2017-02-23 Energy Week

Visitors Please Note: This blog is maintained to assist in developing a TV show, Energy Week with George Harvey and Tom Finnell. The post is put up in incomplete form, and is updated with news until it is completed, usually on Wednesday. The source is geoharvey.wordpress.com.

Within a few days of the last update, the show may be seen, along with older shows, at this link on the BCTV website: Energy Week Series.

Thursday, 16:

Workhorse E-GEN powertrain (Workhorse image)

Workhorse E-GEN powertrain (Workhorse image)

  • Delivery vans get between 5 and 8 miles per gallon. Vans powered by Workhorse’s hybrid electric E-GEN powertrain have now completed 250,000 miles of service and have achieved an astounding 30 MPGe rating in daily, real life, stop and go operation. Workhorse calculates each van will save the owner $165,000 during its lifetime. [CleanTechnica]

02-16-growth-of-solar-installations

  • The latest US Solar Market Insight report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association showed that 2016 almost doubled the installations of 2015, itself a record-breaking year. Solar installations grew 95%, for a total of 14,625 MW. With 39% of new capacity across all fields, with wind placing second at 25%. [CleanTechnica]
  • The city council of Pueblo, Colorado committed the city to 100% renewable energy by 2035. Pueblo is now the third city in Colorado and the 22nd in the nation to make the promise. The city doesn’t yet have a route for its destination, partly because it doesn’t have ownership of its electricity provider. It is looking at its options. [The Coloradoan]
Moab, Utah (Saro17 via istockphoto.com)

Moab, Utah (Saro17 via istockphoto.com)

  • Moab, Utah officials say they have taken a major step toward creating a more sustainable city. The Moab City Council passed a resolution, committing to using 100% renewable electricity by 2032. The mayor said the move is driven by the community’s passion for Moab’s natural environment and a sustainable future. [RadioWest]

Friday, 17:

Parched Oklahoma land (Al Jazeera English, Wikimedia Commons)

Parched Oklahoma land (Al Jazeera English, Wikimedia Commons)

  • The state that gave us Scott Pruitt and James Inhofe just saw temperatures near 100° in the dead of winter. Climate change is loading the dice for record-breaking heat in Oklahoma. Here, the human fingerprint is clear. Carbon pollution traps heat, warming the planet. This, in turn, shifts the entire distribution of temperatures. [CleanTechnica]
Climate change is driving drought

Climate change is driving drought

  • The future is expected to hold more deadly heat waves, the fast spread of certain infectious diseases and catastrophic food shortages. These causes of premature deaths are all related to climate change, according to a panel of experts who gathered at the Carter Center in Atlanta on Thursday for the Climate & Health Meeting. [CNN]
  • TransCanada Corp has rebooted its effort to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline across Nebraska, where it had met with opposition before it withdrew its application when the Obama administration denied the company a federal permit in late 2015. TransCanada’s latest move had been expected since Donald Trump was elected. [MarketWatch]

Saturday, 18:

Wind power

Wind power

  • “Americans rally to support wind power” • Hundreds of Americans from across the country traveled to Washington, DC to show their support for wind energy. AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan penned an op-ed in The Hill looking at why they decided to make the trek. Here are a few highlights and a link to the original article. [Into the Wind – The AWEA Blog]
Underground heat storage system

Underground heat storage system

  • Institutions in Hamburg are proposing to build a large underground thermal heat storage system that could supply roughly a quarter of the city’s heating needs with waste heat from industrial and power plants. If successful, it could make Vattenfall’s plans to realise a CO2-neutral district heating network superfluous. [CleanTechnica]
  • EU member states have approved a €90 million grant for a compressed air energy storage project in Larne in Northern Ireland. The Larne project converts excess energy from renewable generation into compressed air to be stored in geological caverns within salt layers underground for later release to generate electricity. [reNews]

Sunday, 19:

Solar PV panels in China's Fujian province (AP)

Solar PV panels in China’s Fujian province (AP)

  • An Australian company says it will build solar and battery facilities in South Australia this year with enough storage capacity to meet the power shortfall that caused blackouts in the state 10 days ago. A partner of Lyon Group said he was “very confident” his firm would install two 50-MW battery storage facilities this year. [The Australian Financial Review]
  • The air Indians breathe is turning more toxic by the day and an average of two deaths happen each minute due to air pollution, says a new study based on 2010 data. According to medical journal The Lancet, over a million Indians die every year due to air pollution and some of the worst polluted cities of the world are in India. [thenortheasttoday.com]
  • The threat of a catastrophe at California’s Oroville Dam may be over. California’s Department of Water Resources lifted the evacuation order. But the dam’s troubles have also temporarily brought down one of the state’s major renewable energy assets, likely replacing 819-MW of hydro capacity with natural gas for a time. [POWER magazine]

Monday, 20:

Celebrating wind power

Celebrating wind power

  • Local Aboriginal tribes – the Ngadjuri and Nukunu – have both recognized and celebrated the abundance of South Australian wind and solar power resources. They added huge artworks to the base of two of the 105 massive wind turbines that will form the Hornsdale wind project outside Jamestown, near Port Pirie. [Aboriginal Art Directory News]
  • Hundreds of scientists, some in lab coats, held a rally in Boston Sunday to draw attention to their concerns about the Trump administration’s policies. Speakers and signs criticized those in the administration who deny that climate change is real, who question the collection and distribution of data on science, and other policies. [Inside Higher Ed]
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Image: Wikimedia Commons

  • Opinion: “Easy as Two Plus Two: How to Regain our Democracy” • We can get our democracy back, and improve our lives as we do. If those who disapprove of the Washington establishment we have turn down residential thermostats by 2° F and drive two miles fewer per day, it will cost those who bought this government $10 billion per year. [Green Energy Times]

Tuesday, 21:

Wednesday, 22:

2017-02-16 Energy Week

Visitors Please Note: This blog is maintained to assist in developing a TV show, Energy Week with George Harvey and Tom Finnell. The post is put up in incomplete form, and is updated with news until it is completed, usually on Wednesday. The source is geoharvey.wordpress.com.

Within a few days of the last update, the show may be seen, along with older shows, at this link on the BCTV website: Energy Week Series.

