Posts Tagged ‘solar power’

April 3 Energy News

April 3, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “COVID-19 Is The Catalyst We Need To Push Renewable Energy Forward” • Business is far from usual in America or around the world as the COVID-19 pandemic decimates industry after industry. We are at a crossroads. We can choose to pedal backward furiously or we can choose to boldly go where human civilization has never gone before. [CleanTechnica]

Rebuilding a beach (Carolyn Fortuna | CleanTechnica)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Conifer Is Top Tree In Urban Sound Absorption Test” • Scientists say trees have a role to play in combating noise pollution in urban environments and have identified the best species for the job. The larch was found to be the most effective tree when it comes to absorbing noise with its bark. The findings may help urban planners use trees for noise control. [BBC]

¶ “Marine Life In The World’s Oceans Can Recover To Healthy Levels By 2050, Researchers Say” • Researchers found that in spite of marine biodiversity losses during the 20th century, the population losses have slowed and in some cases have even seen a resurgence during the 21st century. Scientists nodded to a series of successful interventions. [CNN]

Coral reef fish (Manu San Felix | National Geographic)

World:

¶ “Equinor Parts Company With IPAA Over Policy Differences, Continues To Work With API And APPEA” • Norwegian energy company Equinor pledged to review membership in oil industry trade groups and to leave those not following through with the climate commitments made at the Paris climate conference in 2015. Now it is fulfilling its pledge. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Norway EV Market Share Breaks All Records – 75% Of All Vehicles Sold Have Plugs!” • Norway’s electric vehicle revolution broke new ground in March 2020, with plug-in vehicles now representing over 75% of vehicle sales in the country. Of the remaining quarter share, plug-less hybrids took 7.1%, diesel had 10%, and petrol was at 7.7%. [CleanTechnica]

Hyundai Kona EV (Hyundai image)

¶ “NSW Pumped Hydro Plant Could Unlock New England Renewable Energy Zone” • Pumped hydro is a step closer to helping resolve constraints in the New England Renewable Energy Zone of New South Wales, as the Australian Renewable Energy Agency provides $951,000 to Oven Mountain Pumped Storage for analysis. [EcoGeneration]

¶ “Torqeedo’s Milestone 100,000th Electric Drive Goes To Spirit Yachts” • The new, 34-meter Spirit 111 is one of the largest sailing yachts with electric propulsion. The yacht has a Torqeedo Deep Blue 100i system with four 40-kWh Deep Blue batteries. The system can drive the boat at eight knots up to 40 nautical miles, emission-free. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Launch of Spirit 111 (Ian Roman | Waterline Media)

¶ “France Moves To Support Renewables During Pandemic” • In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the French ecology minister green-lighted about 300 solar and wind projects in that country, while also approving extensions to the commissioning deadlines for several projects where construction is under threat by the coronavirus pandemic. [POWER magazine]

¶ “Spain’s Renewables Share Hits 50% In March” • Renewables generated 50% of Spain’s electricity in March and 44.7% in the first three months of the year, according to the latest estimates by Spanish grid operator Red Electrica de Espana. Spain has been under a stay-at-home lockdown since March 15 to slow spreading coronavirus infections. [Renewables Now]

Wind turbines in Spain (petter palander, CC 2.0 Generic)

US:

¶ “Tesla Has Best Ever 1st Quarter – 102,672 Vehicles Produced, 88,400 Delivered” • Tesla has yet again broken some records. It produced 102,672 vehicles and delivered 88,400. This is despite COVID-19. Tesla’s Fremont factory and its Shanghai Gigafactory were both shut down for periods of time last quarter due to the coronavirus pandemic. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “NY Budget Bill Advances Clean Energy” • Clean energy advocates in New York say the budget passed this week includes reforms needed to ensure the state can reach its clean energy goals. Reportedly, over 60 renewable energy projects already have contracts and could start construction, but are in permitting and review stages. [Public News Service]

Solar array (kessudap | Adobe Stock)

¶ “GE Renewable Energy To Retool US Factories For COVID-19 Mask Shields” • GE Renewable Energy is retooling assembly lines in several US factories to start manufacturing 3D-printed mask shields. The shields were designed in-house to extend the lifes of the N95 masks worn by front-line healthcare workers in the battle against coronavirus. [Recharge]

¶ “US Is Allowing Longer Shifts At Nuclear Plants During The Pandemic” • US nuclear plants will be allowed to keep workers on longer shifts to deal with staffing problems in the coronavirus pandemic, raising worries among watchdogs and some families living near reactors that employee exhaustion will increase the risks of accidents. [Power Engineering Magazine]

Nuclear plant workers (AP file photo)

¶ “Capstone Turbine Is To Help A California Facility Produce Renewable Energy” • Capstone Turbine Corp, a microturbine system maker, announced receipt pf an order for an 800-kW Signature Series microturbine to upgrade the City of Roseville, California, wastewater treatment plant. The turbine will run on gas from a bio-digester. [Biomass Magazine]

¶ “CESA Organizes Collaborative To Help States Attain 100% Clean Energy Goals” • The nonprofit Clean Energy States Alliance launched the 100% Clean Energy Collaborative to provide critical information sharing and knowledge transfer among states that have established 100% clean energy goals for their electricity sectors. [Solar Power World]

Have a comfortably composed day.

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April 2 Energy News

April 2, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “The World Could Soon Run Out Of Space To Store Oil. That May Push Prices Below Zero” • The unprecedented collapse in oil demand has sent crude to 18-year lows, and yet a trade war between Saudi Arabia and Russia keeps the oil coming. With all that supply and little demand, The world will soon run out of room to store all the unneeded oil. [CNN]

Neighborhood pump jack (David McNew | AFP | Getty Images)

World:

¶ “Coronavirus Forces Postponement Of COP26 Meeting In Glasgow” • A key climate summit in Glasgow will be delayed until next year due to disruption caused by the coronavirus. The announcement was made in a joint statement from the UK and UN. The COP26 gathering was set to begin in Glasgow this year on November 9. [BBC]

¶ “Liebherr Releases First All-Electric Cement Mixer” • Swiss construction firm Liebherr recently announced an all-electric first for heavy-duty construction sites. Meet the ETM – a five-axle semi truck mixer based on the new 670 HP all-electric Volvo FM. It’s the world’s first mixer that is 100% electric, and it’s 100% awesome. [CleanTechnica]

Liebherr electric cement mixer (Liebherr, via Motorpasión)

¶ “Oil Prices Rise On Hopes Of A Price War Truce” • Global oil prices have risen after Donald Trump said he expected Saudi Arabia and Russia to reach a deal soon to end their price war. He said he expected them to “work it out over the next few days” after he spoke to both countries’ leaders. US oil has just seen its worst quarter on record. [BBC]

¶ “50% of Volkswagen up! Buyers Now Buy e-up! in Germany” • The Volkswagen e-up! is one of the cheapest electric vehicles on the market. Throw in the usual operational savings of an electric car and you end up with a compelling total cost of ownership. Volkswagen reports that about 50% of up! sales in Germany are now e-up! sales. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen e-up! (Volkswagen courtesy photo)

¶ “Last Coal-Fired Generating Plants Closing In UK And New York” • The end of burning coal to generate electricity is continuing. In the UK, two large coal-fired facilities, with a combined capacity of 3,560 MW have been closed recently. And in the next few weeks, the last coal-fired generating plant in the state of New York, is scheduled to close also. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Power Ledger To Give French Customers Their Choice Of Energy” • Power Ledger, a peer-to-peer energy trading pioneer from Western Australia, unveiled a project that will allow French customers to customize their energy mix. Green energy retailer eKWateur is partnering with Power Ledger on the project, which is the largest of its type. [pv magazine Australia]

Solar array in France (Power Ledger image)

¶ “GIG Swoops For 80-MW Buheii In Norway” • Macquarie’s Green Investment Group has acquired the 80-MW Buheii wind farm in Norway from RES. The wind farm in Kvinesdal in southern Norway will provide Eramet Norway’s smelters with power via a 17-year power purchase agreement. The project will use 19 Vestas V150 turbines. [reNEWS]

¶ “Renewables Make Up Over Half Of Germany’s Power Mix” • Germany’s target for renewables to deliver 65% of its consumed electricity by 2030 seems on track, with 52% of its electricity coming from renewables in 2020’s first quarter. Renewable energy advocates warn the trend is imperiled by construction slowdowns, however. [Deutsche Welle]

Solar panels in Germany (© S Hoppe | dpa | picture-alliance)

¶ “Cheap Energy Just Shut Down A Nuclear Reactor” • Vattenfall AB’s 44-year-old Ringhals-1 facility will be kept off until at least the end of September, the operator said. It was already down for maintenance, but low electricity prices make it uneconomical to run. The reactor was scheduled to be shut down permanently by the end of December. [Regina Leader-Post]

¶ “Belgians Smash National Offshore Wind Record” • Offshore wind energy met 9% of Belgium’s total electricity demand between November 2019 and March 2020. That is a 50% increase on the annual average in 2019. The figures, which were compiled by the Belgium Offshore Platform, recorded an average monthly production of 639 GWh. [reNEWS]

Vestas V164 wind turbine (Norther image)

US:

¶ “Hawaiian Electric Plans Nearly 1 GWh Of Battery Storage, Mostly From Tesla Megapacks” • Hawaiian Electric, the utility supplying electricity to 95% of Hawaii residents, says it is looking at installing up to 1 GWh of battery storage. The state of Hawaii has set a goal of getting 100% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2045. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Brayton Open For US Offshore Wind Business” • Brayton Point Commerce Center in Massachusetts is open for business for the offshore wind industry. It completed upgrades to support heavy-lift port operations and receive deep-draft vessels at the site. The site will include 1200-MW high voltage direct current converter and 400 MW of battery storage. [reNEWS]

Brayton Point (Commercial Development Company image)

¶ “With Coronavirus, Disruptions To US Energy Storage Supply Chain Come Home” • In the early months of the coronavirus outbreak, the energy storage industry saw production delays in China and South Korea, but as manufacturing restarts there, social distancing and work restrictions in the US have prompted delays of their own. [Morning Consult]

¶ “New Mexico Panel OKs Abandonment Of Coal-Fired Power Plant” • New Mexico regulators approved an application by the state’s largest electric utility, Public Service Co of New Mexico, to abandon its interest in the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station. The state is working toward emission-free mandates and more renewable energy. [US News & World Report]

Have a reliably cheerful day.

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April 1 Energy News

April 1, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Silver Linings Playbook: Coronavirus Edition” • With the pandemic, we’re in the middle of a global wakeup call. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not possible to look forward and see what we’ll gain by waking up. Some things will be minor compared to the damage inflected by COVID-19, but some will be major. What are the silver linings? [CleanTechnica]

Empty beach (NASA image)

¶ “Trump’s Fuel Efficiency Reduction Would Be Largest Anti-Climate Rollback Ever” • Deep in the 2,000-page final rule rescinding greenhouse gas standards for passenger vehicles, the Trump administration makes a striking admission: Less efficient cars will mean a future of about 10,000 fewer auto industry jobs per year. [InsideClimate News]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Warming Clips The Nightingale’s Wings” • One of the world’s favorite songbirds may be undergoing some profound physical impacts as temperatures rise. Researchers in Spain found that over a 20-year period, nightingales had been growing to have smaller wingspans. The scientists say this is linked to a changing climate in the region. [BBC]

Nightingale (Photo: Javier de la Puente)

¶ “Renewable Hydrogen Sneak Attack On ‘Toughest Third’ Of Global CO₂ Emissions” • A report from BloombergNEF outlines the prospects for renewable hydrogen in various sectors. It argues that renewables alone can’t carry the full weight of global decarbonization as direct sources of electricity, but they can with renewable hydrogen. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Australia Could Be 3rd Largest Market For Tesla Cybertruck” • You may think the US is crazy for SUVs and pickup trucks, but one nation outdoes America in its passion for big, bold, brawny vehicles, and that is Australia. According to The Driven, Australia has the third largest number of reservation holders for the Tesla Cybertruck. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla pickup truck (Tesla image)

¶ “Brazil’s Oi Kicks Off Renewable Energy Project To Cut Costs By $77 Million Per Year ” • Brazil’s largest fixed-line carrier, Oi SA, kicked off a renewable energy project that could cut its operating costs by $77.09 million per year, the company said. The initiative is part an effort to gain efficiency after filing for bankruptcy protection in 2016. [Economic Times]

¶ “Minesto Clears Permits For Faroe Island Tidal” • Marine energy developer Minesto has secured all necessary permits and consents for a tidal kite power generation project off the coast of the Faroe Islands. Minesto, in collaboration with Faroese electric utility SEV, will install two grid-connected DG100 tidal kite systems in Vestmannasund. [reNEWS]

DG100 tidal kite (Warren Cardwell | Minesto)

¶ “Northland Power Completes Deutsche Bucht” • Northland Power has achieved full completion of the 252-MW Deutsche Bucht offshore wind farm in the German North Sea. The Canadian company said all 31 MHI Vestas 8.4-MW turbines on monopile foundations have been generating power since the end of September 2019. [reNEWS]

¶ “Vestas Nets China Deals Totalling 301 MW” • Vestas has secured multiple turbine orders in China totaling 301 MW. One order was for an undisclosed project that includes supply of 56 V136-3.45MW turbines delivered in 3.6-MW power optimized mode. Vestas also got orders for two projects totaling 99 MW in Jiangsu Province. [reNEWS]

Vestas wind turbines (Vestas image)

¶ “World Bank Approves $700 Million To Help Pakistan Generate Renewable Energy” • The World Bank approved $700 million more financing to help Pakistan generate low cost, renewable energy. The financing will be used to complete the first phase of the Dasu Hydropower project. It will install 2,160 MW of capacity on the Indus River. [The Express Tribune]

¶ “New Problem At Fukushima Site; Sandbags Found To Be Radioactive” • TEPCO is struggling to find ways to safely remove 26 tons of sandbags in the basements of two buildings near the No 1 to No 3 reactors at Fukushima Daiichi. They were packed with a mineral called zeolite to absorb radioactive cesium. Now they are highly radioactive. [Asahi Shimbun]

Sandbags at Fukushima (TEPCO image)

US:

¶ “Trump Cuts Fuel Efficiency Standards, Chastises ‘Foolish’ Auto Executives On Twitter” • The Trump administration cut fuel standards and ushered in a plan calling for significantly lower annual increases in fuel efficiency. But not all auto makers were happy. He had some words for the car industry’s leadership and called them “Foolish executives!” [Benzinga]

¶ “US Students Take On KidWind Renewables Challenge” • Last weekend, students from Wisconsin and Kansas competed in the KidWind Challenge by handcrafting small-scale wind turbines or solar structures to harness energy. KidWind is an organisation that focuses on helping educators and students learn about renewable energy. [reNEWS]

KidWind Challenge (KidWind image)

¶ “Energy Department Announces Up To $22 Million For Marine Energy Foundational R&D And Testing Infrastructure Upgrades” • The DOE Water Power Technologies Office announced a $22 million funding opportunity for non-federal research institutions to support foundational R&D and testing capacity to advance marine energy. [Energy.gov]

¶ “Montgomery County Officials Question Social Distancing At Limerick Nuclear Plant” • A major dispute is brewing between Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, and the Exelon Corporation. It all has to do with keeping the coronavirus from spreading at the Limerick nuclear power plant, as Exelon brings 1,800 workers into the area for refueling. [6abc.com]

Have a relaxingly unstressful day.

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March 31 Energy News

March 31, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Climate Versus Coronavirus: Why Massive Stimulus Plans Could Represent Missed Opportunities” • When a $2 trillion economic-stimulus plan was passed by the US Congress, $25 billion in economic aid for passenger airlines was just a small piece of it. But for environmentalists and their Washington DC allies, it was a setback. [Nature.com]

London City Airport closed by pandemic
(Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images)

¶ “Trump Steers Toward Climate Catastrophe By Rolling Back Vehicle Standards” • In the midst of a public health crisis, the Trump administration is set to issue a final rule to roll back vehicle emissions and efficiency standards. This is a failure for consumers and the climate, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

¶ “We Ignored Science As Coronavirus Threat Grew. Will We Ignore It For Global Warming?” • There are many lessons we are learning from the coronavirus pandemic. A crucial one is that we should listen to experts who have been spending their lives studying the sciences. We failed to do that, and the US was appallingly unprepared. [Capital Gazette]

Drawdown by trees

Science and Technology:

¶ “Green Hydrogen Could Cut Industry Emissions By 34%” • The falling cost of making hydrogen that is created by using wind and solar power could cut greenhouse gas emissions by 34% in sectors of the economy dependent on fossil fuels, according to research by BloombergNEF. These sectors include steel, heavy-duty vehicles, shipping, and cement. [reNEWS]

¶ “This Company Wants To Turn Your Windows Into Solar Panels” • What if every window could generate electricity? MIT spin-off Ubiquitous Energy has developed transparent solar cells. Its ClearView Power windows are “solar glass” that turn sunlight into energy without the blue-grey opaque panels we generally associate with solar energy. [CNN]

Solar cell (Natalia V Osipova)

World:

¶ “GCL Plans To Invest $2.5 Billion In World’s Largest Solar Panel Factory” • A report published by Power Technology says China’s GCL Systems Integration Technology plans to invest more than $2.5 billion to build the world’s largest solar panel factory. It will reportedly be able to produce enough solar panels to meet half of global demand. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Big Oil Likely To Spend Less On Renewable Energy, Not More: Report” • Low oil prices have been exacerbates for the oil and gas industry by low demand because of COVID 19. It is likely to spend less on renewable energy. But a report from Wood Mackenzie says that won’t likely slow the overall investment in renewables. [National Observer]

Pipeline in Alberta (Jason Franson | The Canadian Press)

¶ “2.2 Gigawatt Solar Park In India’s Rajasthan State Now Fully Operational” • One of India’s leading private renewable energy companies, Hero Future Energies, commissioned a 300-MW solar power project at Bhadla solar power park in Rajasthan. With this project, the solar park is now complete. It has an installed capacity of 2,245 MW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Northland Makes Canadian Offshore Move” • Northland Power, a Canadian company,  is to buy an early-stage offshore wind development from NaiKun Wind Energy Group off British Columbia, Canada. The deal, which is expected to close in mid-2020, will see Northland take 100% ownership of the NaiKun offshore wind farm. [reNEWS]

Offshore windpower (Northland Power image)

¶ “Brazil Postpones All 2020 Energy, Transmission Auctions” • Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy has announced that it rescheduled indefinitely its energy and transmission auctions, previously planned for the following months. The decree is a response to the international public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Orbital Marine Power To Install First Floating Tidal Farm At EMEC” • Tidal energy developer Orbital Marine Power, based in Scotland, is now manufacturing its first commercial 2-MW O2 turbine. The O2 will be the world’s most powerful tidal turbine, capable of meeting the annual electricity demand of over 1,700 UK homes. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Orbital Marine Power machine (OMP image)

¶ “Some Countries Are Panic Buying Solar Panels” • Australians are stocking up on renewable energy storage in response to the coronavirus pandemic. In a new press release, Smart Energy, a solar firm in New South Wales, has reported a 400% increase in customer inquiries in the last two weeks, reflecting public panic over shortages. [Popular Mechanics]

US:

¶ “Coronavirus And The States: Plastic Bag Bans On Hold; Nuclear Plants Run Low On Gloves, Masks, Wipes” • Several states have put their plastic bag bans on hold or banned the use of reusable bags to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. The Plastic Industry Association called bag bans “a public safety risk.” Greenpeace disagreed. [Missoula Current]

Plastic bags blown from a landfill by a storm
(Laura Lundquist | Missoula Current)

¶ “States Quietly Pass Laws Criminalizing Fossil Fuel Protests Amid Coronavirus Chaos” • At least three states, Kentucky, South Dakota, and West Virginia, have passed laws putting new criminal penalties on protests against fossil fuel infrastructure. The laws were passed in just the past two weeks amid the chaos of the coronavirus pandemic. [HuffPost]

