World Resources Institute: How US Cities and Counties Are Getting Renewable Energy. “A new tool from the American Cities Climate Challenge Renewables Accelerator, the Local Government Renewables Action Tracker, showcases renewable energy deals made by U.S. cities, counties, tribal governments, municipal utilities and community choice aggregations since 2015. Cataloguing over 300 deals, the tool equips local governments with the resources to understand what other cities have accomplished, which can help as they develop their own renewable energy strategies and determine how to collaborate effectively.”
Morning Consult: New Database Shows California’s Edison International Had Lowest Average Emission Rate in 2019. “New self-reported data from some of the biggest U.S. electric companies shows those emitting the least carbon per megawatt hour have taken three different avenues to their low rates, with the three topping the list boasting high shares of renewables, natural gas or nuclear in their resource mixes, respectively. Edison Electric Institute, an association representing all investor-owned electric companies in the country, worked with the World Resources Institute to create a database of carbon emission intensity, among other information, for electricity delivered by distribution company. The database was made public on June 18.”
The Westerly Sun: New website offers expert answers to renewable energy questions. “Have a question about renewable energy? You can now ask it on a new, free website called Ask the Experts. Created by the Coastal Resources Center of the University of Rhode Island, the site is a source for the latest information about offshore wind energy. Merry Ellen Hawkins, a 2020 Energy Fellow at URI’s Coastal Resources Center, has been working on the project since January.” Not much here yet, but the answers that are here are substantive.
MarketWatch: Trump administration has OK’d more than 100 breaks for oil, gas fees. “The Trump administration has awarded energy companies hundreds of breaks on payments for oil and gas extraction from U.S. lands and the Gulf of Mexico during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a government database and federal officials. The breaks on royalty and rental payments are intended to help companies with workforce problems or other issues after the pandemic caused fuel demand to temporarily plummet worldwide.”
Penn State College of Engineering: Twitter data may offer policy makers a glimpse into demand for renewable energy. “Tweets could one day help policy makers and energy companies better communicate in near real-time to help customers make better sustainable energy choices, according to a team of researchers. In a study of Twitter data from users in Alaska, researchers found that they could plot how people’s opinions changed about renewable energy over time, as well as what forms of renewable energy were more acceptable, said Somayeh Asadi, assistant professor of architectural engineering, Penn State.”
New York Times: Cloud Computing Is Not the Energy Hog That Had Been Feared. “The computer engine rooms that power the digital economy have become surprisingly energy efficient. A new study of data centers globally found that while their computing output jumped sixfold from 2010 to 2018, their energy consumption rose only 6 percent. The scientists’ findings suggest concerns that the rise of mammoth data centers would generate a surge in electricity demand and pollution have been greatly overstated.”
Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO): DER register goes live. “On 1 March 2020 Australia will have its first database of distributed energy resources (DER) installed throughout the National Electricity Market (NEM) when the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) launches its DER Register. Distributed energy resources are consumer-owned devices that can generate (rooftop solar) or store electricity (batteries, electric vehicles), or have ‘smart’ capabilities to actively manage energy usage (air conditioners, pool pumps, etc).”
Bloomberg: When Big Tech Goes Green, Taxpayers Help Foot the Bill. “Google is hardly the only company to shield its identity as it negotiates with local governments and utilities. The practice is becoming standard among the technology industry’s biggest companies. As it builds out its data center footprint, Facebook consistently conditions potential deals on the utmost secrecy.”
State of Michigan: EGLE launches unique renewable energy ordinance database of Michigan communities. “The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) today launched a unique searchable database of municipal ordinances across Michigan that address siting for renewable energy installations. The database was developed in collaboration with the Graham Sustainability Institute at the University of Michigan. Over half of Michigan’s more than 1,800 municipalities have considered renewable energy in their zoning ordinances. The renewable energy zoning database is the first compilation of all renewable energy ordinances across the state and the first database of its kind in the nation.”
CNET: Google parent company Alphabet ends support for Makani kite-power project . “Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is letting go of its power-generating kites company Makani, according to a Tuesday blog post by Makani CEO Fort Felker. It’s the first project from X, Alphabet’s moonshot factory, to be terminated since Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin stepped aside as leaders in December, the Financial Times earlier reported.”
Danish Energy Agency: The Ukraine-Denmark Energy Center launches advanced database with open and transparent energy data. “The State Statistics Service of Ukraine (SSSU) and the Danish Energy Agency have launched a database covering three decades of previously disconnected energy data. By documenting developments in energy supply and consumption, the database could play a crucial part in visualizing possible scenarios for reaching Ukraine’s renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy independence targets.”
UC Santa Barbara: Take It or Leave It. “Of California’s 23 federal offshore platforms, many are nearing the end of their lives, and regulators need to decide what to do with the underwater superstructures. Some advocate removing the platforms in their entirety, while others propose leaving their support structures in place to continue acting as human-made reefs. In an effort to inform this discussion, a group of researchers led by scientists at UC Santa Barbara has produced 11 studies in a dedicated issue of the Bulletin of Marine Science outlining the ecology of the state’s oil platforms. They’ve also compiled a searchable database of studies on platform ecology carried out worldwide.”
Biomass Magazine: New app helps design buildings that use biomass for heat. “The Biomass Ready tool helps builders, architects, engineers, planners and others in the building trade to design new buildings that can incorporate biomass as a heating source. Biomass is woody plant material, derived from the trunks and branches of trees.” Like firewood? Yeah, like firewood.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory: Getting the Big Picture through Better Data. “Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Energy Technologies Office, NREL researchers set about building the first-ever comprehensive, processed U.S. thermal plant performance database for the energy modeling community to use in grid studies.” I now understand thermal plants better thanks to this article in Electrical Easy.
Current News: UKPN launches V2G Hub to give full picture of projects around the world. “UK Power Networks (UKPN) has launched a new website showing global vehicle-to-grid (V2G) projects, as it goes ‘full throttle’ in its support of the technology. The website, V2G Hub, shows 66 projects located across four continents. These include thousands of electric vehicles (EVs) and associated charging infrastructure.”