2017-1-26 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, 19:

Kitty Hawk (Photo: US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management)

Kitty Hawk (Photo: US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management)

  • The US Interior Department and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management are planning to offer 122,405 acres off Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in a commercial wind lease sale in March 2017. Nine companies have been qualified to bid in the lease sale for development of approximately 1.5 GW of offshore wind capacity. [Energy Business Review]
  • According to several reports translating an announcement from the Chinese National Energy Administration, China connected 34.24 GW of new solar PV capacity to the country’s grid in 2016, an increase of 126% on the installations of the previous year. This brings China’s cumulative solar capacity up to 77.42 GW. [CleanTechnica]
  • No new nuclear power projects were approved by China in 2016. Just one nuclear power unit launched operations in 2016. As of September 2016, 33 operating nuclear power units had generated little more than 3% of the country’s total electricity production, well below the global average of 10%, a Chinese website reports. [gbtimes]
Wind turbine in Wyoming (Image: Power Company of Wyoming)

Wind turbine in Wyoming (Image: Power Company of Wyoming)

  • The Federal Bureau of Land Management has given the green light to the Power Company of Wyoming’s 1.5-GW Chokecherry Sierra Madre wind farm, the first of the 3-GW project’s two phases. The bureau has issued environmental approval for the construction of 500 turbines and associated facilities in Carbon County, Wyoming. [reNews]

Friday, 20:

Norwich-based Solaflect solar project (Solaflect photo)

Norwich-based Solaflect solar project (Solaflect photo)

  • Representatives of Vermont’s solar industry are for the most part looking to the future with cautious optimism, hoping that the established nature of the no-longer-novel industry will serve as a bulwark against policies that the administration of President Donald Trump, with its skeptical view of renewable energy, might impose. [Vermont Biz]
  • Emerging energy markets are expected to add nearly 81 GW of stationary energy storage capacity by 2025 to today’s 1.9 GW of non-hydro energy storage installations, according to Navigant Research. An amount coming to 52.3 GW, about 65% of the new energy storage capacity, will be deployed in East Asia and the Pacific. [SeeNews Renewables]
(Source: US EIA, Monthly Energy Review)

(Source: US EIA, Monthly Energy Review)

  • The US transport sector is emitting more carbon dioxide than power generation for the first time since the 1970s, according to data from the Energy Information Administration. A shift away from burning coal to cleaner natural gas and renewable sources has seen power sector emissions trend downwards since 2007. [Climate Home]

Saturday, 21:

Hawaii

Hawaii

  • Hawaii has the most aggressive renewable energy targets in the nation, aiming for its utilities to get 100% of their electricity from renewable sources by 2045. Now advocates want to extend that goal to the transportation sector to urge all forms of ground transportation to fuel up using renewable sources by 2045. [Electric Light & Power]
  • Gains in the renewable energy sector helped boost fourth quarter GE’s profits substantially. GE said its earnings during the fourth quarter increased to about $3.5 billion, against the $2.6 billion reported during the same period last year. The company’s renewable energy sector saw total revenues increase 29% to $2.5 billion. [Gephardt Daily]

Sunday, 22:

A rising sea

A rising sea

  • The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration just reported that the sea level is rising faster than expected in the northeastern United States and other specific regions. As climate change worsens, the global sea level could rise eight feet before the year 2100. This is driven by melting ice and warming oceans. [Natural Science News]
  • According to Phys.org, a new study published this week in the journal Science suggests that today’s ocean surface temperatures are at similar levels to what they were about 125,000 years ago, an era that marked our planet’s last “warm period.” But sea levels were about 20 to 30 feet higher in those times, and that seems to be where they are headed. [Morochos.net]
  • Even though California Governor Jerry Brown may be most pro-climate governor, he surprised people with a response to Trump’s threats to end NASA climate research. “If Trump turns off the satellites, California will launch its own damn satellite,” he said. “We’ve got the scientists, we’ve got the lawyers, and we’re ready to fight.” [Grist]

Monday, 23:

Road temporarily closed (Photo courtesy of Ready Wisconsin)

Road temporarily closed (Photo courtesy of Ready Wisconsin)

  • In a report posted online, Wisconsin’s Division of Emergency Management devoted extensive attention to climate change and natural disasters it will cause, such as floods, drought and forest fires. The Public Service Commission and the Department of Natural Resources had removed all mentions of climate change from their websites. [The Sheboygan Press]
Renewables are now the cheapest option. (Data by Lazard, Chart by CleanTechnica | Zachary Shahan.)

Renewables are now the cheapest option. (Data by Lazard, Chart by CleanTechnica | Zachary Shahan.)

  • Renewable energy is now the cheapest option, on average, for new electricity capacity around the world, and this is true for developed countries like the US as well as developing countries like India, Nigeria, and Mexico. One of the biggest problems for dealing with climate change is just getting people to understand that fact. [CleanTechnica]
  • Australia won’t be following Donald Trump’s lead on renewable energy policies, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce says. His statement comes after calls from within the Coalition to scrap Australia’s renewable energy targets if the US President attempts to withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement of 2015. [Northern Rivers Echo]

Tuesday, 24:

  • The Scottish Government published a draft climate change plan which aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 66% by 2032. Scotland exceeded an interim target of delivering a 42% emissions reduction in 2014 – six years early. At the start of 2013, only 13% of the country’s total final energy consumption had come from renewable sources. [Energy Voice]
Offshore wind power (Photo: Simon Dawson / Bloomberg)

Offshore wind power (Photo: Simon Dawson / Bloomberg)

  • The levelized cost of offshore wind energy dropped in the UK because of larger, more efficient turbines, competitive auctions, and cheaper capital, according to a report. The levelized costs dropped 32% last year, to £97/MWh, beating a goal to pass the £100/MWh threshold by 2020, and making offshore wind cheaper than nuclear power. [Bloomberg]
  • As President Donald Trump prepares to boost fossil fuel production, a Pew Research Center poll finds that nearly two-thirds of Americans would rather the US focus on developing clean energy. The new poll shows that 27% said fossil fuels should be a priority, compared with 65% who favored renewable energy. [Huffington Post]

Wednesday, 25:

  • “Trump has a great opportunity to save our environment” • Donald Trump is rolling back EPA rules. But the nonpartisan federal Office of Management and Budget calculated that the rules imposed by the EPA over the decade ending 2012 yielded benefits 10 times their costs, the best ratio of all federal agencies they reviewed. [Huffington Post]
Dakota Access Pipeline (Photo: Tony Webster, Wikimedia Commons)

Dakota Access Pipeline (Photo: Tony Webster, Wikimedia Commons)

  • President Donald Trump signed executive actions to advance approval of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines. The decision to advance the pipelines cast aside efforts by the Obama administration to block construction of the pipelines, while making good on one of the campaign promises Trump had made. [CNN]
  • “Renewables = Over 50% New Electricity Capacity But 16% Of Energy Investment” • The wide gap in investment figures versus new capacity figures is striking. Cheap renewables dominate new power plant installations, but polluting fossil fuels dominate the energy investments. Why? Partly because of the cost to transport fossil fuels. [CleanTechnica]

 

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