100 activists objected to a plan by Holtec International, which is decommissioning the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, Massachusetts, to dump radioactive waste into Cape Cod Bay as one of its options to get rid of the material. [NECN]

¶ “Feds Commit $50 Million To For-Profit Nuclear Fusion Companies” • The DOE announced that $50 million will go toward private nuclear fusion companies in public-private partnerships. The US government has put federal money into fusion science research since the 1950s and today invests about $700 million per year into fusion research. [CNBC]

Have a tremendously uncomplicated day.

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September 26 Energy News

September 26, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “NGK Is To Supply Sakuú With Ceramics For Solid-State Batteries” • Sakuú, based in California, has novel methods of 3D printing. NGK is a Japanese company with expertise in ceramics. They will collaborate to develop 3D-printed solid-state batteries. Sakuú says the batteries are 50% smaller, 30% lighter, and less expensive than lithium-ion batteries. [CleanTechnica]

Sakuú solid-state battery (Sakuú image)

World:

¶ “Volkswagen Subsidiary Elli Enters Partnership To Integrate EVs Into Grid” • Some recent news from Volkswagen shows us that using EVs to stabilize the grid is far from being a dream. Elia Group, re.alto, and Elli agreed to undertake joint activities with the aim of illustrating the benefits of e-vehicles integrating into the electricity system. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Electric Utility Vehicles For Australia And New Zealand” • EV enthusiasts in Australia and New Zealand might be holding out for a Rivian or a Ford F-150 Lightning, but they may have to make do with the Chinese LDV T60 EV. The vehicle is available for order in New Zealand now and should be launched late this year or early next year in Australia. [CleanTechnica]

LDV eT60 (LDV New Zealand)

¶ “Saudi Arabia Announces Five Renewable Energy Projects To Produce Electricity” • Saudi Arabia has announced five new projects to produce electricity using renewable energy. They include three wind energy projects, with a total capacity of 1,300 MW, and two solar energy projects, whose combined capacity will be 1,500 MW. [Business Standard]

¶ “Enercon Unveils 6-MW E-175 Turbine” • German turbine manufacturer Enercon has revealed a new model, the E-175 EP5, which has a rotor diameter of 175 metres and a nominal power of 6 MW. The wind energy conversion system is designed for low to medium wind sites. A prototype is planned for 2023/24 and the start of series production for 2024. [reNews]

New wind turbine (Enercon image)

¶ “Tomago Aluminium Ramps Up Renewable Energy Plans” • New South Wales’ largest electricity user, Tomago Aluminium, is accelerating its plan to abandon coal-fired power, revealing it is looking to collaborate with key industry partners to develop new and innovative renewable power generation and energy storage projects. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Queensland Pushes Closer To Renewable Energy Target” • Stanwell is working with global renewable energy developer RES on the proposed Tarong West Wind Farm, 30 km south-west of Kingaroy. It is expected to have a capacity of up to 500 MW. Support is expected from the Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund. [pv magazine Australia]

Coopers Gap wind farm (DiamondIIIXX, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Renewable Energy Capacity Sees Rapid Expansion” • China’s installed capacity of renewable energy notched up rapid growth in the first eight months of the year amid the country’s pursuit of green development. By the end of August, the country’s total installed capacity included 340 million kW of windpower, and 350 million kW of solar. [The Bull]

US:

¶ “Florida officials urge residents to prepare for Tropical Storm Ian” • Floridians are bracing for Tropical Storm Ian, which is expected to rapidly intensify before hitting western Cuba with threats of strong winds and storm surge as high as 9 to 14 feet, according to the National Hurricane Center. It is too early to know where it will make US landfall. [CNN]

Forecast arrival times (NOAA image)

¶ “Biden Touts Climate Package At Global Citizen Festival” • President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden addressed the Global Citizen Festival, underscoring the administration’s commitment to climate action, according to remarks obtained by CNN. Biden cited the Democrats’ $369 billion climate package, the largest such investment in US history. [CNN]

¶ “East Bay Customers Support California’s Grid During Extreme Heat Wave Through Innovative Program” • East Bay Community Energy and Sunrun have been installing solar + battery systems in California. Systems in EBCE’s Resilient Home Program gave critical emergency energy support to stave off rolling blackouts during California’s Flex Alerts. [CleanTechnica]

Sunrun installation (Sunrun image)

¶ “Tesla Passes 10,000 Model Ys Produced At Texas Gigafactory” • Elon Musk has an ambitious goal for 2030. He wants Tesla to be producing 20 million vehicles a year by the end that year. Many milestones will be passed to get to that goal. The big milestone of the month at “Giga Texas” is that it just recently rolled out its 10,000th vehicle. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Corporate Demand Drives New Renewable Energy Projects Across Michigan” • Through voluntary “green pricing” programs created under 2016 statewide energy reforms, utilities regulated by the Michigan Public Service Commission have reported exponential growth in the amount of customer-purchased renewable energy. [MiBiz]

DTE Energy’s Pinnebog Wind Park (Courtesy photo)

¶ “NYISO Report Examines Pathways To Renewables” • New York state will need to increase its electric generating capabilities by 20 GW to meet state’s goal that 70% of the state’s power come from renewable sources in 2030. The state Independent System Operator has identified what it terms an unprecedented level of electrical system investment. [Observer Today]

¶ “US Partnerships Boost Development Of Hydrogen Economy” • Argonne National Laboratory has teamed up with Constellation Energy Corp to develop projects, with one focusing on hydrogen production from nuclear power plants, while Bloom Energy and Excel Energy have announced plans for hydrogen production at a nuclear plant in Minnesota. [Eurasia Review]
(I think they are looking for ways to continue the operation of nuclear plants in a market where nuclear can’t compete. GHH)

Have an unimaginably excellent day.

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September 25 Energy News

September 25, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Congress Should Reject Radical Permitting Proposal” • Sen Joe Manchin’s legislative text on fossil fuel infrastructure permitting, released after weeks of speculation about a potential measure, is similar to proposals already made public, but significantly worse in that it adds draconian language mandating permitting of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. [CleanTechnica]

West Virginia (Michael Barrick, Unsplash, cropped)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Air Pollution Can Amplify The Negative Effects Of Climate Change, New Study Finds” • The impacts of air pollution on human health, economies, and agriculture differ a lot depending on where on the planet the pollutants are emitted, a study found. In some cases, pollution co-emitted with CO₂ can increase the social cost of carbon by as much as 66%. [ScienceDaily]

World:

¶ “Fiona Slams Canada’s Atlantic Coast, Knocking Out Power For Thousands And Damaging Homes” • Fiona ripped through Canada’s eastern seaboard at hurricane strength after making landfall in Nova Scotia on Saturday, slamming the area with fierce winds and storm surge and causing power outages for hundreds of thousands of people. [CNN]

Storm damage (Charlottetown Police Department)

¶ “Fracking Ban Lifted, Government Announces” • Fracking can go ahead in England, the government said, lifting a ban on the controversial process. A moratorium was put in place in 2019 due to concerns over earth tremors. But with the worsening global energy crisis and world leaders scrambling to secure energy supplies, the question has been reopened. [BBC]

¶ “Climate Change Risk To Coastal Castles” • Castles that have stood for hundreds of years are at risk of being damaged by climate change, conservation charity English Heritage warns. The charity, which manages over 400 historic sites in England, highlighted six castles threatened by coastal erosion and rising sea levels. Tintagel Castle is one of them. [BBC]

Tintagel Castle, of Arthurian fame (English Heritage photo)

¶ “Tesla BEV Market Share Dropped From 25.1% In Q2 2020 To 15.6% In Q2 2022 – While Sales Grew 180.2%” • Sales of Teslas grew from 90,891 in Q2 2020 to 254,695 in Q2 2022. But in the markets of China, Europe, and the US, Tesla’s share of battery EV sales dropped from 25.1% in Q2 2020 to 15.6% in Q2 2022. The market is growing faster than Tesla. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Investments In Egypt’s Renewable Energy Approach $3.5 Billion To Produce 3,570 MW” • Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, Dr Mohamed Shaker, said investments in the renewable energy sector in Egypt are growing rapidly, reaching 3,570 MW, with foreign direct investment of nearly $3.5 billion, double its counterpart in 2020. [Egypt Today]

Wind turbine in Egypt (Hatem Moushir, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Ukrainian Recalls Terror Of Life At Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant” • A worker of the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine revealed details about the situation at the facility in an interview with the Yomiuri Shimbun. Among other things, he said Russian soldiers stored artillery shells in the engine room near the reactor. [The Japan News]

Australia:

¶ “Rooftop Solar Recently Reached 72% Of Western Australia Electricity Output!” • It was once a common assumption in the utility industry and among solar skeptics that solar power could not provide more than 5% of grid electricity or the grid would break. In Western Australia, rooftop solar PVs recently provided 72% of grid power for a time. [CleanTechnica]

Perth, Western Australia (Nathan Hurst, Unsplash)

¶ “Grid Renewal Generates Billion-Dollar Shock As Costs Of Energy Transition Become Clear” • Australian consumers were told to brace for big hikes in power bills due to costs of grid overhauls for renewable energy. Western Australia’s economic regulator said the state’s grid provider should be allowed to spend $9 billion over the next five years [ABC]

¶ “Australia Has A Golden Opportunity To Expand Solar Energy Manufacturing” • Australia has a golden opportunity to expand its solar energy manufacturing capacity as the industry booms and nations scramble to cut their over-dependence on China, according to a report by the Australian Australian PV Institute Institute. [The Guardian]

House in Queensland (Kgbo, CC-BY-SA 4.0)

US:

¶ “EPA Launches New Office Dedicated To Environmental Justice” • The Environmental Protection Agency will establish a new national office of environmental justice to address the disproportionate harm that pollution and climate change has caused in low-income areas and communities of color, the agency announced. [CNN]

¶ “Misery, Yet Again, For Puerto Ricans Still Recovering From Maria” • Fiona arrived almost exactly five years after Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm, delivered a blow from which the island has never fully recovered. It has left many Puerto Ricans marveling anew at the kindness of neighbors and revisiting the age-old debate about leaving for the mainland. [CNN]

Hurricane Fiona from space (NASA, public domain)

¶ “Tropical Storm Ian Forecast To Reach Category 4 Strength As It Tracks Toward Florida” • Tropical Storm Ian, the ninth named storm of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season is forecast to reach up to Category 4 hurricane strength before hitting Florida. If it does, it will be the first major hurricane to impact the state of Florida since 2018. [CNN]

¶ “Electric Airplane Flights Coming To Florida, The Bahamas, And The Caribbean” • Electric aircraft are all the rage, but when will we see actual commercial electric airplane options for normal people? They are on the way. The electric aircraft “Alice” from Eviation Aircraft is getting real orders, including from a young airline based in Florida. [CleanTechnica]

Have an unambiguously ecstatic day.

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September 24 Energy News

September 24, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Fatih Birol: Electric Cars Are Transforming The Auto Industry. That’s Good News For The Climate” • By 2030, more than one out of every two cars sold in the US, the EU and China could be electric, according to an analysis that will be published in the International Energy Agency’s flagship “World Energy Outlook” report next month. [CNN]

Electric car (dcbel, Pexels)

¶ “The Really Big Battery Deal In The IRA That People Are Missing” • The IRA incentives for nearly every stage of battery production and the battery supply chain are very attractive, and since they stack on top of each other, the IRA is likely to bring about a “gold rush” of sorts for a wide range of enterprises in fields relative to batteries. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Aluminum-Sulfur Battery Could Drastically Change Mining For Renewable Materials” • One of the most crucial aspects of sustainable living is the responsible mining of renewable resources. Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientists have developed an aluminum-sulfur battery that could change mining practices forever. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Aluminum (Darren Patterson, Pexels)

World:

¶ “Ford’s Electric Van Promises To Revolutionize Commercial EVs In Europe” • Jim Farley, president and CEO of Ford, says Ford’s Transit Custom is the most popular commercial vehicle in Europe. Now, Ford has a new electric version of that vehicle, the ETransit Custom. Its electric power has not compromised its performance. [CleanTechnica]
***** Ford E-Transit Custom (Ford of Europe GmbH)

¶ “Citroën Announces New Partnership With Ubitricity” • The Citroën AMI is part of a new exiting range of very small urban electric vehicles. The AMI has a 5.5 kWh battery, a 6 kW motor, a top speed of 45 km/h (28 mph). It has a range of 46 miles. One really noteworthy thing about this little EV is that you can get one for only £7,695 ($8,356)! [CleanTechnica]

Citroën Ami (Image from Citroën UK)

¶ “Lhyfe Launches Offshore Renewable Green Hydrogen Production Pilot Site” • Global clean energy pioneer Lhyfe has launched the world’s first renewable green hydrogen production demonstrator. Lhyfe started an 18-month wind powered pilot in Saint-Nazaire, France, as part its drive towards large-scale carbon reduction. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Nova Scotia Power Expects Lengthy Outages From Hurricane Fiona” • Hundreds of thousands of Nova Scotians lost power on Friday night amid high winds and rain as Hurricane Fiona arrived. Officials warned that the lights, for some, might stay out for a long time, because repair crews cannot work on the lines until the winds subside. [CBC]

