2015-09-24 Energy Week

Thursday, September 17:

  • Offshore wind installation vessel Pacific Osprey has installed the 100th pile installation at Northland Power’s 600-MW Gemini offshore wind project. The 161 meter, six-legged jack-up is pushing on to complete work at the project, located in the Dutch North Sea. Two substations and the first transition pieces are already in place. [reNews]

Substation lifted into place at Gemini (Rambiz)

  • A report looks at whether coal from two sources would be sold at all without subsidies. It concludes that significant subsidies backing the production of coal in Australia and in the Powder River Basin in the US are “distorting the market, driving up emissions, and acting as a barrier to entry for cleaner energy sources.” [CleanTechnica]
  • A 52-MW battery system being developed by SolarCity in Hawaii will be adjacent to one of Kauai Island Utility Cooperative’s existing 12-MW solar fields. Under a 20-year power purchase agreement with SolarCity, the co-op will pay 14.5¢ per kWh for battery-stored power, primarily during KIUC’s evening peak demand hours. [Electric Co-op Today]

Friday, September 18 :

  • Toyota now collects more than 90% of the nickel-metal hydride batteries used in its hybrid cars, and is aiming for 100% collected. But what happens to the batteries after they’re collected? Some are recycled, but from an environmental perspective, it’s even better if they are reused. They have a second life in Yellowstone Park. [The Guardian]
  • The mayor of London, reminded cabinet ministers that 10,000 local jobs were dependent on this renewable power technology which had, in his view, “many, many attractions”. The warning from the high-profile Conservative came as the chief executive of Shell predicted solar would become the “backbone” of our energy system. [The Guardian]
  • The Department of Transportation in Washington wrapped up a bid proposal for up to 800 electric buses in 12 different categories. BYD buses has been awarded the contract in 10 of those categories. The contract may be the biggest in US history. It includes buses from 30 to 60 feet in length for highway and intra-city applications. [CleanTechnica]
  • Two extensive studies reveal that major US business identities have knowingly undermined the health, safety, and survival of real humans and other living things in regards to climate. One examines ExxonMobil’s actions, and the other implicates almost half the world’s 100 largest companies in obstructing climate change legislation. [CleanTechnica]

Saturday, September 19:

  • The summer of 2015 is Earth’s hottest on record. The meteorological summer of June-July-August saw its highest globally averaged temperature since records began in 1880, according to NOAA. Those record highs occurred on the surface of both land and sea. Scientists had predicted a record-breaking summer based on modeling. [CNN]
  • The US DOE, collaborating with National Institute of Building Sciences, has officially defined zero energy buildings, which also are referred to as net zero or zero net energy buildings. The definition extends to communities, campuses, and portfolios. They published guidelines for measurement and implementation. [Energy Manager Today]

Sunday, September 20:

  • It is not clear where the idea of a “global warming hiatus” originally came from, but over the last several years it has been a widely held idea. Now, two papers by different groups of researchers show there has not been any pause in global warming. NASA says 2015 will very likely break 2014’s record as the warmest ever recorded. [Morning Ticker]
  • It didn’t add up. VW diesel cars were spewing harmful exhaust when testers drove them on the road. In the lab, they were fine. Discrepancies in the European tests on the diesel models of the VW Passat, the VW Jetta and the BMW X5 last year gave Peter Mock an idea. He checked the cars. VW had a cheat device on them. [Bloomberg]
  • Denmark is preparing what may be the biggest IPO in the nation’s history as it sets up the sale of state utility Dong Energy. The government is giving itself a maximum of 18 months. The company, which comprises units in oil, gas, wind parks and distribution networks, could be worth as much as $11 billion. [The Australian Financial Review]

Monday, September 21:

  • Greenpeace, working in collaboration with the German Aerospace Center, issued a report saying a 100% renewable power can be achieved by 2050. And not only is this transition possible, but it will create jobs and is cost-competitive, with the necessary investment more than covered by savings in future fuel costs. [Greenpeace International]
Greenpeace volunteers of Youth Solar (Jugendsolar) in cooperation with volunteers from the organisation 'Solaragenten', install a photovoltaic power plant on avalanche barriers in the ski resort of Bellwald.

Greenpeace volunteers of Youth Solar (Jugendsolar) in cooperation with volunteers from the organisation ‘Solaragenten’, install a photovoltaic power plant on avalanche barriers in the ski resort of Bellwald.

  • LG Chem, one of the world’ s largest lithium-ion battery manufacturers, has supplied a 1-MW/2-MWh energy storage system for a solar power station in Cedartown, Georgia. A Southern Company and Electric Power Research Institute initiative, the project is evaluating the grid impacts of the energy storage system. [Energy Matters]
  • In Vernon, Vermont, a town hit hard by the shutdown of Vermont Yankee, officials say a natural-gas plant may be in the works. The optimism in Vernon is carefully qualified because the plant is far from a sure bet, and it’s not yet been disclosed which sites are under consideration. Development costs are estimated at $750 million. [vtdigger.org]

Tuesday, September 22:

  • Major nations seem to be reducing fossil fuel subsidies but still have “ample scope” for deeper cuts in recent support of up to $200 billion a year, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development says. The OECD nations are estimated to subsidize fossil fuels production $160 billion to $200 billion annually. [Times of Malta]
  • Volkswagen AG plans to set aside €6.5 billion ($7.3 billion) in the third quarter to cover the costs of addressing irregularities in diesel engines installed in 11 million vehicles worldwide, as the scandal that started in the US widens. Germany, France, South Korea, and Italy have said they would look further into the issue. [Bloomberg]
  • Tesla will drive down battery-pack-level costs by 70% (down to around $38/kWh) once the Gigafactory hits peak production via economies of scale, improved chemistry, supply chain optimization, and other factors, according to Jefferies analyst Dan Dolev. Model S battery cells could be brought to 88$/kWh. [CleanTechnica]

Wednesday, September 23:

  • Climate-change denial has been compared to Big Tobacco’s 50-year-campaign to deny the dangers of cigarettes. It’s not widely known, but what ended the Big Tobacco campaign was actual prosecution under the RICO racketeering statute. Now, a group of scientists wants to use the RICO act againt climate deceivers. [Red, Green, and Blue]
  • InsideClimate News has a series about Exxon quietly studying fossil fuels and global warming. They found that in 1978, Exxon’s own scientists were telling the company that oil and gas use contribute to global warming that would play havoc on the planet’s climate. Exxon then funded politically motivated climate denialism. [CleanTechnica]
  • Energy Watch Group and Lappeenranta University of Technology, in Finland, have published the report which claims the International Energy Agency has been holding back global energy transition for years. EWG-LUT says the false predictions in the WEO reports have led to high investments in fossil and nuclear power sectors. [Greentech Lead]
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