Distributed Energy Resources, Energy Storage, GHG Emissions, Regulation, Regulation, Solar - April 29, 2017
Weekend reads: West Virginia utility gives up on coal; Clean Power Plan frozen; solar rocks & 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.
Court freezes Clean Power Plan lawsuit, signaling likely end to Obama's signature climate policy (The Washington Post): A federal court on Friday granted the Trump administration's request to suspend lawsuits against the Clean Power Plan rule, signaling the likely end of President Barack Obama's signature climate policy. The two-page order from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia stays litigation against the Environmental Protection Agency rule for 60 days. It does not indicate whether the D.C. Circuit will return the rule to the agency, although the EPA did not ask for it to do so. Instead, the order asks for guidance on whether to send the regulation back altogether.
West Virginia's biggest utility just told the governor burning more coal is "not going to happen" (Quartz): West Virginia is coal country. And so, given Trump's promise to "put our [coal] miners back to work," it's no surprise that the state's Democratic governor Jim Justice wants his state's biggest utility to burn more of it. But Chris Beam, president of Appalachian Power, the state's largest utility, has some bad news. Beam told the governor—a farmer and coal mogul himself—that all new power generation would likely come from wind, solar, and natural gas.
For First Time Since 1800s, Britain Goes a Day Without Burning Coal for Electricity (The New York Times): Friday was the first full day since the height of the Industrial Revolution that Britain did not burn coal to generate electricity, a development that officials and climate change activists celebrated as a watershed moment. The accomplishment became official just before 11 p.m., when the 24-hour period ended. Coal powered Britain into the industrial age and into the 21st century, contributing greatly to the "pea souper" fogs that were thought for decades to be a natural phenomenon of the British climate.
Burning Questions for the Brooklyn-Queens Demand Management Program (Greentech Media): Back in January, Con Edison quietly reported some new load forecasts. It turns out the cutting-edge Brooklyn-Queens demand management program — which has been furiously installing energy-efficient light bulbs and coordinating demand reduction commitments to relieve overloads on the local electric system — is no longer necessary at all.
An Old Rock Could Lead to Next-Generation Solar Cells (Scientific American): After a 170-year delay, the discovery of a strange, metallic-looking rock found in the Ural Mountains in Russia in 1839 has ignited a global technology race for a cheaper, more efficient solar cell. It could seriously disrupt the world's solar market, currently dominated by China. The features of the rock led to the understanding that there was not a particular mineral involved, but a class of minerals that share a common crystalline structure of cubes and diamondlike shapes. The structure was named for Lev Perovski, a Russian mineral expert who first studied it.
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