Please scroll down for lots of useful information. There are links to industry and environmental journals, relevant dates in the environmental and renewable energy calendar, current debates, a solar PV Feed-in Tariff calculator, green products websites, campaign groups and more. Some of this might be a bit outdated given time considerations and the fact that I don't get paid for doing this, but I do try and keep it as fresh and new as I can so it's still worth checking out.
Friday, 29 April 2016
The Conservative UK Government attempt to scrap the Zero Carbon Homes standard has been defeated by a House of Lords Amendment
In March this year, Scotland was congratulated by the UN Climate Change Secretary for the country’s exemplary stance on tackling climate change. What are the Scots doing right?
Thursday, 28 April 2016
On 26th April, the Facebook Page 'Conservative Country' tried to smear the electric vehicle (EV) industry by examining how the sector obtains its supplies of lithium for lithium ion batteries.
I guess they figured noone would bother to check the image for accuracy. But I did.
The image you can see in the lower half of the picture is actually not a lithium mine at all. It is in fact the open cast mine at Escondida in Chile, which mines copper, not lithium. You can see the picture of this mine at the 911 Metalurgist site here where it is featured as mine No 14 on the sites list.
That said, lithium-ion batteries do use small amounts of copper and other metals in addition to lithium, but lithium itself is MOSTLY (there is a reason for the caps here), found beneath briny salt ponds such as this:
Once the water is removed, the lithium may be extracted like so:
I decided to check via Google images whether there is any open cast lithium mines in the world, and at first I thought I had found one. A mine at Soquimich, operated by SQM. However, I confess I failed to notice that actually many of the resulting images are incorrectly labelled, and so for that reason there are a number of pictures that are labelled as representing Soquimich which actually show the Russian diamond mine at Mirny (below)
In reality, the vast majority, if not all, lithium mines, consist of brine fields, as this blog from Amusing Planet makes clear.
So in essence, although there is an environmental issue, it is not actually as bad as the Conservative Country Facebook Page is trying to portray. The main issue is about supply, not environmental destruction. Fortunately, lithium is very recyclable and so future supplies may come from redundant electrical devices and scrapped EV batteries. There is indeed a problem with lithium, but Conservative Country is only going to make itself look completely stupid if it tries to suggest that lithium mines are open cast, when in fact they are not.
Swedish technology company Climeon has won an order from shipbuilding group Fincantieri to supply its cruise ships with heat power solution Climeon Ocean
Wednesday, 27 April 2016
Siemens has won an order for the supply, installation and commissioning of 60 6 MW direct-drive offshore wind turbines at the Arkona wind farm site in the German Baltic Sea
New research published by the Clarkson &Woods consultants has found that solar farms have a positive impact on biodiversity when combined with an appropriate land management plan
Global infrastructure company Siemens has won a major contract to supply, install and commission 102 wind turbines at the East Anglia ONE offshore wind project for ScottishPower Renewables
Tuesday, 26 April 2016
Tendril is an energy services management solutions provider that applies behavioural energy efficiency programs, utility customer engagement initiatives and customer acquisition for things like community solar. The company is now using that model to create a library of energy-related content for markets where data access is limited or previously was not being harnessed to improve customer experience.
Taking the lead on renewables: An interview with Councillor Arron Wood from Australia’s Melbourne Renewable Energy Project
Melbourne Renewable Energy Project is a pioneering Australian project which is gathering momentum with a new tender for renewable energy advertised recently across the country. It has successfully united a group of large-scale energy consumers, inspiring them to invest in a long-term electricity contract spanning at least 10 years and which is about creating the jobs of the future, supporting innovation while diversifying Melbourne’s energy supply
Monday, 25 April 2016
Renewable energy company Ecotricity has announced it has acquired the home rooftop solar business of failed US company SunEdison
Friday, 22 April 2016
Green energy company Ecotricity and environmental group Greenpeace could be readying themselves for a legal challenge against the stricken Hinkley C nuclear power station project
Wednesday, 20 April 2016
Vattenfall has signed an agreement to sell its German lignite operations to a Czech energy company in order to help shift its operations towards more sustainable production
Tuesday, 19 April 2016
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has launched a new ‘Orange Button’ scheme which will create unified data standards in order to help the solar industry reduce market inefficiencies and lower costs for consumers
The UK National Audit Office (NAO) has concluded that the Green Deal energy efficiency scheme introduced by the Coalition Government did not achieve value for money
Wednesday, 13 April 2016
One of America’s largest owners and operators of renewable energy projects, ConEdison Development (CED), has jointed CPS Energy in dedicating the Alamo 5 dual-axis solar installation in Texas
American wind power supported a record 88,000 jobs at the beginning of 2016 representing a 20 percent increase over the past year
Tuesday, 12 April 2016
Marine energy technology company Minesto, together with German tidal turbine manufacturer Schottel Hydro, has completed the turbine design of Minesto’s Deep Green tidal power plant
Swedish solar energy experts Midsummer have received funding from Mistra for the development of lightweight solar modules on vehicles
Monday, 11 April 2016
Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company Masdar has installed 50 percent of the solar homes systems in its innovative project to electrify rural Morocco
A vast majority of residents believe London should become a leading solar according to the results of new research conducted by Greenpeace UK
North Sea Oil is a dying duck - and TNW won't change that. Let the damn thing die.
