2017-03-30 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, March 23:

Sarulla geothermal plant (Toshiba photo)

  • Toshiba and Ormat Technologies have commissioned the first 110-MW unit of the $1.17 billion Sarulla geothermal power plant located in North Sumatra, Indonesia. The 320.8-MW power plant uses technologies from Toshiba and Ormat to provide a high efficiency and 100% reinjection of the used geothermal fluid. [Energy Business Review]
  • Fifty Massachusetts lawmakers put their support behind a bill that would transition the state’s energy system to renewable sources. All of the state’s electricity would be required to come from clean energy initiatives like solar and wind by 2035. Energy for heating and transportation would all be renewably sourced by 2050. [pvbuzz media]
  • Madison, Wisconsin and Abita Springs, Louisiana are moving to 100% renewable energy following city council votes. Madison and Abita Springs are the first cities in Wisconsin and Louisiana to make this commitment. They join 23 other cities across the United States, from large ones like San Diego to small ones like Greensburg, Kansas. [EcoWatch]

Friday, March 24:

  • According to 2017 Key Trends in Hydropower, published this week by the International Hydropower Association, a total of 31.5 GW of hydropower capacity was commissioned worldwide in 2016, including 6.4 GW of pumped storage, nearly twice the amount installed in 2015. Hydropower capacity is now 1,246 GW. [CleanTechnica]
  • E.ON will be one of the first companies to stabilize the German electricity grid with wind power. This is made possible by the integration of a wind farm in Brandenburg into E.ON’s Virtual Power Plant. The wind farm is made part of a virtual power plant having 3,800 MW generation output from various sources. [Windtech International]

Rainbows will not keep coal alive. (Credit: Flickr user Mike Baird)

  • The declining cost of wind generation has many utilities looking to add it into their portfolios, a trend that could accelerate the demise of aging coal plants. According to new analysis from Moody’s Investor Services, some 56 GW of Midwest coal-fired generation is at risk, as wind energy comes online with lower costs. [Utility Dive]

Saturday, March 25:

Pipes near Cushing, Oklahoma (Photo: Larry W Smith, EPA)

  • President Donald Trump has announced that he is granting approval to the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline. Trump said the 1,900-mile pipeline, which will cross much of the Great Plains in a path from Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico, will be “the first of many infrastructure projects” he believes will stimulate jobs. [National Geographic]
  • Beijing and the entire surrounding province of Hebei will be planting trees and creating new greenbelts, according to reports. The idea is apparently to leverage existing rivers, wetlands, mountains, and open spaces, to create a “green necklace” that will help to reduce smog problems, the Hebei government has revealed. [CleanTechnica]
  • Three European transmission system operators have signed a trilateral agreement this week that intends to develop a large renewable European electricity system in the North Sea. It is expected that the North Sea Wind Power Hub could supply as many as 70 to 100 million people in Europe with renewable energy by 2050. [CleanTechnica]

Sunday, March 26:

Sandhill Crane (Photo: Sheldon Goldstein / Audubon Photography Awards)

  • After President Trump granted a permit for TransCanada Corp’s Keystone XL pipeline, the National Audubon Society issued a statement saying that the Keystone XL pipeline puts America’s birds and people in danger, and would further destabilize our changing climate. The pipeline will only make the future more uncertain. [Sierra Sun Times]

Artificial sun (DLR image)

  • The German Aerospace Center just powered up a massive “artificial sun.” Using an array of 149 gigantic spotlights, it produces “synlight,” which can heat things up to 5,432°F. The effort is part of research to use sunlight to make hydrogen to use for fuel. With an artificial sun, the research can continue on rainy days. [Smithsonian]

Monday, March 27:

With rising seas, sunny day flooding in Hollywood, Florida (AP)

  • “A conservative still pushing for a carbon tax” • If five years ago Bob Inglis’ optimism about building a coalition of conservatives to enact a carbon tax seemed far-fetched, today it’s a study in faith. He lost his South Carolina Congressional seat to a Tea Party candidate in 2010, but has been reborn as a conservative climate activist. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
  • President Donald Trump will sign an executive order this week scrapping Obama cuts in power plant emissions, according to Trump’s environmental chief. EPA director Scott Pruitt told ABC Television’s “This Week” broadcast that Trump believes the US needs what he calls a “pro-growth and pro-environment approach.” [Voice of America]
  • A resolution passed by the Brattleboro Representative Town Meeting expressed concern that the federal government is ignoring the health and well-being of its citizens, violating the guarantees of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and violating our right to a government that represents its citizens. It seeks investigation and possibly prosecution. [Green Energy Times]

Tuesday, March 28:

Wind turbines in Edelstal, Austria (Photo: Matej Kova, National Geographic)

  • In California, renewably sourced electricity has been setting production records since February 24. On March 23, renewables broke 56% of total demand. According to the daily report, solar peaked around 11:16 am. Three minutes later, the solar plus wind peaked at 49.2% of demand, and nine minutes later, total renewables peaked at 56.7%. [Electrec]
  • The former head of former head of GDF Suez Australia (now Engie) says solar PV and battery storage are already cheaper than gas-fired generation. He cited an estimate given to Reach Solar, which he now heads, in late December 2016 for solar PV and energy storage at A$110/MWh to $130/MWh (US$83.64/MWh to $98.85/MWh). [CleanTechnica]

Homes in the state of Amazonas (Pic: Flickr/Monica Posada)

  • Although the Amazon region is home to dozens of big hydroelectric dams, their energy is sent thousands of miles south to power the homes and factories in the big cities, or to feed electricity-intensive industries, many of them foreign-owned aluminium smelters. Local power is usually from diesel generators. But that is changing. [Climate Home]

Wednesday, March 29:

  • “The 150-Year-Old Energy Giant Ready To Disrupt The World (#CleanTechnica Original)” • Engie has been acquiring top startups in the various arenas it considers to be the biggest playing fields of the future. In energy, there are 5 “tsunamis” or 5 disruptive trends they see occurring all at approximately the same time. [CleanTechnica]

Donald Trump, possibly lobbying for a new job (AFP)

  • President Donald Trump has signed an executive order rolling back Obama-era rules aimed at curbing climate change. He said this would put an end to the “war on coal” and “job-killing regulations.” The Energy Independence Executive Order suspends more than half a dozen measures enacted by his predecessor, and boosts fossil fuels. [BBC News]
  • Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s biggest beer maker, plans to get all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025, shifting 6 TWh of electricity away from fossil-fuel plants. The company’s announcement comes the same day President Donald Trump signed an executive order undoing the Clean Power Plan. [Salt Lake Tribune]
  • A coalition of 23 US states and local governments has vowed to challenge in court President Trump’s latest Executive Order reversing a raft of President Obama’s climate change regulations. The coalition includes states such as California, Massachusetts and Virginia, as well as cities including Chicago, Philadelphia and Boulder, Colorado. [RTE.ie]



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