The Guardian: Windfarm Settings Triggered South Australian Blackout, Final Energy Report Finds
The state-wide blackout in South Australia which prompted a national political storm over energy policy was caused by extreme weather, which triggered a cascading sequence resulting in the state separating from the national energy market, according to a final assessment from the Australian Energy Market Operator.
The final report finds that the state’s windfarms rode out the grid disturbances prompted by the loss of key transmission lines during two tornadoes with wind speeds between 190 and 260 km/h — but the activation of a protection mechanism in the turbines triggered a sustained reduction in power in the state, with a drop of 456MW over a period of less than seven seconds.
Politico: Pruitt Takes Fire From Conservatives in Climate Showdown
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is coming under fire from conservatives amid a simmering behind-the-scenes fight over how far to take President Donald Trump's push to undo his predecessor's climate change agenda.
In discussions with the White House over the executive order Trump is scheduled to sign on Tuesday, Pruitt successfully argued against including language revoking the agency's 2009 “endangerment finding,” according to two sources close to the issue.
The endangerment finding declared that greenhouse gas emissions threaten human health and welfare and made EPA legally responsible for regulating carbon dioxide. It later set in motion much of former President Barack Obama's climate agenda. To many conservative skeptics of mainstream climate science, overturning the finding is an essential first step toward successfully undoing Obama administration climate regulations on everything from power plants to vehicles.
E&E News: Energy Storage Is America's Industry to Lose
This E&E News series explores what it would look like for the United States to seize the coming energy storage industry. Based on interviews with dozens of industry insiders, it looks at the opportunities and challenges, the prospects for jobs and where the emerging hubs are, from Silicon Valley to North Carolina.
One company, Tesla Inc., is intent on becoming a battery superpower unto itself as it builds a titanic factory in the Nevada desert.
But the emerging business is so large and multifaceted that even someone as ambitious as Tesla's founder, Elon Musk, can't do it by himself. So far, the United States lacks the combination of entrepreneurial collaboration, government policy and nationalistic fervor that will be necessary to wrest the early lead from China, South Korea and Japan.
Forbes: Trump 'Just Not Correct' About ARPA-E's Function, Says Former Director Of Slashed Agency
The Trump Administration's budget blueprint is “just not correct” about the function of ARPA-E, the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, its former director said Monday afternoon.
Trump's “America First: A Blueprint to Make America Great Again” eliminates all funding for ARPA-E and a similar agency for vehicle technology “because the private sector is better positioned to finance disruptive energy research and development and to commercialize innovative technologies.”
But ARPA-E was created just for stages of research and development that the private sector does not finance, said Ellen Williams, the agency's director from 2014 until January.
“I will just say that from all my experience both in the private sector and in ARPE-E that this is just not correct,” said Williams, a chemist who previously served as chief scientist for British Petroleum.
LBNL: The Economic Case for Wind and Solar Energy in Africa
To meet skyrocketing demand for electricity, African countries may have to triple their energy output by 2030. While hydropower and fossil fuel power plants are favored approaches in some quarters, a new assessment by the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has found that wind and solar can be economically and environmentally competitive options and can contribute significantly to the rising demand.
“Wind and solar have historically been dismissed as too expensive and temporally variable, but one of our key findings is that there are plentiful wind and solar resources in Africa that are both low-impact and cost-effective,” said Ranjit Deshmukh, one of the lead researchers of the study. “Another important finding is that with strategic siting of the renewable energy resource and with more energy trade and grid interconnections between countries, the total system cost can be lower than it would be if countries were to develop their resource in isolation without strategic siting.”