2017-07-20 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, 13:

Nebraska landowner

  • Many Nebraska landowners are opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline slashing through their land. So they’re fighting the proposed oil pipeline with clean, renewable energy. Activists launched the Solar XL campaign to install solar panels on land that Nebraska locals refuse to sell – directly in the path of the pipeline. [Inhabitat]
  • For the past several years, scientists have been trying to get people to wake up to the dangers that lie ahead in rising seas due to climate change. A study from the Union of Concerned Scientists includes a list naming hundreds of US cities, large and small, that may not make it through the next 20, 50 or 80 years due to sea level rise. [CNN]

Sunrise in Kurnool (Flickr | Pranav)

  • The largest solar park in the world is being grid-synchronized at Kurnool in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It is the first ever solar park to reach 1 GW of grid-tied capacity. The Andhra Pradesh Solar Power Corporation noted on its website that the final 20 MW of the park is scheduled for commissioning by 13 July. [PV-Tech]

Friday, 14:

  • Waste water from fracking has contaminated a watershed in Pennsylvania with organic chemicals, salts, radium, and alkaline earth metals. Some pollutants are associated with endocrine system changes and others with carcinogens. Fracking produces half of the oil and two-thirds of the natural gas extracted in the US. [CleanTechnica]


Solar farm on the face of a dam (Photo: Jamey Stillings)

  • “Japan’s Renewable-Energy Revolution” • A set of images from a series of flights over the Tokyo and Kobe/Osaka regions of Japan show a range of PV projects on former golf courses, quarries, dams, man-made islands, and floating projects on ponds and reservoirs. They add a new look on energy and climate change. [Bloomberg]
  • Indian Railways launched the first solar-powered DEMU (diesel electrical multiple unit) train from the Safdarjung railway station in Delhi. The train will run between railway stations in Delhi and Haryana. Each of six coaches has sixteen 300-W solar panels. The train also has battery backup power, on which it can run for at least 72 hours. [Economic Times]

Saturday, 15:

Wind turbines on a beach

  • Record low renewable energy prices in Chile are here to stay and will likely push power prices even lower, Chile’s energy minister told Reuters, a development that would pressure the nation’s already squeezed diesel and natural gas industries. Chile, with ample solar and wind resources, has become a poster child for renewable energy. [ETEnergyworld.com]
  • Republicans are not all united against renewable energy. The House of Representatives voted down an amendment to block a requirement in the pending National Defense Authorization Act for the armed services to study the impact of climate change on the military. Those who voted against the measure included 43 Republicans. [CleanTechnica]
  • National Grid is holding “community meetings” to gather input and discuss details of its proposed Granite State Power Link project, which would bring hydropower from Canada through New Hampshire to southern New England. The Granite State Power Link project would also cross northeastern Vermont. [New Hampshire Public Radio]

Sunday, 16:

NREL’s Wind Technology Center (Helen H. Richardson | Denver Post)

  • Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which had its 40th birthday on July 5, have been innovating and contributing to the Colorado and national economy through seven presidential administrations. The laboratory’s future is uncertain under President Trump, but workers are keeping up hopes. [The Denver Post]
  • The Energy Information Administration’s monthly Short Term Energy Outlook projects coal will fuel 31.3% of electricity in the US in 2017, compared with 31.1% for natural gas. Coal stood at 30.4% last year, and natural gas was at 33.8%. The coal industry takes the change, small as it is, as welcome news. [Huntington Herald Dispatch]

Monday, 17:

Ruins on Scotland’s Rousay Island coast (Adam Markham)

  • “Heritage at Risk: How Rising Seas Threaten Ancient Coastal Ruins” • The shores of Scotland’s Orkney Islands are dotted with ruins that date to the Stone Age. But after enduring for millennia, these archaeological sites, along with many others from Easter Island to Jamestown, are facing an existential threat from climate change. [Yale Environment 360]
  • Commercial vehicles wing of Tata Motors showcased the first Bio-CNG or bio-methane bus at the Urja Utsav event in Pune, Maharashtra. Along with the new alternative fuel bus, Tata Motors also showcased three engines compatible with bio-methane fuel for light, intermediate, and medium commercial vehicles. [Financial Express]
  • The US-based masterminds behind a microgrid in Brooklyn unveiled their first Australian project in South Australia. They say it could herald the start of an industry-changing, renewable energy sharing revolution. The project will see up to 6 MW of distributed solar generation made available on a local peer-to-peer trading platform. [RenewEconomy]

Tuesday, 18:

Fisherman and solar panels (Kevin Frayer | Getty Images)

  • “How China Floated to the Top in Solar” • After years of growth and pollution, China is changing tact and embracing sustainability – no longer beholden to the singular tenet of growth at any cost. China is now the world’s largest renewable energy investor. And the US has relinquished its leadership role, following the policies of Donald Trump. [Time]
  • Green Mountain Power, the largest utility in Vermont, is promoting another aggressive clean energy offer to its customers. Now through September 30, GMP customers can visit Freedom Nissan in South Burlington and claim a $10,000 rebate on the purchase of a new 2017 Nissan LEAF, by presenting a special code supplied by GMP. [CleanTechnica]
  • ThinkProgress obtained a copy of Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s grid study, and it has many surprises  for those who are not energy experts. They may be unpleasant surprises to Perry and the White House. For instance, a large fraction of America’s aging fleet of coal and nuclear plants are simply not economic to operate anymore. [RenewEconomy]

Wednesday, 19:

Dandelion geothermal system

  • Google set up an independent business outside the Alphabet umbrella called Dandelion. The new company was created to promote new geothermal system technology. Dandelion will attempt to do for residential heating and cooling what SolarCity has done for rooftop solar. It uses new, less expensive, drilling technology. [CleanTechnica]
  • Responding to the US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, California Governor Jerry Brown and Michael Bloomberg have launched America’s Pledge. It is a new initiative that they hope will gather together and quantify all the action being taken by states, cities, and business across the US to meet the agreement’s goals. [CleanTechnica]

Northern Power Systems turbine

  • Northern Power Systems, a wind turbine maker based in Vermont, says it has seen a surge of interest in wind power in distributed energy (behind-the-meter, on-site power generation) applications in the US. Specifically, the advantages have become evident in dairy and farming operations, the company says. [North American Windpower]
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