2016-11-17 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 10:

Street flooded by Hurricane Sandy, Lindenhurst, Long Island (Photo by Jason DeCrow, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

Street flooded by Hurricane Sandy, Lindenhurst, Long Island (Photo by Jason DeCrow, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

  • “Managing climate risk in Trump’s America” • The world will forge ahead on reducing emissions without US leadership. The Paris Agreement has already taken effect. While the federal government may not try to meet the US commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, states’ policies and market forces will continue. [The Conversation US]
  • “Trump Can’t Stop the Energy Revolution” • The planet is warming, dangerously so, and burning more coal will make it worse. President-elect Donald Trump thinks man-made climate change is a hoax and he’s promised to revive the US coal industry by cutting regulation. So renewables are dead in the water, right? Maybe not. [Bloomberg]
  • Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology has developed a microstructured, chemical reactor providing a technology that is key for a plant planned in Finland to produce renewable fuels using solar power. The reactor can produce gasoline, diesel, and kerosene from regenerative hydrogen and CO2. [Energy Business Review]

Friday, November 11:

Smaller catches (Photo: Andrew Quilty)

Smaller catches (Photo: Andrew Quilty)

  • Fish being caught for our tables are shrinking according a survey of studies published in the journal Science. There has been a 23% decrease in commercial catches because of smaller body size, caused by rising ocean temperatures. This is particularly concerning because fish provide 17% of our protein. [The Sydney Morning Herald]
  • A federal judge denied the federal government’s motion to dismiss the “climate kids” case, meaning their lawsuit over climate change will go to trial in federal court in Oregon, likely next year. The plaintiffs, ages 9 to 20, allege the federal government is doing far too little to keep dangerous global warming in check. [CNN]
  • In 2017, non-hydro renewable-energy generating capacity should account for 9% of the country’s electricity-generation capacity, according to the US DOE’s most recent Short-Term Energy Outlook. That’s up from 8% this year, the agency says. Solar power is expected to account for most of the anticipated growth. [Green Car Reports]

Saturday, November 12:

Coal trains (Photo: Kimon Berlin via flickr.com, creative commons license)

Coal trains (Photo: Kimon Berlin via flickr.com, creative commons license)

  • ExxonMobil has just dropped a tweet in support of putting the Paris climate agreement into force. Connect the dots, and that may mean the Trump Administration may be poised to throw coal under the bus. The company has clearly been positioning itself to be able to continue extracting fossil fuels in a changing world. [CleanTechnica]
  • Fears that the UK power system would not be able to cope with intermittent technologies, such as wind and solar, have been “overblown”, according to the Secretary of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Speaking at the annual Energy UK conference, he said “doubters have been proven wrong.” [reNews]
Flooding stops a film crew in Miami Beach (Photo by maxstrz, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

Flooding stops a film crew in Miami Beach (Photo by maxstrz, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

  • “The Fortune 500 Can’t Go Along with a Rollback on Climate Policy” • Nearly every firm in the Fortune 500 has acknowledged the reality of climate change, along with thousands of smaller companies. Most of the business world sees climate change’s tremendous threat – they need to make that perspective heard. [Harvard Business Review]

Sunday, November 13:

King Canute, trying to stop the tide – Nature has a way of ignoring our most ardent wishes.

King Canute, trying to stop the tide – Nature has a way of ignoring our most ardent wishes.

  • “Trump Won’t Stop Global Climate Action, Might Accidentally Help” • Donald Trump disputed the existence of anthropogenic climate change. However, a Trump presidency isn’t the disaster one might think for climate action globally or in the US. In fact, he might actually reduce US emissions, however unintentionally. [CleanTechnica]
Marrakesh (photo by yeowatzup, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

Marrakesh (photo by yeowatzup, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

  • Amid concerns over the threat by US President-elect Donald Trump, who has earlier vowed to cancel last year’s Paris climate agreement, the COP22 President, Salaheddine Mezouar said that one country walking out of the deal will not mean anything. The Paris agreement is already in force and the rest of the world is moving on. [Web India 123]
  • China will continue to be an active player in climate talks and its policies will be unaffected by any external changes, according to a Chinese negotiator at the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22). He remarked on the issue on the sidelines of the conference in Marrakesh. [The Nation]

Monday, November 14:

  • Impact investment firm Wermuth Asset Management, has said that regardless of whether oil prices rise around potential OPEC production-capping news, there is no long-term future for the hydrocarbon sector. Solar power is now available at 3¢/kWh, which is equivalent to oil at $5 per barrel. Demand for oil is slowing down. [Emirates 24|7]
Oil infrastructure

Oil infrastructure

  • Last month, Tesla launched its Powerwall 2.0 residential battery storage system, a little less than a year after Powerwall 1.0. Peak power has increased by 40%, continuous power by 50%, storage capacity by 100% (to 14 kWh), and an inverter is included. And all this is for about the same price as Powerwall 1.0, $5,500 ($AUS8,800). [CleanTechnica]
  • Energy analysts at Deutsche Bank predict the state of South Australia could easily beat its target of 50% renewables by 2025, reaching 85% mark by 2020 and possibly as much as 95% by 2025. South Australia has already reached around 40% of its electricity from wind energy, and another 6% from rooftop solar. [CleanTechnica]

Tuesday, November 15:

Minnesota wind farm (from Windtech at English Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons)

Minnesota wind farm (from Windtech at English Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons)

  • The dozens of buildings on the campus of St Olaf College, in Northfield, Minnesota, are now being powered entirely by wind energy, the liberal arts school and Xcel Energy announced. By choosing Xcel’s Windsource program for its electrical service, St Olaf has become the largest Windsource customer in the state. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]
  • President-elect Trump has pledged to boost the oil and gas sector and bring back coal, reversing President Obama’s efforts to encourage renewable energy and cut dependence on fossil fuels. But analysts say Trump’s policies could serve to worsen the global energy glut, reducing prices and doing little to save “Big Coal.” [Channel NewsAsia]
  • In Vermont, the $80 million Searsburg wind project is now under way. The project will have 15 wind turbines, which will produce enough energy to power about 14,000 average Vermont households. It is expected to deliver at least $400,000 per year in local economic benefits and $300,000 per year for the state of Vermont. [Construction Equipment Guide]

Wednesday, November 16:

Geothermal plant releasing steam

Geothermal plant releasing steam

  • Japanese companies are developing a plant that, when it is completed, will be the world’s largest single geothermal power station. All together, the three facilities at the Sarulla plant will be able to generate 320 MW of electricity. The No 1 unit is already generating power, ahead of its official launch by the end of the year. [Nikkei Asian Review]
  • French president Francois Hollande has said that the US must respect their commitments made under the COP21 Agreement in Paris. Speaking at climate talks in Marrakech, Mr Hollande said that the pact was irreversible “in law and in fact.” President Hollande said France would defend the deal in talks with the new US leader. [BBC]
  • The US Army Corps of Engineers delayed construction of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline to hold further “discussion and analysis” with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which has strongly opposed the project. Protests have gone on for months over the oil pipeline, which would go 1,172 miles from North Dakota to Illinois. [CNN]
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