Fiona, Sept 23 (NASA/NOAA-20, public domain, cropped)

¶ “China Could Exceed Renewables Generation Target Of 33% By 2025” • China is on track to meet its 33% electricity consumption target from renewables by 2025 and could comfortably exceed it amid ongoing efforts to de-bottleneck the power grid to bring more renewables online, analysts and clean energy project developers said. [S&P Global]

¶ “Belgium To Shut Nuclear Reactor On Friday Amid Energy Crunch” • Belgium announced that its Doel 3 nuclear reactor will disconnect from the grid and cease operations, despite fears of blackouts this winter. It is one of four reactors at the Doel plant near Antwerp, and is the first nuclear reactor to shut down in Belgium’s plan to exit nuclear power. [Oil Price]

Doel nuclear plant (Alexandre Jacquemin, CC-BY-SA 3.0, cropped)

¶ “Sizewell C: Planning Shake-Up ‘Runs Roughshod Over Objectors’” • A government shake-up of planning which could bring forward the building of Sizewell C is “deeply dismaying”, campaigners said. New legislation aims to cut planning rules and get rid of environmental assessments to speed up construction of the nuclear plant. [BBC]

US:

¶ “Here’s What’s In Joe Manchin’s Energy Permitting Reform Plan” • West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin has a proposal to streamline the federal permitting process for energy projects and fast-track a pipeline that would impact his home state. Senator Schumer had agreed to pass Manchin’s plan to win his support for the $750 billion Inflation Reduction Act. [CNN]

Pipeline (Quinten de Graaf, Unsplash)

¶ “Ford Improves Blue Cruise With Hands-Free Lane Changing And Tech To Make Road-Sharing With Bigger Vehicles Easy” • As it works toward autonomous driving, Ford announced some new BlueCruise features, including lane changing features and system updates to create more of a human-like driving feel. They will be available on new vehicles this fall. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “BlueOval City: Ford’s Making Its Biggest Factory Complex Ever To Support EV Production” • Ford announced breaking ground for BlueOval City, representing a $5.6 billion investment on an EV-making mega-campus of nearly six square miles in western Tennessee. Ford’s goal is to build 2 million EVs per year by 2026, worldwide. [CleanTechnica]

Construction work (Ford image)

¶ “Over 100 Evolve NY Electric Vehicle Fast Chargers Now Installed” • To round out Climate Week, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that more than 100 high-speed chargers have been installed across the state of New York. This achievement is part of the New York Power Authority’s EVolve NY fast charging network for electric vehicles. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Environment Groups Slam Plan To Reopen Michigan Nuclear Plant” • Dozens of environmental groups sent a letter to federal energy officials imploring them to deny funding to a New Jersey company seeking to reopen a west Michigan nuclear plant. They say the Palisades Power Plant should not be eligible for the Civil Nuclear Credit Program. [Detroit News]

Have a pefectly lovely day.

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(, CC-BY-SA 3.0) CO₂ NH₃ CH₄ ₹ NOₓ ♦♦♦♦♦

September 23 Energy News

September 23, 2022

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Firms Making Flour From Mushrooms And Cauliflower” • Flour is culturally ingrained in our lives, but there are affordable alternatives to wheat. They are gaining attention, particularly after a year of disruption to the grain market resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine. And the alternatives have benefits for human health and the climate. [BBC]

Wheat growing in Ukraine (Polina Rytova, Unsplash)

¶ “A Wave Of Technologies Uses Nature To Fight The Climate Crisis” • A wave of technologies is accelerating natural climate solutions, and experts say that, together, they can provide around one-third of the cost effective climate mitigation that is needed between now and 2030 to achieve the 1.5ºC target of the UN Climate Paris agreement. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Fearsome Hurricane Fiona Could Be Canada’s Strongest-Ever Storm” • Canadians are bracing for what could be the strongest storm ever to hit their country’s coast. Hurricane Fiona lashed the Caribbean, is forecast to brush by Bermuda as a dangerous Category 3 storm, and shows no signs of slowing before it slams into Canada on Saturday morning. [CNN]

Hurricane Fiona storm track (NOAA image)

¶ “Kenya’s Fuel Subsidy Could Have Bought 28,000 Electric Buses!” • In 2021, Kenya’s bill for imported petroleum products came to $3 billion! Now, the price is far higher because of the energy crisis. Subsidies for consumers mean higher taxes. But for the cost of the subsidies Kenya could buy 28,000 BYD buses, with leased batteries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Fortescue Moves To Eliminate Fossil Fuel Risk” • Here is more on the Fortescue Metals Group investment of US$6.2 billion to eliminate fossil fuel use in its iron ore operations. One point is that the goal is not net-zero carbon emissions, but “real zero.” Also, eliminating fossil fuels is expected to reduce operating costs by US$818 million per year. [CleanTechnica]

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

¶ “Renewable Energy Jobs Rise By 700,000 In A Year, To Nearly 13 Million” • Worldwide employment in the renewable energy sector reached 12.7 million last year, a jump of 700,000 new jobs in just 12 months, despite the lingering effects of COVID-19 and the energy crisis, according to a report from the International Renewable Energy Agency. [Indiablooms]

¶ “Brookfield Aims To Build 12 To 16 GW Of Renewable Power In India Over The Next 10 Years” • Brookfield aims to multiply it’s current 4-GW Indian renewable portfolio by three to four times within the next decade. It will also help corporates transition to decarbonizing and invest in building large scale supply chain in India, a top executive said. [The Economic Times]

Wind turbine (Elena Zhuravleva, Pexels)

¶ “Macron Aims To Make It Easier To Build Renewable Energy Projects In France” • French President Emmanuel Macron said he will cut red tape to halve the time it takes in France to get renewable projects off the ground, stressing that was crucial at a time when Europe faces a serious energy crunch amid the war in Ukraine. [Offshore Engineer Magazine]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Announces RecyclableBlade For Onshore Wind Power Projects” • Siemens Gamesa has launched its RecyclableBlade for onshore wind projects, aiming to make wind energy even more sustainable and creating a fully circular sector. A similar product for offshore projects took only 10 months to get to market. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Wind farm (Siemens Gamesa RE image)

¶ “Damage Near Ukraine Nuclear Plant Prompts Poland To Distribute Iodine Pills” • Poland, concerned about fighting near Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, distributed iodine tablets to regional fire departments to give to people in the event of radioactive exposure. Iodine is considered protective against thyroid cancer in case of radioactive exposure. [NDTV.com]

¶ “IAEA Proposal For Ukraine Nuclear Safety And Security Protection Zone Wins Support As Talks Begin On Establishment” • An IAEA proposal to establish a nuclear safety and security zone around Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant is receiving strong international support and detailed talks have begun. [International Atomic Energy Agency]

IAEA meeting (D Candano Laris, IAEA)

US:

¶ “California Pushes Aggressive Climate Action Plans Forward” • California is pushing its climate agenda forward again with more pieces of legislation. A press release from the office of Governor Gavin Newsom says the package of new laws will cut pollution, protect Californians from big polluters, and accelerate the state’s transition to clean energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Kia Moves Start Of Electric Car Production In US Forward To 2024” • Earlier this year, South Korean car maker Kia announced it was talking with officials in Georgia about building a factory for making EVs near Savannah. As originally planned, it would start producing cars in 2025. Now, reports are that the factory will begin production a year sooner. [CleanTechnica]

Kia ev6 gt (Kia image)

¶ “Colorado Co-Op Cuts The Country In On The EV Revolution” • For many small towns in rural areas, the hefty power lines needed to install a DCFC station just aren’t around. Fortunately, the Highline Electric Association, a Colorado rural electric co-op, has found a solution: Freewire’s DCFC stations with integrated battery storage. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EnerVenue And Green Energy Renewable Solutions Announce 250-MWh Master Supply Agreement” • EnerVenue, a maker of metal-hydrogen batteries capable of 30,000 cycles, announced a Master Supply Agreement with Green Energy Renewable Solutions for 250 MWh of EnerVenue’s storage systems over the next three years. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

Have a really marvelous day.

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September 22 Energy News

September 22, 2022

Opinion:

¶ “Nuclear Power As Response To Climate Crisis Is Like ‘Calling On A Sloth To Put Out A House Fire’ – Times Columnist” • A Times Opinion columnist, Farhad Manjoo, argued that nuclear power entails higher costs and longer periods for construction than renewables. With batteries, solar and wind are easier to put up and have lower costs. [The Deep Dive]

Sloth to the rescue (Jack Charles, Unsplash)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Surprise! Nissan LEAF Batteries Last Much Longer Than Expected” • According to urban legend, LEAF batteries don’t last. It turns out that is simply false. Nic Thomas, Nissan’s marketing director for the UK, told Forbes recently, “Almost all of the [EV] batteries we’ve ever made are still in cars, and we’ve been selling electric cars for twelve years.”  [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Fusion Energy Scientist Speaks To CleanTechnica About Fusion Potential” • In August of 2021, scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Lab achieved a nuclear fusion milestone. A fusion reactor at LLNL’s National Ignition Facility yielded of over 1.3 megajoules (0.36 kWh). Now peer-reviewed papers are being published about the research. [CleanTechnica]

Fabled doohickey (Image by James Wickboldt, LLNL)

World:

¶ “Germany Nationalizes Its Biggest Natural Gas Importer” • As part of an €8 billion ($7.9 billion) plan to prevent an energy shortage this winter, Germany is nationalizing Uniper, its biggest importer of natural gas. Uniper provides 40% of the country’s gas supply and is crucial for large companies and private consumers in Europe’s biggest economy. [CNN]

¶ “VW Releases Final Specs And Details For ID. Buzz” • Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen a lot of photos and learned a lot of little details about Volkswagen’s ID. Buzz. But, final details haven’t been released until recently in a press release by the company. In this article, I’m going to share some of those details with you. [CleanTechnica]

European model of the VW ID. Buzz (Volkswagen image)

¶ “Nikola Begins Selling The Tre BEV Electric Semi In Europe” • This week, Nikola made another huge stride towards establishing itself as the front-running electric semi startup with an official commercial launch of the brand’s Nikola Tre battery electric truck. It also unveiled a “beta” version, its hydrogen fuel-cell powered Nikola Tre. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “BYD Partners With Inchcape To Bring Its EVs To Belgium And Luxembourg” • BYD has been ramping up production of EVs and opening new production facilities in China and has also recently announced plans for new plants outside China as well. Through smart partnerships with local firms, BYD is taking EVs to the world. [CleanTechnica]

BYD EV (BYD image)

¶ “Hitachi Energy To Supply HVDC Converter Station To Link Quebec And NYC” • Transmission Developers Inc, a Blackstone renewable power developer, picked Hitachi Energy to supply a high-voltage direct current converter station that will be a key part of the Champlain Hudson Power Express HVDC line from Québec to the New York City area. [T&D World]

¶ “Daimler Launches First Mercedes-Branded Electric Semi” • In big news for the shipping industry, Daimler Truck revealed the production version of its first-ever, heavy-duty, long-haul battery electric semi truck: the Mercedes-Benz eActros LongHaul. It can haul 22 tons of cargo 500 km, or 311 miles, before it needs to be recharged. [CleanTechnica]

Daimler truck (Daimler Trucks, via Bloomberg)

¶ “Amazon Adds New Projects To Clean Energy Portfolio” • Amazon has added 2.7 GW of clean energy capacity as part of the latest expansion of its renewable energy portfolio. Amazon now has a total of 379 renewable energy projects across 21 countries, with 154 wind and solar farms and 225 rooftop solar projects, for a total of 18.5 GW of capacity. [reNews]

¶ “Australian iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group announced a $6.2 billion plan to eliminate fossil fuels and carbon emissions from its operations by the end of the decade.” • The world’s fourth-largest iron ore producer expects to save $818 million a year from 2030 based on current prices of diesel, gas and carbon credits, a statement says. [Bay News 9]
(Also see the video, “Business as usual is over,” at CNN)

FMG ore train (Geez-oz, CC-BY-SA 3.0, cropped)

US:

¶ “Senate Approves Treaty To Combat Climate Crisis” • The Senate ratified an international climate treaty to phase out hydrofluorocarbons, potent greenhouse gases used in air conditioning and refrigeration. The vote was 69-27. Many Republican senators objected because China, as a developing country, got better terms than the US did. [CNN]

¶ “Treasury Regulations And Tax Insights Into The Inflation Reduction Act” • The Inflation Reduction Act is a big step in the fight to save humanity from the effects of climate change. In a panel discussion on preparing to implement the IRA from within the cleantech industry, panelists agreed that it could bring big benefits, one of which is stability. [CleanTechnica]

Solar array (Raphael Cruz, Unsplash)

¶ “Five Things To Know About The Updated EV Charging Tax Credit” • The Inflation Reduction Act contains a tax credit that can be used for EV charging infrastructure. The Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit offers an incentive for those investing in infrastructure that is used to refuel vehicles that run on certain alternative fuels. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New York Seeks Bids For 2 GW Of Large-Scale Renewable Energy Projects” • New York Governor Kathy Hochul opened up the state’s sixth competitive solicitation calling for 2,000 MW or more of new large-scale renewable energy projects. These new projects will have the capacity to power at least 600,000 New York homes. [Solar Builder]

Have an immensely cheerful day.

