2016-05-12 Energy Week

Thursday, May 5:

Fort McMurray fire. AP photo. According to The Weather Channel, high temperatures were at 90° F, or 32° C, breaking the old record of 82° F.

Fort McMurray fire. AP photo. According to The Weather Channel, high temperatures were at 90° F, or 32° C, breaking the old record of 82° F.

  • A fire has forced evacuation of all 88,000 residents of Fort McMurray, Alberta. The fire, which broke out on Sunday in the heart on the country’s oil sands region, has already gutted 1,600 buildings, including a new school. High temperatures and wind are driving the fire. [BBC]
  • A Superior Court judge in the state of Washington ruled in favor of 7 young plaintiffs who brought suit on climate change. He ordered the state’s Department of Ecology to promulgate an emissions reduction rule during 2016 and bring recommendations to the state legislature in 2017. [CleanTechnica]
  • Dynegy Inc will shut down three coal-fired units at two Illinois power plants because they are no longer economical in the Midwestern power market, the Houston-based electric utility said. The three units together have over 1,800 MW of capacity, about 30% of southern Illinois’ total. [Reuters]

Friday, May 6:

E.ON Climate & Renewables will build one of the two systems. E.ON image.

E.ON Climate & Renewables will build one of the two systems. E.ON image.

  • Tucson Electric Power has received approval from the state’s regulator to build two 10-MW energy storage systems, including one co-located with solar. The utility had originally sought bids for a single system, but the bids were so low that the two projects fit within its budget. [PV-Tech]
  • Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump is positioning himself for the November election by vowing to bring coal-mining jobs back to states that he now sees as critical to his presidential hopes. Since 2008, coal has been in sharp decline in the US. [Renewable Energy Magazine]
  • The Science Based Targets initiative said 155 companies have committed to set emissions reduction targets in line with attempting to keep global warming well below 2° C. The companies include Coca-Cola, Dell, Kellogg, NRG Energy, Procter & Gamble, Owens Corning, Toyota. [CleanTechnica]

Saturday, May 7:

Florida cities are in danger of rising seas. Shutterstock image.

Florida cities are in danger of rising seas. Shutterstock image.

  • Two Florida mayors are unique positions for local leaders: they both believe that climate change is occurring, and that the consequences will hit Florida residents hard. That puts them at odds with the state government, which fervently denies that climate change is occurring. [ThinkProgress]
  • The only land convoy evacuating people trapped by a huge wildfire in the Canadian state of Alberta has been suspended after 200-ft (60-meter) flames flanked the road, officials say. There is also concern about oil facilities, particularly near Nexen’s Long Lake oil extraction site. [BBC]
Wind power in China

Wind power in China

  • Installed wind power capacity in China will more than treble from about 149 GW in 2015 to over 495 GW by 2030, a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 9%, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData. China had a third of total world wind power capacity in 2015. [Today’s Energy Solutions]

Sunday, May 8:

Kali River in Karnataka. Photo by solarisgirl from pune, india. CC BY-SA 2.0 generic. Wikimedia Commons.

Kali River in Karnataka. Photo by solarisgirl from pune, india. CC BY-SA 2.0 generic. Wikimedia Commons.

  • The failure of monsoon last year led to declining water levels at dams across the river Kali in the Indian state of Karnataka. If there is no rain by June, the reservoirs are likely to dry up, with effects on power generation at both hydro-electric and nuclear power plants. [Times of India]
  • Former US Energy Secretary Steven Chu commented on energy auctions in Mexico, which are unsubsidized. Mexico’s state utility got bids on solar, wind, hydro, cogeneration, combined-cycle gas, and geothermal energy. Solar and wind cost about 4¢/kWh, far below the costs of fossil fuels. [Forbes]

Monday, May 9:

Village in the Solomon Islands. Photo taken by Irene Scott for AusAID. CC BY-SA 2.0 generic. Wikimedia Commons.

Village in the Solomon Islands. Photo taken by Irene Scott for AusAID. CC BY-SA 2.0 generic. Wikimedia Commons.

  • “After the Pacific Ocean swallows villages and five Solomon Islands, a study blames climate change” • In a recent paper in the journal Environmental Research Letters, scientists link destructive sea level rise to anthropogenic, or human-caused, climate change. [Washington Post]
  • The top official at the US EPA said the ongoing legal fight over regulating carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants won’t delay the nation’s accelerating shift to cleaner sources of energy. She spoke at Climate Action 2016, a conference n Washington, DC. [Sioux City Journal]
T3200 trenching vehicle (DeepOcean)

T3200 trenching vehicle (DeepOcean)

  • DeepOcean 1 UK has contracted SMD to deliver a mechanical cutting boom and cable handling system for its T3200 tracked trenching vehicle. Combining simultaneous mechanical and jet trenching, it enables protection of submarine power cables in rock and other hard ground areas. [reNews]
    Note to Tom: Info on this can be found at this link: deepoceangroup.com/asset/t-3200/.

Tuesday, May 10:

  • According to the calculations by Agora Energiewende, due to the weather conditions on Sunday, May 8, renewable energy generation in Germany reached a new high. At 11 AM local time, renewables covered a record 95 % of the country’s electricity consumption. [pv magazine] Also, anticipating this, day-ahead spot prices went to minus €130.09/MWh (minus $147.94). See also [ICIS]
  • Anbaric Transmission and National Grid filed with the New York Public Service Commission for a permit for an extension of their Vermont Green Line. The project would connect 400 MW of New York wind generation to Vermont through lines under Lake Champlain. [RTO Insider]
Construction of the proposed 650-megawatt plant, called the CPV Valley Energy Center in Wawayanda, Orange County, seen here in a rendering, has already begun, but progress could soon grind to a halt. Photo Credit: New York Energy Highway

Construction of the proposed 650-megawatt plant, called the CPV Valley Energy Center in Wawayanda, Orange County, seen here in a rendering, has already begun, but progress could soon grind to a halt. Photo Credit: New York Energy Highway

  • Developers of a $900 million upstate New York [gas-fired] power plant are at the center of a federal probe into allegations of improper lobbying and conflicts of interest. They had sought and received important state approvals to fast-track the plant. Now, progress could soon grind to a halt. [Newsday]

Wednesday, May 11:

Evacuation of Fort McMurray. Photo by DarrenRD. CC BY-SA 4.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Evacuation of Fort McMurray. Photo by DarrenRD. CC BY-SA 4.0. Wikimedia Commons.

  • Worried evacuees desperate for a glimpse of their streets and neighborhoods got their first authorized peek inside the city ravaged by wildfire one week ago.  In all, 2,400 structures were destroyed, but another 25,000 buildings, along with hope for the future, remain. [CTV News]
  • Vermont-based manufacturer AllEarth Renewables announced a new program for Vermont homeowners, small businesses, and non-profits to go solar for just $1,000, which can be applied to purchasing the solar system after 5 years. Customers will see immediate electric bill savings. [pv magazine]
  • Opinion: “Almost Everything You Know About Climate Change Solutions Is Outdated, Part 1” • First, climate science and climate politics have been moving quickly to broad consensus. Second, technology for key climate solutions has become very affordable. Third, the media is largely clueless. [ThinkProgress]
Coal plants are increasingly unprofitable to run Credit: Phil Noble / Reuters.

Coal plants are increasingly unprofitable to run Credit: Phil Noble / Reuters.

  • Britain generated no electricity from coal on Tuesday for what is believed to be the first time since the 19th century, in a major milestone in the decline of the polluting power source. National Grid confirmed that none of Britain’s coal stations were running between midnight and 4 AM. [Telegraph.co.uk]
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