Volume 5, Issue 7
April 8, 2018 – April 14, 2018
Anushka Dasgupta '19 | Amy Amatya '21 | Neha Chauhan '21 | Joseph Kawalec '21


  Retired Coal Plant Site To Help Launch East Coast Offshore Wind Industry   April 5, 2018 | Forbes | Peter Kelly-Detweiler  The closure of dozens of coal plants across the nation is a growing problem, with the abandoned smoke stacks quietly rusting away for decades. This is not the case with the coal plant at Brayton Point in Somerset, Massachusetts, which is to be bought by Commercial Development Company (CDC) as a potential site to kickoff the East Coast’s future offshore wind industry. Environmental Liability Transfer, Inc. (ELT) plans to focus on the environmental risks associated with the usage of an abandoned power plant and preparing the area for future use. Meanwhile, CDC can address the other concerns of the project, including addressing the local community and maximizing the economic value stream of the site. The site’s proximity to offshore wind lease sites and transmission facilities makes Brayton Point a promising stepping point in the future of offshore wind harvesting. - JK   Migration forecasts could help prevent wind turbines and buildings from killing millions of birds   April 5, 2018 | Science | Erik Stokstad  When birds’ migration paths take them across cities and wind farms, millions of them die from colliding with turbines and brightly lit buildings. Birdcast, a website run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, uses observer sightings and weather patterns to predict bird migration. Benjamin Van Doren, a Ph.D. student at the University of Oxford, and Kyle Horton, a postdoc at Cornell University, have built a computer model to automatedly predict bird migration using weather patterns. The program has effectively forecast bird migrations up to 3 days ahead using factors like air pressure, temperature, and wind. Their hope is that owners of tall buildings and monitors at wind farms will use this computer model and Birdcast to turn off unnecessary lights and shut down turbines (respectively) when migratory birds are expected to pass through. -NC

Retired Coal Plant Site To Help Launch East Coast Offshore Wind Industry
April 5, 2018 | Forbes | Peter Kelly-Detweiler
The closure of dozens of coal plants across the nation is a growing problem, with the abandoned smoke stacks quietly rusting away for decades. This is not the case with the coal plant at Brayton Point in Somerset, Massachusetts, which is to be bought by Commercial Development Company (CDC) as a potential site to kickoff the East Coast’s future offshore wind industry. Environmental Liability Transfer, Inc. (ELT) plans to focus on the environmental risks associated with the usage of an abandoned power plant and preparing the area for future use. Meanwhile, CDC can address the other concerns of the project, including addressing the local community and maximizing the economic value stream of the site. The site’s proximity to offshore wind lease sites and transmission facilities makes Brayton Point a promising stepping point in the future of offshore wind harvesting. - JK

Migration forecasts could help prevent wind turbines and buildings from killing millions of birds
April 5, 2018 | Science | Erik Stokstad
When birds’ migration paths take them across cities and wind farms, millions of them die from colliding with turbines and brightly lit buildings. Birdcast, a website run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, uses observer sightings and weather patterns to predict bird migration. Benjamin Van Doren, a Ph.D. student at the University of Oxford, and Kyle Horton, a postdoc at Cornell University, have built a computer model to automatedly predict bird migration using weather patterns. The program has effectively forecast bird migrations up to 3 days ahead using factors like air pressure, temperature, and wind. Their hope is that owners of tall buildings and monitors at wind farms will use this computer model and Birdcast to turn off unnecessary lights and shut down turbines (respectively) when migratory birds are expected to pass through. -NC


  Shell foresaw climate dangers in 1988 and understood Big Oil’s big role   April 5, 2018 | Washington Post | Steven Mufson  Royal Dutch Shell documents dating as far back as 1988 reveal that the company was aware of their large contribution to climate change and the difficulty of its reversal, but proceeded with its agendas anyway. The report, entitled “The Greenhouse Effect,” estimated that Shell was responsible for 4% of anthropogenic CO₂ emissions, a number that has surely risen since its 1988 publication. It specifically warns that the detection of emission-induced consequences, like offshore structure damage and lowered living standards, may result in the implementation of countermeasures that come too late to be effective. These claims contrast with their public doubts about climate science and opposition to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement encouraging emission quotas. -AA

Shell foresaw climate dangers in 1988 and understood Big Oil’s big role
April 5, 2018 | Washington Post | Steven Mufson
Royal Dutch Shell documents dating as far back as 1988 reveal that the company was aware of their large contribution to climate change and the difficulty of its reversal, but proceeded with its agendas anyway. The report, entitled “The Greenhouse Effect,” estimated that Shell was responsible for 4% of anthropogenic CO₂ emissions, a number that has surely risen since its 1988 publication. It specifically warns that the detection of emission-induced consequences, like offshore structure damage and lowered living standards, may result in the implementation of countermeasures that come too late to be effective. These claims contrast with their public doubts about climate science and opposition to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement encouraging emission quotas. -AA


  Dormant Swedish Mine Comes Alive in Rush for Car Batteries   April 3, 2018 | Bloomberg | Niclas Rolander and Jesper Starn  Although it may seem as if electric vehicles (EVs) are a long way from becoming mainstream, markets are already anticipating their arrival. The prices of lithium and cobalt, key materials for the rechargeable lithium-ion batteries which will likely power EVs, have jumped in the past 18 months, and companies are also on the lookout for reserves of graphite, a third material used in battery electrodes. While China is expected to lead in battery manufacturing in the next decade, European and American companies hope that arranging for access to the raw materials used in batteries will give them a competitive edge. -AD

Dormant Swedish Mine Comes Alive in Rush for Car Batteries
April 3, 2018 | Bloomberg | Niclas Rolander and Jesper Starn
Although it may seem as if electric vehicles (EVs) are a long way from becoming mainstream, markets are already anticipating their arrival. The prices of lithium and cobalt, key materials for the rechargeable lithium-ion batteries which will likely power EVs, have jumped in the past 18 months, and companies are also on the lookout for reserves of graphite, a third material used in battery electrodes. While China is expected to lead in battery manufacturing in the next decade, European and American companies hope that arranging for access to the raw materials used in batteries will give them a competitive edge. -AD