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December 26 Energy News

December 26, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Ho Hum. Air Pollution Is Harming Your Children. So What Else Is New?” • Thanks to the billions of dollars spent by fossil fuel companies, a significant portion of the population believes Al Gore is a raving lunatic, climate scientists are just hired guns with big salaries, and climate change is a Chinese hoax. But we know pollution hurts our children. [CleanTechnica]

Playing in smog

¶ “Looking for a Shred of Good News on Global Warming? Consider the Explosion of Cheaper Clean Energy” • It is clear that 2018 was a terrible year for Earth’s climate, with long lists of weather events and dire assessments. While it may seem there is nothing to be optimistic about, there is one very good reason for hope: renewable energy. [Common Dreams]

¶ “How Twelve Communities Are Fighting Climate Change and What’s Standing in Their Way” • Tiny Imperial Beach is suing Big Oil. College students are educating their generation and their elders. Regulators and business owners are finding new ways to expand clean energy, and states are starting to commit to 100% renewable energy. [InsideClimate News]

Exposed to rising sea levels – Imperial Beach,
California (Credit: David Hasemyer | ICN)

Science and Technology:

¶ “‘It’s Warm Water Now’: Climate Change Strands Sea Turtles on Cape Cod shores” • Every year, as ocean temperatures off Cape Cod drop below 10°C (50°F), dead and stricken sea turtles that failed to migrate south wash up on the shore. In the 1980s, the numbers averaged in the dozens. Today, the number has risen to well over a thousand. [The Guardian]

World:

¶ “Fresh Capacity Addition in Thermal, Hydro Power Tanks 69% in April to November” • In India, additions of thermal and hydro capacity hydro power plunged 69% in the period of April to November, as renewables gained momentum. One industry source attributed the decline to fear of stranded assets and difficulty accessing finance. [Business Standard]

Emissions

¶ “Another First for East Africa as Round-the-Clock Hybrid Power Grids Start Operations” • Uganda is set to be East Africa’s first country to use hybrid solar and hydrogen technology to power areas not on a national grid. Tiger Power signed an agreement for a hybrid plant to power 3,000 households and businesses in three villages. [The East African]

¶ “Karnataka Now Number One in Renewable Energy Production” • With 12,640 MW in cumulative installed capacity of renewable energy, Karnataka this year became number one state in India in enhancing its renewable energy capacity. It is the only state in the country to have added over 5265 MW of installed solar capacity. [Deccan Chronicle]

Solar plant in Tumakuru district

¶ “Five-year Jail Terms Sought for Ex-TEPCO Execs over Nuclear Crisis” • Five-year prison terms were sought for three former executives of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc for their alleged failure to prevent the Fukushima nuclear disaster triggered by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan. [Kyodo News Plus]

¶ “2018: The Year of Day Zero and the Mega-Drought” • In 2018, Cape Town, South Africa, one of the wealthiest cities in Africa, faced the prospect of running out of water. This city of four million people was counting down the days to “Day Zero,” when their taps would be dry. Conservation measures have put off reaching Day Zero, for now. [DeSmog]

A sign (Photo courtesy of the University of New South Wales)

US:

¶ “Solar Farm Approvals on Deck; BN Group-Buy Matches First” • McLean County, Illinois, is on track to have 18 solar farms considered for state approval this spring, after another group-buy program for small-scale solar development. County officials will consider four farms in January in addition to fourteen already approved. [Bloomington Pantagraph]

¶ “Local Group Pushes for 100 Percent Clean, Renewable Energy in Athens” • When it comes to climate change, if the federal government does nothing about it, then we must do it ourselves. A new group, 100% Athens, is pushing for Athens-Clarke County to get all of the electricity for Athens from renewable energy resources. [Flagpole Magazine]

Solar farm in Tennessee (Credit: Thomas R Machnitzki)

¶ “Report Sounds Cautionary Warning for Future of Navajo Generating Station” • A report from the Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis said the Navajo Transitional Energy Co can expect to lose about $170 million during the years of 2020-2027 because of its investment in the coal-burning Four Corners Power Plant. [Navajo-Hopi Observer]

¶ “Regulators Approve NV Energy Plan to Build Six New Solar Power Plants” • With little fanfare or discussion, Nevada regulators have unanimously approved a major energy supply plan that will result in construction of six major solar projects and conditionally retire one of the state’s two remaining coal-firing power plants by 2021. [Sparks Tribune]

Have a fabulously delightful day.

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December 22 Energy News

December 22, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Government Continues to Fail in Fight Against Climate Change, Free Market Steps-Up” • The Trump Administration’s environmental policy is as consistent as it is depressing. Time after time, on issue after issue, the White House and the executive branch officials have sided with big polluters and dirty energies. [American Legal News]

Wind farm (AdobeStock image)

¶ “The Climate Change Debate – An Insider’s Perspective” • For climate scientists, the idea that humans are altering our climate system is similar to gravity in that it is considered a fundamental concept on which all new geoscience research is based. Despite what deniers claim, Scientists stopped debating the idea a long time ago. [Rutland Herald]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Rabbit Gene Turns Houseplant into Air Detoxifier” • Scientists at the University of Washington made the golden pothos, a houseplant, remove toxic gases from the air by inserting a rabbit gene called CYP2E1 into its DNA. The plant’s DNA was altered by adding a gene from a rabbit, enabling the plant to break down volatile organic compounds. [CNN]

Golden pathos (Mark Stone | University of Washington)

¶ “Bill Gates-Led Fund Is Investing in a Startup to Build a Cheap Battery Using a ‘Refrigerator on Steroids'” • The Boston-based startup Malta thinks it has one answer for energy storage. At a time when lithium-ion battery packs cost, on average, $176/kWh, the Malta system could be as low as $12.7/kWh, though it does have much reduced efficiency. [Quartz]

World:

¶ “e.GO Plans to Boldly Go Where No EV Startup Has Gone Before” • Tiny e.GO Mobile, an electric car startup based in Aachen, Germany, says delivery of its Life no-frills EV will begin in April. The Life will have a range of 75 to 114 miles, a top speed of 72 to 94 miles per hour, and be priced between $18,000 and $22,500. [CleanTechnica]

e.GO Life

¶ “Volkswagen Must Sell 1.8 Million EVs a Year to Meet 2030 EU Emissions Goals” • Volkswagen head Herbert Diess told the press last week that to meet the EU’s stricter new emissions goal, his company will need to sell 1.8 million EVs a year in Europe by 2030. This is 600,000 more electric cars a year than it had been planning to sell. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Wind, Solar Cheaper than Coal, and Responsible for Falling Energy Price Outlook” • Major reports from Australia’s chief energy institutions point to the importance of the economic benefits of solar and wind power. A report from the energy market operator and the CSIRO finds that renewables are the cheapest new-built power. [pv magazine Australia]

Solar and wind power (Image: Pixabay | Public Domain)

¶ “Swedish Housing Block Powered 100% by Sun and Hydrogen” • The world’s first completely energy self-sufficient housing complex is located in Vårgårda, Sweden. The complex now runs entirely on solar energy and stored hydrogen as the result of a Danish-Swedish partnership between Better Energy and Nilsson Energy. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

US:

¶ “Tucson Electric Power Turns to Sheep to Eliminate Unwanted Vegetation at Solar Facilities” • Tucson Electric Power’s large solar arrays need plenty of sun, so the weeds can’t grow too high. Weeds proliferate underneath the solar panels, so TEP keeps the crop under control by using sheep instead of lawn equipment or herbicides. [Inside Tucson Business]

Tucson Electric Power solar array (Courtesy photo)

¶ “Coal-Fired Power Plant Retirements Picked Up in 2018” • Utilities and organizations with onsite energy generating plants continued to phase out coal-fired plants in 2018. Announcements made thist the year included plans to switch to renewables. The organizations moving away from coal range from universities to businesses. [Energy Manager Today]

¶ “Ormat’s McGinness Hills Phase 3 Geothermal Plant Begins Operations” • Ormat Technologies has announced the start of commercial operations at a geothermal plant, McGinness Hills Phase 3, in Nevada. The combined capacity of the three units at the McGinness Hills geothermal plant is said to have increased to 138 MW. [Power Technology]

Geothermal power plant (Credit: Christopher Porter)

¶ “PUCN Approves Largest Clean Energy Investment in Nevada History” • The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada approved NV Energy’s Integrated Resource Plan. The plan will bring 1,001 MW of new renewable energy projects to Nevada, including, for the first time, 100 MW of battery storage capacity, according to NV Energy. [KRNV My News 4]

¶ “Wind Energy Capacity to More Than Double in Wyoming after Years of Stagnancy” • Seven projects that will more than double Wyoming’s windpower capacity are under way. Six other states are also on pace to double capacity, including Arkansas, New Mexico, and Maryland, according to the American Wind Energy Association. [Wyoming Public Media]

Wind turbines in Wyoming (CGP Grey, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “DOE Signs on to INL Small Reactor Project” • The DOE Office of Nuclear Energy announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to use an INL small modular reactor for national research in a new program called “JUMP,” a Joint Use Modular Plant. The research is focusing on integrated energy systems. [LocalNews8.com]

¶ “Public Meeting to Be Held on Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station Decommissioning Plan” • Federal nuclear regulators will hold a public meeting in Plymouth, Massachusetts, to discuss the plan proposed for decommissioning the Pilgrim Nuclear station. The NRC scheduled a public meeting for January 15 and will accept comments until March 21. [Wicked Local]

Have a superbly edifying day.

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December 21 Energy News

December 21, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “The Farm Bureau: Big Oil’s Unnoticed Ally Fighting Climate Science and Policy” • While big oil and gas companies provided the cash for anti-regulation campaigns, the farm lobby offered up a sympathetic face: the American farmer. For more than three decades, the Farm Bureau has aligned agriculture closely with the fossil fuel agenda. [InsideClimate News]

Agriculture and fossil fuels

Science and Technology:

¶ “‘We Are at War’: New York’s Rat Crisis Made Worse by Climate Change” • City officials report an increasing number of calls from residents complaining about rats, and warn that milder winters help them feed and mate longer into the year. And as winters warm, more frequent outdoor activity by humans adds to the litter rats thrive upon. [The Guardian]

World:

¶ “New Offshore Wind Farms Push UK Renewables to Record” • Almost a third of the UK’s electricity came from renewable sources between July and September, as wind turbines and solar panels helped achieve a quarterly record for green energy. Renewables provided 33.1% of electricity for the quarter, up from 30% the year before. [The Guardian]

Offshore wind farm (Photo: Peter Byrne | PA)

¶ “Renewable Energy Meets over 70% of Scotland’s Needs” • The Scottish Government released data for 2017 showing that renewable electricity sources were able to meet 70.1% of Scotland’s energy demand, up from 54.4% in 2016. The rise is largely attributed to more wind being used to produce renewable electricity in 2017. [Energy Voice]

¶ “Power Bills Drop $28 a Year Thanks to Renewable Policy, Since Dumped by the Government” • A report by the Australian Energy Market Commission expects electricity prices generally to be stable or falling over the next two years due to a pipeline of new renewables. But the federal government is dumping emissions targets. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Wind farm (Photo: Joe Armao)

¶ “Brazil’s Wind Generation Rises 7.3% in Early Dec” • Brazil’s wind power output in the first half of December has increased by to 4,867 average MW, show preliminary figures released by the Power Trading Chamber. Wind power’s share went up to 7.3% from 6.8% a previous year, according to CCEE data published in the InfoMercado Semanal. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Australia to Miss 2030 Emissions Targets by Vast Margin, Coalition’s Projections Reveal” • According to data from the federal government, Australia will miss its 2030 emissions reduction targets, with an emissions reduction by 2030 of 7% from 2005 levels. Australia’s Paris agreement target calls for a 26% to 28% emissions reduction. [The Guardian]

Emissions (Dave Hunt | AAP)

¶ “Households Converting to Solar Power Now Exempt from Self-Produced Energy Tariffs under New European Union Renewable Energy Plans” • To achieve more aggressive targets following COP24, EU lawmakers have urged homeowners to switch from traditional grid-based energy sources to producing their own energy. [AltEnergyMag]

US:

¶ “New Jersey Moves to End Solar RECs, Take Next Steps Toward 100% Renewables” • The next phase of solar development in New Jersey will require a new initiative beyond SRECs, say officials, as part of the state’s goals of moving to 100% renewable energy. The state’s current renewable portfolio standard has a goal of 50% renewables by 2030. [Utility Dive]

Solar array

¶ “Connecticut Favors Revolution” • Connecticut regulators have approved a 20-year power purchase agreement for 200 MW of electricity from Ørsted’s Revolution offshore wind farm. Revolution, which will be located in federal waters between Long Island and Martha’s Vineyard, will also supply 400 MW of power to Rhode Island. [reNEWS]

¶ “LG Electronics Enrolls Five Facilities in Purely Green Sustainability Program” • RPD Energy arranged the supply of wind energy and concurrent Renewable Energy Certificates for five LG Electronics USA facilities in Texas, Illinois, and New Jersey. The LG facilities are served under the Purely Green affinity program. [Windpower Engineering]

Wind turbines

¶ “US Congress Support of Green New Deal Growing with Sunrise Movement Momentum” • With goals to reduce carbon emissions through massive, rapid deployment of zero-carbon generation, the Green New Deal is gaining momentum. Forty 40 members of Congress already signed on and every week more are committing to the effort. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vestas Wins American Tall Order” • Vestas has received an order for an undisclosed 202 MW wind project in the US. The company will supply 56 of its V136-3.45MW turbines in a 3.6-MW power optimised mode. Delivery commences in the third quarter of 2019, followed by commissioning in the fourth quarter of next year. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Vestas image)

¶ “EPA Improves Process to Site Renewables at Formerly Hazardous Sites” • The EPA announced updates to a mapping tool under its RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative, to help communities, developers, and other stakeholders site renewable energy on current and formerly contaminated lands, landfills, and mine sites. [North American Windpower]

¶ “SCANA to Offload Historic Charleston Office, Cayce Land to Pay for Customer Refunds” • Soon SCANA will give up a dozen pieces of property, including a plantation where its executives and directors hunted ducks and held retreats, to refund to its electric customers a fraction of what they paid for two unfinished nuclear reactors. [Anderson Independent Mail]

Have a magically propitious day.

