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Energy & Environmental News and Discussions

climate change energy environment renewable energy nuclear energy fossil fuels global warming sustainability solar energy agriculture

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#6221
Raklian

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At U.N. climate talks, Trump team plans sideshow on coal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration plans to set up a side-event promoting fossil fuels at the annual U.N. climate talks next month, repeating a strategy that infuriated global-warming activists during last year’s talks, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

As with the 2017 gathering in Bonn, Germany, the administration plans to highlight the benefits of technologies that more efficiently burn fuels including coal, the sources said.

This year’s talks in Katowice, Poland - located in a mining region that is among the most polluted in Europe - are intended to hammer out a rule book to the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change, which set a sweeping goal of ending the fossil-fuel era this century by spurring a trillion-dollar transition to cleaner energy sources such as solar and wind power.

Even as the Trump administration aims to promote energy strategies that could detract from those international goals, it also plans to let State Department officials continue negotiating the climate accord - a recognition that the next U.S. president may drop the nation’s opposition to the pact.

“The White House seems to have taken the view that it’s important to let technocrats complete the work of the rule book. It’s in the U.S. national interest to be at the table and see an outcome that emphasizes transparency, holds countries accountable,” said one of the sources, who is familiar with State Department plans.

The White House and the State Department did not respond to requests for comment.

 

 

Read more: https://www.reuters....CHLXN9LkLARXwzs

 

I expect it will be the second time UN will publicly laugh at Trump.


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What are you without the sum of your parts?

#6222
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Threat to USA Grain Harvests - depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer. I have been watching this for over 20 years.http://duwaterlawrev...r-the-ogallala/
 

 

    The grain-growing region in the High Plains of America—known as America’s breadbasket—relies entirely on the Ogallala Aquifer. But long term unsustainable use of the aquifer is forcing states in the region to face the prospect of a regional economic disaster.

 



#6223
Sciencerocks

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A way to make batteries almost any shape desired
November 16, 2018 by Bob Yirka, Phys.org report
 

A team of researchers from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Harvard University and Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology has developed a way to make batteries in almost any shape that can be imagined. In their paper published in the journal ACS Nano, the researchers describe the process used to make the batteries and the device they created to prove the concept sound.

The shapes of many small devices are constrained by the limits of battery shape—smart watches, for example. Small batteries are typically coin-shaped, rectangular, cylindrical or pouch-shaped. The researchers with this new effort developed a new way to make a battery that could be almost any shape a product manufacturer could design.

The researchers report that they chose zinc-ion batteries because they can be used safely in the open air—this is because they make use of water-based electrolytes. They looked at manufacturing methods used for various products, searching for techniques to make battery components in different shapes. For the cathode, they found that electrospinning allowed batteries to be cut into a desired shape. For some other parts, they used micromachining. For packaging, they used stereolithography. The electrical connections were produced using a 3-D printer. They put all their ideas together and produced some batteries in the shape of letters, rings and circles.

 

Read more at: https://phys.org/new...esired.html#jCp



#6224
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Trump to nominate Andrew Wheeler, former coal lobbyist, to officially lead EPA
 

A former coal lobbyist could soon be permanently in charge of environmental protections.

President Donald Trump is expected to nominate Andrew Wheeler, currently acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to take over the position permanently, it was revealed on Friday afternoon.

“Acting Administrator, who I will tell you is going to be made permanent, he’s done a fantastic job and I want to congratulate him,” Trump said of Wheeler during a Medal of Freedom ceremony at the White House.

 

https://thinkprogres...r-166365259370/



#6225
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Schools close in California as air quality worsens and deadly wildfires continue to burn
Wildfires are devastating the Golden State.

Public schools are closing across California’s Bay Area on Friday, along with a number of businesses and universities, as air quality from wildfires worsens and the number of people reported dead or missing continues to rise.

More than 1 million students in California were reportedly sent home throughout this week due to hazardous air quality as deadly wildfires continued to blaze across the state.  According to CALmatters, that number represents around one in six public school students in California, in what officials said was one of the biggest mass-closures in the state’s history. Many private schools and colleges also shuttered in response to deteriorating air quality levels.

 

https://thinkprogres...l-1b30a1e89d21/



#6226
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Nanotube film enabling ten times higher energy lithium metal batteries
brian wang | November 17, 2018

 

Thin nanotube films effectively stop dendrites that grow naturally from unprotected lithium metal anodes in batteries. Over time, these tentacle-like dendrites can pierce the battery’s electrolyte core and reach the cathode, causing the battery to fail. That problem has mostly stopped the use of lithium metal in commercial applications.