Thursday, February 9:

Declining capacities of new coal plants were going to zero before the Clean Power Plan

Declining capacities of new coal plants were going to zero before the Clean Power Plan

  • “All The King’s Men Cannot Put King Coal Together Again” Even before the new administration took over, it had been widely argued that coal plants would continue shutting down irrespective of whether the Clean Power Plan was implemented. Old coal plants are retiring, and new ones are not being installed. [Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide]
  • On February 7th, the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to stop doing business with Wells Fargo Bank. This is because Wells Fargo has investments in the companies behind the Dakota Access pipeline project. Seattle currently does about $3 billion a year in business with Wells Fargo. The pipeline has 17 investors. [CleanTechnica]
Wind farms accounted for over half of the capacity installed. (Shutterstock)

Wind farms accounted for over half of the capacity installed. (Shutterstock)

  • Renewable energy made up nearly nine-tenths of new power added to Europe’s electricity grids last year, in a sign of the continent’s rapid shift away from fossil fuels, Euractiv’s media partner The Guardian reports. Of the 24.5 GW of new capacity built across the EU in 2016, 21.1 GW (86%) was from wind, solar, biomass and hydro. [EurActiv]

Friday, February 10:

North Carolina wind farm (Avangrid Renewables image)

North Carolina wind farm (Avangrid Renewables image)

  • The first wind farm in North Carolina is now 100% operational even though the state’s top politicians wanted President Donald Trump to nix the $400 million project because they said it’s a national security threat. Avangrid Renewables today announced the wind farm is now generating power, enough to provide for 61,000 homes. [CIO]
  • The troops are mobilizing for a second “deployment.” The Veterans Stand group is once again raising funds for protesters who oppose construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The funds will go toward supplies for the North Dakota protest camp and transportation of veterans to and from Standing Rock Indian Reservation and operations. [CNN]
  • New figures from the American Wind Energy Association show that the United States installed a total of 8,203 MW in 2016. As a result, wind energy has now surpassed hydropower to become the largest source of renewable electric capacity in the United States, and the fourth largest source overall, with a total of 82,183 MW. [CleanTechnica]

Saturday, February 11:

Flow battery in laboratory

Flow battery in laboratory

  • A new type of battery has the ability to revolutionize all the smart devices that rely on storage electricity. Harvard professors at the Engineering Faculty created a flow battery that stores the energy in primary molecules dissolved in water with a neutral pH. The new battery has a long life, losing 1% of its capacity after 1,000 charge cycles. [Stоck Nеws USА]
  • Encouraged by Chinese and EU commitments to low carbon energy, European utilities will not reduce their renewable energy investments if US President Donald Trump lowers US climate goals, electricity lobby Eurelectric said. Trump said during the campaign he would pull the US out of the Paris agreement of 2015. [ETEnergyworld.com]
  • The EPA’s website has begun to transform under Trump’s leadership. Researchers found that Federal climate plans, tribal assistance programs, and references to international cooperation have been stricken. A mention of carbon pollution as a cause of climate change has also been removed and adaptation has been emphasized. [CleanTechnica]

Sunday, February 12:

  • Opinion: “Scott Pruitt’s Misleading Senate Testimony: Will ‘Alternative Science’ Replace Real Science at EPA?” • Scott Pruitt, President Trump’s pick to head the US Environmental Protection Agency, is misrepresenting the scientific data clearly showing that the earth’s atmosphere is warming. He said he believes that global warming is in a “hiatus.” [Energy Collective]
Arctic temperature anomalies

Arctic temperature anomalies

  • Friday’s temperatures very near the North Pole are about 50° F warmer than normal, according to a temperature analysis by NOAA. The warmth is being funneled toward the North Pole as winds converged winds between a monster storm in the North Atlantic and a giant area of high pressure over northern Europe. [Washington Post] (Thanks to Tad Montgomery)
Huge crane at the VC Summer nuclear plant

Huge crane at the VC Summer nuclear plant

  • Recently, one of the largest construction cranes on the planet gently hoisted a 750-ton steam generator into place for a new reactor at the VC Summer Nuclear Station. The heavy lifting isn’t over. It could be just beginning for the $14 billion project, with unanswered questions about Westinghouse, the reactor designer. [Charleston Post Courier]

Monday, February 13:

Headline News:

A hydro generator run by KIUC

A hydro generator run by KIUC

  • A Hawaiian utility co-op is aiming to produce 70% of its energy from renewables by 2030. The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative had already set a target of 50% renewables by 2023 but is set to hit that goal 2018, five years earlier than expected. As recently as 2011 KIUC had a 92% dependency on fossil fuels for generation. [Co-operative News]
  • New Hampshire is behind most of its neighbors in use of renewable energy, and several groups are using this legislative session make sure it stays behind. Led by the Americans for Prosperity, founded by billionaire Koch brothers, they support a bill that would pull the state out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. [Foster’s Daily Democrat]
  • If you want to understand why Toshiba Corp is about to report a multi-billion dollar write-down on its nuclear reactor business, the story begins and ends with a onetime pipe manufacturer in Louisiana. The Shaw Group Inc, based in Baton Rouge, looms large in a story of business acquisitions and lack of experience. [The Japan Times]

Tuesday, February 14:

Spillway at the Oroville dam (California Department of Water Resources via Reuters)

Spillway at the Oroville dam (California Department of Water Resources via Reuters)

  • “How Did the Oroville Dam Crisis Get So Dire?” • On Sunday, authorities ordered 188,000 people near the Oroville dam in California to evacuate. Extreme weather, which scientists say was exacerbated by human-caused climate change, moved from drought to saturated in just months, filling a reservoir to levels that proved dangerous. [The Atlantic]
  • A report in Ward’s Auto dated February 7th says EV battery prices are falling faster than expected and could be lower than the magic $100 per kWh mark by 2020. A US Department of Energy goal of achieving a price of $125 by that year is turning out to be much too conservative. Some experts are expecting $80 per kWh. [CleanTechnica]
  • Southwest Power Pool set a wind-penetration record of 52.1% at 4:30 a.m., Feb. 12, becoming the first regional transmission organization in North America to serve more than 50% of its load at a given time with wind energy. The milestone beats a previous North American RTO record of 49.2% that SPP set April 24, 2016. [Satellite PR News]

Wednesday, February 15:

Navajo Generating Station (Shutterstock image)

Navajo Generating Station (Shutterstock image)

  • Coal power is no longer the best energy bargain. And on Monday, the four private utility owners of the Navajo Generating Station, led by the Salt River Project, voted to shut down the plant at the end of 2019, some 25 years ahead of schedule. The closure will deeply hurt the employees, 90% of whom are Native American. [Grist]
  • While the Trump administration appears to have affection for the fossil fuels industry, some states are moving in a different direction, especially on plug-in electric vehicles (PEV). From Massachusetts and New York to California, they and are setting, and achieving, goals to put PEVs on the road, replacing those that burn fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]
  • Cost overruns at Georgia’s Plant Vogtle nuclear power plant are threatening a financial tsunami at Toshiba Corp. The company projected a $6.3 billion write-down, postponed its earnings report because of allegations of impropriety, and announced that its chairman was resigning – all on the same day, the Wall Street Journal reported. [Atlanta Business Chronicle]

2017-02-09 Energy Week

Visitors Please Note: This blog is maintained to assist in developing a TV show, Energy Week with George Harvey and Tom Finnell. The post is put up in incomplete form, and is updated with news until it is completed, usually on Wednesday. The source is geoharvey.wordpress.com.

