2015-11-12 Energy Week

Please note that this post is being developed.

Thursday, November 5:

  • 50 years ago today, President Johnson’s Science Advisory Committee sent him a report, “Restoring the Quality of Our Environment,” which included a warning on carbon dioxide emissions and climate change. It was written by prominent climate scientists Roger Revelle, Wallace Broecker, Charles Keeling, Harmon Craig, and J Smagorisnky. [The Guardian]
  • “How the World Is Saving Itself From Coal Even Without a UN Prod” • The energy industry is easing away from coal and will keep moving in that direction regardless of what happens at the United Nations climate talks in Paris next month. That’s the view of Michael Liebreich, the founder of Bloomberg New Energy Finance. [Bloomberg]
  • An 18-state coalition led by New York and California has begun taking on a block of 26 states including Texas and Florida in a court fight over the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. The states defending the federal plan are joined by the District of Columbia, New York City, Chicago, and Philadelphia in seeking intervener status. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Friday, November 6:

  • Two stunning auction results in India and Chile in the last week have underscored the extraordinary gains that large-scale solar has made against its fossil fuel competitors. In both countries, solar is now clearly the cheapest option compared to new coal-fired power stations. In Chile, the auction produced the lowest ever price for unsubsidized solar, 6.5¢/kWh. [RenewEconomy]
  • The largest state in Austria now runs on 100% clean and renewable energy, officials have confirmed. The premier of Lower Austria, which has a population of 1.65 million, told a news conference that the state is now generating its electricity solely from renewable sources, led by hydroelectric power, which supplies 63% of the state’s energy. [pv magazine]
  • New York’s Attorney General is investigating whether ExxonMobil Corp lied to the public and investors about its knowledge of climate change and its risks. This follows articles published by Inside Climate News and the Los Angeles Times saying their investigations showed Exxon concealed its own scientist’s work on climate science. [The Hill]

Saturday, November 7:

  • New figures released quietly by the Chinese Government this week shows that China has been burning up to 17% more coal per year than the government had previously disclosed, laying to rest many hopes that the country was on a fast track to carbon dioxide emissions decline. The extra coal would emit a billion more tons of carbon dioxide each year. [CleanTechnica]
  • President Obama took advantage of low gas prices and the resulting decline in US oil production to reject the construction proposal of the Keystone XL pipeline. Since coming into office, Obama has made a strong push for a clean energy future, and shutting down Keystone XL after a 7-year battle could well be the capstone on that effort. [CleanTechnica]

Sunday, November 8:

  • The majestic forests that Pennsylvanians are familiar with today won’t be the forests that future generations know because of global climate change according to the Secretary of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection. Several species of trees are likely to disappear from the forests: sugar maple, black cherry, and hemlock. [Citizens Voice]
  • The world will pump out 748 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide from 2012 through 2030, the UN said Friday in an e-mailed report that analyzed emissions pledges by 146 nations. The World Energy Council is dismissing climate change plans as not good enough and says it plans to write to all participants of upcoming climate talks in Paris. [TV Newsroom]
  • In India, electric transmission and distribution losses, the majority of which pertains to sheer theft of electricity, had been varying between 17% and 35% percent. Financial losses for electricity distribution companies in India reach a staggering ₹3.8 trillion ($58 billion). The states have endorsed a central government plan to deal with distribution. [Greentech Lead]
  • Oil companies of all hues loaded up on massive amounts of debt to fund rigs and fancy new drilling equipment. The problem is the companies were banking on oil prices closer to $100 oil when they took on the debt. Now oil is around $45 and no one is expecting prices to hit $100 any time soon. What that means is the likelihood of defaulting has increased. [CNN]

Monday, November 9:

  • Legal professionals are warning that ongoing investigations of ExxonMobil practices could drag other oil businesses. The firm is the subject of controversy over allegations it mislead the public about climate change. But prosecutors are thinking about investigating all businesses that chose to fund organizations that promoted climate change denial. [California Turkish Times]
  • Coal consumption is poised for its biggest decline in history, driven by China’s battle against pollution, economic reforms and its efforts to promote renewable energy. Global use of the most polluting fuel fell 2.3% to 4.6% in the first nine months of 2015 from the same period last year, according to a report released by Greenpeace. [The Australian Financial Review]

Tuesday, November 10:

  • Global temperatures are set to rise more than one degree above pre-industrial levels according to the UK’s Met Office. Figures from January to September this year are already 1.02° C above the average between 1850 and 1900. If temperatures remain as predicted, 2015 will be the first year to breach this key threshold. An increase of 2° C is considered dangerous.[BBC]
  • Renewable energy accounted for almost half of all new power plants in 2014, representing a “clear sign that an energy transition is underway”, according to an International Energy Agency report. Green energy is now the second-largest generator of electricity in the world, after coal, and is set to overtake the dirtiest fossil fuel in the early 2030s, the report said. [The Guardian]
  • Britain will miss a major legally-binding renewable energy target, Amber Rudd, the Energy Secretary, has admitted in a letter to other cabinet ministers. The letter, however, was leaked to the press. She warned that the “absence of a credible plan” to meet the target could trigger repeated fines from the EU Court of Justice and a judicial review. [Telegraph.co.uk]
  • Trident Winds has filed early paperwork with Morro Bay, California, city officials for a plan to install 100 floating turbines, each up to 636 feet tall, about 15 miles off the San Luis Obispo County shoreline. The project would generate 1,000 MW of electricity, enough to power 300,000 homes. It would be the first West Coast offshore wind farm. [Bakken.com]
  • After apologizing for two months, Volkswagen is finally putting its money where its mouth is, forking over $500 to VW car owners hit by its emissions cheating scandal. But the payout has not had the intended effect for many owners. Angry VW customers who wrote to CNNMoney used terms like “slap in the face” and “scandalous” to describe the payout. [CNN]

Wednesday, November 11:

  • This 17th straight month of low oil prices has remained a boon for drivers, manufacturers and refineries, but the International Energy Agency warned it will also likely force importers like the US, EU, China, and India to rely increasingly on low-cost producers in the Middle East at a scale not seen since the 1970s. [U.S. News & World Report]
  • Denmark-based DONG Energy said it plans to build a wind farm with up to 100 wind turbines and capable of generating as much as 1,000 MW of electricity on a leased site, south of Martha’s Vineyard, that the federal government put up for bid in January for development of offshore wind power. [Martha’s Vineyard Times]
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