2016-12-01 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.

For scheduling reasons, this show covers ten days.

Monday, November 21:

Dakota Access Pipeline protest

Dakota Access Pipeline protest

  • The Dakota Access Pipeline protest is turning violent. About 400 protesters clashed with police as demonstrators lit cars on fire and police launched tear gas and water at the crowds. Police said that the protesters “attempted to flank and attack the law enforcement line from the west,” and described their actions as “very aggressive.” [CNN]
  • “Solar And Wind Versus Nuclear: Is Baseload Power Obsolete?” Renewables coupled with efficient, cost effective energy storage make grids virtually obsolete. Utility companies are petrified they may become irrelevant and the trillions of dollars invested in building grids throughout the world will no longer produce income. [PlanetSave.com]

Tuesday, November 22:

  • Research released by the International Council on Clean Transportation shows an average discrepancy between official vehicle fuel consumption figures and actual vehicle fuel use in the EU has risen to 42%. Most of the difference is explained by vehicle manufacturers exploiting loopholes in the current regulation. [CleanTechnica]
Indian Point nuclear plants.Daniel Case / Wikimedia

Indian Point nuclear plants.Daniel Case / Wikimedia

  • In a unanimous decision, the New York State Court of Appeals Monday upheld a state agency’s right to review applications for renewal of federal licenses to operate two Indian Point nuclear power plants for another 20 years. This delivers a serious setback to the facilities’ owner, Mississippi-based Entergy Nuclear. [EcoWatch]

Wednesday, November 23:

Tidal turbine being installed and used (Electrek)

Tidal turbine being installed and used (Electrek)

  • There has been a significant advancement in tidal energy this month with a single massive tidal turbine being deployed on the coast of Nova Scotia in the Cape Sharp Tidal project. Earlier this month, OpenHydro and Emera, the developers, deployed the first of a series of massive turbines. Now, they have connected it to the grid. [Electrek]
  • President-elect Donald Trump has confirmed his intentions to cancel the Clean Power Plan. During his election campaign, Trump made several references to his intent to dismantle not only Obama’s Clean Power Plan, but also US involvement with the Paris Climate Agreement and the solar investment tax credit. [PV-Tech]
  • President-elect Donald Trump conceded there is “some connectivity” between human activity and climate change and wavered on whether he would pull the United States out of international accords. Asked if he would withdraw the US from international climate change agreements, Trump said he is “looking at it very closely.” [CNN]

Thursday, November 24:

Pika Energy wind turbine on a farm in Maine (Pika Energy photo)

Enough power for the entire country – Pika Energy wind turbine on a farm in Maine (Pika Energy photo)

  • The National Renewable Energy Lab released the first ever technical and economic analysis of the potential of distributed wind power, from smaller turbines at home or business sites. The key finding is that distributed wind installed at millions of locations could technically power the entire country. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Friday, November 25:

Solar panel on a roof in Kenya

Solar panel on a roof in Kenya

  • Nearly 70% of the Kenyan population relies on costly and polluting energy sources. But a green transition is underway, as ever more Kenyans turn to solar power to meet their daily energy needs. A small solar system can cost about the same as a diesel generator, and it is as reliable, but there is no fuel and no pollution. [Deutsche Welle]
Goldisthal pumped storage plant (Source: Vattenfall)

Goldisthal pumped storage plant (Source: Vattenfall)

  • Researchers at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra say the cost of a 100% renewable energy future is very low. They designed an optimization model of their national electricity market (NEM) using solar, wind, pumped hydro, and high-voltage transmission lines. The model said the cost would be $90/MWh. [EcoGeneration]

Saturday, November 26:

  • A new confrontation is brewing over the Dakota Access Pipeline. Protesters fighting pipeline construction must vacate federal property near the Cannonball River in North Dakota by December 5 or face arrest, the Army Corps of Engineers said. The demonstrators must a large campsite where they have been staying. [CNN]
  • WWF-Canada has developed a tool to build habitat protection into the renewable-energy development process, so conflicts with wildlife can be prevented before significant investments are considered. The digital tool helps identify areas where renewable potential is high and conflict with nature is comparatively low. [WWF-Canada Blog]

Sunday, November 27:

Food has its own carbon footprint (Credit: diametrik/Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

Food has its own carbon footprint
(Credit: diametrik/Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

  • Recently, researchers from Carnegie Mellon University calculated the carbon footprint of Thanksgiving dinners, had every year on November 24, and published their findings for different states in the US. The meal-footprint is lowest in Vermont (0.09 kg of carbon dioxide released) and highest in West Virginia (36. 3 kg). [The Wire]
  • Awareness of climate change and how to help sustain the environment will soon be taught in classrooms across the UAE, authorities announced. Curricula may include learning about sustainability, and school children will be shown how to take energy-saving measures. The program will include children of all ages. [gulfnews.com]

Monday, November 28:

Lake Hartwell, near Anderson, South Carolina, hit by drought (Photo courtesy of Alan Raflo, Virginia Water Resources Research Center)

Lake Hartwell, near Anderson, South Carolina, hit by drought (Photo courtesy of Alan Raflo, Virginia Water Resources Research Center)

  • Water isn’t a commodity that most southerners usually worry about. But lately, the drought has become a hot topic as more and more communities begin dealing with declining water resources. The drought, already exceptionally severe, continues to deepen. Even worse, these conditions may become the new norm. [Digital Journal]
  • Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry now expects the total cost of dealing with the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster to total more than ¥20 trillion (US$178.8 billion), nearly double the previous estimate, sources familiar with the matter said. The previous estimate was ¥11 trillion. [South China Morning Post]

Tuesday, November 29:

Drought in the Southeast

Drought in the Southeast

  • If it feels like it hasn’t rained in months in the South, you’re right. The region is experiencing an extreme drought. But just a few months earlier, we were talking about record-breaking floods in the South. These shocking extremes are happening more often, and it is all part of an unfortunate new normal in a world with climate change. [CNN]
  • The global market for boilers, turbines, and generators is set to decline thanks to the growing focus on renewable energy sources and awareness about the environmental issues, according a study by GlobalData. The market is expected to decrease from $318 billion for the full period of 2010-2015, to $241 billion for 2016-2020. [Greentech Lead]
  • The National Academy of Sciences released a study, which said New Orleans could see nearly 14.5 inches of sea level rise by 2040, and 6.5 feet by 2100. Scientists believe that metro areas outside of New Orleans’ protective levee system may have to be relocated because of rising sea levels within the next two decades. [WWLTV.com]

Wednesday, November 30:

New Dutch coal plant (Photo: Wikimedia Commons / Zandcee)

New Dutch coal plant (Photo: Wikimedia Commons / Zandcee)

  • Three Dutch coal plants opened in 2015 are already threatened with early closure. Their owners failed to foresee a rapid rise in renewable power generation, falling demand, and calls to phase out coal. It was a costly error that other countries could learn from, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis says. [Climate Home]
  • Texas grid operator ERCOT announced a new record for wind on Monday, as wind provided more than 15,000 MW to the state. It is not the hour-by-hour records that are impressive, however. Wind power will provide at least 14.7% of the state’s electricity in 2016, according to ERCOT, up from 11.7% in 2015. [Greentech Media]
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