2016-12-15 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 8:

 Generating smoke, with electricity as a by-product


For those who generate smoke, electricity can be a valuable by-product.

  • The European Union will start to phase out coal subsidies and reduce its energy usage by 30% before 2030 pursuant to the terms of a major clean energy package announced in November. It expects to lower household utility bills, integrate renewables into power markets, and limit use of unsustainable bio-energy, among other benefits. [CleanTechnica]
  • Cape Light Compact, the electric utility serving the 21 towns in Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, has announced that its aggregation power supply load is going with 100% renewable power. The Compact has teamed up with NextEra Energy Services to provide low price electricity to all of its customers. [CapeCod.com News]
  • The Dutch government released a long-term energy plan stipulating that no new cars with combustion engines may be sold from 2035 on. Also, all of the houses in the country, which has been for over 50 years the EU’s largest natural gas producer, will be disconnected from the gas grid by 2050. The measure has broad parliamentary support. [CleanTechnica]

Friday, December 9:

Palisades nuclear plant (Entergy photo)

Palisades nuclear plant (Entergy photo)

  • Entergy Corp announced that it will close down its Palisades nuclear plant in Michigan on October 1, 2018. It has struck a deal for early termination of a power purchase agreement for the generation, which had been to end in 2022. Officials say ending the contract early could save ratepayers $172 million over four years. [Utility Dive]
  • A memo obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy outlining Donald Trump’s energy agenda for when he takes Office next January has revealed the full extent to which Donald Trump is going to lay waste to America’s climate record and clean energy industry. It lists 14 key energy and environment policies planned. [CleanTechnica]
  • In a document obtained by Bloomberg, President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team asked the Energy Department how it can help keep nuclear reactors “operating as part of the nation’s infrastructure” and what it could do to prevent them from being forced out of the market by cheaper natural gas and renewable resources. [Bloomberg]

Saturday, December 10:

River turbine by Idenergie

River turbine by Idenergie

  • Staff at a Canadian company, Idenergie, have managed to create a kit that can turn the flowing water of a river into as much as 12 kWh of electricity per day. The river turbine system is mainly designed for off-the-grid applications such as small communities or remote cabins where it is not logical to be connected to the grid. [Trendintech]
  • India now has the world’s biggest solar plant. At full capacity, the new 2,500-acre plant in Kamuthi could power up to 150,000 homes and add 648 MW to India’s electricity generating capacity. The Kamuthi plant was built in just eight months, at a cost of $679 million. India has pledged to get 40% of its power from renewables by 2030. [Grist]
    Solar panels in India (Photo: Daniel Cossio)
  • The US electric power industry has invested in renewable resources well beyond states’ renewable portfolio standards and targets in some regions, a report from The Brattle Group says. The regions where this has happened have organized regional electricity markets or offer access to low-cost wind or solar potential. [Solar Industry]

Sunday, December 11:

Worker in a Siberian oil field (Reuters image)

Worker in a Siberian oil field (Reuters image)

  • Eleven oil-producing countries that are not OPEC members agreed to cut their output to boost prices. The group, which includes Russia, said that they will cut production by 558,000 barrels per day. OPEC announced last month that it would be reducing its own production to ease an over-saturated global market. [BBC]
  • According to documents obtained by Politico, Donald Trump’s transition team has asked the Energy Department to cough-up the names of any employees who have worked on President Obama’s climate initiatives, including all who have worked on the “social cost of carbon.” It looks like a witch hunt is already under way. [CleanTechnica]
Avalanche (Getty Images)

Avalanche (Getty Images)

  • Climate change may be to blame for the deadly avalanche in Tibet, a study found. On July 17, more than 70 million tonnes of ice broke off from the Aru glacier in the mountains of western Tibet. Glacial collapse is unprecedented in that area of Tibet, which for decades has seemed to resist the effects of climate change. [The Statesman]

Monday, December 12:

 EIA projections and reality


EIA projections and reality

  • “EIA’s Lack Of Math And Logic Skills Makes For An Interesting Investment Environment” • Every year the US DOE’s Energy Information Administration releases an Annual Energy Outlook. Every year, it projects that renewable growth will slow down. But the EIA projections have never done with portraying reality. [Seeking Alpha]
  • Donald Trump won’t get Rex Tillerson as secretary of state without a fight. Nominating the ExxonMobil tycoon for the position could ignite a showdown between the President-elect and senators in his own party. Tillerson has a close relationship with Vladimir Putin, and the CIA says Russia likely intervened in the presidential election. [CNN]
  • Donald Trump said he still doesn’t think climate change is really happening, in an interview on Sunday 11 December. “I’m still open-minded. Nobody really knows,” he said after a Fox News anchor played a clip in which he calls climate change “a big scam for a lot of people to make a lot of money.” [International Business Times UK]

Tuesday, December 13:

Antarctica's Larsen C Ice Shelf (Youtube)

Antarctica’s Larsen C Ice Shelf (Youtube)

  • In early 2015, scientists announced the discovery of an almost circular structure in the Antarctic ice surface, about 2 km (1.2 miles) wide. Now, a team of climate researchers has found that the mysterious crater on the King Baudouin ice shelf shows that the East Antarctic ice sheet may be more vulnerable to climate change than expected. [Raw Story]
Block Islands last turbine going up

Block Islands last turbine going up

  • The Block Island Wind Farm is supplying power to the grid, making it America’s first offshore wind facility. Deepwater Wind and project partners have commissioned the 30-MW installation off the coast of Rhode Island, and it is now delivering power into New England’s electric grid via a 20-mile-long submarine cable. [POWER magazine]
  • According to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s Q4 2016 US Solar Market Insight report, 4,143 MW of solar PV were installed in the US in the third quarter of the year, a rate of one MW every 32 minutes. Thable News]

Wednesday, December 14:

  • Donald Trump’s nominees for the secretaries of Energy and State, and administrator of the EPA, are creating a growing hydrocarbon council in his administration. While generally thought to be good for oil and gas, the ramifications remain unclear. The government perception of fossil fuel will doubtless change. [Oil and Gas Investor]
  • In another sign that the transition isn’t proceeding as smoothly as President Obama professes, the Energy Department refused Tuesday to provide President-elect Donald Trump’s team with a list of federal employees who have worked on climate-change programs. Trump’s transition team did not explain the request. [Washington Times]
Fracking in a farm field (Andrew Cullen / Reuters / File)

Fracking in a farm field (Andrew Cullen / Reuters / File)

  • When the EPA released its draft report in 2015 on the safety of hydraulic fracturing, industry groups seized on one sentence as proof that fracking is safe: a conclusion that the process has no national “widespread, systemic impact” on drinking water. Now, the final report is out – and that sentence has been removed. [Christian Science Monitor]
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