¶ “Nuke Workers Flock To US Small Towns For Can’t-Wait Refueling” • In the US, 32 nuclear power plants are scheduled to have fuel rods replaced this spring, pandemic or not. Installing new rods is a huge undertaking, sometimes involving crews of 1,000 or more descending on a site for a month or so. Spreading COVID 19 is a concern. [Bloomberg Environment]

Have a surprisingly amusing day,

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March 30 Energy News

March 30, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Is It the Death Knell For Dominion’s Pipeline?” • The fracking boom is over. Oil and gas prices have been hit by a perfect storm. There’s the coronavirus pandemic, a trade war between Russia and Saudi Arabia, fracking is enormously expensive, and wells don’t last long. All that has huge implications for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project. [Bacon’s Rebellion]

ACP protest (Sturmvogel 66, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “COVID-19 Will Reshape Politics In The USA, And Our Climate Will Benefit” • Fifty years of increasing right-wing science denial has reached a tipping point in the United States. Dr Anthony Fauci predicted 100,000 to 200,000 deaths in the country. Those deaths are hitting liberal areas now, but will switch to impact red states soon. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “BYD Unveils New Fire-Resistant And Explosion-Resistant Blade Battery” • BYD announced its new Blade Battery. The company says it can withstand all sorts of punishments that cause ordinary lithium battery cells to burn or explode. These are things like being punctured by a nail, crushed, bent, heated to 300°C, or overcharged by 260%. [CleanTechnica]

BYD Blade Battery (Image credit: BYD)

¶ “Plastic-Eating Bacteria Could Be Small Step Toward Tackling World’s Pollution Crisis” • When products are made out of polyurethane, a synthetic chemical compound, they typically end up being buried in a landfill. Now, scientists have discovered a strain of bacteria that can degrade the harmful compounds in polyurethane. [CNN]

World:

¶ “No One Is Buying Canada’s Oil: A Preview Of The Near Future New Normal” • As Saudi Arabia and Russia engage in a price war, lower grades of oil get hard to sell. One result is that Alberta’s crude oil is selling for less than it costs to ship it. Western Canada Select, the domestic heavy oil benchmark, has come in at $4.58 (US) per barrel. [CleanTechnica]

Alberta tar sands (Howl Arts Collective, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Volkswagen Is Optimistic About Its Electric Car Future” • Volkswagen is bullish on the future of its electric cars. On its company blog, it has published a number of new posts recently. Much of it is happy talk intended to burnish the company’s luster in public, but there are some bits of information our readers may find of particular interest. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Fontavis, OX2 Complete 33-MW Orrberget” • Fontavis, based in Switzerland, and Stockholm-based OX2 have commissioned the 33-MW Orrberget onshore wind farm in Sweden. The wind farm, sited north west of Stockholm, features nine Nordex N117 turbines each with a capacity of 3.7 MW. The expected annual production is 96 GWh. [reNEWS]

Orrberget wind farm (OX2 image)

¶ “Hungary Allocates 131.4 MW Of PV In Renewables Auction” • The Hungarian Energy and Public Utility Regulatory Authority selected 72 projects in its first technology-neutral renewable energy auction. Of these, 71 are PVs, with a combined capacity of 131.4 MW. The other one is a 500-MW landfill gas plant based on biomass. [pv magazine International]

¶ “Siemens Gamesa Giant Rotors To Debut In Sweden” • Turbine maker Siemens Gamesa has secured its first order for machines with 170-meter rotors from Eurowind Energy for the 46-MW Knostad onshore wind farm in Sweden. The deal is for eight 5.8-170 machines with 115-meter hub heights, which will operate at a capacity of up to 6.2 MW. [reNEWS]

Wind farm in Sweden (Siemens Gamesa image)

¶ “Japan’s Kansai Electric Vows To Improve Governance After Bribery Scandal” • Kansai Electric Power Co pledged to improve its corporate governance in the wake of a scandal in which the former deputy mayor of a town hosting one of its nuclear plants was found to have bribed company executives. Its chairman resigned over the scandal. [The Mainichi]

¶ “Eureka Moment For Kidston Pumped Storage Hydro Project” • Genex Power’s Kidston Clean Energy Hub, which will turn two massive abandoned gold-mining pits in Far North Queensland into a pumped storage facility, signed a binding agreement under which EnergyAustralia will operate the 250-MW facility for up to 30 years. [pv magazine Australia]

Pits of the Kidston gold mine (Genex Power image)

US:

¶ “Tesla Cuts Jobs In Nevada, Sends Ventilators To New York” • Tesla notified Nevada officials that it is cutting the Gigafactory 1 workforce by 75% because of the coronavirus, CNBC reported. Also, Elon Musk said he had bought 1,255 ventilators from China and had them air shipped to the US. Los Angeles will get 1,000, and 255 are going to New York City. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Coal Miner’s Coronavirus Calamity” • Troubled Pan-Pacific coal miner Coronado Global Resources had to idle its Central Appalachian thermal and metallurgical coal mines. It blamed the COVID-19 induced economic downturn in much of the world. All hourly employees will be laid off. Essential salaried workers will keep working. [mining-journal.com]

Coronado Global Resources workers

¶ “Law Could Extend Coal Plants’ Lives” • Legislation that has the potential to extend the life of Indiana’s coal-fired power plants has been signed into law over objections of environmentalists. The new law requires the state’s utilities to notify the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission if they plan to close an energy-producing plant. [pharostribune.com]

¶ “US Rig Count Crashes As Oil War Takes Hold” • The oil price war and impact of COVID-19 has hit the US fracking sector like a sledgehammer las the number of active oil rigs slumped by 40 or 8% in just one week. That is 8% of the total. The fall was one of the largest ever recorded and followed a week in which the number fell by 19. [ShareCafe]

Have a greatly appreciated day.

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March 29 Energy News

March 29, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Off-The-Radar Renewable Energy Explosion After COVID-19 Dust Settles” • Renewable energy advocates raised the alarm when it became clear that the new $2 trillion stimulus package will not shine so kindly on wind, solar, and other clean tech. But the groundwork for a low carbon revolution was laid by another stimulus bill, passed 11 years ago. [CleanTechnica]

New electric grid (cropped screenshot, via US EPA)
Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “Trump’s Dangerous War On Science” • Long before the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic, the world knew that Donald Trump plays fast and loose with science. In his approach to the subject, Trump is following in the footsteps of autocrats of the past. Will the result be similarly disastrous for the US, and for the rest of the world as well? [The Globalist]

¶ “‘Misinformation Kills’: The Link Between Climate Denial And Coronavirus Conspiracies” • Misinformation is being spread, scientific warnings are being ignored, and leading Republicans have said that addressing the problem is either too expensive or too difficult. No, this isn’t climate change: This is the new reality of the novel coronavirus. [Grist]

Misinformation

World:

¶ “Air Pollution Drops As Europeans Stay At Home” • Most Europeans are living under severe restrictions, stuck at home, desperately hoping for the coronavirus pandemic to pass soon. The impact of the pandemic-related restrictions on air quality is staggering. In some parts of Europe, the levels of toxic pollutants in the air have been reduced by half. [CNN]

¶ “MNRE Announces Scheme For 100% Solarization Of Sun-Temple Town Modhera In Gujarat” • India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has announced a scheme that aims at 100% solarization of Modhera in Gujarat. The town, located in Mehsana district, is the home of the famous Sun Temple, a hindu temple dedicated to the sun God. [EnergyInfraPost]

Sun Temple

¶ “IEA Supports Luxembourg’s Ambitious Energy Transition Goals” • Luxembourg shows positive signs in its efforts to move ahead with its clean energy transition, according to a report from the International Energy Agency. The latest in-depth review of Luxembourg’s energy policies welcomes the country’s to shift to a low-carbon economy. [Modern Diplomacy]

¶ “New Peterborough Green Energy Comparison Website Can Save Residents Money On Bills” • A website launched in the English city of Peterborough gives residents a way to compare 100% green energy tariffs easily. They were chosen on the strict criteria of value for money, customer service, and because they are 100% ethical. [Peterborough Telegraph]

Rooftop solar panels

¶ “Battery Storage Paves Way For A Renewable-Powered Future” • A recent analysis from the International Renewable Energy Agency illustrates how electricity storage technologies can be used for a variety of applications in the power sector, ranging from e-mobility and behind-the-meter applications to utility-scale use cases. [Modern Diplomacy]

US:

¶ “Exxon May Crush Bailout Hopes For Suffering Fracking Companies” • In a remarkable interview on March 26, CEO Scott Sheffield of shale firm Pioneer Natural Resources gave great clarity to why shale companies are unlikely to get bailed out and why the American Petroleum Institute has been touting free markets and opposing bailouts. [EnerCom Inc]

Old and tending toward obsolescence

¶ “Check Out This Electric Vehicle Total Cost Of Ownership Calculator” • California utility PG&E Corporation has a cost of ownership calculation tool for 52 EVs on the market in California (plug-in hybrids as well as fully electric vehicles). By clicking on a pair of vehicles, you can compare their costs of ownership over a five year period. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Coal Exports Declined In 2019” • In 2019, US coal exports fell to 93 million short tons, down 20% from the previous year, the Energy Information Administration’s Annual Coal Report says. Steam coal exports were affected by the downturn in global coal demand, dropping 30% in 2019 from 2018. Metallurgical coal was down 12%. [Beckley Register-Herald]

CSX coal train (Jenny Harnish | The Register-Herald file photo)

¶ “Updated Federal ‘Essential Worker’ Guidance Will Expand Energy Sector Definitions” • The Department of Homeland Security will broaden the list of “essential workers” in the energy sector to include those supporting industries and companies “regardless of the energy source,” after at least one governor tried to shut down his state’s coal industry. [InsideSources]

¶ “Containment vessel top placed for Vogtle Unit 4” • The final major lifts inside the containment vessels for Georgia Power’s Vogtle 3 & 4 project are now complete following the placement of the Unit 4 containment vessel top head earlier today. This comes approximately a year after the Unit 3 containment vessel top was lifted into place. [EnerCom Inc]

Have a gloriously jubilant day.

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March 28 Energy News

March 28, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “The Coronavirus Is a Fast-Motion Climate Crisis” • We were told that “everything was under control” or that the worry was nothing more than “a hoax.” Instead of acting competent, the president has tried to lie, bluster, and bluff his way through the threat. The mishandling of the coronavirus has terrifying parallels to the climate crisis. [Rolling Stone]

Protesters (Erik McGregor | LightRocket via Getty Images)

¶ “Oil Price Volatility Will Give A Boost To Renewables” • You might think that a low oil price is good news sales of fuel-burning electricity generators, but that may not be true. The financing that makes building new facilities possible relies on stable prices during the term of the loans. So the growth of renewables is not related to the price of oil. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “How Madagascar Shapes Southern Africa’s Rainfall: Climate Modeller Adds Puzzle Piece” • An analysis of how Madagascar influences the flow of air over the ocean – and therefore the formation of clouds and rainfall – will help climate scientists make more accurate forecasts of the likely changes in future rainfall patterns in the region. [Climate Home]

Madagascar baobab trees (Aleix Cabarrocas Garcia | Flickr)

¶ “The Hidden Impact Of Your Daily Water Use” • The way we do our laundry, clean our dishes, and hose down our cars all has a surprising and largely unnoticed impact on the climate. The power needed to run household appliances, and especially the energy required to heat up water, has a carbon footprint that’s largely invisible to householders. [BBC]

World:

¶ “Volvo Moves To Rail Transport To Reduce Carbon Emissions” • Volvo is just one of the many companies switching from over-the-road trucks to rail transport to move cars from its factories to storage depots across Europe, China, and the US. The switch to rail reduced CO₂ emissions by nearly 75% (!) on one European delivery route. [CleanTechnica]

Car on a train (Image: Volvo Cars)

¶ “UK Power: Renewables And Gas Up, Nukes And Coal Down” • Overall UK electricity production was 323.7 TWh, a drop of 2.8 % from 2018. Renewable sector output rose 8%. Coal’s retreat continued, dropping from 5.1% of the overall generation mix in 2018 to 2.1% in 2019. Nuclear outages curtailed output, down from 19.5% to 17.5%. [The Energyst]

¶ “SECI, NTPC Sign Agreement To Build Two Solar Energy Parks Of 5,000 MW Capacity Each In Rajasthan” • Solar Energy Corporation of India and National Thermal Power Corporation have signed an agreement with the Government of Rajasthan to set up two mega 5,000 MW renewable energy parks, according to Hindu Businessline. [Swarajya]

Solar panels (Allison Joyce | Getty Images)

¶ “Power, Coal, Renewable Energy Exempted From Lockdown” • The government of India has exempted movement of personnel and equipment related to power generation and transmission from its country-wide coronavirus lockdown, according to separate notifications released by the Union ministries of power and renewable energy. [EnergyInfraPost]

¶ “COVID-19: Siemens Gamesa Pauses Production At Hull” • Siemens Gamesa has paused production at its blade factory in Hull, east England, in light of new government guidelines in response to the coronavirus. The company said that it has been reviewing operations daily because of the COVID-19 outbreak and changes in policy. [reNEWS]

Loading wind turbine blade (Ørsted image)

¶ “Renewables Set To Win During China’s COVID-19 Lockdown” • In China, lower demand for electricity during the COVID-19 downturn is affects power generation sectors unevenly. Thermal power generation dropped 9% year-on-year during the first two months of the year, but wind generation increased by 1% and solar generation was up 12%. [Smart Energy]

US:

¶ “US Renewable Energy Increases In 2019” • The production of US energy from solar sources increased by 13.85% in 2019 while output from windpower grew by 10.06%, according to a SUN DAY Campaign analysis of newly-released data from the Energy Information Administration’s latest issue of the Monthly Energy Review. [North American Windpower]

Wind Farm in Kansas (Drenaline, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Coronavirus Impact On Construction Of Energy Projects” • The US Renewable Energy Industry, including its construction market, like every sector of the economy, is being affected by the outbreak of coronavirus. The energy industry was designated as a critical infrastructure industry for the nation by the Department of Homeland Security. [JD Supra]

¶ “Natel Gets $11 Million To Deploy Innovative Hydro Turbine” • California-based company Natel Energy has raised $11 million (€10 million) to accelerate deployment of its Restoration Hydro Turbine for sustainable hydropower. The funds come from Schneider Electric Ventures and Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Natel said. [Renewables Now]

Restoration Hydro Turbine (Image by Natel Energy)

¶ “Groups Selected For NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Integration Challenge” • Five teams won awards in the first two rounds of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s Future Grid Challenge. The challenge is aimed at developing solutions to integrate clean and renewable energy into the electric grid. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Colorado Expedites Tri-State Member Exit Charge Case, As Power Supplier Gets ‘Split Decision’ On FERC Jurisdiction” • FERC determined it does not have exclusive jurisdiction over Tri-State co-op exit charges, as member utilities seek to break away to have better access to renewable energy. Cases before the Colorado PUC can move forward. [Utility Dive]

Have an enjoyably superb day.

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March 27 Energy News

March 27, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Stop The Lies! Electric Cars Do NOT Have Higher Emissions Than Conventional Cars” • One popular meme for those who are opposed to EVs is that EV have higher carbon lifetime emissions than conventional cars. However, the author of a study on the subject, “The idea that electric vehicles could increase emissions is a complete myth.” [CleanTechnica]

Insides of an EV (US DOE image)

¶ “COVID-19 Could Affect Cities For Years. Here Are Four Ways They’re Coping Now” • The COVID-19 pandemic showed the importance of two important facts: we are more interconnected than ever, and cities are at the front lines of this crisis and will be at the front lines of any similarly globalized crisis in the future. Here are four ways cities cope. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Causes of global warming: How scientists know that humans are responsible” • The National Academies of Sciences, in an update to its “Climate Change Evidence and Causes” report, concluded, “Natural causes alone are inadequate to explain the recent observed changes in climate.” This is based on both modeled and observed data. [Yale Climate Connections]

Hurricane Dorian from a space station (Photo credit: NASA)

World:

¶ “Share Of Renewable Energy Production Hits Record High In Scotland” • Renewable energy accounted for 90% of all the electricity used in Scotland last year, according to newly released figures. The Scottish Government said more electricity was generated from renewable sources in 2019 than ever before: 30.5 TWh, up from 26.5 TWh in 2018. [Energy Voice]

¶ “Electric Vehicles Now 68% Of Auto Sales In Norway” • The Norwegian auto market continues to electrify more and more, with a whopping 68% of new vehicle sales being plug-in vehicle sales in February. Unsurprisingly, in a market that plugged into the EV revolution, the majority of sales were for fully electric vehicles, as opposed to plug-in hybrids. [CleanTechnica]

Audi e-tron (Audi courtesy photo)

¶ “Offshore Wind Set To Soar To 200 GW By 2030 Says Report” • As the offshore wind sector’s global expansion trend continues to grow, increased awareness of the risks and effects of climate change is likely to lead to a greater focus on decarbonization efforts in both the supply chain, and means of component production, a report says. [Smart Energy]

¶ “UK Renewables Bask In Record 2019” • Renewable energy generated a record 37% of the UK’s electricity demand in 2019, with wind contributing more than half of the amount, according to new statistics released by the UK government. Onshore and offshore wind farms each contributed 9.9% of the total  amount of electricity generated. [reNEWS]

Construction at Hornsea One (Ørsted image)

¶ “COVID-19 Impacts Nuclear Industry Worldwide” • With world economies heavily impacted by the COVID-19 virus, nuclear operators are considering their options. Nuclear Engineering International takes a look at how the nuclear industry is dealing with the pandemic, and what measures are being put in place by companies in the industry [Nuclear Engineering]

Australia:

¶ “Origin Pulls Plug On Gas Exploration In Northern Territory. Who’s Next?” • Many fracking companies try to respond to both the oil price crash and the coronavirus crisis with a business-as-usual approach. Origin, however, called for an exit from their fracking exploration operations in the Northern Territory’s Beetaloo basin. [RenewEconomy]

Fracking operation (Australia Institute)

¶ “In Australia, One Climate Change Denier Comes Back To Science (Because Coronavirus)” • Over two months, Australian blogger Jo Nova has kept her readers abreast of the pandemic, as her climate conspiracy theory posts have dried up and she covers coronavirus. She calls for quick and drastic measures to deal with the problem. [Red, Green, and Blue]

¶ “AEMO Warns Any Further Delays In Renewables Transition Could Hit Gas Supplies” • Australia’s Energy Market Operator has warned that any delays to at least 30 GW and up to 47 GW of new renewable energy capacity required to realize its draft Integrated System Plan could force it to lean more heavily on costly and polluting gas. [RenewEconomy]

Solar farm (RenewEconomy stock image)

US:

¶ “Renewables Leader to Washington, DC: More Than 300,000 Jobs Are Not ‘Ridiculous’” • A renewables energy leader strongly urges lawmakers to ensure the clean energy industry, particularly wind and solar jobs, is included in the next phase of federal stimulus spending to defend against the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. [EnerCom Inc]

¶ “Federal Judge Rules Permits For Dakota Access Pipeline Are Invalid” • Even though the Dakota Access pipeline has been completed and placed in service, a federal judge ruled this week that all the environmental permits for it were granted without adequate review or input from the Indigenous communities impacted by it. [CleanTechnica]

Tribal land (Credit: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe)

¶ “How COVID-19 is Impacting Five State Energy Legislation Efforts” • The novel coronavirus global threat is beginning to hit state legislatures, a development that could hinder state clean energy policies, according to several industry stakeholders. Twenty-four states have pushed back legislative sessions, and that is affecting renewables. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Minnesota Solar Industry Says Pandemic Increases Pressure For Legislation” • Faced with an economic downturn caused by the pandemic, Minnesota’s solar industry wants lawmakers to increase the budget for a solar program. Xcel Energy funds the program in return for being allowed to store spent nuclear fuel at two power plants. [Energy News Network]

Have a terrifically fun day.

