2016-06-23 Energy Week

Visitors Please Note: This blog is maintained to assist in developing a TV show, Energy Week with George Harvey and Tom Finnell. It is usually posted in incomplete form, and is updated with news until it is completed, usually on Wednesday. The source is geoharvey.wordpress.com.

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

Thursday, June 16:

A WindFloat prototype, sited off the shore of Portugal. Courtesy of WindFloat.

A WindFloat prototype, sited off the shore of Portugal. Courtesy of WindFloat.

  • Embracing the sun or wind isn’t necessarily a scalable option for islands such as Hawaii that have limited soil-bound real estate. The state is also still heavily dependent on oil, which was responsible for about 68% of its electricity as recently as 2014. Ocean energy is an option. [GreenBiz]
  • Australia is expected to be producing 25,000 GWh of annual power from rooftop PV systems by 2035-36, as compared to 5,600 GWh today, the Australian Energy Market Operator said. This would be equivalent to 11% of current electricity consumption from the grid. [SeeNews Renewables]
  • The Indian Ministry of Power says slowing demand growth means India doesn’t need any power plants over the next three years beyond those already under construction, or renewable projects which the government is committed to. It is a sign that the coal industry is weakening. [RenewEconomy]

Friday, June 17:

Stockholm

Stockholm

  • Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, has announced it will divest from investments in coal, oil, and gas, following a one-and-a-half year citizen-led campaign. The city declared that it would withdraw investments in coal, oil, and gas companies, amounting to about $3.5 million. [CleanTechnica]
  • The Obama Administration laid out an extensive list of federal, utility and private actions to scale up microgrids, energy storage and renewable energy throughout the US. The commitments made at the event represent about $1 billion in energy storage investments alone. [Microgrid Knowledge]
Fort Calhoun nuclear reactor during Missouri River flood. Photo by US Army Corps of Engineers. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

Fort Calhoun nuclear reactor during Missouri River flood. Photo by US Army Corps of Engineers. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

  • The Omaha Public Power District voted Thursday to shutter the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station, which is the nation’s smallest nuclear power plant. The board decided it was in the best financial interest of the utility and its customers to close the plant by the end of this year. [York News-Times]

Saturday, June 18:

  • The Japanese government has advised Nigeria to adopt renewable energy for the provision of electricity in the country. The leader of a Japanese delegation gave the advice in relation to the continuous militant activities which is disrupting gas supply for the generation of electricity. [TODAY.ng]
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook 2016.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook 2016.

  • Renewable power production in the US is expected to overtake coal-fired generation by 2029, according to the Reference case of the US Energy Information Administration. This projection is based on the assumption that the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) is implemented. [SeeNews Renewables]
    NB The EIA is notorious for overstating the time it takes for renewable energy to grow.

Sunday, June 19:

Aerial view of the solar rooftop at Strictly Pediatrics Surgical Center.

Aerial view of the solar rooftop at Strictly Pediatrics Surgical Center.

  • The largest solar power rooftop in Central Texas was unveiled at the Strictly Pediatrics Surgery Center in Austin. Built by Freedom Solar Power, its nearly 2,500 solar panels should meet half of the building’s energy needs. It is expected to create more than 1.2 million kWh of electricity annually. [KXAN.com]
  • This past May was the warmest May month in a 137-year period, breaking global temperature records, according to a report published Thursday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Right now, 2016 is on pace to be the hottest year on record. [CNN]
President Barack Obama speaks in front of the Yosemite Falls. Jacquelyn Martin / AP Photo

President Barack Obama speaks in front of the Yosemite Falls. Jacquelyn Martin / AP Photo

  • President Obama says climate change is the biggest threat to US national parks. He says meadows are already drying out at Yosemite National Park in California, where he spoke Saturday after spending the night in the park with his wife, Michelle, and daughters Malia and Sasha. [Capital Public Radio News]

Monday, June 20:

Solar Impulse SI2. November 14, 2014. Photo by Milko Vuille. CC BY-SA 4.0 international. Wikimedia Commons.

Solar Impulse SI2. November 14, 2014. Photo by Milko Vuille. CC BY-SA 4.0 international. Wikimedia Commons.

  • The sun-powered Solar Impulse 2 aircraft set off from New York’s JFK airport, embarking on the transatlantic leg of its flight around the world to promote renewable energy. The flight is expected to take about 90 hours before landing at Spain’s Seville airport. [Bangkok Post]
  • Clean Energy Collective is executing the next phase of its Massachusetts development plan by adding 21 MW of solar projects to its portfolio. The new community solar capacity, delivered across 14 projects, will serve customers in areas of Uxbridge and southeast Massachusetts.
 Solar thermal collection troughs. (Credit: CSIRO)


Solar thermal collection troughs. (Credit: CSIRO)

  • Solar thermal technology is being used to power the air-conditioning system of an entire shopping center in Australia. The system’s trough collectors capture solar heat and stores it in oil. The oil’s heat powers an indirect evaporative cooler to cool the center in summer. [Gizmag]

Tuesday, June 21:

  • Recent trends demonstrate a rapid growth in corporations directly buying renewable energy from wind, solar and other renewable energy generators. Renewable energy capacity under corporate power purchase agreements doubled each year from 2012 to 2015. [Lexology]
  • Entergy Nuclear got approval from state regulators to build another storage facility to hold the balance of its spent nuclear fuel that is currently in Vermont Yankee’s spent-fuel pool. The decision allows Entergy to create space for 22 dry casks to hold radioactive fuel. [Barre Montpelier Times Argus]
Artist’s concept of the X-57. (NASA Langley / Advanced Concepts Lab, AMA, Inc.)

Artist’s concept of the X-57. (NASA Langley / Advanced Concepts Lab, AMA, Inc.)

  • An electric plane project is in the works at NASA, and the new aircraft is called the X-57. It’s an initiative to demonstrate that electric-powered aviation can be clean, quiet, and quick. With 14 small engines means the X-57 will need less energy to cruise at a speed of 175 mph. [Fox News]

Wednesday, June 22:

  • The nuclear reactors at Diablo Canyon, the last two in California, will close in 2024 and 2025 when their licenses expire, according to a proposal by PG&E, environmental groups, and unions. They are not economically viable, as costs for solar and wind power decline. [Bloomberg]
  • Leading investment bank Morgan Stanley believes the Australian energy market is seriously underestimating the grow of solar and battery storage, and says the technology will be installed at rates four times quicker than the incumbent energy industry expects. [RenewEconomy]
Image Credit: University of Cambridge

Image Credit: University of Cambridge

  • The University of Cambridge has blacklisted all investment in coal and tar sands companies following mounting pressure to divest from fossil fuels. The University currently has no coal or tar sands investments, and has “no expectation of having any such exposure.” [CleanTechnica]
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