Biden Approves 1st Major Offshore Wind Energy Project for the USA


Michael Dwyer/AP

The U.S. Interior Department approved the country’s first large-scale offshore wind project Tuesday, a final hurdle that reverses course from the Trump administration and sets the stage for a major shift in the energy landscape.

This “is a significant milestone in our efforts to build a clean and more equitable energy future while addressing the climate emergency,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said during a press briefing. She said an expansion of wind energy is critical to President Biden’s ambitious climate goals to make the electricity sector carbon-neutral…

The project is expected to produce enough renewable electricity to power 400,000 Massachusetts homes every year while also saving ratepayers billions of dollars and reducing annual carbon dioxide emissions in the state by about 1.68 million metric tons…

Pederson called Vineyard Wind’s approval “the launch of a new industry.” More than a dozen wind farms are being developed in federal waters off the East Coast, and states along the seaboard are eager for the economic development that could bring.

Now, we’re only 29 years behind Denmark.

That’s not just a snarky remark. That opens the question, “How is it a small nation like Denmark – certainly not wealthier than the United States – becomes a leading example for energy efficiency, long-range savings for its citizens, 29 years before our government gets around to possibly enacting legislation to START OUR FIRST PROJECT?

Denmark, the other Scandinavian countries, all of western Europe is not that dissimilar from the GOUSA. They have liberals and conservatives, their conservatives lie at least as much as the Republican Party, many of their liberals are as chickenshit as the Democrats.

It may be that broadly-speaking their media isn’t as cowardly as ours. But, I doubt if they’re any less profitable. I’m confident their education is broader, deeper, more thorough than the average US education – even though much is premised on an open class divide, sharp and unhidden; but, permitting a better public education than we dare to allow.

I don’t care to waste time nibbling through detailed analyses of who gets the most responsibility for the advances in energy, clean air, a better life … that take place without the participation of the United States … that don’t benefit Americans directly because our elected officials and the parties they “allow” to represent us are a social and economic mediocrity. ‘Nuff said.

This electric hatchback sells for less than $6K in China

This endearing micro electric-car is called the Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV. Currently, it is only sold in China and built by SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile, a joint venture between SAIC Motor, Liuzhou Wuling Motors Co Ltd, and General Motors. The car launched at the beginning of summer and has been a notable success. According to GM Authority, Wuling has received 50,000 orders since its initial launch.

…Around 15,000 customers took delivery of their new Hong Guang Mini EV during the month of August, and that alone has meant a 104 percent sales increase since July alone. It makes it very possibly the top-selling battery EV in China right now.

Standard safety features include anti-lock brakes, tire pressure monitoring system, and rear parking sensors. Press photos show that the Mini EV has air conditioning, power windows, a stereo, and the pedals feature a positive or negative symbol…

Since my wife and I are both retired, we drive her car to town for grocery shopping and any other errands we need to combine…once a week. La Fiesta is easy on the petrol bill; so, it’s no big deal. But, if we were going through the process – as we did several years ago – of buying a useful, small, economic vehicle for this sort of transport, the Wuling Hong Guang Mini would fill the bill, perfectly. With five figure$ leftover.

As long as my 26-year-old Ram pickup continues to start and run just fine…that covers the task of hauling our accumulated household trash to the county transfer station about eight times/year.

Common sense is a bear, isn’t it?

Bacteria that can conduct electricity

❝ Scientists have made a surprising discovery about how strange bacteria that live in soil and sediment can conduct electricity. The bacteria do so, the researchers determined, through a seamless biological structure never before seen in nature – a structure scientists can co-opt to miniaturize electronics, create powerful-yet-tiny batteries, build pacemakers without wires and develop a host of other medical advances.

❝ Scientists had believed Geobacter sulfurreducens conducted electricity through common, hair-like appendages called pili. Instead, a researcher at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and his collaborators have determined that the bacteria transmit electricity through immaculately ordered fibers made of an entirely different protein. These proteins surround a core of metal-containing molecules, much like an electric cord contains metal wires. This “nanowire,” however, is 100,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair.

❝ This tiny-but-tidy structure, the researchers believe, could be tremendously useful for everything from harnessing the power of bioenergy to cleaning up pollution to creating biological sensors. It could actually serve as the bridge between electronics and living cells.

Cripes. I wish I could be around long enough to see so many interesting things [like this] come to pass into common useful devices.

World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm Opens in the Irish Sea


Click to enlarge

Orsted A/S unveiled the world’s largest offshore wind farm, an 87-turbine complex in the Irish Sea covering an area more than double the size of Manhattan.

The Walney Extension off the coast of northwest England has a generating capacity of 659 megawatts and is capable of powering 590,000 homes, according to Danish company Orsted, the world’s biggest developer of offshore wind farms.

