2017-07-13 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, July 6:

Wind Power (Pixabay image)

  • Wind and solar electricity will be the cheapest forms of power generation in every G20 country by 2030, according to a report commissioned by Greenpeace Germany. It also said that in about half of the G20 countries, renewables have produced electricity at rates equal to or lower than those from coal or nuclear since 2015. [reNews]
  • For automakers who report the monthly sales in the US of their plug-in models (which includes most big auto makers but not Tesla), fully electric car in June 2017 were up 102% from June 2016, and plug-in hybrid sales were up 11.5%. For the year through June, fully electric sales were up 96% and plug-in hybrid sales were up 42%. [CleanTechnica]

Pump jack in Midland, Texas (Photo: Michael Stravato, NYT)

  • A federal court has ruled that the EPA cannot suspend a methane emissions rule crafted by the Obama administration. Under EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, the EPA argued that the oil and gas industry has not been allowed to comment on the rules. An appeals court in Washington, DC, rejected that claim in a 2-1 ruling. [San Francisco Chronicle]

Friday, July 7:

  • A report from Morgan Stanley predicts “surprisingly large” reductions in global power sector emissions – even in Trump’s America – as solar and wind energy hurtle towards being the cheapest new sources of electricity generation, with or without ambitious policy targets. The power industry will be steered by economics. [RenewEconomy]

Storm resilience for South Australia (Getty Images)

  • An Australian state will install the world’s largest lithium-ion battery in a “historic” deal with electric car firm Tesla and energy company Neoen. Tesla boss Elon Musk confirmed a promise that Tesla would build the battery within 100 days, or it would be provided for free. The 100-MW/129-MWh battery should be ready this year. [BBC]
  • Speaking by videoconference to the Global Citizens Festival in Hamburg, California Governor Jerry Brown reinforced his reputation as America’s de facto leader on climate change, announcing to cheering crowds that his state would gather leaders from around the world for a global warming summit next year. [The New York Times]]

Saturday, July 8:


Cars in Paris (Image: Pixabay)

  • France has announced plans to ban all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, following India’s push to switch to entirely electric vehicles. The country’s Environment Minister revealed the plan as part of a national goal to be carbon neutral by 2050. The French Prime Minister wants France to be the European leader in clean energy. [Interesting Engineering]
  • Massachusetts utilities, in coordination with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, issued a Request for Proposals for long-term contracts for offshore wind energy projects. The RFP, issued under the Energy Diversity Act, calls for bidders to offer from 400 MW to about 800 MW of offshore wind energy capacity. [EnergyOnline]

Wind farm in the Midwest

  • The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approved Xcel Energy’s plan for a huge wind energy expansion in the Upper Midwest. Seven wind farms are planned for Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota, and the plan is for them to be operational by the end of 2020. The projects’ combined capacity is over 1,500 MW. [North American Windpower]

Sunday, July 9:

  • Negotiations over the wording of the final communiqué from the G20 meeting carried on late into Saturday morning. The sticking point? Disagreements over the US’s preferred phrasing for the group’s position on climate change and renewable energy. Bafflingly, the US wanted to state that it will help other nations with access to fossil fuels. [Gizmodo]

Prague Castle

  • A new analysis has been published by researchers involved with Climate Central’s World Weather Attribution program and partners. It concluded that climate warming from anthropogenic greenhouse gasses increased the intensity and frequency of extreme heat in the June 2017 heat wave in Europe by as much as a factor of 10. [CleanTechnica]
  • In the past six years, US rooftop solar panel installations have grown explosively – as much as 900% by one estimate. But that growth is projected to be reversed, with a decline in new installations of 2%, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. This is due in part to well-funded lobbying campaigns in state capitals. [WatertownDailyTimes.com]
  • Southwestern New Hampshire is on its way to becoming a solar-power mecca. Keene, Chesterfield, Fitzwilliam, and Hinsdale have projects at various stages of capturing energy from the sun. The developer of the Fitzwilliam and Hinsdale projects has proposed approximately 30-MW, and up to 65-MW, systems, respectively. [The Keene Sentinel]

Monday, July 10:

Oil site in Saudi Arabia (Reza | Getty Images)

  • The world might be heading for an oil supply shortage following a steep drop in investments and a lack of fresh conventional discoveries, Saudi Aramco’s chief executive Amin Nasser told a conference in Istanbul. He said we should not assume that shale oil and alternative energy can be developed quickly enough to replace oil and gas. [CNBC]
  • France is to close up to 17 nuclear power stations to reach the government’s target of 50% nuclear power by 2015, the Ecology Minister said on Monday. He presented a “climate plan,” though it was short on details on reaching the commitment to reduce the amount of electricity produced in nuclear reactors from the current 75% to 50%. [RFI]

80-MW Tesla PowerPack substation in California (Tesla image)

  • “Everything you need to know about Tesla’s battery in South Australia” • Billionaire Elon Musk has put his money where his mouth is and has promised to solve South Australia’s energy issues by building the world’s largest lithium-ion battery. His promise: If he fails to deliver on the battery within 100 days, it will be free. [NEWS.com.au]

Tuesday, July 11:

  • In Massachusetts, Co-op Power has built up its credentials steadily over the past decade. In a significant milestone, it mounted a $4.3 million community-based fundraising campaign for a biodiesel plant set to go online early next year. It has supported hundreds of rooftop solar installations, and fueled the region’s green job growth. [ilsr.org]

New England countryside

  • This summer, members and employees of Washington Electric Coop, a 100% renewable, 100% member-owned electric utility serving communities in north-central Vermont, are eligible to receive incentives totaling $10,000 on the purchase of a new 2017 Nissan Leaf all electric vehicle from Freedom Nissan in South Burlington. [vtdigger.org]
  • Sonnen unveiled what it calls a major assault on the traditional energy utility business model. It introduced a battery offer modeled on what consumers get from a mobile phone company. An average house consuming around 10,000 kWh a year, or nearly 30 kWh a day, can cut its annual bill of around A$3,400 to just A$480 a year. [CleanTechnica]

Wednesday, July 12:

Infarm’s in-store garden

  • The future of fresh local produce could include distributed farming, with more foods being grown in smaller systems right near the point of sale, instead of everything being shipped in from larger growing operations. Now, Infarm, a Berlin startup, is aiming to put tiny vertical farms into the grocery stores themselves. [CleanTechnica]
  • ViZn Energy Systems Inc is integrating its zinc iron flow battery storage system for a record low price of 4¢/kWh. A ViZn 30-MW, 4-hour system added to a 100 MW solar plant can generate a seven percent internal rate of return with a 4¢/kWh power purchase agreement, 20% below the lowest published values. [AltEnergyMag]

Green Mountain Power solar array

  • Green Mountain Power can seem more like a disruptive high-tech start-up than Vermont’s largest electric utility. It has emerged as a leading national innovator in renewable energy, demonstrating how electricity can be generated, stored, and distributed in ways that are cheaper, cleaner, and more resilient to interruptions. [Triple Pundit]

 

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