Within a few days of the last update, the show may be seen, along with older shows, at this link on the BCTV website: Energy Week Series.

Thursday, February 2:

Faraday Future’s FF 91 prototype (Photo: AFP / Reuters)

Faraday Future’s FF 91 prototype (Photo: AFP / Reuters)

  • “Surge in electric cars may blindside big oil” • Oil companies are underestimating the global market for electric vehicles and could be caught unaware by weakened demand for petrol within a decade, according to a report, jointly issued by financial think tank Carbon Tracker and the Grantham Institute, both based in London. [Guardian]
  • The Iraqi government is warning that a pair of pending deals with GE could be at risk from President Donald Trump’s travel ban, according to internal State Department documents. GE has sizable interests in Iraq, including power contracts worth more than a billion dollars and hundreds of employees in the country. [POLITICO.eu]
  • Latest issue of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s monthly “Energy Infrastructure Update,” tells us that newly installed capacity from renewable sources totaled 16,124 MW, or 61.5% of the total, surpassing combined installations for natural gas (8,689 MW), nuclear power (1,270 MW), oil (58 MW), and coal (45 MW). [Sun & Wind Energy]

Friday, February 3:

Decline in UK coal use

Decline in UK coal use

  • A new report from The Economist Intelligence Unit has concluded that Europe’s coal consumption has been in long-term decline, and the region’s reliance on it is not as uniformly high as many assume. Much of the decline in coal for Europe has been centered in the UK, which has been closing coal power plants regularly. [CleanTechnica]
  • A fund meant to spur Vermont’s small-scale renewable energy developments will expire by 2018 unless legislators find another source of revenue, according to a legislative report published this month. The state’s Clean Energy Development Fund holds more than $5 million, but the payments that generated that amount have ceased. [vtdigger.org]
  • “Not just Toshiba – the global nuclear industry is in crisis everywhere” • The collapse of Toshiba, the direct result of its failing nuclear ventures, is indicative of a crisis faced by nuclear contractors and utilities worldwide. Another sign of the poor outlook for the industry: no major commodity had a worse 2016 than uranium. [The Ecologist]

Saturday, February 4:

Solar power in New Mexico (credit: Depositphotos)

Solar power in New Mexico (credit: Depositphotos)

  • Two Democratics in the New Mexico Senate have proposed a dramatic expansion of the state’s renewable portfolio standards to 80% by 2040, from its current goal of 20% by 2020. The state would then be among the most aggressive on carbon emissions. Hawaii is targeting 100% renewables by 2045, and California wants to reach 50% by 2030. [Utility Dive]
A wind farm in Copenhagen (Kim Hansen)

A wind farm in Copenhagen (Kim Hansen)

  • Denmark’s DONG Energy, already a leader in green energy technologies, has announced that they will become 100% coal-free by 2023. DONG Energy had ditched oil and gas last year. The company has created a portfolio of renewables, based on leading technologies in offshore wind, bioenergy, and energy solutions. [Digital Journal]
  • A group of US Senators from western states with windpower resources has re-introduced the Public Lands Renewable Energy Development Act, S. 282. This bipartisan legislation works toward an “all of the above” energy strategy by simplifying the permitting process for wind, solar, and geothermal projects on public lands. [Windpower Engineering]

Sunday, February 5:

Ninh Binh Province (Dinkum, Wikimedia Commons)

Ninh Binh Province (Dinkum, Wikimedia Commons)

  • Urgent action is needed to prevent salt intrusion causing severe damage to rice production and loss of drinking water in Vietnam and Bangladesh, according to reports by the World Bank and the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research. The reports say sea level rise threatens large areas of land that is currently highly productive. [The Daily Star]
  • The Trump administration’s strict restrictions on immigration, declarations about climate change, reported overtures to an anti-vaccine activist, and pledge to repeal of the Affordable Care Act have turned some in the science community into militants. They will march in Washington, and perhaps in other cities, on April 22, Earth Day. [NBCNews.com]
  • An article in the Mail on Sunday stunningly claims, “World leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data.” It accuses the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of manipulating data. However, a fact check by independent researchers validates the data that NOAA published. [Carbon Brief]

Monday, February 6:

Soy beans in a no-till field (Credit: US Department of Agriculture)

Soy beans in a no-till field (Credit: US Department of Agriculture)

  • In America’s breadbasket, the economic realities of climate change are a critical business issue, but frank discussion is often complicated by politics and social pressure, so they get disguised as something else. Perhaps no one is as aware of the climate and its impact on the earth than a farmer, and the New York Times recently featured one from Kansas. [HPPR]
  • South Australian company 1414 Degrees developed technology to store electricity as thermal energy by heating and melting containers full of silicon, at a tenth of the cost for lithium-ion batteries. Silicon is the second most abundant element in the earth’s crust, and one tonne can store enough energy to power 28 houses for a day. [Electronics News]
Australian wind turbines

Australian wind turbines

  • The Australian Energy Market Operator says it is confident that adjustments made to wind farm software will prevent the South Australia blackout from being repeated. He said the blackout in South Australia in September, which has set off a huge political debate about renewable energy across the country, would not be repeated. [RenewEconomy]

Tuesday, February 7:

Solar powered house in Germany

Solar powered house in Germany

  • Opinion: “6 reasons the clean energy revolution doesn’t need Trump’s blessing” • As much as Trump and his oil-soaked administration want to make fossil fuels great again, the global clean energy revolution is getting to the point of being unstoppable. Here are a few reasons the renewables revolution will continue without Trump’s blessing. [Inhabitat]
  • According to Greentech Media, SunShot has shattered its 2020 goal of reaching $1.00 per watt for utility-scale solar utility costs 3 years earlier. Founded back in 2011 when Stephen Chu was the US DOE Secretary, the SunShot goal was to get utility-scale costs down to $1.00/watt. In 2011, the costs stood at about $4.00/watt. [CleanTechnica]
  • Southern California Gas Co, Los Angeles, along with CR&R Environmental, a waste management company in Stanton, California, announced they have begun construction of an eight-inch pipeline that will bring carbon-neutral renewable natural gas into the SoCalGas distribution system for the first time. [Waste Today Magazine]

