2015-10-01 Energy Week

Please note that this post is being developed.

Thursday, September 24:

  • “Shame upon them! The government’s nuclear lies exposed” There’s no doubt about it. The UK Government is spreading untruths about the price of renewable energy. Is it deliberate? One can only assume so owing to the consistency of the pattern. And, it’s always in the context of supporting nuclear power over renewable energy sources. [The Ecologist]
  • Yesterday, Hillary Clinton announced that she opposes the construction of the Keystone Pipeline. Today, she released her energy infrastructure plan. First item on the list: repairing and upgrading our existing pipelines. The words, “solar,” “wind,” and “alternative,” do not appear in the plan at all, and “renewable” shows up only twice. [AMERICAblog]
  • The Vermont Public Service Department released the Public Review Draft of the 2015 Comprehensive Energy Plan. The plan emphasizes the importance of efficiency and conservation. Since the last CEP was published in 2011, Vermont has added more than 100 MW each of wind and solar PV, while power rates grew slower than inflation. [Vermont Biz]

Friday, September 25:

  • The University of Texas at Austin has let out word that a research team guided by professor John Goodenough, the man who invented lithium-ion batteries, has come up with a new cathode material leading to the development of a marketable sodium-ion battery. The new energy storage involves eldfellite, a yellow-green mineral. [CleanTechnica]
  • In what’s being referred to as the “first utility-adopted” solar sharing program, Yeloha and Green Mountain Power have partnered to offer GMP’s customers the opportunity to go solar, even if it’s with someone else’s roof. Yeloha acts as a middleman between people who want solar and people with places for panels. [CleanTechnica]
  • More than a quarter of the UK’s electricity came from renewables this spring, official figures show. Renewables accounted for 25.3% of electricity generation in the second quarter of 2015, up from 16.7% for the period in 2014, and overtaking coal for the first time. Coal generating fell to 20.5% in the same period. [Business Reporter]

Saturday, September 26:

  • Just at a time some are calling for the use of US RICO laws to investigate and possibly prosecute those who may have been attempting to defraud us about the climate, we have found that Exxon was concealing its own science predicting climate change. A look at the data shows their predictions were nearly spot-on. [CleanTechnica]

This is a graph from the now famous Exxon documents that date to 1981, explaining how Exxon scientists were projecting global warming with continued release of the greenhouse gas CO2 into the atmosphere.

  • Based on estimates of the amounts of excess pollutants released by the 11 million cars VW admitted to fitting with cheating software, Kevin Drum has come up with a rough estimate of a death toll. Worldwide, it may be that 3,700 people died because VW cheated. This is a problem professions will doubtless take up. [CleanTechnica]
  • The presidents of the US and China have made a bargain. China will implement a national cap-and-trade program, requiring Chinese electric companies, iron and steel plants, and other manufacturers to trade emissions credits beginning in 2017. The US will make its carbon cuts through existing or planned regulations. [World Magazine]
  • The overall collective risk of cancer via exposure to 7 toxic air contaminants in California has declined by an incredible 76% since comprehensive air quality regulations went into effect there back into 1990, according to a new study from the California Air Resources Board. The worst offender is said to be diesel particulates. [CleanTechnica]

Sunday, September 27:

  • A study prepared by DIW Econ, a German institute for economic research, found that, as a whole, countries that belong to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development have already decoupled their economic growth from emissions. This means they can grow without increasing greenhouse gas emissions. [The Guardian]

Monday, September 28:

  • A Volkswagen engineer warned the company about cheating over its emission tests as early 2011, a German newspaper reports. Separately, Bild am Sonntag said the internal inquiry had found that parts supplier Bosch had warned Volkswagen not to use its software illegally. Volkswagen said they would not comment on “newspaper speculation”. [BBC]
    Relevant to this article: In a lunchtime address at New York University on September 10, Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates rolled out a new blueprint for prosecutors across the US. Their priority should be to hold individuals to account for corporate crimes, not just to impose big fines on firms. [Bloomberg]
  • Twenty-one new hydroelectric projects that will utilize already-existing dam infrastructure in Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Mississippi, are set to be developed, following closure of a senior loan facility between Free Flow Power New Hydro and Crestline Investors. They are expected to produce over 200 MW. [CleanTechnica]

Tuesday, September 29:

  • People Power Just Defeated Shell in the Arctic. Here’s How You Did It” Years ago, Shell paid billions of dollars for the right to drill for oil in the Arctic. Now, the company is pulling out and has no plans to go back. It is a huge victory for everyone who took action, whether writing a letter or climbing a giant skyscraper in protest. [RYOT]

Protesters hang from bridge in Portland to block oil rig exit. AP Photo/Don Ryan

  • Deutsche Bank analysts say China may increase its 2020 solar power target to 150 GW from the current target of 100 GW. China also proposes a competitive power dispatch that prioritizes the emissions-free, near-zero marginal dispatch cost of renewables, which would reduce carbon emissions by 200 million tonnes per year. [CleanTechnica]
  • The Vermont Public Service Department has released the state’s 2015 Comprehensive Energy Plan for public review, and has scheduled five meetings in October to take comment. The plan reaffirms Vermont’s goal of meeting 90% of the state’s energy needs through renewable sources by 2050, with emphasis on microgrids. [Utility Dive]

Wednesday, September 30:

  • Western Power, the state-owned company that operates the grid in the south-west corner of Western Australia, may take some communities completely off grid so that it can save money on costly network upgrades and extensions. They are considering up to ten stand-alone systems, using solar, batteries, and back-up diesel. [One Step Off The Grid]

Margaret River, Western Australia, is one of the communities that may go off-grid. Photo by Rob & Jules. CC BY 2.0.

  • BHP Billiton, the world’s largest mining company, did an analysis of climate change, and issued the findings in a report. The company says it believes climate change is real and that action will be taken. In fact, the introduction calls for an agreement to restrict global warming to 2 degrees warmer than pre-industrial levels. [Business Insider Australia]
  • Solar energy pricing is at an all-time low, according to a report from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Driven by lower installed costs, improved project performance, and a race to build projects ahead of a reduction in a key federal incentive, utility-scale solar PV power sales agreements are averaging just 5¢/kWh. [solarserver.com]

 

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