2016-06-30 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 23:

California high-speed rail

California high-speed rail

  • The California High-Speed Rail Authority and the California Energy Commission have agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding that focuses attention on how the high-speed rail program can help California meets its climate goals and become a greener state. [RailwayAge Magazine]
  • Solar Impulse 2 has landed in Spain, completing the Atlantic leg of its historic bid to circumnavigate the globe. The landing in Seville marked the end of the 15th stage of Solar Impulse’s route. Mission managers will now plot a route to Abu Dhabi where the venture began in March, 2015. [BBC]
  • Vermont Democratic gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter laid out an energy plan focused on reducing emissions, supporting clean energy job growth, and cutting energy costs. Minter also called on all candidates to oppose moratoriums and bans on clean energy technologies. [Vermont Biz]

Friday, June 24:

BMW i3 battery

BMW i3 battery

  • BMW announced battery packs from its i3 model can power your home, integrating seamlessly with solar panels to store energy for use at night, to offset peak tariffs and act as a backup supply. Used BMW i3 battery packs could expand the system as they become available, extending their life. [Car Keys]
  • The US is expected to deploy 77.3 GW of distributed renewables, especially solar PVs, distributed wind power and biogas, between 2016 and 2025, according to a new report from Navigant Research. The report takes changes in net metering and tax incentives into account. [North American Windpower]
  • Maui Electric’s solar grid has reached its limit, but the electric company says those customers who want solar still have options. They can opt for the Self Supply program by installing PV systems, typically with batteries, providing power to the home but not exporting electricity to the grid. [KHON2]

Saturday, June 25:

Image source: Facebook

Image source: Facebook

  • According to Bloomberg, Volkswagen has agreed to pay up to $10 billion to resolve all issues pending before the court. The proposed agreement will be presented in US District Court on June 28. Details are not known, but payments to people who bought the cars in question may be up to $7,000. [Gas2]
  • “Overview – Brexit charts uneasy future for renewables” • The “world’s most complicated divorce” will have a huge impact on the UK’s environment and energy policies and on climate policy in the EU, the world’s largest political bloc, with a combined population of 500 million people. [SeeNews Renewables]
Searsburg Wind Power Facility in Searsburg, Vt. (AP File Photo/Tim Roske)

Searsburg Wind Power Facility in Searsburg, Vt. (AP File Photo/Tim Roske)

  • Key lawmakers in the Massachusetts Senate released a version of an energy bill that is more comprehensive than the House has passed. The Senate bill would require more renewable energy and would also include new provisions related to energy efficiency and energy storage. [MassLive.com]

Sunday, June 26:

One attraction in El Paso County is Pike's Peak. Photo by Aravis. Released into the public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

One attraction in El Paso County is Pike’s Peak. Photo by Aravis. Released into the public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

  • In Colorado, the El Paso County Assessor’s Office reported in February that values on property around a recently constructed wind farm near Calhan were on the rise. That trend still has not changed, county assessor told the county commissioners on Tuesday. [Colorado Springs Gazette]
Electric highway in Sweden

Electric highway in Sweden

  • Sweden is testing its first electric highway system for trucks. Siemens will help the country for next two years to test the eHighway system on a 1.25 miles stretch of highway on the north of Stockholm. The project may see a similar testing phase unveiled soon in California. [The TeCake]
  • Democrats approved a draft of the party platform that shows Bernie Sanders’ influence. Among lacking elements, however, were a carbon tax to address climate change and a moratorium on fracking. Bernie Sanders has said climate change is our biggest problem. [Sarasota Herald-Tribune]

Monday, June 27:

 Courthouse Square in Georgetown. Billy Hathorn. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Courthouse Square in Georgetown. Billy Hathorn. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

  • Georgetown, a small city in Texas, about 40 kilometers north of the Lone Star state’s capital Austin, has a big dream to become greener by using 100% renewable energy next year. It will be the first in the state and one of the few in the nation to be entirely powered by wind and solar energy. [Xinhua]
  • Dubai Electricity and Water Authority has awarded a consortium led by Abu Dhabi’s Masdar to build the 800-MW third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. The contract was awarded to the lowest bid, which is 2.99¢/kWh, which sets a new world record. [Emirates 24|7]
  • Greensmith Energy, founded in Herndon, Virginia, in 2008, has delivered over 70 MW of energy storage over the last two years for things like renewables smoothing, frequency regulation, and microgrids. It announced that at the current pace, it will install over 100 MW this year. [CleanTechnica]

Tuesday, June 28:

Scottish wind farm

Scottish wind farm

  • Scotland’s carbon emission level in 2014 was around 46% lower than its emission levels in 1990, meaning that the country has managed to achieve its 2020 target of 42% lower emissions, and even beat it, a full 6 years early. Recent data show a year-on-year decrease of 12.5%. [CleanTechnica]
  • This week, the US and Mexico will commit to joining Canada in boosting their use of wind, solar, and other carbon-free sources of electricity, helping the North American group meet an ambitious goal of generating at least 50% of its energy from “clean” sources by 2025. [BOE Report]
  • Volkswagen has reportedly reached a $15 billion settlement with US car owners after admitting it cheated emission tests. The deal would offer to repair or buy back the affected diesel vehicles and pay owners compensation. The US settlement is still pending approval by a judge. [BBC]
    ($15 billion is about 23% of VW’s market capitalization.)

Wednesday, June 29:

Construction at the Block Island wind farm site (Deepwater Wind)

Construction at the Block Island wind farm site (Deepwater Wind)

  • The first batch of GE 6-MW Haliade 150 turbine blades for use at the 30-MW Block Island offshore wind farm in the US have arrived at the ProvPort facility in Providence. The project will feature five of the GE turbines and will be the first offshore wind farm in the US. [reNews]
  • Vermont’s largest utility is also the first utility in the country to sell Tesla home batteries to its customers, betting that this could be the way of the future. It is doing this both for the homeowner’s private use and for the utility to draw on as a source of electricity. [WBUR]
  • US coal generation fell slightly in April to 72.2 GWh, down 0.1 GWh from March and down 18.5% from the same month a year ago. Overall, coal accounted for 24.6% of April generation compared to 34.1% from natural gas, 21.3% from nuclear and 19.8% from renewables. [Platts]
Ball Mountain Lake and Dam. US Army Corps of Engineers photo. Public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

Ball Mountain Lake and Dam. US Army Corps of Engineers photo. Public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

  • Also, we should talk about hydro projects in Townsend and Jamaica.



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