Weekend reads: 5 big energy stories you may have missed - Smart Energy Decisions

Regulation, Regulation, Solar, Wind  -  February 18, 2017

Weekend reads: Solar trains, Trump's impact on climate change, Fukushima robots & more

Every Saturday, we'll bring you five of the most interesting — or quirky; it is the weekend after all — energy stories from around the web that you may have missed this week. This weekend's reads:

The Trump Presidency's Potential Impact On Climate Change (NPR's Fresh Air): ProPublica senior reporter Andrew Revkin discusses President Trump's possible cuts to the EPA, as well as the potential impact of pulling out of the Paris climate accord, with NPR's Terry Gross.  Revkin is a senior reporter for climate and related issues at ProPublica. He wrote for The New York Times for 21 years, mostly about climate and environmental issues, and created the Times blog "Dot Earth."

Melted Nuclear Fuel Search Proceeds One Dead Robot at a Time (Bloomberg): The latest robot seeking to find the 600 tons of nuclear fuel and debris that melted down six year ago in Japan’s wrecked Fukushima Dai-Ichi power plant met its end in less than a day. The scorpion-shaped machine, built by Toshiba Corp., entered the No. 2 reactor core Thursday and stopped 3 meters (9.8 feet) short of a grate that would have provided a view of where fuel residue is suspected to have gathered. Two previous robots aborted similar missions after one got stuck in a gap and another was abandoned after finding no fuel in six days.

How New York City Gets Its Electricity (The New York Times):  When you turn on a light or charge your phone, the electricity coming from the outlet may well have traveled hundreds of miles across the power grid that blankets most of North America — the world's largest machine, and one of its most eccentric. Your household power may have been generated by Niagara Falls, or by a natural-gas-fired plant on a barge floating off the Brooklyn shore. But the kilowatt-hour produced down the block probably costs more than the one produced at the Canadian border. Moreover, a surprising portion of the system is idle except for the hottest days of the year, when already bottlenecked transmission lines into the New York City area reach their physical limit.

Solar-powered trains are closer to reality than we might think (The Guardian): How can we connect solar photovoltaics (PV) directly to railways to power electric trains? That's the question my charity 10:10 and researchers at Imperial College's Energy Futures Lab are trying to answer. Electric trains are by far the best long distance transport mode when it comes to carbon emissions – at least when their electricity comes from renewable sources like solar or wind.

Proposed Legislation To Limit Wind Farms Around Military Bases Will Cost Jobs, Hurt Rural Economies (Forbes): Wind energy in America is booming. However, this growth is at risk from potential legislation to protect military bases with rules the military doesn't need or even want. The recently released numbers for 2016 show that 82,000 megawatts (MW) of wind have now been installed in the U.S. That's equal to approximately 5.5% of the country’s electricity consumption and enough to supply 24 million homes. In some states — such as Iowa and Kansas — over 30% of the electrons supplied now come from wind.

Keywords: Weekend reads

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