2016-03-03 Energy Week

Thursday, February 25:

NASA is studying greenhouse gas emissions. NASA/GSFC image.

NASA is studying greenhouse gas emissions. NASA/GSFC image.

  • Methane emissions from the oil and gas industry are significantly higher than previous official estimates, according to draft revisions of the US greenhouse gas emissions inventory from the EPA. Revised estimates of 2013 emissions are 27% percent higher than the previous tally. [CleanTechnica]
  • To an oil and gas industry already beaten down by a price crash, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy added this message Wednesday: The world is switching to renewable sources such as wind and solar. “The clean energy train has left the station, folks,” McCarthy 2,800 at IHS CERAWeek. [expressnews.com] (The last article in this post also relates to this conference.)
  • Developers are proposing the second-largest solar array in Windham County, Vermont, and the Vermont Army National Guard appears to be an enthusiastic partner in the project. The state Public Service Board will consider the application for the 1.8-MW net-metered project in Westminster. [vtdigger.org]

Friday, February 26:

Bridgeport Harbor station power plant. Photo courtesy of PSEG

Bridgeport Harbor station power plant. Photo courtesy of PSEG

  • Owners of the last coal-fired power plant in Connecticut, Public Service Enterprise Group, have announced plans to replace the Bridgeport Harbor Station power plant with a natural gas-fired facility by the end of the decade. It has provided electricity for over 50 years. [Westfair Online]
  • Up to 175,000 annual pollution-related deaths, and $250 billion in health costs, could be prevented by 2030 by implementing “low carbon” policies in the US to prevent a 2° C rise in temperature, according to analysis from Duke University and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. [CleanTechnica]
Left axis and grey area: UK coal use since the industrial revolution, millions of tonnes. Right axis and red bars: year-on-year change in coal use, %. Sources: DECC Energy Trends table 2.6, historical data and Carbon Brief analysis. Chart by Carbon Brief.

Left axis and grey area: UK coal use since the industrial revolution, millions of tonnes. Right axis and red bars: year-on-year change in coal use, %. Sources: DECC Energy Trends table 2.6, historical data and Carbon Brief analysis. Chart by Carbon Brief.

  • The UK’s CO2 emissions fell by 4.3% in 2015 on the back of the largest recorded annual drop in coal use, outside of a miners’ strike, Carbon Brief analysis shows. This leaves UK CO2 emissions 31.5% below 1990 levels and at its lowest level since the start of the industrial revolution. [Carbon Brief]

Saturday, February 27:

  • New legislation would require all new construction in San Francisco, both residential and commercial, to have solar panels installed. The renewable energy ordinance would make San Francisco the first and only major city in the country to require solar panels on new buildings. [KRON4.com]
  • Anyone who sees Vermont’s renewable energy installations may be surprised to learn that the state’s utilities get 0% of their power from wind and solar energy. That is the number cited in a report on allowing renewable energy credits to be sold to utilities in southern New England. [Valley News]
One day, cars will be powered by the sun. Image via Paleofuture / Arthur Radebaugh

One day, cars will be powered by the sun. Image via Paleofuture / Arthur Radebaugh

  • Opinion: Sooner than you think? A prediction that electric cars will cause the next oil crisis • There used to be a cartoon series called Closer than We Think. Now Bloomberg Business has a video series, Sooner Than You Think. The first episode suggests the electric car could cause the next oil crisis. [Treehugger]
  • Corn and soybean fields in Somerset County, Maryland, formerly ticketed for wind turbines may now become home to one of the largest solar power plants in the eastern US. Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp of Canada has plans to collect up to 150 MW of power from the area. [Delmarva Daily Times]

Sunday, February 28:

  • Investment in forestry over the next five years will have a big impact on the environment, as it will result in the planting of 600,000 hectares (1.5 million acres) in Europe, according to Dermot Ryan, Senior Advisor to European Commissioner Phil Hogan. [Agriland]

Monday, February 29:

Turbines going in at Gemini (Gemini)

Turbines going in at Gemini (Gemini)

  • The first electricity has been generated and delivered to the grid from the 600-MW Gemini wind farm in the Dutch North Sea. Two 110-km cables relay power from the wind park to the shore, where electricity is distributed through the TenneT high voltage grid from Eemshaven. [reNews]
  • BioMason is a North Carolina startup company that makes bricks without heat or clay. About 8% of global carbon emissions come from making bricks, according to the company’s co-founder, citing information from the EPA. The BioMason process creates no carbon emissions. [CleanTechnica]
Thousands of residents of Porter Ranch were evacuated in the wake of the methane leak. (Ted Soqui / Ted Soqui Photography / Corbis)

Thousands of residents of Porter Ranch were evacuated in the wake of the methane leak. (Ted Soqui / Ted Soqui Photography / Corbis)

  • Opinion: The Size of the California Methane Leak Isn’t the Scariest Part of the Story • Though methane is a powerful greenhouse gas and the Aliso Canyon event was huge, we see an even bigger problem. There are hundreds of similar gas storage facilities, and nothing is monitoring them. [Smithsonian.com]
  • The UK’s biggest energy lobbying group has shifted its position on green energy and will start campaigning for low-carbon alternatives for the first time, in what environmental campaigners are describing as a watershed moment. The chief executive of Energy UK said the shift is urgent. [The Guardian]

Tuesday, March 1:

Divers fix anchors onto the bed of the reservoir. Photograph: Martin Godwin for the Guardian

Divers fix anchors onto the bed of the reservoir. Photograph: Martin Godwin for the Guardian

  • Work is nearing completion on what will soon be Europe’s largest floating solar power farm. But few are likely to see the 23,000 solar panels on the Queen Elizabeth II reservoir near London. It is invisible to all but Heathrow passengers and a few flats in neighbouring estates. [The Guardian]
  • The New York State Common Retirement Fund lost at least $5.3 billion over the last three years by remaining invested in fossil fuel holdings, instead of reinvesting in green companies. These are the findings according to a new report from Corporate Knights, an investment research company. [CleanTechnica]
Source: American Wind Energy Association

Source: American Wind Energy Association

  • The US produced over 190 million MWh of wind power in 2015, more than any other country in the world, even as China has nearly double the capacity, the American Wind Energy Association said. More than 31% of Iowa’s in-state electricity generation came from wind. [SeeNews Renewables]

Wednesday, March 2:

After seven months, Solar Impulse 2 has returned to the sky as it prepares to resume its record-setting round-the-world flight.

After seven months, Solar Impulse 2 has returned to the sky as it prepares to resume its record-setting round-the-world flight.

  • After seven months, Solar Impulse 2 has returned to the sky as it prepares to resume its record-setting round-the-world flight. The huge, sun-powered plane, which smashed the longest solo record last summer from Japan to Hawaii, flew a 90-minute maintenance and equipment-checking flight. [ABC 57 News]
  • Opinion: “Base load” power: a myth used to defend the fossil fuel industry • At a conference in Houston, leaders of the global fossil power industry were shocked to hear the chairman of the biggest network owner in China dismiss the importance of coal, oil, and “base load” power. [RenewEconomy]

 

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