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March 22 Energy News

March 22, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ Under a memorandum of understanding, shipping operator Star Bulk will conduct a two-year study to assess the feasibility of installing solar panels, batteries, and other renewable energy technology provided by Eco Marine Power. The study will examine power from renewable sources for selected ship types on specific routes. [The Motorship]

Shipping

¶ Scientists from Princeton University proposed a plan in the journal, Nature, to stabilize the continental ice shelves that extend outward from Greenland and Antarctica. They say focusing on those areas will be less expensive and more effective than building sea walls around continents and would buy time to examine other actions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Siemens Gamesa and start-up Stiesdal Storage Technologies are developing thermal energy storage that uses excess wind, solar, and other renewable energy to heat a “pack bed” of crushed rocks to as high as 600° C. The heat can be used to generate electricity to be sold at prices far below those from gas peakers or batteries. [Recharge]

Siemens Gamesa demonstration project (Siemens Gamesa)

World:

¶ The government of New South Wales identified three priority renewable energy zones that potentially have seven times the capacity of the state’s coal-fired power plants. In a submission to the Australian Energy Markets Operation, it said developing them “could unlock 77,000 megawatts of new generation capacity.” [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ The UK offshore wind industry committed to working with the Government on a “transformative” sector deal that could spur £48 billion in new investments in the country’s infrastructure and increase offshore wind capacity to 30 GW by 2030. The deal is expected to  reduce costs for electricity by 9% while more than doubling industry employment. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind farm (Shutterstock image)

¶ In a step towards a cleaner environment, the number of coal-based fired power plants under development has seen a steep decline, especially in India and China, according to a report by Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, and CoalSwarm. The report warns, however, that emissions from operational plants are still far too high. [Business Standard]

¶ Chinese new energy giant BYD has kicked off its bus chassis production operations in Brazil with the launch of a new electric bus model in the nation’s capital, Brasília. The new BYD D9W was introduced at the 8th World Forum on Water, marking the launch of BYD’s bus chassis production facility in Campinas, Brazil. [CleanTechnica]

BYD D9W

¶ Tesla and Fluence are to build two new big battery storage installations in Victoria, with some funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. Tesla will build a 25-MW/50-MWh battery to be near the 60-MW Gannawarra solar farm. Fluence will build a 30-MW/30-MWh grid-connected battery at the Ballarat terminal station. [RenewEconomy]

¶ Tesla has deployed its Powerpack batteries to the Philippines, helping a local solar company construct a 2-MW/2-MWh micro-grid for the town of Paluan, which has been notoriously suffering from power outages for years. The project went online back in December, giving the town round-the-clock electric power for the first time. [Teslarati]

Celebrating solar panels and batteries (Credit: Solar Phils)

US:

¶ Renewable energy is getting cheaper and more popular, even among Republican voters, and that makes now a better time than ever for conservative candidates to support clean energy policies. At the annual Michigan Conservative Energy Forum in Lansing, Republicans rallied around renewable energy and free-market principles. [Energy News Network]

¶ In January, the natural gas tanker Gaselys pulled into a port near Boston. In came from the UK, where it had just topped off. It had come because a series of cold snaps had momentarily made gas prices in New England the highest in the world. The ship’s cargo included gas from Russia. “Sanctions? What sanctions?” teased a Russian tweet. [E&E News]

Russia’s Yamal LNG project (Yamal LNG image)

¶ From Maine to Florida, the winds blowing off the Atlantic Coast could be the power source for a clean energy future, according to a report, Wind Power to Spare: The Enormous Energy Potential of Atlantic Offshore Wind, released by Environment America and Frontier Group. So far, only one wind farm is operating in the country. [Environment America]

¶ Microsoft announced what it calls “the single largest corporate purchase of solar energy ever in the United States,” buying 315 MW from two new solar projects in Virginia as part of its ongoing renewable energy efforts. The power will come from 750,000 solar panels spread across 2,000 acres at the Pleinmont I and II projects. [GeekWire]

Microsoft’s renewable energy footprint (Microsoft Image)

¶ The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission approved unanimously a $1.6 billion plan to build two massive wind farms along the Texas-New Mexico border. The vote is a key step needed for Xcel Energy to move forward with its plans. Texas regulators are expected to act on the proposal in the coming weeks. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ Opposition to a deal for the US to provide nuclear power technology to Saudi Arabia is growing after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the kingdom would develop a nuclear weapon if Iran did. The reaction in Washington, from members of congress of both parties, is increasingly opposed to the deal. [South China Morning Post]

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January 29 Energy News

January 29, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ The past 30 years in Europe have likely been the warmest in over two millennia, new research says. The study used tree ring records and historical documents to reconstruct yearly temperatures going back 2,100 years. It says European summers have warmed 1.3° C between 1986 and 2015. [BBC]

Two thousand years of summer temperatures

Two thousand years of summer temperatures

World:

¶ Ignite Power has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Government of Rwanda to provide off-grid solar power systems to 250,000 households by 2018. Media reports say Ignite Power is expected to install up to 1 million distributed solar systems at a cost of nearly $50 million. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Senvion has commissioned 14 of its 2-MW turbines for a second wind farm around the city of Nowy Staw, 50 kilometres south-east of Gdańsk, Poland. The wind farms are operated by RWE Innogy. With 36 turbines in total, they are Senvion’s biggest wind project in Poland. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Senvion wind turbines.

Senvion wind turbines.

¶ As private companies bite the bullet and write off billions of dollars off the value of oil, gas and coal assets in the face of declining demand, plunging costs and the growth in renewable energy sources, a new call has gone out for Australia’s state governments to do the same with their network assets. [RenewEconomy]

¶ The Indian Ministry of New & Renewable Energy have stated that a global solar power coalition will raise $1 trillion to increase renewable energy capacity around the world, Climate Action reported. The Indian government initiated the International Solar Alliance which has 120 member countries. [ESI Africa]

¶ Renewable energy company Siemens announced two orders for onshore wind projects in Ireland. Siemens will supply 36 Siemens turbines to the Cloosh Valley Wind Farm, adding 108 MW to its capacity and 20 SWT-3.2-101 wind turbines for the Irish Sliabh Bawn Wind Farm in County Roscommon. [Greentech Lead]

Siemens wind turbines in Scotland

Siemens wind turbines in Scotland

¶ India’s Union Minister of State for power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy has said, 30,000 MW more capacity of Thermal Power has been added during last 20 months. He said India’s Coal production has increased by 9.6% which has resulted in remarkable reduction in coal imports. [Indiainfoline]

¶ According to Global Construction Review, France is planning to pave 621 miles of its roads with polycrystalline silicon solar cells over the next five years. If the initiative is successful, it could produce enough power for about 5 million people’s homes — roughly 8% of the country’s population. [Mic]

Solar roadways in the Netherlands. Source: Peter Dejong/AP

Solar roadways in the Netherlands. Source: Peter Dejong/AP

¶ The Solar Energy Corporation of India announced a 750-MW solar power park in Gujarat. According to recent media reports the project will be developed by Gujarat Power Corporation Limited. The state government has identified around 1,500 acres of land for the solar park. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The number of Scottish businesses generating their own locally-generated renewable energy doubled in 2015, according to analysis of Renewable Heat Incentive data by Raggnar, the renewable energy provider. Last year, 1,245 Scottish business added 421 MW of clean capacity. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Scottish industry doubles use of renewable energy in 2015

Scottish industry doubles use of renewable energy in 2015

US:

¶ The California Public Utilities Commission narrowly ruled in favor of a successor program to net metering. The decision preserves many of the basic features of retail-rate net metering. It rejects utility attempts to change the program in ways that would make customer-sited solar less attractive. [pv magazine]

¶ EDF Renewable Energy has signed an agreement to supply Salesforce with 24 MW of wind energy from its Salt Fork Wind Project in Texas. The virtual power-purchase agreement advances Salesforce’s commitment to power 100% of its global operations with renewable energy. [Windpower Engineering]

Vestas will supply 87 of their V100 2.0-MW wind turbines for the Salt Fork wind project.

Vestas will supply 87 of their V100 2.0-MW wind
turbines for the Salt Fork wind project.

¶ A group of companies has filed a proposal to diversify New England’s energy supply via the Vermont Green Line transmission project. The partners say the proposal, “The Wind and Hydro Response,” is designed bring clean power to Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts. [North American Windpower]

¶ Hawaii can reach its 100% renewable energy goal by 2045 at a reasonable cost, an energy expert said at the Electric Utility Consultants Inc Fifth Annual Power Summit in Waikiki. Energy storage is looked at as very important, but some say it is not the entire solution. [Pacific Business News (Honolulu)]

¶ Entergy Corp, which has already closed one money-losing reactor, said a proposal from New York regulators to save an upstate nuclear plant comes too late. The New York Public Service Commission plan, unveiled on January 25, would allow nuclear plants to receive credits for zero-emission power. [Bloomberg]

January 28 Energy News

January 28, 2016

World:

¶ Australia’s power sector is at risk of a “utility death spiral” due to its reliance on coal, according to a report by the University of Oxford’s Smith School of Enterprise. Utilities in the US, Japan and Germany are similarly exposed. The risk is partly from renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. [Sydney Morning Herald]

The bad bets we have made on fossil fuels will haunt us for decades. Photo: Jonathan Carroll

The bad bets we have made on fossil fuels will haunt us for decades. Photo: Jonathan Carroll

¶ The UK will add 1 GW of new energy storage capacity by the year 2020, IHS forecasts. The main driver of growth will be renewables, combined with rising electric rates, an established network of solar installers, the launch of a frequency regulation tender, and increasing money for energy storage research. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Berlin-based storage company Younicos will upgrade a 5-MW battery plant in Germany so that it is capable of restoring grid after a blackout. Its functionality will now be extended to make it capable of black starts, full islanding mode, and integrating renewables to enable grid restoration during failures. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ Total global corporate funding in the wind sector hit a record $15.4 billion in 2015, according to Mercom Capital Group. The figure raised by public companies, which includes venture capital/private equity, debt financing, and public market financing, is up by $3.6 billion from the $11.8 billion funded in 2014. [CleanTechnica]
¶ Not only has Chile’s solar industry cut emissions of the global warming gas carbon dioxide, but it has also helped slash some of the highest electricity costs in Latin America. Those benefits have come at no expense to the government, which refused to offer any of the subsidies that drained resources elsewhere. [Bloomberg]

¶ SoloPower Systems has completed its first commercial-scale installation in South Africa. Their ultra-light weight PV modules are up to 85% lighter than traditional PV panels, which allows for installation on rooftops with limited load-bearing capacity. Many commercial buildings in South Africa have such limited capacity. [CleanTechnica]

SoloPower photo.

SoloPower photo.

¶ Former Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Tuesday the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant is not over after five years after a massive earthquake and tsunami triggered the meltdowns. Kan disputes the idea that the situation at the plant is under control. “The accident is still unfolding,” he said. [The Japan Times]

US:

Wind generators on a wind farm near Hartland, Minn. Minnesota. Photo by David Brewster.

Wind generators on a wind farm near Hartland, Minn. Minnesota. Photo by David Brewster.

