2017-05-04 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, April 27:

Solar panel installation in Brooklyn (LO3 image)

  • An energy startup, LO3 Energy, is developing and running the Brooklyn Microgrid, an effort to create a localized, sustainable energy market in the neighborhoods of Park Slope and Gowanus. It is a test run in small-scale energy trading, which has already recruited and linked up dozens of consumers and residents with solar panels. [Curbed]
  • There is a strong renewable energy target set by almost 50% of the major companies of the US. A report from the World Wildlife Fund, Ceres, Calvert Research and Management shows that increasing numbers of investors are promising to rely on clean energy. In the process, they are already saving $3.7 billion per year. [Insider Tradings]

Installing solar panels

  • Solar power now makes up 11% of Australian generating capacity. South Australia has the highest penetration among dwellings at 32%, with Aberfoyle Park the state’s “solar rooftop hotspot.” The market is driven by increased knowledge, high electricity prices, and fear the Federal Government will cut incentives in the future. [The Advertiser]

Friday, April 28:

  • According to the International Energy Agency, oil discoveries declined to 2.4 billion barrels in 2016, compared to the previous average over the last 15 years of 9 billion barrels a year. The IEA reported that because of low oil prices, the number of projects receiving final investment decision has fallen to the lowest levels seen since the 1940s. [CleanTechnica]
  • Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) introduced legislation to build a 100% renewable energy economy by 2050. It was called “the most ambitious piece of climate legislation Congress has ever seen” by 350.org. Others caution that it is not enough to deal with climate change. [Common Dreams]
  • More than 1,000 US companies are calling on the Congress and administration to strengthen the EPA’s ENERGY STAR program, instead of following through on its proposed elimination, as per Trump’s recent budget proposals. The companies signed a joint letter, organized by the Alliance to Save Energy, to congressional leaders. [CleanTechnica]

Saturday, April 29:

Protest at the White House (Image: Paul J Richards | AFP | Getty Images)

  • For the second time in a week, activists will take to the streets of Washington, DC, and hundreds of other locations worldwide. This time, the issue at hand will be global warming, and the backdrop in the nation’s capital on Saturday could not be more appropriate. The weather forecast for Washington calls for potentially record-shattering heat. [Mashable]
  • The website of the US EPA, EPA.gov, is getting a makeover to reflect the views of President Donald Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. The agency said in a statement, “As EPA renews its commitment to human health and clean air, land and water, our website needs to reflect the views of the leadership of the agency.” [The Indian Express]

Canary Islands pumped hydro project (Image: Gorona del Viento)

  • A 500-MW energy storage facility with “5-8 hours” storage duration could be built in San Diego, with a local water authority seeking detailed proposals for such a project to support the grid and help integrate renewable energy. The facility would support the electric grid’s stability in a region struck consistently with drought. [Energy Storage News]
  • “How A Professional Climate Change Denier Discovered The Lies And Decided To Fight For Science” • It might seem like an impossible transition, but Jerry Taylor, who used to be staff director for the energy and environment task force at the American Legislative Exchange Council and vice president of the Cato Institute, made it. [UPROXX]

Sunday, April 30:

A pair of walruses (Dan Beecham | BBC)

  • “Yes, I am a climate alarmist. Global warming is a crime against humanity” • Most of us have wondered about the human context of past crimes against humanity: why didn’t more people intervene? How could so many pretend not to know? The principled condemnation of large scale atrocity is, too often, a luxury of hindsight. [The Guardian]
  • Iowa’s largest utility is in the midst of a $3.6 billion investment in wind power with a goal of producing 100% of its energy from renewable sources. MidAmerican Energy plans to build 1,000 more turbines over the next couple of years on top of the more than 2,000 it already has around the state, the Des Moines Register reported. [Omaha World-Herald]
  • Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders says climate marches taking place around the country are part of a fight for the future of the planet. The former candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination addressed an adoring crowd of about 3,000 people who turned out for a rally at the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier. [WCBI]

Monday, May 1:

Tourists on Block Island taking in the wind farm (Credit: Phil McKenna | InsideClimate News)

  • For decades, the Block Island Power Company ferried up to a million gallons of diesel fuel a year from the Rhode Island mainland to power Block Island. The fuel is a costly and dirty energy source whose CO2 emissions are second only to burning coal. Now, America’s first offshore wind farm is delivering it electricity. [InsideClimate News]
  • Negotiators have reached a bipartisan agreement on a spending package to keep the US federal government funded until the end of September, according to congressional aides. It is very different from what the president proposed. The EPA’s budget is at 99% of current levels and also includes increased infrastructure spending. [The Guardian]

Power lines in Vermont (AP Photo | Wilson Ring)

  • A proposal to build an electric transmission line to carry Canadian power through Vermont on its way to southern New England would reopen public debate about the use of the land that began nearly two decades ago. The proposal by National Grid would install the power line alongside an existing transmission line. [The Recorder]

Tuesday, May 2:

  • “New Mexico’s Largest Electricity Provider Proposes Going 100% Coal-Free” • The Public Service Company of New Mexico has issued a landmark finding. After a routine assessment of future power supply scenarios, the utility made an anything-but-routine conclusion: the best version of its future self was coal-free. [Union of Concerned Scientists]

Offshore wind power (Image: Pixabay)

  • Massachusetts has taken the wraps off plans to solicit up to 800 MW in its first call for offshore wind. A draft request for proposals seeks 400 MW, but up to 800 MW will be considered if the evaluation team determines that a larger-scale proposal is “superior” to other bids or is likely to produce “significantly more” economic net benefits. [reNews]
  • Australia’s largest integrated energy company, AGL Energy, says Australia’s transition away from a grid dominated by coal to low-carbon generation will largely bypass “baseload” gas. The prediction is based on the now fairly well accepted economic view that gas power is becoming less competitive with large-scale solar and wind. [RenewEconomy]

Wednesday, May 3:

Countryside near Moab, Utah (John Fowler, Wikimedia Commons)

  • “How The Small Community Of Moab, Utah, Is Making A Big Difference” • The city of Moab, Utah, with a population of 5,325 and a per capita income of $23,586, has committed to 100% renewable electricity by 2032. You can find out how Moab made the dream of going renewable into reality and how your community can do the same. [CleanTechnica]
  • An industry report said energy from renewable sources provided the majority of the power over the weekend in Germany. For the first time, most of the country’s coal-fired power plants were offline. Renewable energy sources provided the majority of the power over the weekend, producing over 85% of the electricity on Sunday. [malaysiandigest.com]
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