2016-09-15 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, September 8:

Øvre Forsland hydroelectric station. Photograph: Pedro Alvarez for the Observer.

  • Opinion: “Beauty and power: how Norway is making green energy look good” • On the edge of a forest in northern Norway, an unusual hydroelectric plant is generating a buzz. Øvre Forsland is a big departure from the hulking power stations. It looks more like an elegant, custom-built home from TV show Grand Designs. [The Guardian]
  • A new report highlights 15 signals of an energy transition occurring across the world, indicating a sustainable and equitable global energy system has irrevocably begun. The signs, detailed in a report by WWF-France and WWF-China, provide encouragement that the transition can be found just about everywhere. [Energy Matters]
Flooding and devastation in Baton Rouge, 15 August 2016. Credit: Melissa Leake/US Department of Agriculture.

Flooding and devastation in Baton Rouge, 15 August 2016. Credit: Melissa Leake/US Department of Agriculture.

  • Torrential rains unleashed on south Louisiana in August were made almost twice as likely by human-caused climate change, according to a quick-fire analysis. The team of scientists concluded that the likelihood of such an event is probably twice as great now as in 1900, but it is at least of 40% more likely. [Carbon Brief]

Friday, September 9:

  • Despite not receiving funding in the Australian Renewable Energy Agency large scale solar funding round, Lyon Solar says it is committed to going ahead with the largest single large scale solar and battery storage facility in the world – in South Australia – along with a similar solar plus storage plant in north Queensland. [RenewEconomy]
  • China is drawing more and more power from renewables. In fact, new data collected by Greenpeace shows that in 2015 the country’s growth in wind and solar energy more than exceeded its increase in electricity demand. Putting this in perspective, China installed half of the world’s new solar and wind capacity last year. [ZME Science]
A wind energy project in Vermont. File photo by Roger Crowley / VTDigger

A wind energy project in Vermont. File photo by Roger Crowley / VTDigger

  • A wind power proposal submitted to Vermont regulators includes an offer to buy out close neighbors who object to the turbines, according to consultants for the project. Property owners living within 3,000 feet of the Swanton Wind project will have six months after the project goes online to take up the offer. [BurlingtonFreePress.com]

Saturday, September 10:

  • Developer Iberdrola Renewables has said it will abide by the results of a November vote by residents in the Vermont towns of Windham and Grafton on whether a 28-turbine project should proceed. However, town officials say town residents will have all the information they need by Election Day. The wind farm would be the state’s largest. [vtdigger.org]
New Bedford, Massachusetts. (EPA photo by C Pesch. Public domain. Wikimedia Commons)

New Bedford, Massachusetts. (EPA photo by C Pesch. Public domain. Wikimedia Commons)

  • The city of New Bedford was highlighted as two Cabinet members released a national strategy for offshore wind development, while touring a turbine testing facility in Charlestown, capping a month-long period launching the renewable energy industry in America, Massachusetts, and SouthCoast. [SouthCoastToday.com]
  • The National Electrical Manufacturing Association laid out a strategic vision for microgrid development and use for the 21st century in ¨Powering Microgrids for the 21st Century Electrical System.¨ It says microgrids will make a transition from off-grid ¨island¨ systems to integral parts of broader-based power grid networks. [Microgrid Media]

Sunday, September 11:

Fang geothermal plant, Chiang Mai, Thailand (Helmut Duerrast, creative commons)

Fang geothermal plant, Chiang Mai, Thailand (Helmut Duerrast, creative commons)

  • Thailand has been seeking to diversify from its currently fossil fuel based power generation towards more renewable energy power generation. Geothermal is one of the available options, and a local TV station carried some footage covering geothermal plant in the province of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. [ThinkGeoEnergy]
Danish offshore wind turbines (Shutterstock)

Danish offshore wind turbines (Shutterstock)

  • The vision the federal government unveiled on Friday calls for wind farms off of nearly every US coastline by 2050, in an effort to generate 86 GW of electricity from offshore wind, enough zero-carbon power for more than 23 million homes. Offshore wind is a major part of the US strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. [Grist]

Monday, September 12:

 End for fossil fuels (Photo by Bill Allsopp / Loop Images)


End for fossil fuels (Photo by Bill Allsopp / Loop Images)

  • “Beginning of the End for Fossil Power” • The prospectus of E.ON’s conventional generation spin-off, says, “Conventional generation of power faces the risk of losing competitiveness against renewable energy and thus market share, and, over the long term, even faces the risk of disappearing completely from the market.” [Bloomberg]
  • Some downstate New York lawmakers don’t like the fact that their constituents must now subsidize energy produced at nuclear plants in upstate regions. The legislators take issue with the state Public Service Commission’s decision to include subsidies for nuclear power in the Clean Energy Standard, approved in August. [WatertownDailyTimes.com]

Tuesday, September 13:

 Julia Olson, chief legal counsel of Our Children's Trust


Julia Olson, chief legal counsel of Our Children’s Trust

  • Opinion: “Meet the mom litigating the ‘biggest case on the planet'” • Julia Olson is litigating what should be considered the most important court case in the United States: She’s helping 21 kids, as young as age 9, sue the Obama administration over its insufficient action on climate change. Olson will attempt to make their case for the future. [CNN]
  • Phoenix Energy, an alternative energy company from Nevada, is bidding $38 million for the unfinished Bellefonte Nuclear Plant in Hollywood, Alabama. The Tennessee Valley Authority has invested some $5 billion in the plant since construction began in the mid-1970s, but it was never finished as demand leveled off. [WAAY]
  • Austin Energy’s partial ownership of a coal-fired power plant might cost the utility $10 million a year, a report says. The analysis, commissioned by Public Citizen, found that dramatic expansions of wind and solar generation combined with rock-bottom prices for natural gas had ruined the economics of most coal plants. [MyStatesman.com]

Wednesday, September 14:

Upstream oil and gas investment in 2015, by region. Source: World Energy Investment 2016, IEA.

Upstream oil and gas investment in 2015, by region. Source: World Energy Investment 2016, IEA.

  • “Seven charts show new renewables outpacing rising demand for first time” • For the first time ever, investment in new renewables was more than enough to cover rising global electricity demand in 2015. While fossil fuels still dominate energy supplies, investment data point towards a “reorientation of the energy system”. [eco-business.com]
  • According to the International Energy Agency, which gave details in a detailed analysis of investment across the global energy system, global energy investment fell by 8% in 2015, with a drop in oil and gas upstream spending outweighing continued robust investment in renewable, electricity networks and energy efficiency. [Business Standard]
  • Energy leaders from across Vermont met in Vernon this week to help the town plan for life after Vermont Yankee. Entergy Corporation closed VY in December, 2014, leaving behind an enormous switchyard that can handle hundreds of megawatts of electricity from a power plant. The town wants to use that for its tax base. [Vermont Public Radio]
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