2016-11-10 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, November 3:

Anaerobic digestion plant (Photo by Rosser1954, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

Anaerobic digestion plant (Photo by Rosser1954, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

  • Anaerobic digestor research, renewable energy education, and Rutland solar development are the latest beneficiaries of funding from an old Vermont Yankee insurance policy. The state Public Service Board has approved Green Mountain Power’s plans to distribute $302,719 from a Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited fund. [Commons]
  • The New South Wales Coalition government has decided to break ranks with its Coalition partners in the federal arena and announced a major expansion into both large-scale and small-scale renewable energy, as well as electric vehicles and energy efficiency, as part of a new plan to reach “zero net emissions” by 2050. [RenewEconomy]
  • Following its final Environmental Assessment and a “Finding of No Significant Impact,” the Bureau of Land Management has decided to offer 40,000 acres of Wayne National Forest, Ohio’s only national forest, up for fracking. The auction will begin on 1,600 acres on December 13, with bids starting at $2 per acre. [EcoWatch]
  • ArcLight Capital Partners, an energy investment company based in Boston, has signed an agreement to buy TransCanada’s hydroelectric facilities along the Deerfield and Connecticut rivers. The sale is expected to close in mid-2017, subject to customary regulatory and other approvals. The price has not been announced. [The Recorder]

Friday, November 4:

  • The US Department of Agriculture provided capital support to 17 Vermont businesses transitioning to renewable or energy efficient technologies to cut costs and energy consumption this year. The grants and loan guarantees through USDA Rural Development’s Rural Energy for America Program totalled over $3 million. [Vermont Biz]

Saturday, November 5:

Home lost in the San Clemente earthquake (Credit: Lt Charles A Pierce / US Geological Survey)

Home lost in the 1933 San Clemente earthquake (Credit: Lt Charles A Pierce / US Geological Survey)

  • On a March evening in 1933, the Newport-Inglewood fault ruptured violently along the Huntington Beach coast. The Long Beach quake was the deadliest in Southern California history. But a new study suggests that the quake may have been caused by an unexpected factor: Deep drilling in a Huntington Beach oil field. [ktla.com]
  • The Paris Agreement on climate change became international law on Friday, November 4, 2016, after about 20 years of global wrangling. Exactly 30 days ago, it crossed both national and emissions thresholds needed to enter into force. The agreement now has 98 parties representing nearly 70% of global carbon emissions. [CleanTechnica]
  • Ten major oil and gas companies have confirmed they are to invest $1 billion over the next decade in an attempt to drastically cut their emissions. They have formed the Oil & Gas Climate Initiative, which will seek to reduce emissions through efficiency. However, have left renewable power development off the table. [Clean Energy News]
Wind turbines in Liu'ao (Photo by Vmenkov, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

Wind turbines on the Liu’ao Peninsula (Photo by Vmenkov, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

  • China’s Cabinet issued a new climate plan targeting an 18% cut in carbon emissions by 2020 compared with 2015 levels, on the same day that the Paris Agreement involving nearly 200 countries took effect. Under the new State Council plan announced Friday, coal consumption must be capped at about 4.2 billion tons in 2020. [The Japan Times]

Sunday, November 6:

  • For every tonne of C02 a person produces (the amount of CO2 from burning100 gallons of gasoline), three square meters of Arctic sea ice melts, according to researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Germany, the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado, and the University College London in the UK. [DailyQuint]
The true cost of wind power – a state secret? (Photo: Graham / Rex Shutterstock)

The true cost of wind power – a state secret? (Photo: Graham / Rex Shutterstock)

  • Sir Ed Davey, the UK’s Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change from 2012 to 2015, has actually had to resort to a Freedom of Information request for a report he commissioned himself. And his request has been turned down, an act he calls “an abuse of power.” It is on the true costs of different electricity sources. [Telegraph.co.uk]

Monday, November 7:

Pollution in the wind (Credit: Zhan Tian)

