2016-11-21 Energy Week

Because of studio scheduling, the show, which is usually recorded on Thursday, will be recorded on Monday, November 21, and so has news for November 17 through November 20.

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 17:

Wind turbines silhouetted at sunset (Photo: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management)

Wind turbines silhouetted at sunset (Photo: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management)

  • The International Energy Agency released its annual report, which takes into account economic, technological, and policy developments, and it tries to project the trends that will drive our energy use for decades. This year’s IEA report suggests that a combination of economics and policy will drive an explosion in renewables. [Ars Technica]
Wind farm in Chile (Author: Diego Correa)

Wind farm in Chile (Author: Diego Correa)

  • Renewable energy will keep growing in the next few years as costs drop and coal use continues to fall, despite US President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to revive the fossil fuel, according to investors and analysts. They said possible policy changes under Trump should not dampen current investment in clean energy. [ETEnergyworld.com]
  • China has responded to Trump’s claim that climate change was a Chinese hoax. “If you look at the history of climate change negotiations, actually it was initiated by the IPCC with the support of the Republicans during the Reagan and senior Bush administration during the late 1980s,” the Vice Foreign Minister pointed out. [Science World Report]
  • General Motors made its largest procurement to date of renewable energy, purchasing enough wind power to provide for the electricity needs of 16 of its US facilities, including a major assembly and stamping complex in Arlington, Texas, offices in Fort Worth and Austin, and 13 parts warehouses east of the Mississippi River. [Justmeans]
Oil well and camels

Oil well and camels

  • The International Energy Agency, which represents 29 energy-producing countries, says unless more money is spent exploring for and developing new oil fields, demand may outstrip supply early in the next decade. That could see oil prices surging again. Investment in new oil supplies last year was at its lowest since the 1950s. [BBC]

Friday, November 18:

Pumpjack at dawn

Pumpjack at dawn

  • Geologists say a new survey shows an oilfield in west Texas dwarfs others found so far in the United States, according to the US Geological Survey. The Midland Basin of the Wolfcamp Shale area in the Permian Basin in west Texas is now estimated to have 20 billion barrels of oil and 1.6 billion barrels of natural gas. [CNN]
  • The DOE’s SunShot Initiative was launched in 2011 “with the goal of making solar electricity cost-competitive with traditional energy sources without subsidies by 2020.” In just five years the Initiative has achieved more than 90% of its goal to cut the cost of utility-scale solar electricity in the US down to 6¢/kWh. [CleanTechnica]
  • The nation’s energy infrastructure will undergo a significant transformation over the next 10 years, according to a study by Mortenson, a recognized leader in energy and transmission infrastructure. This is due largely to declining costs of energy storage. Of professionals answering a survey, 96% believe the technology is a major key. [AltEnergyMag]
Somers Solar Center (Image: Dominion Resources)

Somers Solar Center (Image: Dominion Resources)

  • A group of 365 companies, including General Mills, Nike, and Starbucks, has urged President-elect Donald Trump to abide by the Paris climate deal. In addition to sticking with the Paris deal, the group urged the US government to have a “Continuation of low-carbon policies,” and to invest “in the low carbon economy.” [Opposing Views]
  • The US Justice Department filed a lawsuit to block a merger involving one of the key players in the proposed sale of Vermont Yankee. Federal officials say EnergySolutions’ acquisition of Waste Control Specialists, which has agreed to buy the nuclear plant, would create a “near monopoly” in low-level radioactive waste disposal. [vtdigger.org]

Saturday, November 19:

In a photograph taken in Yokosuka, Japan in 2000, sailors of the Peoples Republic of China march past USS Blueridge, (Photo by Jiang, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

In a photograph taken in Yokosuka, Japan in 2000, sailors of the Peoples Republic of China march past USS Blueridge, (Photo by Jiang, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

“China Takes the Climate Spotlight as U.S. Heads for Exit” • The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States has the world holding out for a climate hero, and parties at Marrakech are determined that it will be China. China is backing away from neither the challenge nor the Paris Agreement, as Trump vowed to do. [Scientific American]

“Environmentalists search for silver linings” • On November 15, the temperature in Salt Lake City reached 73°, the hottest temperature ever recorded for that date or later in the year. Park City Mountain Resort had already postponed its opening date from to November 26. Climate change, anyone? And yet, there is hope. [The Park Record]

Nearly 400 scientists signed a letter urging Mr Obama to eliminate Arctic offshore drilling. (AP photo)

Nearly 400 scientists signed a letter urging Mr Obama to eliminate Arctic offshore drilling. (AP photo)

The Obama administration has introduced a ban on offshore oil drilling in the Arctic for at least five years. The move is a significant victory for environmentalists who have campaigned for years against drilling in the ecologically fragile region. But Donald Trump, who pledged to increase offshore drilling, could overturn the ban. [BBC]

For what appears to be the first time since scientists began keeping track, sea ice in the Arctic and the Antarctic are hitting their record lows in mid-November. Temperatures in the Arctic have soared recently, and scientists are struggling to explain the implications. Air temperatures have been 35° F (20° C) above average. [CNN]

Tesla officially became an energy company this week after a vote in favor of the automaker acquiring Solar City. But CEO Elon Musk had more to announce. Musk said that the brand’s new solar roof product will somehow cost less than a traditional shingled roof, and that’s even before factoring in the energy savings. [Huffington Post Canada]

Sunday, November 20:

Prescribed burn in northern California (CN Skinner / US Forest Service)

Prescribed burn in northern California (CN Skinner / US Forest Service)

  • Western fires are getting bigger and hotter. When researchers from Penn State’s Earth and Environmental Systems Institute studied the history of western fires, they found that the changes in land management had trumped climate in much of the 20th century, but stronger fire-climate relationships have developed since the mid-1980s. [Arizona Daily Star]
  • African consumers are opting for off-grid solar solutions. According to International Energy Agency projections, almost one billion people in sub-Saharan Africa will gain access to the grid by 2040, but by that time 530 million will remain off-grid, almost comparable with the 600 million who cannot access power today. [TODAY.ng]
  • After discussing details during the past week on how to meet the Paris Agreement’s goals successfully, some diplomats have suggested that the US should be punished with measures like a carbon-pollution tax on imports of American-made goods, if it withdraws from the agreement as president-elect Donald Trump has promised. [PerfScience]
  • In a recent study out of Texas, researchers predicted that the state could reduce its coal-generated electricity to 6% in under 20 years. If the study’s proposals are even partly accurate, they would represent a turning of the tide in electricity generation, one that is not welcome in places like Wyoming, where coal is produced. [Billings Gazette]
Participants at the COP22 climate conference (David Keyton / AP)

Participants at the COP22 climate conference (David Keyton / AP)

  • “What Trump really means for global climate-change progress” • Maybe it just won’t get that bad. Yes, United States president-elect Donald Trump is threatening to pull the world’s second-largest emitter out of a major international deal to ratchet down greenhouse gases. But, no, it will not scuttle progress. [Christian Science Monitor]
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