Wednesday, February 8:

Lots of rooftop solar in Sweden

Lots of rooftop solar in Sweden

  • The Swedish city of Malmö is one of the greenest in Europe. The Västra Hamnen district uses 100% renewable energy, for power and heat. It is climate neutral, with absolutely no carbon emissions. The area has extensive bike trails, and a public bus system that runs entirely on biogas, a methane-based alternative to gasoline. [Beloit College Round Table]
  • The US Army Corps of Engineers will grant an easement in North Dakota for the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, allowing the project to move toward completion despite the protests. President Donald Trump had signed executive actions to advance approval of this pipeline and others almost as soon as he took office. [CNN]
Flaring gas at an oil refinery in Washington

Flaring gas at an oil refinery in Washington

  • With former Secretary of State Jim Baker leading, a group of Republican senior statesmen are pushing for a carbon tax to combat the effects of climate change. In a Wall Street Journal opinion piece, they argued, “there is mounting evidence of problems with the atmosphere that are growing too compelling to ignore.” [Voice of America]
  • Vermont Electric Cooperative announced its 2017 Energy Transformation Program. The 2017 opportunities include financial incentives for members who install cold-climate heat pumps, purchase or lease electric or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, or transition away from generators to power their homes or businesses. [vtdigger.org]

2017-02-02 Energy Week

Visitors Please Note: This blog is maintained to assist in developing a TV show, Energy Week with George Harvey and Tom Finnell. The post is put up in incomplete form, and is updated with news until it is completed, usually on Wednesday. The source is geoharvey.wordpress.com.

Within a few days of the last update, the show may be seen, along with older shows, at this link on the BCTV website: Energy Week Series.

Thursday, January 26:

  • The Trump administration is examining the EPA’s website to determine what information will be allowed to remain. This underscores concerns that climate change and other scientific data might be removed. EPA employees have been instructed not to release press releases, publish blog posts, or post anything on social media. [CNN]
Scientists at rally (Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP / File)

Scientists at rally (Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP / File)

  • The first tweets appeared quietly, mid-Tuesday afternoon, with a 21st-century declaration of defiance. “Mr Trump, you may have taken us down officially. But with scientific evidence & the Internet our message will get out.” Get out it did. One day later, the post had been retweeted by 22,000 people and liked by nearly 42,000. [Christian Science Monitor]
  • ExxonMobil has named environmentalist Susan Avery to its board. Avery belongs to the Scientific Advisory Board of the United Nations Secretary General; the National Research Council Global Change Research Program Advisory Committee; and advisory committees with NASA, NOAA, among other positions. [Seeking Alpha]

Friday, January 27:

  • Eos Energy Storage announced a partnership with Siemens on storage solutions. The Eos Aurora 1000│4000, a 1-MW|4-MWh DC battery system, is being sold at $160 per usable kWh for the full DC system with performance guarantees that support up to 20 years of continuous operation with low maintenance. [Windpower Engineering] (Website says the LCOE is in the range of 12¢/kWh to 17¢/kWh.)
  • 2016 was the hottest year in 137 years of record keeping and the third year in a row to take the number one slot, a mark of how much the world has warmed over the last century because of human activities, NASA and NOAA announced. They made the joint announcement as Cabinet confirmations of climate skeptics continue. [CleanTechnica]
Solar construction (Pixabay image)

Solar construction (Pixabay image)

  • According to the latest figures released by the Department of Energy, solar energy employed 374,000 people over the year 2015-2016. That’s 43% of the Electric Power Generation sector’s workforce, much more than the 187,117 (22%) that organizations that burn fossil fuels like oil, gas, and coal for electricity employ. [ZME Science]
  • Republican governors of states in the Midwest are prioritizing economic growth and job creation by accelerating investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy. Since the November election, leaders in Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan have adopted new policies that help tackle climate change and grow the clean energy economy. [Environmental Defense Fund]

Saturday, January 28:

MHI Vestas V164 (Courtesy of MHI Vestas Offshore Wind)

MHI Vestas V164 (Courtesy of MHI Vestas Offshore Wind)

  • MHI Vestas Offshore Wind unveiled a prototype wind turbine. It is the world’s most powerful and can reach 9 MW at specific site conditions. The prototype installed at Østerild broke the energy generation record for a commercially available offshore wind turbine, producing 216,000 kWh over a 24 hour period. [Oil and Gas Industry Latest News]
  • After the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention abruptly canceled its climate conference, former Vice President Al Gore announced that he would host a similar conference focusing on climate change and its effects on public health. He will do this in partnership a former director of CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health. [PerfScience]

Sunday, January 29:

Riverside California (Photo: Tony Webster / Flickr)

Riverside California (Photo: Tony Webster / Flickr)

  • Jobs in solar power are currently growing at about 20% per year, a rate 12 times faster than the rest of the US economy, a report from Environmental Defense Fund says. It adds that jobs in wind power are growing at roughly the same rate, and wind-turbine technician is now the fastest-growing profession in the country overall. [Mother Nature Network]
  • Ireland just took a big step toward cutting coal and oil out of the picture. Its Parliament has passed a bill that would stop the country from investing in fossil fuels as part of an €8 billion ($8.6 billion) government fund. If the measure becomes law, it would make Ireland the first country to eliminate public funding for fossil fuel sources completely. [Engadget]

Recovering sediment cores for study (Erik Lundberg)

  • Rising temperatures could boost mercury levels in fish by up to seven times what they currently are, Swedish researchers say. A study suggests that climate change could be driving up levels of methylmercury, through a mechanism that has not previously been recognized. The study was published in the journal, Science Advances. [BBC]

Monday, January 30:

  • The US solar industry employed nearly 374,000 people in 2015 to 2016, a report from the DOE says. This is double the number of jobs in oil, coal and gas combined. There are about 769,000 renewable energy jobs, growing at an annual rate of nearly 6% since 2012. Jobs in fossil fuel extraction and support services saw annual declines. [The Climate Group]
  • The two dozen nonprofit groups and Senate committee members defending Scott Pruitt, President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the EPA, have two things in common. Like Pruitt, they’re climate science deniers. And, like Pruitt, most are funded by Charles and David Koch, who own the coal, oil, and gas conglomerate Koch Industries. [Triple Pundit]
  • Toshiba Corp will cease taking orders related to building nuclear power stations, sources said, in a move that would effectively mark its withdrawal from the business of nuclear plant construction. The company said it will review its nuclear operations as it expects an expected asset impairment of up to ¥700 billion ($6.08 billion). [The Japan Times]

