Posts Tagged ‘solar power’

January 21 Energy News

January 21, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “How Orkney Leads The Way For Sustainable Energy” • Orkney’s community-owned wind turbines generate their power. Islanders drive nonpolluting EVs. It is a test site for devices that can turn the energy of the waves and the tides into electricity, and in the near future, Orkney’s ferries will be fuelled by hydrogen. The list goes on. [The Guardian]

Wind turbines (Michael Roper | Alamy Stock Photo)

¶ “Sexy Or Not, Here Comes Energy Efficiency For Buildings” • Energy efficiency technology may not provide the visceral thrill of a smooth zero emission ride in a next-generation EV, but if decarbonization is to proceed quickly then the low hanging fruit of the future’s low-carbon economy will be plucked at millions of today’s vintage buildings. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ten Hot Trends Shaping Australian Clean Energy” • Between record levels of clean energy and businesses recognising the value of low-cost renewables to cut their operating costs, we are starting to see a whole-of-economy energy transformation taking place. It’s amazing and inspiring to watch the changes in real time. [RenewEconomy]

Tesla battery system at Hornsdale

¶ “‘Not Too Late’: Australians Develop Carbon Model With DiCaprio’s Help” • Renewable energy can supplant fossil fuels across the global economy, and Australia is one of three regions best placed to benefit because of its solar and wind resources, a study funded by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation’s One Earth project says. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

World:

¶ “Namibia: InnoSun Energy Inaugurates Phase One Of Ombepo’s Wind Farm” • The strong winds on the Namibian coast can be used as an advantage, and the Franco-Namibian company InnoSun Energy Holding did just that at a 5-MW wind farm. One major challenge was that the wind turbines had to stand up to strong winds. [AFRIK 21]

Wind turbines (Shutterstock image)

¶ “Two Upcoming Mumbai Metro Lines To Tap Into Solar Energy” • The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, the Metro’s nodal authority, plans to install rooftop solar panels at the stations of two new Metro lines. The lines are to be operational next year, with 35% of their total power needs met by solar energy. [Hindustan Times]

¶ “Solar Project Has ‘Life Changing’ Impact In Rural Malawi” • Only 12% of Malawi’s 18 million population is connected to the main electricity grid. The figure drops to 2% in rural areas. A solar power project to connect villages in Malawi, led by Strathclyde University researchers, has had a “life-changing” impact for rural communities. [BBC News]

Business in Malawi (Strathclyde University image)

¶ “China Approves 24 Offshore Wind Projects” • The Chinese government approved 24 offshore wind projects off Jiangsu Province. Local media reports that the projects will have a total capacity of 6.7 GW and will involve an investment of around $18 billion. The wind farms are expected to be operational by the end of 2020. [The Maritime Executive]

¶ “EU Approves France’s Plan To Replace Nuclear Plant With 300 MW Of PV” • The European Commission gave the green light to a tender mechanism the French government conceived to enable the construction of solar plants with 300 MW of capacity at the Fessenheim nuclear power plant, the country’s oldest nuclear facility. [pv magazine International]

Fessenheim (Florival fr | Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Tamil Nadu One Of The World’s Top 9 Green Power Markets” • A 2018 report lists the Indian state of Tamil Nadu as one of the top nine renewable energy markets in the world. Today, 14.3% of all the energy demand in the state is met by renewable energy, primarily solar and wind. But that is changing has stagnation has set in. [Down To Earth Magazine]

US:

¶ “Electric Co-op Sets Ambitious Goal To Cut Carbon By 50%” • La Plata Electric Association set ambitious goals last week to cut its carbon footprint by 50% and keep costs lower than 70% of its peer cooperatives in Colorado. LPEA gets 95% of its electricity from Tri-State Generation and Transmission, which is heavily dependent on coal. [The Durango Herald]

Installing a solar system (Durango Herald file photo)

¶ “Clean-Energy Agenda Sees Power Surge In Augusta” • After running as a Democrat and winning a House seat in November in a heavily Republican district that includes her hometown of Nobleboro, Chloe Maxmin is following her environmental convictions as the lead sponsor of a bill to create a Green New Deal in Maine. She is not alone. [Press Herald]

¶ “SF moves toward public power and a ‘local version of a green new deal’” • San Francisco’s push to move to a public power system after PG&E said it will file for bankruptcy is not the only big energy plan in the making. Supporters of the city’s renewable energy program are calling for the city’s own “local version of a green new deal.” [San Francisco Examiner]

Sunset Reservoir (Gil Riego Jr | Special to The SF Examiner)

¶ “Michigan Power Plant Owner Seeks Fuel-Burning Permit” • Convergen Energy, the owner of a Michigan power plant is seeking a long-term permit to use engineered fuel pellets made from paper and plastic waste, creosote railroad ties, and fuel derived from tires. The state considers the fuel renewable, but residents are concerned. [Hastings Tribune]

¶ “Wind Farm Expansion To Power Local Homes” • The wind in the western Massachusetts town of Hancock is bringing power to several communities in the central parts of the state. The Brodie Mountain Wind Power Project is starting phase two construction, adding two 2.3-MW turbines to the existing 10-turbine, 15-MW system. [Worcester Telegram]

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January 19 Energy News

January 19, 2019

World:

¶ “Blast At Leaking Mexico Pipeline Kills 21 And Injures Dozens” • An explosion at a leaking oil pipeline killed at least 21 people and injured 71 in Mexico. Local residents were scrambling to steal some of the leaking oil when they were engulfed in flames, Hidalgo’s state governor said. Dozens of people were taken to hospitals with burns. [BBC]

Pipeline fire (Getty Images)

¶ “China Flexes Its Muscle – Go BEV Or Go Home” • China is using a standard for new cars based on the zero emissions vehicle standard introduced in California. Different cars earn their makers credits, with the highest number going to battery electric vehicles (BEV). The system is pushing car makers toward electric cars. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renewables, An Antidote Against Volatile Electricity Prices For The EU” • A European Commission report, Energy Prices and Costs in Europe, draws the conclusion, “Renewable energy growth also plays a direct role in mitigating and diminishing the negative impact of uncertain global fossil fuel prices and exchange-rate risks.” [pv magazine International]

Transmission tower (Image: analogicus | Pixabay)

¶ “Policy Headwinds Knock UK Onshore Activity” • In 2018, the UK onshore wind industry recorded its worst year for new installations in almost a decade, with 598 MW of new projects coming online in the 12 months, according to new figures from RenewableUK. RenewableUK blamed government policy changes for the poor results. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “San Diego Has Vast Solar Parking Lot Potential” • San Diego has an untapped 500-MW solar potential at commercial sites within the city, with parking lots representing three-quarters of the total, according to a new survey by the Clean Coalition. The San Diego Solar Siting Survey identified 120 sites that could host at least 1 MW of solar. [CleanTechnica]

San Diego Zoo parking (Credit Greentech Advocates)

¶ “Lawmakers Lambast Pentagon Climate Report” • The “Report on Effects of a Changing Climate to the Department of Defense” has important omissions that are just one reason lawmakers greeted the Congressionally mandated report with eviscerating criticism. The report even didn’t meet some basic requirements mandated by law. [CNN]

¶ “Energy Aggregation Brings Renewable Energy To More Companies” • Big companies can enter into power purchase agreements, reducing energy costs. Now smaller companies can do the same, with aggregation. LevelTen Energy, based in Seattle, provides this through what it calls “sort of like a matchmaking service.” [CleanTechnica]

Solar array (LevelTen Energy image)

¶ “Port Authority’s Community Solar Power Plan Advances With Approval Of New York Public Service Commission” • The New York State Public Service Commission approved the Port Authority’s request to proceed with renewable solar power projects at John F Kennedy International Airport. Low-income residents can benefit. [AviationPros.com]

¶ “Vermont’s Largest Solar Canopy Comes Online” • Vermont’s largest solar canopy, Encore Renewable Energy’s 156-kW solar carport in Burlington, has begun producing electricity at the ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain. Built in 2003, the science and nature center was the first LEED-certified building in Vermont. [CleanTechnica]

ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain

¶ “DC Mayor Signs Historic Climate Legislation For 100% Renewables” • DC Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the “Clean Energy DC Omnibus Act of 2018,” which the DC Council had passed unanimously in December. The District is leading on climate action by requiring a 100% renewable electricity supply by 2032. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Tesla Semi Trucks, Powerpacks, And Solar To Be Used In New Near Zero-Emission Frito-Lay Facility” • Tesla is partnering with PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay to design a “near zero-emission” distribution facility. It will have a fleet of Tesla Semi electric trucks, other electric vehicles, a charging system, Tesla energy storage, and a solar array. [Electrek]

Screen shot of a Tesla Semi electric truck

¶ “Coal Ash Is Contaminating Groundwater In At Least 22 States, Utility Reports Show” • A clear picture of coal ash contamination in the US is emerging, as utilities report serious groundwater contamination in at least 22 states. In many cases, immediate environmental action has been required, and several states are moving on this. [InsideClimate News]

¶ “Keene, NH, Commits To 100% Renewable Energy Goal” • The city council of Keene, NH, voted 14-1 to adopt a goal of moving to 100% renewable energy, the Sierra Club has announced. Keene joins four other New Hampshire communities, Concord, Cornish, Hanover, and Plainfield, that have established the 100% renewable goal. [North American Windpower]

Fall foliage

¶ “Idaho’s New Governor: ‘Climate Change Is Real’” • Idaho Gov Brad Little has broken with Republican Party leaders on climate change, declaring unequivocally that the phenomenon is real. He said, “I’m old enough that I remember feeding cows all winter long in deep snow … boy, back in the old days when I was a kid, we had winters.” [High Country News]

¶ “Trump Signs Another Bipartisan Law To Boost Advanced Nuclear” • President Donald Trump signed a bill into law aimed at accelerating development of a new generation of advanced nuclear reactors. The bill was passed with cooperation between the two parties, the second instance of cooperation on advanced nuclear in four months. [Greentech Media]

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January 18 Energy News

January 18, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “EPA: New Air Pollution Plan Worse Than Doing Nothing” • Andrew Wheeler, former coal industry lobbyist, will soon be the official head of the EPA, the agency charged with protecting the environment. A study by the Harvard School of Public Health suggests the plans Wheeler has proposed will be only make things worse. [CleanTechnica]

Pollution

World:

¶ “Melbourne Today Powered By 100% Renewable Energy” • The City of Melbourne is the first major city in Australia to be 100% powered by renewable energy. This comes of the construction of the 80 MW wind farm at Crowlands. Crowlands is a small agricultural community, also in Victoria, about 128 miles (206 km) from Melbourne. [Market Business News]

¶ “UK ‘Should Plug Nuclear Gap With Renewables’” • Various renewables organisations have urged the UK government to plug a 9-GW hole in its low-carbon energy policy with “shovel-ready” wind and solar capacity after Hitachi suspended its nuclear development program. Nuclear plants plans are being shelved because of high costs. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines in Scotland (reNEWS image)

¶ “Reason Australian Households Are Paying An Extra $200 A Year For Electricity” • Privatisation of the electricity industry has not delivered what it promised, a report has found. A report, from the Australia Institute, says customers now pay $100 to $200 per year extra to cover the costs of things like advertising, sales, and marketing. [NEWS.com.au]

¶ “Eight Ways China Is Encouraging Zero-Subsidy Renewables” • Amid speculation that subsidies will be phased out from the end of 2020, the Chinese National Energy Administration has released a package of enticements this month for developers willing to bet on subsidy-free solar and wind projects over the next two years. [Greentech Media]

Solar repair worker in China

¶ “RWE To Spend €1.5 Billion Annually On Renewables” • RWE AG intends to invest about €1.5 billion ($1.7 billion) in renewables each year to grow an already imposing portfolio, to be formed through the pending merger of assets held by Innogy SE and E.ON SE. The portfolio already includes 8.6 GW of renewable capacity. [Renewables Now]

¶ “UK Signals Shift From Nuclear To Renewables” • The UK’s government has signalled a big shift away from nuclear energy and towards renewables after Hitachi announced it was scrapping work on a new reactor because of the plummeting costs of offshore wind and solar power. Only one nuclear plant is still being developed in the UK. [The Week UK]

Wind turbine (Christopher Furlong | Getty Images)

¶ “Ørsted, TEPCO Forge Alliance For Japan Offshore Push” • Ørsted and TEPCO formed a partnership to pursue offshore wind projects in Japan. The partnership comes after Japan’s government committed to passing laws to support large-scale offshore wind development. Tokyo has a 10-GW wind target, including onshore, for 2030. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “Energy Dept Tackles Challenge Of Rooftop Solar & Income Inequality” • Economic justice advocates are taking note that rooftop solar power deployment in the US has a taken on a racial tinge, with significantly more penetration in predominantly white neighborhoods. The DOE is acting to take on part, though not all, of that issue. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop solar systems in a low-income neighborhood

¶ “Ford Says An Electric F-150 Is Coming” • Speaking to the press at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Ford’s president of global markets, said, “Here’s what’s going to happen next to future-proof that global juggernaut of commercial vehicles. We’re going to be electrifying the F-Series, both battery-electric and hybrid.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Scout Lassos Cash For Ranchero” • Scout Clean Energy, part of Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners, closed construction financing on the 300-MW Ranchero wind farm in Crockett County, Texas. The project, developed from inception by Scout Clean Energy, will use 120 of the latest generation GE 2.5-MW wind turbines with 127 meter rotors. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Pixabay image)

¶ “AG Healey Endorses Version Of ‘Green New Deal’ – 100% ‘Renewable’ Energy” • Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey committed herself to an ambitious new clean energy goal as part of a broader plan included a promise to fight gun violence and reduce barriers to mental health treatment, among other issues. [NewBostonPost]

¶ “Prominent US Economists Call For Taxing Carbon Emissions” • A bipartisan group of prominent American economists has written a letter and op-ed appearing in the Wall Street Journal calling for a tax on carbon emissions. They are in favor of sharing the tax revenue with US households through recurring dividend checks. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Coal-burning power plant in Utah

¶ “Brown University Heads Toward 100% Solar And Wind” • As a major part of a campus-wide effort to cut greenhouse-gas emissions, Brown University in Providence, RI, has finalized agreements for two renewable energy projects that are expected to produce enough combined solar and wind power to offset all on-campus electricity use. [Solar Industry]

¶ “Bloomberg, Salesforce Among Companies To Form The Corporate Renewable Energy Aggregation Group” • The Corporate Renewable Energy Aggregation Group, formed by five companies, closed 42.5 MW of a 100-MW North Carolina solar project. The aggregated virtual power purchase agreement they signed is a first. [Energy Manager Today]

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January 17 Energy News

January 17, 2019

Science and Technology:

¶ “World’s Coffee Under Threat, Say Experts” • The first full assessment of risks to the world’s coffee plants shows that 60% of 124 known species are on the edge of extinction. Though only two species are used for the coffee we drink, scientists say the figure is “worrying”, because wild coffee is critical for sustaining the global coffee crop. [CNN]

Coffee harvest (Getty Images)

World:

¶ “250,000 Deaths A Year From Climate Change Is A ‘conservative Estimate,’ Research Says” • Grim analysis from one of the authors of a report in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests rising global temperatures could lead to many more deaths than the 250,000 a year the World Health Organization predicted just five years ago. [CNN]

¶ “Climate Is The Biggest Risk To Business (And The World)” • Companies and investors are waking up to the dangers of climate change. Business leaders and experts surveyed by the World Economic Forum said extreme weather, migration caused by climate change, and natural disasters are the three risks they are most likely to face in 2019. [CNN]

California wild-fire (David McNew | Getty Images)

¶ “World’s Largest Wind Turbine Prototype, GE’s 12-MW Haliade-X, To Be Installed In Rotterdam” • A prototype of the world’s largest announced wind turbine, GE Renewable Energy’s 12-MW Haliade-X, will be installed in Rotterdam during the middle of 2019 for five years of testing. It will be installed onshore for certification. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “What Do Companies Owe The Environment? Natural Capital Risk Assessment At Davos” • As the 2019 World Economic Forum in Davos approaches, the Natural Capital Finance Alliance launched the world’s first step-by-step guide to conduct a rapid natural capital risk assessment, giving financial institutions a new perspective on risks. [CleanTechnica]

Ocean and cliffs

¶ “50Hertz Salutes New Wind High” • A new wind energy generation record of over 16 GW was set on 13 January in the area of Germany covered by transmission system operator 50Hertz. It said the 16 GW was theoretically enough to cover the whole of the TSO’s region (the former East Germany) and provide power for export elsewhere. [reNEWS]

¶ “Siemens, Gamesa Launches 10-MW Offshore Wind Turbine” • Siemens Renewable Energy Gamesa has launched its first offshore wind turbine with over 10 MW of capacity, the SG 10.0-193 DD, building on the experience of its previous generations of turbine. The new turbine has direct drive and a rotor diameter of 193 meters. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Offshore wind turbines (Photo: Walt Musial | NREL)

¶ “Renewables Now Most Competitive Form Of Power Generation In GCC Countries” • The most competitive forms of power generation in Gulf Cooperation Council countries (all Arab countries on the Persian Gulf except Iraq) are renewable, according to a report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency. [Windpower Engineering]

US:

¶ “US Wind To Exceed Hydropower In 2019 For First Time” • The latest US government energy and electricity forecasts have predicted that wind energy will outperform hydropower for the first time in 2019. The DOE’s Energy Information Administration projections suggest 11 GW of windpower capacity will be added this year. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm in Texas