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March 26 Energy News

March 26, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Nature Is Trying To Tell Us Something. Is There Anybody Listening?” • The coronavirus has upended our society. The head of the Federal Reserve predicts a 50% reduction in America’s GDP in the 2nd and 3rd quarters of this year with unemployment of 30% or more. Meanwhile, President Trump is pushing for the pandemic to be over by Easter. [CleanTechnica]

Sign of the times (Image: Federal Reserve Bank Of New York)

¶ “What Is The Best Approach To Putting A Price On Carbon Emissions In The US?” • There is no doubt the carbon tax would help put the US on track to zero emissions by mid-century. It happens that there are carbon tax proposals backed by Big Oil, but those favored by environmentalists are rather different. The question is what is best? [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “This Giant Glacier In Antarctica Is Melting, And It Could Raise Sea Levels By Five Feet, Scientists Say” • In the last 22 years, one giant glacier in Antarctica has retreated almost three miles. If it fully thaws, sea levels would rise almost five feet, according to researchers at the University of California, Irvine and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. [CNN]

The Denman Glacier, in East Antarctica (NASA image)

¶ “The Great Barrier Reef Likely Just Experienced Its Most Widespread Bleaching Event On Record” • Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has likely had its most widespread bleaching event on record, according to a US government scientist who monitors the world’s coral reefs. It was the third mass bleaching event on the reef in just the last five years. [CNN]

World:

¶ “GE Gets Nod With Cypress Hardware in Vietnam” • Co-developers The Blue Circle and AC Energy have placed an order for GE Renewable Energy’s Cypress turbines for a 40-MW wind project in one of the best wind resource areas in Vietnam. GE will supply eight of its GE 5MW-158 model for the second phase of the Mui Ne wind project. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines in Vietnam (Image: The Blue Circle)

¶ “Sweden Reaches 26% Electric Vehicle Market Share!” • Sweden had an overall EV market share of 26%, an achievement that is stunning for early 2020. The Swedish electric vehicle market is unusual, because about 80% of electric vehicle sales are plug-in hybrids. In most EV markets, 50% or more of those sold are fully electric. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Acciona To Build Huge 1-GW Wind Farm In Queensland After Landing CleanCo Deal” • Acciona, the Spanish renewable energy giant, is set to build a 1-GW wind farm in Queensland after it signed a deal with Cleanco, the state government’s newly created clean energy generation company. It will be the largest wind farm in Australia. [RenewEconomy]

Acciona’s Mt Gellibrand wind farm in Victoria

¶ “Coal’s Demise Is Fueling A Wave Of Green Energy Solutions” • In Europe, the US, and China, renewables are now cheaper than coal – by a lot. And now, the industry is facing another challenge: COVID-19. The slow and painful death of the coal industry is creating some interesting new opportunities for investors in green energy solutions. [OilPrice.com]

¶ “Wind Capacity Grows By Over 60 GW In 2019” • Global wind energy capacity increased by over 60GW in 2019, making it the second highest year for new installations, according to a report from the Global Wind Energy Council. The 15th edition of the “Global Wind Report” said year-on-year growth in 2019 was 19%, with 60.4 GW installed. [reNEWS]

Attaching a blade (GWEC image)

¶ “Coal power remains in global decline, despite Chinese surge” • The impact of coronavirus has prompted a surge in coal-fired power plant construction permits in China, with the government issuing more permits in a couple of weeks of March than it did all of last year. However, would-be developers are having difficulty finding financing. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

US:

¶ “Colorado Utilities Take Step Into Energy Markets As They Evaluate What’s To Come” • Like the Continental Divide that splits Colorado waters into those flowing toward the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans, the state’s electrical utilities have decided to go either east or west to take advantage of new or growing energy markets. [Energy News Network]

Independence Pass, Colorado (Wasif Malik | Flickr)

¶ “Renewable Energy Advocates Decry Lack Of Help In Stimulus Bill” • The latest version of the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill moving through the US Senate would give some economic relief to households and businesses, but the renewable energy industry is disappointed the bill does not extend investment tax credits for its projects. [POWER Magazine]

¶ “Most Of Hawaii’s Electric Batteries Are Paired With Wind Or Solar – EIA” • Nearly all of Hawaii’s utility-scale battery storage capacity is installed with onshore wind turbines or solar PV systems, allowing excess electricity from those generators to be stored and used later, the US Energy Information Administration saids in a report. [Renewables Now]

Hawaii wind farm (David J Laporte, CC 2.0 Generic)

¶ “Old Dominion Electric Cooperative Contracts With EDF Renewables For Additional 30 MW Of Solar” • In 2019, Old Dominion Electric Co-op and EDF Renewables North America agreed to build 30 MW of solar power on 10-12  sites in Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware. Now, they have increased that to over 60 MW of local solar energy. [Solar Builder]

¶ “TVA Delays Two Spring Reactor Refueling Outages By Two Weeks Due To Pandemic” • The Tennessee Valley Authority took the “precautionary step” of delaying planned outages at the Sequoyah 2 and Watts Bar 1 nuclear reactors this spring by two weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic, a TVA spokesman said. It is the first such delay announced. [S&P Global]

Have a superlatively lovely day.

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March 25 Energy News

March 25, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Oil Price War Bolsters Case For US Renewables” • Vladimir Putin and Mohammed bin Salman are giving a big boost to the US renewable energy industry. The oil price war being waged by Russia’s president and Saudi Arabia’s crown prince has killed the conceit that an America reliant on fossil fuel can be energy independent. [ZAWYA]

Pump jack (Getty Images)

¶ “With The Public Distracted, Interior Department Moves Full Speed Ahead On Oil And Gas Leases” • As we all do our part to limit the extent of the COVID 19 outbreak, the US Department of the Interior instead appears to be more focused on advancing oil and gas interests and abusing the situation to avoid public scrutiny and input on its actions. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Panasonic Is Building A Comprehensive Energy Management System For Homeowners” • Panasonic has developed a smart home energy system that appears to be unique. In one version, for example, energy from PVs is not converted from the panels’ DC to household AC and then back again to be stored as DC in the batteries. [CleanTechnica]

Evervolt equipped house (Panasonic image)

World:

¶ “COVID-19: Ørsted Managing Crisis But Warns Of Key Risks” • Ørsted responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by introducing a series of measures such as home-working and travel restrictions for staff. It said its asset base is fully operational and construction projects are progressing as normal, but warned of a negative impact to its business. [reNEWS]

¶ “Siemens Mobility Will Supply 20 Battery Electric Trains To Baden-Württemberg” • A new type of train can run on electricity from batteries when necessary and on overhead wires where available, recapturing kinetic energy regenerative braking when possible. Siemens said a Baden-Württemberg transit agency ordered twenty of them. [CleanTechnica]

New type of electric train (Siemens image)

¶ “Coronavirus Impact On Power-Collections And More” • After the government enforced a lock-down in Delhi, Indian power distribution company BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd suspended some of its services, including meter reading and bill delivery, pending further directions from the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission. [Saurenergy]

¶ “Siemens Brings Street Light EV Charging To London Neighborhood” • Siemens partnered with EV charging company ubitricity to convert 24 lamp posts along Sutherland Avenue in the Westminster section of London to serve as EV charging stations. Soon the partners will begin converting lamp posts on adjoining streets as well. [CleanTechnica]

EV charging at a lamp post (Siemens image)

¶ “Birol: COVID-19 Shock Shows Renewables’ Importance For Power Balance” • Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency, said the lockdowns due to coronavirus are a stress test for power grids. In his view, the disruptions amid the COVID-19 pandemic point to the future role of renewables in power grid balancing. [Balkan Green Energy News]

¶ “Small-Scale Renewables Auction In Estonia Lures 17 Bids” • Estonia’s first tender, seeking small-scale renewables to generate 5 GWh per year, has attracted 17 proposals for 16.28 GWh in total, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications has said. Wind, solar, and biogas projects with 50 kW to 1 MW of capacity were allowed to bid. [Renewables Now]

Wind farm in Estonia (Kain Kalju, 2.0 Generic – CC BY 2.0)

¶ “EDF, Orano Prepare For COVID-19 Impact” • EDF changed its nuclear plant maintenance schedule because of the pandemic, affecting its bottom line. Orano, which suspended operations at a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in La Hague, said it is suspending its financial outlook for the year. The French nuclear regulator has its own efforts underway. [World Nuclear News]

¶ “SIMEC Atlantis Receives £1.5 Million Grant That Effectively Validates Its Tidal Power Advance” • SIMEC Atlantis Energy Ltd has been awarded a £1.545 million ($1.85 million) Scottish government grant that will help fund the subsea hub for the next phase of its tidal power array in the waters off the north coast of the country. [Proactive Investors UK]

Atlantis turbine being lowered into Pentland Firth

US:

¶ “Court Questions Limits The EPA Put On Science Advisory Committees” • The First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a lawsuit brought by the Union of Concerned Scientists against the EPA may move forward. UCS sued the agency over a directive that prohibits EPA grant-funded scientists from serving on science advisory committees. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Musk Delivers On Promise Of Providing Ventilators To Los Angeles” • Elon Musk has made good on his promise to help get more medical ventilators to hospitals in California to treat patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms. The ventilators help people breathe when they cannot do it for themselves, and the machines are in short supply. [CleanTechnica]

Elon Musk at Model Y unveiling (Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Utility Adds Solar Power, Energy Efficiency To Plan” • After its original plan came under fire for reliance on fossil fuels, DTE Energy revised it to add more solar power and improved energy efficiency programs. The Michigan-based company’s revised Integrated Resource Plan now largely complies with what was ordered by state regulators. [Kallanish Energy]

¶ “US Clears Exxon And Chevron To Dismiss Shareholder Climate Reporting Requests ” • The Securities and Exchange Commission approved requests from Exxon and Chevron to reject shareholder proposals that called on the oil and gas giants to report on how they are addressing climate change by aligning to the Paris Agreement. [edie.net]

Have a perfectly untroubled day.

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March 24 Energy News

March 24, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Iconic Plant’s End Spells Doom For Struggling Coal Industry” • Despite the best efforts of Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell to make good on a campaign promise to save the beleaguered coal industry, the Tennessee Valley Authority power plant at Paradise burned its last load of coal last month. The closing is emblematic of the fall of coal. [Associated Press]

Paradise coal plant (Dylan Lovan | AP file photo)

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Largest Ecosystems On The Planet Could Collapse In A Single Lifetime, Study Finds” • Large ecosystems such as the Amazon rainforest and Caribbean coral reefs could collapse within a lifetime, a study found. If these critical ecosystems collapse, they could spark a chain of events that could lead to widespread ecological failure. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Thawing Permafrost Is Giving Scientists The Chance To Study Long-Dead Diseases (Prepare For The Next Pandemic)” • As the permafrost thaws, it could reveal the origins of many diseases, such as scarlet fever or smallpox, helping scientists understand past outbreaks and cope with new ones. That could lead to life-saving discoveries. [CleanTechnica]

Drunken forest on Alaskan peatland (Courtesy USGS)

¶ “Solar Project With Thermal Hydro Storage Lands In Australia” • RayGen, a start-up based in Melbourne, says it has developed a ‘world-first’ renewable energy facility in northwestern Victoria. The power plant uses tower-mounted heliostats and solar cells to generate power. The heat produced as a by-product is captured and stored in water. [Energy Live News]

World:

¶ “Parliament Pension Fund Cuts Fossil Fuel Investments” • The pension fund for members of the UK Parliament has cut its exposure to fossil fuel companies and made record investments in renewable energy. Almost a third of the £700 million pension fund is being put into environmentally sustainable and low carbon investments. [The Guardian]

Houses of Parliament (Aaron Chown | PA)

¶ “Twenty Popular Electric Vehicles Tested In Norwegian Winter Conditions” • The Norwegian Automobile Federation tested the range and the battery charge time of the top 20 currently favored electric vehicles in winter conditions. The challenge went to the very end, as the 20 vehicles were driven until they shut down. No guessing needed. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Eco Wave Power Installs A Combined Wave And Solar System In Gibraltar” • After the completion of the testing phase of the combined wave and solar power station in their R&D power station in Jaffa, Israel, Eco Wave Power decided to expand the testing to its largest grid connected wave energy facility to date, in Gibraltar. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Eco Wave Power power station (Eco Wave Power image)

¶ “India: Funding For New Coal Power Projects Dries Up” • In contradiction to Environment Ministry claims, a new briefing note published by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis says India’s coal-fired power project pipeline is rapidly shrinking. There have been 46 GW of cancellations in the last twelve months. [Smart Energy]

¶ “Nordex Nails 400-MW Norwegian Deal” • Nordex Group has received a turbine order totaling 400 MW for the Oyfjellet wind farm in Norway from an unnamed German investor. Nordex, a German manufacturer, said the contract is for the supply and installation of 72 N149/5.X machines with an anti-icing system on 105-meter steel towers. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Nordex image)

¶ “Uranium Week: Taking Its Toll” • World governments consider the nuclear industry vital and are taking steps to keep plants going. In the spot uranium market, however, sentiment has taken on a bearish tone due to the virus. Fear has now spread from equity markets into credit markets. Despite interest rates that are at historic lows, uncertainty prevails. [ShareCafe]

US:

¶ “Navigant Research Report Shows Offshore Wind Is Expanding To New Markets As Technology Prices Decline And Renewable Energy Becomes More Attractive” • Improved technology and rapidly declining costs have combined to move the offshore wind market forward, according to a report released by Navigant Research. [Oklahoman.com]

Offshore wind (Gary Norton, US DOE, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Volkswagen Settlement Funds To Purchase Electric Buses In New York” • The state of New York will receive more than $127 million from the Volkswagen settlement, but the money is made available over a number of years. New York authorities said $24 million is now available, of which $18 million will be used to fund the purchase of electric buses. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Solar Developers Launch Lobbying Effort To Curb COVID-19 Impacts, Advance Remote Permitting” • The Solar Energy Industries Association rallied its members to reach out to their federal legislators in support of policy that will help the sector weather the novel coronavirus pandemic and global economic downturn. [Utility Dive]

Solar installer (Flickr user 10 10)

¶ “NRDC Sues US EPA For Continuing To Allow Use Of Toxic Weed Killer Glyphosate” • The Trump administration has reapproved the use of glyphosate. In doing so, it puts both public health and the environment at risk, once again ignoring the science. NRDC and the Pesticide Action Network have sued the EPA over the reapproval. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Texas Retail Choice Design Bests 13 Other States In Driving Solar Power” • NRG Energy signed 1,300 MW of solar PPAs in Texas last summer, thanks to state retail competition policies that create favorable conditions, the NRG vice president of regulatory affairs said. Those conditions are missing in the 13 other states that have retail competition. [pv magazine USA]

Have a verifiably perfect day.

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March 23 Energy News

March 23, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Seven Reasons Why Tesla Will Benefit From The Current Crisis – #1 Safety” • This is the first article in a series of seven articles, each with a video, that explain why Tesla is perfectly positioned and will emerge stronger and faster out of the crisis than other auto manufacturers. Tesla offers superior safety for the COVID 19 outbreak. [CleanTechnica]

Tesla Mobile Service (Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Climate Change Is Just As Real As COVID-19. Now’s The Last, Best Chance For Our Government To Treat It That Way” • There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic is the crisis of the moment, and a terribly serious one at that, threatening not only human lives but also the global economy. But it’s not the only crisis the world is facing. [Los Angeles Times]

¶ “Climate Science Deniers Are Also Downplaying COVID-19 Risks” • Just one day after the WHO declared an international health emergency, the climate-denying American Council on Science and Health, published an article that began with the question, “Is coronavirus worse than the flu?” And it answered its itself, “No, not even close.” [Truthout]

COVID-19 drive thru testing site (John Moore | Getty Images)

World:

¶ “Ford Takes Go Electric Campaign On The Road In UK” • Some legacy automakers have been quick to promise electrification of their product lineups but slow to do so. Others are actually starting to put their money where their mouth is. Ford is one of these. Mustang Mach-E development took into account needs and desires of European drivers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Europe Puts Focus On Floating Solar And Agrivoltaics” • Oil giant Equinor, a Norwegian company, is forming a partnership with Saipem, an Italian oil and gas contractor 30% owned by Eni. They plan to develop “floating solar panel park technological solution for near-coastal applications,” according to reports in PV Magazine. [CleanTechnica]

Floating solar array (Moss Marine image)

¶ “sonnen Saves Energy With A Virtual Power Plant” • German energy company sonnen is working with energy distribution operators on a virtual power plant. The network is managed by blockchain. The sonnenBatteries turn excess wind energy, which was previously a waste product, into something that could save money for consumers. [Energy Digital]

¶ “BP, RWE, Others Plan Germany’s First Green Hydrogen Network” • A group of companies, including BP and RWE, agreed to develop Germany’s first green hydrogen network to link producers with industrial customers. They propose a 130-km grid in northwestern Germany to transport green hydrogen from a 100-MW electrolyzer. [Renewables Now]

Please click on the image to enlarge it.

¶ “EDF To Cut 2020 French Nuclear Target On Coronavirus Impact” • French nuclear operator EDF announced that it has scrapped its 2020 nuclear output target due to coronavirus-related disruption to maintenance schedules, which need to be reorganized. EDF does not have precise figures on how much the target will be reduced. [S&P Global]

India:

¶ “Fortum Commissions 250-MW Solar Project In India” • Finnish energy company Fortum commissioned its largest solar power project in India. Fortum won this project in a competitive auction in June 2018. The company bid a tariff of ₹2.85/kWh (3.7¢/kWh). The project was scheduled to be complete in Q3 of 2019, and was behind schedule. [CleanTechnica]

Perovo solar farm (Zach Shahan | CleanTechnica)

¶ “Indian Solar Imports From China Down 40% In Three Years” • India had a sharp fall in the value of solar cells and modules imported from China between April 2017 and March 2019, the government said. The decline is the result of duties imposed by the Indian government in 2018. Imports from Vietnam and Thailand have increased. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “India Announces 4 GW Of Solar, Wind Tenders With No Tariff Cap” • India’s Solar Energy Corporation of India has issued two tenders with a total solar and wind energy capacity of 4 GW. The last tender had great interest, but SECI has been forced to offer incentives like removal of tariff caps as several developers are struggling financially. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines

¶ “India Plans 26 GW Of Solar Capacity In Agricultural Sector By 2022” • India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy reiterated its commitment to set up nearly 26 GW of solar PVs for the agricultural sector by 2022. Barren or fallow farm land will host 10 GW of capacity in projects of 2-MW each. Other capacity will go to solar irrigation pumps. [CleanTechnica]

US:

¶ “Citizen Science Project In Rural Pennsylvania Aims To Change The Climate Conversation” • A biology professor at Moravian College started the Eastern Pennsylvania Phenology Project in 2010. Local residents submit data about natural indicators of seasonal change. The people involved are starting to see climate change for themselves. [Yale Climate Connections]

Rural Pennsylvania (Nicholas A Tonelli | Flickr)

¶ “Work Under Way On Ohio’s First Major Solar Project” • Construction is under way on Innergex Renewable Energy’s Hillcrest Solar project in southern Ohio, Kallanish Energy reports. The 200-MW facility will be the first utility-scale solar project in Ohio. The state currently has about 248 MW of solar power, with other projects being developed. [Kallanish Energy]

¶ “Thousands Of Oil Workers Are Getting Laid Off In The Permian Basin” • One of the most painful busts in the history of oil happened six years ago when a sharp price drop cost 200,000 roughnecks, almost half the workforce, their jobs. Now, COVID 19 and an oil-price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia threaten to do that again. [The Dallas Morning News]

Have a fabulously grand day.