Pollution in the wind (Credit: Zhan Tian)

  • The UN Environment Program says the door will close on the 1.5° C warming limit unless countries raise their ambition before 2020. The Emissions Gap report was published one day before the Paris Agreement on climate change enters into force. It is the first to explicitly measure the so-called “ambition gap” for 1.5° C. [Carbon Brief]
  • An earthquake of magnitude 5.0 shook central Oklahoma on Sunday, causing damage to a number of buildings. The epicenter of the quake struck the city of Cushing, about 50 miles (80 km) northeast of Oklahoma City. Tremors were felt as far away as Texas. The earthquake was one of 19 that have hit Oklahoma in the past week. [BBC]
  • The California Air Resources Board found another cheat device in Volkswagen Group cars. Like the earlier device the new one lowers a car’s CO2 emissions if the software detected that the car was on a test machine. However, the new cheat device was used on cars with automatic transmissions, both gasoline and diesel. [CleanTechnica]
Steamboat on Lake Mead (Jae C. Hong, AP)

Steamboat on Lake Mead (Jae C. Hong, AP)

  • The Colorado River Research Group released a concise four-page paper explaining how climate change is affecting the river. It is a remarkably accessible summation of lots of complicated science. The conclusion is that we simply need to adapt to a future in which water scarcity is the norm. “Climate change is water change.” [News Deeply]

Tuesday, November 8:

Wind farm in Quebec (Photo: iStockphoto)

Wind farm in Quebec (Photo: iStockphoto)

  • An emerging option for grid stability, which will get a hearing next week at the 15th International Workshop on Large-Scale Integration of Wind Power in Vienna, is synthetic inertia. It is achieved by programming power inverters at wind turbines so that they emulate the behavior of synchronized spinning masses. [IEEE Spectrum]
  • According to a report released by Oxfam, members of ISIS have torched more than a dozen oil wells as they retreat towards Mosul ahead of a massive Iraqi offensive. The situation was made worse after ISIS set fire to a sulfur plant in the area. ISIS fighters are leaving behind a toxic cloud causing breathing-related illnesses. [The Weather Channel]
  • China, the world’s biggest clean-energy investor, lowered its solar and wind power targets for 2020, a reflection of how record installations of renewables have overwhelmed the ability of the nation’s grid to absorb the new electricity. China is now aiming for 110 GW of solar power by 2020, a 27% reduction in the target capacity. [Bloomberg]

Wednesday, November 9:

Artist: Azmaa Omassou / ZME Science / COP22.

Artist: Azmaa Omassou / ZME Science / COP22.

  • The World Meteorological Organization has just submitted a detailed climate analysis in a report “The Global Climate in 2011-2015,” the hottest years on record, and it doesn’t look very good. The WMO shows that humanity’s footprint on extreme weather and climate events is becoming more pronounced, dangerous, and costly. [ZME Science]
  • Scientists are dismayed at the election of science denier Donald Trump, calling it a huge blow. Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists, a veteran US observer of the UN climate talks, in Marrakech, Morocco, said he hopes Donald Trump will adopt a more “responsible” view of climate change once he takes office. [Hong Kong Standard]
  • Vattenfall has won the rights to build the 600-MW Kriegers Flak offshore wind farm in Denmark with a record-low bid price of 37.2 ore/kWh (€50/MWh ($55/MWh). The Swedish utility beat competition from DONG, Statoil, EnBW, and Eon to win the Danish government tender. It will invest up to €1.3 billion in the project. [reNews]
Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant

Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant

  • Entergy Corp announced today an agreement to sell the closed Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, which would shorten the time to dismantle and decontaminate the site by 45 years. Entergy plans to transfer its federal licenses to subsidiaries of NorthStar Group Services to accelerate decommissioning and site restoration. [The Recorder]
Meadowlands site. Posted in a comment to vtdigger.org by Tom Sullivan

Meadowlands site. Posted in a comment to vtdigger.org by Tom Sullivan

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