¶ “EPA Nominee Calls Climate Change ‘A Huge Issue,’ But Not ‘The Greatest Crisis'” • Andrew Wheeler, acting administrator of the EPA and nominee to lead it, said he gives climate change an “eight or nine” on a one-to-ten scale of concern but thinks it is not the greatest crisis. He is still reviewing the EPA’s climate change report of two months ago. [CNN]

¶ “New York Governor Cuomo Announces Mammoth Offshore Wind And Distributed Solar Increases” • In his annual State of the State address, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans to significantly upgrade the state’s renewable energy targets, including quadrupling its offshore wind target to 9 GW by 2035. [CleanTechnica]

Governor Andrew Cuomo (Credit: Governor Andrew Cuomo)

¶ “Florida Utility Unveils Solar Surge” • Florida Power & Light has unveiled the ’30-by-30′ plan to install 30 million solar panels in the US state by 2030. The company said it has secured sites throughout Florida for the projects. FPL also said it has already has started pairing battery storage technology with solar PVs at its solar power plants. [reNEWS]

¶ “Pine Gate Renewables completes 57-MW Peony Solar project in South Carolina” • Pine Gate Renewables, a national utility-scale solar developer, owner, and operator, energized its Peony Solar project in Orangeburg County, South Carolina. Sitting on 334 acres, Peony is a 57-MW site and can generate more than 97,400 MWh per year. [Solar Power World]

Solar array (Pine Gate Renewables image)

¶ “Google’s New US Data Centers Will Run On 1.6 Million Solar Panels” • Google will amp up its expansion in the southeastern US with millions of solar panels. Google wants the electricity consumed by its new data centers in Yum Yum, Tennessee, and Hollywood, Alabama, to be “matched with 100% renewable energy from day one.” [CNET]

¶ “Former NRC Head Disagrees With Bill Gates, Says Nuclear Not A Safe Bet For Combating Climate Change” • In his latest book, Confessions of a Rogue Nuclear Regulator, Dr Gregory Jaczko says that we should be thinking more about the consequences of nuclear power, and we should be way more concerned about it than we are. [GeekWire]

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January 16 Energy News

January 16, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “One Simple – But Really Hard – Solution to Stop Climate Change” • The time to act on climate change and limit its human causes is now, as many studies have shown. A report in the journal Nature Communications maps out what it may take to get there. It is to phase out its “carbon-intensive infrastructure” at the end of its design lifetime. [CNN]

Carbon emissions on the rise (CNN)

¶ “Trump’s Nuclear Revival? It’s a ‘Black Box'” • More than a year after President Trump promised a “complete review” to revive the country’s domestic nuclear energy sector, the effort remains shrouded in mystery. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have said they know little, or even that they cannot get answers from the administration. [E&E News]

World:

¶ “Kenyan Electrification Plan Could Achieve Universal Access by 2022” • About 75% of Kenyans have access to electricity, the World Bank says, but its government wants to increase that to 100% by 2022. The Kenya National Electrification Strategy references mini-grids, independent solar power plants, and off-grid technology as options. [CleanTechnica]

Kenya (Image: Masai29, Wikipedia, Public domain)

¶ “Octopus, Edify Energy Provide Finance for 333-MW Darlington Point Solar Farm” • After being waved through by the News South Wales government mid-December, the Darlington Point solar+storage project has reached another milestone, as the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac will jointly provide for finance. [pv magazine Australia]

¶ “Abu Dhabi Pumps $2.2 Billion into Renewable Energy Sector” • The total for investments by Abu Dhabi government in the renewable energy sector has surged to Dh8 billion ($2.17 billion), thus reflecting positively on the sustainability of the industry for future generations, according to a senior official of the UAE government. [ZAWYA]

Shams 1 power plant (Ben Job | Reuters)

¶ “Saudi Auction Secures Record-Low Price for Wind Energy” • A consortium of renewable energy developers EDF Renewables and Masdar won the tender to build the 400-MW Dumat Al Jandal wind farm at a record-low price of 2.13¢/kWh. The project will be Saudi Arabia’s first wind farm and the largest in the Middle East. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “WindFloat Atlantic Lifts Dutch Anchor Maker” • Netherlands-based Vryhof will supply mooring technology for the WindFloat Atlantic floating offshore wind project off the Portuguese coast. The EDP Renewables-led WindPlus consortium developing WindFloat Atlantic ordered three V164-8.4 MW turbines for the project from MHI Vestas. [reNEWS]

Vryhof vessel (Vryhof image)

US:

¶ “US Coal Retirements in 2018 Could Be as High as 15.4 GW” • A total of 16.9 GW of US power capacity was retired in 2018, including 11.8 GW worth of coal-fired power capacity, figures from S&P Global Market Intelligence say. But data from other analyst figures suggest US coal retirements in 2018 could have been as high as 15.4 GW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New York Gov Launches ‘Green New Deal’ with Accelerated Clean Energy Targets” • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the launch of a “Green New Deal” initiative. Cuomo’s 2019 Justice Agenda calls for a ramp-up in renewable energy deployments as New York seeks to have 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040. [Greentech Media]

New York City

¶ “Green Energy Could Be a Casualty as PG&E Enters Bankruptcy” • Gas and electricity consumers will see no changes right away when PG&E files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the face of liability problems from two historic fires. But both consumers and environmentalists might be in for rocky rides as PG&E tries to weather the storm. [UC Berkeley]

¶ “Volkswagen Chooses Chattanooga for EV Manufacturing, Looks to Ford for Light and Medium-Duty Trucks” • VW opened an assembly plant in Chattanooga in 2011. In September, VW said it was looking for a site for a US EV plant, and now, the company has announced it will invest $800 million to add an EV assembly line to the Tennessee plant. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen EV

¶ “Trump Flips – Changes His Mind on Electric Vehicles (for the Moment). Now EVs Are “A Big Win!”” • President Trump recently criticised GM for aiming to increase its focus on electric vehicles. But when VW announces plans to invest $800 million in EV production in Chattanooga, suddenly Trump is cheerleading the move as “A big win!” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EDF Powers Up in New York” • EDF Renewables North America has commissioned the 80-MW Copenhagen Wind project in Lewis County and Jefferson County, New York. The wind farm will supply electricity to National Grid subsidiary Narragansett Electric Company. Vestas supplied the 40 turbines for the project. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Vestas image)

¶ “Tri-State Members Increasingly Unsatisfied as the Rise of Distributed Resources Upends the G&T Model” • Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association is the latest utility power supplier caught by changing power system economics. Buying and using new renewables now can cost less than running existing coal generation. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Regulators to Allow Seabrook Nuclear Plant to Run Through 2050” • The Seabrook nuclear plant is expected to get approval this month to continue operating through 2050, after regulators finished determining the facility is safe to remain open. Activists concerned about the facility’s safety say the decision is premature. [New Hampshire Public Radio]

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January 15 Energy News

January 15, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “How to Convince a Conservative That Climate Change Is Real” • A newly published report by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication reveals that 8% of participants in three separate surveys said they had changed their mind on the topic over the previous year. Of those, 84% said their level of concern had been increased. [City Watch]

Lab bench

Science and Technology:

¶ “Antarctica Ice Melt Has Accelerated by 280% in the Last Four Decades” • A pair of studies, one published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the other in the scientific journal Nature Geoscience, share a same ominous message: Our planet’s ice is melting at an alarming rate, which is bad news for global sea levels. [CNN]

¶ “What Warmer Oceans Mean for the Planet” • Our oceans are much warmer and are heating up faster than we previously thought, driven by climate change caused by humans, according to a study published in the journal Science. Its authors said 2018 would be the warmest year on record for oceans. So what does that mean? [CNN]

Gas platform (David McNeil | Hilton Archive | Getty Images)

¶ “Researchers Create a 3-D Printing Process That Is 100 Times Faster than Normal” • If 3-D printing has one drawback today, it is that it is s..l..o..w. Researchers at the University of Michigan say they have created a new process that speeds things up by a factor of 100. Their entire report is available for free online at Science Advances. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “As the World’s Oceans Warm, Their Waves Are Becoming More Powerful” • Scientists at the University of California, Santa Cruz have revealed that as the surface of the world’s oceans continues to warm, there is a direct association with increased wave energy globally. Their study was published in the journal Nature Communications. [IFLScience]

Wave (irabel8 | Shutterstock)

¶ “Today’s Children Will Inherit a Climate-Changed Planet. Can They Handle It?” • We know a warming planet, left unchecked, will violently transform ecosystems and profoundly impact the physical and mental health of humans. But we know far less about how climate change will impact children’s inner landscapes or how professionals should help them. [Scienceline]

World:

¶ “Italy Plans 50 GW PV, 18.4 GW Wind to Meet 2030 Target” • Italy will aim to reach 50 GW of solar PV capacity by the end of 2030 under its new climate and energy plan. The target for wind is 18.4 GW. The Italian goal is to have renewable energy reach a 30% share in gross final consumption by 2030. In 2017, that share was 18.3%. [Renewables Now]

Solar panels in Italy (Image: TerniEnergia)

¶ “Tesla Proposes Microgrids with Solar and Batteries to Power Greek Islands” • Tesla has met with the Greek government to propose ways to modernize the electric grid of the country’s many Mediterranean islands with a combination of microgrids and renewable energy. This is to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and to save money. [Electrek]

¶ “Iberdrola Uses Blockchain to Track Renewable Energy Supply” • Iberdrola said it completed an experiment using blockchain to track renewable energy in real time. For the experiment, electricity from two wind farms and a hydropower plant was tracked to the point of use, so the customer could know where its energy came from. [Renewables Now]

Hydropower plant in Galicia (Iberdrola image)

US:

¶ “President Trump Can’t Stop US Coal Plants from Retiring” • Coal plants are still closing, despite Trump’s efforts. Generators said they plan to shut around 8,422 MW of coal-fired power and 1,500 MW of nuclear in 2019, while adding 10,900 MW of wind, 8,200 MW of solar and 7,500 MW of gas, according to Reuters and EIA data. [CNBC]

¶ “After a Boom Year for New Natural Gas Plants, Renewables Set to Retake the Lead” • In 2019, the majority of energy added to the grid will be renewable, according to estimates by the Energy Information Administration. That had been the trend between 2013 and 2017, though last year new natural gas-fired power plants outpaced renewables. [Ars Technica]

Wind turbines in Colorado (Getty Images)

¶ “How Low Cost Wind and Solar Push the Market for Renewable Hydrogen” • Wind and solar already beat natural gas on price in some parts of the US, a trend that is likely to spread. And renewable hydrogen could quickly replace natural gas in two other major markets, fuel and fertilizer production, with help from wind and solar power. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Electric Buses Coming to Hawaii, New York City, and Estonia” • The Chinese city of Shenzhen, has converted its entire fleet of buses, more than 16,000 in all. And they are appearing in lesser numbers on the streets of London, Katowice, Brasilia, Jerusalem, and many other cities. Now, they are to be used in Hawaii and New York City. [CleanTechnica]

Proterra bus

¶ “Two Rural Electric Cooperatives Overcome Barriers to Clean, Local Energy” • During the 20th century, rural communities formed rural electric cooperatives as a way to get energy where no one else would provide it. In the 21st century, some cooperatives have found an additional economic benefit from pursuing local renewable energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “SC Regulators Change Course and Call Out SCANA for Withholding Info” • South Carolina’s utility regulators had a change of heart, altering an earlier order to condemn SCANA Corp officially for willfully withholding information about the VC Summer nuclear project as it failed. The order will not change customers’ bills. [Charleston Post Courier]

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January 14 Energy News

January 14, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “ScottishPower: the Journey to Renewables” • ScottishPower, one of the UK’s biggest utilities, announced it will switch to 100% renewable energy. The move is hailed as touchstone moment and a good example for any big utility seeking to shed its fossil fuel legacy, but does the move make economic sense, and if so will more utilities follow? [Power Technology]

Ardrossan, Scotland (Courtesy of Vincent van Zeijst)

¶ “Australia Could Hit 100% Renewables Sooner than Most People Think” • Not since the invention of the steam engine have we seen such fast change in energy systems around the world. In Australia our electricity system is changing rapidly, from new technologies and business models to changes in policy and perhaps even regulation. [The Guardian]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Climate Change Poses Threat to Sugarcane Crop” • Climate change is affecting production of sugarcane and there is dire need to develop such varieties as could have resistant against climate change, an environmental expert in Pakistan said. One problem is that farmers are not fully aware of the dangers posed by climate change. [The Nation]

Sugarcane crop

World:

¶ “Saudi to Produce 60 GW of Renewable Energy by 2030, Says Official” • Speaking to the UAE’s state news agency, WAM, Dr Khalid bin Saleh Al Sultan, president of the King Abdullah Atomic and Renewable Energy City, said Saudi Arabia is looking to generate 40 GW from solar energy, and 20 GW from wind and other sources by 2030. [Gulf Business News]

¶ “Suzlon Secures 50.4 MW Wind Power Order from Atria Power” • Suzlon Group announced its first order from Atria Power. It is for development of 50.4 MW wind farm in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Suzlon will install 24 wind turbines with rated capacity of 2.1 MW each. The project will be commissioned in two phases by H1, FY20. [REVE]

Suzlon Wind Turbine

¶ “Copenhagen Opposes Ørsted Divestment Plan” • The Danish Ministry of Finance has told Ørsted there “is no longer political support” for a plan to sell off a number of non-core businesses. The offshore wind giant said it is surprised by the decision but believes divesting them remain “in the best interest” of the stakeholders. [reNEWS]

¶ “Renewables Accounted for 93% of Installed Power Last Year” • Last year, Turkey added 4,025 MW of new power capacity, around 93% of which are renewables, according to Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez. Solar power provided 40.8% of new capacity, hydroelectric provided 22.1%, and windpower provided 12.7. [Daily Sabah]

Wind farm

¶ “Hitachi to Decide on Fate of UK Nuclear Plant” • The UK’s nuclear policy is under renewed scrutiny as the firm behind a £20 billion reactor in Wales looks set to halt construction. Japanese media say Hitachi will suspend work on its Horizon division’s Wylfa Newydd plant this week. The company says there is no formal decision yet. [BBC]

US:

¶ “Wind Energy Companies Move to Protect Wildlife” • In a biannual meeting at Saint Paul, Minnesota in December, leading American wind energy companies announced a new Wind Wildlife Research Fund for research that will accelerate the development and deployment of innovative solutions to protect wildlife at wind sites. [Market Business News]

Block Island Offshore Wind Far (Image: awae.org)

¶ “SK Innovation Will Increase Investment in US Battery Manufacturing Plant to $5 Billion” • SK Innovation committed to spending $1.67 billion to construct a battery making facility in Georgia, just four weeks back, Now, a report says that its CEO, Jun Kim, has announced it is increasing its planned investment to $5 billion. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Solar + Storage Half the Cost of Gas Peaker Plants” • Prices for electricity from solar-plus-storage plants have had a precipitous fall. As prices continue to drop, Wood Mackenzie has forecast that as the market for solar plus storage matures, it could put over 6,400 MW of new natural gas-fired peaking capacity in the US at risk by 2027. [CleanTechnica]

EDF battery storage units

¶ “All the Good News About Renewable Energy – From the US Department Of Energy” • Trump pledged to revive the US coal industry, but during his tenure its growth prospects flatlined. The latest outlook on electricity generation from the DOE has bad news for coal, good news about renewable energy, and some so-so news for natural gas. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Invenergy Obtains Funds for Building 160-MW Solar Park in Georgia” • Chicago-based renewables developer Invenergy said it has secured the needed construction financing for the 160-MW Southern Oak solar park in Georgia, its largest PV project to date. The 160-MW solar park is expected to be operational by the end of this year. [Renewables Now]

Solar farm (Credit: Juwi Renewable Energies Limited)

¶ “Solana Beach to Enter Three-Year Energy Purchase Deal” • To reduce the risk from fluctuations in the energy market, the city of Solana Beach will enter into a three-year purchase agreement for hydroelectric power, under the city’s program. It allows residents to purchase electricity as an alternative to San Diego Gas & Electric. [Del Mar Times]

¶ “Colorado Co-op Amps Up Solar Generation” • Colorado-based Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, a group cited by analysts for its high wholesale power costs and its reliance on coal-fired units, announced that it will get power from a 100-MW project that will more than double the capacity of its solar power portfolio. [POWER magazine]

Have a fantastically fun day.

