2016-04-14 Energy Week

Thursday, April 7:

Solar panels on the roof of Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Headquarters, San Diego. US Navy photo by Rick Naystatt. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

Solar panels on the roof of Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command Headquarters, San Diego. US Navy photo by Rick Naystatt. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

  • Sixty-four major American cities are now home to almost as much solar capacity as the entire country had at the end of 2010, according to analysis that ranks America’s major cities for their solar power. Los Angeles, San Diego, and Phoenix topped the list for most solar power. [Environment America]
Investment in renewables is outpacing fossil fuel investment by a significant margin. Photo: Supplied

Investment in renewables is outpacing fossil fuel investment by a significant margin. Photo: Supplied

  • Opinion: Wind and solar are crushing fossil fuels • Recent auctions in Mexico and Morocco ended with winning bids that show solar and wind will soon be least expensive sources, worldwide, said Michael Liebreich, chairman of the advisory board for Bloomberg New Energy Finance. [Sydney Morning Herald]
  • Since 2000, more than 20 countries have successfully curbed greenhouse gas emissions while boosting their gross domestic product, according to World Resources Institute analyst Nate Aden. No single trend has driven GDP-GHG decoupling across all countries. [CleanTechnica]

Friday, April 8:

15 kW Solar array at Canterbury Municipal Building Canterbury New Hampshire. Photo by SayCheeeeeese. CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. Wikimedia Commons.

15 kW Solar array at Canterbury Municipal Building Canterbury New Hampshire. Photo by SayCheeeeeese. CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. Wikimedia Commons.

  • The New Hampshire Senate agreed to double the amount of electricity solar panel owners may sell to utilities while telling regulators to develop a system that stops cost-shifting to other electric customers. The bill increases a net metering cap from 50 to 100 MW. [The Union Leader]
  • Uruguay reduced power generation costs by 52% between 2013 and this year, saving $500 million at a time when demand for electricity continued to grow. According to figures released last month, 56% of Uruguay’s electricity now comes from renewable sources. [Latin American Herald Tribune]

Saturday, April 9:

Ghost trees have fallen victim to salt water intrusion. Photo by William Widmer / Redux for CNN

Ghost trees have fallen victim to salt water intrusion. Photo by William Widmer / Redux for CNN

  • Opinion: ‘There’s no more land’ • A football field sized amount of land, on average, falls into the Gulf each hour. Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana, was once about the size of Manhattan. Now, it’s about a third of Central Park. The coastal island has lost 98% of its land since 1955. [CNN]
  • French energy minister Ségolène Royal said postponing the Hinkley Point C nuclear power project is still a possibility. She said the project must not be allowed to drain funds away from planned investments in renewable energy to bring France towards its 40% green power target. [The Ecologist]
  • Analysis by Vote Solar and the US Solar Energy Industries Association shows that inaction on net metering caps and the Solar Renewable Energy Credit program in Massachusetts has halted construction on more than 500 separate solar projects valued at a total of $617 million. [CleanTechnica]

Sunday, April 10:

Wind turbines in Minnesota

Wind turbines in Minnesota

  • A report from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory says states with renewable portfolio standards have been highly successful at meeting their targets, with a handful of states setting higher targets within the past year while adding an average of 1.3% to customer bills. [Midwest Energy News]
  • University of Washington researchers have developed technology that enables sensors and small electronics to be entirely powered wirelessly from TV, radio, cell phone, and Wi-Fi signals. The miniature devices don’t require a battery or any wiring because energy in the signals. [OilPrice.com]
Crews working to stop the natural gas leak in Aliso Canyon in December. Musgrove / AP

Crews working to stop the natural gas leak in Aliso Canyon in December. Musgrove / AP

  • Southern California’s reliance on natural gas has grown much more clear. Utilities are warning of possible blackouts this summer after the massive Aliso Canyon methane leak took the region’s largest gas storage field offline. Blackouts underscore the true meaning of fossil fuel dependence. [OCRegister]
  • The Vermont Public Service Board is currently revising the net metering program. The PSB must design a revised program with input from impacted parties and the public. But the proposed revisions may make net metering much more difficult in Vermont. [Green Energy Times]

Monday, April 11:

Whalley Community Hydro, in Lancashire

Whalley Community Hydro, in Lancashire

  • UK electricity customers are coming together to take control of how they use and pay for power. Energy Local clubs, set up as community benefit societies or community interest companies, aim to reduce bills for consumers and connect them with locally owned renewable generators. [Co-operative News]
Wind turbines on prairie, courtesy of Theodore Scott, via Flickr

Wind turbines on prairie, courtesy of Theodore Scott, via Flickr

  • Opinion: The Mystery of Wind Energy in Texas • Texas politicians fiercely deny the scientific validity of climate change and the state is home to the headquarters of such companies as Exxon Mobile and ConocoPhillips. But Texas leads the US in installed wind capacity. How did this paradox occur? [Law Street Media]
The youth plaintiffs after the hearing on March 9 in Eugene, Oregon. Photo credit: Our Children’s Trust

The youth plaintiffs after the hearing on March 9 in Eugene, Oregon. Photo credit: Our Children’s Trust

  • US Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin of the Federal District Court in Eugene, Oregon, ruled Friday against the motion to dismiss brought by the fossil fuel industry and federal government. Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein call the case the “most important lawsuit on the planet right now.” [EcoWatch]

Tuesday, April 12:

Changes attributable to more accurate roof surveys

Changes attributable to more accurate roof surveys

  • Earlier this year, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory released a new estimate of rooftop solar potential, updating the 2008 energy atlas, Energy Self-Reliant States. New maps show much more potential to get our electricity from solar on nearby buildings than we thought. [CleanTechnica]
  • January 2016 was the most anomalously hot month on record, going by NASA’s temperature figures. Now it appears that February 2016 already beat the record, with an anomaly (over the pre-industrial average) of somewhere between 1.15° C and 1.4° C during the month. [CleanTechnica]
  • Lawmakers will soon get a report on whether Vermont should purchase a series of hydroelectric dams along the Connecticut and Deerfield rivers. In the meantime, they’re discovering that the next owners of the dams will be under heavy pressure to address a range of environmental concerns. [Valley News]

Wednesday, April 13:

Giant Vestas wind turbine blades are loaded on a train awaiting delivery at the plant on Tuesday. (Andy Cross, The Denver Post)

Giant Vestas wind turbine blades are loaded on a train awaiting delivery at the plant on Tuesday. (Andy Cross, The Denver Post)

  • Colorado wind power is rising with 1,880 huge turbines erected across the prairie. It has reached the point where the wind turbines generated 67% of Xcel Energy’s Colorado-made electricity one morning in November and 54% for two 24-hour periods in October, feats that are unmatched. [The Denver Post]
Microgrid construction © Powerhive

Microgrid construction © Powerhive

  • Opinion: Powerhive is delivering prepaid solar microgrids to rural villages • The next clean energy step for the developing world might be solar-powered microgrids, such as Powerhive is developing. These systems can deliver clean energy to remote villages of as few as 200 people. [Treehugger]
  • Wondering how prepared your state is for upcoming changes in climate? If you’re in Texas, you might be in for trouble. This week, Climate Central unveiled the first-ever national analysis of state-level preparedness for climate change-driven, weather-related threats. [CleanTechnica]
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