Energy News for week ending December 20, 2019

TCI | Critical Source | Seawater | Small, Svelte and Safer

 

Happy Friday afternoon folks.

The news that got the most “ink” this week was the Transportation and Climate Initiative. We have several stories below, but found this one from Shira Schoenberg at MassLive to be a great place to start, Higher gas prices for cleaner air: What is the Transportation and Climate Initiative?

Other news that grabbed a lot of attention this week came out of New Hampshire. From the Portland Press Herald, “Region’s leaders say offshore wind in Gulf of Maine could provide critical energy source. Leaders in states bordering the Gulf of Maine expressed strong support Thursday for offshore wind, setting the region up to become the next battleground over the resource as some members of the area’s influential fishing industry voice objections. Officials from Massachusetts and Maine, along with New Hampshire’s Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, said Thursday at the first meeting of the Agenda for the Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force for the Gulf of Maine that they were optimistic offshore wind could help them reduce greenhouse gas emissions while producing thousands of jobs across New England. Led by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the task force must weigh concerns from commercial fishermen, environmentalists, coastal communities and other stakeholders before deciding where leases on the Outer Continental Shelf in the Gulf of Maine might be allocated and where they wouldn’t be allowed. There are also technical challenges, since the deep waters of the gulf may require floating platforms.”

We have two stories for our new technology feature. First from Reuters, “International Business Machines Corp said on Wednesday it has created a battery design that uses materials extracted from seawater and requires no cobalt, as the race to find alternative sources to the expensive mineral intensifies…The move comes as top battery makers scramble to reduce cobalt content in lithium-ion batteries, and as the expansion of the electric vehicle market is expected to result in shortages of the mineral mainly found in the Democratic Republic of Congo. IBM said its technology has proven to outperform lithium-ion batteries in cost, charging time and energy efficiency.”

The second new tech feature comes to us from Wired though the headline sounds something more like you’d read in Self. “The Next Nuclear Plants Will Be Small, Svelte, and Safer. For the last 20 years, the future of nuclear power has stood in a high bay laboratory tucked away on the Oregon State University campus in the western part of the state. Operated by NuScale Power, an Oregon-based energy startup, this prototype reactor represents a new chapter in the conflict-ridden, politically bedeviled saga of nuclear power plants. NuScale’s reactor won’t need massive cooling towers or sprawling emergency zones. It can be built in a factory and shipped to any location, no matter how remote. Extensive simulations suggest it can handle almost any emergency without a meltdown. One reason is that it barely uses any nuclear fuel, at least compared with existing reactors. It’s also a fraction of the size of its predecessors. This is good news for a planet in the grips of a climate crisis. Nuclear energy gets a bad rap in some environmentalist circles, but many energy experts and policymakers agree that splitting atoms is going to be an indispensable part of decarbonizing the world’s electricity.”

That’s the recap for this week. Enjoy the stories below and have a safe and happy holiday and a joyous and healthy New Year. We appreciate that you let us in your inboxes each week and look forward to sharing the energy news with you in 2020. See you next on January 10th.

 

Natural Gas/Oil/Pipeline/Drilling

A Methane Leak, Seen From Space, Proves to Be Far Larger Than Thought, New York Times

Officials, residents concerned with compressor site cleanup, Patriot Ledger

Congressman Joseph Kennedy demands halt to Weymouth compressor station construction, Wicked Local

New England power and natgas prices spike during cold snap, CNBC

National Grid doesn’t want geothermal developer to have ‘party’ status in pipeline debate, Times Union

Newsmaker 2019: National Grid flames out in pipeline feud, Crain’s New York

N.H.-Bound Coal Train Kept Rolling, Despite Activists On The Tracks, WBUR

4 Things To Know About The N.H. Coal Plant Targeted By Climate Protesters, New Hampshire Public Radio

Uncertain role of natural gas in the transition to clean energy, Science Daily

 

TCI

Higher gas prices for cleaner air: What is the Transportation and Climate Initiative?, MassLive

Legislators seek to stop Charlie Baker from passing Transportation Climate Initiative, Boston Herald

TCI could up gas prices 5 to 17 cents a gallon in 2022, CommonWealth Magazine

New England states mull regional gas fees after NH rejection, Boston Herald

Reducing emissions from transportation is a long, difficult road for Maine, Portland Press Herald

 

Renewables/Climate Change/RGGI

Boston Could Become WICKED Hot. This is What They’re Doing About it., Discover Magazine

US Lawmakers Stiff Solar, Wind Gets Modest Victory in Tax Deal, Greentech Media

Clean energy advocates want New York to move quickly on 70% renewables goal, Utility Dive

How we know global warming is real, Washington Post

Mike Bloomberg has a plan to clean up electricity and it doesn’t need Congress, Vox