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January 13 Energy News

January 13, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Climate Change Is an Existential Crisis – It Should Be ​the Top Political Issue, Too” • Global warming is not a partisan issue – or it should not be. The many experts issuing dire warnings about climate disruption including those of the US Department of Defense, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and numerous others. [EcoWatch]

Vancouver (RonTech2000 | iStock | Getty Images Plus)

¶ “Will China Be the Superpower in a World Transformed by Renewable Energy?” • Nimble players have already seized the opportunity not only to secure their own future energy supplies but to become new energy leaders. Among the leaders, China has put itself in pole position to be the world’s renewable energy superpower. [Newsweek]

¶ “Putin Wants a ‘Dark OPEC’ to Control Global Oil and Gas Markets” • Russian President Vladimir Putin, unencumbered by an environmental vision of a carbon-free economy, is engaged in a global effort to unite authoritarian regimes with significant fossil fuel reserves. He envisions a kind of “Dark OPEC” that dictates oil prices. [The Hill]

Oil rig (Crescent Petroleum | Icethorn, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “‘Green New Deal’ Isn’t Radical. It’s a Natural for Texas’ Wind, Solar Energy” • A Green New Deal could expedite more solar and wind power usage, but first people need to know what a Green New Deal means. No state will be more impacted than Texas, with its rich oil and gas resources, and no city more than Houston. [Houston Chronicle]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Oceans Are Warming 40% Faster than Predicted” • News Flash! The oceans are warming 40% faster than predicted just a few years ago. That finding is contained in a new study published January 11 in the journal Science. As the oceans warm, they will absorb heat less efficiently, and that means that with time, the land will get hotter faster. [CleanTechnica]

Ocean waves

World:

¶ “Renewable Energy to Remodel World Dominance Patterns” • At its ninth annual General Assembly session, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) released a report, A New World: The Geopolitics of the Energy Transformation. It says the patterns of world leadership are changing rapidly, with new winners and losers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “€70 Billion a Year in EU Health Damage Caused by Vehicle Emissions, Finds Report” • Recent air pollution research found that €70 billion in health damage is caused by traffic emissions every year in the EU. About 75% of the harm is caused by diesel emissions. The report was commissioned by the European Public Health Alliance. [CleanTechnica]

Berlin

¶ “Morocco Earmarks $14 Billion for Energy Projects” • The Moroccan Minister of Energy, Mines, and Sustainable Development, said at the IRENA meeting that Morocco has earmarked $14 billion of investment for the energy sector from 2017 to 2023. The projects are underway and concern mainly renewable energy. [Morocco World News]

¶ “New Victorian Windfarm Could Provide 10% of State’s Energy” • The managing director of a company that plans to construct Victoria’s largest windfarm says the project will supply enough power to replace up to a third of the generation of the decommissioned Hazelwood power plant at below A$50/MWh ($36.11/MWh). [The Guardian]

Wind farm (Photo: Bloomberg via Getty Images)

¶ “Brenig Windfarm Generates Electricity for the First Time” • The first UK wind farm to be built from scratch by Chinese developer CGNEE has been completed and is generating its first electricity. Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK finished delivering balance of plant at the 16-turbine Brenig renewables site in Denbighshire. [Denbighshire Free Press]

¶ “Indian Railways to Move Towards Renewable Energy Sources” • India is one of the top most polluted countries in the world, but there is a nationwide effort underway to adopt renewable energy sources. The Indian government plans to obtain nearly 25% of the electricity it needs for railways from the renewable resources by 2025. [GREENandSAVE]

Solar system and train

¶ “Iran Takes First Steps to Design Upgraded 20% Reactor Fuel” • Iran’s nuclear chief said steps have been taken for the designing of an advanced version of 20% supplemented uranium fuel. The new fuel is more effective than what is now used in the Tehran nuclear reactor. The country has not been able to import fuel of that type. [MENAFN.COM]

US:

¶ “Democrats Looking to Finally Tackle Climate Impacts to Gulf of Maine” • After years of inaction under the old administration, Maine may finally deal with the impacts of climate change along the coast, including ocean acidification, a byproduct of the use of fossil fuels that represents a potentially catastrophic threat to Maine’s marine harvesters. [Press Herald]

Lobster fishing (Photo: Gregory Rec | Getty Images)

¶ “Illinois Eyeing California’s Goal of 100% Clean Energy” • It is less than four months since California committed to getting all of its electricity from climate-friendly sources by 2045. At least nine governors, including Illinois Gov Pritzker, have signed a League of Conservation Voters pledge to support 100% clean energy by 2050. [Quad-Cities Online]

¶ “Alliance Will Provide Clean, Competitive Energy” • Ventura County has become one of the largest communities in the nation to adopt 100% clean, renewable energy. With the arrival of the Clean Power Alliance, the county and many of its cities are dramatically reducing emissions in a simple and cost-effective way. [Ventura County Star]

Have an upliftingly brilliant day.

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January 12 Energy News

January 12, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Wind and Solar Are the Final Nails in Coal’s Coffin” • During the 2016 campaign and in various rallies since, President Trump promised to save America’s coal industry and put the nation’s coal miners “back to work.” Trump continues to labor under the delusion that he can accomplish that, but fortunately, that is just delusion. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

Coal plant demolition (Nicki Kohl | Telegraph Herald | AP)

¶ “Trump Threatens Those Hurt by His Failure on Climate Change” • As the federal government shutdown and the rancorous border wall dispute consumes much of our attention, President Trump reiterated his threat to withhold essential wildfire response funds from California. He may try to divert the funds to pay for the wall. [The Hill]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Unlikely, Eccentric Inventor Turning Inedible Plant Life into Fuel” • A breakthrough can come from the least expected place. One 81-year-old eccentric toiled in isolation with no financial support for over a decade, focused on how to transform inedible plants cost-effectively into environmentally friendly fuels. [CBS News] (Thanks to Tad Montgomery.)

Marshall Medoff with correspondent Lesley Stahl

World:

¶ “China Is Set to Become the World’s Renewable Energy Superpower, According to New Report” • The continuing growth in renewable energy around the world is set to boost the power of China while undermining the influence of major oil exporters according to a report on the geopolitical implications of the changing energy landscape. [Forbes]

¶ “China Powers Up Electric Car Market” • For a decade, the Chinese government has coaxed buyers and manufacturers into the electric vehicle market through subsidies and incentives. The numbers suggest the strategy worked: the International Energy Agency says China buys more than half of the world’s new electric cars. [BBC]

EVs parked at Kandi Electric Vehicles (Getty Images)

¶ “Saudi Arabia Increases Solar Targets to 20 GW by 2023 and 40 GW by 2030” • Information given by the Renewable Energy Project Development Office of Saudi Arabia to pv magazine says the country is planning to tender 2,225 MW of solar in 2019 and has increased its solar targets to 20 GW by 2023 and 40 GW by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Australia Approves Construction of 900-MW Solar Farm in New South Wales” • Reach Solar Energy is developing the 900-MW Yarrabee Solar Project in the southwestern region of New South Wales. To be built in 300 MW phases, the Yarrabee Solar Project will include energy storage to assist connection to the grid. [CleanTechnica]

Bungala solar project (Enel image)

¶ “Acciona Concludes Assembly of 405-MW PV Plant in Mexico” • Spanish renewable company Acciona Energía has completed assembly of the Puerto Libertad PV plant in the Sonora desert. For this project, the Spanish firm installed 1,072,909 PV panels with a combined capacity of 356,02 MW. The project was built in two months. [Power Technology]

¶ “Ba Ria-Vung Tau Households Turn to Renewables” • Solar energy has been used by Vietnamese families living in floating villages or rural areas not connected with the national grid. Now it is being used by households in urban areas, and in some of them large numbers of households are using both grid power and solar energy. [VietNamNet Bridge]

Solar array in Vietnam (VNS File Photo)

¶ “Trudeau Announces Support for Canada’s First Geothermal Power Facility” • Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced support for a new geothermal power facility near Estevan in southeastern Saskatchewan. The energy project is the first of its kind in Canada and taps into a new renewable energy resource. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

US:

¶ “Potential Supply Chain Bottlenecks Could Threaten Growing US Wind Energy Industry” • A rush of developers to take advantage of the US Production Tax Credit could lead to over 23 GW of new wind capacity in 2019 and 2020. But unforeseen supply chain bottlenecks could lead to project postponements and cancellations. [CleanTechnica]

Transporting a blade (Image: GE Renewable Energy)

¶ “GM Will Make Cadillac Its EV Standard Bearer” • General Motors thinks it has figured out how to compete with Tesla: Slap a Cadillac badge on every EV the company makes. Apparently the reason why there are so few electric cars from GM on the road is because they are all Chevrolets, except for the Cadillac ELR. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “In Massachusetts, Momentum Builds for Carbon Pricing for Transportation” • As Massachusetts legislators start their new year, bills calling for carbon fees for transportation are gaining momentum, with many lawmakers and advocates optimistic that a measure could make it to the governor’s desk during the current session. [Energy News Network]

Traffic in Boston

¶ “US Energy Will Come from Renewable Sources in 2019” • The majority of America’s new energy capacity additions in 2019 will come from renewable energy sources, according to figures from the US Energy Information Administration. The EIA expects 23.7 GW of capacity to be added, with 64% of that from wind and solar power. [Power Technology]

¶ “Vermont Yankee Sale to NorthStar Completed” • Entergy Nuclear completed the sale of the closed Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant to NorthStar Group Services, an industrial demolition company, after a two-year review. Demolition of the nuclear plant will be undertaken decades ahead of Entergy’s original time frame. [Bennington Banner]

Have a radiantly gorgeous day.

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January 11 Energy News

January 11, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “California Set a Goal of 100% Clean Energy, and Now Other States May Follow Its Lead” • At least nine governors taking their oaths of office this month, from Nevada to Michigan to New York, campaigned on 100% clean energy, or have endorsed the target in the four months since it was enshrined in California law. Now they can act. [Los Angeles Times]

Home solar installation (Irfan Khan | Los Angeles Times)

World:

¶ “VW Commercial e-Crafter Electric Cargo Van Makes UK Debut” • The electric VW e-Crafter commercial van made its UK debut in December at the Milton Keynes EV Experience Centre. The 3.5 ton cargo van has 107 miles of range and uses a 35 kWh lithium-ion battery, and it can be charged to 80% in about 45 minutes. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Oslo Booting Cars from City Center” • Oslo is one of the top cities in the world for electric vehicles. That already makes it a clear leader in clean transport and more enjoyable, healthier air for citizens, but the city is taking things a step further. Oslo is moving to restrict car use altogether within certain areas of the city. [CleanTechnica]

Walkway in Oslo

¶ “Saskatchewan Reaches Agreement with Ottawa to Cut Power-Generation Emissions” • The province and federal government have come to terms on an equivalency agreement, that will see Saskatchewan mostly move away from coal by 2030. Similar agreements have been reached with other provinces like Alberta and Nova Scotia. [Globalnews.ca]

¶ “Horns Rev 3 Nears Finish Line” • Fred Olsen Windcarrier is nearing completion of turbine installation at Vattenfall’s 406-MW Horns Rev 3 offshore wind farm off the coast of Denmark. Jack-up vessel Brave Tern has loaded the last batch of the 49 MHI Vestas 8.3-MW machines that are to generate power in the wind farm. [reNEWS]

Brave Tern

¶ “Greenergy Solutions Develops 550-MW Solar Project in Nepal” • Greenergy Solutions Inc announced that it is to develop a 550-MW solar power project in Nepal. Greenergy Solutions’ Chairman and CEO Ruth P Briones said that company’s intention is to develop solar power plants in each of the seven states in Nepal. [Eco-Business]

¶ “Italy Looks to Block Oil, Gas Exploration Permits” • Italy plans to suspend the issuing of 36 pending oil and gas exploration permits, as the government finds upstream oil and gas activity not of strategic importance to the country. At the same time, the ruling coalition government is looking to significantly boost renewable energy. [OilPrice.com]

Italy

¶ “Hitachi to Halt Work on UK Nuclear Project” • Japanese conglomerate Hitachi Ltd will halt work on a nuclear power project in the UK and take a one-time charge of up to ¥300 billion ($2.8 billion), as negotiations with the British government over funding have stalled. On the news, Hitachi stock had its best rally in over two years. [Energy Voice]

¶ “EDF, Masdar Scoop Saudi Mega-Farm” • A consortium of EDF Renewables and Masdar has won a tender to build the 400-MW Dumat Al Jandal wind farm in Saudi Arabia. Dumat Al Jandal will be the first wind project in the country. It will supply electricity to a subsidiary of Saudi Electricity Company under a 20-year agreement. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (EDF image)

US:

¶ “‘As World Teeters on Brink of Climate Catastrophe,’ 600+ Groups Demand Congress Back Visionary Green New Deal” • On behalf of their millions of members and supporters, 626 environmental organizations demanded that US policymakers “pursue visionary and affirmative legislative action” such as a Green New Deal. [Common Dreams]

¶ “Six Paths to 100% Renewables for Los Angeles” • The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is evaluating six scenarios for the Los Angeles grid to reach 100% renewable or zero-carbon electricity by 2045 or sooner, with input from an advisory group. The results could illuminate paths for states to reach 100% zero-carbon targets. [pv magazine USA]

Los Angeles (Image: Webstep, Pixabay)

¶ “Colorado Energy Cooperative’s PPA Sparks Development of a 100-MW Wind Farm” • The agreement Holy Cross Energy announced with Colorado wholesale energy company Guzman Energy is an unusual power purchase agreement, a two-way swap that will allow the development of a new 100-MW wind farm to serve HCE’s members. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ “Appalachian Power Gets Approval to Sell 100% Renewable Energy to Customers. Hold the Champagne.” • The State Corporation Commission approved an Appalachian Power Company request to offer its half million Virginia customers the option of buying 100% renewable electricity. There is a catch that limits competition. [Virginia Mercury]

Wind farm (Creative Commons via Pixabay)

¶ “DSM Holds Grand Opening for Largest Net-Metered Solar Installation in New Jersey” • DSM North America opened its newly expanded solar field in Belvidere, New Jersey. The 20.2-MW solar project, located on 66 acres, is now the largest net-metered solar installation in New Jersey and the second largest on the East Coast. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Florida’s New Republican Governor Softly Nudges the State Forward on Climate Change” • Florida’s new Republican governor is making good on campaign promises, announcing plans to open a new resiliency office as part of an environmental rollout that includes an extra $1 billion for Everglades restoration and water cleanup. [Miami Herald]

Have a uniquely gratifying day.

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January 10 Energy News

January 10, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “The Green New Deal Builds a Bridge to the Future, Not a Wall Around the Past” • For the Earth, it’s all about carbon emissions. Nothing else matters: not class distinctions, not national pride, not wealth, and not religion. Carbon emissions must be tamed now, for us to have any hope of avoiding the destruction of most things that live on Earth. [CleanTechnica]

Earthrise

¶ “What They’re Saying About the Green New Deal: O’Rourke, Warren, Waxman” • How can we make climate change an urgent priority across the US? It starts with calling for 100% renewable energy and electing leaders who will stand up for the health and wellbeing of all people. Here is what three leaders for the future are saying. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “How the Fossil Fuel Industry Got the Media to Think Climate Change Was Debatable” • Documents uncovered by journalists and activists over the past decade lay out a clear strategy of the fossil fuel industry: Push the media to report “uncertainties” in climate science, and push conservatives to believe climate change is a hoax. [Washington Post]

German coal-fired plant (Sascha Steinbach | EPA-EFE | REX)

World:

¶ “Renewables Grow to 20.8% Share in Chile’s Power Mix” • Chile has entered the new year with a 20.8% share of renewable energy in the country’s power mix, the Ministry of Energy said. That percentage is an increase from the 17.9% share recorded in 2017. In 2018, almost 92% of Chile’s new capacity came from renewable sources. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Vestas Becomes First Company to Install Over 100 GW of Wind Turbines” • The Danish wind turbine manufacturing giant Vestas Wind Systems A/S announced that, with the installation of a V110-2.0 MW turbine at MidAmerican Energy’s Wind XI project in late 2018, the company has become the first to install 100 GW of wind turbines. [CleanTechnica]

Beaver Creek, MidAmerican Energy

¶ “New Year Delight for Chinese Mega-Farm” • Chinese energy company State Power Investment Corp has received approval for the first phase of a wind farm of up to 6 GW at the region of Siziwangqi, in the China’s Inner Mongolia region. Costing over €5 billion ($5.77 billion), the wind farm would be the largest onshore project in the world. [reNEWS]

¶ “Spain Proposes Trading in Nuclear Permits for Others in Renewable Energy” • As an incentive to close nuclear plants, the Spanish Government proposed giving their owners advantages for developing renewable energy. Connection rights for nuclear plants would convert to renewable energy permits for the same amount of power. [The Corner Economic]

Garona Spanish nuclear station

US:

¶ “Fiat Chrysler to Pay Hundreds of Millions to Settle Emissions Charges in the US” • Fiat Chrysler will pay hundreds of millions of dollars in fines and civil penalties to settle charges that its diesel vehicles sold in the US violated emissions rules. A person familiar with the details told CNN the total amount will be roughly $800 million [CNN]

¶ “Tesla Has the Highest Customer Loyalty of All Car Brands” • Last year, Consumer Reports found that Tesla has the highest rate of customer satisfaction of all car brands. Now, research conducted by Experian, shows that the high levels of satisfaction are translating into exceptionally high rates of customer loyalty as well. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla family (Image via Tesla)

¶ “Kauai Reaches Goal of 50% Renewable Power” • AES’s Lawai project, which will supply electricity to Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, will eliminate the need for about 3.7 million gallons of diesel annually and supply about 11% of Kauai’s electricity, making the island more than 50% powered by renewables, a KIUC statement said. [Honolulu Star-Advertiser]

¶ “DOE Picks Winners in $25 Million Marine Energy R&D Program” • The DOE has selected 12 projects to get $25 million (€21.8 million) in financing in support of research aimed at cutting costs and accelerating the deployment of marine energy devices, as well as testing new concepts. Projects in three areas of research qualified. [Renewables Now]

Wave (Steve Corey, CC BY NoDerivs 2.0 Generic)

¶ “How Minnesota Could Economically Reach 70% Renewable Electricity” • A report from the Minnesota Department of Commerce, clean energy advocates, and all the state’s major utilities suggests that overbuilding wind and solar capacity would be more economical than using batteries and could supply 70% of its needs by 2050. [Energy News Network]

¶ “Capital Opens New Frontier in North Dakota” • Capital Power Corporation started commercial operations at its 99-MW New Frontier wind farm in North Dakota. CPC said the project was completed on time and below the original $145 million cost estimate. Capital Power said it will supply 87% of the electricity to one customer. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Pixabay image)

¶ “Another Utah City Commits to 100% Clean Energy” • A city in Salt Lake City County, Utah, Cottonwood Heights, committed to transition to 100% clean, renewable energy. The city council voted unanimously to adopt a goal of 100% clean, renewable electricity for city operations by 2022 and community-wide by 2032. [North American Windpower]

¶ “Panel Issues Vision for Diablo Canyon Decommissioning” • The Diablo Canyon Decommissioning Engagement Panel, which was created to develop a strategic vision for decommissioning of California’s Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, wants the process to begin immediately after the facility reactors shut down in 2024 and 2025. [seattlepi.com]

Have a thoroughly congenial day.