¶ The American Wind Energy Association, the industry’s Washington-based trade group, reported that 2015 was its third-best year because of major expansions especially in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Iowa. In a major shift, Iowa leapt ahead of California as the No. 2 wind-power state. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

¶ Invenergy today announced that it has signed a 225-MW wind power purchase agreement with Google to provide the tech giant with renewable energy to help support its data center operations. The agreement with Google includes the sale of wind energy from the Bethel Wind Energy Facility in Texas. [Your Industry News]

¶ Clean Line Energy announced an agreement with the City of Tallahassee, Florida, that states Tallahassee’s intention to purchase up to 50 MW of low-cost wind power from the Oklahoma Panhandle region. The clean energy would be delivered via the Plains & Eastern Clean Line. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ New analysis from PSE Healthy Energy and University of California at Berkeley finds that increased deployment of renewable energy is the best way to meet or even surpass Clean Power Plan targets, as recent scientific measurements of methane leaks from natural gas systems have found high rates of leakage. [Akron Beacon Journal]

Sun and transmission lines. Photo by Dennis-Wilkinson via flickr.

Sun and transmission lines. Photo by Dennis-Wilkinson via flickr.

The Value of Transmission, a report published by the Southwest Power Pool, analyzed the value provided by 348 transmission upgrades that required capital investment of almost $3.4 billion. They resulted in a reduction of over $240 million in fuel costs during the first year alone, along with other benefits. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Fort Hood will break ground this week on a new solar-panel farm, part of a project that will provide 40% of the post’s energy. The Army signed the $497 million agreement with Virginia-based Apex Clean Energy to bring more solar and wind energy to Fort Hood, officials announced last Wednesday. [The Killeen Daily Herald]

¶ After the Windsor, Vermont, Selectboard voted, 5-0, to oppose a solar project on 40 acres at a prison farm, state and Green Mountain Power officials acknowledged the project is dead. GMP spokeswoman Kristin Carlson said the power company will not proceed with an application to the Public Service Board. [Valley News]

¶ The Senate is debating what has been dubbed the Energy Policy Modernization Act, and it is rare instance of bipartisan cooperation. It would support programs for building efficiency and expanding hydropower and geothermal projects, but it gives a lot of support to fracking and gas pipelines. [Houston Chronicle]

 

January 27 Energy Week

January 27, 2016

Opinion:

Paris Agreement Unleashes $16 Trillion of Investment in Renewables and Cleantech • If you ever needed proof that we are truly embarking on a renewable energy revolution, then look no further than the latest report from one of the most respected credit ratings agencies in the world. [EcoWatch]

TckTckTck @tcktcktck - Renewable energy, clean tech & green finance poised for $16.5 trillion post-Paris take-off http://bit.ly/1ZH1T0E

TckTckTck @tcktcktck – Renewable energy, clean tech & green finance poised for $16.5 trillion post-Paris take-off http://bit.ly/1ZH1T0E

Switch to Clean Energy Can Be Fast and Cheap • Even when optimizing to cut costs and limiting themselves to existing technology, scientists showed that renewables can meet energy demands and slash carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity sector by 80% below 1990 levels, while saving money. [Scientific American]

World:

¶ China has launched an aggressive 3 GW target to expand the country’s high-efficiency rooftop solar installations. Such a renewable energy footprint will hopefully help reduce the widespread impacts of China’s too-visible air pollution. China would increase use of modules with high-energy conversion solar cells. [CleanTechnica]

Yingli plans to set up a 300-megawatt solar panel plant near Bangkok. Image via China Daily

Yingli plans to set up a 300-megawatt solar panel plant
near Bangkok. Image via China Daily

¶ Plans to build what could be Scotland’s first major offshore wind farm took a step forward with the announcement that an equity consortium is now in place to build the massive £2 billion Neart na Gaoithe project. The equity consortium is led by power company InterGen and includes Siemens Project Ventures. [Herald Scotland]

¶ Vietnam will shelve the equivalent of 70 large coal power plants following an announcement from the Prime Minister that the country would drop all further coal-fired power plant projects and move towards cleaner energy. Vietnam had the biggest plans for coal-fired power plants in Southeast Asia. [Scoop.co.nz]

¶ Bhutan is now generating electricity using the wind in addition to water. Wind powered electricity was provided for over 300 houses with the inauguration of two 300-kw wind turbines in Rubesa, Wangdue. The Asian Development Bank provided a grant of $2.7 million. [Kuensel, Buhutan’s National Newspaper]

Blowing in the wind: The two turbines will generate enough electricity to power 300 houses.

Blowing in the wind: The two turbines will generate
enough electricity to power 300 houses.

¶ Spain did not install a single megawatt of wind power capacity in 2015, which has not happened since the 1980’s, the Spanish Wind Energy Association said Tuesday. Spanish wind equipment manufacturers have survived through exports while the government has been hostile to wind power. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ The Hinkley Point nuclear plant could be delayed after EDF postponed yesterday’s meeting where the company was due to finally decide whether to invest. The decision to invest in Britain’s first new nuclear power plant in decades has been put off due to funding difficulties. [Central Somerset Gazette]

¶ The Chilean renewable energy association Acera estimates that the country has the capacity to meet its entire electricity demand with renewable energy sources by 2050, based on current market conditions and data. The projection takes falling costs of green technologies such as wind and PVs into account. [SeeNews Renewables]

Wind farm in Chile. Featured Image: Pablo Rogat/Shutterstock.com

Wind farm in Chile. Featured Image: Pablo Rogat/Shutterstock.com

US:

¶ Southern California Edison got approval from the California Public Utilities Commission to go ahead with a new $22-million electric vehicle charging station pilot program, according to recent reports. The program aims to install about 1500 charging stations within its service territory by in the near future. [CleanTechnica]

¶ About 33,700 GWh of new renewable generation must be added to New York’s fuel mix to have 50% of its power from renewable sources by 2030, as mandated by the new clean energy standard, the Public Service Commission staff said. Robust energy efficiency is also required to meet the goal. [Platts]

¶ Renewable Energy Group (REG) and ExxonMobil have launched a project to study the production of biodiesel by fermenting renewable cellulosic sugars from sources such as agricultural waste. REG developed technology that uses microbes to convert sugars to biodiesel in a one-step fermentation process. [ICIS]

Renewable Energy Group has technology that uses microbes to convert sugars to biodiesel in a one-step fermentation process similar to ethanol manufacturing. (Jim West / imageBROKER / REX Shutterstock)

REG has technology to use microbes to convert sugars to biodiesel
in a one-step fermentation process similar to ethanol manufacturing.
(Jim West / imageBROKER / REX Shutterstock)

¶ More than two dozen states asked the Supreme Court to put on hold on the Clean Power Plan after their request for a similar pause was rejected by a lower court last week. Led by West Virginia and Texas, the 26-state coalition filed its bid for relief with the nation’s highest court on Tuesday. [Bloomberg]

¶ Ohio Gov. John Kasich says he’ll reinstate the state’s energy standards if legislators try to further cut them. Kasich signed a bill in June 2014 that froze Ohio’s renewable energy requirements for two years. In September a 12-member legislative committee recommended the standards stay frozen indefinitely. [Columbus Business First]

¶ The Nevada Public Utilities Commission of Nevada approved three new renewable energy agreements to boost solar generation capacity in the state by 129 MW. The deal involves 20-year power purchase agreements for two new solar plants. The plants will be constructed in Clark County.
[Reno Gazette Journal]

January 26 Energy News

January 26, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ Energy storage costs could decrease up to 70% in the next 15 years, according to a report, E-Storage: Shifting from Cost to Value. The report also explains a number of previously unquantified values of energy storage, such as improved grid reliability and predictability of generation needs. [CleanTechnica]

Sandia.gov photo

Grid storage installation. Sandia.gov photo

¶ Two global industry giants, DuPont and Archer Daniels Midland, have just announced a new “breakthrough” process for producing a high performance, 100% biodegradable bioplastic building block. A side-effect is that with these companies in the mix, the lobbying dynamics could begin to shift dramatically. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ In a move aimed to generate energy savings, reduce air pollution, and bring power to rural areas, India’s Maharashtra state is set to implement an off-grid energy scheme. The state’s chief minister said the government is promoting solar off-grid energy policy to encourage use of new and renewable energy.” [PennEnergy]

¶ Navigant Research predicts that 346.1 GW of distributed solar PV will be installed globally between 2015 and 2024, producing $668.5 billion in revenue for the industry. An additional 289.4 GW of utility-scale (or non-distributed) solar is also expected to come online during the forecast period. [CleanTechnica]

Annual Solar PV Installed Capacity and Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2015-2024

Annual Solar PV Installed Capacity and Revenue
by Region, World Markets: 2015-2024

¶ Asia Biogas, which builds waste-to-power plants, has just started commercial operation of a project in the Thai tourist region of Krabi. The project will export 12,300 MWh per year of clean renewable energy to one of Thailand’s most beautiful regions, according to the company’s chief executive. [Irish Times]

¶ A Norwegian company has proposed setting up a 300-MW solar power plant in Sri Lanka and is waiting for more clarity on regulations for renewable energy projects, officials said. The company has done a feasibility study for generating 300 MW of solar energy and scaling it up to 900 MW. [EconomyNext]

¶ The UK faces a 40% to 55% electricity supply gap if the government implements its plans to close all coal-fired power stations by 2025 on top of retiring ageing nuclear power stations, according to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. It is unrealistic to fill the gap by building gas or nuclear plants. [reNews]

Coal. Image by sxc

¶ Vietnam’s Prime Minister signalled a reduced role for new coal-fired power stations in the country’s forthcoming power plans and an expanded role for renewable energy. He said, “There is a need to closely monitor environmental issues, especially in stringent monitoring of coal-fired power plants.” [End Coal]

¶ A French union has published a set of last-minute challenges to EDF over its plans to build an £18 billion nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset, with just days to go before an expected final investment decision. People close to the deal said they expected the decision on Wednesday. [Financial Times]

US:

¶ States could drastically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector in the next 15 years, if they ramped up their investment in renewables such as wind and solar, according to a study from scientists at UC Boulder and NOAA. It found costs could be kept in check while meeting demand increases. [Fox News]

Turbines blow in the wind south of Cheyenne, Wyoming. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

Turbines blow in the wind south of Cheyenne, Wyoming.
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

… Scientists created a simulator that uses data from wind and solar weather models to determine where the best places to collect energy are in the country. The simulator then calculates the easiest ways to transfer that energy from where it was gathered to where it’s needed. This can reduce CO2 emissions by 80%. [The Denver Channel]

¶ The US Supreme Court upheld a major Obama administration electricity-markets regulation that encourages big power users like factories to cut consumption at peak times, rejecting a challenge brought by electric utilities. The court, ruling 6-2, reversed a 2014 decision by a US Court of Appeals. [Business Insider]

¶ Soon after SolarCity acquired solar panel maker Silevo in the summer of 2014, it announced the construction of a 1.2-million-square-foot ‘Solar Gigafactory’ in Buffalo, New York. The Buffalo solar gigafactory aims to start producing solar cells in 2016, with a ramping up to 1 GW of annual capacity by 2017. [Treehugger]

Solar gigafactory. SolarCity image.

Solar gigafactory. SolarCity image.

¶ Xcel Energy Inc launched the first element of a sweeping new plan that executives say will upgrade the state’s power grid and give customers more choice in how they source and use energy. The plan would greatly boost the amount of renewable energy, both wind and solar power, on Colorado’s grid. [Denver Sun Times]

¶ New Hampshire is among the states leading the charge on renewable energy, according to SmartAsset. Overall, the state ranked fourth in the nation. The rankings were based on renewable energy generation and growth, per-capita carbon emissions and solar energy incentives. [New Hampshire Business Review]

January 25 Energy News

January 25, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ A new study found that the melting Greenland ice sheet might affect a key aspect of global ocean circulation, which in turn could drive changes in Earth’s climate. It is the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. It’s a massive ocean current system that’s critical to the stability of our climate. [Newsweek]

A map of the surface currents (solid curves) and deep currents (dashed curves) that form a portion of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. USGCRP / R. Curry / Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

A map of the surface currents (solid curves) and deep currents (dashed curves) that form a portion of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. USGCRP / R. Curry / Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

¶ Some researchers suggest northern sea ice can bounce back and continue its role as refrigerator of the world. One has shared a vision for restoring sea ice at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco last month. More than 20,000 scientists attend the weeklong meeting. [Alaska Dispatch News]

World:

¶ Despite much of Australia being seemingly perfect for large scale solar, it has been slow in coming to the sun-drenched country. That could be set to change with the official opening of two plants that AGL Energy managing director and CEO says “signals the birth of large-scale solar in Australia”. [Gizmag]

Together, the Nyngan (pictured) and Broken Hill plants will produce around 360,000 MWh of renewable energy annually

Together, the Nyngan (pictured) and Broken Hill plants will produce
around 360,000 MWh of renewable energy annually

¶ Russia’s economy contracted by 3.7% in 2015, according to preliminary figures published by the country’s statistics service. Retail sales plunged by 10% and capital investment fell by 8.4%. The economy has been hit hard by the extraordinary collapse in oil prices, which have fallen by 70% in the past 15 months. [BBC]

¶ Facebook announced today that it plans to open a new data center in Clonee, Ireland. The name is EU2 because it’s the second data center in the European Union, after one in Sweden. This data center will run on 100% clean, renewable wind power, and it will use new and possibly disruptive computing technology. [ETCIO.com]

¶ The government of the Indian state of Gujarat government has identified around 1,500 hectare land to set up a 750-MW solar park. This will be the biggest solar park in the country after the 590-MW capacity solar park, the country’s first and Asia’s largest, was set up in Charnka village of Patan district in 2012. [The Indian Express]

This will be the biggest solar park to come up in the country after the 590 MW capacity solar park, the country’s first and Asia’s largest solar park, was set up in Charnka village of Patan district in 2012.

