2015-06-04 Energy Week

Please note that this post is being developed.

Thursday, May 28:

  • Citibank lowered its long-run thermal coal forecast by 11%, citing increasing competition from natural gas and renewables and weak Chinese demand They told clients, “Global thermal coal demand is suffering from increasing environmental pressure and competition from natural gas and renewable energy.” [Platts]

Friday, May 29:

  • The highest temperature recorded on Wednesday reached 116.6° Fahrenheit (47° Celsius) in the eastern Indian states of Jharkhand and Odisha. More than 1,400 people have died in the heat wave. Climate change is likely is a factor, according to a research scientist with the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. [CNN]
  • TDI-New England wants to build a 1,000-MW power line under Lake Champlain. The developer has offered Vermont millions of dollars to lower electricity bills and to clean up Lake Champlain. State officials like the potential windfall, but they say it won’t get in the way of a vigorous review of the project.[Vermont Public Radio]
  • Three of the world’s largest tech companies, Apple, Facebook, and Google, have called on the North Carolina General Assembly to avoid making changes to the state’s renewable energy policies. They said the policies were important parts of the reasons they had to choose to invest in the state. [Triangle Business Journal]

Saturday, May 30:

  • Torrential downpours in Texas have flooded drought-parched lands. A heat wave has so far killed more than 1,800 people in India. Alaska, of all places, had record 91° readings. A pair of top-of-the-scale typhoons hit the Northwest Pacific. A drought is taking hold in the East. Part of the blame goes to climate change. [aol.com]
  • Calculations based on the EPA’s estimate of corn ethanol emissions show that last year’s production and use of 14 billion gallons of corn ethanol resulted in 27 million tons more carbon emissions than if Americans had used straight gasoline. That’s worse than Keystone’s projected emissions. [Environmental Working Group]
  • The Indian state of Karnataka, which lies in the country’s Southwest, is now embarking on setting up a mega solar power park, said to be the world’s biggest. The park, with a capacity of 2,000 MW, will come up on 10,000 acres of land in a parched area. The site was chosen for its sunlight and low land use. [The Hindu]
  • Toshiba Corporation received an order to supply a large-scale battery energy storage system for Tohoku Electric Power Company’s Minami-Soma Substation Project. The 40-MW, 40-MWh lithium-ion system, will be Japan’s largest. Construction of the system has begun, operations should start next February. [WebWire]

Sunday, May 31:

  • Large swaths of green pasture along Massachusetts highways are being transformed into solar power fields that state transportation officials say could save taxpayers $15 million over the next 20 years. Ten sites along Route 3 and the Mass Pike have been selected for the first phase of the project. [Boston Herald]
  • Cutting US greenhouse gas emissions to the target level announced by the Obama administration won’t require huge policy changes, according to a new report from the World Resources Institute. Reducing emissions by 26% to 28% in the next 10 years can be achieved under existing policies and laws. [Summit County Citizens Voice]
  • In a new book, noted environmentalist Lester Brown says the shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy will happen much faster than expected.“I think we’re going to see a half-century of change compressed into the next decade,” he says. “And this is partly because the market is beginning to drive this transition.” [PRI]

Monday, June 1:

  • Renewable power produced 49.9% of the Spain’s electricity in the 29 days of May to Friday, grid operator Red Electrica de Espana said in its monthly report. Wind power was 25% share of total power. Hydroelectric plants generated 14.9%. The share of all major renewable sources grew in comparison to April. [SeeNews Renewables]

Wind turbines in Spain. Author: petter palander. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

  • The 630-MW London Array offshore wind farm has generated 5 TWh in its first two full years of operation. The facility in the Thames Estuary has also achieved an average availability of over 95% from its 175 turbines. London Array is owned by EON, Dong Energy, Masdar and Canadian pension fund La Caisse. [reNews]
  • BP, Shell, and four other major energy companies who have written the UN calling for a global price on carbon to help them accelerate deployment of low emission technologies. The letter outlines the companies’ desire for a dialogue with the UN and governments about a scheme to put a price on emissions. [Business Green]

Tuesday, June 2:

  • Ford Motor Co is joining Tesla Motors Inc and Toyota Motor Corp in a strategy of letting competitors use patented technology to accelerate development of electric-drive vehicles. Ford will open up hundreds of patents on electric-car technology. Unlike Tesla and Toyota, it will license its patents for a fee. [Automotive News]
  • All the electricity delivered to Borrego Springs, California, during a nearly nine-hour period in May came from a nearby solar energy plant, in what utility officials believe is the first time in the country an entire community has been powered by a renewable microgrid, San Diego Gas & Electric announced. [Times of San Diego]
  • US developer Cape Wind has been granted a temporary reprieve while regulators mull a long-term extension request. Construction of the 468-MW project was to start by 1 May. The Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board agreed to suspend the deadline while it considers a request for a two-year extension. [reNews]

Wednesday, June 3:

  • Lights flick on across a sleepy hamlet in Kenya, thanks to the efforts of more than 200 Maasai women at the frontline of a solar power revolution. Trained in solar panel installation, they use donkeys to haul their solar wares from home to home in the remote region, giving families their first access to clean and reliable power. [TODAYonline]

Massai village in Tanzania. Photo by David Berkowitz. Wikimedia Commons.

  • China is the world’s largest hydro power producer and is expected to share its technology with the world despite challenges at home, according to the China Economic Weekly. China’s installed hydropower capacity of 300 GW led the world and accounted for 27% of global capacity in 2014, the magazine said. [WantChinaTimes]
  • Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum says he loves Pope Francis, but he wants the pontiff to stop talking about climate change. He says the pope should “leave science to the scientists.” The pope, who has a master’s degree in chemistry, is becoming increasingly vocal about climate change. [Huffington Post]
  • A new low in California’s worsening drought was reached Monday when state officials reported that the state’s snowpack is gone. This was inevitable as a measurement two months ago said it was at 5% of normal. Despite the dire water measurement, power supplies are basically unaffected. [Natural Gas Intelligence]
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