2017-05-18 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, May 11:

Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire

  • The town of Hanover, New Hampshire voted to establish a goal of transitioning to 100% clean and renewable energy by 2050. The article approved at town meeting sets a community-wide goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2030 and a 2050 goal of transitioning heating and transportation to clean sources of energy. [EcoWatch]
  • The 37 glaciers remaining at Glacier National Park are vanishing. In the past half century, some of the ice formations in Montana have lost 85% of their size, and the average shrinkage is 39%, a study released by the US Geological Survey and Portland State University says. One scientist said, “The glaciers will be gone in decades.” [CNN]

Gas being flared (Andrew Burton | Getty Images)

  • Republicans’ bid to roll back an Obama-era rule limiting methane emissions from drilling rigs on public lands narrowly lost in the Senate after three GOP senators voted against the repeal in a 49-51 vote. The rule limited the amount of methane that can be vented and burned from oil and gas extraction sites on federal lands. [Huffington Post]

Friday, May 12:

  • President Donald Trump’s efforts to dilute US climate policies put Tillerson in an awkward position at a meeting of Arctic nations in Fairbanks. Tillerson signed an agreement recognizing the Paris climate accord, but he said Trump was not rushing to decide whether to leave or weaken US commitments to the pact. [Financial Express]

Offshore Wind in Denmark

  • Maryland regulators approved plans for the nation’s first large-scale offshore wind projects. The Maryland Public Service Commission awarded renewable energy credits for two projects off Maryland’s Eastern Shore near Ocean City. The PSC says the decision allows US Wind and Skipjack Offshore Energy to build 368 MW of capacity. [PennEnergy]
  • Each year the intelligence community puts together a “Worldwide Threat Assessment” report. This year’s report makes for particularly disquieting reading. While it focuses on the increasing danger that North Korea’s nuclear weapons program poses as well as cyberterrorism threats, one environmental concern stands out: climate change. [Yahoo News]

Saturday, May 13:

Needing to adapt to climate change

  • “The Casual Gardener: Adapt your garden for a changing climate” • According to the RHS’s “Gardening in a Changing Climate” report, the lush, green, “quintessentially British” lawn could become a thing of the past. It also warns that pests and diseases not yet established in some areas could become commonplace. [the Irish News]
  • Indian solar power tariffs dropped to a new low of ₹2.44 per unit (3.8¢/kWh) in an auction for the 500-MW Bhadla solar power park in Rajasthan. ACME Solar Holdings won the bid at ₹2.44 per unit for 200 MW, and SoftBank Energy, quoting ₹2.45 per unit, won the remaining 300 MW. Two days ago, the lowest bid was at ₹2.62 per unit. [Scroll.in]
  • China will suspend approvals for new coal-fired power plants in 29 provinces to reduce overcapacity, the official China Securities Journal reported. The National Energy Administration put as many as 25 provinces on “red alert”, meaning that new projects would create severe overcapacity or environmental risks. [Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide]

Sunday, May 14:

Tucson rooftop solar (Ron Medvescek | Arizona Daily Star)

  • Last December, after years of legal wrangling, the Arizona Corporation Commission set a new solar policy phasing out net metering. Now, Tucson Electric Power Co proposed a rate structure for future customers with PVs that would cut credits for excess solar production and mandate time-of-use rates with new monthly charges. [Arizona Daily Star]
  • Environment advocates said Philippine coal-fired projects under construction could cause 70,000 deaths per year by 2030. Residents of Ozamiz City protested the impending construction of a 300-MW coal-fired power plant, saying the it will also prevent people from enjoying clean and cheap energy from renewable resources. [Manila Bulletin]

Monday, May 15:

Professor Paul Dastoor and printed PVs (ABC News | Kerrin Thomas)

  • Final trials of printed PVs on sheets of plastic are underway at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales. Conventional printing technology is used to print electronic ink on clear plastic sheets. The finished product is very lightweight. Printed PVs are expected to be available commercially in about three years. [ABC Online]
  • Korean President Moon Jae-in ordered a temporary shutdown of outdated coal-fired plants, aged 30 years or over, as part of an emergency measure to combat fine dust. Under the plans, 10 out of 59 coal-fired plants will stop operating for a month in June. He has also pledged to close nuclear plants and increase renewable generation. [The Korea Herald]

Battery storage (Horizon Power image)

  • Western Australia network operator Horizon Power announced plans to take more remote regional customers off grid, offering stand-alone solar plus battery storage systems and back-up diesel generators as a cheaper and more reliable alternative to poles and wires. Five test systems installed last year were successful. [One Step Off The Grid]

Tuesday, May 16:


North sea oil platform (Image: Berardo62, some rights reserved)

  • Over 1400 oil and gas platforms in the North Sea might eventually be used to fight the problem they helped to create: unsustainable energy generation. Both fossil fuels and renewable companies are working on a system design that could make the platforms part of the energy revolution as hydrogen production and storage facilities. [CleanTechnica]
  • Global solar investment is to be higher than coal, gas and nuclear combined in 2017, according to a report from Frost & Sullivan. Global Power Industry Outlook, 2017 examines power market trends, installed capacity, investment, and regional growth across coal-fired, gas-fired, nuclear, hydro, solar PV, wind, and biomass. [Your Renewable News]

Indian renewable energy (Photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar | Mint)

  • Thanks to strong government support, India has moved up to the second spot in the “Renewable energy country attractiveness index” 2017, according to a report released by Ernst & Young. The report released globally stated that China and India have surpassed the US, which has fallen to third place on Trump administration policy. [Livemint]

Wednesday, May 17:

Tesla Powerwall

  • Tesla and Vermont’s Green Mountain Power are offering GMP customers a Powerwall battery for $15 a month for 10 years, or a one time charge of $1500. The normal price of a 10-kWh Powerwall with built-in inverter is $5,500, plus installation. The batteries will provide backup power to customers and balancing to the grid. [CleanTechnica]
  • 8minutenergy Renewables, the largest independent solar power developer in the US, announced it has expanded into the energy storage market with a 1-GW project pipeline. The company has a storage leadership team with decades of experience building large energy storage, renewable energy, and transmission projects. [MilTech]

Offshore wind farm (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

  • Scotland’s most senior judge has reversed a decision to halt construction of four giant offshore wind farms in the Forth and Tay, which could power 1.4 million homes and create thousands of jobs. Construction of the £2 billion 450-MW Neart Na Gaoithe scheme in the outer Forth estuary may soon begin, as it is already fully funded. [The Scotsman]

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