Tuesday, January 31:

Wind turbines in Kodiak (AP Photo / Kodiak Daily Mirror, James Brooks)

Wind turbines in Kodiak (AP Photo / Kodiak Daily Mirror, James Brooks)

  • The effects of climate change are being felt in Alaska, and isn’t an arbitrary threat but one that already has a huge price tag. But there is another, more immediate reason to turn to renewable energy soon. Its cost is quickly becoming lower than traditional energy-producing methods, and in a number of places in Alaska, it already is. [Alaska Dispatch News]
  • Expansion of renewable energy cannot stave off catastrophic climate change by itself, scientists warned. Even if solar and wind capacity continues to grow at breakneck speed, it will not be fast enough to cap global warming under 2° C (3.6° F), the target set in the 2015 Paris climate treaty, said their report in the journal Nature Climate Change. [Phys.Org]
  • The US solar industry employed nearly 374,000 people in 2015 to 2016, a report from the DOE says. This is double the number of jobs in oil, coal and gas combined. There are about 769,000 renewable energy jobs, growing at an annual rate of nearly 6% since 2012. Jobs in fossil fuel extraction and support services saw annual declines. [The Climate Group]
  • The two dozen nonprofit groups and Senate committee members defending Scott Pruitt, President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the EPA, have two things in common. Like Pruitt, they’re climate science deniers. And, like Pruitt, most are funded by Charles and David Koch, who own the coal, oil, and gas conglomerate Koch Industries. [Triple Pundit]

Wednesday, February 1:

Tesla battery packs at the Mira Loma substation (Tesla image)

Tesla battery packs at the Mira Loma substation (Tesla image)

  • In Southern California, 396 refrigerator-size stacks of Tesla batteries have been hastily erected to supply power for peak demand periods. The installation, capable of powering roughly 15,000 homes over four hours, is part of an emergency response to projected energy shortages stemming from a huge leak at a natural gas storage facility. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • The largest solar project in New Hampshire may be headed for Hinsdale. Selectmen approved a payment in lieu of taxes for the $50 million project. It is tentatively scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019. The firm proposing it claims the project would offset more than 500,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions over 20 years. [The Keene Sentinel]
Dakota Access Pipeline section in Iowa (Carl Wycoff, Wikimedia Commons)

Dakota Access Pipeline section in Iowa (Carl Wycoff, Wikimedia Commons)

  • The Army Corps of Engineers has been directed to allow the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline, according to North Dakota Senator John Hoeven. He said he was told the Acting Secretary of the Army “directed the Army Corps of Engineers to proceed with the easement needed to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline.” [CNN]

2017-1-26 Energy Week

Visitors Please Note: This blog is maintained to assist in developing a TV show, Energy Week with George Harvey and Tom Finnell. The post is put up in incomplete form, and is updated with news until it is completed, usually on Wednesday. The source is geoharvey.wordpress.com.

Within a few days of the last update, the show may be seen, along with older shows, at this link on the BCTV website: Energy Week Series.

Thursday, 19:

Kitty Hawk (Photo: US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management)

Kitty Hawk (Photo: US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management)

  • The US Interior Department and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management are planning to offer 122,405 acres off Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in a commercial wind lease sale in March 2017. Nine companies have been qualified to bid in the lease sale for development of approximately 1.5 GW of offshore wind capacity. [Energy Business Review]
  • According to several reports translating an announcement from the Chinese National Energy Administration, China connected 34.24 GW of new solar PV capacity to the country’s grid in 2016, an increase of 126% on the installations of the previous year. This brings China’s cumulative solar capacity up to 77.42 GW. [CleanTechnica]
  • No new nuclear power projects were approved by China in 2016. Just one nuclear power unit launched operations in 2016. As of September 2016, 33 operating nuclear power units had generated little more than 3% of the country’s total electricity production, well below the global average of 10%, a Chinese website reports. [gbtimes]
Wind turbine in Wyoming (Image: Power Company of Wyoming)

Wind turbine in Wyoming (Image: Power Company of Wyoming)

  • The Federal Bureau of Land Management has given the green light to the Power Company of Wyoming’s 1.5-GW Chokecherry Sierra Madre wind farm, the first of the 3-GW project’s two phases. The bureau has issued environmental approval for the construction of 500 turbines and associated facilities in Carbon County, Wyoming. [reNews]

Friday, 20:

Norwich-based Solaflect solar project (Solaflect photo)

Norwich-based Solaflect solar project (Solaflect photo)

  • Representatives of Vermont’s solar industry are for the most part looking to the future with cautious optimism, hoping that the established nature of the no-longer-novel industry will serve as a bulwark against policies that the administration of President Donald Trump, with its skeptical view of renewable energy, might impose. [Vermont Biz]
  • Emerging energy markets are expected to add nearly 81 GW of stationary energy storage capacity by 2025 to today’s 1.9 GW of non-hydro energy storage installations, according to Navigant Research. An amount coming to 52.3 GW, about 65% of the new energy storage capacity, will be deployed in East Asia and the Pacific. [SeeNews Renewables]
(Source: US EIA, Monthly Energy Review)

(Source: US EIA, Monthly Energy Review)

  • The US transport sector is emitting more carbon dioxide than power generation for the first time since the 1970s, according to data from the Energy Information Administration. A shift away from burning coal to cleaner natural gas and renewable sources has seen power sector emissions trend downwards since 2007. [Climate Home]

Saturday, 21:

Hawaii

Hawaii

  • Hawaii has the most aggressive renewable energy targets in the nation, aiming for its utilities to get 100% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2045. Now advocates want to extend that goal to the transportation sector to urge all forms of ground transportation to fuel up using renewable sources by 2045. [Electric Light & Power]
  • Gains in the renewable energy sector helped boost fourth quarter GE’s profits substantially. GE said its earnings during the fourth quarter increased to about $3.5 billion, against the $2.6 billion reported during the same period last year. The company’s renewable energy sector saw total revenues increase 29% to $2.5 billion. [Gephardt Daily]

Sunday, 22:

