2016-09-22 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 15:

 USS Chung-Hoon (Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Daniel Barker. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons)


USS Chung-Hoon (Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Daniel Barker. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons)

  • Climate change could potentially cause great distress to military operations, according to US military officials. In a statement by the Center for Climate and Security, they say climate change increases risks for international conflict, that it could pose strategic risks, and that inaction against the issue is not advisable. [Science World Report]
  • According to a report from the independent financial think tank Carbon Tracker Initiative, renewable power generation costs are already lower on average worldwide than fossil fuels. It says clean energy plants will only become more cost-competitive by 2020. The findings are based on examination of the Levelized Costs of Electricity. [CleanTechnica]
SunCommon solar home in Caledonia County (Courtesy photo)

SunCommon solar home in Caledonia County (Courtesy photo)

  • Green Mountain Power and SunCommon today announced a partnership allowing customers to store their solar power for security during power outages. The first of its kind program in Vermont partners a utility with a solar company to offer home storage that strengthens the grid and allows homes to power from solar during outages. [Vermont Biz]

Friday, September 16:

August 2016 temperature anomaly

August 2016 temperature anomaly

  • In what has become a common refrain this year, last month ranked as the hottest August on record, according to NASA data. The month tied July as the hottest month the world has seen in the last 136 years. August came in at 1.76˚F (0.98˚C) above the average from 1951-1980, and 0.16˚C above August 2014. [CleanTechnica]
  • Tesla has won a bid to supply grid-scale power in Southern California to help prevent electricity shortages following the biggest natural gas leak in US history. The battery system will provide 20 MW of power, with energy sufficient for 2,500 homes for a full day. A 2-MW system costs $2.9 million, but larger systems are negotiated. [SCNow]
Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor

  • The High Technology Development Corporation announced that its Hawaii Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies program just awarded a $1.5 million contract to design a series of six interconnected microgrids at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Each microgrid is to be supplied by its own renewable energy. [Microgrid Media]

Saturday, September 17:

  • The once-lucrative Kidston gold mine, in northern Queensland, ceased operations 15 years ago. Now, it will be the home of a one-of-a-kind renewable energy project. Genex Power will use the mine’s two craters to create the world’s first pumped hydroelectric energy storage system in conjunction with an integrated solar farm. [Energy Digital]
 Growth of solar generation


Growth of solar generation – 8 years – average 44% growth

Growth of wind power

Growth of wind power – 11 years – average 24% growth

  • As the DC Circuit Court of Appeals prepares to hear challengers’ arguments against the Clean Power Plan on September 27th, the most up-to-date analysis shows that the Clean Power Plan’s goals have become even more readily achievable. The electricity sector is already shifting to clean energy. [Natural Resources Defense Council]
  • Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the release of New York State’s offshore wind blueprint, a framework that could lead to a proposed 90-megawatt, 15-turbine wind farm 30 miles east of Montauk. The blueprint is an initial step toward harvesting the 39 GW of wind energy potential that lies off the state’s Atlantic coast. [East Hampton Star]
  • The Los Angeles City Council took a major step toward making the city run on clean energy alone. The Council directed the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to develop a plan for going 100% renewable, including looking at where, when, and how the city should allocate resources to achieve that goal. [ThinkProgress]

Sunday, September 18:

The Raglan Mine's wind turbine in Quebec. (Tugliq Energy Co.)

The Raglan Mine’s wind turbine in Quebec. (Tugliq Energy Co.)

  • A University of Waterloo study says bringing solar and wind energy to Canada’s remote Arctic communities goes beyond being possible and environmentally beneficial to big savings. “If you run the system as is now, versus you run with renewables, the savings are so compelling that basically you have a business case,” [CBC.ca]
  • A total of 18,960 out of 19,567 villages have been electrified in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh so far, the Central Government has announced. This leaves 607 villages to be supplied. Some of the villages have been provided with power from the state electric company’s grid. Others have been supplied with local solar power. [Daily Pioneer]

Monday, September 19:

The Cahaba River. Photo Pat Hayes via flickr.com, creative commons license.

The Cahaba River. Photo Pat Hayes via flickr.com, creative commons license.

  • On September 9, a 36-inch pipeline was shut down in Alabama, after it began leaking thousands of gallons of gasoline into the Cahaba River. Six different states declared emergencies in anticipation of significant fuel shortages resulting from the shutdown, but so far the news has barely scratched its way onto the national radar. [CleanTechnica]
  • Vermont utility Morrisville Water and Light has appealed a state finding that utility officials say could turn a marginally profitable hydroelectric dam into an operation that loses more than $100,000 a year and poses downstream dangers. Agency of Natural Resources officials said federal law required them to rule as they did. [vtdigger.org]

Tuesday, September 20:

 Offshore oil rig


Offshore oil rig

  • Opinion: “Oil Investment Crash Could Continue For Another Year” Investment in upstream operations in the oil and gas industry shrank by a quarter last year and is expected to continue to shrink this year by another 24%. Next year the trend could continue, for the longest investment decline period in the history of the industry. [OilPrice.com]
  • The price of solar PV continues to fall. On Monday, a new record low of 2.42¢/kWh was set in a tender for a large solar park in Abu Dhabi, not by an industry outlier but by the biggest manufacturer of solar modules in the world, JinkoSolar. Even this could be beaten, as there are reports of another, lower bid coming. [RenewEconomy]
  • A federal appeals court ruled it will take more time to consider a request from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe for an emergency injunction against the Dakota Access pipeline. But at the same time, the US Army Corps of Engineers issued a Special Use Permit for protesters to legally occupy federal land at Lake Oahe. [CleanTechnica]
  • Avangrid Renewables representatives, joined by Vermont Governor Shumlin and local elected officials, broke ground on Deerfield Wind today in Searsburg, on US Forest land. The 30-MW project will include 15 Gamesa wind turbines, and it will provide enough energy each year for about 14,000 Vermont households. [Vermont Biz]

Wednesday, September 21:

Huitengxile wind farm, Inner Mongolia (Photo by Steven Buss, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

Huitengxile wind farm, Inner Mongolia (Photo by Steven Buss, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

  • As an outcome of the recent G20 meeting in China, both China and the US volunteered to publish peer reviews of their current fossil fuel subsidies. Together, the two countries are annually providing over $20 billion in inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. Of this, $8.1 billion comes from the United States, and $14.5 billion from China. [CleanTechnica]
  • A revolution is taking place in the global energy sector, with investments in oil and gas declining by 25% in 2015 while energy produced from renewables rose by more than 30%. “We have never seen such a decline [in oil and gas investment]”, said Dr Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency. [AlterNet]
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