The only functioning wind farm in the United States exists at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC.

Electrifying Silver Arrow


Click to see the 1937 version

❝ 2018 seems to be the year of the electric classic concept in Monterey and frankly, that’s all right by us. The latest to throw its hat in that particular ring is Mercedes-Benz with its gorgeous EQ Silver Arrow.

If Silver Arrow rings a bell, that’s what Mercedes used to call its race cars from 1934 to 1939, as well as in 1954 and 1955. EQ is what Mercedes calls its electric vehicles and in this particular example, we think the marriage of the two monikers is totally apt.

Of course I’d love to have one. But, even though my brain still feels as if it functions like a 26-year-old, reflexes don’t match, I’m afraid. I’d settle for a CLA equivalent with an EQ drivetrain.

Coal-fired electricity now crashing faster under Trump


Click to enlargeplanetenergynews.com

❝ More coal plants are now projected to retire more quickly than experts thought a year ago, according to energy-industry analysts who gathered in Chicago…

Three alternative energy sources — wind, solar and natural gas — are expected to divide up the spoils, they said at the American Wind Energy Association’s Windpower 2018 conference…

❝ The projection changed in part because of more announced retirements, Bruce Hamilton said, “but more importantly, the fundamentals of the economics of coal have gotten worse, with costs going up, while the competition for coal—that is, gas, wind and solar—has all gotten cheaper. So it’s getting to the point where huge swings are forecast. You can see it will be throughout the decade.”

NatGas is replacing dewatted coal powerplants faster than any source, so far. That’s also a good symptom for renewables. NatGas plants can swing online faster than any coal or nuclear plant could. That aids fill-in for downtime from renewables like solar and wind power.

Modern Energy Coalition Condemns Trump Pimping for Coal, Nuclear Electric Power

❝ A diverse group of energy industry associations including energy efficiency and storage, natural gas, oil, solar and wind issued (a) statement condemning the Administration’s draft plan to bail out coal and nuclear plants across the country.

Lisa Jacobson, Business Council for Sustainable Energy President (BCSE):

❝ “Resilience and reliability issues are paramount to the electric sector. The portfolio of currently available clean energy technologies and services in the energy efficiency, natural gas and renewable energy sectors – working with other technologies and services – is meeting the needs of the grid affordably and reliably today and can meet the needs of an evolving electric grid into the future. The actions under consideration would impose unnecessary costs on consumers and businesses through increased electricity bills.”

John Hughes, Electricity Consumers Resources Council President and CEO:

❝ “Any action taken by the Department of Energy today to use 202(c) and DPA to prop up uneconomic coal and nuclear plants is unnecessary, anticompetitive and would increase the price of electricity to businesses and consumers, resulting in a substantial loss of U.S. manufacturing capacity jobs.”

Shit-for-brains Trump demonstrates no more dedicated policy than working for corrupt and out-of-date industries that promise to pay him the most money, promise the most votes. Not that he’s anymore adept at figuring out who is lying to him – than his peers on the Right are at separating out Trump’s own lies from fact.

Take the time to read through all the groups condemning this butt-kissing stupidity.

“Old” Energy buys into “New” Energy

❝ A decade ago, EON SE and RWE AG were two of Germany’s most valuable companies and their businesses were roughly similar: they generated power (much of it from coal and nuclear), ran energy networks and sold electricity to end consumers.

The complex asset swap and share issue they announced over the weekend — including the divvying up of RWE-controlled Innogy SE’s assets — is the last death knell for that all-encompassing model. EON will become a company focused purely on energy networks and retail customers, while RWE will combine the two companies’ renewables businesses.

❝ If EON and RWE can prevail, other utilities may follow. Utility investors would then be able to decide what future they believe in: a world where solar and wind energy is cheap and so what matters are cash-generating networks and end-customers (EON). Or one in which the whole economy is electrified and the electricity generator is king (RWE). At least we’d have a choice.

Either road, we consumers, citizens of Planet Earth, stand a better chance for an affordable, long and healthful life.

Diesel ban approved for German cities

❝ German cities will be allowed to ban older diesel vehicles from some areas following a landmark court ruling.

The Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig said the cities of Stuttgart and Duesseldorf could legally ban older, more polluting diesel cars from zones worst affected by pollution.

The ruling sets a precedent for other cities and analysts said it could lead to similar action across Europe…

❝ The ruling by a top federal court came after German states had appealed against bans imposed by local courts in Stuttgart and Duesseldorf…

The likelihood now is that the German government will rush to introduce some sort of national policy, to ensure at least some level of consistency across the country.

I imagine some US cities and states will take the lead here to step out ahead of an incompetent Congress and a White House that pimps for 19th Century industrial standards.