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March 22 Energy News

March 22, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Can Renewables Make Airlines Carbon-Free By 2050?” • With the climate crisis accelerating and the EU aiming to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, every industry that emits greenhouse gas emissions must decarbonize. The consensus is that aviation will be the toughest sector for this to be achieved. Recharge takes an in-depth look. [Recharge]

First flight of Harbour Air electric plane (Harbour Air image)

¶ “The Electric Car Cost Tipping Point” • Watching the rapid market transition in clean technologies is like watching an approaching train. From far away, it seems like the train is coming along so slowly and taking so long, but once the train is near, it zooms past you super quickly. We are getting to the point of fast transition to EVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Is Hydrogen The Solution To Net-Zero Home Heating?” • A quarter to a third of the UK’s greenhouse emissions come from central heating. A switch from natural gas to hydrogen, one of three proposals for greener energy, has experts divided. There is a lot unknown about the switch, and there are other technologies for getting to net-zero. [The Guardian]

Hydrogen fuel cell bus (Liam McBurney | PA)

¶ “Why Is COVID-19 Taken More Seriously Than Climate Change?” • Climate change is an existential threat to the future of humanity. We are on a trajectory to destroying a livable climate. By contrast, COVID-19 appeared quickly and spread quickly. We have long known about the old threat, but the new threat is getting the attention. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “This Pandemic Might Actually Help Us Tackle Climate Change. Here’s How” • There is a strong link between economic activity and global carbon dioxide emissions, as fossil fuels dominate energy. This coupling suggests that with the COVID-19 pandemic, we may see a slowdown of CO₂ emissions due to reduced energy consumption. [ScienceAlert]

Misty forest (Nicolai Durbaum | Unsplash)

World:

¶ “ZESA’S $500 Million Plan To End Load-Shedding” • Last year, Zimbabwe introduced an 18-hour daily load-shedding schedule after electricity production at Kariba Dam fell sharply as water levels in the reservoir fell. The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority has a $500 million plan to use solar PV systems to reduce load-shedding. [The Zimbabwe Standard]

¶ “World Water Day: Often Overlooked, Water Resources Are Essential Part Of Solution To Climate Change” • On World Water Day, the UN launched a flagship report that says reducing both the impacts and drivers of climate change will require major shifts in the way we use and reuse the Earth’s limited water resources. [UN News]

Peat bog in Belarus drawing down atmospheric CO₂

¶ “India Sets Aside $55 Million For Municipal Solid-Waste Based Projects” • The Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy announced that $55 million (£47.6 million) has been allocated for municipal solid waste projects. An initial grant of $11.37 million was for biogas projects, but this was increased and extended to biomass gasifier projects. [Energy Live News]

¶ “Workers Are Paying The Price As Beijing’s Last Coal Mine Closes” • Gutted factories and crumbling homes that will soon be abandoned dot the scarred hills in Mentougou, home to Beijing’s last coal mine. It is to close this year as the city battles choking smog. The mines have provided energy for Beijing for 300 years, but workers face uncertain futures. [Business Day]

Datai coal mine in Mentougou (Greg Baker | AFP)

¶ “Renewable Energy: Four Policies Approved To Boost Industrial Growth In Jammu and Kashmir” • In a bid to boost industrial growth, the Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Council, headed by Lt Governor G C Murmu, approved four policies for tourism, captive power, sustainable energy, and AYUSH care. [EnergyInfraPost]

US:

¶ “Coal Industry Group Asks Federal Lawmakers To Cut Funding For Black Lung Program, Citing COVID-19” • National Mining Association leaders called on the president and congress to cut a tax used to support coal miners with black lung disease and to give other financial benefits for the coal mining industry, as a COVID-19 pandemic response. [NationofChange]

Coal haul truck (Kristina Barker | Reuters)

¶ “Details Of Local Solar Projects Announced” • One of the 21 large-scale solar, wind and energy storage projects Gov Andrew M Cuomo announced for upstate New York is a solar project in the towns of Brasher, Norfolk and Massena. North Side Energy Center, LLC, plans to develop and operate the 180 MW project on leased private property. [NNY360]

¶ “New Road Map To A US Hydrogen Economy” • A coalition of major oil and gas, power, automotive, fuel cell, and hydrogen companies have developed and released the full new report, a “Road Map to a US Hydrogen Economy.” The Road Map stresses the versatility of hydrogen as an enabler of renewable energy systems. [Green Car Congress]

Hydrogen fuel cell bus (Jason Lawrence, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “West Virginia, Pennsylvania Differ Over Coal Mining As ‘Essential’” • Coal mining is an “essential” business for West Virginia and will stay open during the coronavirus crisis, Gov Jim Justice (R) said. But in Pennsylvania, Gov Tom Wolf (D) issued an order requiring “non life-sustaining” businesses, including coal mining, to halt operations. [Cumberland Times-News]

¶ “Scientists Call For Fusion Power Plant In The US” • In an ambitious push to develop and implement nuclear fusion power in the US by the end of the decade, a team of 300 researchers just published a massive report that lays out exactly what the scientific community needs and what it should prioritize to get the ball rolling. [Futurism]

Have an inspiringly awesome day.

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March 21 Energy News

March 21, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “How America Can Fight Back In The Oil War With Russia And Saudi Arabia” • America’s oil industry is getting crushed by the historic collapse in oil prices orchestrated by Saudi Arabia and Russia. Oil prices are in free-fall, crashing to 18-year lows this week. And President Donald Trump is torn about just how to react to the era of ultra-cheap oil. [CNN]

Refinery (David McNew | AFP | Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Atom Switch Enables Intelligent EV Charging Without The EVSE” • Atom Power’s solid state Atom Switches can be described as circuit breakers, but their real potential goes much farther. One exciting application of the Atom Switch is to replace the electric vehicle service equipment, commonly called an electric vehicle charger. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Greenland Ice Melt Raised Ocean Level 2.2 Millimeters In Two Months” • NASA researchers found that during the exceptionally warm Arctic summer of 2019, Greenland experienced the loss of 600 billion tons of water from melting glaciers. That much water to the world’s oceans resulted in a rise in average ocean levels of 2.2 mm in just two months. [CleanTechnica]

Measuring ocean level change by satellite (NASA image)

World:

¶ “Relief To Renewable Energy: MNRE Declares Coronavirus Force Majeure” • India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy announced that “delay on account of disruption of the supply chains due to spread of coronavirus” would be considered as a force majeure event. This means that certain delays will not be penalized. [Financial Express]

¶ “Organic Waste Has Huge Untapped Potential To Provide Clean Energy Around The World” • The world is only using a fraction of the potential to produce renewable gas from organic waste, which could cover around 20% of today’s global demand for natural gas, according to a report published by the International Energy Agency. [Modern Diplomacy]

Wastewater treatment weir

¶ “Iberdrola Takes Global Action In Virus fight” • Spanish energy company Iberdrola is taking global measures in response to the coronavirus in all of its markets. Iberdrola has an action plan with 65 initiatives in Spain alone. It has also implemented measures to protect its clients and a special plan in hospitals to ensure energy supplies. [reNEWS] (Other companies are acting also. ghh)

¶ “AfDB’s Facility For Energy Inclusion Attracts $160 Million In Commitments For Small-Scale Renewables” • The African Development Bank and other investors committed nearly $160 million to the first close of the FEI, a targeted, $400 million fund to improve energy access across Africa through small renewable energy and mini-grid projects. [Modern Diplomacy]

Array of solar trackers

¶ “ContourGlobal Abandons Coal In Kosovo And Switches To Renewables” • International power company ContourGlobal abandoned plans to build a new coal power plant in Kosovo one month after the new government was formed under Albin Kurti. The company announced a new focus will be put on alternative energy, including renewables. [Forbes]

US:

¶ “Tesla Suspending Production At Fremont And Buffalo Factories, Initiates ‘Touchless Deliveries'” • Tesla will temporarily suspend production at its automobile factory in California and its solar factory in New York, it said in a press release. Tesla is also enabling deliveries that do not require direct contact between a customer and any other person. [CleanTechnica]

Workers in a Tesla factory (CleanTechnica image)

¶ “US Banks Continue To Fund Dirty Energy” • A report from a collection of leading NGOs takes a deep dive into how world banks are fueling the climate crisis. The four biggest fossil fuel financiers are JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi, and Bank of America. Together, they have put $800 billion into fossil fuels since the Paris Agreement. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Unemployment Poised To Skyrocket, Creating Urgent Need To Spur Renewables: Obama Veteran Of 2008 Financial Crisis” • Power sector leaders are pushing Congress to address hits to the industry in its stimulus package. A former Obama transition team member pointed out that clean energy buildouts could be the first to hire. [Utililty Dive]

US Capitol (Tim Evanson | Flickr)

¶ “Clean Energy Sector Sends Letter To Congress Seeking COVID-19 Relief” • In a letter delivered to US House and Senate leadership, the clean energy sector has called for the prompt repair and extension of critically important tax incentives to help renewable and clean grid industries surmount the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. [Solar Industry]

¶ “COVID-19: 25 GW Of US Wind Projects At Risk” • As much as 25 GW of US wind projects are being put to risk by COVID-19, according to analysis by the American Wind Energy Association. AWEA said 35,000 jobs could be jeopardy, as well as $43 billion in investments and payments to rural communities through taxes and leasing fees. [reNEWS]

Wind turbines (AWEA image)

¶ “Utility Workers Prepare To Sleep At Work To Keep The Power Flowing” • The government judges electric power plants, nuclear reactors, and oil and gas infrastructure to be critically important. US power workers deemed essential for American electrical grid operations are being asked to live on site at control centers and power plants during the pandemic. [Salon]

¶ “NRC Gets First Combined License Application For Advanced Reactor” • The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission received its first combined license application for an advanced reactor, a step the developer calls a “milestone.” Oklo’s Aurora project would be an advanced fission power system that generates about 1.5 MW of nuclear energy. [S&P Global]

Have a blissfully marvelous day.

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March 20 Energy News

March 20, 2020

Science and Technology:

¶ “We Can No Longer Rely On Historical Data To Predict Extreme Weather” • We’ve always been able to use historic weather patterns to help predict extreme weather events. But a new study published in Science Advances shows that in just a decade, the climate has shifted so drastically historic weather is no longer a reliable predictor. [Popular Science]

Hurricane Harvey (NASA | NOAA)

¶ “Earth Just Passed Second Hottest February On Record” • The average global land and ocean surface temperature for February 2020 was 2.11°F (1.17°C) above the 20th-century average and the second-highest on record behind 2016, according to NOAA. February also had the highest monthly temperature departure without an El Niño. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Queensland’s CleanCo Cleared To Sell Electricity Directly To Large Users” • The Queensland government-owned CleanCo has received approval from the Australian Energy Regulator to provide retail electricity services to large commercial and industrial customers from its growing portfolio of renewables projects. [RenewEconomy]

Wivenhoe power station (Queensland Mining & Energy Bulletin)

¶ “Government Studies Plant To Convert Old Power Plants Into Renewables” • The government of Indonesia aims to complete this year a study into replacing aging fossil fuel-fired plants with renewable energy plants as it races against time to catch up with its green goals. Indonesia has 2,246 diesel-fired power plants that are over 15 years old. [Jakarta Post]

¶ “Wind Output Overtakes Hydro Power For First Time In Tasmania” • Tasmania reached a new milestone when wind output briefly overtook hydro output, likely for the first time. According to OpenNem wind output totaled around 350 MW (37%) in the early hours of Friday morning, while hydro was scaled back to just 216 MW (23%). [RenewEconomy]

Woolnorth wind farm, Tasmania

¶ “₹1.34 Trillion Invested In The Renewable Sector In Past Three Years: RK Singh” • The Government of India said 8,004.64 MW of renewable capacity was installed in India between April 2019 and January 2020, up 34% from the previous year. It is estimated that ₹1.34 trillion ($18 billion) has been invested in the sector in the last three years. [Mercom India]

¶ “KSEB Revs Up 1000-MW Solar Foray Fearing Covid-Sparked Setback” • Despite its preoccupations with coronavirus vigil, the Indian state of Kerala has maintained its focus on the 1,000-MW Soura solar project. The Kerala State Electricity Board floated bids this week for setting up 150 MW of grid-tied residential rooftop solar project. [Financial Express]

Rooftop solar system

¶ “Ahead Of Schedule: 61 Wind Turbine Installations At Kangnas” • A South African wind farm announced the completion of all 61 wind turbine installations, two weeks ahead of schedule, on 17 March 2020. The 140-MW Kangnas Wind Farm will have the capacity to generate the equivalent to the annual energy needs of 120,000 homes. [ESI Africa]

¶ “Global Offshore Capacity Nears 30 GW With 6-GW 2019 Surge” • The offshore wind industry installed just over 6 GW of new capacity in 2019, taking total world capacity to 29 GW, according to figures released by the Global Wind Energy Council. Last year’s installations marked a 35.5% increase on 2018, which saw 4.5 GW installed. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (MHI Vestas image)

¶ “Green Light For 150-MW UK Battery Giant” • Energy storage developer Penso Power has won necessary approvals to install a 150-MW battery near Swindon, south-west England, the largest project of its kind in Europe. An initial 100 MW of the battery is expected to enter operation this autumn, while the additional 50 MW in operation in 2021. [reNEWS]

¶ “Vestas Toasts 63-MW Danish Double” • Vestas has won a 63-MW order to supply, install and commission 16 turbines for two wind projects in Denmark. Eurowind Energy placed the order for St Soels and Veddum Kaer, both situated in central Jutland. St Soels will be commissioned in the first quarter of 2021 and Veddum Kaer in the third quarter. [reNEWS]

Vestas turbine (Vestas image)

US:

¶ “Lightsource BP Bankrolls 260-MW Solar Project In Texas” • Lightsource BP got a $250 million (€232.3 million) financing package for a 260-MW PV project in Texas that enabled it to kick off construction works. The Impact solar park is being installed in Lamar County and is scheduled to become operational by the end of this year. [Renewables Now]

¶ “The Arcimoto Deliverator Could Be The Ultimate Last Mile Delivery Vehicle” • Arcimoto, which unveiled the prototype of a last mile delivery version of its electric Fun Utility Vehicle last year and is back with a sleeker, more refined version of the Deliverator. CleanTechnica spoke with Arcimoto CEO Mark Frohnmayer to get the inside scoop. [CleanTechnica]

Arcimoto Deliverator (Arcimoto courtesy image)

¶ “Governor Cuomo Blows $1 Billion Into Wind, Solar Energy Development” • Awards for 21 large-scale solar, wind, and energy storage projects across upstate New York, which total 1,278 MW of new renewable capacity, are expected to spur over $2.5 billion in investments and create over 2,000 short-term and long-term jobs in the state. [Real Estate Weekly]

¶ “Wyoming House Bill 74: Replacing Retiring Energy Sources with Small Nuclear Reactors” • On March 10, 2020, the Wyoming legislature passed House Bill 74. If signed into law, HB 74 will allow utilities and other power plant owners to replace retiring coal and natural gas electric generation plants with small modular nuclear reactors. [JD Supra]

Have an extraordinarily propitious day.

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March 19 Energy News

March 19, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Electrifying Everything Will Reduce Contagion Spread In Epidemics” • Oil is pumped, transported, refined, delivered, and sold. All of this requires human activity and human contact, which is largely out of sight, just to enable a car to be driven to a grocery store or a sporting event or work. That contrasts sharply with renewable electricity. [CleanTechnica]

Fully electric house (Photo by Chuck Field)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Renewable Fuels Could Soon Be Cost Competitive With Petrol, Gasoline” • Liquid fuels produced with renewable energy could be cost competitive with petrol and gasoline within the next two years, according to a new commentary published on the prospects of ‘direct air capture’ techniques that convert CO₂ into net-zero-emission fuels. [RenewEconomy]

World:

¶ “Air Pollution And CO₂ Fall Rapidly As Virus Spreads” • Levels of air pollutants and warming gases over some cities and regions are showing significant drops as coronavirus impacts work and travel. Recently, emissions of the planet-heating gas CO₂ have fallen sharply, but there are warnings that levels could rise again rapidly after the pandemic. [BBC]

New York traffic (Getty Images)

¶ “Tata Motors’ Lucknow Plant Aims To Achieve 100% Renewable Energy Sourcing By 2030” • In India, Tata Motors has announced that it’s Lucknow plant aims to achieve 100% renewable energy sourcing by 2030 for all its energy requirements. The Lucknow plant has been manufacturing commercial vehicles, including buses, since 1992. [Motoroids]

¶ “IRENA Director-General Says Oil Price Won’t Impact Renewable Strategies” • IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera said oil market volatility is unlikely to have a significant impact on renewable energy plans and investments. He pointed out that oil is not used much for power generation, which is where focus on renewables is now. [ESI Africa]

IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera

¶ “Tata Power Expands Rooftop Solar Service To 90 Cities Across India” • Tata Power, India’s largest integrated utility is making a big push for a stronger adoption of clean energy by expanding its rooftop solar offerings to 90 cities.  The push comes as electric power customers of all categories are looking to solar power as a way to save on costs. [Saurenergy]

¶ “Total, Simply Blue Energy Plan 96-MW Floating Wind Demo In Welsh Waters” • French energy major Total SA teamed up with Simply Blue Energy to develop a floating wind project in Welsh waters, based on Principle Power’s WindFloat technology. Their partnership submitted an application for a demonstration project of 96 MW. [Renewables Now]

WindFloat platform (Dock90, courtesy of EDP Renewables)

¶ “Power Industry Weighs Impacts Of Coronavirus” • Utilities and power generators worldwide are developing strategies for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The supply of electricity, including power plants, dams, and nuclear reactors, along with transmission systems is essential to prevent even more economic disruption. [POWER magazine]

¶ “Terna Energy To Add 400 MW Of Fresh Wind Capacity” • Greek renewable power producer Terna Energy SA plans to allocate more than €550 million ($597 million) for clean energy projects, including 400 MW of wind farms. The plan starts with building over 180 MW of wind parks, with capacity gradually expanding to 400 MW. [Renewables Now]

Wind turbines in Greece (Giannis Arvanitakis)

US:

¶ “Dominion Energy Launches GreenTherm Program To Support Renewable Energy” • Dominion Energy’s GreenTherm program gives Utah and Idaho customers an easy and convenient way to support the development of renewable natural gas. Using RNG results in a net reduction of greenhouse gases, which helps customers lower CO₂ emissions. [Daily Herald]

¶ “Coastal Scientists Prepare To Retreat From Field Station Threatened By Rising Seas” • Scientists at a coastal research station that studies how rising sea levels are threatening Shore communities and the environment are preparing to move their work inland to escape worsening flooding and erosion on an isolated New Jersey peninsula. [NJ Spotlight]

Rutgers University Marine Field Station (lifeontheedgedrones)

¶ “Ameresco Building Renewable-Battery Storage Microgrid At California Wastewater Plant” • McKinleyville Community Services District, which provides water and other services for about 17,000 residents, chose Ameresco to develop a microgrid with renewable power and storage at its wastewater treatment plant. [Power Engineering Magazine]

¶ “EDF Expands Virginia Coop Solar Deal” • EDF Renewables North America and Old Dominion Electric Cooperative are expanding a partnership to develop a portfolio of distributed solar projects across Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware. Fifteen projects, expected in service in 2021, will generate more than 60 MW for ODEC member communities. [reNEWS]

Solar PVs (Unsplash image)

¶ “Solar Dominates Wind In New York’s Latest Renewable Procurement” • Two years ago, upstate wind farms were the star of the show in New York’s annual procurement, including one of the largest wind projects ever put forward east of the Mississippi River. But solar utterly dominated New York’s latest onshore renewables round. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Vectren Customers Can Save Millions If Renewables Replace Coal, Reports Say, But Utility Continues With Coal Investments” • A Morgan Stanley report says all of Vectren’s coal fleet will be uneconomic by 2024 relative to Indiana wind resources. Vectren admitted as much, but it wants to spend $90 million on upgrades for a coal-burning plant. [Energy and Policy Institute]

Have a sensationally successful day.