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January 9 Energy News

January 9, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Colorado Could Save $2.5 Billion by Rapidly Shutting Down Its Coal Power Plants” • According to PacifiCorp, which owns 22 coal plants in Colorado, its own analysis shows 13 of the 22 plants are currently losing money. Analysis commissioned by the Sierra Club showed that it would be cheaper to replace 20 of the 22 plants with windpower. [Vox]

Coal-burning power plant (Shutterstock image)

¶ “The Economic Viability of Nuclear Power Is Only Going Down” • Last year the Trump administration’s DOE announced that it was launching a media campaign to counter what an official called “misinformation” about nuclear power. Since then, we have not noticed an upsurge in pro-nuclear news – because there is none to report. [Environmental Working Group]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Perovskite Solar Panel Tested on Sanska Building in Warsaw” • The first building-integrated field test of a perovskite solar panel, made by Saule Technologies, has begun in Warsaw, with a projected 5¢/kWh levelized cost of energy. The pilot was made by ink jet printing the PVs. Commercial scale production is hoped for by 2021. [CleanTechnica]

Screen shot of Saule event

World:

¶ “Solar Power in The Netherlands Grows 50% in 2018 – With More to Come” • The production of solar power grew by 50% in the Netherlands last year. The share of renewables in the country’s electricity use rose from 15% to 17% compared to the year before. The share of renewables in total energy use rose from 6.6% to 7.3%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vestas Finished 2018 with Record Wind Turbine Orders over 12 GW” • Danish wind turbine manufacturing giant Vestas Wind Systems A/S made sixteen turbine order announcements between December 27, 2018 and January 1, 2019 for a grand total of 1,771 MW in six days. They bring the sales total for the year close to 13 GW. [CleanTechnica]

Prototype Vestas V164, with a capacity of up to 10 MW

¶ “UK Unveils Small-Scale RE Lifeline” • In its consultation, ‘The future for small-scale low-carbon generation,’ the UK energy department said its new Smart Export Guarantee would compensate small generators for the value of the electricity exported to the grid. Remuneration would be available to systems up to 5 MW in capacity. [reNEWS]

¶ “Solar to Push Gas out of Chile’s Top 3 Power Sources in 2019” • Solar PV power will reach a 9.4% share in Chile’s power mix in 2019, replacing natural gas as the third most important source of electricity in the country, behind coal and hydropower, Chilean nonprofit energy watchdog Coordinador Electrico Nacional has estimated. [Renewables Now]

CVE Chile 45-MW PV plant

¶ “More Cracks Found in Hunterston Nuclear ” • EDF Energy now estimates that there are 370 major cracks in the graphite core of reactor three of the Hunterston nuclear plant in North Ayrshire and 200 cracks in the core of reactor four. Both reactors are currently off line, and pressure is mounting to keep them from restarting. [The Ferret]

¶ “India’s Renewable Energy Capacity Addition to Grow 50% This Year on New Tenders” • Indian growth in renewable energy generation capacity, including solar and wind, is likely to increase by 50% to 15,860 MW in 2019, with improved tender activity. Solar capacity addition is expected to exceed 10,000 MW for the first time. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Wind farm

US:

¶ “Ambitious New York City Bill Aims to Replace Gas-Fired Power Plants with Renewables” • A top councilman for New York City is preparing to introduce a bill mandating that the city come up with a plan by the end of the year to phase out nearly two dozen gas-fired power plants and replace them with renewable sources of electricity. [HuffPost]

¶ “New Hampshire Eager to Join Northeast Offshore Wind Club” • New Hampshire Gov Sununu has requested that the federal government set up an intergovernmental offshore renewable energy task force for the state to facilitate coordination between federal, state and local governments regarding commercial leasing proposals. [Renewables Now]

Offshore wind farm (Beverley Goodwin, CC-BY 2.0 generic)

¶ “Duke Energy Florida Brings Massive Hamilton Solar Power Plant Online” • The 74.9-MW Hamilton Solar Power Plant in Jasper, Florida, is operating, Duke Energy said. The plant will produce enough power for over 20,000 homes at peak production. Duke is moving to install or acquire 700 MW of solar power in Florida through 2022. [Solar Builder]

¶ “AEP Plans 1.2-GW Wind Push” • AEP subsidiary Southwestern Electric Power Company issued a request for proposals for 1,200 MW of wind projects. They must be at least 100 MW and be operating by 15 December 2021. Projects must also be located in the Southwest Power Pool regional grid in Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, or Oklahoma. [reNEWS]

Farm and wind farm (Pixabay image)

¶ “Land That Once Grew Sugar Cane Now Provides Renewable Energy for Kauai” • The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative is halfway to reaching their renewable energy goals, thanks to a new 28-MW solar farm in Lawai with 100-MW/500-MWh of storage. It is the state’s largest solar-plus-utility-scale-storage power facility. [Hawaii News Now]

¶ “Wind Deal May Allow Holy Cross Energy to Reach Renewables Goal Early” • Colorado’s Holy Cross Energy may reach its goal of providing 70% renewable energy nine years ahead of schedule. In a deal with energy wholesaler Guzman Energy, HCE will develop a new wind farm that will bring it to nearly 70% renewables by summer of 2021. [Aspen Times]

Have a wholly copacetic day.

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January 8 Energy News

January 8, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Mining Industry Pro on Trump’s Promises To Bring Back Coal: ‘He’s Lying’” • Art Sullivan has worked as a coal miner, mine manager and industry consultant in the US and around the world. When CNN asked him about President Trump’s promises to miners that he will save their jobs, Sullivan was blunt: “He’s lying to them.” [Environmental Working Group]

Trump Digs Coal

¶ “Jaitapur: A Risky and Expensive Project” • Électricité de France’s “techno-commercial proposal” to the government of India for the Jaitapur nuclear power project in Maharashtra will certainly be controversial. The first year tariffs from the project would be around ₹15/kWh (21¢/kWh). But the cost of the project is just a start of its problems. [The Hindu]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Drones, Automation, and Reforestation: How DroneSeed is Keeping Forests Healthy Post-Wildfire” • DroneSeed uses drones in post-fire environments to combat the spread of wildfires and keep affected areas healthy. Using automation, it seeks to make the revitalization of our forests faster, cheaper, and more efficient. [CleanTechnica]

Forest

¶ “Rising Oregon Temperatures Turn Annual Snowfall to Rainfall” • Oregonians are seeing changes in winter temperatures and precipitation distribution. Oregon State researchers analyze the impacts of longer wildfire seasons and rising temperatures on local forests and wildlife, finding a potential for lasting negative impacts. [The Daily Barometer]

World:

¶ “Before They Disappear: Treasured UNESCO Sites at Risk from Climate Change” • From the sinking city of Venice to the mass bleaching of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, climate change is drastically impacting some of the world’s most treasured heritage sites. Here is a set of many photos of UNESCO sites threatened by a changing climate. [CNN]

For Yellowstone: shorter winters, less snowfall, warmer rivers, shrinking lakes, and more fires (Wyoming Office of Tourism)

¶ “Vestas Bags 101 MW EPC Order for Wind Energy Project in Gujarat” • Vestas announced it has bagged an Engineering, Procurement and Construction contract for setting up a 101-MW project in Gujarat. The project is designed to sell power to commercial and industrial consumers through Power Purchase Agreements. [ETEnergyworld.com]

¶ “Daimler and BMW Collaborating on Large Joint Urban Mobility Company” • Daimler and the BMW are collaborating on a joint urban mobility company to create a sustainable, multi-modal, readily accessible urban transportation system. It will include ride hailing, car-sharing, charging, and parking in urban centers. [CleanTechnica]

BMW ReachNow

¶ “India Will Tender 500 GW Renewable Capacity by 2028” • To achieve its goal of generating 40% of electricity from non-fossil fuels by 2030, India would have to install 500 GW of renewable energy generation capacity by 2028, Anand Kumar, Secretary of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, said at a business summit. [pv magazine India]

¶ “Germany’s 2025 Renewables Share Goal “within Reach” – Think Tank” • The share of renewables in Germany’s gross power consumption climbed to 38.2% in 2018, according to a press release from Agora Energiewende. This meant that Germany’s target of 40% to 45% by 2025, as set in the Renewable Energy Act, is “within reach.” [Clean Energy Wire]

Wind turbines in Germany (Smaack, Wikimedia Commons) 

US:

¶ “Supreme Court Blocks ExxonMobil’s Effort to Conceal Decades of Documents in Probe of Oil Giant’s Climate Deception” • The Supreme Court rejected ExxonMobil’s attempt to block Massachusetts’s demand for documents related to its investigation into allegations that it deceived the public and investors for decades about global warming. [DeSmog]

¶ “PG&E Stock Tumbles 21% on Bankruptcy Concerns” • PG&E could be on the hook for tens of billions of dollars for its potential role in California’s devastating Camp Fire last year — the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in the state’s history. The company has indicated it does not have the cash or assets to pay anything close to that amount. [CNN]

After the Camp Fire (Justin Sullivan | Getty Images)

¶ “Guess what? US Carbon Emissions Popped Back Up in a Big Way” • A report by the Rhodium Group, a research institution that analyzes global economic and environmental trends, found that in 2018 CO2 emissions rose 3.4% from the prior year. It is the second largest gain in two decades, and it comes after three straight years of decline. [Yahoo News]

¶ “DC and Nine States Collaborating on Carbon Emissions Reduction Policy” • The District of Columbia, Virginia, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont are working together to formulate a policy proposal to reduce transportation carbon emissions and air pollution. [CleanTechnica]

Washington, DC

¶ “Rooftop Solar Curtailment to Ease with Refocused Hawaii Energy Contracts” • Hawaiian electric utilities have been acting to de-link residential rooftop solar generators at peak hours for several years, but the installation-discouraging practice may fade as refocused utility-scale solar+storage contracts come into effect.  [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Tough Texas Market Conditions Defied as 42-MWh Battery System Comes Online” • Market opportunities for energy storage in Texas are considered limited, but the largest battery project in the state, a 42-MWh system, has come online, after Vistra Energy found niche opportunities to use batteries for integrating solar energy. [Energy Storage News]

Have an enchantingly agreeable day.

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January 7 Energy News

January 7, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Hydrogen May Have a Future on the Rails” • Perhaps, finally, hydrogen’s moment has arrived. Electricity from renewable sources can be used to split water into oxygen and hydrogen through electrolysis. That “green hydrogen” can then be used in fuel cells to generate electricity. It can also be used to power rail transportation. [Red, Green, and Blue]

Hydrogen powered train (Photo: R Frampe | Alstom)

¶ “The Ugly Face America Shows the World: How Its Climate Policies Undercut Global Goals” • America, the globe’s biggest CO2 contributor, has chosen withdraw from the Paris Agreement and instead tries to buttress its sinking coal sector. Its policies undercut global goals even as its own energy markets move away from fossil fuels. [Forbes]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Silvopasture Can Mitigate Climate Change. Will US Farmers Take it Seriously?” • Trees absorb and sequester large amounts of carbon over time. The sequestering process is rendered even more powerful when they are used together with grazing and planted on “marginal” land that is not great for growing crops, such as woodland edges. [Civil Eats]

Cattle grazing in a silvopasture forest in Georgia 
(Photo: USDA National Agroforestry Center)

¶ “The End of Coffee: Could Australia Save the World’s Beans?” • Demand for coffee is expected to double by 2050, but climate change is expected to render more than half of the land used for growing coffee unsuitable in that time. So scientists at Australia’s Southern Cross University are testing twenty “climate-resistant” varieties. [The Guardian]

World:

¶ “New Solar Farm Expected to Save Seychelles $1 Million per Year” • Seychelles is expected to save over $1 million annually once the construction of a solar farm on Romainville Island, off the main island of Mahe, is completed later this year, said a top official. The 5-MW solar PV system will be installed by the Public Utilities Company. [Seychelles News Agency]

Seychelles wind farm (Patrick Joubert, CC BY 4.0)

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Production Could Start in China This Year. And Model Y?” • Tesla is aiming to start Model 3 production in China by the end of the year. Production would ramp up slowly, so Elon doesn’t anticipate high-volume production will start until 2020. Nonetheless, that is about 1,000 years sooner than Tesla critics expected. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Japan Plans to Build Biggest Offshore Wind Power Plant” • TEPCO is considering building one of the Japan’s biggest offshore wind farm, it has been learned. The plant’s generating capacity is expected to be over 1,000 MW, the equivalent of the power produced by a nuclear power reactor. One potential location is Chiba Prefecture. [REVE]

Floating wind turbine at Fukushima

¶ “French Firm to Build 40-MW Solar Plant in Eldoret” • French solar firm Alten Africa, based in Kenya, has picked compatriot renewable energy firm Voltalia to build its 40-MW solar plant in Eldoret, a city in the western part of the country. Alten said Voltalia has already started construction at the Uasin Gishu project. [Daily Nation]

US:

¶ “Years of Shoddy Safety Policies Leave Pacific Gas and Electric Facing Bankruptcy” • After being suspected a culprit of the last devastating Californian wildfires, PG&E is reportedly facing bankruptcy. The utility is not only facing severe criticism over its recurring lack of security prevention in recent years, but also gigantic lawsuits. [CleanTechnica]

Camp Fire

¶ “Researchers Say Solar and Wind Energy Could Be the End of Coal in Texas” • Texas is a renowned producer of fossil fuels, such as coal and oil, but researchers at Houston’s Rice University claim that increased solar and wind energy adoption could be all Texas needs to quit coal for good. Texas does not even need batteries for such a transformation. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

¶ “Cuomo Calls Elon: Can Tesla Put NYC Subway System Back on Track?” • The MTA, which operates the New York City subway and bus system, is under the control of the governor, not the city. The system used to be one of the best in the world, but today it need help, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo asked for it from Elon Musk.  [CleanTechnica]

New York subway station

¶ “Texas Cities Leading Transition to Renewables” • In 2018, Georgetown became the first city in Texas to get 100% of its electricity from renewable sources. Now conservationists are pushing Austin, Bryan, Garland, San Antonio, and others to join 100 cities nationwide that have committed to transition away from fossil fuels. [Public News Service]

¶ “We Are All in This Together: California, Puerto Rico Officials Join in Climate Fight” • In the wake of mudslides, wildfires and hurricanes, elected officials from Southern California joined Carmen Yulin Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital city, promising to support each other in responding to climate emergencies. [USA TODAY]

Have an entertainingly productive day.

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January 6 Energy News

January 6, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Meet Clean Energy Pioneers Hoping to Change the World” • Empowering rural women in the field of clean energy and providing electricity to more than 675,000 underprivileged people are just some of the feats achieved finalists for the Zayed Sustainability Prize. Winners will be announced during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. [gulfnews.com]

Women from Maduma village in Tanzania
supported by Solar Sister (Supplied image)

¶ “The PRC Bets on Climate Diplomacy in the Caribbean” • China is bidding to brand itself as the world leader on climate change. Beijing has put up billions to fund initiatives aimed at reducing carbon, supporting green energy, and promoting climate resilience worldwide. One target of Chinese attention is the Caribbean. [The Jamestown Foundation]

¶ “Melting Arctic Sends a Message: Climate Change is Here in a Big Way” • Scientists are trained to be skeptics, but for those of us who study the Arctic, it is clear that a radical transformation is underway. The question is not whether the Arctic is warming, but how drastically it will change, and what the changes mean for the planet. [Red, Green, and Blue]

Warming erosion at  Drew Point, Alaska (USGS image)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Tesla Gigafactory Tour Shows Where Tesla Continuously Drives Down Battery Costs” • Even Tesla’s detractors concede that the carmaker has a lead of at least a couple of years in battery technology. Its President of Automotive said, “There [are] more batteries produced here for electric vehicles than in the rest of the planet combined.” [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “China’s Population ‘To Peak’ in 2029 at 1.44 Billion” • China’s population will peak in 2029 at 1.44 billion before beginning a period of “unstoppable” decline, a government report says. The China Academy of Social Sciences study says the country must implement policies to handle a smaller workforce and an older population. [BBC]

Theme park in Shenzhen (Dmpendse, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Wind Energy Tenders Back in India, 1.2 GW Offered” • After technical concerns limited the size of tenders, the Solar Energy Corporation of India has one that will allow a single bidder to bid for as much as 600 MW, which is double the previously allowed maximum. The maximum tariff bid has been set at ₹2.85/kWh (4.11¢/kWh). [CleanTechnica]

¶ “India Announces 7.5 GW Solar Tenders in Jammu and Kashmir” • After a wait of around five years, the government of India has issued tenders to set up 7.5 GW of solar power capacity in the country’s northern-most state of Jammu and Kashmir. The plans to set up large-scale solar power projects were first floated in 2014. [CleanTechnica]

Solar plant in India (Sreejithk2000, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Senate Crossbench Gave Renewables $23 Billion Boost by Thwarting Abbott’s Plan” • The Senate’s decisions to stop Tony Abbott abolishing clean energy agencies between 2013 and 2015 helped create renewable energy projects worth A$23.4 billion ($16.67 billion), according to a report published by the Australia Institute. [The Guardian]

¶ “Dutch EV Sales: Tripled in 2018, 30% Market Share in December, Tesla Model S Took #1 Spot” • In 2018, 24,024 fully electric vehicles were sold in the Netherlands, three times as many as were sold in 2017, according to figures from industry associations. In December, 30.4% of cars sold in the country were fully electric cars. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla taxis arriving in Amsterdam

US:

¶ “Progress on Greenhouse Gas Emissions, but Not Quite What Minnesota Hoped ” • Minnesota has cut its greenhouse gas emissions steadily in recent years as its electric utilities reduced use of coal. But the state still lags a set of long-term climate change goals it set in 2007, and that is largely because of car and truck traffic. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

¶ “Ramping Up Renewable Energy Remains Lawmakers’ Focus in 2019” • Connecticut Gov Dannel Malloy and lawmakers moved in 2018 to get contracts for over 1,000 MW from Millstone nuclear plant and to procure 300 MW of offshore wind power. But clean energy advocates are pushing lawmakers for more renewable energy in 2019. [theday.com]

Rendering of a port in New London proposed to
support offshore wind power (Connecticut Port Authority)

¶ “Jackson’s Shared Solar Farm Operating ” • Jackson, Wyoming’s new shared solar farm is online, and officials hope the state-of-the-art system will catch on elsewhere. It uses virtual net metering, a growing trend throughout the country that gives users access to renewable energy without installing their own solar panels. [Gillette News Record]

¶ “Confidence Grows that Proposed Burrillville Power Plant will be Denied” • Rhode Island’s Energy Facility Siting Board has much to ponder as the hearings on the proposed Burrillville gas-powered plant enter their fourth year. The leading opposition attorney is “reasonably confident” that the EFSB will vote to deny the $1 billion project. [ecoRI news]

Have a demonstrably peachy day.

