2016-03-17 Energy Week

Thursday, March 10:

Children protesting outside the courthouse in Eugene, Oregon. Photograph: Matthew O Berger for the Guardian

Children protesting outside the courthouse in Eugene, Oregon. Photograph: Matthew O Berger for the Guardian

  • Twenty-one teenagers appeared in an Oregon courtroom to challenge the federal government over what they claim is a failure to protect them from the impacts of climate change, while several hundred schoolchildren protested outside. The case is just one of a large group of similar cases. [The Guardian]
  • A proposed New York state subsidy for nuclear power will come too late for the James A FitzPatrick plant near Oswego. An Entergy vice president told the state Public Service Commission that the subsidy will not affect company plans to shutter the plant by January 2017. [Albany Times Union]

Friday, March 11:

Sunset in the Sahara by Christopher L. on flickr.com CC BY 2.0

Sunset in the Sahara by Christopher L. on flickr.com CC BY 2.0

  • A consortium comprising Italy’s Enel Green Power SpA, Morocco-based Nareva Holding, and Germany’s Siemens Wind Power have won the preferred bidder status in a 850-MW wind power tender in Morocco. There are five wind parks involved ranging from 100 MW to 300 MW. [SeeNews Renewables]
Vattenfall Image

Vattenfall Image

  • After a run in with Donald Drumpf, the European Offshore Wind Deployment Center has seen the beginning of offshore works start this month. The European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre is being developed by a partnership of Vattenfall and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group. [CleanTechnica]
  • According to a new study published by researchers from the University of Queensland and Griffith University in Australia, global warming could occur much more quickly than previously thought. The model forecasts an increase in the global average temperature by 1.5 degrees as early as 2020. [CleanTechnica]

Saturday, March 12:

A robot developed by Toshiba Corp. AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi

A robot developed by Toshiba Corp. AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi

  • It takes two years to build them. Each operator trains for a month before picking up their controls. And they get fried by radiation after working for just 10 hours. The robots sent in to search the core of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant have a very short and specialized lifespan. [National Post]
  • Oregon is the first state to eliminate coal from its power supply through legislation and now boasts some of the most stringent demands for renewable energy among its state peers. The law phases coal-generated energy by 2030 and requires utilities to provide half of its power renewably by 2040. [CNSNews.com]
Fracking Site in Warren Center, PA. Photo by Ostroff Law. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Fracking Site in Warren Center, PA.
Photo by Ostroff Law. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

  • After six years and many reams of legal papers, two couples won a rare $4.24 million jury verdict against a fracking company, Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. The jury found that the company contaminated their water wells with methane leaching underground from natural gas fracking sites. [CleanTechnica]
  • The Vermont Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy approved a bill aimed at reforming Vermont’s energy siting process. State Senator John Rodgers said the Public Service Board still makes the final call despite increased local participation. [Watchdog.org]

Sunday, March 13:

  • This year’s winter has been quite strange, with temperatures throughout much of the northern hemisphere being considerably higher than at any other time since high-accuracy records began over a hundred years ago. Now here is a video showing just how fast Arctic ice is declining. [CleanTechnica]
Scottish Isles. Image by Moyan Brenn (some rights reserved).

Scottish Isles. Image by Moyan Brenn (some rights reserved).

  • A new report from the energy consultancy firm Baringa projects that the Scottish isles could see economic benefits of around £725 million (over the next quarter century) from renewable energy development. The benefits include revenues of up to £390 million for community-owned projects. [CleanTechnica]

Monday, March 14:

Flooding in a Florida community. Photo by Barry Bahler. Public domain – FEMA photo. Wikimedia Commons.

Flooding in a Florida community. Photo by Barry Bahler. Public domain – FEMA photo. Wikimedia Commons.

  • Last week, a bipartisan group of 21 Florida mayors wrote to debate moderators to argue it would be “unconscionable for these issues of grave concern for the people of Florida [climate change and sea level rise] to not be addressed.” Candidates were asked and responded. [The Guardian]
Operation Tomadachi delivering supplies. Photo by Lance Cpl. Mark Stroud. Public domain photo, Marine Corps. Wikimedia Commons.

Operation Tomadachi delivering supplies. Photo by Lance Cpl. Mark Stroud. Public domain photo, Marine Corps. Wikimedia Commons.

  • Sixteen US ships that participated in relief efforts after Japan’s nuclear disaster five years ago remain contaminated with low levels of radiation from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, top Navy officials told Stars and Stripes. A total of 25 ships took part in Operation Tomadachi. [Stripes Japan]
  • US wind and solar electricity generation grew by 20,659 MWh in 2015, compared to the full year 2014. That’s compared to fossil fuel electricity generation dropping by 18,041 MWh. Unfortunately, in part due to terrible drought, hydroelectricity generation dropped 8,199 MWh. [CleanTechnica]

Tuesday, March 15:

The contaminated soil is shoveled into plastic sacks

The contaminated soil is shoveled into plastic sacks

  • Workers from Peru’s state-controlled petrol company have been mopping up and scooping oil from a pipeline spill for the past month, as it stuck in ravines and on vegetation in the smaller rivers. It is the second major spill this year in the northern part of Peru’s jungle region. [BBC]

  • Uruguay went from having virtually no wind generation in 2007 to become a double world-record holder in less than a decade. By 2013, it was receiving the largest share of clean energy investment as a percentage of GDP, and in 2014, installed the most wind per capita of any country. [CleanTechnica]
  • Tasmania’s energy crisis drags on. Water levels in the hydro reservoirs are at a record low of 14.8%. The fault in the Basslink interconnector between Tasmania and Victoria remains. There is not enough wind power to maintain the power supply, so diesel power must be used. [Energy Matters]
  • Total electricity sales in 2015 fell 1.1% from the previous year, marking the fifth time in the past eight years that electricity sales have fallen. The flattening of electricity sales reflects declining sales to industry and little or no growth in sales to the residential and commercial sectors. [Energy Collective]

Wednesday, March 16:

Wind turbines. Image Credit: Flickr/naql

Wind turbines. Image Credit: Flickr/naql

  • Opinion: How Google Became to World’s Largest Corporate Purchaser of Renewable Energy • The Google approach to renewable energy is not unlike how many utilities purchase power. It often enters into power purchase agreements, and its projects range from California to Sweden. [Triple Pundit]
  • Swedish energy firm Vattenfall announced this week that it has started development on the 3.6-GW Norfolk Vanguard offshore wind farm. Vanguard is 47 kilometers off the coast, and will generate the equivalent electricity necessary to supply more than 1.3 million UK households. [CleanTechnica]
  • A group of 100 Massachusetts state representatives broke ranks with House leadership, urging that reconciliation of House and Senate bills on a net metering bill hew more closely to the Senate approach. Nearly two-thirds of the House members signed the letter. [CommonWealth magazine]
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