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March 18 Energy News

March 18, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “A Faltering Fracking Industry, On The Verge Of A Bailout, Mixes Patriotism And Oil In The Permian” • Abundant signs across the Permian Basin, one of the most prolific oil and natural gas plays in the US, suggest that supporting the industry that’s one of the largest contributors to the climate crisis is a matter of American pride. [DeSmog]

Diversity: Hard hats, pipelines, waste isolation, pumping oil

Science and Technology:

¶ “There’s An Unlikely Beneficiary Of Coronavirus: The Planet” • Satellite images released by NASA and the European Space Agency show a dramatic reduction in nitrogen dioxide emissions in major Chinese cities between January and February. The visible cloud of toxic gas hanging over industrial powerhouses almost disappeared. [CNN]

World:

¶ “China’s Coronavirus Lockdown Curbs Deadly Pollution, Likely Saving The Lives Of Tens Of Thousands, Says Researcher” • The drastic measures enforced by China during the coronavirus outbreak have greatly reduced deadly air pollution, potentially saving the lives of 50,000 to 75,000 people, a researcher at Stanford University said. [CNN]

Pollution in China

¶ “Uzbekistan Sees High Foreign Interest In Its Renewable Energy Push” • The Ministry of Energy of Uzbekistan has shared an update on progress towards the country’s aim of generating a quarter of all electricity from renewable sources, by 2030. It has a long list of foreign financial organizations, investors, and developers who are interested. [Saurenergy]

¶ “Solar Power Was Growing For Decades. Then Coronavirus Hit” • As the coronavirus outbreak rages on, renewable energy is taking a hit. Factory shutdowns in China have disrupted global supply chains for wind turbines and solar panels, with consequences for clean energy progress this year around the world. [National Observer]

Solar panels on Gass Peak (Ballonboy101, CC BY-SA 3.0)

¶ “Ørsted And TEPCO Launch Japan JV” • Tokyo Electric Power Company and Ørsted have set up a joint venture company to work on a bid to develop an offshore wind project in Japan’s Choshi area. The Choshi Offshore Wind Farm company builds upon the existing MOA signed in 2019 by the companies, to work together on offshore wind projects. [reNEWS]

¶ “Brighton Palace Pier goes green with renewable energy deal” • One of the most popular UK seaside attractions, Brighton Palace Pier, has sealed a deal with Octopus Energy to run on 100% renewable energy until the end of 2021. The firm says the deal will prevent more than 1,000 tonnes of CO₂ from being released into the atmosphere. [Energy Live News]

Brighton Palace Pier (Philip Reeve | Shutterstock)

¶ “Tokyo High Court Slashes Damages To Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Evacuees” • The Tokyo High Court ordered ¥1 million ($9,316) in additional damages be paid each to some 300 evacuees from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. Doing so, they reduced the amount two-thirds from what was awarded by a lower court ruling. [The Japan Times]

India:

¶ “Indian Railways To Electrify All Broad Gauge Routes By December 2023, Bets On Renewable Energy” • The Indian Railways network will be 100% electrified soon. The Railway Ministry plans to electrify all remaining broad-gauge routes by December 2023. The system will have 1,000 MW of solar and 200 MW of wind capacity. [Financial Express]

Indian passenger rail car

¶ “India’s Installed Renewable Energy Capacity Reaches 132.15 GW” • As of the end of February 2020, India’s cumulative renewable energy capacity stood at 132.15 GW. India has set itself an ambitious target of 175 GW of renewable capacity by the year 2022, and is aiming at 450 GW by 2030. India’s total installed capacity is about 369 GW. [domain-B]

¶ “Solar Energy Corporation Of India Floats Tender For 5,000 MW” • State-run Solar Energy Corporation of India invited bids from wind and solar plants to supply 5,000 MW of power under a round-the-clock scheme. The plan includes possible coal-based backup power to assure an uninterrupted supply, though energy storage may also be used. [Financial Express]

Solar energy

US:

¶ “New Jersey Turnpike Authority Teams Up With Tesla: 56 New Superchargers For NJ” • The New Jersey Turnpike Authority Commissioners sealed a deal that will increase the total number of EV chargers on the Turnpike from 20 to 76. These will be V3 Tesla Superchargers. That is the kind of improvement EV drivers want to find everywhere. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “GAF DecoTech Solar Roof Now Available In Southeastern Pennsylvania” • Bachman’s Roofing, Building & Remodeling, one of the largest roofing contractors in southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland, is now partnering with GAF Energy to offer its DecoTech solar roof products to customers. The roof is designed to be visually attractive. [CleanTechnica]

GAF Energy solar roof

¶ “A Red State Template For 100% Renewables? Utah Bill Unites Rocky Mountain Power, Cities, And Activists” • Utah got approval from an 80% Republican legislature to move more than one-third of the state’s population to 100% renewables by 2030. By doing that, it has accomplished something that many people thought was impossible. [Utility Dive]

¶ “Maine Will Soon Be Home To 15-MW Wind Power Project” • In Roxbury, Maine, construction of a 15.3-MW wind project is about to start. The renewable energy source is under contract to sell electricity through long-term offtake agreements with four local municipal utilities. It is expected to reach completion in the third quarter of 2021. [Environment + Energy Leader]

Have an ineffably sublime day.

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March 17 Energy News

March 17, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Oil And Gas Companies See Opportunity In Offshore Wind Energy” • Oil and gas markets have been hit by oversupply, falling prices, and global pandemic, illustrating a need to be more responsive to changes in the energy climate. The good news is that the signs are pointing to more investment in renewables, specifically offshore wind power. [Forbes]

Offshore wind turbine (Picture Alliance via Getty Images)

¶ “Turning Food Waste Into Renewable Energy, A Business Opportunity” • One renewable energy investment entering the US spotlight is anaerobic digestion. As of 2018, the US had over 2,200 sites producing biogas across all 50 states. Digesting waste food gets rid of a waste problem. It also produces electricity sustainably. [Reach Further]

Science and Technology:

¶ “The People Cleaning Up The Oil Spills Of The Amazon” • For decades, pits of waste crude have dotted the Amazon rainforest in northern Ecuador. Now people are using resilient plants, fungi and bacteria to try to clean them up. Bioremediation uses living organisms like plants, fungi, and microbes to break down several pollutants, including crude oil. [BBC]

House and pipeline (Credit: Kimberley Brown)

World:

¶ “Coal Sector Loses Bid To Halt Renewable Energy Deals” • Renewable energy industry body, the South African Wind Energy Association, welcomed a judgement by the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissing a case brought by the Coal Transporters Forum to set aside power purchase agreements with preferred bidders. [ITWeb]

¶ “Ancient Trees In Australia From Time Of Dinosaurs Nearly Wiped Out By Bushfires” • Nightcap oaks, a species that has been around since dinosaurs, have lived through a lot, but humanity’s influence could completely wipe them out. The 2019–2020 bushfire season, caused partly by effects of fossil fuel emission, has decimated them. [CleanTechnica]

Flower growing on stem (Peter Woodard | Poyt448, Wikipedia)

¶ “Europe Warned About Virus Impact On Clean Tech” • The European governments should keep clean energy top of mind as they consider measures to protect their economies against a likely recession caused by the coronavirus, the International Energy Agency said. Border shutdowns risk disrupting supplies for building up renewables. [EURACTIV]

¶ “Renewables Represent 52% Of Total Installed In Mainland Spain” • Spain’s mainland added 6,528 MW of renewables in 2019, increasing green capacity by 13.6% over the previous year, a provisional report issued by Spanish grid operator Red Electrica de Espana says. This means 52% of Spanish mainland capacity is renewable. [Renewables Now]

Wind farm on the Canary Islands

¶ “European Nuclear Plant Operators Gear Up To Ensure Power Supply” • European nuclear power availability is expected to remain robust with strict safety measures that are already being implemented by the major plant operators amid the coronavirus outbreak. This is the message of nuclear operators from several of European countries. [ICIS]

US:

¶ “US Federal Court Requires EPA To Protect Communities Against Worst-Case Chemical Spills” • A federal district court approved a negotiated consent decree between the EPA and a coalition of organizations. This requires the EPA to issue long-overdue protections against worst-case scenario spills of hazardous materials. [CleanTechnica]

Vulnerable chemical facility (NRDC via Twitter | AP)

¶ “Donald Trump Aims To Weaken Ocean Protections” • Earlier this year, the Administration started weakening a key environmental statute, the National Environmental Policy Act. NEPA requires federal agencies to analyze the environmental impacts of major federal actions and ways to mitigate the most harmful effects of those actions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “US Solar Installations Shot Up Last Year, But Coronavirus Could Have An Impact Going Forward” • A report by the Solar Energy Industries Association and Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables says almost 40% of US generating capacity added last year was solar. The SEIA is monitoring changes to the industry that COVID-19 pandemic could cause. [CNBC]

Solar array in Massachusetts (Robert Nickelsberg | Getty Images)

¶ “TVA Accepting Proposals For 200 MW Of Renewable Energy” • The Tennessee Valley Authority called on top world developers to submit proposals to develop 200 MW of renewable energy that can be brought online by the end of 2023. Proposals are due to TVA by April 24, 2020, and selected proposals are to be announced in the fall. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Virginia To Try Limited Energy Competition After Dominion Reverses Opposition To Embrace Pilot” • Virginians will see some expansion in their choice of companies to buy electricity. Two proposals killed at the urging of Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power Company were unexpectedly resurrected late in the session. [Virginia Mercury]

Power lines

¶ “Florida, Utah, And Washington Approve Bills To Boost EVs, Including $50 Million Rocky Mountain Power Charging Plan” • State lawmakers have taken significant steps to bolster adoption of emissions-free transportation, in moves that could result in millions of dollars in charging infrastructure investment and more electric vehicles on the road. [Utility Dive]

¶ “NYSERDA Selects Boralex Solar Projects Under Request For Proposal” • Four solar projects of Canadian renewable energy company Boralex were selected by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority under a solicitation of 2019. One project is Greens Corners, at 120 MW; the others are 19.99 MW each. [Power Technology]

Have an agreeably fantastic day.

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March 16 Energy News

March 16, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “How A Virus Makes The Case For Renewable Energy” • In an interview with Forbes, Charles Donovan, executive director of the Center for Climate Finance and Investment at Imperial College Business School in London, explained how a global economy based on fossil fuels is more vulnerable to market disruptions like the one caused by the coronavirus. [CleanTechnica]

Imperial College, London (Robin Webster, Wikimedia)

¶ “Renewable Energy Could Power The World By 2050” • Virtually all the world’s demand for electricity to run transport, for heating and cooling, and to provide the power demanded by industry, could be met by renewable energy by mid-century. This is the consensus of 47 peer-reviewed research papers from 13 independent groups. [Truthdig]

¶ “We Must Fight Climate Change Like It’s World War III – Here Are Four Potent Weapons To Deploy” • We are a group of experts in physics, geology, science education, coral reefs, and climate system science. We believe the lack of progress by governments in reducing global emissions means bold solutions are now urgently needed. [The Conversation AU]

White roofs for cooling – Santorini (Yvette Kelly | AAP)

World:

¶ “The ‘Climate Doomers’ Preparing For Society To Fall Apart” • An article by a British professor that predicts the imminent collapse of society, as a result of climate change, has been downloaded over half a million times. Many mainstream climate scientists totally reject his claims, but his followers are already preparing for the worst. [BBC]

¶ “Utrecht Plans To Expand Its Car-Free Zone To Become Bicycle Capitol Of Europe” • A development of 6,000 homes in Utrecht’s Merwede district is being planned with bicycles as the preferred mode of transportation. It is expected to be serviced by 20,000 bicycles but no cars. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2022. [CleanTechnica]

Bicycles in Utrecht (City of Utrecht)

¶ “Renewables Briefly Surpass Gas Generation In UK” • UK’s renewables power generation has surpassed natural gas for the first time ever in the third quarter of 2019, Kallanish Energy learned. Data for July-September 2019 show that renewable sources broke a record generating 28.8 TWh of electricity, marginally higher than gas. [Kallanish Energy]

¶ “Gujarat To Install Solar Systems To Power Fifteen Water Treatment And Sewage Projects” • Gujarat’s Chief Minister Vijaybhai Rupani approved proposals to install solar systems costing about ₹136.1 million ($1.83 million). The solar systems will power fifteen water treatment and sewage projects in eleven municipalities in the state. [Mercom India]

Solar system (AES Distributed Energy image)

¶ “Queensland Power Assets Pay Dividends” • Queensland Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad announced that the state’s publicly owned power assets would deliver their third $50 dividend in three years, with two more to come. Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham touted the benefits of the state’s target of 50% renewable energy. [Energy Magazine]

¶ “NSW Government Upscales Solar PV Deployment And Drives EVs Towards 2030” • With the release of Net Zero Plan, Stage 1: 2020-2030, the New South Wales government outlined how it will achieve 35% reduction in carbon emissions from the 2005 emissions level by 2030. Key to its strategy is increased support of solar PVs. [pv magazine Australia]

PVs (NSW Department of Planning and Environment)

¶ “Planning Applications For UK Clean Energy Projects Hit New High” • The number of new renewable energy projects applying for planning permission reached a four-year high in the UK last year. There were 269 planning applications for new wind, solar, and bioenergy projects in 2019. This is up from 2018, when there were 204 applications. [The Guardian]

¶ “Coronavirus Outbreak: Coal Import Declines 14% To 17 Million Tonnes In February” • India’s coal imports registered a decline of 14.1% to 17.01 million tonnes in February in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, according to industry data. The overall trend in coal imports had been increasing until the coronavirus pandemic. [BW Businessworld]

Women carrying coal in India (Reuters image)

¶ “Kyushu Electric Halts Sendai Reactor Due To Delay In Terrorism Measures” • A Kyushu Electric Power Co reactor was halted due to a delay in the implementation of the utility’s anti-terrorism measures as required by regulators. It is the first such suspension under strict rules introduced after the Fukushima nuclear crisis of 2011. [The Japan Times]

US:

¶ “More Wind Projects In The Works In Steuben County” • Two wind projects in Steuben County, New York, are set to take off after Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled the details of the awards for 21 large-scale solar, wind, and energy storage projects across upstate New York, with a total of 1,278 MW of new renewable capacity. [Hornell Evening Tribune]

Cohocton Wind Project (Hornell Evening Tribune file photo)

¶ “As The Cost Of The Atlantic Coast Pipeline Soars, Renewable Energy Is The Better Option For NC” • The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a long way from being constructed, but it’s already proving a leaky conduit for cash. Estimated in November 2018 to cost $5.1 billion, the project is now expected to cost about $8 billion, a 60% jump. [Raleigh News & Observer]

¶ “Owner To Keep Pennsylvania Nuclear Power Plant Open Beyond 2021” • Energy Harbor Corp, owner of the 1,872-MW Beaver Valley nuclear power station in western Pennsylvania has reversed a previous decision and will keep the plant open beyond 2021, but only if Pennsylvania adopt a cap-and-trade plan, Kallanish Energy reports. [Kallanish Energy]

Have a truly great day.

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March 15 Energy News

March 15, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Now Would Be A Good Time To Appreciate Solar Power, Amirite?” • March 13 was Solar Appreciation Day, and the US Energy Department sent out an email reminding everyone to appreciate solar power. It offers up an interesting counterpoint to a major energy report from The Atlantic Council advocating continued use of fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

Testing a PV Module (Dennis Schroeder, US DOE)

¶ “Climate Change Poses National Security Threat Too” • The Henry M Jackson Foundation, together with the Center for Climate & Security and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, issued a report on how future climate change could affect US and world security interests. It foresees severe threats from global warming. [The Daily Herald]

¶ “Four Astonishing Signs Of Coal’s Declining Economic Viability” • There has been no more dramatic story in the world of energy over the last 20 years than the rise and fall of coal. In the early 2000s, coal producers across the world flourished and many believed the “economic miracle” would go on forever. It didn’t. Coal is now a loser around the world. [Vox]

On its way out (Shutterstock)

Science and Technology:

¶ “Bears Are Waking Up – Because It’s Too Warm, Too Soon” • After record breaking warm weather in Europe and the US this winter, the bears are waking up from hibernation early because they think it’s spring. So why is this early emergence of the bears a problem? Because they are hungry and there isn’t much for them to eat. [Electrek]

World:

¶ “Volkswagen Confirms Summer Launch For ID.3, Says It Will Cost Less Than Gas Or Diesel Models” • A Volkswagen press release focusing on its ID.3 electric car confirms that deliveries will begin this summer. VW claims that the ID.3 will be less expensive than an equivalent conventional vehicle based on a “true cost of ownership” analysis. [CleanTechnica]

Volkswagen ID.3 (VW image)

¶ “Subsidize Renewable Energy, Not Petrol, Operators Tell Government” • Nigerian power sector operators called on the government to channel its subsidy spending on petrol to the renewable energy industry where it will have more impact. They said Nigeria would benefit more when the country’s renewable energy sector was improved upon. [The Punch]

¶ “Yoma’s Green Power Project Delivers Electricity To Tens Of Thousands In Myanmar” • Using a unique business model, Yoma Micro Power set up 250 solar-hybrid power plants last year in rural Myanmar. They are expected to deliver power for the first time to an estimated 25,000 people across the country, a press release says. [Mizzima News]

Solar system in Myanmar (Yoma Micro Power image)

¶ “Wind And Sun Aplenty But Investors Wary Of Australia Renewables” • Australia’s sunny skies and windswept coasts have drawn billions of dollars to the nation’s renewables sector, but they are becoming a hard sell. Overseas renewables developers and investors are shying away in the face of a creaking power grid and unclear policy. [Financial Post]

¶ “GWEC And RE100 Join Forces To Accelerate Corporate Sourcing Of Renewable Electricity In Emerging Markets” • The Global Wind Energy Council is entering a new partnership with The Climate Group’s RE100 initiative to spur greater corporate commitment to renewable electricity sourcing in the emerging markets. [REVE]

Wind farm

¶ “Ineos Ends Bid To Drill For Coal Gas In Central Scotland” • The Scottish fossil fuel company Ineos has withdrawn its bid to drill for underground coal gas in central Scotland, ending a ten-year controversy. It abandoned plans to sink 14 gas wells at Airth near Falkirk because of opposition. The Scottish Government welcomed the company’s decision. [The Ferret]

¶ “Safety Of Fukushima Waste Water Is The Focus Of Sea-Release Debate” • TEPCO’s Chief Decommissioning Officer says contaminated water must be disposed of to make room to decommission the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. But local residents, especially fishermen, oppose the plan because it would hurt already battered fisheries. [Business Mirror]

Fukushima Daiichi water treatment facility (Jae C. Hong | AP)

US:

¶ “Kimberly-Clark, United Renewable Energy LLC And Nextera Energy Resources Team Up To Build Solar Project In Georgia” • United Renewable Energy has completed and commercialized a 3-MW solar PV project at Kimberly-Clark’s facility in LaGrange, Georgia. Kimberly-Clark will also purchase RECs to offset its carbon footprint. [New Kerala]

¶ “Trump Strikes Oil After Russia Moves To ‘Cripple’ US Shale” • At a White House Rose Garden press conference, President Trump stated that his administration would orchestrate the purchase of large quantities of crude oil to help the struggling US oil industry and build up strategic national reserves. The move is expected to cost $2.5 billiion. [The Epoch Times]

Fracking rig in Pennsylvania (Samira Bouaou | Epoch Times)

¶ “‘A Step In The Right Direction’: More UW Campuses Moving Off Coal” • The Platteville campus of the University of Wisconsin is transitioning away from coal this month. A total of eight UW campuses doing so, also including Superior, Eau Claire, Stout, River Falls, LaCrosse, Oshkosh and Stevens Point. They are on the move toward more sustainable energy. [WKOW]

¶ “House Passes Coal Ash Package” • Three bills imposing additional regulations on the disposal of coal ash in Georgia have cleared the state House of Representatives. Coal ash is the residue left behind after burning coal to fuel power plants. It can contain a number of toxic chemicals, including lead, selenium and arsenic. [The Albany Herald]

Have an impressively triumphant day.

