2017-08-10 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, August 3:

Indian harvest (Photo: Zvonimir Atletic | Shutterstock)

  • A study led by Harvard University reveals that the damage to crops from climate change will be worse than anyone previously expected. Based on data gathered from experiments conducted on staple crops that were exposed to projected atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, the team found reductions in protein levels. [IFLScience]
  • The US renewable industry is set for long-term growth as generating costs are falling and the industry is becoming more resilient, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Head of America. He noted that problems always develop as young industries mature, but renewable energy’s falling costs add to its resilience. [Energy Matters]

Proterra bus (Image: Proterra)

  • The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced plans to convert its entire 2,200 bus fleet to zero-emission buses by 2030. It is awarding contracts for 95 electric buses and charging infrastructure for two of its bus service routes, as Southern California Edison expands its electric vehicle charging system. [Utility Dive]

Friday, August 4:

  • Part of the bad news on climate change is that New England may become a hotspot for invasive plants and animals. That was the pressing subject on the minds of around 100 experts from academia, conservation organizations and government agencies who gathered at a symposium on invasive species and climate change in Amherst. [Amherst Bulletin]

Nexans Skagerrak (Nexans photo)

  • Nexans Norway has started installing the subsea power cable for the 1.4-GW NordLink interconnector between Germany and Norway. Starting at Vollesfjord in Vest-Agder, cable ship Nexans Skagerrak is installing the wires, which weigh 70 kg per meter, while offshore vessel Polar King will carry out subsea burying operations. [reNews]
  • Green energy companies have submitted dozens of bids to bring more hydropower, wind and solar to Massachusetts to help keep the lights turned on and cut carbon emissions. In total, at least 46 bids were submitted to the state Department of Energy Resources by last week’s deadline. Winning bids are set to be announced next January. [Eagle-Tribune]

Saturday, August 5:

Marker for the Glacial terminus of 1917 (Marc Lester | Alaska Dispatch News)

  • A finger of ice spilling out of the Chugach Mountains marks Alaska’s rapidly warming climate – almost literally. The path approaching Exit Glacier, the most accessible of the 500 square miles of ancient ice covering Kenai Fjords National Park, is a timeline of retreat. The glacier lost 252 feet last summer. Visitors notice the change. [Alaska Dispatch News]
  • President Donald Trump came to the heart of coal country and told a large and cheering crowd what they wanted to hear: that Obama’s war on coal has ended. But in fact, Kentucky coal jobs and production continued down in the second quarter of the year. In eastern Kentucky, employment in the second quarter dropped 5.3 %. [The Independent]

Observed temperature trends, 1900 to 2012. (NOAA image)

  • The North Atlantic Ocean is home to a “warming hole” that has enthralled scientists, but a new study on it in the journal Nature Climate Change is troubling. The study is part of a growing chorus of research that suggests the cold patch shows a major ocean current system may be slowing down, and melting Arctic sea ice could be the culprit. [The Weather Channel]

Sunday, August 6:

  • The “flash drought” that came out of nowhere this summer in the US High Plains, afflicting Montana and the Dakotas worst, has already destroyed more than half of this year’s wheat crop, going by some recent field surveys. Flash droughts are expected to become more common over the coming decades as the climate continues warming. [CleanTechnica]

Pike Island Locks and Dam (US Army Corps of Engineers, Wikimedia Commons)

  • Citing Appalachia’s need to compensate for losing thousands of megawatts worth of coal-fired power during the last few years, developer Pike Island Energy hopes to build a $200 million hydroelectric plant at the Pike Island Locks and Dam in the Ohio River. The 48-MW plant would generate enough electricity for about 22,000 homes. [The Review]
  • The tiny Orkney island of Eday is working on an initiative that could revolutionize the world of sea transport. With shipping under pressure for producing high levels of emissions, islanders are developing a project that could pave the way for pollution-free roll-on/roll-off vehicle ferries powered by locally produced hydrogen. [The Times]

Monday, August 7:

Perennial rice crop

  • At China’s Yunnan Agricultural University, researchers developed a perennial rice by crossing Oryza sativa, the short-lived Asian rice, with a wild African perennial O. longistaminata. The cross, a possible help for climate change, “apparently lasts at least five years and gives 10 seasons of grain twice a year with yields comparable to seasonal rice.” [NewsX]
  • There are a few more than 50,000 coal miners working in the US. That is slightly more than last year, with President Trump taking credit for the change, but coal mining is not secure work. By contrast, the wind industry added 15,000 workers last year and the solar industry added 50,000. The question is whether miners could take the new jobs. [Gears Of Biz]

Cable routes from Tunisia to Europe

  • TuNur Limited, a private company incorporated in the United Kingdom is seeking to set up a 4.5 GW concentrating solar power system in Tunisia. The power would be sent through three submarine cables to Europe. The first link, sending up to 500 MW of electricity through Malta, could be finished as soon as 2020. [Malta Independent Online]

Tuesday, August 8:

  • The average temperature in the US has risen rapidly and drastically since 1980, and Americans are feeling the effects, according to a sweeping federal climate change report awaiting approval by the Trump administration. Scientists say they fear that the administration could change or suppress the report. A draft of it is available. [New York Times]

Air monitoring station at Jungfraujoch

  • Potent, climate warming gases are being emitted into the atmosphere but are not being recorded in official inventories, a BBC investigation has found. In just one example, Swiss air monitors detected large quantities of one gas coming from a location in Italy. However, the Italian submission to the UN records just a tiny amount. [BBC News]
  • A German public works department, Stadtwerke Heidelberg, has broken ground on a new type of energy storage center. Solar and wind energy generated on site will be used to heat up the water inside the tower. The heat will then be sold. The heat storage center will also provide a sustainable energy knowledge hub to the community. [The Urban Developer]

Wednesday, August 9:

Belectric storage project (Credit: Belectric)

  • Belectric has built and commissioned a 16-MWh battery storage plant for Eins Energie in Saxony. The €10 million ($11.7 million) project provides primary reserve of 10 MW to the power market, Belectric said. The German state of Saxony funded the project, together with €1 million from the European Regional Development Fund. [reNews]
  • US diplomats should sidestep questions on what it would take for the Trump administration to re-engage in the global Paris climate agreement, a diplomatic cable seen by Reuters said. The cable was sent to embassies by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. It also said diplomats should make clear the US wants to help other countries use fossil fuels. [HuffPost]

Pilot plant (Image: VTT)

  • Ineratic, a spinoff of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, has cooperated with Finnish partners to develop a mobile chemical pilot plant that can be used decentrally to produces gasoline, diesel oil, and kerosene from regenerative hydrogen and carbon dioxide from the air. The pilot plant is so compact that it fits into a shipping container. [domain-B]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s