2017-01-12 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, January 5:

Though caused by global warming, a collapse of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation system would make the Northern Atlantic Ocean much colder. (Credit: © Mats / Fotolia)

Though caused by global warming, a collapse of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation system would make the Northern Atlantic Ocean much colder. (Credit: © Mats / Fotolia)

  • One of the world’s largest ocean circulation systems may not be as stable as believed, according to a study in the journal Science Advances. In fact, changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation – the same deep-water ocean current featured in the movie “The Day After Tomorrow” – could occur quite abruptly. [Science Daily]
  • Evidence the earth experienced a slowdown in global warming over the past couple of decades has been further eroded with a new US study confirming climate change continues unabated. NOAA found the oceans had warmed at the rate of 0.12° per decade since 2000, or nearly twice the previous estimate. [The Sydney Morning Herald]
  • Tesla has begun mass production of battery cells at the Gigafactory. The company said the cost of battery cells will significantly decline due to a number of inherent optimizations and economies of scale. These will enhance yield, lowering the capital investment per Wh of production. The Gigafactory is 35% complete. [CleanTechnica]

Friday, January 6:

Coast of Louisiana (Photo: Dr Terry McTigue, NOAA, public domain, Wikimedia Commons)

Coast of Louisiana (Photo: Dr Terry McTigue, NOAA, public domain, Wikimedia Commons)

  • Many Louisianans may have been shocked by the grimmer forecasts in the latest edition of the state’s 50-year plan to protect its coast: There is no longer any hope that more land can be built than the Gulf takes each year. Even if the plan works perfectly, the state could lose another 2,800 square miles of its land along the Gulf Coast. [The Lens]
  • As the president-elect puts together an administration focused on fossil fuels, the investment community is moving full speed in the opposite direction, instead putting their bets on emissions reductions and support for clean energy. Investors holding trillions of dollars in assets dropping fossil fuels in favor of renewables. [Environmental Defense Fund]

Saturday, January 7:

Sun setting on oil field (Photo by Arne Hückelheim, Wikimedia Commons)

Sun setting on oil field (Photo by Arne Hückelheim, Wikimedia Commons)

  • Grafton Asset Management Inc, which had brought foreign investment into Canada’s oil and gas industry, is looking to add alternative energy to its portfolio for the first time, as it positions itself for the decline of fossil fuels. The company’s CEO worries about the industry’s future, saying, “I do look at it as a sun-setting business.” [Financial Post]
  • The DOE says that the US electricity system “faces imminent danger” from cyber-attacks and warned that a widespread power outage could be caused by a cyber-attack, undermining “critical defense infrastructure” as well as much of the economy and the health of its people. Grid operators say they are already on top of the problem. [Tyler Morning Telegraph]
  • The aging Indian Point nuclear power plant just north of New York City would close within four years under a deal being made with Governor Andrew Cuomo. Plant owner Entergy Corp would shut both reactors at the Westchester County facility by April 2021, according to a source familiar with the deal’s details. [Albany Times Union]

Sunday, January 8:

Dutch train (Image by Sludge G, some rights reserved)

Dutch train (Image by Sludge G, some rights reserved)

  • Dutch railway companies teamed up with energy company Eneco in 2015 to cut train ride emissions. Originally, 2018 was set as the target for changing to 100% renewable power sources. The 100% transition was completed one year ahead of schedule, however, and all Dutch trains are now powered by wind energy. [CleanTechnica]
The Akanyaru Watershed Protection Project, building terraces and planting trees to prevent soil erosion and landslides (File photo)

The Akanyaru Watershed Protection Project, building terraces and planting trees to prevent soil erosion and landslides (File photo)

  • Rwanda’s Green Fund expects to reach a milestone of creating 100,000 green jobs this year, according to its program manager. He told Sunday Times that in the next 12 months Rwanda’s Green Fund, a ground-breaking environmental and climate change investment fund, is particularly looking forward to boosting Rwanda’s climate resilience. [The New Times]

