2016-06-02 Energy Week

Thursday, May 26:

The wind industry employed 1.1 million workers globally last year (sxc)

The wind industry employed 1.1 million workers globally last year (sxc)

  • More than 8.1 million people worldwide are now employed by the renewable energy industry, a 5% increase from last year, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. The report said that, while renewables jobs grew, thermal energy sector jobs fell. [reNews]
Offshore oil rig.

Offshore oil rig.

  • The price of oil has gone above $50 a barrel for the first time in 2016 as supply disruptions and increased global demand continue to fuel a recovery. The rise followed US data on Thursday showing that oil inventories had fallen, largely due to supply disruptions following fires in Canada. [BBC]

Friday, May 27:

  • Exxon Mobil stockholders passed a proposal to nominate outside candidates to the board with 62% support. The move could affect the company’s decisions on climate change. The New York City Comptroller, fiduciary for five pension funds, filed the proxy access resolution. [Scientific American]
Donald Trump_by_Gage_Skidmore_2

Donald Trump. Photo by Gage Skidmore. Wikimedia Commons.

  • Donald Trump pledged to make the US energy independent by reducing dependence on foreign oil and rolling back environmental regulations restricting oil and natural gas exploration. He vowed to cancel the Paris climate agreement and cut off all US funding for UN climate change initiatives. [CNN]
  • Solar Power now has more employees than either the Oil & Gas or Coal Extraction industries in the United States. The solar industry employed approximately 208,000 individuals at the end of 2015 versus more than 185,000 in oil and gas, or 190,000 in coal extraction.  [Electrek]
MIT gravity flow battery. Image courtesy of the research team.

MIT gravity flow battery. Image courtesy of the research team.

  • Cutting edge progress in flow battery technology is taking place in such areas as nanotechnology, membrane improvements and membrane-less systems. A more mundane energy storage breakthrough, from a research team at MIT, focuses on a way to eliminate the pumps. [CleanTechnica]

Saturday, May 28:

  • A recent decade-long study following the lives of over 6,000 US residents has shed some new light on the connection between air pollution and heart disease. It showed that people living in areas with more outdoor air pollution accumulate deposits in the arteries that supply the heart. [CleanTechnica]
  • The main European electricity companies will invest nearly €85 billion over the next four years to speed up their strategic transformation to enable them to deal with the foreseeable drop in coal and gas prices. They plan to focus more on renewable energy and networks. [The Corner Economic]
Sun and wind.

Sun and wind.

  • According to SUN DAY Campaign analysis of data on the first quarter of 2016, electric generation by wind rose 32.8% from first quarter 2015 and set a new record of 6.23% of total generation. Similarly, electrical generation from utility-scale solar thermal and PVs grew by 31.4%. [North American Windpower]

Sunday, May 29:

  • According to HIS Technology, a US-based economic and energy market research company, Africa’s total solar power capacity, estimated at 312 MW in 2013, grew to 1,315 MW in 2015, and is projected to reach 3,380 MW by 2017, a tenfold increase over a period of four years. [Sierra Express Media]
Statues on Easter Island are threatened by rising seas. Photo by Aupaelfary. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

Statues on Easter Island are threatened by rising seas. Photo by Aupaelfary. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

  • Venice, Stonehenge, and the Statue of Liberty are among more than two dozen World Heritage sites threatened by climate change, according to a UNESCO report. Emissions from burning fossil fuels are causing the greatest environmental threat facing the sites. [Mashable]
  • The US solar market is expected by year’s end to have grown 119% over 2015 numbers, with the number of panels installed providing a whopping 16 GW of power, more than doubling last year’s previous record-breaking 7.3 GW, according to Boston-based GTM Research. [Toledo Blade]

Monday, May 30:

Eversource has proposed to bury 60 miles of the infrastructure in the White Mountain National Forest. Photo placed in the public domain by its author, Ken Gallager. Wikimedia Commons.

Eversource has proposed to bury 60 miles of the infrastructure in the White Mountain National Forest. Photo placed in the public domain by its author, Ken Gallager. Wikimedia Commons.

  • New Hampshire’s utility siting regulators have extended their deadline for action on the Northern Pass transmission project to September 30, 2017, delaying plans for the $1.6 billion, 192-mile power line by months. Eversource Energy had hoped to get its permits this year. [MassLive.com]
  • Canada’s status as an “energy superpower” is under threat because the global dominance of fossil fuels could wane faster than previously believed, according to a draft report from a Canadian federal government think-tank. It sees fossil fuels becoming relegated to “minority status.” [CBC.ca]
Czech pumped storage plant at Dlouhe Strane. AP Photo / Adam Pemble

Czech pumped storage plant at Dlouhe Strane. AP Photo / Adam Pemble

  • The Dlouhe Strane pumped storage plant in the Czech Republic was built to balance electricity demands between day and night, but as renewable sources of energy have taken an increasing share of electricity generation, it now contributes to the stabilization of the power grid. [The Columbian]

Tuesday, May 31:

 A turbine being built for the Cape Sharp Tidal project. Andrew Vaughan / The Canadian Press.


A turbine being built for the Cape Sharp Tidal project. Andrew Vaughan / The Canadian Press.

  • The currents of the Bay of Fundy would easily generate enough power for all of Atlantic Canada’s needs, but have been too monstrously strong to be tamed. Now, Cape Sharp Tidal is betting on two turbines it will start installing in June. Each 2-MW turbine weighs 1,000 tonnes. [Globalnews.ca]|
  • UK-based company Renovare Fuels Limited has co-invented technology which can convert landfill gas into high-quality clean energy in the form of liquid diesel and gasoline fuel suitable for all motor vehicles. This would allow landfill operators to sell the fuel for vehicles. [Renewable Energy Focus]

Wednesday, June 1:

Residents from the neighbourhood of Abasand are not able to return yet. Reuters photo.

Residents from the neighbourhood of Abasand are not able to return yet. Reuters photo.

  • Some Fort McMurray residents are to return home for the first time since a huge wildfire displaced 90,000 people. Alberta’s Premier Rachel Notley said the conditions needed for the return of the residents had been met. Three neighbourhoods, however, are to remain off-limits. [BBC]
Windpower in China. Image from Wikipedia.

Windpower in China. Image from Wikipedia.

  • According to a GlobalData report, China installed 30.5 GW of wind power in 2015 – which accounts for nearly half of all new global wind energy installations. The US installed 8.6 GW, while third place Germany installed 6.1 GW. Brazil and India each installed 2.6 GW. [Inhabitat]
  • Solar, wind and hydropower sources were added in 2015 at the fastest rate the world has yet seen, according to the Renewables Global Status Report. Investments in renewables during the year were more than double the amount spent on new coal and gas-fired power plants. [BBC]
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