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January 5 Energy News

January 5, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “We Should Not Have to Pay for Gas Company’s Lobbying” • When your gas bill arrives, you probably think you are paying to warm your home and light your stove. Though that is largely true, families in some parts of California are footing the bill for a multi-million dollar lobbying effort to stop California’s clean energy progress. [Earthjustice]

Site of the 2015 Aliso Canyon gas leak
(Photo by Scott L, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “You Cannot Separate Health and Wellness from Climate Change” • People seem to be less concerned about climate change, carbon emissions, and resilience than they are about health and wellness, as evidenced by the booming of the Well Standard and the KB Home pivot to wellness. Climate change, however, is a threat to health. [Treehugger]

World:

¶ “BYD Wins Contract to Supply 64 Electric Buses for Medellín, Colombia” • New energy powerhouse BYD won a contract to supply 64 of its electric buses to the Colombian city of Medellín. The new contract represents the second-largest Latin American electric bus fleet, behind 100 buses in Santiago, Chile, which BYD delivered late last year. [CleanTechnica]

BYD bus, Medellín

¶ “Iran to Build 1,000 MW Solar Farm in Markazi” • Iran is set to build its largest-ever solar farm with a capacity as much as 1,000 MW in Markazi province, central Iran, a senior official said. He said the project, which is to be built on 2000 hectares of land near the city of Saveh, has been funded by a UK-based Iranian investor. [Mehr News Agency]

¶ “Great Wall ORA R1 – An Electric Car With ~140 Miles of Range for Less Than $10,000” • Chinese automaker Great Wall is set to introduce its ORA R1 electric car. The R1 can travel almost 200 miles on a single charge according to The Express. The company says the cost is between $8,680 and $11,293, after the Chinese EV subsidies. [CleanTechnica]

Great Wall ORA R1, $10,000 electric car

¶ “China’s Three Gorges Dam Generates Record Amount of Power” • The electricity generated by the Three Gorges Dam, which is on the Yangtze River in Hubei province, has exceeded 100 billion kWh, setting a record for a single hydropower plant in China. It also outperformed the dam’s 2018 production target of 92.3 billion kWh. [Energy Digital]

¶ “Indian State of Andhra Pradesh Targets 5 GW of Solar Under New Policy” • Andhra Pradesh aims to install 18 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2021-22, which would comprise 10% of the country’s overall target. The government said it will start with 4 GW of solar parks, mostly in manufacturing zones, but also R&D and training centers. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Solar farm in Andhra Pradesh (Image: Greenko Group)

¶ “Solar Energy Investment Predicted to Grow in 2019” • The removal of tariffs on Chinese-made solar panels plus a shift in attitude towards renewables are set to give the EU a 12% share of the global solar module market. Industry experts say Europe’s solar capacity is set to jump from 9.5 GW to 13.5 GW (42.1%) during 2019. [Open Access Government]

¶ “Endesa to Supply Catalan Railways with 100% Renewable Power” • Endesa, Spain’s largest utility, will supply the Catalan Government Railways with electricity from 100% renewable sources this year, local media have reported. Endesa will supply about 300 km of the railways systems’ metropolitan lines and mountain stations. [Renewables Now]

Solar park (Som Energia Cooperativa, CC-BY-2.0 Generic)

US:

¶ “ASLA Warns Landscape Architects Could Be Liable for Climate Impacts on Projects” • During the 2018 annual meeting of the American Society of Landscape Architects, it was determined that landscape architects could potentially face liability due to climate impacts of their projects. This follows a Texas class-action lawsuit. [Total Landscape Care]

¶ “Minnesota-Vermont Partnership Will Offer Solar to Low-Income Families” • A Minnesota nonprofit has a community solar model they think could go national. The Rural Renewable Energy Alliance and Southeastern Vermont Community Action are partnering to get solar power to 50 low-income households in Windham and Windsor counties. [CleanTechnica]

RREAL crew installing a solar system in Minnesota

¶ “Duke Energy Reopens North Carolina Solar Rebate Program” • More than 1,300 of Duke Energy’s North Carolina customers installed solar systems last year under a 4-year, $62 million program. The company paid out $6 million in solar rebates to those customers. Now, it has opened up the window for new applications for 2019. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Enel Starts Construction on Its Largest US Wind Farm to Date” • Enel’s US renewable subsidiary Enel Green Power North America, began construction on the High Lonesome wind farm in  Texas. High Lonesome, with a capacity of about 450 MW, will be the largest wind farm in Enel’s global renewables portfolio when completed. [Windpower Engineering]

Wind farm in Texas

¶ “PUC Nod Sought for 262 MW of Solar Capacity with Storage in Hawaii” • Hawaiian Electric Companies is seeking the state Public Utilities Commission’s approval of contracts for a total of 262 MW of PVs with 1,048 MWh of storage in seven projects on Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii Island. The cost for two of the seven is as low as 8¢/kWh. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Judge Denies Expedited Hearing on Sale of Bellefonte Plant” • A federal judge turned down a request for an expedited hearing on a challenge to a Tennessee Valley Authority decision not to sell its unfinished Bellefonte nuclear power plant to Chattanooga developer Franklin L. Haney. The decision gives TVA more time to respond. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

Have an extremely happy day.

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January 4 Energy News

January 4, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “Can Trump’s New Science Adviser Convince Him that Climate Change Is Real?” • As one of its last acts of the term, the Senate confirmed meteorologist Kelvin Droegemeier, to be director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, “science adviser” to the president. Trump, however, has a history of ignoring his own experts. [CNN]

Collapsing polar ice

World:

¶ “EV Subsidies Going Up in Italy, Down in China” • EV subsidies are a hot topic. In Norway, 30% of all new cars sold in 2018 were battery electrics thanks to aggressive incentives. Tesla and GM are losing US subsidies as they reached quotas. A number of countries, including the US, are considering whether to cancel or expand EV subsidies. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Delhi Policy Draft Calls for 25% EVs by 2023” • A study found that Delhi’s polluted air contributed to almost 15,000 premature deaths in 2016. To reduce toxic air pollution in the city, Delhi’s government created a draft policy calling for 25% of new vehicle registrations to be EVs by 2023. About two-thirds of vehicles are motorcycles or scooters. [CleanTechnica]

Pollution (Credit: Sumitmpsd, via Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 4.0)

¶ “Germany Says Hallo to Renewables as Clean Power Overtakes Coal” • Research from the Fraunhofer research organisation suggests output from solar, wind, biomass, and hydroelectric generation units produced more than 40% of German electricity, where coal provided around 38%. German renewables passed coal for the first time. [Energy Live News]

¶ “Canada-US Team Strikes Gold in Oz” • Canadian Solar and Signal Energy are partnering to give engineering, procurement, and construction services on a 175-MW PV project in New South Wales. Construction of the Finley solar farm, which is being developed by ESCO Pacific, began in December 2018 and will be completed in October 2019. [reNEWS]

Finley solar farm (Canadian Solar image)

¶ “Government to Give Up Plan to Export Nuclear Power Reactors to Turkey” • Japan is expected to effectively withdraw its plans to build a nuclear power plant in Turkey by asking Ankara to provide significantly more funding amid ballooning safety costs. Turkey is likely to reject the request, according to people familiar with the decision. [The Mainichi]

¶ “Renewables Account for 52% of Portugal’s Consumption in 2018” • Non-hydro renewables generated 29.5% of Portugal’s electricity in 2018, utility data shows. Wind power contributed 23%, followed by biomass  at 5% and PVs at 1.5%. Taking into account hydro sources, the renewable power generation made up 52% of the total. [Renewables Now]

Wind farm

US:

¶ “Electric Vehicle Sales up 130% in 2018, 210% in Q4 2018 – US Electric Car Sales Report” • EV sales growth has been uneven. Aside from the new models (Jaguar I-PACE and Honda Clarity EV), the only models that saw growth were the Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model S, Tesla Model X, and Nissan LEAF. But those models certainly grew a lot . [CleanTechnica]

¶ “More Coal Plants Shut Down in Trump’s First Two Years than in Obama’s Entire First Term” • Despite campaigning on a pledge to save the dirtiest of fossil fuels, President Donald Trump has presided over a faster rate of coal plant retirements in his first two years than President Barack Obama saw in his entire first term in office. [ThinkProgress]

Dismantling a coal-fired plant (George Frey | Getty Images)

¶ “New York’s Solar for All Program Will Award No-Cost Community Solar to 10,000 Low Income Residents” • In a bid to reduce the energy costs for low income New York households and to help increase access to renewable energy for both renters and homeowners alike, New York is enabling no-cost community solar for up to 10,000 residents. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “143 MW of Distributed Solar Goes Online in VA, DC, MD, DE” • While large utility-scale projects grab the headlines, installation firms in the region racked up 7400 small-scale (under 1 MW) PV installations in 2018. While Maryland had the most installations by far, Delaware held second place in terms of new solar capacity per capita. [pv magazine USA]

Distributed solar (Image: Sun Tribe Solar)

¶ “GM Passed 200,000 EV Milestone in Q4” • The $7,500 federal EV tax credit will drop to $3,750 for General Motors on March 31, 2019, because GM recorded more than 200,000 EV sales in the 4th quarter of last year. The credit will be at $3,750 the following 2 quarters. Then it will drop to $1,875 for the next two quarters. And then, it will end. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Denver and Boulder Have Big Goals to Fight Climate Change. But There Is an Obstacle: Cannabis” • With lights on 18 hours each day, growing cannabis in a greenhouse uses a lot of energy. Colorado gets a lot of power from coal-fired plants, so marijuana grown indoors is far more carbon intensive as that grown in California or Oregon. [The Colorado Sun]

Cannabis growing (Andy Colwell, Special to The Colorado Sun)

¶ “Tesla Model 3 Is the #1 Best Selling Car in USA From an American Car Company” • Comparing sales numbers from top car companies, we can see how the 5 top-selling cars in the US were for December and the 4th quarter of 2018. The Tesla Model 3 was the only car from an American car company that was in the top 5 on either list. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Research: Texas Could Ditch Coal Entirely for Wind and Solar” • Fossil fuel may comprise a large part of the Texas economy, but new research shows that the state has the natural resources to ditch coal entirely and still meet its electricity needs. The report was published in the journal Renewables: Wind, Water, and Solar. [Futurism]

Have a restfully cheery day.

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January 3 Energy News

January 3, 2019

World:

¶ “Financing Indigenous-Partnered Renewables in Alberta” • Promoting the full inclusion of Indigenous peoples in Alberta’s renewable energy market is a key facet of the Alberta Climate Leadership Program. The province allocated CA$151 million ($111 million) to support Indigenous community participation over the next three years. [pv magazine International]

Alberta legislature building (Image: Wikipedia | Zeitlupe)

¶ “Alberta Companies, First Nations to Build $1.2-Billion Worth of Wind Projects” • Several different firms are partnering with First Nations across Alberta on five renewable energy projects collectively worth about CA$1.2 billion. In total the projects will generate 760 MW of renewable electricity, enough to power 300,000 homes. [Daily Commercial News]

¶ “German Wind ‘Close to 15-TWh in December'” • Onshore and offshore wind farms in Germany generated 14,830 GWh of electricity in December, according to the energy and water industry trade association BDEW. However, BDEW added that there is a need for new energy storage facilities to use volatile renewable power efficiently. [reNEWS]

Arkona wind farm (Credit: renews)

¶ “Rolls Royce and Finferries Put To Sea in an Autonomous Ferry” • Rolls-Royce and Finferries, the state-owned ferry line of Finland, demonstrated of the world’s first fully autonomous ferry in the archipelago south of the city of Turku. The 178-foot long double-ended ferry Falco took a group of 80 dignitaries for a demonstration run. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ukraine Almost Triples Pace of Installing Renewable Energy Facilities in 2018, to 740 MW” • A total of 742.5 MW of new renewable energy generating facilities were installed in Ukraine in 2018. This is 2.8 times more than last year, a report of the National Commission for Energy, Housing and Utilities Services Regulation said. [Interfax-Ukraine]

Wind turbines in the Ukraine (Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Energy Company Rapped by Advertising Regulator for ‘Zero CO2’ Claim” • UK renewable energy provider Good Energy was found to be in breach of advertising regulations. It claimed the electricity it supplies produces no carbon dioxide, but 18% of Good Energy’s fuel mix coming from bio-generation, which produces CO2 when burned. [Compelo]

¶ “UK Power Stations’ Electricity Output Lowest Since 1994” • The output of British power stations fell this year to levels last seen almost a quarter of a century ago, while renewables got a record share of the UK electricity supply. Electricity generation in 2018 was the lowest since 1994, when Tony Blair became the leader of the Labour party. [The Guardian]

Gas-fired power station in Teesside (Photo: Alamy)

US:

¶ “Tesla Crushes Records, Wall Street Expects More – Miracles?” • Tesla crushed 2017’s numbers, solidly passed the 2018’s 3rd quarter numbers in the 4th quarter, and showed what was probably the most dramatic growth in the history of the auto industry. But Wall Street decided it wasn’t enough and the stock price declined. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “New Zero Emissions Rules for Public Transportation and Shuttles in California” • Every bus used for public transportation in California will be a zero emissions vehicle by 2040 as the result of a new initiative approved by the Air Resources Board. Transportation accounts for 40% of CO2 emissions and up to 90% of smog-causing pollutants. [CleanTechnica]

BYD bus built in California (Nate Pitkin, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Utility Scale Solar Power Plus Lithium-Ion Storage Cost Breakdown” • The US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory released an inaugural report highlighting utility scale energy storage costs with various methods of tying it to solar power: co-located or not, and DC vs AC coupling. One system is running, and more are coming. [pv magazine USA]

¶ “$2,000 Price Cuts on Tesla Model S, Model X, and Model 3 for US Buyers” • Tesla rung in the new year by dropping the price on all of its Model S, Model X, and Model 3 vehicles by $2,000 in the US. With its EV sales success, Tesla is the first auto maker to see its EV tax credit drop from $7,500 to $3,750, which happened on January 1. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3, in a class by itself

¶ “Two Wind Facilities in Northeast South Dakota Moving Forward Quickly” • Two wind facility proposals in South Dakota are in the fast lane for approval from state regulators, as no one applied to intervene. One is a 10.4-mile transmission line. The other is the Dakota Range III wind farm with 42 turbines and eight miles of transmission line. [Keloland TV]

¶ “PacifiCorp Study Prompts Review of Coal-Fired Power Plants in Six States, Including Utah” • PacifiCorp’s own analysis shows 60% of its coal-fired power plant units are more costly to run than shutter. A report to the Oregon Public Service Commission shows closing some of its coal-fired units could save hundreds of millions of dollars. [Deseret News]

Huntington power plant (Ravell Call, Deseret News)

¶ “Massachusetts Activists and Legislators Call for Action in Environmental Policy” • Massachusetts has been a leader when it comes to environmental legislation, but after a federal report came out detailing impacts of climate change, local activists say that there is more to be done, and more voters are getting concerned about the climate. [GazetteNET]

¶ “Dominion Completes Buyout of SCANA After 17-Month Nuclear Fiasco” • Nearly 730,000 electric customers in South Carolina are getting a new power company. Virginia-based Dominion Energy finalized its buyout of SCANA Corp, the power company that lost $5 billion and its independence to a failed nuclear construction project. [SCNow]

Have an altogether enjoyable day.

