2016-06-16 Energy Week

Visitors Please Note: This blog is maintained to develop a weekly TV show, Energy Week with George Harvey and Tom Finnell. Each post goes up in incomplete form, and is given a series of updates, which are only complete when the last day’s material is filled in (usually Wednesday).

Within a few days of the last update, the show may be seen, along with older shows, at this link to the BCTV website: Energy Week Series.

Thursday, June 9:

06-09 growth of renewables and decline of coal

  • Analysis by the Institute for Energy Economics & Financial Analysis highlights the recent numbers, which showed the amount of electricity generated by hydro, wind, biomass, and geothermal sources together reached 19.2% of all power generation in the United States during March. [CleanTechnica]
  • Norway has become the first country to stop clear-cutting of trees, a huge step toward curbing global deforestation. In their pledge last week, Norwegian lawmakers also committed to find a way to source essential products like palm oil, soy, beef, and timber sustainably. [CNN]

Friday, June 10:

Wind farm in Australia.

Wind farm in Australia.

  • Australian wind energy saw its biggest ever month in May, producing nearly a quarter more electricity than any previous month, and overtaking hydro to provide 8.5% of the country’s grid electricity. And new analysis shows wind generation keeps a lid on wholesale electricity prices. [CleanTechnica]
  • A new report from the Brookings Institution points to numerous examples of solar actually lowering rates for utility customers, whether they have solar panels or not. Net-metered solar power reduced needs for more expensive power sources and helped stabilize the grid. [Grist]
  • After 11 hours in the Vermont Statehouse, there has been a policy resolution. A renewable energy bill vetoed by Governor Peter Shumlin earlier this week has been replaced by lawmakers with a substantially similar stand-in that addresses the governor’s concerns. [Vermont Public Radio]

Saturday, June 11:

George Shultz, Secretary of State under President Ronald Reagan, has long been an outspoken supporter of a carbon tax.

George Shultz, Secretary of State under President Ronald Reagan, has long been an outspoken supporter of a carbon tax.

  • “US Carbon Tax ‘Close To Inevitable,’ Conservative Leader Proclaims – Moral Disgrace Of Ignoring Global Warming Too Strong” • Some Republican congresspeople have taken the time to learn about global warming. They don’t want their party’s legacy to be denial supporting corruption. [CleanTechnica]
The island. Image by Tennet (www.tennet.eu).

The island. Image by Tennet (www.tennet.eu).

  • TenneT Holding BV presented a plan for building an island in the North Sea to connect over 30 GW of offshore wind farms and deliver power to countries in the region. The transmission system operator says the most suitable location for that island will be the Dogger Bank. [SeeNews Renewables]
  • Costa Rica is finishing up the largest hydroelectric power project in Central America, as the last generators come on line. The Reventazon dam is expected to produce 305.5 MW, enough for 525,000 homes. Costa Rica already gets 98% of its power from renewables. [PennEnergy]
Matson Inc's massive electric crane and the Pillar Mountain wind farm. Photo by Margaret Kriz Hobson.

Matson Inc’s massive electric crane and the Pillar Mountain wind farm. Photo by Margaret Kriz Hobson.

  • The Kodiak Electric Association has two flywheels, each of which can store up to 1 MW. That’s enough power to lift a heavy cargo container from the dock and move it to the ship. Renewables are supplying power at a much reduced cost, and diesel is 99.8% out. [Environment & Energy Publishing]

Sunday, June 12:

Flood in Paris on June 4. Photo by Thesupermat. CC BY-SA 4.0 international. Wikimedia Commons.

Flood in Paris on June 4. Photo by Thesupermat. CC BY-SA 4.0 international. Wikimedia Commons.

  • An international team of scientists provided calculations on recent floods in France. They found that global warming increased the chances for the Loire river basin flooding by 90% and the Seine river basin by 80%. That’s compared to a world with no man-made climate change. [Tulsa World]
Solar Impulse 2 flies above the Statue of Liberty.

Solar Impulse 2 flies above the Statue of Liberty.

  • Solar Impulse 2, the largest solar-powered aircraft in the world, landed early Saturday in New York City. It is the 14th stop and the final US destination in its year-old trek around the world. It flew past the Statue of Liberty before landing at John F. Kennedy International Airport. [CNN]

Monday, June 13:

Bloomberg New Energy Finance image

Bloomberg New Energy Finance image

  • “The World Nears Peak Fossil Fuels for Electricity” • The way we get electricity is about to change dramatically, as the era of ever-expanding demand for fossil fuels comes to an end, in less than a decade. That’s according to a new forecast by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. [Bloomberg]
  • While state officials are struggling to define New Hampshire’s energy future through a variety of legislative and regulatory proceedings, cities and towns in the state are not standing by waiting for the next signal from Concord. Many of them are moving forward aggressively, on their own. [The Union Leader]

Tuesday, June 14:

Night falls at the Mauna Loa Observatory. Photo by LCDR Eric Johnson, NOAA Corps. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

Night falls at the Mauna Loa Observatory. Photo by LCDR Eric Johnson, NOAA Corps. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

  • A big spike in atmospheric CO2 levels means the greenhouse gas is about to pass a symbolic threshold. This year will very likely mark the first time the concentration of CO2, as measured atop Hawaii’s famous Mauna Loa volcano, has been above 400 parts per million for the entire year. [BBC]
  • The Supreme Court on Monday left intact a key Obama administration environmental regulation, refusing to hear an appeal from 20 states seeking to block rules that limit the emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants from the nation’s power plants. [Washington Post]
  • Last year 35% of all the electricity provided by San Diego Gas & Electric came from renewable sources, a record for the company and for California investor-owned utilities. That puts the company well ahead of schedule for California climate change requirements of 33% by 2020. [inewsource]
  • Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed S. 260. He said the bill addresses criticism of weak local control over wind and solar-energy projects in an earlier bill he had vetoed, while at the same time supporting the growth of green-energy infrastructure. [Barre Montpelier Times Argus]

Wednesday, June 15:

Source: International Renewable Energy Agency.

Source: International Renewable Energy Agency.

  • A new study by Harvard University shows why criticisms of high costs to lower carbon emissions are nothing more than 100% baloney. It not only gives the lie to such absurd notions, it demonstrates in stark terms just how much economic value lowering emissions can create. [CleanTechnica]
  • The average cost of electricity from renewable sources is set to decline more, according to a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency. The cost from PVs could fall as much as 59% by 2025. Offshore wind may see cost reductions of 35%, followed by onshore wind at 26%. [Bloomberg]
Aerial view of Boardman Hill Solar Farm in Rutland, Vermont.

Aerial view of Boardman Hill Solar Farm in Rutland, Vermont.

  • The Boardman Hill Solar Farm is a great example of neighbors coming together to get affordable power through community-scale solar. The 150-kW project in West Rutland, Vermont arose when two people invited the town to a meeting to talk about a community project. [GreenBiz]

 

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