Lithium metal charges much faster and holds about 10 times more energy by volume than the lithium-ion electrodes commonly used today.

The tangled-nanotube film effectively quenched dendrites over 580 charge/discharge cycles of a test battery with a sulfurized-carbon cathode the lab developed in previous experiments. The researchers reported the full lithium metal cells retained 99.8 percent of their coulombic efficiency, the measure of how well electrons move within an electrochemical system.

 

https://www.nextbigf...-batteries.html



#6227
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Romaine lettuce is not safe to eat, CDC warns U.S. consumers
Source: The Washington Post

 

By Joel Achenbach and Lena H. Sun November 20 at 2:51 PM

Romaine lettuce is unsafe to eat in any form, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday in a broad alert in response to a new outbreak of illnesses caused by a particularly dangerous type of E. coli contamination.

The CDC told consumers to throw away any romaine lettuce they may already have purchased. Restaurants should not serve it, stores should not sell it, and people should not buy it, no matter where or when the lettuce was grown. It doesn’t matter if it is chopped, whole head or part of a mix. All romaine should be avoided.

The CDC alert, issued just two days before Americans sit down for their Thanksgiving dinners, reported that 32 people in 11 states have become sick from eating contaminated romaine. Of those, 13 have been hospitalized, with one patient suffering from a form of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported.

The origin of the outbreak is unknown and remains under investigation. The CDC did not limit the warning to romaine from any particular agricultural area.

 

Read more: https://www.washingt...ad09_story.html



#6228
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Researchers defy 19th Century law of Physics in 21st century boost for energy efficiency
November 21, 2018 by Anna Ford, University of Sussex
 

Research led by a University of Sussex scientist has turned a 156-year-old law of physics on its head in a development which could lead to more efficient recharging of batteries in cars and mobile phones.

Dr. Jordi Prat-Camps, a research fellow at the University of Sussex, has for the first time demonstrated that the coupling between two magnetic elements can be made extremely asymmetrical. Working with colleagues from the Austrian Academy of Sciences and University of Innsbruck, Dr. Prat-Camps' research rips up the physics rule book by showing it is possible to make one magnet connect to another without the connection happening in the opposite direction.

The findings run contrary to long-established beliefs of magnetic coupling, which emerge from the four Maxwell equations dating back to the seminal works of Michael Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell in the 19th century.

 

Read more at: https://phys.org/new...hysics.html#jCp


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#6229
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Peak Oil & Drastic Oil Shortages Imminent, Says IEA

https://cleantechnic...inent-says-iea/

November 22nd, 2018 by Guest Contributor

While the IEA got a lot of coverage for its World Energy Outlook 2018 (WEO 18), there might be a little snippet that got way underappreciated.

On page 159 of its Outlook, accessible only behind a payment barrier, the following graph can be found:

IEA-graph.jpg



#6230
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European EcoSwing Builds First Full Scale Superconductor Wind Turbine
brian wang | November 22, 2018
 

The European EcoSwing project swapped a compact and lightweight electric superconducting generator for a conventional generator in a 3.6 Megawatt wind turbine.

The new generator is 4 meters in diameter, 1.5 meters smaller than a conventional one. It sits inside an 88 meter tall 3.6MW turbine in Thyboron, Denmark.

The magnets made from a composite tape with a ceramic superconducting layer: gadolinium–barium–copper oxide (GdBaCuO). The superconducting layer sits on a steel ribbon for flexibility and strength.

The superconducting tape is protected from metal poisoning by layers of magnesium oxide and silver. The magnesium oxide also acts as a template for the precise crystalline structure needed by the GdBaCuO. An outer copper layer offers electrical and thermal stabilization. Tens of kilometers of this tape sits inside the new wind turbine.

 

https://www.nextbigf...nd-turbine.html


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#6231
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Saudi Arabia defies Trump and warns of 1m barrels a day cut to crude oil output
Trump in recent weeks demanded the oil cartel increase production to drive down U.S. gasoline prices.

 https://www.ibtimes....-output-1666863

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — OPEC and allied oil-producing countries will likely need to cut crude supplies, perhaps as much as 1 million barrels of oil a day, to rebalance the market after proposed U.S. sanctions on Iran failed to cut Tehran's output, Saudi Arabia's energy minister said Monday.