In September last year, oil industry trade association Oil & Gas UK warned that production in the North Sea has been in a state of long-term decline and that low oil prices may very well push investment off a cliff. Its report projected a fall in capital investment of £2 to £4 billion in each of the next three years, down from £14.8 billion invested in North Sea oil in 2014.
One of the reasons for this is that operating costs have increased by 12 percent on a CAGR between 2004 and 2013 while supply chain costs have also climbed. Furthermore, the North Sea has only achieved an average production of 55 million barrels of oil equivalent from newly discovered recoverable reserves over the past three years, the lowest level since the UK first opened its continental shelf decades ago.
Interest in the North Sea is disappearing, as indicated by the lack of success experienced by Russian billionnaire Mikhail Fridman to unload his North Sea assets. Oil production from the North Sea is now below 1 million barrels per day and there simply isn't enough new discoveries being made for the region to recover substantially.
More recently, Oil & Gas UK has noted a slight recovery, in that up to 590 million barrels of oil and gas may have been extracted last year. However, this is likely due to the 'lag effect' in investment, according to Brendan Warn, senior oil and gas analyst BMO Capital Markets, meaning that the new wells, such as the Taqa 10,000-barrel-a-day Cladhan field off Shetland, would have been approved back when oil was above $100. On this basis, Mr Warn predicts that news from the North Sea over the period 2017-20 will be "horrendous".
Statoil has scrapped the equivalent of four years of drilling by one rig over the past 18 months, according to data from its company filings, and in November 2015, Nordea Markets said that before too long there will be a "rig graveyeard" in the area.
So how on earth does The New Way (TNW) thinks it can turn the North Sea around? Well intervention is costly, heavy intervention for example requires the construction of a new rig in order to remove and reinstall the wellhead, that in turn incurs costs of manning and maintaining a high spec rig. However, it could use riserless light well intervention and it is considering the use of a Mini Coil.
Even so, only 10 percent of the oil already being produced was discovered in new fields between 2012-2014. In other words, the North Sea is a dying duck as far as oil is concerned. In fact, the North Sea oil crisis is so bad it is starting to adversely affect the UK economy (along with all the other factors we already know about such as having a moronic Tory government that refuses to recognise that austerity doesn't work).
So why bother at all? In fact, there is a greater issue to tackle anyway - climate change. At present, we are on course for 5 degrees C global average temperature by the end of the century, which is insane given that 2 degrees C is bad enough already (the maximum temperature recommended as a means of avoiding truly calamitous global warming).
It would make much more sense to plough even more investment into renewables, which has already overtaken investment in North Sea oil with £15.2 billion invested in renewable energy last year, according to Bloomberg North Sea Finance (BNEF). The sensible thing to do would therefore be to start decommissioning the North Sea, so that the UK can concentrate on developing renewable energy. We have the chance now to start doing that, and we can prepare for it by transitioning oil workers over to employment in clean energy.
In other words, forget it - let the damn thing die, as indeed it should. If not, well to those who are concerned about climate change (rather than those who obviously don't give a monkeys) there is an old saying:
Need I really say more?