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January 2 Energy News

January 2, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “A Clean Energy Revolution Is Rising in the Midwest, with Utilities in the Vanguard” • Midwestern utilities are abandoning fossil fuels. First Xcel Energy of Minnesota said it would go to zero carbon emissions. Next came Consumers Energy in Michigan and NIPSCO in Indiana. They made 2018 the fulcrum year in the energy transition. [InsideClimate News]

Wind turbines (Joe Amon | The Denver Post via Getty Images)

¶ “As Trump’s Political Clout Teeters, His Energy Policies Are Becoming Irrelevant” • While political uncertainty fills the New Year, energy security is not an issue. The US is shedding coal-fired power plants and replacing them with natural gas and renewable resources. And this is being done despite the efforts of the president. [Forbes]

¶ “Here’s What’s on the Radar for Climate Change in 2019” • The science of human-caused climate change is unequivocal. We know what the science tells us will happen to our planet if we don’t make drastic changes fast enough. Here are some factors that will shape climate change coverage over the next 12 months and beyond. [CBC.ca]

Wildfire in British Columbia (Darryl Dyck | Canadian Press)

¶ “Debate Continues: Can New Technology Save Nuclear Power?” • Nuclear power provides carbon-free electricity for a warming world. But is its use still practical, can it still be economic, is its promise still achievable, and is nuclear a key to combating climate change? So far, nuclear power has fallen short of those goals, and that might not change. [POWER magazine]

¶ “2018 Showed Why Import Duties Can’t Save India’s Solar-Panel Makers” • A boom in solar installation in India was fuelled by low-cost solar panels, 85% of which came from China. Then, in August, the government imposed a 25% duty on foreign-made PV cells and panels. It did not help Indian manufacturers, and it hurt solar installers. [Quartz]

Sun for the roses, sun for the thorns

World:

¶ “Innovative Microgrid Will Power Finnish Distribution Center” • A distribution center in Finland is installing what is being called the country’s largest industrial microgrid, a system that will use 100% renewable energy. The system is being built by Schneider Electric in Järvenpää. It will be used by Lidl, a grocery store chain based in Germany. [POWER magazine]

¶ “RWTH Working to Bring Electric Delivery Vans to Market” • The Production Technology for Electromobility Components sector of the Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule, Germany’s largest technical school, introduced what it calls a “primotype” of a new modular electric delivery van. The LiVe 1 has a 7.5 ton capacity. [CleanTechnica]

LiVe 1

¶ “Solar Slashes Peak Electricity Demand on New Year’s Eve” • EnergyAustralia has claimed that solar power costs ratepayers $45 per year. But the Australia Institute said rooftop solar cut peak electricity demand in New South Wales, Queensland, and South Australia enough to save ordinary customers possibly $1 billion in just three days. [Solar Quotes]

¶ “Ballarat Community Power Hub Gives Communities Control of Their Own Power” • In Victoria, a proposal to put 225 kW of PVs on the roof of the Eastern Grampians Health Service’s Ararat and Willaura campuses was selected as the Ballarat Community Power Hub’s flagship project. It should save the health service $1.65 million over 25 years. [Ballarat Courier]

East Grampians Health Service

¶ “Renewables Posted Record Share of UK Power in Q3 2018” • Renewables provided almost one-third of the UK’s total power output in Q3 2018, a record high for that period of the year, boosted by the summer’s heatwave and high wind speeds. It was the second successive quarter that the country’s renewables output set a new record. [Current News]

¶ “Sembcorp to Commission Singapore’s Largest Rooftop Solar Farm” • Sembcorp Industries and Cache Logistics Trust said they have signed an agreement covering installation and operation of rooftop solar farms at three logistics warehouses in Singapore owned by Cache. The systems will have a total capacity of around 7.9 MW. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Solar PVs covering a parking lot

US:

¶ “Rooftop Solar Tax Relief Bills Vetoed by Michigan Governor” • Both chambers of the Michigan legislature passed bills to allow solar systems to be free of being taxed as real estate. Just before the he left office, Governor Rick Snyder, the man who refused to lift a finger to help the citizens of Flint solve their water crisis, vetoed the measures. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Advocate to Use 100 Percent Renewable Energy by 2030” • In Illinois, Advocate Aurora Health officials announced they will power its 27 hospitals and 500-plus outpatient facilities on 100% renewable energy by 2030. They will increase wind, solar, and geothermal infrastructure at its existing buildings and only buy power from renewable sources. [Chicago Daily Herald]

Advocate Sherman Hospital (Courtesy Advocate Aurora Health)

¶ “Bill McKibben Has a New Year’s Message About Climate Change – Act Quickly” • Have we waited too long to take bold action on climate change? McKibben argues there is still a slim chance that a total collapse of the Earth’s ecosphere is still mathematically possible. “Win soon,” he said, “or suffer the consequences.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Dakota Access Pipeline Developer Misses Year-End Deadline to Plant Trees” • The developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline missed a year-end deadline to plant thousands of trees along the pipeline corridor in North Dakota. The company said it was still complying with a settlement of allegations it violated state rules during construction. [The Guardian]

Have an unimaginably pleasurable day.

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January 1 Energy News

January 1, 2019

Opinion:

¶ “In 2018 the Australian Government Chased its Energy Tail. Here’s a More Hopeful Story” • While Australia’s government trashed its international reputation by reaffirming allegiance to coal, lying about climate progress, and dismissing the landmark IPCC report, the transformation in Australia’s electricity sector tells a hopeful story. [The Guardian]

Renewable energy (jjnogueron | Getty Images | iStockphoto)

¶ “2018: A Year of Stalled Progress and Unprecedented Ambition on Climate” • In 2018, US efforts on climate change were set back, as carbon emissions rose 3% after declining for three years. But in 2018, pioneers at the federal, state, and corporate levels announced ambitious new goals, and technologies emerged to make them attainable. [The Hill]

World:

¶ “Electra Meccanica Ramping Up Production at New Zongshen Factory” • The Electra Meccanica proposes a different solution to moving people around with its three-wheeled electric car, the SOLO. The SOLO is built as the ultimate single person people mover, on the premise that the vast majority of trips we take are with a single person in the car. [CleanTechnica]

Electra Meccanica SOLO

¶ “Big Oil and Renewable Energy: Progress, but ‘Follow This’ (and CleanTechnica) Want More” • Supermajors are taking on more renewable energy commitments lately as they prepare for a less carbon-intensive future. Some are going a step further, coupling these green commitments with such causes as bringing power to those without it. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Saint Kitts and Nevis to Run on 100% Renewable Energy” • Thermal Energy Partners LLC of Texas has contracted to provide for construction of a 10-MW geothermal power plant on Saint Kitts and Nevis. The geothermal plant will allow the island to become 100% reliant on renewable electric power with zero emissions. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Source of energy

¶ “Danes Revel in 270-MW Chinese New Year Party” • Vestas has secured a flurry of end-year orders in China for three projects totalling over 270 MW. The Danish firm has won an order to supply 200 MW of 2-MW turbines to Hanas for one project. The pair have a long-term relationship that has now seen 1.4 GW of contracts between them. [reNEWS]

¶ “2018: A Bumpy Indian Solar Ride” • The Indian solar industry started 2018 positively, with the government allocating ₹5,020 crore ($790 million) for expanding renewable energy in financial year 2018-2019. But challenges remain. Land acquisition is still a major hurdle, and high duties on Chinese panels have slowed growth. [pv magazine India]

Indian solar system (Image: IBC Solar)

¶ “China’s Big Push for Solar Energy” • Emerging markets are frontrunners in solar energy production and consumption. By overtaking the developed countries, emerging economies like China and India have become important players in the solar market. And China has emerged as the leader in renewable energy. [Institute for Defense Studies and Analysis]

¶ “SECI Invites Bids for 2,400 MW of Renewable Energy Generation Plants” • The state-run Solar Energy Corporation of India has invited bids for setting up wind and solar plants of 1,200 MW each. The FY19 renewable capacity addition target had been set at 15,600 MW, including 10,000 MW of wind and 4,000 MW of solar. [EnergyInfraPost]

Solar and wind system

¶ “Board Maps Out Kenya Nuclear Plant Sites” • Kenya finished the process of analysis and selection of potential nuclear sites. The process is the first of the three stages to be carried out by the Kenya Nuclear Electricity Board, which is mandated to fast-track implementation and establish additional 1,000-MW plants in the next eight years. [Business Daily]

US:

¶ “Four New Electric Cars with Long Range Are Coming to US Showrooms in 2019” • Seven years after the Tesla Model S first went on sale, American drivers still have few battery EVs with more than 200 miles of range to choose from. That will change in 2019 as new models from Jaguar, Audi, Hyundai, and Kia find their way into US showrooms. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai Kona Electric, $36,450, 258-mile range

¶ “Texas’ MMEX Resources Makes Solar Moves” • Texas-based MMEX Resources Corp, which focuses on oil, gas, refining, and electric power projects in Texas and Latin America, announced its new membership in the Texas Solar Power Association. It had announced formation of its subsidiary MMEX Solar Resources LLC in July. [Solar Industry]

¶ “Three Firms Show Interest in Building Wind Energy Turbines off New Jersey’s Coast” • Three companies have shown interest in building offshore wind-energy projects along the New Jersey coast, the Associated Press reported. New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilities said it received three bids from interested firms, but did not identify them. [PhillyVoice.com]

Wind turbines (PA Images | SIPA USA)

¶ “Renewable Energy Efforts Made Big Gains in Wisconsin in 2018, Advocate Says” • Each year, RENEW Wisconsin outlines the state’s efforts on renewable energy. Its executive director said the numbers of community wind and solar projects are growing, but some of the biggest renewable news came from the largest utilities. [Wisconsin Public Radio News]

¶ “Ocasio-Cortez Slams Democrats for Deeming Climate Goals ‘Too Controversial'” • Rep-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is ripping her fellow Democrats for failing to take up her proposed special climate change committee for a Green New Deal because it was deemed “too controversial.” Its aim is to have 100% of grid energy be renewably generated. [The Hill]

Have a plainly glorious day.

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December 31 Energy News

December 31, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “The US Department of Energy Roots for Floating Solar Panels. Do You?” • Floating solar PVs on water seems to make sense, right? Well, maybe. Floating PVs on water add another wrinkle to maintaining them. So does finding suitable bodies of water. But as other countries move on floating PVs, the US DOE wants the US to play catch-up. [CleanTechnica]

Floating solar panels

¶ “Social Entrepreneurs Make It Easy for 2019 To Be Your First Carbon Neutral Year” • While debates rage about what should be done about climate change, some social entrepreneurs are doing something about it. Among other things, they’re making it easy for 2019 to your first carbon neutral year. One organization working on this is Drawdown. [Forbes]

¶ “Six Renewable Energy Trends to Watch in 2019” • 2019 promises to be an exciting year for clean tech. Increasingly, numbers of countries, companies, and regions are embracing sustainable energy generation and the landscape is rapidly evolving. Here are 6 renewable energy trends to watch in the coming year. [Forbes]

Renewable energy in China (Getty image)

¶ “Trump Administration Fiddled While California Burned” • 2018 brought chilling warnings about the growing dangers of climate change. As possible evidence of it, the Camp Fire killed over 80 people and destroyed the town of Paradise, California. Scientists blamed climate change, but Trump worked to bail out the coal industry. [RTO Insider]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Flood Defences: How Willow Proved to Be a Natural Defender” • Planting willow trees on farm land along a river to grow fuel for a biomass plant had an unexpected benefit for a farmer in Cumbria. As heavy rain produced a flood that washed gravel and debris onto exposed fields, the willow trees provided protection to the adjacent fields. [The Guardian]

Willow growing along the River Eden in Cumbria
(Photo: Christopher Thomond for the Guardian)

World:

¶ “35 Renewable Energy Projects Completed Costing $3.5 Billion” • Over the past year, Pakistan added just a bit more than 1,185 MW of wind capacity to its electric grid. Six solar projects with a total of 430 MW capacity have been brought online, and six sugar mills have new bagasse co-generation projects totalling 201 MW. [Technology Times Pakistan]

¶ “Home Solar Power Systems Shine in HCM City” • Hundreds of households in Ho Chi Minh City have been benefiting from homegrown solar power systems. The Ministry of Trade and Investment has encouraged citizens to produce solar power at home to cover their own electricity demand and contribute to the national power grid. [en.vietnamplus.vn]

Solar panels in HCM City (Source: tuoitre.vn)

¶ “Cyprus to See a New Wave of Subsidy-Free PV in 2019” • Cyprus has had several policy schemes supporting development of solar power over the years, but the most important is a plan now backing projects considered subsidy-free. There have been 86 PV projects submitted for plants with capacities ranging from 100 kW to 5 MW. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Solar Power Plant Set for 2019” • A solar power plant worth more than $58 million is under construction in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province. Installation of 200,000 solar modules will start in January, and they are set to begin operating late next year, said PV supplier JinkoSolar Holding Co Ltd. The plant’s capacity will be 60 MW. [The Phnom Penh Post]

Solar plant in Mexico (Alfredo Estrella | AFP)

¶ “227 MW of Solar Green-Lit for Bangladesh” • The government of Bangladesh approved proposals for setting up five solar power plants, which will generate 227 MW of electricity in the power-hungry country. The cabinet committee on public procurement agreed to buy the plant’s electricity at about 11¢/kWh for 20 years. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Vestas Nails 328-MW Norwegian Nugget” • Vestas has landed a 328-MW order to supply and install turbines at several projects in Norway. The Danish manufacturer said that variants of 4-MW machines will be used in the projects, but did not immediately give further details of the number of units, the developers, or the projects themselves. [reNEWS]

Vestas turbine installation (Vestas image)

US:

¶ “DOE Stalls Clean Energy R&D, Risking Jobs and US Competitiveness” • The US DOE may be sitting on about $600 million in Fiscal Year 2018 funding for clean energy research and development, despite clear and strong congressional guidance to invest in new technologies and innovation to pave the way for America to lead in clean energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “House Climate Change Committee to Oppose Disastrous Trump Environmental Agenda” • As Democrats become the majority party in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, its new Speaker, announced a new special committee on climate change. The chair will be Karen Castor, a 7-term representative from Tampa, Florida. [CleanTechnica]

US Capitol Building (Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Climate Report Author Takes on White House” • One of the authors of the latest federal climate assessment, which warns of severe consequences for the country’s economy, environment, and public health from global warming, pushed back against the White House press secretary’s statement that the findings were not based on facts. [Parker City News]

¶ “DOE Agreement Supports Power Generated from SMRs” • Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems plans development of a 12-module NuScale nuclear demonstration plant at a site at the Idaho National Laboratory, with operation expected by 2027. The DOE signed a memorandum of understanding on two of the modules. [World Nuclear News]

Have a sublimely tranquil day.

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December 30 Energy News

December 30, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “More Republicans Than You Think Support Action on Climate Change” • New polls suggest that Republicans’ views on global warming may be at a tipping point. While the media have been focusing on splits between Democrats and Republicans, the more important gap may now be between Republican voters and the leaders they elected. [New York Times]

Time to agree (Rose Wong)

¶ “China’s Climate Progress May Have Faltered in 2018, But It Seems to Be on the Right Path” • China is among the biggest drivers of the increase in world carbon emissions expected for 2018. It accounts for 27% of global carbon dioxide emissions. But based on my research on China’s climate change policies, I see grounds for optimism. [DeSmog]

¶ “Green New Deal: What Is the Progressive Plan, and Is It Technically Possible?” • A survey from the Yale Climate Change Communication program says that 81% of voters backed its description of a Green New Deal. It would move us rapidly to clean energy, and it is technologically possible, but it does not have support from politicians.  [The Guardian]

Advocates of the Green New Deal
(Michael Brochstein | Zuma Wire | Rex | Shutterstock)

¶ “China Will Still Go Massively Nuclear but Does Not Want Western Reactor Technology” • Chinese nuclear reactors are completed in four to five years and at a half or a third of the price of those in the US and Europe. Plans for American or European reactors were over budget and late in China, so it is investing in its own technology. [Next Big Future]

¶ “Climate Change Dominated This Year’s Maine Gardener” • It’s beginning to feel like I am as much an environmental writer as a gardening columnist. Almost half of my columns in the past year involved climate change to some extent or actions people could take to make the world a better place. That is not the way they used to be. [Press Herald]

Seedling

World:

¶ “Coal India Aims to Join Big League of Miners” • Coal India’s decision to reposition itself as a holistic energy entity and harness its strength in mining by diversifying into metals will place the government-owned major in the big league of global mining. The metals mining move will help it hedge against the impact of renewable energy. [Lakeland Observer]

¶ “24 Million Jobs Could Be Created from Meeting Paris Climate Agreement Targets” • To justify leaving the Paris Agreement, Trump has repeatedly said that it will eliminate millions of US jobs. But according to International Labor Office research, his position is unfounded, as most countries, including the US, will see a net gain in employment. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines

¶ “Clean Energy Leader Costa Rica Turns Attention to Electric Cars” • Costa Rica likes to advertise itself as an ecological paradise, with over 98% of its electricity coming from clean energy. But just 600 out of 1.4 million private vehicles run on electricity instead of gas or diesel. Experts believe that is about to change, however. [The Tico Times]

¶ “Two Solar Power Bases Launched in Northwestern China” • Two solar power bases in northwest China’s Qinghai Province, with a total installed power generating capacity of 1 GW, were launched and connected to the grid, Trend reported citing Xinhua. One of them is selling power at a rate below the going rate from coal-fired plants. [AzerNews]

Solar power plant

¶ “EU to Chop New Automobile Emissions by 37.5 % by 2030” • The EU forged ahead with plans to slash carbon dioxide emissions from new cars and vans by 2030 despite industry concerns that the targets could be unrealistic. They will require new cars sold in 2030 to emit 37.5% less carbon dioxide on average compared to 2021 levels. [Infosurhoy]

¶ “Zimbabwe Saves Fortune on Energy Bill” • Zimbabwe’s bill for energy imports dropped from at least $48 million to about $1.2 million monthly, as efforts to invest in local electricity generation to underpin economic growth begin to bear fruit. With new power projects, Zimbabwe is moving towards energy self-sufficiency. [Bulawayo24 News]

Kariba Dam, Zimbabwe (Rhys Jones, Wikimedia Commons)

US:

¶ “NV Energy Mulls Retiring 254-MW Coal Unit in Nevada Ahead of Schedule” • Reports indicate that the public utility firm NV Energy is planning to retire a 254-MW coal-fired generating unit, located in Nevada’s power constrained region, by the end of 2021. This would be four years ahead of the schedule for it to be closed down. [Global4Energy News]

¶ “Climate Change is Affecting Northeastern Pennsylvania” • The Fourth National Climate Assessment, completed last month, reinforced what scientists have long known: Climate change is already making its mark on Pennsylvania, and the state faces a future that will be warmer, wetter, and challenged by extremes that keep getting more extreme. [Tribune-Review]

Trail biking in winter (Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review)

¶ “Ørsted, with the Support of PSEG, Submits Bid to Build First NJ Offshore Wind Farm” • Ørsted submitted a bid to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to build its Ocean Wind project in response to the first offshore wind request for proposal under Governor Phil Murphy’s clean energy agenda, according to a release. [Cape May County Herald]

¶ “Construction Underway Near Cashton on Second Community Solar garden” • Xcel Energy announced that construction of the second Solar*Connect Community project is underway. The solar garden, part of Wisconsin’s largest community solar garden program, is being built by OneEnergy Renewables, a leading developer across the US. [La Crosse Tribune]

Have an impressively uplifting day.

