US renewables: Dropping in price, growing in significance

Wind, having passed coal, now getting competitive with natural gas. sci tech news Continue reading US renewables: Dropping in price, growing in significance

World’s first large-scale tidal energy farm launches in Scotland

World’s first large-scale tidal energy farm launches in Scotland:

The launch of the world’s first large-scale tidal energy farm in Scotland has been hailed as a significant moment for the renewable energy sector.

A turbine for the MeyGen tidal stream project in the Pentland Firth was unveiled outside Inverness in the Scottish Highlands.

After the ceremony, attended by Nicola Sturgeon, the turbine, measuring about 15 metres tall (49ft), with blades 16 metres in diameter (52ft), and weighing in at almost 200 tonnes, will begin its journey to the project’s site in the waters off the north coast of Scotland between Caithness and Orkney.

The turbine will be the first of four to be installed underwater, each with a capacity of 1.5 megawatts (MW), in the initial phase of the project.

But the Edinburgh-based developer Atlantis Resources hopes the project which has received £23m in Scottish government funding will eventually have 269 turbines, bringing its capacity to 398MW, which is enough electricity to power 175,000 homes.

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Japan’s lurch away from nuclear hasn’t caused fossil fuels to boom

The emergency shutdown of nuclear reactors hasn’t been an emissions disaster. sci tech news Continue reading Japan’s lurch away from nuclear hasn’t caused fossil fuels to boom

Fracking creates an ecosystem 2.5km beneath the Earth’s surface

Long term tracking shows the microbes are still there a year after the frack. sci tech news Continue reading Fracking creates an ecosystem 2.5km beneath the Earth’s surface

Costa Rica has been running on 100% renewable energy for 2 months straight

Costa Rica has been running on 100% renewable energy for 2 months straight:

Costa Rica ran on 100 percent renewable energy for 76 straight days between June and August this year, according to a new report, demonstrating that life without fossil fuels is possible – for small countries, at least.

This is the second time in two years that the Central American country has run for more than two months straight on renewables alone, and it brings the 2016 total to 150 days and counting.

According to Costa Rica’s National Centre for Energy Control (CENCE), 16 June 2016 was the last day this year that fossil fuels-based energy was used by the national grid. (Data for September is still forthcoming.)

Since then, the country has been powered on a mix of hydro, geothermal, wind, and solar energy, with hydro power providing about 80.27 percent of the total electricity in the month of August.

Geothermal plants contributed roughly 12.62 percent of electricity generation in August, while wind turbines provided 7.1 percent, and solar 0.01 percent.

Just like last year, when Costa Rica managed to power itself for a total of 299 days without burning oil, coal, or natural gas, 2016’s milestone was helped along by heavy rainfalls at the country’s four hydroelectric power facilities.

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Judge orders work to stop on part of controversial North Dakota pipeline

An American Indian tribe succeeded Tuesday in getting a federal judge to temporarily stop construction on some, but not all, of a portion of a $3.8 billion four-state oil pipeline, but their broader request still hangs in the balance. science news Continue reading Judge orders work to stop on part of controversial North Dakota pipeline

Xcel Energy reaches agreement on massive Rush Creek Wind Project

Xcel Energy said Tuesday it has reached two settlements that will speed up the development of a 600-megawatt wind project and the construction of a 125-mile transmission line to move energy from the eastern plains to the Front Range. science news Continue reading Xcel Energy reaches agreement on massive Rush Creek Wind Project

BLM considers drilling leases near Rocky Mountain National Park

The Bureau of Land Management is considering leasing nearly 28,000 acres of land for oil and gas drilling in the Granby area near the western entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. science news Continue reading BLM considers drilling leases near Rocky Mountain National Park

“Our cause is just,” says tribal leader in North Dakota pipeline protest

Protesters fear the Dakota Access pipeline project will disturb sacred sites and impact drinking water for thousands of tribal members on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and millions further downstream. science news Continue reading “Our cause is just,” says tribal leader in North Dakota pipeline protest

North Dakota oil pipeline protest turns violent

A protest of a four-state, $3.8 billion oil pipeline turned violent after tribal officials say construction crews destroyed American Indian burial and cultural sites on private land in southern North Dakota. science news Continue reading North Dakota oil pipeline protest turns violent