2016-07-14 Energy Week

Visitors Please Note: This blog is maintained to assist in developing a TV show, Energy Week with George Harvey and Tom Finnell. The post is put up 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, July 7:

Low cost steel and favourable regulations are helping to cut offshore wind power costs (Pic: DONG Energy A/S)

Low cost steel and favourable regulations are helping to cut offshore wind power costs (Pic: DONG Energy A/S)

  • DONG Energy set a record low price for offshore wind power in a winning bid to build two arrays off the coast of the Netherlands. DONG committed to supply electricity at €72.70/MWh ($80.40/MWh), not including transmission costs, which may add about €14/MWh. An industry goal is €100/MWh by 2020. [Climate Home]
  • In a mixed ruling, a federal court ruled that the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management were not in compliance with the Endangered Species Act or the National Environmental Policy Act when they issued a lease for the Cape Wind project off the coast of Massachusetts. [North American Windpower]
An anaerobic digester system in the UK.

An anaerobic digester system in the UK.

  • Almost a third more biogas energy is being produced in the UK compared to this time last year, according to new figures from industry trade body Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association. The AD Market Report shows that the UK now has 617 MW of biogas capacity, enough to power the equivalent of 800,000 homes. [FarmingUK]

Friday, July 8:

 AES Corp.'s Laurel Mountain battery complex in West Virginia. Photo courtesy of AES.


AES Corp.’s Laurel Mountain battery complex in West Virginia. Photo courtesy of AES.

  • On hot summer days, Los Angeles residents turn on air conditioners, creating a high demand for power. Five years from now, natural gas may no longer cover those summer peak loads. It is to be replaced by the world’s largest storage battery, capable of delivering over 100 MW for four hours. [Environment & Energy Publishing]
  • The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, unveiled plans to crack down on the most polluting vehicles. It is said to be the toughest plan ever proposed by any major city in the world. Specifically, Khan has proposed a £10 per day Emissions Surcharge on older vehicles and an extended Ultra-Low Emission Zone. [CleanTechnica]
  • The foreign oil firm TransCanada has filed a lawsuit against the US government under NAFTA rules, seeking $15 billion in compensation for the rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline project. The suit alleges that the US violated NAFTA’s broad rights for foreign investors by thwarting the company’s “expectations.” [CleanTechnica]
Illustration of Hinkley Point C nuclear station. Image: EDF Energy/PA

Illustration of Hinkley Point C nuclear station. Image: EDF Energy/PA

  • The total lifetime cost of the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant could be as high as £37 billion ($48 billion), according to an assessment published by the UK government. The figure was described as shocking by critics of the scheme, especially as the same energy department’s estimate 12 months earlier had been £14 billion. [The Guardian]

Saturday, July 9:

(two pictures on this story)

Fred. Olsen Windcarrier’s Brave Tern vessel will rise above the waters near Block Island to assemble the wind farm. Image credit: Fred. Olsen Windcarrier

Fred. Olsen Windcarrier’s Brave Tern vessel will rise above the waters near Block Island to assemble the wind farm. Image credit: Fred. Olsen Windcarrier

Turns were especially challenging and the team had to build its own roads to negotiate tight spots. Image credit: LM Wind Power

Turns were especially challenging and the team had to build its own roads to negotiate tight spots. Image credit: LM Wind Power

  • Photos: GE Renewable Energy is assembling the parts for five of their Haliade wind turbines for America’s first offshore wind farm, which is being built by Deepwater Wind near Block Island. The nacelles weigh 400 tons each. The blades are 240 feet long. The towers are 330 feet tall. The activity is quite a show. [Product Design & Development]
  • The International Energy Agency has painted a grim picture of the global oil market, with oil prices dropping, investment dropping, and supply increasing, all of which are hurting energy efficiency trends.The oil industry has cut more than $300 billion in spending in two years, or around 42% of the overall total. [CleanTechnica]
  • New York State utility regulators today released a proposal to subsidize Upstate nuclear plants with annual payments totaling an estimated $482 million a year. The public has until July 18 to comment. Exelon, the owner of the oldest two plants, said it will close them unless subsidies were approved by September. [Syracuse.com]