A much smaller solar installation in India.

¶ Five years ago, investments in the Australian renewable energy market would have been considered niche, but the market has grown very quickly. Now, 20% of the market for infrastructure is in renewable power assets, with growth driven by fundamental secular shifts. And the coal industry is the loser. [Investment Magazine]

¶ The minister responsible for Germany’s energy transition from coal and nuclear to renewables says solar and wind energy have clearly won the technology race. He said Germany’s task now is to focus on integration, digitizing the grid, and on storage, efficiency, transport, and building and industrial heat. [RenewEconomy]

¶ Lifting nuclear sanctions against Iran will boost the nation’s efforts to curb fossil-fuel emissions, one of its vice presidents said. Iran, which plans to sell 1 million barrels of oil a day, hopes to increase use of windpower, solar, and technology to curb greenhouse gases from power plants, homes and factories. [Business Mirror]

Wind farm in Xinjiang, China Wikimedia Commons

Wind farm in Xinjiang, China Wikimedia Commons

¶ Two armed ships set off from the northwest of England this week to sail round the world to Japan on a secretive and controversial mission to collect a consignment of plutonium and transport it to the US. The cargo of plutonium, one of the most toxic substances known, has no currently known commercial use. [eco-business.com]

US:

¶ In California, Castoro Cellars installed a project that will allow the winery to run 100% on solar power. The 625-kW system installed by REC Solar, covers nearly three acres. It will have produce over 1 million kWh per year and eliminate a monthly electric bill estimated to be $20,000 per month. [Solar Novus Today]

¶ Ceres, a Boston-based nonprofit organization focused on sustainability leadership, launched a new version of its Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Sustainability Disclosure Search Tool. The tool helps users explore the disclosures oil and gas companies give to investors about carbon asset risk. [Triple Pundit]

Image credit: Flickr/Ken Hodge

Image credit: Flickr/Ken Hodge

¶ The work to switch to a renewable system in which thousands of customers are the energy producers increasingly is taking place in Western Pennsylvania, where universities, federal research centers and private companies are embarking on projects aimed at wiring together renewable sources and batteries. [Tribune-Review]

¶ Despite interest from communities across the state and reliable sunrays during peak summer months, Nebraska has shied away from solar power. A bill proposed in the Nebraska Legislature could make it easier for communities to begin generating their own renewable energy by offering grants of up to $150,000. [WOWT]

January 24 Energy News

January 24, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ Lake Poopó is more than 12,000 feet above sea level on Bolivia’s semi-arid Andean plains. Even though the lake has dried up before, according to experts, this time the recovery will no longer be possible. “This is a picture of the future of climate change,” a glaciologist says. (The lake’s area was about 250,000 acres.) [Laurel Leader Call]

Fishing boats on what was once Lake Poopó's shore.

Fishing boats on what was once a shore.

World:

¶ Based on research done by Stanford University, led by Mark Z. Jacobson, The Solutions Project is popularizing the maps and plans. It has created infographics highlighting which future energy mix will theoretically be the best to achieve the zero-emission target for each of these 139 countries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Swiss battery manufacturer Leclanché has been selected by Hecate Canada Storage II, LLP to deliver a 13-MW/53-MWh system. Leclanché will team with Deltro Energy Inc on the project. It will stand as one of the largest grid ancillary storage services systems in North America. [CleanTechnica]

Emission-free grid stability via Deltro

Emission-free grid stability via Deltro

¶ Alberta is looking at changing regulations so people who generate their own wind or solar electricity can earn money selling the excess electricity back to the grid. Sinking oil prices have prompted the Alberta government to look at diversifying the economy to lessen its dependence on oil and gas revenues. [CBC.ca]

¶ The government of Bangladesh has set a target to generate 2,000 MW renewable energy by 2021, up from the current generating capacity of 405 MW. The new target of renewable energy would be 10% of the total electricity generation in 2021 and would increase to 20% in 2030. [Financial Express Bangladesh]

¶ Fuel supplies to landlocked Nepal have been blocked for months at the Indian border, initially by protests over a new constitution. Now, Nepal is suffering rolling power cuts for up to 14 hours a day. The government has turned to renewable power sources, mainly solar and wind, for a solution. [Nikkei Asian Review]

Solar panels on the roof of the offices of the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre in Kathmandu (Photo by Deepak Adhikari)

Solar panels on the roof of the offices of the Alternative Energy
Promotion Centre in Kathmandu (Photo by Deepak Adhikari)

¶ A broken submarine cable and a drought have left Tasmania with electric supply problems. Stakeholders point out that Tasmania is one of the best places in the world to harvest wind, hydro and solar energy. The Environment Minister said the government would consider adding renewable power. [Tasmania Examiner]

¶ Ecotricity introduced the concept of making green gas from grass in Britain early last year and if the company’s application to Winchester City Council is accepted, the Green Gas Mill will pump £3 million into the local economy every year for twenty years. It would also power 4,000 homes. [Renewable Energy Focus]

¶ The Philippines is now the largest and fastest-growing producer of electricity from wind power among the 10 countries belonging to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, a former Senator said in a news release. Its coastlines and mountains give the country very rich wind resources. [InterAksyon]

Wind farm in Bangui. Photo from tourism.gov.ph

Wind farm in Bangui. Photo from tourism.gov.ph

¶ The Japanese government has used taxpayer money to provide over ¥16.2 billion ($136.34 million) in subsidies to local governments for promoting so-called pluthermal power generation using mixed oxide fuel (MOX). The project is a key part of the country’s nuclear fuel cycle policy. [The Japan Times]

US:

¶ This week voters in the village of Hyde Park and the town of Stowe each approved building community-based solar projects. Once online, the projects will help the small municipal electric departments meet the new renewable energy standards Vermont passed into law last year. [Vermont Public Radio]

Blue skies over the Village of Hyde Park are a welcome sight for a community that just approved a 1-MW solar project. Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Blue skies over the Village of Hyde Park, a welcome sight for a community that just approved a 1-MW solar project. Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

¶ Within the next two years, construction will begin to convert six dams along the Muskingum River, in Ohio, to hydropower. The six sites will provide an average of 4 MW of power, which is sufficient to power more than 2,000 homes. Converting the six dams will cost about $118 million. [Zanesville Times Recorder]

January 23 Energy News

January 23, 2016

Opinion:

¶ Coal Prices Won’t Rebound Anytime Soon on Supply Surplus • The decline in coal prices was not only caused by oversupply, but due to a drastic decline in coal demand. Several major consumers, including China, have been producing sufficient coal for their domestic use, so international sales have fallen. [Economic Calendar]

Coal prices have been declining over the past few years.

Coal prices have been declining over the past few years.

Not in my backyard • At every turn, efforts to support Vermonters turning to renewable energy run into neighbors who object to changes they would bring. Vermont’s drive toward renewable energy will likely be scuttled by what may rapidly be becoming the new state motto: “not in my backyard.” [BurlingtonFreePress.com]

World:

¶ Germany piloted a new system for setting the price paid for electricity from ground-mounted PV arrays in 2015. Instead of receiving a set feed-in tariff, parties bid in solar auctions for a share of 500 MW of capacity. The federal minister for economic affairs and energy said the pilot auctions a “complete success.” [CleanTechnica]

Renewable energy systems in the community of Freiensteinau, Hesse, Germany. Photo by CarstenE. CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported. Wikimedia Commons.

Renewable energy systems in the community of Freiensteinau, Hesse, Germany. Photo by CarstenE. CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Oil prices spiked 9% to close at $32.19 a barrel on Friday. It represents a dramatic rebound from Wednesday. Crude crashed to $26.19 a barrel Wednesday, the lowest level since April 2003. Since then, oil has surged a remarkable 23%. There didn’t appear to be an obvious trigger for the rebound. [CNN]

¶ The latest auction of solar energy capacity in India has achieved a new record low price of ₹4.34/kWh (6¢/kWh). It is the lowest price obtained so far in India, which aims to install more than 100 GW of solar by 2022. The energy minister said solar tariffs are now cheaper than coal-fired generation. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Global solar PV installation for 2015 increased 34% over 2014 numbers, reaching an estimated 59 GW by the end of the year. This, according to preliminary numbers from GTM Research published today. GMT expects the US and China to lead the way towards a total installation of 64 GW in 2016. [CleanTechnica]

President Barack Obama and Senator Harry Reid of Nevada (right) at Nellis Air Force Base. Photo by Pete Souza. Public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

President Barack Obama and Senator Harry Reid of Nevada (right) at Nellis Air Force Base. Photo by Pete Souza. Public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ The Australian renewable energy industry has long struggled to bring its products to apartment dwellers. Now, a trial scheme in Sydney will see solar installed in a multi-unit residence and the electricity sold back to tenants through power-sharing. The technology and legal framework could serve as models. [ABC Online]

¶ Germany imported 54 million tonnes of hard coal in 2015, 4% less than in the previous year, coal importers’ lobby VDKI said. The figure was close to VDKI’s earlier forecasts, which has cited weaker demand from power generators and the steel industry as reasons for the decline. [Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide]

¶ Construction of the world’s largest floating solar power plant, set to cover an area of the Yamakura Dam reservoir the size of 37 football fields, has begun in Japan. The plant, scheduled for completion in March 2018, will generate an estimated 16,170 MWh per year, enough to power approximately 4,970 households. [Newsweek]

Rendering of the 13.7MW plant on the Yamakura Dam reservoir in Chiba Prefecture, Japan

Rendering of the 13.7MW plant on the Yamakura
Dam reservoir in Chiba Prefecture, Japan

¶ The UAE Minister of Energy said during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week that he would like the UAE to export renewable power, rather than fossil fuel, to Europe. Experts said this is highly achievable, but only if the UAE implements a climate change and renewable energy policy at the federal level. [Khaleej Times]

US:

¶ Subsidizing Iowa corn is the opposite of fiscal conservatism, but politicians generally find a way to evolve on the subject when they get to Iowa. This year Ted Cruz has hung tough. Perhaps it’s because he’s close to Big Oil, which wants the gas tanks for itself. But whatever the reason, he’s paying the price. [Bismarck Tribune]

¶ A controversial plan to limit carbon dioxide emissions in Oregon that failed a year ago is back, jostling with another ambitious plan from environmental groups and utilities. The new plan would replace the greenhouse gas reduction goals passed in 2007 with a series of enforceable limits. [OregonLive.com]

Oregon's largest source of greenhouse gases, PGE's Boardman coal plant, will close in 2020. (The Oregonian/Brent Wojahn)

Oregon’s largest source of greenhouse gases, PGE’s Boardman
coal plant, will close in 2020. (The Oregonian/Brent Wojahn)

¶ The Sierra Club says it has launched a new initiative, the #ReadyFor100 campaign, which will challenge 100 cities across the US to commit to 100% clean energy. With 2.4 million members and supporters, the group will harness its grassroots power to urge mayors to commit to 100% clean energy. [North American Windpower]

¶ New York’s governor Andrew Cuomo has directed the public service commission to ensure that the state achieves its goal of 50% renewable energy by 2030. The public service commission has now formally stated that it will expand its plan to include the contributions of the nuclear plants. [World Nuclear News]

January 22 Energy News

January 22, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ Tens of thousands of dead birds have washed up on the beaches of Alaska’s Prince William Sound, an unexplained mass die-off. They are a sign the ecosystem was being troubled by abnormally warm ocean water off the coast of Alaska, a sign that some experts say may be related to the changing climate. [CNN]

Common Murres. Photo by Richard Crossley. CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported. Wikimedia Commons.

Common Murres are dying. Photo by Richard Crossley.
CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported. Wikimedia Commons.

World:

¶ Companies involved in the RE100 campaign are, on average, halfway toward meeting their 100% renewable energy goals, according to a new report published by The Climate Group and CDP.Those in the information and communication technology sector are, on average, 64% of the way there. [Solar Industry]

¶ Tasmania is in the grip of an energy crisis as drought reduces output from its hydro-electric dams and an undersea power cable, providing up to 40% of its power needs from Victoria, is shut down. The Communications Electrical and Plumbing Union secretary blames the government’s anti-renewable policies. [Green Left Weekly]

Musselroe wind farm.

