2017-01-19 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 12:


EIA Annual Energy Outlook Table

  • The Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook provides projections of domestic energy markets until 2050, and includes cases with different assumptions of macroeconomic growth, world oil prices, technological progress, and energy policies. It shows the US becoming a net exporter of fossil fuels. [Windpower Engineering]
    (This shows information being provided to congress, but before you believe it, please compare it with the graph below, which was linked at the December 12 Energy News post, and which shows how bad EIA projections have been historically.)
 EIA projections and reality

EIA projections and reality

  • A “groundbreaking study” from by the US Retail Industry Leaders Association and the Information Technology Industry Council ranked all 50 US states based on the ease with which some of America’s “most recognizable brands” are able to buy domestic renewable energy. It connects that ability with economic growth. [CleanTechnica]
Solar collectors in Hawaii (Photo: Xklaim, Wikimedia Commons)

Solar collectors in Hawaii (Photo: Xklaim, Wikimedia Commons)

  • The Hawaiian Electric Company, Hawaii’s dominant public utility, has a plan in place to achieve 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2050. But recently, the company said it foresees getting to that goal five years earlier than expected. In fact, HECO expects to provide 48% renewable power by 2020. [CleanTechnica]

Friday, January 13:

Energy Observer (Image: Energy Observer)

Energy Observer (Image: Energy Observer)

  • In 2017, a high-tech ocean vessel powered by the sun, wind and sea water will start a 6 year journey, visiting 50 countries. The vessel is powered by 130 square meters of solar panels, two vertical axis wind turbines, two electric motors and equipment for electrolysis, which will use sea water to create hydrogen fuel. [Energy Matters]
  • According to the climate models used by researchers at UMass Amherst, the 48 contiguous US states are projected to cross the 2° C warming threshold about 10 to 20 years earlier than the global mean annual temperature. The Northeast is projected to warm by 3° C (5.2° F) by the time global warming reaches 2° C (3.6° F). [Fusion]
  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s call for wind farms in Long Island waters earned rave reviews from environmental activists. Leaders from the regional energy and ecology sectors are cheering Cuomo’s call for the Long Island Power Authority to approve what would be the nation’s largest offshore wind farm. [Innovate Long Island]

Saturday, January 14:

Wind farm (Photo: Jürgen from Sandesneben, Germany, Creative Commons - Attribution-NoDerivs)

Wind farm (Photo: Jürgen from Sandesneben, Germany, Creative Commons – Attribution-NoDerivs)

  • While it may be hard to believe, nine Wyoming lawmakers introduced a bill to forbid utilities from providing any electricity to the state that comes from large-scale wind or solar energy projects by 2019. Allowed resources would be coal, natural gas, hydroelectric, nuclear power, oil, and net-metered individual resources. [Digital Journal]
  • Ticks are devastating the moose populations in Maine and New Hampshire. They attach themselves to a single moose by the tens of thousands. The adult females can expand to the size of a grape and engorge themselves with up to four milliliters of blood. With warmer winter temperatures, they kill 70% of the states’ moose calves. [The Boston Globe]

Sunday, January 15:

  • Representatives of over 150 countries gathered in Abu Dhabi at the 7th Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). “Plummeting costs and rapid innovation have spurred investments that are positioning renewable energy solutions at the centre of energy discussion today,” said IRENA’s Director-General. [gulfnews.com]


  • Opinion: “The Totally Insane Carbon Bubble” • Natural gas and the hydrogen made from it are the fossil industry’s last gasp. The industry is begging for a lifeline in order to live in gold-plated castles another generation or so. The US housing bubble? Child’s play. The carbon bubble? This is big, and scary, and ready to take a lot of casualties with it. [CleanTechnica]
  • For international experts stationed at a base in Antarctica, the frozen southern continent is a good gauge of climate change. “When I used to come to Antarctica in the 1990s, it never used to rain,” said Rodolfo Sanchez, director of the Argentine Antarctic Institute. “Now it rains regularly – instead of snowing.” [The Guardian]
  • According to the EIA, in October 2016 residential electricity prices in Hawaii were 27.54¢/kWh, and on the island of Kaua’i, rates are 32.78¢/kWh, starting this year. Hawaii is the first state in the US where rooftop solar has become an almost standard item on homes. They are even put in places unthinkable elsewhere, facing north or in shady areas. [nwitimes.com]

Monday, January 16:

Northland hydro (Image: The Canadian Press)

Northland hydro (Image: The Canadian Press)

  • Northland has been developing a 400-MW pumped storage project that takes the form of an old flooded mine, sitting on a plateau just outside of Marmora, Ontario. The roughly $900-million project pumps water up into the mine pit when there is extra energy, and then lets it run out through a turbine when more energy is needed. [Huddle Today]
  • The US EPA issued a notice of violation to auto manufacturer Fiat Chrysler Automobiles over alleged violations of the Clean Air Act pertaining to the installation, use, and failure to disclose of engine management software in a large number of vehicles sold in the US, according to a press release issued by the EPA. [CleanTechnica]
  • Florida Power & Light has completed three 74.5-MW solar parks in that state. FPL’s total solar installed capacity is now 335 MW. FPL plans to install four more 74.5-MW solar parks in Florida this year, at permitted sites in Alachua, Putnam and DeSoto counties. Construction is expected to start as early as
    the first quarter of 2017. [reNews]

Tuesday, January 17:

A migrant worker steps out of his accommodation in an area next to a coal power plant in Beijing on a smog-free day. (Reuters / Damir Sagolj)

A migrant worker steps out of his accommodation in an area next to a coal power plant in Beijing on a smog-free day. (Reuters / Damir Sagolj)

  • As China is weaned off coal, its energy regulator has ordered eleven provinces to stop developing over 100 coal-fired power projects, including some that are under construction, Caixin reported. Their a total installed capacity is over 100 GW, and about ¥430 billion ($62.30 billion) has been invested in them. [Thomson Reuters Foundation]
  • Saudi Arabia will start soliciting bids in the next few weeks for the first phase of a “massive” renewable-energy program costing $30 billion to $50 billion, the Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said. OPEC’s biggest oil producer plans to generate close to 10 GW from renewables, primarily solar and wind power, by 2023. [Bloomberg]
  • Employment in the US wind energy industry is higher than that at nuclear, natural gas, coal, or hydroelectric power plants according to the DOE. The report also says more growth in the industry is possible, with the potential to create 380,000 jobs by 2030. The DOE report validates job figures from the AWEA. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

Wednesday, January 18:

Navya Shuttle Las Vegas

Navya Shuttle Las Vegas

  • The city of Las Vegas is now home to the first self-driving, all-electric shuttle service on public roads in the US, according to recent reports. The new electric, autonomous shuttle service is the result of a collaboration between the shuttle manufacturer Navya, the fleet logistics provider Keolis, and the city of Las Vegas. [CleanTechnica]
  • The Vermont Technology Council and the Burlington Electric Department announced the formation of an exploratory team to assess the potential for a Vermont energy startup accelerator – PowerUp Vermont – to help businesses focused on innovating in the power industry and driving the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. [vtdigger.org]




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