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December 29 Energy News

December 29, 2018

Signs of Changing Times for Auto Makers:

¶ “WSJ Auto Columnist: Next Vehicle Will Be Electric, Gasmobiles Soon to Be Like Flip Phones” • Wall Street Journal auto columnist Dan Neil discussed his next car. It will be an EV. He said, “During the reasonable service life of any vehicle I buy today, I expect the demand for IC-powered vehicles will drop to practically zero. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla’s current lineup (Photo: Zach Shahan for CleanTechnica)

¶ “Bloomberg: To Catch Up to Tesla, Big Auto Needs ‘Tricky Financial Stunt'” • As Tesla gains market share, legacy automakers face tough decisions. Bloomberg warns, “The future of the auto industry is going to look like the history of the cell phone … some of today’s dominant car companies will share the fate of a few former titans of the smartphone. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “EV Charging Rates for Commercial Electric Trucks, Buses, and Fast Chargers – Policies Forming” • Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric, two of the largest utilities in the nation, have developed an innovative suite of rates designed specifically for commercial EV charging, providing significant fuel cost savings. [CleanTechnica]

Charging a fleet of EVs

Science and Technology:

¶ “Bioplastic Breakthrough Promises Polymers Without Using Precious Land or Water Resources” • Researchers at Tel Aviv University say they made a polymer from microorganisms that feed on seaweed. The process produces no toxic waste. Better still, the resulting plastic is biodegradable and also creates nothing but organic waste. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “India Commits ₹4,500 Crore to Bhutan’s 12th Five-Year Plan” • India announced that it will contribute ₹4,500 crore ($676.4 million) to Bhutan’s 12th Five-Year Plan, after talks headed by the countries’ prime ministers. The two sides also reviewed the progress of various hydro-power projects in the Himalayan kingdom. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Hydro project

¶ “Vestas Celebrates 12 GW Order Record for 2018” • A flurry of end-year deals helped Vestas record over 12 GW of global orders for 2018. Over 350 MW of projects announced in Europe have helped the company beat its previous record last year, 11,178 MW. These include projects in Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Ukraine, and Poland. [reNEWS]

¶ “Turbine Giant Becomes 1-GW Wizard in Oz” • Vestas has signed a 184-MW engineering, procurement and construction contract for a wind project in Western Australia. The deal pushes the company’s Australian order intake for 2018 to 1 GW, the highest in one year since Vestas installed its first wind farm in Australia, 25 years ago. [reNEWS]

Vestas wind farm (Vestas image)

¶ “Eco revolution! Solar powered Jamia Millia Islamia to get green buildings too” • Jamia Millia Islamia, which now has the largest solar power plant among all central universities in India, is going green completely as it plans become emission-free and fully renewable energy-reliant by turning itself into a net source of electricity. [Times Now]

US:

¶ “EPA Proposes New Rule That Could Allow Fewer Restrictions on Toxins” • The Environmental Protection Agency announced that it is proposing new rules for the regulation of hazardous air pollutants, potentially making way for fewer restrictions on various pollutants in the future. A number of groups were quick to criticise the move. [CNN]

Brandon Shores power plant (Mark Wilson | Getty Images)

¶ “Powerhouse 3.0 Solar Shingles Head to The Roof” • The snail-slow solar shingle race is moving once again, as Real Goods Solar accepted the first of its $127 million worth of Powerhouse preorders on December 27. The company also announced plans to ramp up production every quarter during 2019 toward a 5-MW annual capacity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Massachusetts Reboots Its EV Incentive Program” • After January 1, the maximum rebate for EVs in Massachusetts will be reduced to $1,500 and only fully battery electric or hydrogen fuel cell cars will be eligible. Hybrids will not be given rebates. In addition, the sticker price of the car must be under $50,000 to qualify for the program. [CleanTechnica]

Chevrolet Bolt

¶ “Connecticut to Tap Power from Seabrook to Generate Clean Energy” • Nuclear power plants in Connecticut and New Hampshire were among electricity producers selected to provide the clean energy Connecticut needs to meet its goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Nine solar project and one offshore wind farm were also chosen. [Concord Monitor]

¶ “CU Hits Goal of 40% Renewable Energy” • City Utilities of Springfield, Missouri, signed a deal that brings its renewable energy portfolio to a goal of more than 40%. CU announced that it is buying 100 MW of power from Enel Green Power’s new Diamond Vista wind farm near Salina, Kansas, according to a news release. [Springfield Business Journal]

Wind turbine (Photo provided by City Utilities of Springfield)

¶ “NREL Details Great Potential for Floating PV Systems” • In a paper that was published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, researchers at the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimated that floating solar PVs on the more than 24,000 man-made US reservoirs could provide about 10% of the nation’s electricity. [POWER magazine]

¶ “Santee Cooper Sues Partner over Project” • South Carolina’s state-owned utility is suing its partner in a failed nuclear project, saying the privately owned South Carolina Electric & Gas had committed fraud and misconduct that caused billions of dollars to be wasted on the unfinished reactors. The two utilities spent over $9 billion on the project. [106.3 WORD]

Have a sweetly memorable day.

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December 28 Energy News

December 28, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “The 35 Easiest Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint” • In the face of the recent  National Climate Assessment report on the threats of climate change, the Trump administration keeps on trying to roll back environmental policies. Individuals, can make a difference, however, by reducing personal greenhouse gas emissions. [State of the Planet]

Cycling (Photo: SFBicycleCoalition)

¶ “2018 Was Key to Australian Clean Energy Industry, 2019 Has to Continue That Growth” • It will be interesting, in a decade or so, to see how we rate this year for the role it played for clean technology around the world. Significant milestones were met and exceeded the world over, but also some tremendous failures. Australia saw both. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Volkswagen’s New Mobile EV Charging Solution” • VW is offering a glimpse of its mobile quick charging station. It works according to the principle of a power bank, to charge an EV’s battery from its own internal battery. It has quick charging technology, and can charge a car with suitable connections in 17 minutes. [CleanTechnica]

VW EV Charging Solution

¶ “Perovskite Solar Panels Edge Closer To Production As Prices Fall” • Perovskite PVs can be sprayed or painted on virtually any surface. The source materials are abundant and inexpensive, but Perovskites are nevertheless more efficient than silicon cells. Their one drawback is that they do not last long. That problem is being addressed. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Divestment Year in Review 2018” • Over 1000 institutions with managed investments worth almost $8 trillion have made commitments to divest from fossil fuels. Increasingly, managers are aware of the risks of climate breakdown and deciding of their own accord to divest from morally unsound and financially risky industries. [CleanTechnica]

Divestment demonstration

¶ “The Solar Tracker Global Growth Rate Is Stunning” • The multi-billion dollar demand for solar trackers is expected to continue for at least the next five years, a market forecast says. The global single-axis solar PV tracker market is expected to show a cumulative average growth rate of close to 28% during the period 2019-2023. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “China Making Big Battery Storage Push in 2019” • China is set to add a significant amount of both lithium-ion and flow batteries to its electric power grid next year. China’s renewable energy portfolio now stands at 706 GW according to Bloomberg, but 7.7% of the electricity from wind turbines is curtailed, as is 2.9% from solar panels. [CleanTechnica]

Inspecting a flow battery in China (Credit: VRB Energy)

¶ “IHS Predicts Global Solar Installations to Reach 123 Gigawatts in 2019” • Leading clean energy analysts IHS Markit has released a new solar PV installation forecast. It expects to see 2019 deliver the highest level of new solar capacity installed in a year, with total installations to increase by 18% and reach 123 GW across the world. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ “Governor-Elect Polis and Incoming Democrats Want Greener Pastures for Colorado Energy” • While outgoing Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper wrote an executive order to cut carbon emissions, there is palpable excitement over the prospect that Governor-elect Polis could go beyond that with his 100% renewable pledge. [Colorado Public Radio]

Colorado wind turbines (Hart Van Denburg | CPR News)

¶ “New Jersey BPU Releases Plan for New Solar Program After SREC Ends” • The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities staff has issued a straw proposal to assist in the transition from the current Solar Renewable Energy Certificate Program to a new system. The SREC program is set to be closed when PV growth criteria are met. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Enel Brings 620 MW of New US Wind Online” • Enel Green Power North America Inc has announced the start of operations of the 320-MW Rattlesnake Creek wind farm in Nebraska and the 300-MW Diamond Vista wind farm in Kansas. Combined, the two new projects will generate around 2,600 GWh of electricity each year. [North American Windpower]

Rattlesnake Creek wind farm

¶ “Coal-free El Paso Electric Adding Solar, Gas, and Energy Storage” • EPE announced plans to add multiple cleaner emitting sources for capacity needed to meet demands of the 2022-2023 summer peak season. The winning bids include 200 MW in solar, 100 MW of battery storage and a new 226-MW natural gas-fired combustion turbine. [Electric Light & Power]

¶ “Power Plant Explosion Casts New Light on New York’s Dirty Fuel Addiction” • A transformer explosion that illuminated the New York City skyline late Thursday night came from one of the state’s dirtiest plants, casting new light on the city’s dependence on antiquated oil-burning power stations and bolstering calls for cleaner electricity. [HuffPost]

Eerie light from the power plant explosion
(Jeenah Moon | Bloomberg Via Getty Images)

¶ “Cooper Says It Is Time to Fight Climate Change” • North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper gave cabinet secretaries their marching orders to fulfill his executive order calling for a 40% reduction in the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. He said there has been progress, but efforts for a cleaner, healthier North Carolina have stalled. [Coastal Review Online]

¶ “$15 Billion SCANA Deal Closer to Completion” • The $15 billion sale of the South Carolina-based SCANA, to Dominion Energy of Virginia appears to be on the way to completion. Earlier this year, Dominion pulled back on $1000 refunds to customers, who paid more than $2 billion for construction of two nuclear reactors that are now abandoned. [WFAE]

Have an appreciably hunky-dory day.

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December 27 Energy News

December 27, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Climate Change: Huge Costs of Warming Impacts in 2018” • Extreme weather events linked to climate change cost thousands of lives and caused huge damage throughout the world in 2018, says Christian Aid. The charity’s report identified ten events that cost more than $1 billion each, with four costing more than $7 billion each. [BBC]

Agricultural loss (Getty Images)

World:

¶ “PCRET Installs 562 Micro-Hydro Power Plants” • The Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technologies installed 562 micro-hydro power plants with a total capacity of 9.7 MW during the last five years, electrifying more than 80,000 houses. It installed 155 small wind turbines also, electrifying 1560 houses, and it installed 4016 biogas plants. [The Nation]

¶ “1.7 Million People Have Signed a Petition in Favor of Suing France over Climate-Change Inaction” • More than 1.7 million people have signed a petition in favor of suing the French government for inaction on climate change. Four NGOs have initiated legal proceedings saying France has defaulted on its environmental obligations. [Quartz]

Demonstration in France (Piroschka van de Wouw | Reuters)

¶ “Shell Set to Double Renewable Budget” • Royal Dutch Shell says it will double investment in low-carbon energy to $4 billion a year while it looks to spend $1-2 billion annually on renewable energy within the next 24 months. Shell has been subjected to activist shareholder pressure for years, especially from one Dutch investment group. [Energy Reporters]

¶ “Global Coal Demand Set to Remain Stable Through 2023 Despite 2018 Increase” • Global coal demand is expected to rise for a second year in a row in 2018. The International Energy Agency believes growth in India and Southeast Asia will be offset by declines in Europe and North America, leaving demand somewhat stable through 2023. [CleanTechnica]

Transporting coal in Indonesia

¶ “Chinese ‘Party Offshore'” • Chinese company State Power Investment Corp brought a 72-turbine offshore wind farm online off the coast of Jiangsu Province. The 302.4-MW Dafeng project is located 43 km from Yancheng City, according to local media reports. It took 202 days to build and will generate 870 GWh of electricity per year. [reNEWS]

¶ “Spain’s power 40% renewable in 2018” • In Spain, the share of renewables in power generation is estimated at 40% this year, up from 33.7% in 2017, thanks to wind farms and increased output from hydropower. Data from grid operator Red Electrica de Espana for 2018 showed that wind’s share was 19.8%, just behind nuclear’s 21.4%. [Renewables Now]

Spanish wind park (Santi Villamarín, CC-BY-2.0, NoDerivs)

¶ “China Starts Operating Most Powerful Single Nuclear Reactor” • China has completed and is now operating an advanced french designed EPR nuclear reactor with 1750 MW of power. This is the most energy from a single nuclear reactor. The main design objectives of the new EPR design are increased safety and competitiveness. [Next Big Future]

US:

¶ “Ørsted Receives 20-Year PPA Approval from Connecticut Regulators” • Ørsted US Offshore Wind announced last week that its 200-MW Revolution Wind Connecticut offshore wind farm, off the coast of that state, has received approval from State regulators for its 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with two state utilities. [CleanTechnica]

Block Island wind farm

¶ “Mercury Emissions From Power Plants Drop 81.7%” • Mercury emissions from power plants fell 81.7% from 2011 through 2017, after establishment of the EPA Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, data from the Center for American Progress shows. Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler is considering rolling back key standards elements. [Daily Energy Insider]

¶ “Ultra-Fast Chargers Come to California” • The Porsche Taycan (formerly Mission E) cars will be arriving shortly. They will be able to take advantage of ultra-fast chargers now being installed in California. The new 350-kW charging equipment can provide a properly equipped electric car with 240 miles of driving range in just 30 minutes. [CleanTechnica]

EVgo 350 kW fast charge station

¶ “After Back-to-Back Hurricanes, North Carolina Reconsiders Climate Change” • After North Carolina was hit by two major hurricanes within two years and flooding rainfall from a third, the state that once spurned the science of sea level rise in its zoning rules is starting to take climate change more seriously. It also has a new governor. [InsideClimate News]

¶ “Ormat Adopts Hybrid Solar+Geothermal Tech” • Ormat Technologies is adding solar energy to a geothermal plant to raise efficiency and to boost income from the energy off-taker, Southern California Public Power Authority. The 18-MW PV installation will cover the 24-MW geothermal plant’s operational energy consumption. [CleanTechnica]

Ormat Technologies geothermal plant

¶ “Minnesota Power Expands Wind Power Portfolio” • The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved Minnesota Power’s 20-year purchase agreement with Tenaska Inc, for 250 MW of wind-generated electricity, tentatively from the Nobles 2 wind farm, expanding the utility’s wind portfolio to 870 MW capacity. [Daily Energy Insider]

¶ “Where Does Your State Get Its Electricity? The NYTimes Knows.” • Using Energy Information Administration data, the New York Times created a graphic representation of how America generates electricity, comparing today’s energy mix to what it was in 2001. Graphs show the shift away from coal power and the rise of natural gas. [CleanTechnica]

Have a really nice 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 25 Energy News

December 25, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “Clean Energy Year in Review 2018: Reversing Trump Administration Rollbacks” • For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The Trump administration’s furious assault on pollution protections has, in turn, catalyzed a powerful and growing movement that is pushing back against these misguided rollback attempts. [CleanTechnica]

Solar and wind (Wind Solar Alliance)

¶ “Japan Must Ditch Nuclear Plant Exports for Global Trends in Renewable Energy” • Projects to export nuclear power plants, a pillar of the “growth strategy” promoted by the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, appear to be crumbling. Nothing else can be said but that the export projects have effectively failed. [The Mainichi]

¶ “Big Oil Claims Higher Fuel Economy Standards Hurt Poor People the Most. That’s a Lie.” • To hear Big Oil tell it, rolling back fuel economy standards is a blessing for the poor. The logic is that more fuel-efficient cars cost more to make, so new cars have to be less fuel-efficient to be affordable for poor people who buy new cars. [CleanTechnica]

Affordable car (Credit: Wikimedia)

World:

¶ “6.3% Plug-In Vehicle Market Share in China!” • After two record-breaking months in China (September with 105,000 sales and October with 120,000), November plug-in vehicle sales kept on pushing forward. There were more than 140,000 registrations there last month, up 59% year over year. The previous record was beaten by 18%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Renault Will Use Sails to Cut Emissions on Trans-Atlantic Routes” • 60% of the parts in Renault’s supply chain travel by sea at some point and many of its finished cars are transported by ships as well. To reduce its carbon footprint, it is partnering with Neoline to build two experimental roll-on/roll-off car carriers powered by sails. [CleanTechnica]

Renault Neoline sailing cargo ship

¶ “Poland’s Planned 1-GW Ostroleka C Coal Plant Gets 15-year Support” • The zł6.023 billion (€1.4 billion, $1.6 billion) 1-GW Ostroleka C coal-burning plant got 15 years of subsidies in a capacity auction, co-owner Energa said. Energy ministry officials said it will be Poland’s last large coal plant. ClientEarth is taking legal action. [S&P Global Platts]