The non-profit Centre for Resource Solutions (CRS) has announced that Google is to provide foundational support for expansion of renewable energy in Asia
Wind turbine manufacturer Gamesa has received two new orders in China for the supply of 82 MW of wind power including one project at an altitude of 3,200 metres
Friday, 8 April 2016
The European Commission has published an Action Plan on value added tax (VAT) which the solar industry hopes will support Ministers intentions to reduce VAT on solar panels
Major brands and other emerging non-utility customers signed 52 percent of the wind power capacity contracted through power purchase agreements (PPA) in 2015
Ingeteam has established an energy storage system including a mobile renewable energy storage laboratory at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) at Petten in The Netherlands
Thursday, 7 April 2016
The Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) has signed a 15-year loan agreement with Norwegian power company Helgeland Kraft AS to finance six hydropower plants in Nordland County
Global technology company ABB has won an $80 million contract from Rentel NV to deliver an advanced cable system connecting a Belgian offshore wind farm to the grid
Wednesday, 6 April 2016
Freevolt is a ground-breaking technology developed by Drayson Technologies that harvests electricity from RF signals, literally sourcing energy from the air
Flexenclosure has received an order to supply 1,000 eSite power systems for IHS Towers sites in the Abuja region of central Nigeria
First Solar has entered into a framework agreement with a subsidiary of Silicon Ranch Corporation for 231.6 MW of advanced technology thin film modules to be constructed in 2017 and early 2018
Tuesday, 5 April 2016
The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has announced its approval of the first wind energy Research Activities Plan (RAP) for a facility to be located in US federal waters off the coast of Virginia
GE has announced the launch of its Digital Wind Farm solution in India – a dynamic connected and adaptable wind energy system that matches data, analytics and turbines with a digital infrastructure
Unfortunately The Spectator is subscription only, which means I can only read a sample of the article (why on earth would I pay to read constant rubbish from Tory supporters attacking climate action and clean energy?), but here's an excerpt from the bit that's visible:
"Crusaders like Ms Leadsom have, over the years, made sure that our manufacturers feel the force of green levies, unlike Germany, which exempts its own industry. The idea is that by making energy more expensive, people are encouraged to use less of it."
There are several phases that come to mind to describe this rubbish - hogwash, utter tripe, balloney, etc etc. So let's get the matter straight, seeing as The Spectator is pushing anti-green propaganda on this issue.
The manufacturers organisation EEF, according to Kiran Stacey writing in the FT, estimate energy costs as being about 20 percent of the production cost of steel while the government's own advisory committee believes it to be about 6 percent. Energy costs are therefore a very minor part of the argument, greatly outweighed by concerns about the price of steel.
In other words, climate change deniers and renewable energy critics are jumping on this as an opportunity to try and attack clean energy and environmental taxes, and thus through the latter, pretty much most action on environmental issues if they were allowed to get away with it.
According to environmental consultancy Sandbag, the European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) has actually helped steel by giving the industry so many carbon permits that it now has a surplus of about 1.1 billion euros. In October 2015, Sandbag made this quite clear in its blog on the issue Green Taxes Are Not Killing Steel, which argues convincingly that it is the slowdown of construction in China that is to blame.
And as for Tata, the main reason why they are attacking energy costs is because it is politically easier to shut down green taxes than it is to do something about the global cost of steel.
So Mr Spectator Editor, there's a simple word to describe this article of yours - Balls!!
Monday, 4 April 2016
Technical advisor for wind, solar and storage initiatives, OST Energy, recently announced it had opened an office in New Delhi, India, to support its work in the Indian renewable development market. Solar energy in particular has been identified as a leading technology in the ongoing programme of bringing power to 300 million people across India who do not currently have access to electricity. This will also enable the country to meet a number of its ambitious clean energy targets. Consequently, OST has hired a new country manager, Bihag Mehta, to lead its operations in India, supporting the country’s attempts to increase its solar deployment and bolstering technical advisory and due diligence services to cater for demand in the region.
REM talked to Bihag Mehta to find out more.
Friday, 1 April 2016
The global energy generation company Enel Green Power (EGP) has officially opened its new geothermal, solar PV and solar thermal plant at Fallon, Nevada
It's easy to blame high energy costs for the British steel crisis, but the fact is that we need to drive greenhouse gas emissions down to zero by 2100. That means taxes on high energy use must stay. However, there is another option, and that is to impose import tariffs on Chinese steel in order to protect our own industry. The Chinese are trying to dominate the market in a range of things, they tried to do it with solar panels, so the US and EU slapped import tariffs on them to punish them. That is exactly what we must do with regard to steel. Yes, it might spark off a trade war, but the Chinese, while its important to work with them, also have to be given a sharp rap on the knuckles now and then. It's time to put an end to Tory psycophants bowing down to China, now is the time to get tough with them.
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)
Should the US government waive the Renewable Fuel Standard?
Should the US government waive the Renewable Fuel Standard?
Journals and Environmental Information
- Air Quality England
- American Journal of Environmental Sciences
- Anals of Environmental Science
- Cities and the Environment
- Climate Central
- Conservation Evidence
- Ecology and Society
- Environmental Research Letters
- Grantham Research Institute (LSE) policy briefs
- Green Building Bible
- Green Building Magazine
- Green Theory and Praxis
- International Energy Agency publications
- The Green Guide environmental directory
- Windpower Monthly