Monday, January 9:

Two new wind power records for Scotland

Two new wind power records for Scotland

  • Scotland set two wind power records at the end of December, according to figures from WWF Scotland. The group said that for the first time, wind turbines generated enough power for all the nation’s electricity needs for four straight days, on December 23 through 26. December 24 saw a record of 74,042 MWh from wind. [Herald Scotland]
  • With the renewable energy plan, by 2020 China expects to see a reduction in 120 million tons of coal used for heating. China’s newly released 13th five-year plan has provisions for renewable energy development calling for promoting use of geothermal energy, wind power and solar energy for winter heating in north China. [teleSUR English]
Kaheawa Wind Farm (Ryan Oelke, Wikimedia Commons)

Kaheawa Wind Farm (Ryan Oelke, Wikimedia Commons)

  • Maui Electric Co produced 35.4% of its power from renewable energy in 2015, up slightly from the previous year. Wind farms provided 23.2%, solar’s share was 8.5%, biomass and bagasse produced 2.7%, and 1% was from biofuel. But Maui’s renewable generation was behind that of the Big Island’s, which stood at 48.7%. [Maui News]
  • Innovative Solar Systems, of Asheville, North Carolina, is once again dominating the solar energy market by having the largest pipeline of projects in development in the Texas market. ISS representatives report that the company has over 50 Utility Scale projects in development that range size from 35 MW to over 200 MW. [Your Renewable News]

Tuesday, January 10:

Renewables cost reductions (Source: US DOE)

Renewables cost reductions (Source: US DOE)

  • After eight years with Barack Obama in the White House, over a million US rooftops have solar panels installed. Utility scale solar powers more than 2 million homes. Generating low-carbon electricity employs 600,000 people in the United States, and 1.9 million Americans are employed in energy efficiency. [Energy Matters]
  • Governor Andrew Cuomo made it official, saying that the 2,000-MW Indian Point nuclear power plant will close by April 2021. His office said the closure will have “little to no effect on New Yorkers’ electricity bills.” It indicated the plant can be replaced by 1,000 MW of hydropower because demand has declined. [Times Herald-Record]
  • Vermont’s new Republican governor said Monday he would stick with his Democratic predecessor’s long-term goal of getting 90% of the energy needed in the state from renewable sources by 2050. For several years, Vermont has been working toward some of the most aggressive renewable energy goals in the country. [BurlingtonFreePress.com]

Wednesday, January 11:

  • Volkswagen has agreed to a draft $4.3 billion settlement with US authorities over the emissions-rigging scandal. The German car maker also said it would plead guilty to breaking certain US laws. VW said it was in advanced discussions with authorities. The agreement has yet to be approved by VW’s management and supervisory board. [BBC]
Wind farm in Idaho (Author: Blatant Views, CC BY-SA)

Wind farm in Idaho (Author: Blatant Views, CC BY-SA)

  • The Energy Information Administration expects 24 GW of new utility-scale power generation capacity additions for 2016, with renewables accounting for about 63% or 15 GW. Nearly 60% of the new renewables plants were scheduled to come online in the fourth quarter (Q4), including roughly 8.5 GW of wind and solar PVs. [SeeNews Renewables]
  • Residents of Vermont’s capital city still have time to vote on what they feel would be the best way for their community to go “net zero.” There are five finalists for designs that would enable Montpelier to reduce its energy use through savings and the increased use of renewable sources of power. Voting ends Thursday. [SFGate]
Senvion 6.2M126 turbines (Source: Senvion SE 2014, all rights reserved)

Senvion 6.2M126 turbines (Source: Senvion SE 2014, all rights reserved)

  • At the 2017 State of the State Address, New York governor Andrew Cuomo proposed a commitment to develop up to 2.4 GW of offshore wind power in the Atlantic Ocean by 2030. He said this will prove critical to achieving the goal of meeting 50% of New York’s electricity needs with renewable sources by 2030. [SeeNews Renewables]
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