Morning Brief: The Trump administration is burying dozens of studies detailing the promise of renewable energy


The Trump administration is burying dozens of studies detailing the promise of renewable energy, impeding a transition away from fossil fuels: Dan Simmons of the U.S. Department of Energy doesn’t appear to fully support renewables. In fact, he has presided over his agency’s systematic squelching of dozens of government studies detailing its promise. One pivotal research project, for example, quantifies hydropower’s unique potential to enhance solar and wind energy, storing up power in the form of water held back behind dams for moments when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. By the time of the Hoover Dam ceremony, Simmons’ office at the Energy Department had been sitting on that particular study for more than a year. In all, the department has blocked reports for more than 40 clean energy studies. The department has replaced them with mere presentations, buried them in scientific journals that are not accessible to the public, or left them paralyzed within the agency. Source: Grist, in collaboration with InvestigateWest

Global solar PV installations to hit 115 GWdc in 2020: Solar PV installations are expected to hit 115 GWdc this year, according to Wood Mackenzie’s latest quarterly market outlook. This is up 5 % from the total installed globally in 2019. In Asia, the Chinese market is continuing its robust recovery and Wood Mackenzie now expects 39 GWdc of installations by the end of 2020. According to Wood Mackenzie’s analysis, Indian PV installations will sit at just 4.9 GW in 2020, down 42% on 2019 and the lowest level since 2016. The German government’s 52 GW cap on installations that would have seen the end to the FIT program has been removed and installations are expected to reach almost 4.5 GW in the country, which is the highest level seen since 2012. In the U.S., utility-scale timelines have been largely unchanged due to the pandemic, although persistent shelter-in-place orders have driven a 23% drop in residential installations QoQ and a 19% QoQ drop in non-residential installations.  Source: WoodMac

Trump’s pullback of pollution controls is even more hazardous than you think:  The EPA scrapped the Obama-era rules controlling methane emissions. The fracking-friendly move will also result in the release of hazardous pollutants linked to cancer. The Permian Basin is one of the most prolific oil and gas plays in the world, responsible for more than a third of the United States’ oil and one-sixth of gas production last year. The formation in West Texas and southeastern New Mexico that has minted fortunes and transformed the country into a global petroleum supplier is also ground zero for the worst oil and gas air pollution in the country. “You don’t know what you’re breathing,” said Gene Collins, a minister and community activist in Odessa, Texas. Source: Vox

Danville Utilities, in partnership with CS Energy, Navisun, and TurningPoint Energy, has completed a 14 MW DC utility-scale solar project using bifacial panels in Danville, Virginia. The renewable energy project is the city’s largest solar development to date. The power produced by the solar array equates to approximately 3% of Danville Utilities’ yearly energy output, or enough clean energy to power 1,500 homes each year. Construction on the project began in December 2019, and project leaders had to adapt to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Supply delays led to an adjusted project schedule, and additional procedures had to be created to ensure the health and safety of those on site.  Source: Turning Point

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