¶ “Multilateral Banks Pile Onto Mexico Solar” • Mexico’s solar expansion over the last three years makes it one of the fastest growing solar nations. Much of this growth has been financed by a host of multilateral development banks, including several from the US. Four have just committed to an 80-MW project in the state of Chihuahua. [CleanTechnica]

Rendering of Aztec Sun Stone
(Photo: Manuel Vega Veláquez, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “India Revises Solar Auction Plans as Tariffs Beat Thermal Power Prices” • The Indian government has been forced to cancel 12 GW of solar power auctions due to a sharp decline in solar power tariff bids. This may seem counter-intuitive, but this capacity was to be supplied along with thermal power from coal-based power plants. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Beatrice Hits Halfway” • Swire Blue Ocean jack-up Pacific Orca has installed 42 of the 84 Siemens Gamesa turbines at SSE’s 588-MW Beatrice offshore wind farm off the coast of Scotland. The first 7-MW machine was installed in July, when the project also delivered first power. Full commissioning of Beatrice is planned for next year. [reNEWS]

Pacific Orca at Beatrice (Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm Ltd)

¶ “Labour ‘Plots UK Offshore Revolution'” • A future UK Labour government would aim to increase offshore wind farm capacity sevenfold by 2030 to help meet the party’s renewable energy target of 60%. Labour views the challenge of climate change as an opportunity to bring skilled jobs and economic regeneration to disadvantaged communities. [reNEWS]

¶ “Horns Rev 3 Delivers First Power” • Vattenfall achieved first power from its 406-MW Horns Rev 3 offshore wind farm off the west coast of Denmark. The first of the MHI Vestas V164 turbines started generating electricity on 23 December, according to a Vattenfall spokesman. The project will have 49 machines, each an output of 8.3 MW. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (Vattenfall image)

US:

¶ “Black Hills Energy Says Wind Farm a Response to Customers” • Black Hills Corp is pursuing regulatory approval for a proposed $57 million, 40-MW wind farm west of Cheyenne, Wyoming, while it seeks commitments from South Dakota’s largest energy consumers interested in using the renewable energy. BHC is a leading coal producer. [Rapid City Journal]

¶ “Alaska Husky Racing Threatened by Receding Ice” • For now, the centuries-old tradition of husky racing is still alive and well in Alaska. But a changing climate means the competition season for these canine athletes is shrinking. The smooth, deep snow that is required for the dogs to run at full strength arrives a little later each year. [BBC]

Driver and sled dogs

¶ “Greenhouse Gas Emissions Continue to Decline in New England” • New England’s increased reliance on natural gas has taken the biggest bite out of greenhouse gas emissions, a report by ISO New England said. But it notes that efficiency initiatives and efforts for renewable resources should continue to decrease emissions. [theday.com]

¶ “Minnesota Set to See Second Consecutive Year of Strong Solar Energy Growth” • Minnesota is set for a second consecutive year of strong growth for solar energy, with a 23% increase in the size of the state’s community solar garden program. Developers in the state also are on track to add at least four larger “utility scale” solar arrays. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Have a lovely day and a wonderful holiday season.

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December 24 Energy News

December 24, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “The Optimistic Activists for a Green New Deal: Inside the Youth-Led Singing Sunrise Movement” • Founded last year by a dozen or so twenty-somethings, the Sunrise movement, began its campaign for the Green New Deal last month when two hundred activists occupied Nancy Pelosi’s office a week after the midterm elections. [The New Yorker]

Sunrise Movement activists (Michael Brochstein | SOPA | Getty)

¶ “A Year of Climate Change Evidence: Notes from a Science Reporter’s Journal” • Compelling new evidence shows we will speed past a dangerous climate-risk threshold as soon as 2030 if greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current rate, which could trigger climate change on a scale presenting grave dangers for all of us. [InsideClimate News]

¶ “Will Tesla Sales Plummet in 2019 with Loss of Tax Credit and Backlog Filled?” • Two things that put some wind under Tesla’s wings in 2018 are changing in 2019: tax credits and pre-orders. Will the 2019 US federal tax credit reduction reduce Tesla sales? Will the pre-orders be filled and demand dry up? Evidence suggests otherwise. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Model 3

Science and Technology:

¶ “Canada Battery Maker Says Flow Storage Costs to Tumble by Half” • CellCube Energy Storage Systems Inc, a Canada-listed maker of batteries that can last for as long as two decades, said the cost of its vanadium redox flow battery technology may halve within four years to $150/kWh, potentially giving it a market advantage. [BloombergQuint]

¶ “Full Steam Ahead For First Ever Diesel-Killing, High Speed Hydrogen Fuel Cell Ferry” • Last summer CleanTechnica took note of plans for a futuristic new fuel cell ferryboat slated to ply the waters of San Francisco Bay. Now the vessel is on track to launch (literally) next year according to its developer, Golden Gate Zero Emissions Marine. [CleanTechnica]

Hydrogen fuel-cell ferry

World:

¶ “Strong Financial Support for EVs in New Dutch Climate Accord” • A broadly supported “climate accord” presented to the Dutch government by civil society organizations envisions strong financial support for the purchase of EVs. It proposes a subsidy of €6,000 on EV purchases in 2021, to be lowered by €400 per year to €2,200 in 2030. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Utilisation of Geothermal Energy in the Agricultural Sector of Greece” • While there is no geothermal power plant in Greece yet, maybe the time is ripe. Geothermal energy is widely used in the Greek agricultural sector to heat greenhouses for growing tomatoes, vegetables, and other plants. And it is used to dehydrate food. [ThinkGeoEnergy]

Greek farmers’ market (Didier BIGAND, flickr)

¶ “6-kW to 7-kW Solar Power System Installations Up 135%” • In Australia, 193,960 small-scale solar PV installations, with a combined capacity of 1,337 MW, had been validated this year as of December 17, the Clean Energy Regulator said. It expects a final total of at least 1,600 MW of small-scale solar PV capacity for the year. [Solar Quotes]

¶ “Shetland Council Eyeing Up What Would be UK’s Largest Renewable Hydrogen Project” • The idea of turning surplus energy from a wind farm in Shetland into hydrogen to use for heating and transport is being explored by a group led by the Shetland Island Council. Other local renewable operators may be encouraged to do the same. [Energy Voice]

Garth windfarm in Yell

¶ “Maharashtra Issues Tender to Procure 500 MW of Wind Power from Existing Projects” • Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited issued a tender to get 500 MW of wind power from projects in the state that are already operating or commissioned. MSEDCL has fixed ₹1.97/kWh (3¢/kWh) as the ceiling tariff. [Mercom India]

¶ “Ørsted Opens Battery Storage” • Ørsted’s Carnegie Road energy storage system in Liverpool is now operational. Carnegie Road is Ørsted’s first standalone, large-scale battery project at 20 MW. This project supports the 90-MW Burbo Bank offshore wind farm’s production scheduling, and it additionally provides some grid services. [4C Offshore]

Carnegie Road energy storage (Ørsted image)

US:

¶ “US Wind Energy Walks All Over Trump’s Coal Talk ” • For all of President* Trump’s coal-friendly rhetoric, the vast renewable energy resources of the US are ripe for the picking, and global energy companies are shaking the tree. A case in point is Italy’s Enel, which is capping its 2018 activities with some interesting news. (Interview) [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Ohio Governor Asks Elon Musk to Save Lordstown Assembly Plant” • Ohio Gov John Kasich sent a tweet to Elon Musk asking him to consider taking over the 53 year old GM plant in Lordstown. He got a tweet back, “Thanks, will consider next year.” Tesla is working hard to make cars as fast as it can for the rest of this year. [CleanTechnica]

Lordstown Ohio Factory (GM image)

¶ “Greenfield Light & Power to Offer 100% Local Renewable Power” • Greenfield Light & Power can finally offer 100% local renewable power to its customers. The announcement was rolled into the release of a two-year contract for energy users in the Massachusetts town. The GL&P rate will be 10.565¢/kWh. The standard utility rate is 11.516¢/kWh. [The Recorder]

¶ “PSC Staff Concerned More Project Delays Ahead for Vogtle Nuclear Plant” • Staff and independent analysts for the Georgia Public Service Commission said the situation for the Vogtle nuclear power site is so dire that the agency should hire another outside consultant to protect consumer interests and ensure the project is not further delayed. [WSB Radio]

Have an excitingly excellent day.

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December 23 Energy News

December 23, 2018

Opinion:

¶ “An Indian Perspective on the Poland Climate Meeting: Not Much Help for the World’s Poor and Vulnerable” • COP 24 ended with a deal that was vital, though limited. From my perspective as a social scientist focusing on conservation and development, however, the meeting failed to match the urgency of needed climate action. [PBS NewsHour]

Flood (Rupak De Chowdhuri | Reuters)

¶ “Here Is How Climate Science Will Be Affected by the Government Shutdown” • Among the bodies a shutdown will hit hardest are the National Science Foundation, NASA, and NOAA, which have been operating under temporary funding for most of the year. They are responsible for critical scientific research, including on climate change. [ThinkProgress]

¶ “How New Jersey (Almost) Missed the Boat on Offshore Wind” • The US offshore wind industry is roaring into life, though for New Jersey the change is bittersweet. In 2015, US Wind nailed down a lease off the New Jersey coast for just over $1 million. Last week, they turned around and sold the same lease to EDF Renewables for $215 million. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore wind ares off New Jersey and New York

Science and Technology:

¶ “Science Extra: IPCC Report Warns Earths’ Climate Is in Serious Trouble” • Australian Broadcasting Company online environment reporter Nick Kilvert discusses the year’s biggest environment stories with science editor Jonathan Webb. At the top of the list, the IPCC report warns that world must act now on climate change. [ABC News]

¶ “EVA Autonomous Air Taxi Has Extended Wings and Can Function as Search and Rescue Aircraft” • Electric air mobility startup EVA has a promising electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft. The eVTOL is small, 100% autonomous, and ingeniously configured. EVA says it is months away from certifications and from flying the machine. [CleanTechnica]

EVA eVTOL

¶ “Climate Change Will Worsen India’s Farm Crisis and Increase Income Inequality, Find Studies” • Of the top 10 carbon polluters in the world, only India and Canada are making clear progress on dealing with climate change, analysis found. But India’s efforts will still not be enough to limit global warming, and the ongoing farm crisis in India will worsen. [Scroll.in]

World:

¶ “As Trains Cross the DMZ Between the Koreas, Hopes Rise for an Energy Supergrid” • Trains crossing the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea are carrying more than just hopes for peace. Also riding the track with them is a plan to connect the Korean peninsula to Eurasian transport and energy networks. [South China Morning Post]

Train about to cross the Korean DMZ (AP image)

¶ “Climate Commitments by over 9,000 Cities: UN Yearbook” • Commitments to climate actions have been made by more than 9,000 cities from 128 countries, around 240 states and regions from over 40 countries and more than 6,000 businesses in 120 countries, says a UN yearbook for 2018. Together, they represent $36 trillion. [Outlook India]

¶ “Masdar Signs $1.6 billion Refinancing Deal for Dudgeon Wind Farm” • Masdar, Equnior, and China Resources Group have signed a hybrid refinancing agreement worth $1.6 billion for the 402-MW Dudgeon wind farm JV. Dudgeon is off the coast of Norfolk. Both financing tranches were oversubscribed, Masdar said. [MEConstructionNews.com]

Offshore wind turbines (Andy Dingley, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Saudi Arabia ‘On Its Way to Become a Nuclear Power’” • Saudi Arabia plans to build two large nuclear power reactors as part of a program of delivering as many as 16 nuclear power plants over the next 20 to 25 years at a cost of more than $80 billion. It has projected 17 GW of nuclear capacity by 2032 to provide 15% of expected demand. [ZAWYA]

US:

Wind turbines

¶ “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]

¶ “Dominion Energy and Smithfield Foods Partner to Transform the Future of Sustainable Energy” • Smithfield Foods, Inc and Dominion Energy are forming a joint venture, Align Renewable Natural Gas (RNG)℠ with projects in North Carolina, Virginia, and Utah. It will capture methane emissions from hog farms and convert them into clean energy. [Hartsburg News]

¶ “Logan County’s Sugar Creek Wind Project Changes Owners, Scheduled for 2019 Construction” • Development of the Sugar Creek Wind project in Logan County, Illinois, will change hands as it was announced that project was sold to a subsidiary of Canada-based Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. Construction on the 202-MW will begin in 2019. [Herald & Review]

Have a decidedly superior 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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December 20 Energy News

December 20, 2018

Science and Technology:

¶ “NOAA’s 2017–2018 Arctic Report Card: Arctic Air Temperatures Warming at Twice Global Rate” • NOAA’s brilliant, visually beautiful, and timely Arctic Report Card for 2018 is an immensely telling work containing the research of over 80 scientists from 12 countries. Since 1900, average temperatures have increased 6.3° Fahrenheit. [CleanTechnica]

Wind-powered, unmanned Arctic Saildrone

World:

¶ “GE Kits Out 300-MW Indian Mega-Farm” • GE Renewable Energy will supply turbines for a 300-MW wind farm being developed by Indian independent power producer ReNew Power. The Gadhsisa project, in Gujarat, will be commissioned in stages, by the end of 2019. GE will supply 120 of its 2.5-132 model, to be made at its Pune factory. [reNEWS]

¶ “Home Solar Lighting Systems Come to Kenya From Azuri and Unilever” • Azuri Technologies and Unilever Kenya have joined together to bring a pay-as-you-go solar home system to off-grid homes in Kenya. The system has a 10-W solar panel, four LED lights, a rechargeable radio, a flashlight, and a USB port for mobile phone charging. [CleanTechnica]

Kenya

¶ “Significant Drop in Energy Use Pushes Down German Emissions in 2018” • Germany’s energy-related CO₂ emissions dropped by more than 6% year-on-year as the country consumed “significantly” less energy in 2018, but with a greater share of renewables than last year, said energy market research group AG Energiebilanzen. [Clean Energy Wire]

¶ “UK Invests $126.62 Million for Renewable Energy Projects in Africa” • The UK government announced $126.62 million (£100 million) funding to build and develop electricity infrastructure for the people in sub-Saharan Africa. The new investment will support up to 40 more renewable energy projects over the next five years. [African Review]

Solar array (Image: Magharebia | Flickr)

¶ “BP Solar Arm to Brew Beer Using 100% Renewable Energy” • Lightsource BP and AB InBev have signed what they describe as the “largest unsubsidised solar energy deal in UK history” to brew Budweiser beer. Once the installation is completed, it will generate enough energy to power the equivalent of 18,000 homes. [Energy Voice]

¶ “TenneT Maps Dutch Renewables Growth Spurt” • Renewable electricity generation in the Netherlands will increase from just over 7 GW today to more than 36 GW in 2033, an annual security of supply report by transmission system operator TenneT says. Two-thirds of the electric generating capacity will be solar, wind, or hydropower. [reNEWS]

Dutch offshore wind farm (Image: Eneco)

¶ “Renewable Energy Company Acciona Adopts Blockchain Traceability” • Acciona, a major Spanish renewable energy company, has announced plans to extend blockchain traceability to its renewable generation globally. The reason it decided to do this is so clients will be able to verify that the energy provided is clean. [Ledger Insights]

¶ “Climate Council Report Reveals 40,000 Australian Businesses Using Renewable Energy, Nectar Farms among Biggest” • A Climate Council report focuses on food and beverage companies that produce their goods using renewable energy. It showed that over 40,000 businesses around Australia have made the move to renewable energy. [Ararat Advertiser]

Nectar Farms design

US:

¶ “Stanford Maps 1.47 Million Solar Roofs in America” • Stanford University researchers created a map of almost every solar rooftop in America, extracting the information from satellite images. A total of 1.47 million solar rooftops were identified in the lower 48 states in the study. It is believed to have identified 93% of solar rooftops. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Wind Energy Could Already Power a Third of US Cars for a Year” • The wind generation already in operation in 2017 would power 75 million US cars for a full year if they were electric. The US wind generation installed in 2018 alone will power about 2 million US electric cars for a year. There are about 276.1 million cars in the US. [CleanTechnica]

Wind farm (Pexels photo)

¶ “Northampton Wins $75,000 Grant to Explore Community-Choice Energy Programs” • Northampton, Massachusetts, has been awarded a $75,000 grant to explore Community Choice Energy PLUS, in the hopes of creating a model for the promotion of local renewable energy that could be adopted nationwide. [GazetteNET]

¶ “Ecolab to Offset 100% of Its Electricity Demand in North America with Wind and Solar” • Ecolab Inc, a water and energy technologies provider, signed an agreement supporting a wind farm in Fisher County, Texas. Construction of Clearway Energy Group’s 419-MW Mesquite Star wind farm is to begin in the first half of 2019. [Windpower Engineering]

Wind turbines

¶ “EDF, Shell Swoop for New Jersey Offshore Acreage” • An alliance between EDF Renewables and Shell acquired a lease area off New Jersey that has the potential for a 2.5-GW offshore wind project. The partners have named the venture Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind. They said the site has “steady wind resources in relatively shallow water.” [reNEWS]

¶ “Grand Gulf Nuclear Power Plant Troubles ‘Happening Far Too Often,’ Mississippi official says” • An unplanned outage at Mississippi’s Grand Gulf nuclear plant is adding to regulators’ concerns over reliability problems at the country’s largest single-unit nuclear power plant. It is the plant’s sixth unplanned power decrease in 15 months. [Jackson Clarion Ledger]

Have a quintessentially nifty day.

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