2016-08-16 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.

Scheduling at BCTV made it necessary to record this show on Tuesday, August 16, so it only has five days’ news.

Thursday, August 11:

Kiara Nirghin won Google's Community Impact Award.

Kiara Nirghin won Google’s Community Impact Award.

  • With South Africa in its worst drought in history, a 16-year-old schoolgirl from Johannesburg created a super absorbent polymer out of orange peel and avocado skins. It is capable of storing reserves of water hundreds of times its own weight, forming reservoirs that would allow farmers to maintain their crops at minimal cost. [CNN]
  • Exelon Corp said in its August 9 quarterly Form 10-Q report that the New York ISO has said its doesn’t need the Ginna nuclear plant operating beyond March of next year for grid reliability purposes. Ginna is a 581-MW, single-unit pressurized water reactor located in Ontario County, New York. [Electric Light & Power]
Harestanes wind farm in Scotland (Iberdrola image).

Harestanes wind farm in Scotland (Iberdrola image).

  • Wind power generated the equivalent of all Scotland’s electricity needs on 7 August, according to WWF Scotland. Analysis by WWF of data provided by WeatherEnergy found that for August 7, wind turbines in Scotland provided 39,545 MWh to the National Grid. Scotland’s demand for the day was 37,202 MWh. [reNews]
  • Germany added 150 bio-gas plants in 2015, with 23 MW of capacity. This was the smallest annual increase since the Renewable Energy Sources Act was first adopted in 2000. The overall pace of additional construction is somewhat disappointing. Nearly 9,000 bio-gas plants are currently operational in Germany. [Blue & Green Tomorrow]

Friday, August 12:

Deepwater wind – first US offshore project. Deepwater wind photo.

Deepwater wind – first US offshore project. Deepwater wind photo.

  • American offshore wind power is one step closer to becoming a reality, with installation of the first turbines at Deepwater Wind’s Block Island project now complete. The Block Island Wind Farm will be America’s first offshore wind farm, and it remains on-schedule to be fully commissioned this fall. [Renewables International]
  • A coalition of individuals and businesses seeking to protect Vermont’s environment and repower our state with local renewables have launched a campaign in support of wind power in Vermont. The coalition, Wind Works VT launched a website and will promote wind power as an essential part of the state’s energy future. [Vermont Biz]

Saturday, August 13:

Lightsource solar farm.

Lightsource solar farm.

  • The UK’s surging solar PV capacity has helped the country to a new quarterly renewable generation record. In Q1 2016 renewables generated 25.1% of the UK’s electricity despite lower than expected wind speeds and rainfall. That figure was up 2.3 percentage points on generation recorded in Q1 2015. [Solar Power Portal]
Scotland’s wind turbines (Image: Dorli Photography)

Scotland’s wind turbines (Image: Dorli Photography)

  • Scotland is pledging to reach 100% renewable sustainability for energy production by the year 2020, a reasonable goal after meeting 100% of the energy demand through wind power alone for a day. Scotland is believed to have the largest oil reserves in Europe, but has proven they largely do not need it. [Interesting Engineering]
  • Britain’s Chinese partner in the Hinkley Point power station deal has been accused of plotting to steal US nuclear secrets. A nuclear engineer for state-owned China General Nuclear is accused of setting up US experts to obtain sensitive information, confirming the worst suspicions of critics of the UK-Chinese nuclear deal. [Sputnik International]

Sunday, August 14:

Mountain Wind Power wind turbines in Uinta County, Wyoming. Photo by CGP Grey. CC BY-SA 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Mountain Wind Power wind turbines in Uinta County, Wyoming. Photo by CGP Grey. CC BY-SA 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.

“Who owns the wind? We do, Wyoming says, and it’s taxing those who use it” • Four years ago, the Wyoming Legislature began entertaining a lofty question: Who owns all of that wind? They concluded, quickly and conveniently, that Wyoming did. Then they did something no other state has done: They taxed it. [Los Angeles Times]

Residents of Sardar Para in Satjeliya Island and the village's solar panels. WWF photo.

Residents of Sardar Para in Satjeliya Island and the village’s solar panels. WWF photo.

The World Wildlife Fund offered the people of the village of Sardar Para, in Bangladesh, home solar systems, but many were skeptical. Then local women formed a self-help group and found an acceptable answer. A 4.1-kW PV array provides power, and each home has its own battery-powered energy access kit. [The Weekend Leader]

Monday, August 15:

 Stormy weather. (Photo: Ines Hegedus-Garcia / Flickr)


Stormy weather. (Photo: Ines Hegedus-Garcia / Flickr)

  • By mid-morning on Friday, in just a 12-hour stretch, more than a foot of rain fell near Kentwood, Louisiana. It was  a downpour with an estimated likelihood of just once every 500 years, and roughly three months’ worth of rainfall during a typical hurricane season. It’s the latest in a string of what had once been rare rainstorms. [Pacific Standard]
  • The crown estate has waded into the battle over Hinkley Point, pointing out that offshore windfarms are already cheaper than the proposed atomic reactors. The crown estate said that windfarms at sea will be on course to meet 10% of the country’s electricity by 2020, sooner than Hinkley Point C can to produce 7%. [The Guardian]
Jeremy Turner, managing forester at Stiles Brook Forest. Photo by Mike Faher/VTDigger

Jeremy Turner, managing forester at Stiles Brook Forest. Photo by Mike Faher/VTDigger

  • The managing forester for Stiles Brook Forest, in Windham County, Vermont, sees an uncertain future because of climate change. Some signs are stunted trees, increasing numbers of invasive insects, and a dwindling moose population. A controversial plan to install 28 wind turbines at Stiles Brook is part of the solution. [vtdigger.org]

Tuesday, August 16:

Wednesday, August 17:

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