Musselroe wind farm.

¶ The UK government plans to do more to increase the proportion of renewable energy used to heat the nation’s buildings and fuel its cars, trucks and trains as it strives to meet binding European Union targets by 2020. The UK must get 15% of all energy from renewables by 2020 to meet its EU target. [Bloomberg]

¶ Humanity must stop burning coal, oil and gas to power global economies or face an irreversible climate catastrophe, scientists, business chiefs and analysts warned at a gathering in the Swiss Alps. If we can come close to limiting average temperature increases to 1.5° C, we may avoid tipping points. [The Rakyat Post]

A senior insurance executive says the planet will simply be uninsurable in 50 years if nations do nothing to prevent climate change. AFP file pic

Disappearing glacier. A senior insurance executive says nothing will be insurable in 50 years if nations do nothing on climate change. AFP file pic

¶ In an effort to become the largest exporter of nuclear-energy technology, China has started building a reactor housed in a floating vessel, which is scheduled to be finished by 2020. If that sounds alarming, brace yourself: More than 100 additional nuclear reactors are planned for the next decade. [PortNews IAA]

US:

¶ The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission granted a site permit for the 100-MW North Star solar project of developer Community Energy Solar. By law, Minnesota public utilities must produce at least 1.5% of retail electricity sales from solar energy by 2020. The facility would power about 20,000 homes per year. [SeeNews Renewables]

Solar panels. Author: Oregon Department of Transportation. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

Solar panels. Author: Oregon Department of Transportation.
License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

¶ Green Mountain Power, in Rutland, Vermont, offers an “extreme energy makeover” that can go as far as customers want in scaling down their energy use, even going off the power grid, CEO Mary Powell said. At the same time, Green Mountain has lowered electric rates three times in the past four years. [Madison.com]

¶ 2015 marked a banner year for solar power in North Carolina as Duke Energy companies set a record for the solar PV capacity they added in the state. The total comes to more than 300 MW, enough to power about 60,000 average homes at peak production. About half the capacity belongs to Duke. [solarserver.com]

The 13 megawatt Camp Lejeune PV facility is Duke Energy’s first solar project located at a military base. Courtesy: Duke Energy Renewables.

The 13 megawatt Camp Lejeune PV facility is Duke Energy’s first solar
project located at a military base. Courtesy: Duke Energy Renewables.

¶ Building on big plans for renewables unveiled during his recent State of the State address, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, has announced the New York State Public Service Commission’s approval of a 10-year, $5 billion Clean Energy Fund. The fund is to attract and leverage third-party capital. [Solar Industry]

¶ The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia denied a request from Texas and other states to block President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, leaving the climate change rules in place while courts hear a legal challenge. The court wrote that the stringent requirements for a stay were not met. [Texas Tribune]

Photo by Thomas Bougher

Photo by Thomas Bougher

¶ Switch, a Las Vegas data center provider, known there for its massive high-security campus, will buy power for a new data center as bundled energy and Renewable Energy Credits from Consumers Energy, the Michigan utility that serves the area where the new data center is being built. [Data Center Knowledge]

¶ After seven years of promoting the benefits of adding wind energy to the US electricity mix, the Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition announced that it will pair its advocacy work for wind with work for solar energy as well. The group has taken a new name, the Governors’ Wind and Solar Energy Coalition. [Windpower Engineering]

The Governors’ Wind and Solar Energy Coalition will join wind and solar to lower costs, increase jobs, and support the growth of US renewables.

The Governors’ Wind and Solar Energy Coalition will join wind and solar
to lower costs, increase jobs, and support the growth of US renewables.

¶ The Town of East Hampton, New York, is commitment to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. Now, a study is under way on the feasibility of creating a microgrid that would generate power for critical facilities and have the ability to separate from the electrical grid in the event of power outages. [East Hampton Star]

¶ California-based Pattern Energy has announced it has completed construction on the 150-MW Amazon Wind Farm Fowler Ridge project in Indiana. The 150-MW Fowler Ridge wind farm will provide 100% of the electricity generated to Amazon Web Services to power the company’s datacenters. [CleanTechnica]

January 21 Energy News

January 21, 2016

Science and Technology:

¶ Last year was the warmest since record-keeping began in 1880, according to NOAA and NASA. While many expected 2015 would finish in first place, the margin of victory was startling. Global temperatures were 1.62˚F (0.90˚C) above the 20th century average, passing the previous record by 20%. [CNN]

Arctic sea ice decline September 1979 to May 2015. Image by NSIDC. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

Arctic sea ice decline September 1979 to May 2015.
Image by NSIDC. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

World:

¶ The Russian ruble has just collapsed to its lowest ever level, as oil sank below $27 a barrel to its lowest level since September 2003. Earnings from oil and gas exports make up roughly half of government revenues. To balance its budget, the country needs to be able to sell oil for $82 per barrel. [CNN]

¶ Falling oil prices are driving investments in renewable power in oil-producing countries. With oil at below $30 a barrel, countries such as Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran and Kuwait are looking to curb fossil fuel use at home to maximize export profits, and so they seek alternative energy sources for electricity. [The Guardian]

Visitors at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2016. Photograph: Ali Haider/EPA

Visitors at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2016. Photograph: Ali Haider/EPA

¶ Spanish wind turbine maker Gamesa SA announced three orders from India totalling 130 MW. The company will supply a total of 65 units of its G97-2.0 MW turbine. Gamesa will build two wind farms, one of 50 MW and one of 30 MW, and will supply 50 MW of turbines to a third wind farm. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ An international consortium has been formed to fund and develop a commercial floating wind farm in the Atlantic waters off the coast of Portugal near Porto. This follows the successful trials of a prototype floating generator unit developed by WindFloat which has been operating for four years. [Maritime Journal]

¶ Australian utility AGL and global solar PV manufacturer First Solar have completed Australia’s two largest solar PV plants, doubling the country’s total solar PV capacity. The 102-MW Nyngan and the 53-MW Broken Hill solar projects, have a total of 2,044,140 solar panels feeding the grid. [CleanTechnica]

AGL solar array

AGL solar array

¶ GE Renewable Energy has announced that it secured 1.4-GW of firm and unconditional wind turbine supply orders in the month of December. The agreements call for GE’s wind technology to supply more than 20 new wind projects across seven different countries. About half of the sales were outside the US. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ A former TEPCO executive who feels guilt over the 2011 nuclear disaster is behind the start-up of a tomato farm which opened in the devastated region. Eiju Hangai, whose previous employer operates the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, is now president of Minami-Soma Fukko Agri KK. [Asahi Shimbun]

¶ The Cambodian government should invest more in sustainable energy, with a focus on solar power, experts told a conference on energy security yesterday, adding that this could reduce both the country’s dependence on large-scale hydropower projects and coal-fired plants and its emissions of carbon dioxide. [Khmer Times]

Tangled power cables are commonplace in Phnom Penh, like the ones above on Street 63. KT/ Mai Vireak

Tangled power cables are commonplace in Phnom Penh,
like the ones above on Street 63. KT/ Mai Vireak

¶ Seven of the 24 countries across the world with weapons-grade nuclear materials scored a zero in their ability to protect their nuclear facilities from a cyberattack, according to a new study by the Nuclear Threat Initiative. This is the first time the NTI included a threat of cyberattacks in its report. [BuzzFeed News]

US:

¶ Oil is in free fall. Last year, 42 US energy companies went bankrupt, owing more than $17 billion, according to a report from law firm Haynes & Boone. The four biggest US banks have set aside at least $2.5 billion combined to cover souring energy loans and may have to increase that amount. [Bloomberg]

¶ UK-based Renewable Energy Systems announced the sale of the 198-MW Bluestem wind project in Oklahoma to a unit of US energy major Exelon Corp. RES will immediately start building the wind farm in Beaver County. Vestas Wind Systems will supply 60 of its V117-3.3 MW turbines for the project. [SeeNews Renewables]

Wind farm in Oklahoma. Author: U.S. Department of Agriculture. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

Wind farm in Oklahoma. Author: U.S. Department of Agriculture.
License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

¶ A climate change program including New York and other northeastern states won’t be enough for the states to reach 2030 goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions unless more is done, a report warned.The report coincided with an announcement that 2015 was the hottest year on record. [Albany Times Union]

¶ US wind and solar developer Apex Clean Energy Holdings LLC said it has signed a power purchase agreement with the US Army for 65.8 MW of wind and solar capacity. The Army will buy electricity for Fort Hood in Texas and is expected to save about $168 million over the contract’s 28-year term. [SeeNews Renewables]

Wind turbines in Texas. Author: Will De Freitas. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic.

Wind turbines in Texas. Author: Will De Freitas. License: Creative
Commons, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic.

¶ Local officials from communities around Vermont are demanding a greater say in the siting of wind and solar energy projects. The Vermont League of Cities and Towns on Wednesday brought local officials and activists from around the state to the Statehouse to express their concerns. [Beaumont Enterprise]

January 20 Energy News

January 20, 2016

Opinion:

Why An Overflowing Oil Supply Won’t Drown Renewable Energy
Growth
• Conventional wisdom posits that continuously cheap oil also poses a threat to the development of renewable energy. But for the most part, oil doesn’t compete with renewables, which are still growing in the face of cheap oil. [Huffington Post]

 A barrel lies in a pool of oil at a damaged petroleum plant after an earthquake in Indonesia. Spencer Platt via Getty Images


A barrel lies in a pool of oil at a damaged petroleum plant after an earthquake in Indonesia. Spencer Platt via Getty Images

Science and Technology:

¶ The cost of storing energy in batteries could fall by as much as 70% over the next 15 years as new solar battery technology and other technical advances drive prices down, the World Energy Council said. Grid-scale electricity storage would make the variable supply of renewable sources more flexible. [Times of India]

¶ Carbon capture and sequestration is expensive because each step, capture, distribution, and sequestration, is expensive. According to an organization which promotes carbon capture and sequestration, it will cost $120-$140 per ton of CO2. This means 16.8¢/kWh to 19.6¢/kWh extra for electricity. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ The door is beginning to close on growth markets for small-scale diesel, as the cost of renewable energy has dropped to the point where it meets, and often beats, diesel on both price and performance. IRENA has just announced a new $46 million round of new funding for renewable energy projects. [CleanTechnica]

Solar installation at Vanuatu via IRENA.

Solar installation at Vanuatu via IRENA.

¶ According to analytics company IHS, battery cost reductions, government funding programs, and utility tenders all contributed to a 45% increase in the global energy storage pipeline in the fourth quarter of 2015. The analysis also says the pipeline of planned battery projects and flywheel projects reaches 1.6 GW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ If Saudi Arabia and the five other Gulf Cooperation Council members make good on renewable energy targets, that would keep 400 million barrels of oil in the desert in 2030. They would benefit by preserving vital water stocks and using solar potentials, the International Renewable Energy Agency says. [Climate Home]

Shams 100-MW concentrated solar plant in Abu Dhabi, UAE (Flickr/ Masdar Official)

Shams 100-MW concentrated solar plant in Abu Dhabi, UAE (Flickr/ Masdar Official)

¶ China’s emissions of carbon dioxide produced as a result of using coal for electricity generation probably fell 2% in 2015, as a push by the world’s most populous nation to tackle climate change resulted in less of the fuel being burned. Carbon emissions were reduced by 144.9 million metric tons. [Bloomberg]

¶ Russian government officials are revisiting an idea that was all but junked by President Vladimir Putin in 2010: the notion that renewable energy could be profitable business for the country. A Deputy Energy Minister announced a goal of increasing Russia’s reliance on renewables by 10 times by 2035. [Bellona]

The Mikhail Ulyanov Tanker docks with the Prirazlomnaya platform to onload oil. (Photo: Gazprom)

The Mikhail Ulyanov Tanker docks with the Prirazlomnaya platform to onload oil. (Photo: Gazprom)

US:

¶ Green Mountain Power announced today the year-end operational results for Kingdom Community Wind in Lowell. In 2015, the 21-turbine project generated enough electricity to power 26,700 homes for a year. That’s an increase of 7% over the previous year or enough energy to power an additional 1,800 homes. [Vermont Biz]

¶ The US DOE announced it will fund up to $220 million of R&D projects to modernize America’s aging power grid infrastructure over the next three years. DOE also released a strategic blueprint that informs and guides a national research and development agenda involving a consortium of DOE National Laboratories. [Energy Collective]

Natural resources at NREL's campuses are managed appropriately to ensure research needs are met while protecting native wildlife and vegetation. NREL

Natural resources at NREL’s campuses are managed appropriately to ensure research needs are met while protecting native wildlife and vegetation. NREL

¶ The US DOE awarded two $6 million cost sharing grants as the first installments of what could be, over time, up to $80 million in funding for design work on advanced nuclear reactors. DOE’s expectations is that these firms, with their multiple partners, will be ready to build prototypes by 2035 or earlier. [Energy Collective]

Amazon wind

Amazon windpower

¶ Pattern Energy Group Inc. has completed the 150-MW Amazon Wind Farm Fowler Ridge, located in Benton County, Indiana. The facility will sell 100% of its output to Amazon Web Services, which will in turn supply the electricity to the electric power grids that service its data centers. [North American Windpower]

¶ The legal mandate of reducing Massachusetts greenhouse gas emissions to hit a 2020 benchmark is “achievable” if environmental policies are carried out but imperiled if the state neglects a major importation of renewable energy, according to a Baker administration report released Tuesday. [CommonWealth magazine]

¶ Utility Southern California Edison has signed power purchase agreements to obtain 500 MW of renewable energy from four solar projects being developed by First Solar. The projects are in California, Nevada, and Arizona. First Solar expects to turn all the four projects operational by the end of 2019. [Power Technology]

January 19 Energy News

January 19, 2016

World:

¶ UK green energy supplier Ecotricity has installed a 800-kW wind turbine in Yorkshire, at a factory of aircrete products maker H+H UK Ltd. Ecotricity will finance and build the turbine, and H+H will use the power on-site, cutting its carbon emissions and sharing in the benefits of green energy. [SeeNews Renewables]

Factory turbine under construction. Source: Ecotricity. License: All Rights Reserved.

