2016-09-01 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, August 25:

LNG Carrier Galea. Photo by Wolfgang Meinhart. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

LNG Carrier Galea. Photo by Wolfgang Meinhart. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

  • A study raises questions about how much exports of Canadian liquefied natural gas would reduce carbon emissions abroad, a core justification for developing such an industry. The CD Howe Institute report said Canada’s LNG exports would likely increase emissions in most potential markets, aside from Asia. [Prince George Citizen]
  • The Vermont Public Service Board has approved Green Mountain Power’s plans to distribute $302,719 from a Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited fund to various projects around the state. Anaerobic digester research, renewable energy education, and Rutland solar development are the latest beneficiaries. [vtdigger.org]

Friday, August 26:

  • A CNN meteorologist is speaking out about going from questioning climate change to siding with the 97% of scientists who acknowledge human activities are warming the planet beyond repair. “As I tell my 11-year old, It’s OK to be wrong as long as you learn from your mistakes,” Chad Myers wrote this week. [Huffington Post]
A new startup is proposing turning abandoned oil and gas wells into energy storage vaults. Photo: Jurgen Vogt / Alamy / Alamy

A new startup is proposing turning abandoned oil and gas wells into energy storage vaults. Photo: Jurgen Vogt / Alamy / Alamy

  • In central Texas, a crew is repurposing an abandoned oil and gas well. They are developing a way to turn oil and gas wells into vaults for storing electricity, pumping water into the earth to be heated and pressurized. When it is released, it races through a turbine-generator above ground, generating electricity. [The Guardian]
  • Continuing to defy projections, wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources have set a series of records for domestic electrical generation during the first half of 2016, says a report from the US Energy Information Administration. Renewable generation was up 14.5%, natural gas rose by 7.7%, and coal declined 20.1%. [Greentech Lead]
  • The Vermont Green Line says it has entered into a partnership with Citizens Energy Corp to give low-income Vermont residents access to large quantities of renewable energy. Citizens Energy will finance its share of the Vermont Green Line and use its profits to help those in need in Vermont. [North American Windpower]

Saturday, August 27:

Flaring natural gas. Photo by Battenbrook. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Flaring natural gas. Photo by Battenbrook. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

  • Hydraulic fracturing and unconventional natural gas development may be associated with health issues such as sinus problems, migraines, and fatigue, according to a peer-reviewed study. The study acknowledges its own limitations and says more research is necessary to determine whether fracturing caused the symptoms. [Bloomberg BNA]
  • The UK can meet its energy and climate change targets without the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant, an Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit report found. More wind farms, gas-fired power stations, and demand management could save £1 billion a year “while keeping the lights on and meeting climate targets.” [This is The West Country]

Sunday, August 28:

Total is investing in SunPower. SunPower image.

Total is investing in SunPower. SunPower image.

  • Over the last five years, French oil and gas giant Total has acquired stakes in solar giant SunPower and battery integrators Stem and Sunverge, and has bought a battery company called Saft. Eventually, these companies could create a vertically integrated renewable energy giant of the future, replacing big oil. [Motley Fool]
  • Tesla Motors moved a step closer in its bid to buy SolarCity after federal regulators said the $2.6 billion deal doesn’t present antitrust concerns. According to Reuters, the Federal Trade Commission quickly signed off “because the merging companies have few or no overlaps.” The deal was announced earlier this month. [89.3 KPCC]

Monday, August 29:

Recently fallen snow on Colorado National Monument. Photo by Tewy. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Recently fallen snow on Colorado National Monument. Photo by Tewy. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

  • “Public lands and the next president” • The GOP platform, approved by the party in July, calls for the sale, privatization, or transfer of our public lands, including our national parks and monuments. The party’s nominee also poses serious risks to our public lands through his denial of the science of climate change. [Grand Junction Daily Sentinel]
  • The comprehensive win for Labor in the Northern Territory election means that state and territory governments proposing ambitious renewable energy targets are now in the majority in Australia. The new chief minister, who favors renewables, replaces one who loudly supported coal seam gas and fracking technologies. [RenewEconomy]
M-100 turbine. Nova image.

M-100 turbine. Nova image.

  • Nova Innovation has put power on the grid from a pair of 100-kW tidal turbines in the waters of Shetland. The device developer said the two-unit Bluemill installation is the “first offshore tidal array in the world to deliver electricity to the grid.” The initial M-100 turbine was installed off Shetland in March. [reNews]
  • According to US Wind, Maryland is poised to develop the nation’s first large-scale offshore windfarm. The 750-MW project would have up to 187 turbines, producing power for more than 500,000 homes. The company is surveying and installing a meteorological station to assess weather conditions at the site. [Southern Maryland Online]

Tuesday, August 30:

Crystal Serenity in a Norwegian Fjord. Photo by Bundesstefan. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons. 

Crystal Serenity in a Norwegian Fjord. Photo by Bundesstefan. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

  • The residents of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, a hamlet of about 1,400 people, welcomed 1,000 visitors as the giant cruise ship Crystal Serenity lay anchor off the shore. In the past, any ships that traveled through the region needed the help of ice breakers. However, now, with record sea ice loss in the Arctic, there isn’t the need. [Globalnews.ca]
  • The Iowa Utilities Board has given MidAmerican Energy the green light for Wind XI, the utility’s planed $3.6 billion wind energy investment, the largest renewable energy project in the state. The project is part of Des Moines-based MidAmerican’s goal to reach 100 percent renewable energy for Iowa customers. [The Gazette]
  • The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change has 130 institutions, supporting $13 trillion worth of investment. They urged the G20 nations to ratify the Paris agreement, saying countries must ratify the Paris COP21 climate agreement soon to guarantee strong climate policy and attract renewable energy investment. [CleanTechnica]

Wednesday, August 31:

Talk about a market opportunity. (Reuters/Aly Song)

Talk about a market opportunity. (Reuters/Aly Song)

 

  • A survey of 3,000 Chinese city-dwellers by Ipsos Mori, a polling company, found that a massive 97.6% of them would like to buy clean power. Of those, over 90% would be willing to pay extra for it. The poll was commissioned by the Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association. The problem is no one is selling it. [Quartz]
  • Omaha Public Power District announced Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station will cease operations October 24. The plant went into operation in September, 1973. The public power district says the move could save nearly $1 billion over the next 20 years, and executives say the move will keep electricity rates flat for the next five. [KETV Omaha]
  • The sharp increase in the use of renewables like solar and wind has provided more flexibility to the German electricity market. Energy-intensive industries have renewables to thank for the decline in wholesale prices. There have been a number of other economic benefits, including creation of jobs and exports. (Graphics) [EurActiv]

 

 

 

 

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