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March 14 Energy News

March 14, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Could The Oil Price Collapse Drive More Investment Into Renewables?” • Low oil prices will test the resolve of the majors’ energy transition plans, but analysts expect the companies’ long-term commitments to decarbonization and renewable energy to remain intact. It might even speed the transition up, if they find there is no profit in oil. [Greentech Media]

Energy transition

¶ “COVID-19 Impacting Oil And Gas More Than The Markets As A Whole” • The SP O&G index peaked in 2015 or so and has been in serious decline since. The current broad market decline is just more of the same for them. The markets have spoken clearly and are saying that the industry is dead. COVID-19 coronavirus is just another nail in the coffin. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “How Coronavirus Makes The Case For Renewable Energy” • Reliance on fossil fuels has left countries more exposed to the economic shock of such global crises as coronavirus, according to a leading financial economist at London’s Imperial College Business School. Governments should look to renewable energy to help reduce such risks. [Forbes]

Pump jack in Tatarstan (© 2020 Bloomberg Finance LP)

¶ “Why We Panic About The Coronavirus But Not About The Climate Crisis” • We face two global crises. In both cases, the science is crystal clear, the economic and social impacts are devastating, and people are dying. But our reactions to them are very different. One is the coronavirus pandemic. The other is the climate crisis. [Huffpost]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Will Planting Millions Of Trees Really Save The Planet?” • Can trees stop climate change? The answer is complicated. Honestly addressing the lack of knowledge, one professor of the University of Birmingham said, “There are lots of things we don’t know about the precise movement of carbon.” And knowing about carbon cycles is just one piece of the puzzle. [BBC]

In the woods (Jeff Overs)

¶ “Burning Fossil Fuels Heats The Climate. It Also Harms Public Health” • Air pollution kills people. This is not an abstract, faraway, or uncertain conclusion. Public health researchers are beginning to conclude there is no safe level of air pollution. Addressing air pollution to deal with the climate change will also deal with health issues. [Yale Climate Connections]

World:

¶ “This Small Island Chain Is Leading The Way On Hydrogen Power” • A group of islands off the northern coast of Scotland is an unlikely pioneer in hydrogen power. Orkney, better known for its breathtaking coastal scenery and some of Britain’s oldest heritage sites than for its cutting edge approach to energy, has been quietly leading on hydrogen technology. [CNN]

Stromness, Orkney (Wikipedia)

¶ “TenneT To Invest Up To €5 Billion A Year” • Dutch/German transmission system operator TenneT expects to increase its investment level to €4 billion to €5 billion annually in the coming years, as a result of the phase out of coal and nuclear power plants and the growth of offshore wind energy. Its capital investments totaled €3.064 billion in 2019. [reNEWS]

¶ “The Muslim Clerics Preaching For Indonesia’s Peat” • There are vast peatlands in Indonesia that have been widely degraded to grow crops, such as oil palm. Restoring peatland is currently one of Indonesia’s priorities to reduce its annual carbon emissions. Indonesia’s highest Islamic authority has issued a fatwa saying burning the peat was forbidden. [BBC]

Sorting palm fruit (Getty Images)

¶ “LONGi Joins RE100 In Pledge To Source 100% Renewable Power By 2028” • China’s LONGi Green Energy Technology Co Ltd joined the global RE100 initiative. It committed to sourcing 70% renewable power across all operations worldwide by 2027 and 100% by 2028. LONGi will employ the “solar for solar” manufacturing concept. [Renewables Now]

¶ “The First 4 Nations To Submit Stronger Climate Plans (NDCs) Are …” • The World Resources Institute’s NDC Tracker shows that 107 countries said they will enhance their NDCs in 2020. Four of them, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Suriname, Norway, and the Republic of Moldova, have submitted their plans already, leading the way for others. [CleanTechnica]

Electric bus in Norway (Image courtesy of Volvo)

US:

¶ “Trump Plan For Rising Sea Levels: Eminent Domain And Evictions” • There are places in America that are facing imminent danger from flooding, but no worries, the Trump Administration, acting through the Army Corps of Engineers, has a plan to deal with the problem, according to The New York Times. It is eminent domain and evictions. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Knoxville Signs Long Term Agreement With TVA” • Knoxville Utilities Board, one of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s biggest customers, signed a 20-year power agreement with the federal utility and will build another major solar farm in East Tennessee. Knoxville plans to get about 8% of its electricity from its own 212-MW solar farm. [Chattanooga Times Free Press]

Knoxville (Nathan C Fortner, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “17 Large-Scale Solar Projects Planned In Upstate New York” • Gov Andrew M Cuomo unveiled the details of the awards for 21 large-scale solar, wind, and energy storage projects across upstate New York, totaling 1,278 MW of new renewable capacity. These projects include 17 solar systems. A state goal is carbon-free electricity by 2040. [Solar Power World]

¶ “Wind Plants Can Provide Grid Services Similar To Gas, Hydro, Easing Renewables Integration: CAISO” • Wind plants have the potential to provide grid services that match those of a gas plant or hydroelectric facility, the California Independent System Operator has found. In a test, wind provided services at least as well as conventional plants. [Utility Dive]

Have an unqualifiedly beneficial day.

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March 13 Energy News

March 13, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “The Europeans Are Coming: How Data Is Poised To Upend US Energy Markets” • Europe’s energy traders have conquered the continent’s renewable energy markets. Now they are headed to the US. Denmark’s InCommodities,  Switzerland’s Axpo, and French utility Engie are all expanding in this country. And they are all data-reliant. [Forbes]

Power plants (DPA | Picture Alliance Via Getty Images)

World:

¶ “RWE Plans €5 Billion Renewables Expansion” • RWE plans to invest €5 billion in renewables by 2022, adding 4 GW of wind and solar capacity to its portfolio. The German company said it has 2.7 GW currently under construction and has an overall project pipeline of over 20 GW. About 20% of the investments to 2022 will be in Germany. [reNEWS]

¶ “Amazon Places 300-MW Clean Power Order” • Amazon announced that it is backing a 60-MW solar project in New South Wales, 122 MW of onshore wind in Vasternorrland, Sweden, and a new 50-MW solar farm in Zaragoza, Spain. It also said that its newest solar project in the US will be a 65-MW PV plant in Halifax County, Virginia. [reNEWS]

Jeff Bezos (Paul Morigi | Getty Images for Amazon)

¶ “2043 MW new Wind Capacity Added in India This Fiscal” • Union Minister for Power and New and Renewable Energy RK Singh informed the Indian Parliament that 2043 MW of new wind energy capacity has been installed in the country in the current fiscal year up to February 29, 2020. This is up from 1480 MW the previous year. [Saurenergy]

¶ “Oil Price Plunge Likely To Spur China’s Quest For Energy Diversification, Despite Short Term Gain, Analysts Say” • The fall in oil prices with a Saudi-Russia price war is a boon to China, which imports 70% of its oil. But the price fall is unlikely to affect Beijing’s long term policy because it also will hurt Chinese oil companies. [South China Morning Post]

Oil refinery in China (Stringer | Reuters)

¶ “ARENA To Back Hydrogen Feasibility Study In Queensland” • The Australian Renewable Energy Agency will provide A$1.25 million ($815,232, €720,584) in funding for a feasibility study for a renewable hydrogen demonstration plant in Queensland. It will examine installing at least 10 MW of hydrogen electrolysis at a coal-fired power station. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Floatgen Output Soars On February High Winds” • The 2-MW Floatgen floating wind pilot off the French Atlantic coast had its best month for production to date in February. Ideol, which developed the floating foundation, said it achieved a capacity factor of 66.3% and produced 923.2 MWh of clean electricity. Time availability stood at 95.7%. [reNEWS]

Floatgen (Ideol image)

¶ “K2 Management Oversees Vietnam Wind Trio” • K2 Management has secured three owner’s engineer mandates for wind projects in Vietnam. Two of these are onshore wind farms with capacities of 150 MW and 66 MW, and the third is a 30-MW nearshore development. The three projects are all expected to be online in 2021. [reNEWS]

¶ “France’s Total Building 25-MW Energy Storage Facility At Dunkirk Port” • French energy firm Total will build what it calls France’s largest battery storage project. It will be sited on the country’s northern coast, in Mardyck, at the Flandres Center in Dunkirk’s port district. The facility will have a storage capacity of 25-MW / 25-MWh. [Power Engineering Magazine]

Dunkirk

¶ “Engie To Supply Renewable Power To Chilean Fishing Company” • Chilean fishing company Corpesca SA has signed a power purchase agreement with Engie Energia Chile SA for 100% renewable energy for its operations, 30 GWh per year, local media reported. Corpesca is the 32th company to run on 100% renewables supplied by Engie. [Renewables Now]

¶ “Enefit Green February Production Could Power 54,000 Households For A Year” • Eesti Energia’s renewable energy subsidiary Enefit Green produced 160 GWh of electricity in February, up 15% from last year. That amount of electricity could power 54,000 households for a year. Most of the electricity came wind farms in Estonia and Lithuania. [ERR News]

Wind turbines (Pixabay image)

US:

¶ “39% Of Toxic Air Emissions In USA Come From 100 Facilities” • The Environmental Integrity Project is made up of former EPA enforcement attorneys, public interest lawyers, investigators, analysts, and community organizers. It issued a report showing that 39% of all of the toxic air emissions in the US came from 100 facilities in 2018. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The US Is Ramping Up Its Wind Power Production” • While solar power projects have become supersized, the size of wind turbines has also grown rapidly. In particular, the growth in the size of wind turbine blades over the last decades has greatly transformed the wind power industry for the better, producing more power from larger “swept areas.” [OilPrice.com]

Offshore wind farm

¶ “Senate Confirms Third Republican To FERC, Breaking With Precedent” • The US Senate confirmed James Danly to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, stacking a third Republican against the lone Democrat on the board of a federal agency that has been seen as using its authority to privilege fossil fuels over renewables. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Santee Cooper Board Ready To Finalize Settlement Of $520 Million In Ratepayer Lawsuit” • Santee Cooper is prepared to finalize a $520 million settlement, ending a standoff with its South Carolina ratepayers and eliminating a major financial threat to the state-run utility. The lawsuit stems from failed VC Summer nuclear project. [Charleston Post Courier]

Have a pleasantly encouraging day.

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March 12 Energy News

March 12, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “The Future Of Exxon And The Permian’s Flaring Crisis” • ExxonMobil’s Investor Day presentation happened just as its share price had fallen to a 15-year low. Battered by a volatile oil market and increasing scrutiny over the climate crisis, investors wanted answers on how Exxon planned on dealing with the shifting landscape. They got rhetoric. [DeSmog]

Big gas flare (Credit: Hamel)

¶ “Why Put A Price On Carbon? To Protect The Energy Workers Who Made America Great” • Sen Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and James Slevin, the president of the Utility Workers Union of America penned an opinion piece for The Washington Post laying out the case for putting a price on carbon emissions, as a way to protect American jobs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Why Is The UAE, Where Solar Energy Is Abundant, About To Open Four Nuclear Reactors?” • Since new nuclear seems to make little economic sense in the Gulf, which has some of the best solar energy resources in the world, the nature of UAE’s interest in nuclear energy may lie hidden in plain sight – nuclear weapon proliferation. [EconoTimes]

Barakah nuclear plant (IAEA Imagebank | Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND)

¶ “Can Renewables Give A New Beginning To Climate-Displaced Women In Bangladesh?” • The Internal Displacement Monitoring Center in Bangladesh estimates that nearly 1.2 million people are displaced every year due to climate hazards, nearly 86% due to flooding. Women and girls, with already limited income, have their work cut out for them. [Modern Diplomacy]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Greenland And Antarctica Ice Loss Accelerating” • Earth’s great ice sheets, Greenland and Antarctica, are now losing mass six times faster than they were in the 1990s thanks to warming conditions. A comprehensive review of satellite data acquired at both poles is unequivocal in its assessment of accelerating trends, say scientists. [BBC]

Thwaites Ice Shelf (NASA image)

¶ “Storing Excess Seasonal Renewable Power As Hydrogen Is Economically Viable: DNV GL” • Excess power generated from renewable sources that are seasonal in nature, stored in the form of hydrogen, derived from breaking up water molecules, has the potential to provide cost-effective long-term electricity storage systems. [EnergyInfraPost]

¶ “No Negative Impact On Birds From German Offshore” • The expansion of offshore wind farms in the German Bight region of the North Sea has had no negative impact of the population loons, according to a study that examined two different types of the birds. It found that populations have remained stable since the expansion of wind energy. [reNEWS]

Loon (Francesco Veronesi, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “Renewables To Make A$1 Trillion In New Coal-Fired Plants Uncompetitive” • Analysis published by Carbon Tracker found more than half of coal-fired power stations worldwide were more costly to run than building new renewable energy. And by 2030, all coal capacity will be uncompetitive with renewables in all markets. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “American Cooperation May Help Azerbaijan Move Toward Greater Reliance On Renewables” • In an era when corporations and countries are looking to “go green” to power businesses and economies, one US official says the positive relationship between Baku and Washington may lead to cooperation in the renewables sector. [Caspian News]

Solar panels in Azerbaijan (Courtesy image)

¶ “Atlas Renewable Energy And Anglo American Announce The Largest Bilateral Solar Energy PPA In Brazil” • Latin American renewable energy company Atlas Renewable Energy and British mining company Anglo American Plc announced that they have signed a solar power purchase agreement with an investment of R$881 million ($183 million). [AltEnergyMag]

¶ “Opus Energy Offers New 100% Renewable Electricity Tariff For Businesses” • Specialist UK and EU business-to-business energy supplier Opus Energy has launched Opus Advance, a 100% renewable electricity tariff for small and medium sized businesses, which it will provide as standard for all new and renewing customers. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Flat rootop solar system (NREL image)

¶ “UK Budget ‘Thin’ On Climate Mitigation Support” • The UK 2020 budget has delivered little to help transition the country to a low-carbon economy and support renewables, according to the Solar Trade Association. The STA had called on the government to deliver a budget that unlocked the potential of solar energy in the UK. [reNEWS]

US:

¶ “The Oil Industry Doesn’t Want To Be Bailed Out By Trump” • The shale industry that made the US the world’s leading oil and gas producer is facing its deepest crisis yet, triggered by a trade war and the coronavirus. Reportedly, the Trump administration is considering federal assistance. Industry leaders, however, say they don’t want a bailout. [CNN]

Pump jacks (David McNew | Reuters)

¶ “US East Coast Offshore To ‘Deliver 83,000 Jobs'” • The US offshore wind sector could deliver up to 83,000 jobs and $25 billion in annual economic output by 2030, a report by the American Wind Energy Association says. The report assessed the impact of 30 GW of projects expected to be developed off the East Coast of the US by 2030. [reNEWS]

¶ “New Hampshire Senate Digs Deep Into Renewable Energy Policy” • There are a number of other ways besides net metering to facilitate large-scale renewable and energy-efficiency projects, and several bills have been  introduced in the New Hampshire Senate to provide more viable options for the state’s businesses and municipalities. [New Hampshire Business Review]

Have an unimaginably jolly day.

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March 11 Energy News

March 11, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Why Russia And Vladimir Putin Are Waging An Oil War With America” • Vladimir Putin knows America’s fragile oil industry is built on a mountain of debt. Moscow’s refusal to join with OPEC to mitigate oversupply is aimed in part at drowning US shale oil companies, which compete with Russian oil but rely on higher prices, in a sea of cheap crude. [CNN]

NYSE (Timothy A Clary | AFP via Getty Images)

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Climate Crisis Is Disrupting Life For Millions, A Report Finds” • The wide-ranging State of the Climate report outlines the latest science and includes data from a variety of disciplines in order to evaluate the current and future impacts of climate change on everything from heath and global economies to food insecurity and refugee displacements. [CNN]

¶ “Samsung Reveals New Solid State Lithium Metal Battery With 900-Wh/L Density” • Researchers for battery powerhouse Samsung just published a study highlighting its next generation solid state lithium battery. The new battery has better energy density than traditional lithium-ion technology and promises to usher in a new generation of batteries. [CleanTechnica]

Samsung SDI lithium-ion cells (Kyle Field | CleanTechnica)

World:

¶ “Fiji Coastal Communities Forced To Move Inland” • Coastal communities in Fiji are having to move inland due to climate change. Toguru has lost half of its land. What was once 10 acres is now 5. Soon, the villagers of Togoru will join five other villages in Fiji; they will have to relocate before their homes are completely submerged. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Rising Temperatures Surge Energy Demand In ASEAN” • The Association of Southeast Asian Nations has seen electricity demand grow at 6% annually. It is among the fastest in the world. Renewable energy meets 15% of its demand, but a hotter climate has led to an increase use in air-conditioning, and peak demand is growing. [The ASEAN Post]

Rooftop solar in Manila (AFP image)

¶ “50Hertz Delivers Record Renewables Volume” • German transmission system operator 50Hertz transported a record of about 60 TWh (60,000 GWh) of renewable electricity in 2019, mainly from wind and solar power. 50Hertz said it has costs under control and will continue to invest heavily in electricity infrastructure for the energy transition. [reNEWS]

¶ “Power’s Carbon Emissions Fall, Renewables Rise, But More Needed – Report” • A report from think-tank Ember says a 3% drop in coal-fired electricity in 2019 led to a 2% drop in overall carbon emissions. But its authors warn that the move away from fossil fuels and toward sustainable power generation needs to be accelerated. [Smart Energy]

Coal plant and wind turbine

¶ “Japan Marks Ninth Anniversary Of 3/11 Disaster Quietly As Virus Concerns Halt Events” • Japan quietly observed the ninth anniversary of the massive earthquake and tsunami that rocked the Tohoku region, killed over 15,000 people, and triggered the Fukushima nuclear meltdowns, amid health fears about the COVID-19 virus. [The Japan Times]

US:

¶ “The Purple Food Changing California” • Since 2014, parts of the California coast has lost more than 90% of their bull kelp forest due to problems related to climate change. Losing the kelp forests could mean an ecosystem cascade that would devastate many species and local economies. The solution may involve eating purple sea urchins. [BBC]

Purple sea urchins (Michael Zeigler | Getty Images)

¶ “Does This Tiny Island Off The Coast Of Maine Hold The Answer To The Future Of Electricity?” • Isle au Haut gets electricity via underwater cable from the mainland, about 7 miles (11 km) away. But that cable, installed in 1983, is old and could fail at any time. Islanders have been looking at a local microgrid to replace shore-based electricity. [Ensia]

¶ “Call to Double Vermont’s Renewable Energy Capacity Ignites Debate” • A bill requiring utilities to get 100% of their electricity from green sources by 2030, up from the existing requirement of 75% by 2032, is viewed by many lawmakers as one of this session’s most consequential pieces of environmental legislation. But the bill has some opposition. [Seven Days]

Installing a PV system (Norwich Solar Technologies image)

¶ “Plan Advances To Convert Utah Coal-Fired Power Plant To Run On 100% Hydrogen With Storage” • The Intermountain Power Plant in Delta, Utah is coal-fired. It is being transitioned first to run on natural gas, then to a mixture of gas and hydrogen, and then to 100% renewable hydrogen by 2045. It will have a capacity of 840 MW. [S&P Global]

¶ “Kansas Wind To Fuel Aircraft Manufacturer” • US energy company Evergy is to supply 55 MW of electricity to Textron Aviation from the 300-MW Soldier Creek wind farm in Kansas under a multi-year power purchase agreement. The PPA covers almost all Textron’s electricity needs at its facilities in Wichita and Independence, Kansas. [reNEWS]

Wind turbine (Textron Aviation image)

¶ “Goldman Sachs Forms JV To Develop Distributed Solar Projects” • Telos Clean Energy announced entering a joint venture with Goldman Sachs’ Alternative Energy Investing Group to develop, construct, own, and operate distributed solar power projects. Goldman Sachs can invest up to $275 million in the joint venture activities. [Saurenergy]

¶ “US Energy Storage ‘Surges In Q4 2019’” • The US energy storage market installed record capacity the fourth quarter of 2019, deploying 186 MW and 364 MWh of storage, according to Wood Mackenzie’s latest data. The front-of-meter market “spiked 160% in quarter-over-quarter growth,” with 103.8 MW deployed in the last quarter of 2019. [reNEWS]

Have a particularly splendid day.

