2017-08-17 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, 10:

Dry Lake wind project in Arizona (DOE photo)

  • The wind energy industry reached an important milestone in 2016 when it passed the generating capacity of hydroelectric power for the first time to become the nation’s top renewable generating source. The total amount of wind capacity in the queue represents 34% of all generating capacity waiting to connect to the grid. [ThinkProgress]
  • Since oil prices collapsed in 2014, Canada has lost more than 40,000 jobs in oil, gas and related industries, according to data released last year by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. Thousands of employees of fossil fuel businesses left jobless following a plunge in oil prices are finding work with solar or wind energy. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Wildfire in Greenland (Image: Pierre Markuse, some rights reserved)

  • Wildfires can happen even in Greenland. They are very rare there, but unfortunately they are becoming more common. This year has been unprecedented far as numbers of fires go. This is particularly bad, as wildfires release soot, and soot that has been deposited on ice sheets or snow greatly increases the speed at which the ice melts. [CleanTechnica]

Friday, 11:

  • India has auctioned the largest capacity of rooftop solar power projects in history. The results are extremely promising and could provide a boost to the rooftop solar power market. In an auction of just over 503 MW of rooftop solar capacity, bids ranged from $1.01/W to $1.166/W with tariffs ranging from 3.4¢/kWh to 7.1¢/kWh. [CleanTechnica]
  • India’s total installed solar power generation capacity grew over threefold to 13,652 MW over the past two fiscal years, the country’s energy minister said. He also stated the government has revised the National Solar Mission target of Grid Connected Solar Power projects from 20,000 MW by 2022 to 100,000 MW by 2022. [ETEnergyworld.com]

Offshore wind power (Øyvind Holmstad, Wikimedia Commons)

  • Oil and gas operators are positioning for potential growth in US offshore wind projects. The US could generate more than 2,000 GW of offshore wind power, Stephanie McClellan with the University of Delaware said at Renewable Energy World’s inaugural Offshore Wind Executive Summit. Statoil and DONG may invest in the US. [Offshore Oil and Gas Magazine]
  • Vermont Governor Phil Scott’s Climate Advisory Commission hasn’t even held its first meeting, but it’s already taken a step that may alienate a broad swath of Vermont’s environmental community. The commission’s Technical Advisory Group will have Annette Smith, vociferous critic of wind turbines, as its co-chair. [Seven Days]

Saturday, 12:

Abandoned Salton Sea bait shop (Conn, Kit | Wikimedia Commons)

  • Sandia National Laboratories is testing whether one of the largest and most polluted lakes in California can be transformed into one of its most productive and profitable. The 350-square-mile Salton Sea has high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus from agricultural runoff. Some algae that thrive on these elements may be used to make biofuel. [Biomass Magazine]
  • Last month, the New York Independent System Operator’s CEO told a House subcommittee that it planned to integrate a price on carbon into its market dispatch within three years after the Brattle Group published a report on potential impacts. The Brattle Group has released the report, so the clock has started on carbon pricing in the state. [Utility Dive]

Offshore wind farm (reNews image)

  • Growth in the deployment of offshore wind in Europe must triple if countries are to have any chance of meeting the goals of the Paris climate agreement, a study said. Research by a joint team from Ecofys and parent company Navigant found that 45% of Europe’s power requirements would need to come from offshore wind to meet the target. [reNews]

Sunday, 13:

  • Records are being set in the UK. There was not a single major plant generating purely solar power in 2007, but now, there are 277. The current UK target calls for 30% of electricity to be generated from renewable sources by 2020, and according to provisional figures, the number for the first three months of 2017 was 26.6%. [domain-B]

Solar array in New Mexico

  • A 1-MW solar array in Tres Piedras, New Mexico, started soaking in the sun and pumping power to the grid last week. Kit Carson Electric Cooperative announced plans earlier this year to eventually provide its 30,000 members with 100% renewable energy. The Tres Piedras solar array is the first of seven the co-op plans to build this year. [taosnews]
  • The clean energy standard, developed by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, qualifies only zero-carbon producers that became operational after December 31, 2010, for clean energy credits. The Pilgrim nuclear plant is too old to get any subsidies. [SouthCoastToday.com]

Monday, 14:

Tesla Tiny House in Melbourne (iStock photo)

  • A tiny Tesla house is on a tour of Australia, showing off the Powerwall and educating the public on how to generate, store and use renewable energy. Oh yes, and the tiny home is towed by a Tesla Model X. The tiny home is completely powered by renewable energy courtesy of a 2-kW solar power system and a Powerwall battery. [Gizmodo Australia]
  • Last year, California’s 1.4 million dairy cows fell under a statewide mandate to find a way to curb their environmental footprint in order to achieve the state’s goal to reduce methane emissions 40% from 2013 levels by 2030. The state government says now it is receiving more applications for anaerobic digesters than it can currently fund. [Triple Pundit]

Wind turbines in Alberta (Todd Korol | Reuters)

  • Alberta produces about 80% of Canada’s oil. But as oil prices have dropped, there have been lay-offs, and the unemployment rate in the once-booming province stands at nearly 8%. Now Alberta’s renewable energy capacity is doubling roughly every two years, and interest in green energy training has been growing swiftly. [Huffington Post Canada]

Tuesday, 15:

  • “Huge Climate Opportunity If RGGI Governors Step Up” • The governors of nine Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states are about to make a momentous decision: how much they will cut power plant pollution, and how fast they will cut it. Big carbon cuts could add $3.2 billion to state coffers and reduce air pollution. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

Wanukv River (Photo: CCIRA)

  • Residents of a remote community on the central coast of British Columbia got for funding to build a run-of-river hydroelectric plant. The Wuikinuxv Village, on the banks of the Wanukv River, has about 80 people in it. It is accessible only by float plane or boat, so life is challenging, and it has depended on diesel power in the past. [BCLocalNews]
  • A coalition of business, environmental and community leaders has backed Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan to make offshore wind the focus of New York’s renewable energy plan. The New York Offshore Wind Alliance voiced its support for developing green energy off the state’s coastline ahead of a series of public meetings. [reNews]

Wednesday, 16:

Rochester, New York (Evilarry, Wikimedia Commons)

  • A year or so from now, electric customers of Rochester, New York, could have easy access to 100% renewable energy at a price lower than their current rates. The mayor is preparing legislation stating the city’s intent to pursue community choice aggregation, which would let the city negotiate an energy-supply contract. [Rochester City Newspaper]
  • A study from the University of California, Berkeley gives us more reason to move from fossil fuels to renewable energy. The study says the US wind and solar power boom has helped prevent the premature deaths of thousands of people and has saved the country billions of dollars in healthcare and climate-related costs in a single year. [AlterNet]
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