A rising sea

A rising sea

  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration just reported that the sea level is rising faster than expected in the northeastern United States and other specific regions. As climate change worsens, the global sea level could rise eight feet before the year 2100. This is driven by melting ice and warming oceans. [Natural Science News]
  • According to Phys.org, a new study published this week in the journal Science suggests that today’s ocean surface temperatures are at similar levels to what they were about 125,000 years ago, an era that marked our planet’s last “warm period.” But sea levels were about 20 to 30 feet higher in those times, and that seems to be where they are headed. [Morochos.net]
  • Even though California Governor Jerry Brown may be most pro-climate governor, he surprised people with a response to Trump’s threats to end NASA climate research. “If Trump turns off the satellites, California will launch its own damn satellite,” he said. “We’ve got the scientists, we’ve got the lawyers, and we’re ready to fight.” [Grist]

Monday, 23:

Road temporarily closed (Photo courtesy of Ready Wisconsin)

Road temporarily closed (Photo courtesy of Ready Wisconsin)

  • In a report posted online, Wisconsin’s Division of Emergency Management devoted extensive attention to climate change and natural disasters it will cause, such as floods, drought and forest fires. The Public Service Commission and the Department of Natural Resources had removed all mentions of climate change from their websites. [The Sheboygan Press]
Renewables are now the cheapest option. (Data by Lazard, Chart by CleanTechnica | Zachary Shahan.)

Renewables are now the cheapest option. (Data by Lazard, Chart by CleanTechnica | Zachary Shahan.)

  • Renewable energy is now the cheapest option, on average, for new electricity capacity around the world, and this is true for developed countries like the US as well as developing countries like India, Nigeria, and Mexico. One of the biggest problems for dealing with climate change is just getting people to understand that fact. [CleanTechnica]
  • Australia won’t be following Donald Trump’s lead on renewable energy policies, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce says. His statement comes after calls from within the Coalition to scrap Australia’s renewable energy targets if the US President attempts to withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement of 2015. [Northern Rivers Echo]

Tuesday, 24:

  • The Scottish Government published a draft climate change plan which aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 66% by 2032. Scotland exceeded an interim target of delivering a 42% emissions reduction in 2014 – six years early. At the start of 2013, only 13% of the country’s total final energy consumption had come from renewable sources. [Energy Voice]
Offshore wind power (Photo: Simon Dawson / Bloomberg)

Offshore wind power (Photo: Simon Dawson / Bloomberg)

  • The levelized cost of offshore wind energy dropped in the UK because of larger, more efficient turbines, competitive auctions, and cheaper capital, according to a report. The levelized costs dropped 32% last year, to £97/MWh, beating a goal to pass the £100/MWh threshold by 2020, and making offshore wind cheaper than nuclear power. [Bloomberg]
  • As President Donald Trump prepares to boost fossil fuel production, a Pew Research Center poll finds that nearly two-thirds of Americans would rather the US focus on developing clean energy. The new poll shows that 27% said fossil fuels should be a priority, compared with 65% who favored renewable energy. [Huffington Post]

Wednesday, 25:

  • “Trump has a great opportunity to save our environment” • Donald Trump is rolling back EPA rules. But the nonpartisan federal Office of Management and Budget calculated that the rules imposed by the EPA over the decade ending 2012 yielded benefits 10 times their costs, the best ratio of all federal agencies they reviewed. [Huffington Post]
Dakota Access Pipeline (Photo: Tony Webster, Wikimedia Commons)

Dakota Access Pipeline (Photo: Tony Webster, Wikimedia Commons)

  • President Donald Trump signed executive actions to advance approval of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines. The decision to advance the pipelines cast aside efforts by the Obama administration to block construction of the pipelines, while making good on one of the campaign promises Trump had made. [CNN]
  • “Renewables = Over 50% New Electricity Capacity But 16% Of Energy Investment” • The wide gap in investment figures versus new capacity figures is striking. Cheap renewables dominate new power plant installations, but polluting fossil fuels dominate the energy investments. Why? Partly because of the cost to transport fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

 

2017-01-19 Energy Week

Visitors Please Note: This blog is maintained to assist in developing a TV show, Energy Week with George Harvey and Tom Finnell. The post is put up in incomplete form, and is updated with news until it is completed, usually on Wednesday. The source is geoharvey.wordpress.com.

Within a few days of the last update, the show may be seen, along with older shows, at this link on the BCTV website: Energy Week Series.

Thursday, January 12:

01-12-eia-annual-energy-outlook-table

EIA Annual Energy Outlook Table

  • The Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook provides projections of domestic energy markets until 2050, and includes cases with different assumptions of macroeconomic growth, world oil prices, technological progress, and energy policies. It shows the US becoming a net exporter of fossil fuels. [Windpower Engineering]
    (This shows information being provided to congress, but before you believe it, please compare it with the graph below, which was linked at the December 12 Energy News post, and which shows how bad EIA projections have been historically.)
 EIA projections and reality


EIA projections and reality

  • A “groundbreaking study” from by the US Retail Industry Leaders Association and the Information Technology Industry Council ranked all 50 US states based on the ease with which some of America’s “most recognizable brands” are able to buy domestic renewable energy. It connects that ability with economic growth. [CleanTechnica]
Solar collectors in Hawaii (Photo: Xklaim, Wikimedia Commons)

Solar collectors in Hawaii (Photo: Xklaim, Wikimedia Commons)

  • The Hawaiian Electric Company, Hawaii’s dominant public utility, has a plan in place to achieve 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2050. But recently, the company said it foresees getting to that goal five years earlier than expected. In fact, HECO expects to provide 48% renewable power by 2020. [CleanTechnica]

Friday, January 13:

Energy Observer (Image: Energy Observer)

Energy Observer (Image: Energy Observer)

  • In 2017, a high-tech ocean vessel powered by the sun, wind and sea water will start a 6 year journey, visiting 50 countries. The vessel is powered by 130 square meters of solar panels, two vertical axis wind turbines, two electric motors and equipment for electrolysis, which will use sea water to create hydrogen fuel. [Energy Matters]
  • According to the climate models used by researchers at UMass Amherst, the 48 contiguous US states are projected to cross the 2° C warming threshold about 10 to 20 years earlier than the global mean annual temperature. The Northeast is projected to warm by 3° C (5.2° F) by the time global warming reaches 2° C (3.6° F). [Fusion]
  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s call for wind farms in Long Island waters earned rave reviews from environmental activists. Leaders from the regional energy and ecology sectors are cheering Cuomo’s call for the Long Island Power Authority to approve what would be the nation’s largest offshore wind farm. [Innovate Long Island]

Saturday, January 14:

Wind farm (Photo: Jürgen from Sandesneben, Germany, Creative Commons - Attribution-NoDerivs)

