2016-07-21 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 14:

One of the two huge Archimedes screws being installed at Otley Weir.

One of the two huge Archimedes screws being installed at Otley Weir.

  • Work on a hydroelectric turbine at Otley Weir in Yorkshire began last November but was seriously hampered by high river levels and the Boxing Day floods. Now, the project is back on track, as two Archimedes screw turbines, each the length of a single-decker bus and nearly twice as wide, have been lifted into place. [Wharfedale Observer]
  • A report from GTM Research analyzed rate structures of 51 US utilities to assess economics of commercial electric storage management. Its data show commercial energy storage economics are currently attractive in seven US states, and are expected to increase in attractiveness over the next five years to 19 states. [CleanTechnica]
  • A bipartisan senate bill aims to establish investment tax credits for various types of energy storage in commercial applications and for residential battery storage. For commercial energy storage applications of at least 5 kWh, the bill proposes the same tax incentive as is currently available for solar. [SeeNews Renewables]

Friday, July 15:

Salt Lake City. Photo by Skyguy414. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Salt Lake City. Photo by Skyguy414. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

  • Salt Lake City announced Wednesday its commitment to transition to 100% renewable energy sources by 2032. The city also plans to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2040. In the resolution, city officials stated that changes in water systems and extreme-weather events are increasingly having effects locally. [EcoWatch]
  • Opinion: “From Global Temps to Clean Energy, Broken Records Define the Climate Crisis” • We’re living in a time of records. More renewable energy came on stream in 2015 than ever, 147 GW, equal to Africa’s entire generating capacity. Other records were broken. But are the good records enough to help us deal with the bad? [AlterNet]


  • New figures from the US Energy Information Administration show that energy intensity continued its twenty-five year decline in 2015 in nearly every world region. According to the EIA, global energy intensity, measured as energy consumption per unit of GDP, has decreased by nearly one-third between 1990 and 2015. [CleanTechnica]

Saturday, July 16:

Reuters image / John Sommers II

Trump introducing Pence. Reuters image / John Sommers II.

  • Donald Trump’s choice for vice president, the conservative governor of Indiana, Mike Pence, denies climate change and is an outspoken coal advocate. His record has made him a favorite in the very conservative wing of the Republican Party and earned him large contributions from the fossil fuel industry. [InsideClimate News]
  • The Long Island Power Authority has formally recommended to its board of directors a proposal from Deepwater Wind, a Rhode Island company, to construct a 90-MW, 15-turbine wind farm in federally leased waters approximately 30 miles east of Montauk, New York, the utility’s chief executive officer has confirmed. [East Hampton Star]
  • The asking price for the 13 TransCanada hydro dams on the Connecticut and Deerfield Rivers has passed $1 billion. The dams, totaling about 560 MW of power, were bought by TransCanada in 2005 for about $500 million. The high price tag means Vermont alone will not make an offer, but is still a potential partner for a proposed deal. [Vermont Biz]

Sunday, July 17:

Global warming will take a toll on reptiles and birds. @bberwyn photo.

Global warming will take a toll on reptiles and birds. @bberwyn photo.

  • Birds and reptiles in fragmented habitat in the Southwest will be hit hardest by global warming in the decades ahead, according to a study by scientists with the US Geological Survey and the Northern Arizona University. The researchers did studies of approximately 30 animals. [Summit County Citizens Voice]
Ditching coal is un-American. US National Park Service photo. Public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

Ditching coal is un-American. US National Park Service photo. Public domain. Wikimedia Commons.

  • Coal is looking at taking a starring role during the Republican national convention, as it gains greater support. The fossil fuel was included in the draft political platform ahead of this week’s convention in Cleveland. The draft platform includes a sentence in support of “clean coal,” an edit offered by a Texas delegate. [Washington Examiner]

Monday, July 18:

Wind farm. Siemens photo.

Wind farm. Siemens photo.

  • Siemens has signed a cooperation agreement with Cuban utility Union Electrica to modernize the country’s energy infrastructure and boost renewables. The German company and the state-owned utility will pursue projects and services for power generation, transmission and distribution, renewable energy, and automation. [reNews]
  • “The Truth About Australia’s Soaring Electricity Prices” • Wind and solar has again been blamed for South Australia’s high power prices. Just because this is often repeated, it doesn’t’ make it true. The spikes in electric costs have been around since before the first solar panel or wind turbine was installed. [Energy Matters]
  • The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce is stepping up its fight against South Carolina Electric & Gas’ annual rate increases to help pay for new reactors at the VC Summer Nuclear Station near Jenkinsville. If approved, it will be the ninth rate increase related to the nuclear plant since 2009. [Charleston Post Courier]

Tuesday, July 19:

Offshore wind farm. Photo by Tycho. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Offshore wind farm. Photo by Tycho. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

  • A building boom is underway offshore in Europe with hundreds of turbines being installed. With low oil prices, all this building work might seem to make little economic sense. But with falling prices for offshore wind power, the cost of electricity from new offshore wind is almost 30% cheaper than new nuclear. [The Ecologist]
  • Scientists have found yet another issue with fracking. Asthma patients are 1.5 to four times more likely to have asthma attacks if they live near bigger or a larger number of unconventional natural gas development wells, according to a study published Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine. [CNN]
  • Australian infrastructure investor Lyon Group says it plans to build the world’s biggest solar plus storage project in South Australia in the next two years, and sees a huge future for combined solar and battery storage plants. The first project for South Australia includes 100 MW of solar PVs and 40 MW of storage. [RenewEconomy]

Wednesday, July 20:

Clear-cut forest. Photo by Calibas. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Clear-cut forest. Photo by Calibas. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

  • The UK imports millions of tons of American wood pellets every year to be burned in power stations for ‘climate friendly’ electricity. But the practice is devastating forests, and the UK government’s own research shows that it’s worse for the climate than the coal it replaces, as forests that offset carbon emissions are being destroyed. [The Ecologist]
  • The Vermont Public Service Board issued an order scaling back support for solar, bringing loud complaints from environmentalists and industry officials. The changes include a sharp reduction in the amount of power utilities will be required to buy from customers who generate their own power for net metering. [Barre Montpelier Times Argus]
Republicans would reclassify coal as a "clean energy resource."

Republicans would reclassify coal as a “clean energy resource.”

  • The final Republican platform would pull the United States out of the international climate accord, open national forests for logging, and declare coal a “clean energy resource.” It would also end limits to CO2 emissions, pull the US out of the United Nations climate process, and end all subsidies to renewable energy. [Deutsche Welle]
  • The Scottish courts have quashed planning consent for 2.3 GW of offshore wind farms off the country’s east coast. In doing so, it sided with claims by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, which was acting to protect birds and other wildlife. The Scottish Government said it remains committed to offshore wind. [reNews]
  • The Obama Administration announced it has partnered with six federal agencies to pursue a new catalytic goal to deploy 1 GW of solar power systems for low-to-moderate-income families by 2020. The new objective is a tenfold increase of the president’s initial target of 100 MW set in his Climate Action Plan. [SeeNews Renewables]

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