2016-10-06 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 29:

Golden Eagle (Photo by Martin Mecnarowski, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

Golden Eagle (Photo by Martin Mecnarowski, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

  • The findings of a twenty year-long research project shows that golden eagles in proximity to the Beinn an Tuirc windfarm in Scotland are thriving. The wind farm has long-term resident birds successfully raising chicks, throwing a spanner in the works for anyone who claims wind farms and wind turbines are inherently dangerous to birds. [CleanTechnica]
Damaged transmission towers that brought the grid down (Photo: Twitter / Vic_Rollison)

Damaged transmission towers that brought the grid down
(Photo: Twitter / Vic_Rollison)

  • Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has put the country’s renewable energy mix up for discussion, unleashing a political storm over the blackout in South Australia. Experts insisted the statewide electricity failure had “absolutely nothing” to do with that state’s heavy reliance on wind power. [North Queensland Register]
  • China’s largest private investor group, China Minsheng New Energy Investment Co, is developing a 2-GW solar farm in the Ningxia region which will be made up of some 6 million solar panels. According to Bloomberg, it will be the largest solar farm the world has ever seen, requiring an investment of up to $2.34 billion. [Bloomberg]
  • The City of Burlington, Vermont, wants to use waste heat from several major sources around town, which otherwise would be vented into the atmosphere, and use it to heat buildings and create hot water. A partnership of the city, businesses, advocates, and organizations will explore the potential of creating a district energy system. [Vermont Biz]

Friday, September 30:

 Longannet power station in Scotland (Photo: Deadline News / REX / Shutterstock)


Longannet power station in Scotland (Photo: Deadline News / REX / Shutterstock)

  • Coal generated a record low 6% of the UK’s electricity this spring, official figures show. The share of coal in the power mix fell from 20% in the same period last year. Ferrybridge C, in West Yorkshire, and Longannet, in Scotland, have both closed, and Drax, in North Yorkshire, has switched from the fossil fuel to burning biomass. [The Guardian]
  • New York Governor Andrew M Cuomo announced the completion of Long Island’s 35,000th residential solar project, marking a 320% growth in solar over the last four years. The Governor’s Clean Energy Standard would supply 50% of the state’s electricity from renewable energy resources by 2030. [LongIsland.com]
  • The UK has signed its £18 billion contract with France and China to build the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, giving the final go-ahead for construction at the site in Somerset. The deal was finalized at a low-key ceremony in London, just two months after Theresa May put the entire project under review.
    [The Guardian]

Saturday, October 1:

German coal-burning plant (photo by Harald Lordick, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

German coal-burning plant (photo by Harald Lordick, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

  • A quarter of hard coal-fired generation capacity in Germany may shut ahead of schedule if plant operators forgo spending on upgrades, according to Norwegian consulting firm Nena AS. Steag GmbH, the fifth-biggest power producer in Germany, is considering shuttering at least five of its 13 German coal stations. [Bloomberg]
Owl (Photo by Shutter Stock/Matt Gibson)

Owl (Photo by Shutter Stock/Matt Gibson)

  • Siemens unveiled a new raft of wind turbine designs this week at the WindEnergy Hamburg trade show, including a low-noise wind turbine which the company explains was inspired by the silent flight of the owl. The new SWT-3.3-130LN wind turbine operates at a reduced rotor speed and has addons for reduced noise. [CleanTechnica]
  • Menlo Park, Atherton, Woodside, Portola Valley, and several other municipalities in California’s San Mateo County, have signed up as customers of the new Peninsula Clean Energy program to buy municipal electricity that is 100% sourced from renewable sources. The Peninsula Clean Energy program starts October 1. [The Almanac Online]

Sunday, October 2:

Tesla Powerwalls at an event at the Gigafactory

Tesla Powerwalls at an event at the Gigafactory

  • Eneco, a Dutch utility, wants to use several hundred Tesla Powerwall batteries to create a “virtual power plant,” and they are willing to pay customers to participate. If Eneco can tap into just 30% of the storage capacity of hundreds of Powerwalls, it can avoid using peaking plants powered by fossil fuels to balance the grid. [Teslarati]
  • A review of the safety of France’s nuclear power stations found that at least 18 of EDF’s units are “operating at risk of major accident due to carbon anomalies.” The review was carried out at the request of Greenpeace France following the discovery of serious metallurgical flaws in a reactor vessel at Flamanville. [Center for Research on Globalization]

Monday, October 3:

Intake for a micro-hydro plant in Colorado (Cally Carswell for Inside Energy)

Intake for a micro-hydro plant in Colorado (Cally Carswell for Inside Energy)

  • Rural electric cooperatives once brought electricity to far-flung communities, transforming rural economies. One co-op in Western Colorado is trying to spur economic development again, partly by generating more of their electricity locally from renewable resources. But that requires legal action. [Harvest Public Media]
  • Donald Trump has said he wants to abolish the EPA. That’s no small feat, given that the agency was created by law – one signed by President Nixon. Now, he has named a prominent climate science denier and longtime foe of regulation, Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, to lead his EPA transition team. [InsideClimate News]

Tuesday, October 4:

Diablo Dam, generating power for Seattle (Image credit: Getty Images via GE Reports)

Diablo Dam, generating power for Seattle (Image credit: Getty Images via GE Reports)

  • There are 80,000 dams in the US, and 97% do not produce electricity. There are only 2,500 dams that are actually retrofitted with hydropower. Of those 80,000, 54,000 more could be retrofitted at one MW or greater capacity, according to Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Upgrading and modernization is a low-hanging fruit. [Manufacturing.net]
Cape Verde (Photo by Hans Kreul, via Foter.com, CC BY-NC-SA)

Cape Verde (Photo by Hans Kreul, via Foter.com, CC BY-NC-SA)

  • At the beginning of the decade, Cape Verde authorities set a goal of getting 50% of its power from renewables by 2020. The country is already supplying 25% of the electricity consumed in Cape Verde from 30 wind turbines spread across its 4 largest islands. Now, it has moved its target of 100% renewable power up to 2020. [CleanTechnica]

Wednesday, October 5:

  • “Coalition’s stunning hypocrisy – and ignorance – on renewable energy” • Australia’s Coalition Government, dropping all pretended support for renewable energy, contradicted the grid owner, the market operator, and the biggest generator, saying a coal plant would have kept the lights on when the power lines were blown down. [CleanTechnica]
  • Canada will impose a federal price on emissions of carbon dioxide nationwide in 2018, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced. The policy approach could push tougher limits on provinces that already use a carbon tax or a program for cap-and-trade, and could require major new programs for other parts of the country. [Bloomberg BNA]
 Rush Creek Wind Farm (Photo courtesy of Xcel Energy)


Rush Creek Wind Farm (Photo courtesy of Xcel Energy)

  • “New 600 MW Colorado Wind Farm Blows Past ALEC Roadblock” • The powerful lobbying organization ALEC has been trying to trip up the US wind industry for years. Even so, despite objections from at least one organization linked to ALEC, Colorado officials have just approved a massive new 600-MW wind farm. [CleanTechnica]
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s