Wind farm (Photo: Jürgen from Sandesneben, Germany, Creative Commons – Attribution-NoDerivs)

  • While it may be hard to believe, nine Wyoming lawmakers introduced a bill to forbid utilities from providing any electricity to the state that comes from large-scale wind or solar energy projects by 2019. Allowed resources would be coal, natural gas, hydroelectric, nuclear power, oil, and net-metered individual resources. [Digital Journal]
  • Ticks are devastating the moose populations in Maine and New Hampshire. They attach themselves to a single moose by the tens of thousands. The adult females can expand to the size of a grape and engorge themselves with up to four milliliters of blood. With warmer winter temperatures, they kill 70% of the states’ moose calves. [The Boston Globe]

Sunday, January 15:

  • Representatives of over 150 countries gathered in Abu Dhabi at the 7th Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). “Plummeting costs and rapid innovation have spurred investments that are positioning renewable energy solutions at the centre of energy discussion today,” said IRENA’s Director-General. [gulfnews.com]

01-15-carbon-bubble

  • Opinion: “The Totally Insane Carbon Bubble” • Natural gas and the hydrogen made from it are the fossil industry’s last gasp. The industry is begging for a lifeline in order to live in gold-plated castles another generation or so. The US housing bubble? Child’s play. The carbon bubble? This is big, and scary, and ready to take a lot of casualties with it. [CleanTechnica]
  • For international experts stationed at a base in Antarctica, the frozen southern continent is a good gauge of climate change. “When I used to come to Antarctica in the 1990s, it never used to rain,” said Rodolfo Sanchez, director of the Argentine Antarctic Institute. “Now it rains regularly – instead of snowing.” [The Guardian]
  • According to the EIA, in October 2016 residential electricity prices in Hawaii were 27.54¢/kWh, and on the island of Kaua’i, rates are 32.78¢/kWh, starting this year. Hawaii is the first state in the US where rooftop solar has become an almost standard item on homes. They are even put in places unthinkable elsewhere, facing north or in shady areas. [nwitimes.com]

Monday, January 16:

Northland hydro (Image: The Canadian Press)

Northland hydro (Image: The Canadian Press)

  • Northland has been developing a 400-MW pumped storage project that takes the form of an old flooded mine, sitting on a plateau just outside of Marmora, Ontario. The roughly $900-million project pumps water up into the mine pit when there is extra energy, and then lets it run out through a turbine when more energy is needed. [Huddle Today]
  • The US EPA issued a notice of violation to auto manufacturer Fiat Chrysler Automobiles over alleged violations of the Clean Air Act pertaining to the installation, use, and failure to disclose of engine management software in a large number of vehicles sold in the US, according to a press release issued by the EPA. [CleanTechnica]
  • Florida Power & Light has completed three 74.5-MW solar parks in that state. FPL’s total solar installed capacity is now 335 MW. FPL plans to install four more 74.5-MW solar parks in Florida this year, at permitted sites in Alachua, Putnam and DeSoto counties. Construction is expected to start as early as
    the first quarter of 2017. [reNews]

Tuesday, January 17:

A migrant worker steps out of his accommodation in an area next to a coal power plant in Beijing on a smog-free day. (Reuters / Damir Sagolj)

A migrant worker steps out of his accommodation in an area next to a coal power plant in Beijing on a smog-free day. (Reuters / Damir Sagolj)

  • As China is weaned off coal, its energy regulator has ordered eleven provinces to stop developing over 100 coal-fired power projects, including some that are under construction, Caixin reported. Their a total installed capacity is over 100 GW, and about ¥430 billion ($62.30 billion) has been invested in them. [Thomson Reuters Foundation]
  • Saudi Arabia will start soliciting bids in the next few weeks for the first phase of a “massive” renewable-energy program costing $30 billion to $50 billion, the Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said. OPEC’s biggest oil producer plans to generate close to 10 GW from renewables, primarily solar and wind power, by 2023. [Bloomberg]
  • Employment in the US wind energy industry is higher than that at nuclear, natural gas, coal, or hydroelectric power plants according to the DOE. The report also says more growth in the industry is possible, with the potential to create 380,000 jobs by 2030. The DOE report validates job figures from the AWEA. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Wednesday, January 18:

Navya Shuttle Las Vegas

Navya Shuttle Las Vegas

  • The city of Las Vegas is now home to the first self-driving, all-electric shuttle service on public roads in the US, according to recent reports. The new electric, autonomous shuttle service is the result of a collaboration between the shuttle manufacturer Navya, the fleet logistics provider Keolis, and the city of Las Vegas. [CleanTechnica]
  • The Vermont Technology Council and the Burlington Electric Department announced the formation of an exploratory team to assess the potential for a Vermont energy startup accelerator – PowerUp Vermont – to help businesses focused on innovating in the power industry and driving the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. [vtdigger.org]

 

 

2017-01-12 Energy Week

Visitors Please Note: This blog is maintained to assist in developing a TV show, Energy Week with George Harvey and Tom Finnell. The post is put up in incomplete form, and is updated with news until it is completed, usually on Wednesday. The source is geoharvey.wordpress.com.

Within a few days of the last update, the show may be seen, along with older shows, at this link on the BCTV website: Energy Week Series.

Thursday, January 5:

Though caused by global warming, a collapse of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation system would make the Northern Atlantic Ocean much colder. (Credit: © Mats / Fotolia)

Though caused by global warming, a collapse of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation system would make the Northern Atlantic Ocean much colder. (Credit: © Mats / Fotolia)

  • One of the world’s largest ocean circulation systems may not be as stable as believed, according to a study in the journal Science Advances. In fact, changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation – the same deep-water ocean current featured in the movie “The Day After Tomorrow” – could occur quite abruptly. [Science Daily]
  • Evidence the earth experienced a slowdown in global warming over the past couple of decades has been further eroded with a new US study confirming climate change continues unabated. NOAA found the oceans had warmed at the rate of 0.12° per decade since 2000, or nearly twice the previous estimate. [The Sydney Morning Herald]
  • Tesla has begun mass production of battery cells at the Gigafactory. The company said the cost of battery cells will significantly decline due to a number of inherent optimizations and economies of scale. These will enhance yield, lowering the capital investment per Wh of production. The Gigafactory is 35% complete. [CleanTechnica]

Friday, January 6:

Coast of Louisiana (Photo: Dr Terry McTigue, NOAA, public domain, Wikimedia Commons)

Coast of Louisiana (Photo: Dr Terry McTigue, NOAA, public domain, Wikimedia Commons)

