2014-08-01 Energy Week

Please note that this post is being developed.

Friday, August 1

¶   A retired coal miner traveled 1,300 miles from his home in Kentucky to Denver to tell the EPA about the black lung disease he suffers from and how the pollution from coal plants is adversely affecting public health. His plea: “We’re dying, literally dying for you to help us.” [ThinkProgress]

¶   When a Republican congressman who represents an area of central Kansas co-sponsored a bill that would cut demand for biofuels by phasing out a federal renewable energy program, many of his rural constituents took note. Now he is in a tough race with a political novice. [Daily Journal]

Saturday, August 2

¶   “Energy bill’s failure sets back state’s fight on climate change” An important Massachusetts energy bill has failed, but the problems it tried to address have not gone away, and the clock is ticking. Massachusetts climate goals won’t mean much if they aren’t met. [Boston Globe]

¶   Central Hudson Gas & Electric filed a $46 million rate case, “Value for our Valley,”  which includes new distribution automation systems, community solar, expanded demand response, and a microgrid-as-a-service program, with the New York Public Service Commission. [Energy Collective]

¶   The US Energy Information Agency announced that non-hydro renewable had gone eight months where it outproduced hydroelectric dams. The figures include projects in excess of 1 MW of solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, landfill gas, and municipal solid waste. [Ars Technica]

¶   The planned 1300 MW Eagle Mountain pumped storage project in California has received a licence from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, paving the way for the project to go ahead. The pits at the mine will be modified to become water storage reservoirs. [International Water Power and Dam Construction]

Sunday, August 3

¶   The Edison Electric Institute, the power industry’s main trade group, is calling on utilities to better promote electric cars in order to stimulate demand for electricity and help reverse trends that threaten the long-term viability of some in the industry. [Energy Collective]

¶   Panasonic, Tesla’s current lithium-ion battery cell supplier, has now signed an agreement with Tesla on how the two will jointly carry out construction of this factory in the United States, including the roles each will play. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Dismantling the San Onofre nuclear power plant in Southern California will take two decades and cost $4.4 billion, but spent radioactive fuel will be held at the site indefinitely, according to a game plan from Southern California Edison. [Chicago Daily Herald]

Monday, August 4

¶   About 25% of Australian power generation profits come from supplying power 0.4% of the time at peak prices. Renewable resources are destroying that profitability. Coal-burning power stations are being hit hardest, because they need to keep producing around the clock. [Sydney Morning Herald]

¶   The proportion of electricity produced in Western Australia’s main power grid from coal has jumped more than 30% in seven years despite carbon pricing and concerns about climate change. New figures reveal that coal has overtaken gas as the dominant fuel source. [The West Australian]

¶   The US DOE has just teamed up with EPA and the Department of Agriculture to announce a new initiative for ramping up manure-to-biogas at dairy farms and other farming operations, called the Biogas Opportunities Roadmap. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Rather than resisting change, San Diego Gas & Electric has been working with the Environmental Defense Fund and others at Rocky Mountain Institute’s eLab Accelerator to explore a vision of a future with even greater quantities of distributed energy resources. [Business Spectator]

Tuesday, August 5

¶   Beijing will stop using coal and close coal-fired power plants and other coal facilities in six of its capital districts by 2020. With pollution in Beijing reaching levels more than double levels considered hazardous, the country is increasingly installing clean wind and solar power. [NEWS.com.au]

¶   India will provide low-cost loans and grants to set up solar power parks across the country to host as much as 20 gigawatts of capacity, about 10 times what it has built to date. The parks will host large plants ranging between 500 MW to 1,000 MW that will be connected to the grid. [eco-business.com]

¶   As Australia’s federal government commits to a future dependent on the nation’s vast coal resource, two of the countries upon which this shaky economic plan is most dependent – India and China – look to be closing the door on the heavy polluting fossil fuel. [RenewEconomy]

¶   Three members of the Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act Implementation Advisory Committee resigned and criticized the administration’s support of a bill that could lead to the construction of a natural gas pipeline across the state. [Platts]

Wednesday, August 6

¶   The message from energy ministers as part of the US-Africa Leaders Summit was that coal and natural gas will have to dominate the continent’s near future, even as officials also emphasized how deeply threatened the region is by climate change. [Environment & Energy Publishing]

¶   At best, nuclear power accounted for only 10.8% of the world’s electricity last year – down from a peak of 17.6% in 1996 – and faces a difficult future in at least the short term because the world’s reactor fleet is aging, while new projects are hit by high costs and construction delays. [MinnPost.com]

¶   Environment New York Research & Policy Center released a report showing strong solar growth across the nation including a 30% increase in New York in 2013. The report says effective state and local public policy is more important than the quality of sunlight. [Long Island Exchange]

Thursday, August 7

¶   The long-awaited restart of Japan’s nuclear power plants is facing yet another setback and may be delayed until 2015, Japanese media said on Wednesday, piling pressure on struggling utilities to push for fresh price hikes. [Japan Today]

¶   The State of Indiana last week joined 10 other states and the Commonwealth of Kentucky in a lawsuit challenging the legality of the US EPA’s new Clean Power Plan, which aims to achieve targeted reductions in carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. [NUVO Newsweekly]

¶   Conservative groups failed Tuesday in a coordinated effort to unseat several moderate House Republicans. Despite a flood of negative mail in the final weeks of the campaign, all of the targeted members appear to have survived their primary challenges, several by wide margins. [KCUR]

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