2015-08-27 Energy Week

Please note that this post is being developed.

Thursday, August 20:

  • Rhode Island is in good shape when it comes to meeting the emissions reductions set earlier this month by President Obama. As one of nine Northeast states in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade energy program, Rhode Island is on track to meet its power-plant emission-reduction targets by 2020, 10 years ahead of the deadline set by the Clean Power Plan. [ecoRI news]
  • “Another Clean Coal Scam Exposed” Mississippi Power was just downgraded by Moody’s as a result of its lack of permanent cost recovery provisions for its Kemper plant, which, since 2010, has promised to be the “first-of-its-kind” to employ gasification and carbon capture technologies at such a massive scale. To date, construction costs have soared to more than $6 billion. [Green Chip Stocks]
  • Islamic leaders issued a Climate Change Declaration calling for world governments to adopt a new international climate agreement to phase out fossil fuels and limit global warming to 1.5°C to 2°C. The collective statement of the leaders from 20 countries lays out a deadline for wealthy and oil-producing nations to phase out all greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. [International Business Times AU]
  • A prototype in-river hydropower system is currently in operation at Igiugig in southwest Alaska. It’s part of a recent surge of research that has pushed in-river hydro power closer to becoming a reality for rural communities as an alternative to diesel-based electricity. Most communities in western and interior Alaska are on rivers, making hydropower pot

Friday, August 21:

  • GDF Suez (now Engie), a multinational energy company that owns and operates a variety of liquified natural gas import facilities in New England, commissioned a report by Energyzt Advisors LLC. The report says that a proposed natural gas pipeline is unnecessary and lays out a series of alternatives to meet the region’s recent winter-time natural gas shortfalls. [The Recorder]
  • The government of the Australian state of Victoria has set itself against the country’s federal government over renewable energy by fast-tracking plans for 50 new wind turbines worth $200 million. The premier revealed the plan at Keppel Prince Engineering, where 100 staff were made redundant in 2014 because of uncertainty over the federal government’s renewable energy target. [The Guardian]
  • A new report published by Trillium Asset Management has found that California’s two public pension funds lost over $5 billion over the last year due to investments in the top 200 fossil fuel companies. Interestingly, this report comes at the same time that SB 185 is awaiting vote in the California State Assembly, a bill that would divest the same pension funds from coal. [CleanTechnica]
  • A new study shows how pollution making its way across the Pacific Ocean from China is impacting the United States’ atmosphere, and undoing much of the work done to eradicate unhealthy ozone pollution. Specifically, it answers long-held concerns that ozone levels on the west coast of the US remained constant despite significant reduction in ozone-forming chemicals. [CleanTechnica]

Saturday, August 22:

  • The EPA unveiled a package of rules this week aimed at curbing methane and volatile organic compound emissions from sources all along the oil and gas production chain. The rules particularly target shale operations and are the centerpiece of the Obama administration’s effort to rein in methane emissions by 40% to 45% below 2012 levels in the next decade. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
  • Canberra is at the forefront of responding to climate change with Australian Capital Territory government pledging 100% renewables for the city by 2025. Canberra’s current target is 90% renewables by 2020, while the City of Sydney pledged to use 100% renewable energy by 2030. South Australia’s target is 50% by 2025, while Queensland is aiming for 50% by 2030. [Business Insider Australia]
  • The world’s largest Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion power plant, completed by Makai Ocean Engineering, celebrated its connection to the electrical grid on Friday. Using temperature differences between the ocean’s cold deep water and warm surface water, Makai’s OTEC power plant is able to generate clean, renewable electricity that is available continuously. [Big Island Now]

Sunday, August 23:

  • Opponents of a 900-MW gas-powered plant Invenergy is planning for Rhode Island say that the company’s claim that it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions is inaccurate because it only considers emissions from producing power and does not take into account the potentially substantial leakage of methane. [The Providence Journal]
  • Minnesota and North Dakota have been fighting in federal court for two years over Minnesota’s cross-border restrictions on coal-based electricity. The Clean Power Plan, the federal government’s even-more-sweeping regulations to cut coal power plant greenhouse gas emissions, is pushing states to work together. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

Monday, August 24:

  • It’s not enough to say that fossil fuels have to go or nuclear is hopeless (which are both probably true statements). The question is: What will replace them? Furthermore, how long will it take? Though solar energy has become the poster child for renewable energy generally, the strongest player in the game, for now, is wind. [OilPrice.com]
  • In Australia, rather inconveniently for the Coalition’s intentions to reduce its support for renewable energy, the Government’s commissioned modeller found the same answer as several other energy market analysts had before them: slashing the Renewable Energy Target would actually INCREASE consumers’ and businesses’ power bills. [Business Spectator]

Tuesday, August 25:

  • A recent earthquake of magnitude 4.6 is the largest of over 500 seismic events in British Columbia believed to be caused by fracking. The quake’s epicentre was just 3 kilometres from Progress Energy’s fracking site. The company immediately shut down operations and notified the province’s oil and gas commission. [CleanTechnica]
  • President Barack Obama accused fossil fuel interests of trying to restrict consumer access to solar, wind and other renewable sources in order to protect the status quo. The president also questioned the ideology of those who champion free-market solutions, except when the free market is pointing to the wisdom of renewable energy. [Stockhouse]
  • The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) is developing the guidelines under which it will accept Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) funding. The development means that PACE will soon be available to all US homeowners. Ed Golding, Head of the FHA, acknowledged the value of the program in a press release. [CleanTechnica]
  • The town of Strafford, Vermont, has changed its tune on approving a 4.9-MW solar array at the Elizabeth Mine. In a letter sent to the Public Service Board, the Selectboard wrote they will not let Wolfe Energy and Brightfields Development install solar at the site if the array’s renewable energy credits are sold out of state. [Watchdog.org]

Wednesday, August 26:

  • SolarReserve’s baseload solar 260 MW Copiapó project bids into the grid in April, having cleared Chile’s permitting with a Resolución de Calificación Ambiental. SolarReserve has combined two solar technologies, PVs and concentrated solar power with energy storage, so it can supply electricity both day and night. [CleanTechnica]

Credit: SolarReserve — Redstone

  • Ontario’s Electricity System Operator released the list of 119 projects that will compete for power contracts under the 565-MW Large Renewable Procurement program. About 1,400 MW of projects proposed by units of NextEra Energy, Renewable Energy Systems, and SunEdison have qualified for the program. [SeeNews Renewables]
  • The UK’s anaerobic digestion generation capacity now exceeds 500 MW, according to the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association. The trade body yesterday revealed 514 MW of electrical equivalent capacity is generated as electricity or biogas from more than 400 AD plants across the farming, waste, and water sectors. [Business Green]
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