Sunday, July 10:

 The center of Greensburg, Kansas, twelve days after it was hit by an F5 tornado in 2007. Photo by Greg Henshall/FEMA. Public domain. Wikimedia Commons. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Greensburg_kansas_tornado.jpg


The center of Greensburg, Kansas, twelve days after it was hit by an F5 tornado in 2007. Photo by Greg Henshall/FEMA. Public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

  • America’s warm, wild and costly weather broke another record with the hottest June, federal meteorologists say. They also say 2016 is flirting with the US record for most billion-dollar weather disasters. In the first half of the year, there have been eight of them; eight used to be average for a whole year. [Las Vegas Review-Journal]
  • The forward to a new report quotes National Grid’s head of energy insights as saying, “We are in the midst of an energy revolution.” Two years ago, National Grid expected solar capacity in the UK to be 8 to 17 GW by 2030. Today, they see 15 GW as a minimum, and believe capacity could be as much as 39 GW. [CleanTechnica]
  • Bernie Sanders’ still-impassioned campaign electrified debate over the Democratic Party’s platform, winning concessions on climate change. Sanders supporters cheered when they won environmental amendments that included support for pricing greenhouse gases, prioritizing renewable energy, and limiting fracking. [SFGate]

Monday, July 11:

The developers' investment of £6.4 million will be boosted by £1.5 million from the Scottish Government

The developers’ investment of £6.4 million will be boosted by £1.5 million from the Scottish Government

  • As part of the Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator program, developers Dong Energy, EnBW, E.ON, Iberdrola, RWE, SSE, Statkraft, Statoil and Vattenfall have signed up to the initiative to help reduce the cost of offshore wind to below £100 per MWh by 2020. The developers will invest £6.4 million over the next four years. [edie.net]
  • Germany’s new renewable energy law is not as ambitious as other EU states and lacks stability in volumes for offshore wind, according to WindEurope. The law sets a variable offshore cap to ensure the country reaches its 15 GW wind energy target in the next 15 years, and it replaces feed-in tariffs with auctions. [Financial Times]
  • Estimated subsidies for nuclear plants in New York have soared to $965 million over the first two years of the Clean Energy Standard program, the Department of Public Service said in a new proposal. Initial estimates of the subsidies for nuclear facilities were in the range of $59 million to $658 million through 2023. [Albany Times Union]

Tuesday, July 12:

  • China will ban the construction of new coal-based chemical facilities and coal-fired power plants until 2018 and continue to shed overcapacity in coal mining and oil refining, according to the state news agency, Xinhua. The ban on projects should cut coal’s share of the overall mix to 58% from the 64% it currently has. [Web India 123]
  • Britain has generated more electricity from the sun than coal-fired power plants for the first time on a monthly basis, new research has shown. Solar panels in homes and businesses across the UK produced 1.38 TWh in May. The Times reported that was much more than coal-fired power stations, which added 0.89 TWh. [City A.M.]

Wednesday, July 13:

Colstrip power plant.

Colstrip power plant.

  • Washington’s power grid may have come one step closer to being carbon-free. In a settlement with the Sierra Club, Puget Sound Energy and co-owner Talen Energy finally agreed to shut down the two oldest, dirtiest units of a coal-fired power plant in Montana. PSE still gets 20% of its electricity from Colstrip. [Seattle Weekly]
  • Construction starts for new nuclear reactors fell to zero globally in the first half of 2016 as the atomic industry struggles against falling costs for renewables and a slowdown in Chinese building, a report on the industry showed. The number of reactors under construction is in decline for a third consecutive year. [Reuters]
Solar Impulse 2 flies over the pyramids of Giza.

Solar Impulse 2 flies over the pyramids of Giza.

  • The Solar Impulse 2 landed in Cairo on Wednesday for its penultimate stop as the solar-powered plane nears the end of its marathon tour around the world. After the two-day flight from Spain, just one final leg lies between it and its final destination, Abu Dhabi, where it started its odyssey in March last year. [Muscat Daily]
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s