Holyoke lands $275K grant for net-zero planning, Energy Central

Migrating Birds Prefer to Eat Local New England Cuisine, Boston University

Forget the log cabin. Wood buildings are climbing skyward – with pluses for the planet., Hartford Courant

Berkshire Community College Wins Prestigious Sustainability Award, iBerkshires

Failure by Congress to Support Tax Credits for Clean Energy and EVs is Unacceptable, Union of Concerned Scientists

Climate activists, offshore wind industry groups slam House for holding off on tax credit extension, MassLive

U.S. Spending Bill Holds Win for Wind Energy, Setback for Solar, New York Times

 

Wind

Region’s leaders say offshore wind in Gulf of Maine could provide critical energy source, Portland Press Herald

US has only one offshore wind energy farm, but a $70 billion market is on the way, CNBC

Berkshire Wind helps light North Shore homes, Salem News

Tax credit changes snub offshore wind power, Salem News

Bluestone gets green light for 125 MW wind farm in New York, Reve

Team Develops Floating Turbine To Harvest Deep-Ocean Wind Energy, Science Blog

US urged to lease more offshore wind, renews.biz

Federal talks leave mixed bag for wind energy, Herald News

Prototype of ‘world’s most powerful offshore wind turbine’ starts sending power to utility, CNBC

 

Solar

YMCA of Greater Providence Teams with Balanced Rock Energy on Breakthrough Solar Credit Agreement, (Press Release) Globe Newswire

New Saratoga County solar farm is among largest of its kind upstate, Times Union

Ground broken on solar energy farm in East Haven, New Haven Register

‘We traded green for green.’ Controversial solar array built on Simsbury farmland now producing power, Hartford Courant

City of Bangor to install its first big solar panel project, Newscentermaine.com

 

Energy Efficiency/Storage

New York State to build a large energy facility instead of a previously planned fossil fuel plant, Solar Builder Magazine

Large-scale energy storage by “liquid air” proposed for Vermont, Granite Geek

US investment in energy efficiency dropped estimated 18% in two years: Report, Utility Dive

IBM’s new battery design taps seawater as alternative mineral source, Reuters

Cuomo lays out $1.5 billion investment to improve energy efficiency at state and local government buildings, New York Daily News

Energy Efficiency Is a Hot Problem for Big Tech’s Data Centers, Bloomberg

Rising Demand for Energy Efficiency Creates Growth Opportunities for Technologically Advanced Heat Exchangers, Business Insider

Tesla’s Musk says solar, energy storage will grow faster than electric cars, and there’s some truth to it, CNBC

What a Year! 10 Stories That Propelled Energy Storage in 2019, Greentech Media

 

EVs

New York transit authority to invest $1.1B for 500 electric buses, Utility Dive

Municipal parking lots across Boston to get electric-charging stations, Universal Hub

South Jersey Utility Seeks OK on Plan for More EV Charging Stations, NJ Spotlight

State offer would boost electric vehicles; Dollar incentives for middle, low-income Vermonters, Chester Telegraph

 

Nuclear

Board delays decision on nuclear plant’s license renewal, Newburyport Daily News

Mass. Lawmakers Criticize NRC Decision on Transfer of Pilgrim Nuke Ownership, Cape Cod Today

NRC gives permit for next-gen factory-built nuclear reactor, AP News

The Tiny, Simple Nuclear Reactor That Could Change Energy, Popular Mechanics

The Next Nuclear Plants Will Be Small, Svelte, and Safer, Wired Magazine

 

Market/Grid/Policy/Prices

Grid operator targeted in Healey’s clean-energy push, Wicked Local

State approves Eversource power line through Sudbury, Hudson, MetroWest Daily News

Healey seeks DPU crackdown on electricity sellers, CommonWealth Magazine

FERC Orders PJM to Restrict State-Backed Renewables in Its Capacity Market, Greentech Media

CMP CEO ‘absolutely’ fears losing company in consumer takeover, WGME

Would a Green New Deal Add or Kill Jobs?, Scientific American

CMP aims to restore trust with ad campaign, Portland Press Herald

Eversource names new leader for NH, New Hampshire Union Leader

 

Editorial/Opinion

Gov. Mills’ solar power policies already paying off, Eagle Times

My Turn: A Granite Bridge to nowhere?, Concord Monitor

If Lamont is serious about climate change he will block Killingly plant, The Day

Local legislators: Coming together for climate action, Portland Press Herald

Here’s some good news on climate change, Kennebec Journal

Maine Compass: Let’s stop CMP’s unpopular corridor project, Kennebec Journal

Reporting on climate change from Cape Cod, where sea levels could put everything at risk, USA Today

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Filed under Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, New England Energy News, Northeast Energy News, nuclear, offshore wind, Pilgrim Closing, solar

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