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March 10 Energy News

March 10, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “The Countries Building Miniature Nuclear Reactors” • The proponents say it’s time for small modular nuclear reactors, especially for reducing CO₂ emissions. Critics say small modular reactors have the same problems as large reactors, with safety issues and the unresolved questions over radioactive waste. And can they even compete with renewables? [BBC]

Control room of a small modular reactor (NuScale image)

¶ “Stock Market Turmoil Undermines Claimed Energy Dominance Benefits Of US Shale Drilling” • The oil price war threatens the already troubled US shale oil and gas industry and challenges the resilience of the Trump administration’s “energy dominance” theory. Relying on a shaky shale industry may have left the US economy more vulnerable. [DeSmog]

¶ “Six Ways The Agricultural Resilience Act Equips Farmers To Fight The Climate Crisis With Science” • At a time when farmers are on the heels of a difficult year and preparing for another season, the Agricultural Resilience Act offers a welcome dose of hope and inspiration. Even better, it’s steeped in science. Here are six things to know. [CleanTechnica]

Desoto Lakes Organic Fields (Cynthia Shahan)

¶ “EU Climate Law Sets The Stage For A Green Transformation” • Publication of the EU’s climate law prompted the usual confusing mixture of responses. While some described setting a legal target for climate neutrality by 2050 as a critical milestone, others decried a failure to set tighter targets for 2030. The reality, as ever, is complicated. [pv magazine International]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Water Splitting Advance Holds Promise For Affordable Renewable Energy” • A collaborative research team, including scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory and Washington State University, said it has developed a system using relatively inexpensive and abundant materials as catalysts for electrolysis to produce hydrogen. [Los Alamos Reporter]

Dongguo Li of WSU and Yu Seung Kim of LANL (LANL image)

World:

¶ “Startup Aims To Turn Brewery Wastewater Into Fuel” • New South Wales startup SwitcH2 has technology it claims will allow breweries to turn their wastewater into fuel. The system uses electrolysis to separate out the hydrogen while oxidizing the organics in the wastewater. The hydrogen can then be used as a fuel. [Australian Brews News]

¶ “Floating Renewable Battery Launched To Recharge Boats In Amsterdam Port” • Danish battery sharing pioneer Skoon Energy partnered with the Port of Amsterdam to launch a floating battery service. It will provide mobile energy storage in the port and inner city of Amsterdam, reducing the use of diesel to recharge boat batteries. [The Driven]

Skoon Energy battery

¶ “Heineken Mexico And Enel Green Power Mexico Close A 100% Renewable Energy Agreement” • For a decade, the agreement will provide Heineken with 28.8 GWh of solar and wind energy each year, for operations at its beer plant in Meoqui, Chihuahua. That amount avoids emissions of more than 16,100 tons of CO₂ per year. [REVE]

¶ “Applications Open For Community Wind And Solar Farms” • Communities across Ireland can now get into the renewable energy business by submitting bids to build their own wind and solar developments. Successful applicants will be awarded State contracts to generate green power for the national electricity grid. [The Irish Times]

Visitors to Templederry community-owned wind farm

¶ “Innogy Seals Alberta PV Power Play” • Innogy is to supply electricity from its 27-MW Canadian Vauxhall solar farm to West Fraser Timber’s sawmills in Alberta. The 10-year power purchase agreement will start in May this year, Innogy said. About 45,000 MWh of electricity will be delivered each year from the project, also known as Prairie Sunlight 3. [reNEWS]

¶ “Infigen Inks Collector Wind Farm PPA In Shift To Renewable Retailing” • Infigen Energy, which started out as a wind farm developer, is turning itself as an integrated electricity company, expanding its operations to provide electricity retailer services for large customers. It signed a PPA for 60% of the output of the Collector Wind Farm in Alberta. [RenewEconomy]

Wind farm (RenewEconomy)

US:

¶ “Honolulu Sues Petroleum Companies For Climate Change Damages To City” • Honolulu city officials, lashing out at the fossil fuel industry in a climate change lawsuit filed March 9, accused oil producers of concealing the dangers that greenhouse gas emissions from petroleum products would create, while reaping billions in profits. [InsideClimate News]

¶ “Democratic Senators Push To Include FERC Reform In Comprehensive Senate Energy Bill” • Democratic senators filed amendments to the American Energy Innovation Act that would have prevented the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission from carrying out some of its controversial orders. The bill would make FERC more politically balanced. [Utility Dive]

Pushing for change (Brian Tucker | Industry Dive)

¶ “US Renewables Groups Hail Landmark Clean Energy Bill In Virginia” • After Virginia’s General Assembly passed landmark clean energy legislation that doubles its offshore wind goal to 5.2 GW and clears the way for big deployments of solar and storage, US renewable energy groups hailed the move as transformational. [Recharge]

¶ “DOD Awards Contracts For Development Of A Mobile Microreactor” • The Department of Defense has awarded contracts to three teams for each to begin design work on a mobile nuclear reactor prototype under a Strategic Capabilities Office initiative. They are BWX Technologies, Inc; Westinghouse Government Services; and X-energy, LLC. [HSToday]

Have an outstandingly fortunate day.

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March 9 Energy News

March 9, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “What ‘Fukushima 50’ Can Teach Us About Crises” • The film “Fukushima 50” shows graphically that Japan came terrifyingly close to nuclear apocalypse, narrowly averted by heroic efforts of frontline workers, as well as a decision by plant manager Masao Yoshida to ignore orders from officials at TEPCO to stop cooling the reactors with seawater. [The Japan Times]

Film scene (© 2020 “Fukushima 50” Film Partners)

¶ “Want To Stop Climate Change? Educate Girls” • Greta Thunberg, who famously missed school to protest climate change, recently met Malala Yousafzai, who won the Nobel Peace Prize fighting to make sure girls could get an education. The photo op quickly went viral. Quipped Yousafzai, “She’s the only friend I’d skip school for.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ “The Myths Around Australia’s Horror Bushfire Season Debunked” • The bushfires that have ripped through Australia over this summer were the perfect storm, cultivated by bad drought, climate variability, and climate change. But even as they raged, a lot of misinformation was spread as to what caused them and why. [NEWS.com.au]

Firefighter observing the damage (Supplied)

Science and Technology:

¶ “The Sacred Rivers Climate Project: Reducing Climate Impacts With Mycoremediation” • The Sacred Rivers Climate Project’s parent company, HiveMind, was founded in 2008 by senior students of mycologist Paul Stamets. Their goal was to find a natural way to increase drawdown of CO₂ and sequestration in soil from trees and plants. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ “Oil Prices Plunge As OPEC Countries Fail To Reach Agreement” • The nations that make up the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries met to craft a response to the coronavirus pandemic in hopes of keeping the price of oil for falling. They failed, largely because Russia refused to cut its production, CNBC reported. [CleanTechnica]

Pipeline and tanker (OPEC image)

¶ “Asian Stock Markets Tumble After Oil Prices Crash” • Markets are under a number of pressures, the largest of which may be threat of an oil price war between OPEC and Russia. With oil prices crashing by over 30%, the Japanese Nikkei 225 index fell more than 5%, and the Australian ASX 200 dropped 7.3%, its biggest daily drop since 2008. [BBC]

¶ “Japan Opens World’s Largest Green-Hydrogen Plant Near Fukushima Disaster Site” • What is claimed to be the world’s largest facility for green hydrogen production from renewables has been completed in Fukushima prefecture near the site of the 2011 nuclear disaster. The plant has a 10-MW electrolyzer and a 20-MW solar array. [Recharge]

Hydrogen facility in Fukushima prefecture

¶ “Carbon Emissions Fall As Electricity Producers Move Away From Coal” • Overall, power from coal plants fell by 3% last year, even as China’s reliance on coal plants climbed for another year to make up half the world’s coal generation for the first time. Coal generation in the US and Europe has been reduced by half since 2007. [The Guardian]

¶ “TenneT Inks €250 Million Dutch Grid Deal With EIB” • TenneT signed a €250 million loan agreement with the European Investment Bank to fund a key onshore grid project that will enable the transmission of increasing amounts of offshore wind power in the Netherlands. It is a 380-kV transmission line for the Zuidwest 380-kV project. [reNEWS]

TenneT substation (TenneT image)

¶ “Morrison Government To Stop Funding International Collaboration On Shift To Zero Emissions” • The government told researchers at two leading Australian universities it will break a commitment to fund a Australian-German collaboration, the Energy Transition Hub, researching what is required to shift to a zero emissions future. [The Guardian]

¶ “GE Renewable Energy To Supply Cypress Units For Turkish Wind Farm” • GE Renewable Energy announced that it has been selected by Sanko Enerji to provide 12 Cypress units and 2 units of 3 MW for the 70 MW Guney wind farm in Turkey. The wind farm will produce enough clean energy to power the equivalent of 71,000 homes. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

GE Cypress turbine (GE Renewable Energy image)

US:

¶ “Renewables Generated More Electricity Than Coal In The US Last Month” • In the dead of winter, renewable energy sources (solar, wind, and hydropower) generated more electricity than coal plants in the US in February, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration. The EIA warns that the data is not final, however. [Saurenergy]

¶ “Wright Electric Begins Developing Propulsion System For Commercial Electric Plane” • Wright Electric, an electric plane startup based in Los Angeles, has begun developing the propulsion system for the Wright 1, an electric 186-passenger commercial aircraft. The propulsion system will reportedly have 10-14 electric motors. [CleanTechnica]

Wright 1 (Wright Electric image)

¶ “Energy Projects Could Speed Up Hurricane Recovery” • Grant mangers from the Interior US Department were on St Croix to inspect the planned Educational Complex site for an emergency shelter with a solar system and battery backup. It is one of two projects in the territory that could provide electricity after a major storm immediately. [St Thomas Source]

¶ “SEC’s SCANA Fraud Charges Could Be SC’s Biggest Scam Ever” • When the federal Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil fraud lawsuit against two former SCANA electric utility officials, it underscored that the $9 billion failure of the VC Summer nuclear project may be, if the charges are proven, South Carolina’s biggest financial fraud ever. [The State]

Have a magnificently idyllic day.

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March 8 Energy News

March 8, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Christiana Figueres On Why Women Are Vital To The Climate Fight” • In 2010, Christiana Figueres became the top climate negotiator at the UN. She is credited as an architect of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. She tells us there are reasons for optimism. Among them are the young women who are emerging as leaders in climate activism. [CNN]

Christiana Figueres

Science and Technology:

¶ “Zinc – The Future Of Renewable Power Storage” • Two years ago, scientists found a way to make zinc batteries rechargeable on a commercial scale. Since then, companies including Zinc8, NantEnergy Inc, and e-Zn Inc have been targeting their use for utilities, where they can accrue energy over an entire day and utilize it at night. [MyBroadband]

¶ “Stony Corals Are About To Go Extinct” • Stony corals provide a home for an astonishing 25% of the ocean’s species. But new research states that stony corals all over the world are squatting down into survival mode, seemingly, in preparation for mass extinction. This was according to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports. [Science Times]

Corals (Up-Rising | Flickr)

¶ “Climate Change Goals May Not Go Far Enough” • A study by an international team of scientists reported that Amazonian rainforests and tropical forests in Africa are now absorbing less carbon dioxide than they used to just 25 years ago. They warn that we might need to set ourselves even higher goals in the climate change fight. [OilPrice.com]

World:

¶ “Germany’s Electricity Generation Was 60% Renewable In February – With Wind Power Replacing Lignite Usage” • There were a set of new records set in Germany for monthly electricity generation during February. Wind power generated 45.8% of German electricity. Solar power contributed 4.2%. And at 11%, lignite usage hit a new low. [pv magazine USA]

Rooftop solar systems (Hans.Matthias | Flickr cc)

¶ “‘Expensive And Underperforming’: Energy Audit Finds Gas Power Running Well Below Capacity” • Energy analyst Hugh Saddler, from Australian National University’s Crawford school of public policy, found the combined-cycle gas plants in the national grid – those described as “baseload” – ran at just 30% capacity across the past 18 months. [The Guardian]

¶ “How One Woman Is Taking On Vietnam’s ‘Big Coal'” • At 43, Nguy Thi Khanh has already founded Green ID, Vietnam’s best-known environmental NGO, convinced the government to reduce some coal targets, helped spark a national conversation about rising air and water pollution, and won international plaudits for her work. [SowetanLIVE]

Nguy Thi Khanh (Lillian Suwanrumpha | AFP)

¶ “Abe Visits Futaba Just Days Before Anniversary Of Nuclear Disaster” • Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on visited the virtual ghost town of Futaba since the 2011 Fukushima Disaster. He also attended an opening ceremony in Namie for an experimental facility designed to create hydrogen through solar power generation. [Asahi Shimbun]

US:

¶ “Pro-Trump Climate Denial Group Lays Off Staff Amid Financial Woes, Ex-Employees Say” • The Heartland Institute, an influential climate-denial think tank bankrolled by President Donald Trump’s far-right billionaire donors, has laid off nearly a dozen staffers amid financial troubles, according to three former employees. [HuffPost]

Pollution (JD Pooley | Getty Images)

¶ “7 Things To Know About Decarbonization In The American Energy Innovation Act” • A new legislative package on energy is on its way through the Senate. The American Energy Innovation Act is a compilation of dozens of energy bills that have passed the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, most with bipartisan support. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “7,000 Solar Panels On 8 Acres By Mitch Airport To Be Largest Solar Energy Project In City History” • An 8-acre solar project will be located about 10 miles from downtown Milwaukee, close to General Mitchell International Airport. The city is partnering with We Energies, which supplies most of its electricity, for the solar project. [Milwaukee Independent]

General Mitchell International Airport

¶ “South Carolina Speaker: Move Energy Policy Away From Massive Projects” • As South Carolina considers overhauling or selling state-owned utility Santee Cooper, House Speaker Jay Lucas wants to take time to rethink the future of energy. He looks toward a future where electricity from solar and wind energy is stored in batteries. [Texarkana Gazette]

¶ “TVA To Remove Coal Ash From Retired Tennessee Plant To Off-Site Landfill” • The Tennessee Valley Authority plans to move toxin-laden coal ash from a retired plant in Memphis to an off-site landfill, at the cost of roughly $300 million, the federal utility said. TVA is considering six landfills in the South for 3.5 million cubic yards of coal ash. [Sumter Item]

Have a breathtakingly groovy day.

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March 7 Energy News

March 7, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “New York Has Already Moved Beyond Indian Point Nuclear Power; Here’s Where We’re Headed” • New York will have the replacement power it needs to replace Indian Point’s output once it closes, the New York Independent System Operator says. And it can be done with clean energy, transmission improvements, and energy efficiency. [Gotham Gazette]

Hudson River (Kevin P Coughlin | Office of Gov Cuomo)

¶ “Policy And Global Supply Chain Innovation Are Making Solar Cheap, Not New Solar Chemistries” • Blaring headlines about new solar panel chemistries are rife in the cleantech press, but they are moderately irrelevant. What is relevant? Global supply chains and policy that stimulates solar markets. They have impelled the fall in solar panel prices. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ “Put Down That Veggie Burger. These Farmers Say Their Cows Can Solve The Climate Crisis” • A quiet revolution has started reshaping the agricultural world. Some farmers and their supporters say that what people eat is not as important as how they farm. They believe cattle and cropland could help save the planet. [CNN]

Regenerative farming (David McKenzie)

¶ “Satellite Data Boosts Understanding Of Climate Change’s Effects On Kelp” • Tapping into 35 years of satellite imagery, researchers at Oregon State University have dramatically enlarged the database regarding how climate change is affecting kelps, near-shore seaweeds that provide food and shelter for fish and protect coastlines. [Science Daily]

World:

¶ “When Your Capital Is Sinking … Start Again?” • Jakarta’s story is a cautionary tale for city planners. The Java Sea is rising. And while it is vulnerable to climate change, the capital of Indonesia is also sinking, literally. With the capital slipping under the sea, the Indonesian government announced it is moving its national administration to Borneo. [BBC]

Abandoned mosque in Jakarta

¶ “Soft Bank, Total-EDF Subsidiaries Score 900 MW Of Solar In India” • Large developers are back participating in Indian solar power tenders following concessions from the government. The largest winner in the eighth edition of national-level solar power auctions was SB Energy, which secured 600 MW of capacity at ₹2.50/kWh (3.39¢/kWh). [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Zero Mass Water Transforms Colombian Community With New Hydropanel Installation” • Conservation International and Zero Mass Water partnered to transform the community of Bahia Hondita, Columbia, with 149 of ZMW’s Hydropanels. The system will pull water pulled from the atmosphere, powered by abundant sunshine. [CleanTechnica]

Zero Mass Water installation (Zero Mass Water courtesy image)

¶ “Kansai Electric Used Local Deputy Mayor To Seal Shady Land Deal” • An investigation by The Asahi Shimbun has shed light on how a deputy mayor exerted an amazing level of influence over Kansai Electric Power Co for decades, starting when he helped to alleviate local opposition to a nuclear power plant in Takahama from 1977 to 1987. [Asahi Shimbun]

US:

¶ “Spreading Like Wildfire: An Interest In Making Electric Power Public” • Investigations show that mismanagement of PG&E made wildfires more likely and led to they utility’s bankruptcy. California’s legislators and community members are calling for a public takeover of the electric utility. Similar calls are happening in many parts of the US. [CleanTechnica]

Wildfire (Peter Buschmann, US Forest Service, Wikimedia)

¶ “Senate Bill Would End Tax Credits For Renewables And EVs, But Boost Coal, Gas And Nukes” • The US Senate is likely to pass legislation that would fail to extend tax credits for renewable energy and electric vehicles but includes financial incentives for coal, natural gas, and nuclear power. It is the exact opposite of what’s needed. [Environmental Working Group]

¶ “After Yearlong Delay, Work On Toyota’s Renewable Power Plant Can Resume At Long Beach Port” • A decision by the California Public Utilities Commission cleared the way for a new type of renewable power plant, including at the Port of Long Beach. Toyota and FuelCell Energy are to build a plant that converts biogas to hydrogen. [Long Beach Post]

Rendering of plant (Courtesy of FuelCell Energy)

¶ “Virginia Mandates 100% Clean Power By 2050” • Virginia has become the latest state to pass a law that sets it on a path to 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050, as well as setting targets for massive investments in energy efficiency, energy storage, and in-state solar and wind power. Dominion Virginia will have be 100% renewable by 2045. [Greentech Media]

¶ “Utah’s Largest Power Company And Solar Advocates Fight Over Rooftop Panels” • The future of Utah’s rooftop solar industry is in the hands of the Utah Public Service Commission as it weighs how much Rocky Mountain Power must pay its solar-equipped customers for the excess electricity they send back into the grid. [Salt Lake Tribune]

Installing solar panels (Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune)

¶ “Gov Cuomo Fast-Track For Green Energy Projects Gets Pushback On Long Island” • A plan by Gov Andrew M Cuomo to fast-track renewable energy projects statewide by toppling approval barriers is getting the thumbs-down from Long Island officials concerned that it will exclude local governments from siting and approval. [Newsday]

¶ “Sierra Pacific To Provide PSE With Renewable Energy” • As the Sierra Pacific Industries mill west of Burlington, Washington, turns Douglas fir and hemlock trees into lumber, the facility also produces more electricity than it needs to power its operations. Puget Sound Energy announced that it will purchase that excess power, starting in 2021. [goskagit.com]

Have a beautifully pleasant day.