Factory turbine under construction.
Source: Ecotricity. License: All Rights Reserved.

¶ China’s gross domestic product grew 6.9% in 2015 from a year earlier, the least growth since 1990, according to government figures. Power consumption rose 0.5%, slowing from a 3.8% advance the previous year. Coal imports fell about 30% last year, and approval of new mines may be suspended this year. [Bloomberg]

¶ Nordex signed contracts with the Turkish power company Bilgin Enerji for four projects totalling 100 MW. All of the 33 turbines ordered are Delta series, the latest product fleet Nordex is offering on the market. The first project is an extension of the “Bandirma” wind farm in the province of Balikesir. [7thSpace Interactive]

¶ Germany connected a record 2,282.4 MW of offshore wind capacity to the grid in 2015. Just 492.2 MW was installed in 2014, and the industry expects about 700 MW for 2016. At the end of 2014, 1,345 MW were fully installed in German waters and awaited grid connection due to delays. [SeeNews Renewables]

Adwen turbines at Alpha Ventus wind farm in the German North Sea. Copyright: Adwen GmbH / J. Oelker.

Adwen turbines at Alpha Ventus wind farm in the German
North Sea. Copyright: Adwen GmbH / J. Oelker.

¶ Construction work has begun on Djibouti’s first solar power plant. The $390 million facility is located in Grand Bara, in south of the country. The solar power project will be built in six stages, each one adding 50 MW of power, towards a final capacity of 300 MW. The plant is part of a drive to cut energy costs. [Caj News Africa]

¶ Switzerland’s 1,000-MW Linthal pumped-storage plant has been successfully synchronized to the Swiss grid, according to equipment supplier GE Renewable Energy. The Axpo-owned facility is located in the Linthal Valley in eastern Switzerland, and uses water pumped from Lake Limmern to Lake Mutt. [HydroWorld]

Linthal Valley

Linthal Valley

¶ Japan has given the go-ahead to 85,550 MW of clean-energy projects since the introduction of an incentive program in July 2012, with solar comprising the vast bulk of the new capacity, at 79,760 MW. Of the approvals, 23,650 MW, or about 28%, had gone online by the end of September. [The Japan Times]

¶ Hexicon is planning to build and operate a semi-submersible platform to support two floating wind turbines at a site approximately 9 km from the Dounreay power station on the north coast of Scotland. The Swedish company is currently in the earliest stages of planning for the Dounreay Tri demonstrator project. [reNews]

Hexicon image

Hexicon image

¶ A decision on whether a nuclear power station is built at Hinkley Point could be announced next week. Reports say the board of directors of EDF will meet on January 27. The final investment decision on the project has been delayed due to the lengthy negotiations with Chinese partners. [Central Somerset Gazette]

US:

¶ Public enemy No 1 for climate change and no longer the fossil fuel utilities prefer to burn to generate electricity, coal has few allies these days. But one state is still fighting to save the industry: Wyoming. Not long ago, good times for coal, oil and natural gas created huge budget surpluses. [LancasterOnline]

Loading coal at the Black Thunder Mine in Wright, Wyoming. AP photo / Matt Brown

Loading coal at the Black Thunder Mine in
Wright, Wyoming. AP photo / Matt Brown

¶ El Segundo-based 3 Phases Renewables has contracted with the City of Santa Monica, California, to supply 100% renewable power for all municipal operations. Under the newly signed contract the energy mix will be mostly made up of wind and solar power generated within the state. [North American Windpower]

January 18 Energy News

January 18, 2016

Opinion:

Clean power: It’s just a click away • While many don’t think of the Internet’s scope beyond their own personal devices, Greenpeace has recently noted that if the Internet were a country, its energy consumption would rank it sixth in the world. Of course this total is only expected to grow. [eco-business.com]

An Apple solar farm in Hongyuan, China. Image: Apple

An Apple solar farm in Hongyuan, China. Image: Apple

World:

¶ Oil prices fell below $28 a barrel amid fears the lifting of Western sanctions on Iran could increase the oversupply. Brent crude, used as an international benchmark, fell as low as $27.67 a barrel, its lowest since 2003, before recovering slightly to trade at $28.17. The price of US crude fell to $28.86. [BBC]

¶ The North African country of Morocco has achieved a new low for wind energy costs, securing average bids of just $30/MWh from its tender for 850 MW tender of large-scale wind energy projects, with the lowest at around $25/MWh. Until recently, Morocco sourced all its energy needs from fossil fuels. [RenewEconomy]

Tarfaya Wind Energy Project, Morocco

Tarfaya Wind Energy Project, Morocco

¶ India is expected to significantly overachieve on its solar power capacity addition target for the financial year 2015-16, a consultancy firm has projected. Solar consultancy firm Bridge to India expects that around 2 GW of solar power capacity is expected to be added between January and March 2016. [CleanTechnica]

¶ In its first year of operation, the so-named Shams 1 plant in Abu Dhabi beat expectations by a wide margin, and its second year figures are also better than predicted. The concentrating solar plant has a nameplate capacity of 100 MW, but in peak summer days during 2015, it often produced 125 MW. [CleanTechnica]

Photo by Tina Casey

Photo by Tina Casey

¶ On Monday, Toshiba Corp demonstrated a device it believes will be used to remove fuel-rod assemblies from the spent fuel pool in the reactor 3 building at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. It is still impossible for humans even to monitor the removal of the fuel-rod assemblies safely in the building. [The Japan Times]

¶ Bibby Marine Services has contracted Damen Shipyards Group to deliver a service operations vessel for use in the offshore wind sector. Bibby WaveMaster 1 will be able to remain at sea for periods up to one month, accommodating up to 45 turbine maintenance personnel and 15 crew members. [reNews]

Photo by Bibby Line Group

Photo by Bibby Line Group

US:

¶ The newest Solar Jobs Census from the Solar Foundation gives us some interesting insights into the US solar industry. The report notes that the solar workforce in the US grew 20% in 2015 for the third straight year. The US solar industry added jobs about 12 times faster than the other parts of the economy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ In tomorrow’s world, it won’t be just the corn on the great American plains that is as high as an elephant’s eye, but also elephant grass. To deliver on US promises to reduce fossil fuel use, American motorists in future will drive on miscanthus, as elephant grass is also known, and prairie switchgrass. [EcoWatch]

Elephant grass has a high biomass yield and grows rapidly to over three metres tall. Photo credit: Tony Atkin / Wikimedia Commons

Elephant grass has a high biomass yield and grows rapidly to over
three metres tall. Photo credit: Tony Atkin / Wikimedia Commons

¶ Nevada solar system owners filed a lawsuit against NV Energy Inc accusing the utility of conspiring to reduce or eliminate competition, inflate price and illegally increase revenues. They claim the utility provided false and/or incomplete information to the Public Utilities Commission. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ Twelve Nebraska cities and one regional utility decided not to sign new 20-year contracts to buy electricity from the Nebraska Public Power District. The utilities rejecting NPPD’s proposed contract are taking advantage of flexibility the power grid offers today to buy power from another provider. [Omaha World-Herald]

January 14 Energy News

January 14, 2016

World:

¶ The Canadian Wind Energy Association has reported that Canada closed 2015 seventh in the world for total installed wind energy capacity with 11,205 MW, and sixth in the world for the amount of capacity added in 2015. Over the year, Canada added 36 wind projects totalling 1,506 MW of new capacity. [Windpower Engineering]

Wind energy supplied approximately 5% of Canada’s electricity demand in 2015, or enough to power over three million Canadian homes.

Wind energy supplied approximately 5% of Canada’s electricity demand in 2015, or enough to power over three million Canadian homes. CanWEA

¶ Oil prices briefly have fallen below $30 a barrel on international markets for the first time since April 2004, before recovering again. Brent crude, used as an international benchmark, fell as low as $29.96, but bounced back to trade at $30.22. Oil prices have fallen by 70% in the past 15 months. [BBC]

¶ Growth in India’s coal-based installed generation capacity is on a decline, despite an increase in production and availability of coal. The coal-based installed capacity in 2015 grew at 10.77%, a figure that has fallen in each of the past four years. Renewable capacity grew 18.06%, up from 7.57% in 2014. [Business Standard]

¶ Global clean energy investment in 2015 rose to the record-high $329.3 billion (€303 billion). A report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance shows record investments despite falling fossil fuel commodity prices, weakness of the European economy, and the increasing capacity per investment dollar of PVs. [SeeNews Renewables]

Clean energy investment globally 2005-2015. Figures by BNEF.

Clean energy investment globally 2005-2015. Figures by BNEF.

¶ Indian Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal today said that Niti Aayog is working actively with the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan for developing a long-term cooperation in the energy sector. This will help India plan its energy security and energy mix for the country in the years to come. [Huffington Post India]

¶ Wind turbine manufacturer Suzlon has announced its foray into solar power with projects of 210 MW in the Indian state of Telangana. Suzlon won contracts in a competitive bidding process to install six different capacity projects across the state. They are to be commissioned in fiscal year 2017.[Financial Express]

¶ Taiwan may soon be the first nation in Asia to resolve to become a nuclear free nation after four decades of reliance on nuclear power. Taiwan’s voters will elect a new president on January 16. The leading candidate, by a hefty margin, is committed to turning Taiwan into a “nuclear free homeland” by 2025. [eco-business.com]

A collage of Taiwanese people holding posters protesting against nuclear power. Image: Hsiangfilm, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

A collage of Taiwanese people holding posters protesting against
nuclear power. Image: Hsiangfilm, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

¶ German energy group RWE AG plans to use the proceeds from the listing of a new, renewables-focused unit to expand in new markets and to enter the large-scale solar power segment. Its renewables arm, RWE Innogy, expects to post an operating result for 2015 more than double the prior year’s. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ The Ontario Greens are calling for an independent, public review of rebuilding Ontario’s aging nuclear reactors to assess the costs, possible alternatives, and the need to work with the federal government on a national energy strategy that includes an East-West corridor to import energy. [NorthumberlandView.ca]

US:

¶ Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in his annual State of the State speech that the New York will phase out its dirtiest power plants, adopting renewable power. He said clean energy is a business opportunity for the state, as well as an important step to address increasing climate challenges. [Capital New York]

New York City's first commercial-scale wind turbine at the Sims Material Recovery Facility. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

New York City’s first commercial-scale wind turbine at the Sims
Material Recovery Facility. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

¶ The US has seen coal production levels fall to their lowest levels since 1986, dropping 10% in 2015 alone. Production in the Appalachian Basin fell the most last year. Lower natural gas prices and lower international demand for American coal are said to be behind the declining coal production. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Northern Power Systems Corp has announced that its flagship distributed generation wind platform is now available to businesses, farms, and other property owners with a compelling financing solution. It is offering a lease program to allow users to take advantage of wind energy with 100% financing. [Vermont Biz]

¶ After years of political gridlock, San Francisco is ready to launch its green energy community choice aggregation program this spring. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously to approve the first round of energy contracts for the CleanPowerSF program. [San Francisco Chronicle]

The roof of the Sunset Reservoir, in San Francisco. Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle

Roof of the Sunset Reservoir. Photo: Michael Macor, The Chronicle

¶ Renewable energy provider Silicon Ranch Corp, based in Nashville, Tennessee and the Phoenix-based renewable energy team at McCarthy Building Cos say construction is ready to begin on a 52-MW AC solar energy plant planned in Hazlehurst, Georgia. It has a 30-year contract with Green Power EMC. [Solar Industry]

¶ Officials in Cumberland County, Tennessee, announced that Apex Clean Energy is planning to locate a new wind farm on private land in the county. The Crab Orchard project is expected to produce up to 71 MW of power with 20 to 23 turbines. The project is expected to begin operations in 2017. [The Hartsville Vidette]