2015-07-23 Energy Week

Please note that this post is being developed.

Thursday, July 16:

  • Irreversible damage to overheated batteries in Solar Impulse 2 has pushed the second half of its round-the-world flight to early spring 2016. Despite the hard work of the team to repair the batteries that overheated in the record-breaking flight from Nagoya to Hawaii, Si2 will stay in Hawaii for further repairs. [CleanTechnica]
  • It turns out the climate change deniers had one thing right: There isn’t 97% agreement among climate scientists. But the real figure is higher, not lower. The scientific “consensus” on climate change has gotten stronger, surging past 97% to more than 99.9%, according to a new study reviewed by MSNBC. [MSNBC]
  • Climate change deniers’ new hero is Valentina Zharkova, a professor at Northumbria University in England. Her research seems to suggest a looming “ice age,” which is making your conspiracy-minded uncle cartwheel with glee. But hold on a minute, is the research legit climate science? Not even close. [MSNBC]

Friday, July 17:

  • A Japanese delegation from Fukushima, site of a nuclear disaster in March 2011, visited Switzerland to discuss energy policies, technologies and the development of renewable forms of energy. Almost five years after the Fukushima Disaster, many inhabitants of the prefecture can’t lead normal lives. [swissinfo.ch]
Piles of radiated soil lay along the side of a road in a deserted town near the destroyed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on June 22, 2015. (Keystone)

Piles of radiated soil lay along the side of a road in a deserted town near the destroyed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on June 22, 2015. (Keystone)

  • An Analysis Group report claims the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative involving 9 New England and Mid-Atlantic states has added $1.3 billion in economic activity to the region since 2011 and reduced carbon emissions by 15%. The program has also saved people in the area $460 on electricity. [CleanTechnica]
  • The New York Public Service Commission established an innovative Shared Renewables program to expand consumer access to local solar, wind and other clean energy resources, particularly among low- and moderate-income New Yorkers. The program aids those who cannot put solar PVs on their homes. [Business Wire]

Saturday, July 18:

  • Since the 1970s, tops of over 500 mountains have been removed and more than 2,000 miles of headwater streams destroyed by mountaintop removal coal mining. Now, the US Interior Department has issued proposed water protection rules that would effectively end the common practice. [CleanTechnica]

Mountaintop removal coal mining filled the valley behind this home. Photo by Flashdark. Released to the Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

  • A new report commissioned by the Energy Supply Association of Australia has confirmed that, not only is “off-grid” distributed energy supply a viable option for some regional and remote customers, it is also an option that could lead to significant cost savings and other benefits for network operators. [CleanTechnica]
  • This week the Sierra Club is celebrating a new milestone: The 200th U.S. coal plant retirement announcement since 2010. This is a huge deal, because in 2010 there were 535 coal plants in the country, so this is almost 40% of the fleet that is going away, with the oldest and dirtiest plants going first. [Treehugger]

Sunday, July 19:

  • Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology are collaborating to test and refine a model of hydrogen-supply infrastructure based on chemically bonding the hydrogen rather than attempting to store it as a gas or liquid. A functioning hydrogen supply center will be opened in the prefecture in 2016. [The Japan Times]
  • Iowa could meet 40% of its energy needs from wind power within five years, according to an industry report on the state’s wind potential. The state could push its wind-energy mix to 41% in 2020 and supply enough power to more than match its energy usage by 2030, with excess energy to export to other states, the American Wind Energy Association says. [DesMoinesRegister.com]
  • Vermont’s Green Mountain Power and its CEO, Mary Powell, have been getting increasing national notice for moving from traditional one-way generation and transmission of power to an “energy services company,” providing customers with a new wide range of products and services. Tom Kuhn, head of the Edison Electric Institute, calls GMP “a real leader.” [Daily Journal]

Monday, July 20:

  • Germany added more than three times the amount of offshore wind capacity in the first six months of this year than in the same period of 2014 and the country looks set to reach half of its 2020 offshore target of 6,500 MW later this year. Some 1,765 MW of new offshore capacity were installed in the first six months of 2015, compared with 492 MW in January-June 2014. [Reuters UK]
  • Nevada Power is seeking approval to build two 100-MW solar energy projects as part of a three-year plan to help replace the utility‘s coal-fired capacity. The prices in the proposed 20-year agreements with Boulder Solar and Playa Solar 2 are under $50 per MWh. The average cost of solar renewable energy delivered to Nevada Power in 2014 was $137.65 per MWh. [Las Vegas Review-Journal]
  • “The Fossil Fuel Energy Industry Is Now Entering Terminal Decline” The detail is interesting and important, but unless we recognise the central proposition, that the fossil fuel age is coming to an end, and within 15 to 30 years, not 50 to 100, we risk making serious and damaging mistakes in climate and economic policy, in investment strategy and in geopolitics and defence. [CleanTechnica]

Lignite mine, “Turów”, Poland. Author Anna Uciechowska. GNU Free Documentation License. Wikimedia Commons.

Tuesday, July 21:

  • Cornell Tech is building an applied sciences campus on Roosevelt Island in New York City. It will feature environmentally friendly classrooms and lots of green space, but its most noteworthy feature will be a 250 foot tall dormitory. Designed to house 520 people when it’s completed in 2017, the dormitory will be the tallest Passive House building in the world. [CleanTechnica]

Image Credit: Handel Architects

  • Offshore UK wind projects going into construction in 2020 could deliver clean power at a cost that is lower than that delivered by new gas-fired power plants, according to a study by consultancy BVG Associated. The report was commissioned by renewable energy developer Statkraft and details how the offshore wind sector could comfortably beat the £100/MWh goal. [Business Green]
  • Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has ensured that a laundry-list of tax incentives, including a two-year extension of the wind energy production tax credit, are included in a bill the Senate Finance Committee will consider on July 21. Allies of non-renewable energy sources have worked hard against the inclusion of the wind energy provision. [North American Windpower]

Wednesday, July 22:

  • French lawmakers will adopt a long-delayed energy law on Wednesday to reduce the country’s reliance on nuclear reactors and lower carbon emissions by cutting the use of fossil fuels. The sweeping energy transition law reflects a campaign pledge more than three years ago by President Francois Hollande to cut nuclear energy in favor of renewables. [Bloomberg]

Four solaire Félix Trombe Solar power engine in Font Romeu France. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license. Wikimedia Commons.

  • Ongoing expansion of solar energy capacity in India has prompted Deutsche Bank, the international lender based in Frankfurt, Germany, to revise its growth forecast for the segment in India to 34 GW by 2020. The forecast in the report, “India 2020: Utilities & renewables,” is a 240% increase on the previous projection of 14 GW for the period. [Greentech Lead]
  • A plan to run a 1,000-MW power line down Lake Champlain and across Vermont to bring Canadian power to southern New England is getting key support in the Green Mountain State. Vermont officials and the CEO of TDI New England said the company has reached agreements with four state agencies, three towns and the state’s largest power company. [Barre Montpelier Times Argus]



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