August 22, 2017

Affordable Energy News Service for August 22, 2017

Affordable Energy News Service for August 22, 2017

United Conservative Party’s Brian Jean pushes energy literacy in schools: Dean Bennett

A former Opposition leader who wants to run Alberta’s new United Conservative Party says he wants kids to learn more about the energy industry in school, including the effects of climate change. Brian Jean says he wants more information in classrooms about products made by the energy industry and what impact it has on the provincial and national economies. “For instance, many people don’t understand what’s made of petroleum, what are petroleum products,” Jean said Monday as he rolled out his education platform in Calgary. - Global News


Historic eclipse will test U.S. power grids with 12, 000 megawatts expected to fall offline: Bloomberg News

On Monday, the first total eclipse of its kind in 99 years will plunge broad swaths of the U.S. into darkness, sending solar supplies sliding and testing the resilience of the power grid for the first time since the rapid rise of renewable energy. Grid operators, utilities and electricity generators are bracing for more than 12,000 megawatts of solar power to start falling offline as the moon blocks out the sun across a 70-mile-wide (113-kilometres) corridor stretching from Oregon to South Carolina. This is the first major test of the power grid since America started bringing large amounts of intermittent solar and wind resources onto the system. It comes just as the grid is undergoing an unprecedented transformation whereby flexible resources such as battery storage will complement growing supplies of solar and wind. Solar installations have grown nine fold since 2012 and renewable sources are forecast to supply just as much of America’s electricity demand as natural gas by 2040. The celestial event provides an opportunity to test plants, software and markets refined in recent years in anticipation of the day when renewable energy becomes the dominant source of power. - Financial Post


Petronas considers minority stake in Liquid Natural Gas Canada: Brent Jang

Malaysia’s Petronas is considering acquiring a South Korea firm’s minority stake in a B.C. liquefied natural gas project led by Shell after cancelling its rival venture in the province last month. State-owned Petronas had led Pacific NorthWest LNG proposal on B.C.’s north coast but scrapped it in July. The Malaysian energy giant is now seeking ways to move natural gas from its properties in northeastern B.C. to foreign markets, an industry source familiar with Petronas said. - Globe & Mail


Nalcor says $66.9-million hedging loss was normal and prudent: James McLeod

Nalcor CEO Stan Marshall says there’s nothing scandalous about a hedging investment made by the company earlier this year, which led to a $66.9-million loss. At issue is the additional financing covered by the second federal loan guarantee, totalling $2.9-billion, which will help cover the huge cost overruns for the Muskrat Falls project. There was a six-day window between when Nalcor had all the paperwork done and when it would actually go to the market to borrow the money. So, Nalcor locked in roughly $1.8-billion at current interest rates as a hedge against any fluctuations over the six-day period.  - Newfoundland Telegram


From oilsands mine to wetland: Is Syncrude's reclamation experiment working?: David Thurton

Like a huge cookie cutter, the excavator lifted a frozen slice of wetland to reveal centuries-old layers of peat and soil. Eric Girard had no idea at the time whether the science experiment would even work, whether Syncrude could actually transplant that piece of wetland to a former oilsands mine and have it regrow. The goal was to study ways to reclaim an open-pit mine and turn it back into a healthy wetland. - CBC


United Kingdom 

Solar panel capacity to overtake nuclear energy within months in historic landmark: Ian Johnston

Solar panel capacity is set to overtake nuclear worldwide for the first time within the next few months, according to expert predictions. The total capacity of nuclear power is currently about 391.5-gigawatts but the total capacity of photovoltaic cells is expected to hit 390 gigawatts by the end of this year with demand growing at up to 8% per year, according to GTM Research. While this would be a landmark moment for renewable energy, nuclear still generates much more electricity than solar – nearly 2.5-million gigawatt-hours a year compared to the latter’s 375,000 gigawatt-hours. - Independent