2017-06-29 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, June 22:

Philadelphia, committed to 100% clean energy (Shutterstock image)

  • Weeks after its mayor joined hundreds of other mayors across the country denouncing the White House’s move to reject the Paris climate accord, Philadelphia announced it is committing to using 100% clean energy by 2035. Currently, energy used by buildings and industry in Philadelphia accounts for 79% of its carbon pollution. [Curbed Philly]
  • Vermont state and local leaders joined with businesses and nonprofits to announce an initiative to galvanize support for addressing climate change, after the president’s decision to withdraw from the Paris accord. Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger and Governor Phil Scott announced the Vermont Climate Pledge Coalition. [vtdigger.org]

Coal miners (Photo: US National Archives)

  • Researchers from Michigan Technological University published a study saying that ditching coal in favor of solar power would save nearly 52,000 lives in the United States each year. It says external costs of use of coal for generating electricity amount to 27¢/kWh. Bureau of Labor Statistics data says the US has 51,000 coal miners. [CleanTechnica]

Friday, June 23:

Stephen Hawking (Photo: Jemal Countess | Getty Images)

  • “Exxon, Stephen Hawking, greens, and Reagan’s advisors agree on a carbon tax” • What do ExxonMobil, Stephen Hawking, the Nature Conservancy, and a number of former conservative cabinet members have in common? All are founding members of the Climate Leadership Council, which proposed a revenue-neutral carbon tax policy. [The Guardian]

Cattle graze near a wind turbine in Iowa (AP image)

  • President Trump’s put-down of wind energy at his Iowa rally was denounced across the state, which takes pride in its position as a national leader in wind generation. Trump was talking up his support for coal during his speech when he told the audience, “I don’t want to just hope the wind blows to light up your homes and your factories.” [The Japan Times]
  • With the wind turbine setback regulations in place since 2014, Ohio has lost billions of dollars in wind power investment, along with the jobs that would have produced, to its neighbors. Now, Ohio Senate lawmakers have advanced an important fix to wind turbine setback policy in the state’s proposed biennial budget. [AltEnergyMag]

Saturday, June 24:

Biglow wind farm and Mount Hood

  • Portland General Electric, rocked by deep opposition to new fossil-fuel infrastructure earlier this year, is now embracing the public as an ally as it pushes for more renewables. The utility said a big new investment in renewables reflects in part local reaction to President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. [Portland Business Journal]
  • The Vermont Legislature is supporting the Paris climate agreement despite President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the pact. After some Republicans in the House complained the resolution could commit the state to pay for climate funding, that body passed it in amended form. [Rutland Herald]
  • Technology giant IBM says it has achieved two major commitments four years ahead of schedule in its efforts to help combat climate change. One of the goals it met is to have 20% renewables in its energy mix for the year 2020. The other is a 35% reduction in carbon emissions it planned to have by the same year. [North American Windpower]

Sunday, June 25:

Breckenridge Colorado snow train (Photo: Dave Dugdale, Wikimedia Commons)

  • With the installation of more solar gardens, a continued commitment to energy-efficiency, and fruitful negotiations with Xcel Energy, Breckenridge, Colorado, could draw all of its electricity, public and private, from renewable resources as early as 2035, according to a new plan to be presented to the town council. [Summit Daily News]
  • Vermont lawmakers put off until October the deadline for adopting new rules governing wind turbines, after the Public Service Board offered a major revision in response to concerns it said it heard from legislators and others. A legislative committee postponed the July 1 deadline for adopting new limits for turbine noise. [vtdigger.org]
  • The owners of the VC Summer Nuclear Station believed a detailed construction schedule by their builder was the basis for the timing and cost of adding two reactors at the South Carolina plant. They have learned it doesn’t exist, calling into question repeated assurances that the new units can be built by 2020 for $14 billion. [Charleston Post Courier]

Monday, June 26:

EOS Energy Storage Project (EOS Energy Storage)

  • New York lawmakers unanimously passed a measure requiring the state’s Public Service Commission to set targets to increase the adoption of energy storage in the state through 2030. The new law requires the commission to work with the New York State Energy and Research Development Agency and the Long Island Power Authority. [RTO Insider]
  • Donald Trump will tout surging US exports of oil and natural gas during a week of events aimed at showing the country’s growing energy dominance. He also plans to emphasize that after decades of relying on foreign energy supplies, the US is set to become a net exporter of oil, gas, coal, and new renewable and nuclear technology. [Petroleumworld.com]
  • Solar energy continues to be the fastest growing energy source for US electricity, and now accounts for 2.2% of the US supply. Large-scale solar production in April totaled 4.8 million MWh, a jump of 63% over the same month a year ago, and with the combination of rooftop solar contributed 6.9 million MWh, or 2.2%. [RenewEconomy]

Tuesday, June 27:

Artist’s rendering of Nectar Farms expansion

  • A massive expansion of Nectar Farms in western Victoria will be powered by wind energy with battery storage. The $430 million (A$565 million) project will use the latest hydroponic glasshouse and plant technology. Nectar Farms is now looking to start work on Stage 2 of their expansion plans, which will see the facility grow from 10 to 40 hectares. [The Stawell Times-News]
  • The latest issue of the Energy Information Administration’s Electric Power Monthly shows that renewable energy surpassed nuclear energy in March and April, with renewables at 21.60% versus 20.34% for nuclear in March, and 22.98% versus 19.19% in April. While renewable energy is growing rapidly, nuclear power declines. [Renewable Energy Magazine]CleanTechnica]
  • Last week, a Chinese province conducted a test to show it was possible for the entire region to run solely on green energy. For seven continuous days, over 5 million citizens living in the province survived without use of any fossil fuels, on 100% renewable energy, according to the State-run Xinhua News Agency. [ScienceAlert]

Wednesday, June 28:

NAVYA ARMA autonomous shuttle

  • NAVYA ARMA, the French maker of autonomous shuttles, announced that its first assembly plant outside Europe will be in Michigan. The state has already publicly backed autonomous vehicles on its roads with Governor Rick Snyder, who signed driverless vehicles legislation to be tested in the state, seeking to make it a global leader. [CleanTechnica]
  • Ultra-thin, flexible screen-printed batteries for cheap portable devices and intermittent renewable energy are closer to reality, due to a joint project of two Australian universities to develop technology by battery energy storage firm Printed Energy. The solid state batteries are printed in a roll-to-roll process like a newspaper. [Manufacturers’ Monthly]

Fuel trailer on the back of the bus (Team Fast image)

  • Team Fast, a spin-off company from Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands, has found a way formic acid can efficiently carry the ingredients needed for hydrogen fuel cells, used to power electric vehicles. The fuel is a liquid, which means you can transport it easily and refill vehicles quickly, just as with conventional fuels. [BBC]
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