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Flamanville reactor blast: No nuclear risk, say officials

The two reactors at Flamanville will eventually be joined by a third.

Image: The two reactors at Flamanville will eventually be joined by a third.

bbc.com - February 9th 2017

An explosion and fire have occurred at the Flamanville nuclear plant on France's northern coast but there was no nuclear risk, officials say.

"It is a significant technical event but it is not a nuclear accident," senior local official Olivier Marmion told AFP news agency.

Five people reported feeling unwell but none was seriously injured.

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Weak Federal Powers Could Limit Trump’s Climate-Policy Rollback

A wind farm in Pomeroy, Iowa. The wind power industry is booming in the United States, with wind-farm technician projected to be the country’s fastest-growing occupation over the next decade. Credit Jim Watson/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Image: A wind farm in Pomeroy, Iowa. The wind power industry is booming in the United States, with wind-farm technician projected to be the country’s fastest-growing occupation over the next decade. Credit Jim Watson/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

nytimes.com - January 2nd 2017 - Justin Gillis

With Donald J. Trump about to take control of the White House, it would seem a dark time for the renewable energy industry. After all, Mr. Trump has mocked the science of global warming as a Chinese hoax, threatened to kill a global deal on climate change and promised to restore the coal industry to its former glory.

So consider what happened in the middle of December, after investors had had a month to absorb the implications of Mr. Trump’s victory. 

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World Energy Hits a Turning Point: Solar That's Cheaper Than Wind

           

Emerging markets are leapfrogging the developed world thanks to cheap panels.

bloomberg.com - by Tom Randall - December 15, 2016

A transformation is happening in global energy markets that’s worth noting as 2016 comes to an end: Solar power, for the first time, is becoming the cheapest form of new electricity. 

This has happened in isolated projects in the past: an especially competitive auction in the Middle East, for example, resulting in record-cheap solar costs. But now unsubsidized solar is beginning to outcompete coal and natural gas on a larger scale, and notably, new solar projects in emerging markets are costing less to build than wind projects, according to fresh data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

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Before the Flood

nationalgeographic.com - October 30, 2016

From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Fisher Stevens and Academy Award®-winning actor, environmental activist and U.N. Messenger of Peace Leonardo DiCaprio, Before the Flood presents a riveting account of the dramatic changes now occurring around the world due to climate change, as well as the actions we as individuals and as a society can take to prevent the disruption of life on our planet.

CLICK HERE - National Geographic - Before the Flood

CLICK HERE - YouTube - Before the Flood

CLICK HERE - About the Film - Before the Flood

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The myth of renewables threatening grid stability?

bnef.com - October 31st 2016

Germany’s power grid outage averaged 12.7 minutes last year, 41% less than in 2006, even though renewables have grown to account for as much as a third of power generation in the country, according to data released by the federal regulator last week.

This put to rest concerns about intermittent sources of power threatening grid stability. The country is weaning itself away from nuclear power and embracing renewables generation, providing a working model of transformation of the energy sector for many other countries.

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Energy weighs on Wall St. but Costco shines

reuters.com - July 7th 2016 - Marcus E. Howard

The S&P 500 and Dow industrials slipped on Thursday, weighed by energy shares, but gains in Costco and tech shares lifted the Nasdaq Composite.

The energy sector of the S&P was dragged lower by Exxon and Chevron as oil futures prices fell nearly 5 percent after crude stockpiles fell slightly less than forecast.

High-yielding sectors also pulled the S&P lower even as yields on long-term U.S. government debt remained near record lows.

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Blockchain: the answer to life, the universe and everything?

The blockchain was developed as a means of creating digital property without the need for a central authority keeping track of who owns what. Photograph: Jacob Carter/Rex/Shutterstock Image: The blockchain was developed as a means of creating digital property without the need for a central authority keeping track of who owns what. Photograph: Jacob Carter/Rex/Shutterstock

theguardian.com - July 7th 2016 - Alex Hern

Have you heard the good news? The blockchain is here – and it’s going to save everything.

If you aren’t tied to the tech community, you might not have picked up on this salvation rhetoric.

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Wilson Solar Grill Stores the Sun’s Energy for Nighttime Fuel-Free Grilling

Many of us will be firing up our grills this weekend for some well-deserved barbecue time. After all, barbecuing is one of America’s greatest pastimes, but it certainly isn’t one of our most environmentally friendly. Whether you prefer charcoal, wood chips or propane, grilling releases emissions and contributes to poor air quality.

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Chernobyl's legacy 30 years on

Image: Dr Rachel Furley (centre) with members of the Kartuzovi family, one of the many families her charity helps.

bbc.com - April 26th 2016 - Tom Burridge

Children are still being born with severe birth defects and rare types of cancer in areas near to Chernobyl, according to a British charity, three decades on from the world's worst civil nuclear disaster.

The accident on 26 April 1986 contributed to the downfall of the Soviet Union, changed the way the world thinks about nuclear energy and has affected an unquantifiable number of people in the region.

For British paediatrician Dr Rachel Furley, the "desperately sad" reality is that women who have spent their entire lives exposed to high levels of radiation are now having children. 

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Oil producers fail to agree deal to freeze output after Saudi Arabia-Iran standoff

Most Opec members want to cap output and raise the oil price. Photograph: Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

Image: Most Opec members want to cap output and raise the oil price. Photograph: Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

theguardian.com - April 17th 2016 - Simon Goodley

The world’s major oil producing nations failed to strike an agreement on Sunday night to freeze production, saying they needed more time to agree a deal to try to buoy the price of oil.

What producers had hoped would be the first deal in 15 years ran into difficulty after Saudi Arabia – the largest exporter of oil – demanded that Iran join an agreement to freeze output.

Iran has been reluctant to agree to hold back on oil production while it attempts to return its market share to pre-sanction levels.

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