2016-12-08 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, December 1:

Rift in Antarctic glacier, twenty miles from the sea

Rift in Antarctic glacier, twenty miles from the sea

  • New research from Ohio State University determined that a calving event creating an enormous iceberg in West Antarctica in 2015 was even more notable than first thought. It was the result of a deep, subsurface rift that formed approximately 20 miles inland. This implies that the glacier is deteriorating faster than thought. [CleanTechnica]
  • The oil cartel OPEC has agreed its first supply cut in eight years, after more than two years of depressed oil prices because of a supply glut on the market. OPEC’s president said that a cut of 1.2 million barrels a day would start from January. The price of Brent crude jumped 10% to $51.94 a barrel, and US crude rose 9% to $49.53. [BBC News]
  • Michigan’s largest utility, DTE Energy, is moving ahead with efforts to phase out its use of coal and will not be swayed by any potential changes to federal energy policy. DTE Energy intends to embrace renewable energy more aggressively in the coming years regardless of what changes come from the recent election. [Hydrogen Fuel News]
Offshore wind power

Offshore wind power

  • The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority may become the first US state entity to participate in a federal auction for an offshore wind site. NYSERDA submitted documentation and a bid deposit to take part in an auction for a 79,350-acre Wind Energy Area 12 miles off the Long Island coast. [Windpower Engineering]

Friday, December 2:

Sunny day flooding now hits Miami regularly, thanks to rising sea levels. (Photo by B137, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

Sunny day flooding now hits Miami regularly, thanks to rising sea levels. (Photo by B137, CC BY SA, Wikimedia Commons)

  • “Mayors could override Trump on the Paris climate accord – here’s how” • In a recent op-ed, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg wrote, “If the Trump administration does withdraw from the Paris accord, I will recommend that the 128 US mayors who are part of the Global Covenant of Mayors seek to join in its place.” [Business Insider]
  • The House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology tweeted a misleading article at Breitbart about the state of the global climate. It read, “Global Temperatures Plunge. Icy Silence from Climate Alarmists.” Senator Bernie Sanders responded to the tweet, asking, “Where’d you get your PhD? Trump University?” [mySanAntonio.com]
  • The Canadian province of Alberta, known for its notoriously dirty oil sands, has just made a symbolically significant about-face on energy policy, with potentially major implications for North American wind power. First up is a tender for 5 GW of wind power. Alberta will also pay its coal plants $1 billion to shut down. [CleanTechnica]

Saturday, December 3:

Storage power ratings – Please click on the image to enlarge it.

Storage power ratings – Please click on the image to enlarge it.

  • An official with the company seeking to buy the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant says it can dismantle the power plant for the money currently in its decommissioning fund. The CEO of NorthStar says if his company can’t dismantle the plant for the $580 million in the fund, then his company would make up the difference. [Electric Light & Power]
  • Batteries are not the cheapest way to store grid power. There are many different kinds of storage technologies, each with different characteristics. To be a sensible economic investment, the benefits have to outweigh the costs. Storage has to match the type of demand, considering how much power is needed, and for how long. [Gizmodo Australia]

Sunday, December 4:

California forest in trouble

California forest in trouble

  • Senator Diane Feinstein has urged the US Department of Agriculture to revisit her request for federal aid to help crews clear over 100 million dead trees posing hazards throughout California’s forests. Dried out, free-standing timber throughout the state threatens nearby structures and increases the risk of forest fires. [Asianjournal.com]
  • Interview: “EPA boss: Here’s the good news about climate change (yes, that exists)” • Climate change is happening now. We’re causing it. And frankly, it can seem terrifying. But – and this is a critical “but” – there’s still room for hope. That’s the message we may take from an interview with the outgoing head of the EPA, Gina McCarthy. [CNN]
  • Columbia, Missouri could more than double the amount of wind energy it uses with a proposed contract coming before the city council Monday. The Columbia City Council will take under consideration a contract a contract with Iowa-based Crystal Lake Wind III LLC to purchase wind energy for $19.55/MWh (1.955¢/kWh). [Columbia Daily Tribune]

Monday, December 5:

 Pollution is a popular discussion topic on social media. (File photo: Fred Dufour, AFP)


Pollution is a popular discussion topic on social media.
(File photo: Fred Dufour, AFP)

  • About 20,000 passengers were stranded at an airport in Chengdu, China as flights were grounded because of heavy smog and a thick fog that left the city in a dark haze. The air quality index in Chengdu registered 280, a level considered “very unhealthy.” In some industrial cities south of Beijing, the air quality levels reach up to 875. [Digital Journal]
  • “Through climate change denial, we’re ceding global leadership to China” • China was no more prepared for the results of the American election than the US. But it has been quick to size up the environmental implications of a Trump victory, and officials in Beijing are contriving to cast China in a fresh leadership role. [Los Angeles Times]
Snow covers the camp on November 30.

Snow covers the camp on November 30.

  • On Sunday afternoon, tribe members and their numerous allies celebrated, crying tears of joy, over the fact the pipeline project would be rerouted away from land that’s deemed sacred. Even so, the decision to re-route the Dakota Access Pipeline could be reversed once President Barack Obama leaves office next month. [CNN]

Tuesday, December 6:

  • Former Vice President Al Gore has met President-elect Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka Trump to discuss climate policy. The meeting “was a sincere search for areas of common ground,” according to Mr Gore, a climate change activist. Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka reportedly wants to make the subject one of her signature issues. [BBC]
Vermont solar array

Hyde Park, Vermont solar array

  • Two Vermont towns, Stowe and Hyde Park, have recently commissioned municipally owned solar plants, making them the first towns in the state to do so. Together, the plants will produce 2.7 MW of solar electricity. This is enough to power 229 average residences of in the towns, about 7% of the total number of homes. [pv magazine USA]
  • With two solar facilities moving toward completion and a third in the planning stages, Pownal, Vermont is becoming a leading community. The total countywide capacity from solar sources is approximately 3.7 MW, of which 2.2 MW are in Pownal, but a 2.2-MW array is under construction, and a smaller array is also planned. [vtdigger.org]

Wednesday, December 7:

Donald Trumps Doonbeg hotel and golf course

Donald Trumps Doonbeg hotel and golf course

  • Donald Trump’s plan to erect a huge sea wall at his Irish golf course has been withdrawn in the light of stiff opposition from environmentalists. The original application cited rising sea levels as a result of climate change as a key reason for the protective barrier. A new plan with smaller wall is expected to be submitted shortly. [BBC News]
  • The largest battery in New England – and once the world – was built 45 years ago and is still working. It’s hidden, on top and deep inside a mountain in north-central Massachusetts. Northfield Mountain is now undergoing re-licensing to run for another 50 years, providing grid load leveling for solar and wind power. [New England Public Radio]

  • Opinion: “Trump’s Lies Threaten Wind Techs: Fastest-Growing US Job” There are reasons why Trump’s vendetta against what he calls “the windmills” hurts his own voters. First, wind techs, the guys who climb the towers to do maintenance, are blue-collar workers from red states. And theirs is the fastest growing job in the US. [CleanTechnica]
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