2015-12-17 Energy Week

Thursday, December 10,

  • In the last meeting of December 9, the Comité de Paris of COP21 reconvened to register the reactions of conference parties to the draft agreement. The meeting closed at 11:28 pm. Sub-groups started meeting at midnight. One overnight consultation covers treaty sections on loss and damage, mechanisms, forest, and preamble, but there are others. [CleanTechnica]
COP21 Facilitators – Meeting go on around the clock.

COP21 Facilitators – Meeting go on around the clock.

  • Vermont’s main utility is going to be providing Tesla Powerwall home battery systems to customers who want them. If the utility’s customer agrees to allow the utility to use electricity stored in a Powerwall at home, the customer will also get paid for its use. One of the three ways a customer can pay for the Powerwall is $0 down. [CleanTechnica]
  • American Electric Power, one of the largest utilities, made waves when it confirmed it has dropped membership from the American Legislative Exchange Council, a prominent climate denial front group. AEP was the chair of ALEC’s environmental task force, which produces all of ALEC’s anti-environmental model bills. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

Friday, December 11,

  • France and nine other partners renewed commitment to mobilize a cumulative $10 billion between 2015 and 2020 to boost access to energy in Africa. The costs are to be offset by repealing all subsidies for fossil fuels and ending the tax breaks that encourage corporate inversions. [The Election Central]
Wind farm in Tunisia. Photo by Citizen59. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Wind farm in Tunisia. Photo by Citizen59. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

  • Negotiators at COP21 aim to wrap up a global agreement to curb global warming on Saturday, a day later than expected. “Things are moving in the right direction,” said French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who is chairing the summit. But more compromise is needed if an agreement is to be reached. [BBC]
  • The fourth quarter of 2015 is shaping up to be the United States solar market’s biggest quarter on record, according to a new projection. The current utility-scale solar PV pipeline stands at 18.7 GW. This is greater than all US solar PV installations brought online through to the end of 2014. [CleanTechnica]

Saturday, December 12,

Adieu Fossil Fuels

  • The world now has its first universally accepted plan to limit climate change! The agreement will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from human activities to curtail dangerous atmospheric warming and related climate changes, BBC News reported at 3:40 am. [CleanTechnica]
Eiffel Tower light show

Eiffel Tower light show

  • The Philippines announced at COP21 that it will launch an investigation into whether fossil fuel companies are to be held responsible for the impacts of climate change. This follows a petition was made by Greenpeace Southeast Asia, which had over 100,000 signatures. [CleanTechnica]
  • Just in time to undercut the threat of an “affordable” Tesla EV, the Ford Motor Company has pledged a massive five year, $4.5 billion investment including 13 new EVs and plugin hybrids, bringing its electrified vehicle portfolio up to more than 40% of its global nameplates. [CleanTechnica]
Ford Focus charging in Germany. © CEphoto, Uwe Aranas / CC-BY-SA-3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Ford Focus charging in Germany. © CEphoto, Uwe Aranas / CC-BY-SA-3.0. Wikimedia Commons

  • A former coal-burning power plant in western Massachusetts, is being considered as a site to produce renewable energy. A year-long study into redeveloping the Mount Tom Power Station has come up with three reuse options for the 128-acre property. Each includes solar power. [WAMC]

Sunday, December 13,

  • A draft of the COP21 agreement was released in the afternoon for delegates to review. Following a break for last-minute corrections from the legal and linguistic group and the Deputy Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, the body adopted it “with legal force” by acclamation. [CleanTechnica]
Laurence Tubiana, Christiana Figueres, and Laurent Fabius applaud the Paris Agreement

Laurence Tubiana, Christiana Figueres, and Laurent Fabius applaud the Paris Agreement

 

  • In a major shift in government policy, Australia’s prime minister lifted a ban on investing public funds in wind power. The sails of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation are back in motion as a new mandate reversed Tony Abbot’s restrictive practices. [9news.com.au]
  • “This is the end of fossil fuels” • For Selina Leem, an 18-year-old from a tiny part of the Marshall Islands in the middle of the Pacific, the adoption of Saturday’s “Paris Agreement” on climate change wasn’t about wonky diplomacy. It was about the survival of her country. [CNN]
Most of the land in the Marshall Islands is no more than three feet above the high tide mark. Photo by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. CC BY-SA 2.0. Wikimedia Commons

Most of the land in the Marshall Islands is no more than three feet above the high tide mark. Photo by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. CC BY-SA 2.0. Wikimedia Commons

Monday, December 14,

  • Indian and Japanese scientists have found that Indian citizens living downstream from an enormous uranium mining and processing complex are routinely exposed to exceptionally high levels of radiation. The Indian government insists that any illnesses are caused by poverty, not radiation. [Center for Public Integrity]
Villagers drink, bathe and wash themselves in the waters found to have alpha radiation 192% higher than safe limits set by the WHO. Ashish Birulee

Villagers drink, bathe and wash themselves in the waters found to have alpha radiation 192% higher than safe limits set by the WHO. Ashish Birulee

  • Availon, a leading multi-brand independent service provider for wind turbines, announced that the company kept the US wind farms it has under contract at historical levels of availability. The most challenging site is running at above 98.4% availability, and other wind farms between 99.4 % and 99.8%. [Your Renewable News]

Tuesday, December 15,

  • A town council in North Carolina rejected plans to rezone land for a solar farm after residents voiced fears it would cause cancer, stop plants from growing, and suck up all the energy from the sun. The council later voted to put a moratorium on future solar farms in the area, according to the local newspaper. [Huffington Post]
  • Lifting the 40-year ban on oil exports is the top priority in a $1.15 trillion spending bill for many Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, because it would offer new markets to drillers suffering from a glut of crude. A trade to extend renewable support may be in the works. [Dickinson Press]
The crude oil tanker Omala moored in Rotterdam. Photo by Danny Cornelissen.

The crude oil tanker Omala moored in Rotterdam. Photo by Danny Cornelissen.

Wednesday, December 16,

  • Green Mountain Power was joined today with Franklin County leaders and champions of Lake Champlain to announce an innovative new project called Clean Power, Cleaner Lake. Working with area dairy farms, the effort will significantly reduce phosphorus runoff while generating clean, local baseload power. [Vermont Biz]
Green Mountain Power will help reduce pollution in Lake Champlain. St Albans Bay is seen here. GMP photo.

Green Mountain Power will help reduce pollution in Lake Champlain. St Albans Bay is seen here. GMP photo.

  • Nassau, New York, a town of 5,000 people just outside of Albany, plans to disconnect from the electrical grid. Last week, the town board voted to get 100% of its power from renewables by 2020. The town is making the move as a way to increase its reliance on renewable energy and to gain some energy independence. [EcoWatch]
  • Donald Trump’s legal challenge to a planned offshore wind farm has been rejected by the UK’s Supreme Court. Developers intend to site 11 turbines off Aberdeen, close to Mr Trump’s golfing development on the Aberdeenshire coast. The Trump Organisation said would “continue to fight” the proposal. [BBC]
  • The Indian Point 3 plant automatically shut down because of an electrical disturbance, owner Entergy Corp said in a statement late Monday. The last time that happened, spot power more than doubled. This time, however, wind turbines in the state came to the rescue, compensating for the loss of the reactor. [Bloomberg]
The Turkey Point Generating Station. Photo by Acroterion. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

The Turkey Point Generating Station. Photo by Acroterion. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

 

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