Volume 6, Issue 4
October 14, 2018 – October 20, 2018
Anushka Dasgupta '19 | Neha Chauhan '21 | Joseph Kawalec '21 | Amy Amatya '21 | Melanie Porras ‘21 | Patrick Huang ‘21


 In 2015, countries present at the Paris climate summit agreed to work towards keeping global warming under 1.5°C. They also tasked the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) with determining the efforts required to achieve this goal. The IPCC released  its 1,200-page-long report  on October 8th. It reiterates the substantial difference between the effects of a 1.5°C and 2°C temperature increase and the  extensive measures  that must be implemented immediately. In 81 of the 90 economic models studied, for example, these include “negative emissions,” or a means of removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.  According to  an article co-written  by Julia Stasch, president of the MacArthur Foundation, and Chris Crane, CEO of Exelon, the publication of the report is an impetus for environmentalists and the energy industry to work together. They argue that a favorable solution to the crisis can be achieved by limiting carbon emissions, using nuclear power in a safe and secure way, rapidly deploying renewables, and exploring other options such as carbon-capture. The report also states that coal use must cease in the next decade, and fuels for transportation, particularly jet fuel, have to be greatly modified. The deadline for sourcing most electricity from carbon-free sources is 2050. If something isn’t done fast, the Earth could be pushed past its ecological tipping point. - MP, PH

In 2015, countries present at the Paris climate summit agreed to work towards keeping global warming under 1.5°C. They also tasked the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) with determining the efforts required to achieve this goal. The IPCC released its 1,200-page-long report on October 8th. It reiterates the substantial difference between the effects of a 1.5°C and 2°C temperature increase and the extensive measures that must be implemented immediately. In 81 of the 90 economic models studied, for example, these include “negative emissions,” or a means of removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

According to an article co-written by Julia Stasch, president of the MacArthur Foundation, and Chris Crane, CEO of Exelon, the publication of the report is an impetus for environmentalists and the energy industry to work together. They argue that a favorable solution to the crisis can be achieved by limiting carbon emissions, using nuclear power in a safe and secure way, rapidly deploying renewables, and exploring other options such as carbon-capture. The report also states that coal use must cease in the next decade, and fuels for transportation, particularly jet fuel, have to be greatly modified. The deadline for sourcing most electricity from carbon-free sources is 2050. If something isn’t done fast, the Earth could be pushed past its ecological tipping point. - MP, PH


  Three decades after nuclear disaster, Chernobyl goes solar    October 5, 2018 | Reuters | Pavel Polityuk  A new solar plant is opening in Chernobyl, Ukraine, just 300 feet from where one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters took place. In 1986, a failed reactor test blanketed the region in nuclear material and made thousands of people vulnerable to radiation-related illnesses. The solar plant, funded by Ukranian company Rodina and Germany’s Enerparc, has around 3,800 panels and powers 2,000 apartments - a remarkable feat for a location that looked like it would never produce energy again. Evhen Variagin, the chief executive of Solar Chernobyl LLC, underscored its importance by saying, “It’s not just another solar power plant...It’s really hard to underestimate the symbolism of this particular project.” -JK

Three decades after nuclear disaster, Chernobyl goes solar
October 5, 2018 | Reuters | Pavel Polityuk
A new solar plant is opening in Chernobyl, Ukraine, just 300 feet from where one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters took place. In 1986, a failed reactor test blanketed the region in nuclear material and made thousands of people vulnerable to radiation-related illnesses. The solar plant, funded by Ukranian company Rodina and Germany’s Enerparc, has around 3,800 panels and powers 2,000 apartments - a remarkable feat for a location that looked like it would never produce energy again. Evhen Variagin, the chief executive of Solar Chernobyl LLC, underscored its importance by saying, “It’s not just another solar power plant...It’s really hard to underestimate the symbolism of this particular project.” -JK