The comments from the minister, Khalid al-Falih, show the balancing act the U.S. allies face in dealing with President Donald Trump's actions related to the oil industry.

Trump in recent weeks demande

 



#6232
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Texas Is About To Create OPEC's Worst Nightmare

 

 

An infestation of dots, thousands of them, represent oil wells in the Permian basin of West Texas and a slice of New Mexico. In less than a decade, U.S. companies have drilled 114,000. Many of them would turn a profit even with crude prices as low as $30 a barrel.

 
OPEC’s bad dream only deepens next year, when Permian producers expect to iron out distribution snags that will add three pipelines and as much as 2 million barrels of oil a day.
 
“The Permian will continue to grow and OPEC needs to learn to live with it,’’ said Mike Loya, the top executive in the Americas for Vitol Group, the world’s largest independent oil-trading house.

 

https://www.bloomber...witter-graphics


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#6233
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Taiwan Votes for Nuclear Power
brian wang | November 24, 2018

 

Taiwanese voters on Saturday decisively rejected the government’s phase-out of nuclear power, 59% to 41%.

After shutting down a nuclear reactor, Taiwan had a black-out in 2017 that threatened the vital semiconductor industry.

A Trend Survey Research poll commissioned by pro-nuclear activists before the vote found that one of the strongest arguments for nuclear was, “Solar and wind are not stable, and are expensive,” attracting 71% agreement.

 

https://www.nextbigf...lear-power.html



#6234
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Cleaner Burning Charcoal as a Transition Step to Save Lives and Climate
brian wang | November 24, 2018

 

From 2005 to 2015, China cut indoor air pollution in half. This was mostly from the adoption of cleaner burning charcoal.

This saved 400,000 lives per year from lower exposure to 2.5-micron air pollution. Fine-particle pollution causes premature death in people with lung or heart disease and increases sickness. China will continue to reduce exposure to fine particulate matter by 63 percent. This will prevent an additional 510,000 premature deaths.

Most of the household particulate pollution reduction seen in China was a result of a cookstove technology shift. Cleaner heating helped but heating is not used every day while people cook every day.

China has a goal is to increase the fraction of clean heating in northern China to 70 percent by 2021.

The people who have upgraded their cookstoves and heating appliances to cleaner-burning fuels have done so in areas where the switch was relatively easy to make. Rural and low-income urban areas will need government infrastructure to switch to cleaner cooking and cleaner heating. China will build natural-gas pipeline networks and an upgrade of terminal power grid.

 

https://www.nextbigf...nd-climate.html



#6235
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The World Needs to Quit Coal. Why Is It So Hard?

 

https://www.nytimes....al-warming.html

 

Introduction:

 

(New York Times) HANOI, Vietnam — Coal, the fuel that powered the industrial age, has led the planet to the brink of catastrophic climate change.

 

Scientists have repeatedly warned of its looming dangers, most recently on Friday, when a major scientific report issued by 13 United States government agencies warned that the damage from climate change could knock as much as 10 percent off the size of the American economy by century’s end if significant steps aren’t taken to rein in warming.

 

An October report from the United Nations’ scientific panel on global warming found that avoiding the worst devastation would require a radical transformation of the world economy in just a few years.

 

Central to that transformation: Getting out of coal, and fast.

 

And yet, three years after the Paris agreement, when world leaders promised action, coal shows no sign of disappearing. While coal use looks certain to eventually wane worldwide, according to the latest assessment by the International Energy Agency, it is not on track to happen anywhere fast enough to avert the worst effects of climate change. Last year, in fact, global production and consumption increased after two years of decline.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#6236
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Monterey Bay Community Power signs contract for storage project

 

https://benitolink.c...EpzFlu8gRxCmYA4

 

Introduction

 

(Benito Link) Monterey Bay Community Power (MBCP) recently signed two long-term solar development agreements, one of which will be the largest utility-scale, solar-plus-storage project ever built in California.

 

With the approval of these two projects, MBCP is expected to make significant contributions to grid stability for California and to utility-scale storage capacity for California and the nation, according to a recent press release.