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March 6 Energy News

March 6, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “Air Pollution “Pandemic” Worse Than Wars, Parasitic And Vector-Born Diseases, HIV/AIDS, And Smoking” • Air pollution is taking three years from your life, on average, worldwide. No one is exempt. A study found that about two-thirds of premature deaths worldwide are attributable to human-made air pollution, mainly from fossil fuel use. [CleanTechnica]

Air pollution (EHN | France24 via Twitter)

¶ “Adapting To Fire: How Cities Can Enhance Resilience With Distributed Energy” • The economic impacts of California’s 2018 fires have been estimated at $400 billion, nearly twice the state’s biennial budget. While companies can leave in the wake of disasters, cities cannot. With drought conditions returning, cities must develop resilience. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “‘The Heart Of Australia’: Fires Are Out, But How To Save The Bush?” • Climate scientists had warned for decades that global warming could contribute to larger, more destructive bushfires. In the aftermath of the fires, Australia must reckon with questions about its dependence on fossil fuels to propel the economy. [Christian Science Monitor]

Aftermath of fire (Martin Kuz | The Christian Science Monitor)

World:

¶ “Solar Energy Storage Breakthrough Unveiled In Drive To Deliver Affordable Round-The-Clock Renewable Energy To Millions” • Energy storage start-up Azelio integrated a unique energy storage system at the world’s largest solar power plant, the Noor Solar Power Station in Morocco. Energy stored as heat runs a Stirling engine. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ “Germany ‘Needs 25 GW Offshore To Meet Green Goals'” • Germany could miss its 2030 renewables goal if it does not increase its offshore wind target to 25 GW from 20 GW currently, according to a report by think-tank Agora Energiewende. The report also said annual solar expansion or onshore windpower must increase greatly. [reNEWS]

Offshore wind farm (Iberdrola image)

¶ “Ireland ‘Could Supply 5% Of Europe’s Electricity’ With Offshore Wind” • Ireland could supply 5% of Europe’s electricity needs from offshore wind farms off the west coast, renewable energy developer Eddie O’Connor said. He strongly endorsed the Oireachtas climate action committee’s call to build 75 GW of offshore wind energy. [The Irish Times]

¶ “Saudi Developer To Build 1-GW Uzbeki Giant” • The Ministry of Energy of Uzbekistan has signed a deal with Saudi Arabian developer ACWA Power valued at between $550 million and $1.1 billion for a project of 500 MW to 1 GW. The wind deal is part of a clutch of agreements between Uzbekistan and ACWA Power, including a natural gas power plant. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Abby Anaday | Unsplash)

¶ “‘You Are Giving Up’: Greta Thunberg Slams European Green Deal” • The European Commission unveiled the EU’s Green Deal, which aims for carbon neutrality across the 27 member states by 2050. It would be similar in scope to the proposed Green New Deal in the US. But for many activists, the 2050 goal is far too distant and unambitious. [The Rising]

¶ “Court Ruling Could Close Doel Nuclear Reactors Earlier” • A ruling by the Belgian Constitutional Court could mean the nuclear power stations Doel 1 and Doel 2 have to close down earlier than the government planned. The Court this week struck down a law passed in 2015 which extended the lifetime of the reactors by ten years. [The Brussels Times]

Doel power station (© Trougnouf | Wikimedia)

¶ “Europe Has Warmest Winter ‘By Far’ On Record” • Europe has just experienced “by far” its warmest winter since records began, the EU climate change observer Copernicus announced. The average temperature in Europe between December 2019 and February 2020 was 3.4°C warmer than the average for 1981 through 2010. [EcoWatch]

US:

¶ “Sweeping Renewable Energy Bill Poised For Final Passage” • A sweeping energy bill that supporters said would make Virginia a national leader in addressing climate change passed the state House of Representatives and went to the Senate for its expected final passage. The bill lays out a path toward a goal of zero CO₂ emissions by 2045. [Economic Times]

Renewable energy

¶ “Senate Overrides Sununu’s Net Metering Veto, Passes Telemedicine Bill” • The New Hampshire Senate voted 17-7 to override Gov Chris Sununu’s veto on net metering. The bill would expand the net metering limit from 1 to 5 MW. It next goes to the House, where it also needs a 2/3 majority to override the veto. [indepthnh.org]

¶ “New Mexico Enacts Solar Energy Expansion And Grid Modernization Laws” • A group of bills dedicated to expanding capacity for solar energy and modernizing New Mexico’s electric grid were signed into law this week by Gov Lujan Grisham. The bills are a part of tackling climate change, which she put front and center in her decision. [Daily Energy Insider]

Solar thermal, New Mexico (US DOE, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “Closed Landfill To Become Massive Milwaukee Green Energy Project With 7,000 Solar Panels” • Milwaukee Aldermen have approved leasing eight acres of a city-owned closed landfill to We Energies for a solar power plant. The company will build and operate a 2.25-MW solar array through its Solar Now pilot program. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

¶ “DOD Wants Mini Nuclear Reactors On Bases And For Transport” • The Defense Department is exploring the use of small nuclear reactors on bases as a means of creating a power supplies for installations that may be affected by downed electrical grids. They are looking for reactors that could provide about 2 MW of power. [Federal News Network]

Have a superbly comfortable day.

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March 5 Energy News

March 5, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “What Does Climate Adaptation Look Like?” • Climate adaptation encompasses a wide array of actions that help people and nature cope with the present-day harms of climate disruption and minimize future harms. Ideally, adaptation allows us to move beyond just surviving the climate crisis to thriving in a fundamentally new world. [CleanTechnica]

Outdoor cafe in Venice (Stephen Percival, CC BY-NC 2.0)

¶ “Utility Investors Risk Billions In Rush To Natural Gas: Is It A Bridge To Climate Breakdown?” • Natural gas was commonly considered a “bridge fuel.” Now, electric utilities must face the mathematical reality that fast-falling clean energy costs mean the bridge only leads to climate breakdown and the destruction of shareholder value. [Forbes]

¶ “Breaking Australia’s Vicious Energy Cycle” • In the past 15 years Australian politics have too often been typified by short-termism and reactiveness. This haphazard approach has on occasion delivered positive outcomes, such as the Finkel Review following the 2016 blackout in South Australia. But usually it leads to half-baked policies. [EcoGeneration]

Mountain wind farm

Science and Technology:

¶ “Plastic-Chomping Caterpillars Can Help Fight Pollution” • The waxworm went from zero to hero when researchers discovered it might help solve one of the world’s most pressing environmental problems. The creature can chomp through many plastics, even polyethylene, a non-biodegradable plastic that clogs landfills and seas. [CNN]

World:

¶ “The Climate Crisis Made Australia’s Wildfires At Least 30% More Likely, Study Finds” • The wildfires that burned across Australia recently were made far more likely and intense by the climate crisis, a analysis shows. Scientists found that chances of the kind of extreme weather that triggered the blazes increased by more than 30% since 1900. [CNN]

Bushfire (Brook Mitchell | Getty Images)

¶ “Eastern Russia Broke Records For Warmest Winter, Leaving Moscow Snowless” • Moscow is usually blanketed in snow for four to five months a year. But this year, Russia’s capital had barely any snow cover in the whole of February, described by local meteorologists as a “once in a century” occurrence. It was the warmest winter on record. [CNN]

¶ “Cashmere And Climate Change Threaten Nomadic Life” • Mongolia’s vast grasslands cover about three-quarters of the country, where nomadic herdsmen have maintained traditions going back centuries. But this is changing – fast. About 70% of the land has been damaged, largely due to overgrazing. And now, there is climate change. [BBC]

Mongolian goat herd (Chami Akmeemana)

¶ “France Begins Winding Down Its Reliance On Nuclear Power” • France began shutting down its oldest nuclear plant last month after 43 years of operation. The Fessenheim plant’s closure is the first in a series that the government has proposed. The country does not intend to abandon its reliance on nuclear power altogether, however. [Bellona]

¶ “Hydrogen ‘Can Power Virtually All Container Ships Crossing The Pacific'” • Liquid hydrogen could power nearly all container vessels crossing the Pacific ocean, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, a study by the International Council on Clean Transportation found. The international shipping industry is a major source of CO₂ emissions. [Recharge]

Container ship (Roy Luck | Flickr)

¶ “Severn Trent To Spend £1.2 Billion On Protecting The Environment” • One of the UK’s biggest water companies plans to spend £1.2 billion to help repair the environment and end its contribution to the climate crisis by 2030. Severn Trent plans to cut its emissions to virtually zero within the next decade by using 100% renewable energy. [The Guardian]

¶ “Dutch Government Doubles Renewable Energy Subsidies To €4 Billion” • The Dutch Government announced it will double the amount of money available under its renewable energy subsidy program to €4 billion (£3.4 billion, $4.5 billion ) in 2020, in a bid to meet its obligations to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by the end of 2020. [Energy Live News]

Dutch solar farm (Shutterstock image)

US:

¶ “Ford Will Add Transit Cargo Van To Its Electric Vehicle Lineup” • Ford announced this week it will offer a battery electric version of its Transit cargo van beginning with the 2022 model year. The electric Transit will join the Mustang Mach-E and an all electric version of the bestselling F-150 pickup truck as Ford ramps up its EV offerings. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Trump Administration Ignores Oil Worker Safety In Pursuit Of Offshore Oil Profits” • Recent reports show that political appointees at the Interior Department ignored experts who opposed issuing a rule rolling back safety measures for offshore oil rig workers. It is not the first time that experts were ignored and safety weakened. [CleanTechnica]

Offshore oil platform (Zukiman Mohamad | Pexels)

¶ “Wind Giant GE Renewable Energy Says Coronavirus Mitigation A Key Focus In 2020” • GE Renewable Energy says mitigating the impact of the coronavirus on its wind energy supply chain will be one of its four top focuses in 2020. Plant shutdowns in China are already forecast to dent the bottom line of parent company General Electric. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Criminal Investigations Target Shale Gas Industry” • More than a dozen criminal cases involving the shale gas industry are being pursued in Pennsylvania, the state’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. He cited the protections for clean air and pure water in the state Constitution as justifications for pursuing the criminal cases. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Have a wonderfully exquisite day.

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March 4 Energy News

March 4, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “This Is Positive News For UK Renewables – The Key Will Be Translation Into Policy” • After five years stripped of government support, the idea of onshore wind and solar competing in the next Contracts for Difference round is “a delightful surprise,” according to writer Mike Blanch, but the devil will be in the details. [Recharge]

Wind turbine (dave bloom, Wikimedia Commons)

World:

¶ “GM To Add 3,500 New EV Charging Plugs At Company Facilities Across US And Canada” • General Motors announced plans to expand availability of workplace EV charging for its employees. GM will add 3,500 new EV charging plugs at its US and Canadian facilities. It will begin installing the charging locations starting in late 2020. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Vestas Scores 201-MW Double In China” • Vestas has secured a turbine order totalling 201 MW from an unnamed client for two wind farms in China. The order is the first for the V155-3.3MW variant and covers turbines and towers. Delivery is expected to be in the third quarter of 2020, with commissioning in the same quarter. [reNEWS]

Vestas nacelle (Vestas image)

¶ “Telstra Takes Action On Climate Change And Sets Bold Renewable Targets” • Australian telco giant Telstra Corporation Ltd is the latest blue chip company to act on climate change. Telstra pledged to be carbon neutral from this year, enabling 100% renewable energy by 2025, and reducing absolute emissions 50% by 2030. [Motley Fool Australia]

¶ “Tasmania Sets World-Leading Target Of 200% Renewables By 2040” • While Australia’s federal Coalition refuses to accept the notion that Australia can reach 50% renewables without sorcery or total economic destruction, Tasmania’s Liberal government has just announced a possible world-first: A renewable energy target of 200% by 2040. [RenewEconomy]

Musselroe wind farm, Tasmania

¶ “Batteries ‘allow a quarter more renewables to be used during peak periods’” • Batteries could enable use of at least 25% more renewable energy at times of peak grid demand according to UK network operator Northern Powergrid. The company published findings from a two-year study into how smart home batteries affect the electricity grid. [Energy Live News]

¶ “Adygea Reaches Full Potential In Russia” • NovaWind JSC has completed the 150MW Adygea wind farm in Russia, which has started supplying power to the country’s wholesale electricity and capacity market. The project comprises 60 Lagerwey L100 2.5-MW turbines, 65% of the components of which were made locally. [reNEWS]

Wind farm (Rosatom image)

¶ “Fossil Fuels For Power At Turning Point As Renewables Surged In 2019” • The use of fossil fuels such as coal and oil for generating electricity fell in 2019 in the US, the EU, and India. At the same time overall power output rose, a turning point for the global energy mix. The declines suggest the end of the fossil fuel era could be on the horizon. [msnNOW]

¶ “National Grid ESO Rolls Out Smart Grid Tech” • National Grid Electricity System Operator is implementing measures to unlock the potential of smaller, regionally connected renewable energy resources on the south coast of England. They aim to manage the region’s growing volume of small and medium-sized distributed energy resources. [reNEWS]

Grid operations (National Grid image)

¶ “UAE First Nuclear Operating Nation In Arab World” • The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation announced that with the successful completion of fuel assembly loading into Unit 1, the UAE has officially become a peaceful nuclear energy operating nation. The UAE is the first country in the Arab World to achieve this status. [Gulf Today]

US:

¶ “Warren Buffett’s Secret To Cheap Electricity” • In his latest letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, Warren Buffett touted its low electricity bills for customers. “The extraordinary differential between our rates and theirs is largely the result of our huge accomplishments in converting wind into electricity,” Buffett explained. [Forbes]

Warren Buffett (Nati Harnik | AP file photo)

¶ “House Passes Solar Power Development Program Bill” • A bill to open West Virginia to solar energy development passed the House of Delegates with bipartisan support. Senate Bill 583, creating a program for the further development of renewable energy resources, passed the House 76-23 with one member absent. [Parkersburg News]

¶ “Florida Regulators OK $1.8 Billion SolarTogether Program” • The Florida Public Service Commission approved Florida Power & Light’s $1.8 billion SolarTogether program, the largest community solar program in the US. FPL says its SolarTogether program will nearly double its current output of 1,523 MW of community solar by 2021. [The Center Square]

Installing solar panels (Humphery | Shutterstock)

¶ “Navajo Nation Requests LA Support Renewable Energy Partnerships” • Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell requested that the LA city council support a feasibility study to pursue renewable energy projects on the Navajo Nation so the city could buy cost-effective clean energy. [Navajo-Hopi Observer]

¶ “Poised To Burn Its Last Load Of Coal, UW Oshkosh Moves Closer To Renewable Energy” • UW Oshkosh and four other University of Wisconsin schools are phasing out their reliance on coal as a heating source. At UWO’s Oshkosh campus, a ceremony on March 12 will mark the day on which the last truckload of coal is delivered. [UW Oshkosh Today]

Have a thoroughly delightful day.

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March 3 Energy News

March 3, 2020

Opinion:

¶ “India Has Some Huge Renewable Energy Goals. But Can They Be Achieved?” • India has set itself a goal of having 175 GW of renewable capacity by the year 2022. Considering that India’s installed capacity for all energy sources was a little under 369 GW at the end of January 2020, this is ambitious. Meeting the 175 GW goal could be a tricky proposition. [CNBC]

Wind turbines in India (Rudranil Das | EyeEm | Getty Images)

¶ “Pushing The Wrong Energy Buttons” • India’s Prime Minister Modi and US President Trump encouraged the Nuclear Power Corporation of India and Westinghouse to finalize an agreement for construction of six nuclear reactors in India “at the earliest date.” Instead, they should have encouraged abandoning the proposal altogether. [EnergyInfraPost]

World:

¶ “Turkey Benefits From More World Bank Support To Renewable Energy” • The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved additional financing of €289.5 million ($325 million) to the Turkish Electricity Transmission Company for the Renewable Energy Integration Project. The project was approved with earlier funding in 2014. [Modern Diplomacy]

Renewable energy

¶ “The Most Successful Air Pollution Treaty You’ve Never Heard Of” •  The Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air-Pollution was signed in 1979 by 32 European countries, the US, and Canada. Initially aimed aimed to tackle acid rain, it has enjoyed great success in the fight against air pollution and climate change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “How To Run The National Electricity Market On 96% Renewables” • Windlab has conducted a simulation of a 96% renewable national electricity market for Australia. The study indicated that a very high penetration rate of renewables on the NEM is possible with readily achievable levels of storage and interconnector upgrades. [RenewEconomy]

Wind farm (David Chang | EPA)

¶ “Neoen Says Hornsdale Tesla Battery Exceeded Expectations” • The Engineering consultant Aurecon Group said the Hornsdale battery installed in South Austrialia has exceeded expectations for the way it has stabilized the grid and lowered grid related costs. It reduced the cost of regulating the South Australian electrical grid by 91%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “UK Government Lifts Block On New Onshore Windfarm Subsidies” • The UK abandoned its opposition to subsidizing new onshore windfarms, four years after ministers scrapped support for them. The government will remove a block against onshore wind projects by allowing schemes to compete for subsidies with other renewable developments. [The Guardian]

Wind farm (Murdo MacLeod | The Guardian)

¶ “Taskforce Targets Hydrogen Growth In The UK” • A group of ten organisations active in UK energy, including BP and Shell, launched the Hydrogen Taskforce. It offers a shared vision of the role of hydrogen in the transition to net zero emissions. The taskforce has published a report, “The Role of Hydrogen in Delivering Net Zero.” [reNEWS]

¶ “Volvo’s Swedish Bus Plant Powered By Renewable Energy, Including Biofuels” • Volvo announced that its bus plant in Borås, Sweden is one of the first such facilities worldwide to be powered solely by renewable energy, including hydropower and biofuels. In recent years energy consumption at the factory has been cut by 15%. [Biofuels International Magazine]

Volvo bus

US:

¶ “New York Times: Interior Official Pushes Misleading Information On Climate Crisis In Agency Reports” • An Interior Department official was pushing misleading information about climate change into the agency’s reports at the same time the Trump administration was rolling back environmental protection regulations, The New York Times reported. [CNN]

¶ “CIM Begins Construction On Proposed 2.7-GW Westlands Solar Park” • The CIM Group is advancing development of Westlands Solar Park, one of the largest permitted solar parks in the world, it announced. The project will be in California’s San Joaquin Valley. It could grow to over 2,700 MW at full buildout, powering over 1,200,000 homes. [Saurenergy]

ESCO Pacific solar project

¶ “Lawyers For Good Government Climate Change Program Provides Pro-Bono Legal Resources For Municipalities To Switch To 100% Renewable Energy” • Lawyers for Good Government’s Climate Change program aims to use the group’s expansive legal network to support existing programs assisting cities with the shift to 100% renewable energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Michigan Explores Importing More Electricity As Coal Plants Close” • The Midcontinent Independent System Operator, which operates the grid in central US states from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada, launched a study focused on the potential costs and benefits of increasing the import limits into the Lower Peninsula, as coal plants close. [Energy News Network]

Transmission lines

¶ “CenterPoint Energy Aims To Reduce Carbon Emissions By 70% By 2035” • CenterPoint Energy announced that it set a goal of reducing its carbon emissions 70% by 2035. It plans to develop alternative energy sources. Electric utility Vectren, a CenterPoint company based in Evansville, Indiana, is updating its 20-year power generation plan. [Evansville Courier & Press]

¶ “Poll Says Utahns Support Closing Coal-Fired Plants Early” • New polling suggests that Utahns support by a wide margin early retirements for Rocky Mountain Power’s coal-fired power plants in favor of using renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. A majority of people, 53% supported closing coal-fired plants; 33% did not. [Salt Lake Tribune]

Have a fundamentally superior day.

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