2017-02-02 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 26:

  • The Trump administration is examining the EPA’s website to determine what information will be allowed to remain. This underscores concerns that climate change and other scientific data might be removed. EPA employees have been instructed not to release press releases, publish blog posts, or post anything on social media. [CNN]
Scientists at rally (Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP / File)

Scientists at rally (Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP / File)

  • The first tweets appeared quietly, mid-Tuesday afternoon, with a 21st-century declaration of defiance. “Mr Trump, you may have taken us down officially. But with scientific evidence & the Internet our message will get out.” Get out it did. One day later, the post had been retweeted by 22,000 people and liked by nearly 42,000. [Christian Science Monitor]
  • ExxonMobil has named environmentalist Susan Avery to its board. Avery belongs to the Scientific Advisory Board of the United Nations Secretary General; the National Research Council Global Change Research Program Advisory Committee; and advisory committees with NASA, NOAA, among other positions. [Seeking Alpha]

Friday, January 27:

  • Eos Energy Storage announced a partnership with Siemens on storage solutions. The Eos Aurora 1000│4000, a 1-MW|4-MWh DC battery system, is being sold at $160 per usable kWh for the full DC system with performance guarantees that support up to 20 years of continuous operation with low maintenance. [Windpower Engineering] (Website says the LCOE is in the range of 12¢/kWh to 17¢/kWh.)
  • 2016 was the hottest year in 137 years of record keeping and the third year in a row to take the number one slot, a mark of how much the world has warmed over the last century because of human activities, NASA and NOAA announced. They made the joint announcement as Cabinet confirmations of climate skeptics continue. [CleanTechnica]
Solar construction (Pixabay image)

Solar construction (Pixabay image)

  • According to the latest figures released by the Department of Energy, solar energy employed 374,000 people over the year 2015-2016. That’s 43% of the Electric Power Generation sector’s workforce, much more than the 187,117 (22%) that organizations that burn fossil fuels like oil, gas, and coal for electricity employ. [ZME Science]
  • Republican governors of states in the Midwest are prioritizing economic growth and job creation by accelerating investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy. Since the November election, leaders in Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan have adopted new policies that help tackle climate change and grow the clean energy economy. [Environmental Defense Fund]

Saturday, January 28:

MHI Vestas V164 (Courtesy of MHI Vestas Offshore Wind)

MHI Vestas V164 (Courtesy of MHI Vestas Offshore Wind)

  • MHI Vestas Offshore Wind unveiled a prototype wind turbine. It is the world’s most powerful and can reach 9 MW at specific site conditions. The prototype installed at Østerild broke the energy generation record for a commercially available offshore wind turbine, producing 216,000 kWh over a 24 hour period. [Oil and Gas Industry Latest News]
  • After the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention abruptly canceled its climate conference, former Vice President Al Gore announced that he would host a similar conference focusing on climate change and its effects on public health. He will do this in partnership a former director of CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health. [PerfScience]

Sunday, January 29:

Riverside California (Photo: Tony Webster / Flickr)

Riverside California (Photo: Tony Webster / Flickr)

  • Jobs in solar power are currently growing at about 20% per year, a rate 12 times faster than the rest of the US economy, a report from Environmental Defense Fund says. It adds that jobs in wind power are growing at roughly the same rate, and wind-turbine technician is now the fastest-growing profession in the country overall. [Mother Nature Network]
  • Ireland just took a big step toward cutting coal and oil out of the picture. Its Parliament has passed a bill that would stop the country from investing in fossil fuels as part of an €8 billion ($8.6 billion) government fund. If the measure becomes law, it would make Ireland the first country to eliminate public funding for fossil fuel sources completely. [Engadget]

Recovering sediment cores for study (Erik Lundberg)

  • Rising temperatures could boost mercury levels in fish by up to seven times what they currently are, Swedish researchers say. A study suggests that climate change could be driving up levels of methylmercury, through a mechanism that has not previously been recognized. The study was published in the journal, Science Advances. [BBC]

Monday, January 30:

  • The US solar industry employed nearly 374,000 people in 2015 to 2016, a report from the DOE says. This is double the number of jobs in oil, coal and gas combined. There are about 769,000 renewable energy jobs, growing at an annual rate of nearly 6% since 2012. Jobs in fossil fuel extraction and support services saw annual declines. [The Climate Group]
  • The two dozen nonprofit groups and Senate committee members defending Scott Pruitt, President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the EPA, have two things in common. Like Pruitt, they’re climate science deniers. And, like Pruitt, most are funded by Charles and David Koch, who own the coal, oil, and gas conglomerate Koch Industries. [Triple Pundit]
  • Toshiba Corp will cease taking orders related to building nuclear power stations, sources said, in a move that would effectively mark its withdrawal from the business of nuclear plant construction. The company said it will review its nuclear operations as it expects an expected asset impairment of up to ¥700 billion ($6.08 billion). [The Japan Times]

Tuesday, January 31:

Wind turbines in Kodiak (AP Photo / Kodiak Daily Mirror, James Brooks)

Wind turbines in Kodiak (AP Photo / Kodiak Daily Mirror, James Brooks)

  • The effects of climate change are being felt in Alaska, and isn’t an arbitrary threat but one that already has a huge price tag. But there is another, more immediate reason to turn to renewable energy soon. Its cost is quickly becoming lower than traditional energy-producing methods, and in a number of places in Alaska, it already is. [Alaska Dispatch News]
  • Expansion of renewable energy cannot stave off catastrophic climate change by itself, scientists warned. Even if solar and wind capacity continues to grow at breakneck speed, it will not be fast enough to cap global warming under 2° C (3.6° F), the target set in the 2015 Paris climate treaty, said their report in the journal Nature Climate Change. [Phys.Org]
  • The US solar industry employed nearly 374,000 people in 2015 to 2016, a report from the DOE says. This is double the number of jobs in oil, coal and gas combined. There are about 769,000 renewable energy jobs, growing at an annual rate of nearly 6% since 2012. Jobs in fossil fuel extraction and support services saw annual declines. [The Climate Group]
  • The two dozen nonprofit groups and Senate committee members defending Scott Pruitt, President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the EPA, have two things in common. Like Pruitt, they’re climate science deniers. And, like Pruitt, most are funded by Charles and David Koch, who own the coal, oil, and gas conglomerate Koch Industries. [Triple Pundit]

Wednesday, February 1:

Tesla battery packs at the Mira Loma substation (Tesla image)

Tesla battery packs at the Mira Loma substation (Tesla image)

  • In Southern California, 396 refrigerator-size stacks of Tesla batteries have been hastily erected to supply power for peak demand periods. The installation, capable of powering roughly 15,000 homes over four hours, is part of an emergency response to projected energy shortages stemming from a huge leak at a natural gas storage facility. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • The largest solar project in New Hampshire may be headed for Hinsdale. Selectmen approved a payment in lieu of taxes for the $50 million project. It is tentatively scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019. The firm proposing it claims the project would offset more than 500,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions over 20 years. [The Keene Sentinel]
Dakota Access Pipeline section in Iowa (Carl Wycoff, Wikimedia Commons)

Dakota Access Pipeline section in Iowa (Carl Wycoff, Wikimedia Commons)

  • The Army Corps of Engineers has been directed to allow the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline, according to North Dakota Senator John Hoeven. He said he was told the Acting Secretary of the Army “directed the Army Corps of Engineers to proceed with the easement needed to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline.” [CNN]
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