 

According to the release, the Slate 1 project to be developed in Kings County, CA by Recurrent Energy is expected to provide 150 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity, plus 45 MW of storage, for a 15-year term. Just south in Kern County, the BigBeau Solar project, developed by EDF Renewables North America, is expected to provide 128 MW of solar capacity with 40 MW of storage as part of a 20-year agreement. The two solar plus storage projects combined are expected to power 32,000 MBCP customer homes annually and will provide 840 temporary jobs during construction with commercial operation scheduled for 2021, the press release said.

 

“We are excited to bring online the largest California solar-plus-storage project by CCAs to date,” said Tom Habashi, CEO of Monterey Bay Community Power. “Solar development has been a hallmark of California’s renewable energy boom and with the storage component, we can realize the full potential of solar generation.”

 

Both projects are the result of a joint-procurement effort between Monterey Bay Community Power and Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE), their second such collaboration in less than three months. MBCP is expected to take 45 percent of the energy produced from both Slate 1 and BigBeau, while SVCE is expected to harness the other 55 percent. The renewable energy produced from these projects will be utilized exclusively by CCAs, many of which are driving the recent rise in buildout of renewable energy infrastructure across the state.

image006.jpg?itok=46t9fe8v

Recurrent Energy’s Mustang solar photovoltaic 2016 project for two other CCEs, Sonoma Clean Power and MCE. Located nearby is the Slate project in Kings County, CA.

Photo provided by Monterey Bay Community Power.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#6237
Raklian

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Donald Trump buried a climate change report he doesn't believe

 

https://www.cnn.com/...ange/index.html


What are you without the sum of your parts?

#6238
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Concentrated Photovoltaics Achieve Solar Conversion Efficiency Record Of 41.4%

https://cleantechnic...record-of-41-4/

November 26th, 2018 by Steve Hanley

We know a lot about solar panels. We hear about Solar Roof products from Tesla. Concentrated solar power is showing promise in some large scale applications. Concentrated photovoltaics (CPV) is a type of solar power that falls somewhere in between all those other categories but doesn’t get a lot of attention. It uses lenses and curved mirrors to focus sunlight onto small, but highly efficient, multi-junction solar cells, according to Wikipedia. In addition, CPV systems often use solar trackers and a cooling system for even greater efficiency.

 



#6239
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Researchers achieve highest certified efficiency of organic solar cells to date
November 27, 2018, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
 

Materials scientists at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have achieved a new record in the performance of organic, non-fullerene-based, single-junction solar cells. Using a series of complex optimisations, they achieved certified power conversion efficiency of 12.25 percent on a surface area measuring one square centimetre. This standardised surface area is the preliminary stage for prototype manufacture. The results, achieved in conjunction with partners from the South China University of Technology (SCUT), have now been published in Nature Energy.

Organic photovoltaic systems have undergone rapid development during the last few years. In most cases, organic solar cells consist of two layers of semiconductors—one acts as the donor by supplying the electrons, and the second acts as an acceptor or electron conductor. In contrast to the silicon conventionally used, which must be drawn from a melt or precipitated in vacuum systems, the polymer layers in this system can be deposited from a solution directly on a supporting film. On the one hand, this means comparably low manufacturing costs, and on the other, these flexible modules can be used more easily than silicon solar cells in urban spaces. For a long time, fullerenes, which are carbon-based nanoparticles, were considered ideal acceptors, but the intrinsic losses of fullerene-based composites still severely limit their potential efficiency. The work carried out at FAU has thus resulted in a paradigm shift. "With our partners in China, we have discovered a new organic molecule that absorbs more light than fullerenes that is also very durable," says Prof. Dr. Christoph Brabec, Chair of Materials Science (Materials in Electronics and Energy Technology) at FAU.

 

Read more at: https://phys.org/new...eaking.html#jCp



#6240
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Renewables Account For 18% Of US Electricity Generation

https://cleantechnic...ity-generation/

November 30th, 2018 by Joshua S Hill

The United States Energy Information Administration has recently published data revealing that renewable energy sources provided nearly 18% of the country’s electrical generation through the first nine months of the year, while solar and wind grew substantially as compared to the same nine months a year ago.

renewable energy in OhioThe Energy Information Administration (EIA) published its “Electric Power Monthly” (with data up through September 30, 2018) this week, which was then analyzed by the SUN DAY Campaign run by Ken Bossong, which pays close attention to the EIA’s regular energy reports. According to SUN DAY’s analysis of EIA numbers, renewable energy sources — which include biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, and wind — accounted for 17.8% of the country’s net domestic electrical generation through the first three-quarters of 2018.

 


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