2016-10-20 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, October 13:

Wyoming coal plant (Photo by Greg Goebel from Loveland CO, CC BY-SA, Wikimedia Commons)

Wyoming coal plant (Photo by Greg Goebel from Loveland CO, CC BY-SA, Wikimedia Commons)

  • Despite the relatively slow uptake of renewable energy in the United States, replacement of fossil fuels with renewables is starting to have tangible results on emissions. According to the DOE’s Energy Information Administration in the first six months of 2016 fell to the lowest level for any first half of a year since 1991. [pv magazine USA]
  • A huge 15 GW of embedded power generation capacity is awaiting direct connection to four of the six distribution networks across England, Scotland and Wales, figures gathered by ICIS show. The capacity bypasses the transmission network, depressing demand. It is a mix of renewable, thermal, and storage units. [ICIS]
  • Northern Power Systems Corp, a next generation renewable energy technology company based in Barre, Vermont, confirms the continued performance of its remote fleet with turbines performing through both Hurricane Matthew in the Caribbean, as well as Typhoon Chaba in the Jeju region of South Korea. [Your Renewable News]

Friday, October 14:

Tidal turbine (Scotrenewables image)

Tidal turbine (Scotrenewables image)

  • The world’s most powerful tidal turbine, developed and built by Scotrenewables Tidal Power Limited, has been installed on its moorings for the first time. The 2-MW SR2000 tidal turbine was towed to the European Marine Energy Centre Orkney site, where it was installed for commissioning and testing. [Renewable Energy Magazine]
  • Energy Management Inc’s Cape Wind has dropped a court appeal, another setback in its long-running fight to build a 468-MW wind farm off the US east coast. The developer had asked the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial court to reverse an Energy Facilities Siting Board decision denying an extension of transmission line permits. [reNews]
Sandstone rendering (SolarReserve image)

Sandstone rendering (SolarReserve image)

  • The 110-MW Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Plant is the first utility-scale CSP of its kind on American soil, and the developer, California-based energy firm SolarReserve, now says they plan to build 10 more just like it elsewhere in the sunny desert state. The overall project, Sandstone, would power a million US homes. [Inhabitat]

Saturday, October 15:

  • The European Union has just approved regulations requiring that an electric car charger be included in every new and renovated home and all apartment buildings starting in 2019. Why is that important? Because charging infrastructure is vital to convincing mainstream buyers to switch to an electric car. [CleanTechnica]
US Secretary of State John Kerry urging an ambitious deal

US Secretary of State John Kerry urging an ambitious deal

  • More than 150 countries have reached a deal described as “monumental” to phase out gases that are making global warming worse. Hydroflurocarbons (HFCs) are widely used in fridges, air conditioning and aerosol sprays. Delegates meeting in Rwanda accepted a complex amendment to the Montreal Protocol. [BBC]
  • The Conservation Law Foundation filed a lawsuit against ExxonMobil for endangering Massachusetts communities through activities at the Everett petroleum storage terminal. It is the first NGO lawsuit in the nation to take a petroleum company to task for its decades-long campaign to discredit climate science. [CleanTechnica]

Sunday, October 16:

Flooding in Iowa (Rachel Mummey / The Register)

Flooding in Iowa (Rachel Mummey / The Register)

  • Iowa is seeing heavier rains and more flooding as climate change takes its toll, yet the state has little idea how much it would cost to protect its homes, schools, factories and other infrastructure, let alone how to pay for it. Iowa communities have $1.4 billion in plans for flood protection, but it is not enough. [DesMoinesRegister.com]
  • According to a new study in the journal Science Advances, a geothermal hotspot softened the mantle rock beneath Greenland in a way that ultimately distorted their calculations for ice loss in the Greenland ice sheet. This caused them to underestimate the melting by about 20 gigatons (20 billion metric tons) per year. [Net Newsledger]

Monday, October 17:

HY4 hydrogen fuel cell aircraft

HY4 hydrogen fuel cell aircraft

  • The HY4, the world’s first four-seater hydrogen fuel cell plane, took off for the first time at the Stuttgart airport in Germany. The plane was developed by researchers from the German Aerospace Center with help from Hydrogenics, Pipistrel, H2FLY, the University of Ulm and Stuttgart Airport. [Composites Manufacturing Magazine]
  • With a capacity factor of 51.9%, the 2,000-MW Sandstone Energy facility is equivalent to a 1.15 GW Nuclear Power plant. Over a 25-year lifetime, it will produce 227 billion kWh. At an expected cost of $5 billion, with a 30% federal tax credit, the system can be expected to generate electricity at a cost of 2.8¢/kWh. [Electrek]
  • Natural gas generators are a dominant source of power, especially for peak electricity demand periods in New England, but natural gas supply methods haven’t kept up. As a result, most of the region is vulnerable to volatile electricity prices, said Tom Dunn, CEO of VELCO, which manages transmission lines for utilities. [vtdigger.org]

Tuesday, October 18:

  • Energy companies are on the cusp of “an epic battle” with technology companies thanks to the inexorable rise of renewable energy and smart home systems, says Citigroup’s global head of energy strategy. He said the challenge to the conventional oil and gas business “is only going one way,” with market changes. [The Australian Financial Review]
Dafancheng Wind Power Plant (China Photos – Getty Images)

Dafancheng Wind Power Plant (China Photos – Getty Images)

  • China’s economy could grow six-fold by 2050 with renewable energy accounting for 69% of national electricity supply if it transforms its energy system and increases efficiency across all sectors. The report “Reinventing Fire: China” claims that CO2 emissions could go 42% below the 2010 level at the same time. [ChinaFile]
  • France produced the most power from fossil fuels for the month of September in 32 years to help meet demand as nuclear generation dropped. Output from coal and gas plants more than doubled as EDF had to keep reactors offline for inspections to rule out potential anomalies on steam generators at 18 of its 58 units. [Bloomberg]

Wednesday, October 19:

Sundarbans mangroves, home to a quarter of all Bengal tigers (Photo: MN Gaurav / Commons)

Sundarbans mangroves, home to a quarter of all Bengal tigers (Photo: MN Gaurav / Commons)

  • The UN’s world heritage body made an urgent intervention to stop the construction of a coal power station in Bangladesh. A fact-finding mission found that the proposed site of the plant, which is 65 km north of the Sundarbans world heritage area, would expose the downriver forests to pollution and acid rain. [Climate Home]
  • South Burlington, Vermont is planning to put a solar array on top of an old landfill to get renewable energy and financial savings out of a piece of land that cannot be used for much else, officials said Tuesday. It is estimated that the project will save the municipal and school districts $5 million over its lifetime. [Vermont Public Radio]
Remote African hydro facility

Remote African hydro facility

  • In remote rural areas in Africa, electrification through grid extensions is often not viable. The long distances involved and low electricity demand do not justify bringing the national grid to these places. Existing mini-grids based on diesel can be retrofitted to be powered by hybrid sets of renewables. [ESI Africa]



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 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )


Connecting to %s