  Solar And Wind Industries Unite To Rewrite Electric Market Rules, Want Fair Market, Not Subsidies   October 9, 2018 | Forbes | Dipka Bhambhani  Earlier this month, the Wind Energy Foundation brought solar energy experts on board and rebranded itself as the Wind Solar Alliance. Now, the D.C.-based group, made up of experienced members of organized energy markets like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and PJM Interconnection, is trying to increase how much renewable energy can enter the wholesale electric market. In November, it will submit a plan to lawmakers, proposing changes to energy market rules. Current rules favor nuclear and coal markets for their greater consistency and availability in emergencies. The proposed changes would change electricity pricing and resource dispatch, lowering barriers of entry for renewables. -NC   How Clean Energy Demand Could Fuel Conflict in Congo   Oct 9, 2018 | CBS | Irina Ivanova  Renewable energy generation is more necessary and technologically viable now than ever, but a growing demand for the materials which make it possible could spur conflict in developing countries. High-tech devices like solar panels, turbines, and batteries contain elements such as cadmium and cobalt, which are found in rare minerals - minerals most abundant in regions that are poor, politically unstable, or under economic control from foreign groups. With clean energy and electric vehicles on the rise, mineral demand could increase by 40-fold, and without governmental regulation, countries could mirror the Democratic Republic of Congo where clean energy minerals have been linked to enough child labor and violence that they’ve been called the new “blood diamond.” The key is government regulation and supply-side control, with groups like the Solar Energy Industries Association already endorsing “conflict-free” minerals. -AA

Solar And Wind Industries Unite To Rewrite Electric Market Rules, Want Fair Market, Not Subsidies
October 9, 2018 | Forbes | Dipka Bhambhani
Earlier this month, the Wind Energy Foundation brought solar energy experts on board and rebranded itself as the Wind Solar Alliance. Now, the D.C.-based group, made up of experienced members of organized energy markets like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and PJM Interconnection, is trying to increase how much renewable energy can enter the wholesale electric market. In November, it will submit a plan to lawmakers, proposing changes to energy market rules. Current rules favor nuclear and coal markets for their greater consistency and availability in emergencies. The proposed changes would change electricity pricing and resource dispatch, lowering barriers of entry for renewables. -NC

How Clean Energy Demand Could Fuel Conflict in Congo
Oct 9, 2018 | CBS | Irina Ivanova
Renewable energy generation is more necessary and technologically viable now than ever, but a growing demand for the materials which make it possible could spur conflict in developing countries. High-tech devices like solar panels, turbines, and batteries contain elements such as cadmium and cobalt, which are found in rare minerals - minerals most abundant in regions that are poor, politically unstable, or under economic control from foreign groups. With clean energy and electric vehicles on the rise, mineral demand could increase by 40-fold, and without governmental regulation, countries could mirror the Democratic Republic of Congo where clean energy minerals have been linked to enough child labor and violence that they’ve been called the new “blood diamond.” The key is government regulation and supply-side control, with groups like the Solar Energy Industries Association already endorsing “conflict-free” minerals. -AA


  Orsted, a Giant in Offshore Wind Farms, Makes a Move in the U.S.   October 8, 2018 | The New York Times | Stanley Reed  In a  previous issue , we talked about the potential for offshore wind harvesting, which uses arrays of turbines planted on the seafloor, in the American Northeast. The major players in U.S. offshore wind include Statoil, a Norwegian multinational company, and Deepwater Wind, a subsidy of D.E. Shaw. Now, Danish energy developer Orsted has acquired Deepwater for $510 million. The union combines Deepwater’s regulatory know-how and ability to secure projects with Orsted’s experience in actually building and running  such projects, and signals that offshore wind could soon take off in the U.S. as it already has in Europe. -AD

Orsted, a Giant in Offshore Wind Farms, Makes a Move in the U.S.
October 8, 2018 | The New York Times | Stanley Reed
In a previous issue, we talked about the potential for offshore wind harvesting, which uses arrays of turbines planted on the seafloor, in the American Northeast. The major players in U.S. offshore wind include Statoil, a Norwegian multinational company, and Deepwater Wind, a subsidy of D.E. Shaw. Now, Danish energy developer Orsted has acquired Deepwater for $510 million. The union combines Deepwater’s regulatory know-how and ability to secure projects with Orsted’s experience in actuallybuilding and running such projects, and signals that offshore wind could soon take off in the U.S. as it already has in Europe. -AD