  • Many Louisianans may have been shocked by the grimmer forecasts in the latest edition of the state’s 50-year plan to protect its coast: There is no longer any hope that more land can be built than the Gulf takes each year. Even if the plan works perfectly, the state could lose another 2,800 square miles of its land along the Gulf Coast. [The Lens]
  • As the president-elect puts together an administration focused on fossil fuels, the investment community is moving full speed in the opposite direction, instead putting their bets on emissions reductions and support for clean energy. Investors holding trillions of dollars in assets dropping fossil fuels in favor of renewables. [Environmental Defense Fund]

Saturday, January 7:

Sun setting on oil field (Photo by Arne Hückelheim, Wikimedia Commons)

Sun setting on oil field (Photo by Arne Hückelheim, Wikimedia Commons)

  • Grafton Asset Management Inc, which had brought foreign investment into Canada’s oil and gas industry, is looking to add alternative energy to its portfolio for the first time, as it positions itself for the decline of fossil fuels. The company’s CEO worries about the industry’s future, saying, “I do look at it as a sun-setting business.” [Financial Post]
  • The DOE says that the US electricity system “faces imminent danger” from cyber-attacks and warned that a widespread power outage could be caused by a cyber-attack, undermining “critical defense infrastructure” as well as much of the economy and the health of its people. Grid operators say they are already on top of the problem. [Tyler Morning Telegraph]
  • The aging Indian Point nuclear power plant just north of New York City would close within four years under a deal being made with Governor Andrew Cuomo. Plant owner Entergy Corp would shut both reactors at the Westchester County facility by April 2021, according to a source familiar with the deal’s details. [Albany Times Union]

Sunday, January 8:

Dutch train (Image by Sludge G, some rights reserved)

Dutch train (Image by Sludge G, some rights reserved)

  • Dutch railway companies teamed up with energy company Eneco in 2015 to cut train ride emissions. Originally, 2018 was set as the target for changing to 100% renewable power sources. The 100% transition was completed one year ahead of schedule, however, and all Dutch trains are now powered by wind energy. [CleanTechnica]
The Akanyaru Watershed Protection Project, building terraces and planting trees to prevent soil erosion and landslides (File photo)

The Akanyaru Watershed Protection Project, building terraces and planting trees to prevent soil erosion and landslides (File photo)

  • Rwanda’s Green Fund expects to reach a milestone of creating 100,000 green jobs this year, according to its program manager. He told Sunday Times that in the next 12 months Rwanda’s Green Fund, a ground-breaking environmental and climate change investment fund, is particularly looking forward to boosting Rwanda’s climate resilience. [The New Times]

Monday, January 9:

Two new wind power records for Scotland

Two new wind power records for Scotland

  • Scotland set two wind power records at the end of December, according to figures from WWF Scotland. The group said that for the first time, wind turbines generated enough power for all the nation’s electricity needs for four straight days, on December 23 through 26. December 24 saw a record of 74,042 MWh from wind. [Herald Scotland]
  • With the renewable energy plan, by 2020 China expects to see a reduction in 120 million tons of coal used for heating. China’s newly released 13th five-year plan has provisions for renewable energy development calling for promoting use of geothermal energy, wind power and solar energy for winter heating in north China. [teleSUR English]
Kaheawa Wind Farm (Ryan Oelke, Wikimedia Commons)

Kaheawa Wind Farm (Ryan Oelke, Wikimedia Commons)

  • Maui Electric Co produced 35.4% of its power from renewable energy in 2015, up slightly from the previous year. Wind farms provided 23.2%, solar’s share was 8.5%, biomass and bagasse produced 2.7%, and 1% was from biofuel. But Maui’s renewable generation was behind that of the Big Island’s, which stood at 48.7%. [Maui News]
  • Innovative Solar Systems, of Asheville, North Carolina, is once again dominating the solar energy market by having the largest pipeline of projects in development in the Texas market. ISS representatives report that the company has over 50 Utility Scale projects in development that range size from 35 MW to over 200 MW. [Your Renewable News]

Tuesday, January 10:

Renewables cost reductions (Source: US DOE)

Renewables cost reductions (Source: US DOE)

  • After eight years with Barack Obama in the White House, over a million US rooftops have solar panels installed. Utility scale solar powers more than 2 million homes. Generating low-carbon electricity employs 600,000 people in the United States, and 1.9 million Americans are employed in energy efficiency. [Energy Matters]
  • Governor Andrew Cuomo made it official, saying that the 2,000-MW Indian Point nuclear power plant will close by April 2021. His office said the closure will have “little to no effect on New Yorkers’ electricity bills.” It indicated the plant can be replaced by 1,000 MW of hydropower because demand has declined. [Times Herald-Record]
  • Vermont’s new Republican governor said Monday he would stick with his Democratic predecessor’s long-term goal of getting 90% of the energy needed in the state from renewable sources by 2050. For several years, Vermont has been working toward some of the most aggressive renewable energy goals in the country. [BurlingtonFreePress.com]

Wednesday, January 11:

  • Volkswagen has agreed to a draft $4.3 billion settlement with US authorities over the emissions-rigging scandal. The German car maker also said it would plead guilty to breaking certain US laws. VW said it was in advanced discussions with authorities. The agreement has yet to be approved by VW’s management and supervisory board. [BBC]
Wind farm in Idaho (Author: Blatant Views, CC BY-SA)

Wind farm in Idaho (Author: Blatant Views, CC BY-SA)

  • The Energy Information Administration expects 24 GW of new utility-scale power generation capacity additions for 2016, with renewables accounting for about 63% or 15 GW. Nearly 60% of the new renewables plants were scheduled to come online in the fourth quarter (Q4), including roughly 8.5 GW of wind and solar PVs. [SeeNews Renewables]
  • Residents of Vermont’s capital city still have time to vote on what they feel would be the best way for their community to go “net zero.” There are five finalists for designs that would enable Montpelier to reduce its energy use through savings and the increased use of renewable sources of power. Voting ends Thursday. [SFGate]
Senvion 6.2M126 turbines (Source: Senvion SE 2014, all rights reserved)

Senvion 6.2M126 turbines (Source: Senvion SE 2014, all rights reserved)

  • At the 2017 State of the State Address, New York governor Andrew Cuomo proposed a commitment to develop up to 2.4 GW of offshore wind power in the Atlantic Ocean by 2030. He said this will prove critical to achieving the goal of meeting 50% of New York’s electricity needs with renewable sources by 2030. [SeeNews Renewables]