Charleston Gazette-Mail: Appalachian Power President Says Company Is Looking Toward Renewables

When Chris Beam, the new president of Appalachian Power, talks about economic development, he brings a message that may not be very popular among the coal-focused political leadership in West Virginia.

Giant businesses Appalachian would like to lure to the state as its future power customers -- the Amazons and Googles of the world -- make it very clear that when they are scouting locations for facilities like new data centers, they have to go somewhere that can guarantee them a power supply that is generated from 100 percent renewable sources.

“At the end of the day, West Virginia may not require us to be clean, but our customers are,” Beam said. “So if we want to bring in those jobs, and those are good jobs, those are good-paying jobs that support our universities because they hire our engineers, they have requirements now, and we have to be mindful of what our customers want.”

Green Car Reports: Is Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Fervor Foolish or Forward-Looking?

Toyota's staunch, unswerving support for hydrogen fuel cells has astonished and aggravated many in the electric-vehicle community.

For some of them, the technology is at best an inferior solution -- and at worst is fossil fuel-friendly vaporware, a Judas in Jesus' clothing, if you will.

With Daimler's recent announcement that it would de-emphasize fuel cells in favor of batteries, your author checked in with contacts at Toyota to ask if they too would be moderating their fuel-cell efforts. The company is keeping the faith.

What's more, it's doing so based on a four-letter word: cost. That's right: Toyota's long game is to use fuel cells to beat batteries on cost.

A review of relevant literature hints at how the company might achieve this.

Gatestone Institute: China Deploys Floating Nuclear Power Plant to South China Sea

A common theme in the narrative about floating nuclear power plants is that they would provide energy and freshwater to the disputed Spratly Islands and also to China's artificial islands in the South China Sea, such as Woody Island. Beijing, however, is entangled in territorial disputes with Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam, to name a few in the region.

China is already building manmade islands in the South China Sea by shifting sediment from the sea floor to the reefs. It is also building ports, airstrips and radar facilities. In 2016, reports also stated that China has deployed HQ-9 surface-to-air missiles in the Woody Island, close to the Paracel Islands. in South China Sea. China has also deployed a HQ-9 and shorter ranged HQ-6 air defense system at the Paracel Islands.

At the Hainan base, China operates guided missile-destroyers: Yinchuan, Hefei, Kunming and the Changsha. The DF-21D "carrier killer" anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) is also an added asset for China.

China has, as well, unilaterally established an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea and stated that it had the right to establish similar zones in the South China Sea.

As China flexes its muscles in the South China Sea, building a floating nuclear reactor is yet another step toward strengthening this regional dominance.

Forbes: Despite Its Oil-Industry Past, Energy Transitions Commission Foresees a Full-Renewables Future

Renewables could provide nearly all the power in some regions in less than 20 years, reliably, and at a cost competitive with fossil fuels, according to a report released today by the Energy Transitions Commission.

The report's striking confidence in solar and wind is likely to surprise not only critics of those technologies but also environmentalists, who greeted the commission with skepticism when it was founded in 2015. The commission was launched by Royal Dutch Shell and includes executives from Shell, GE Oil and Gas, Australia's BHP Billiton, Norway's Statoil and other traditional-energy companies.

"We believe that close to zero-carbon power systems with very high levels of intermittent renewable penetration (up to 98% in countries like Germany) could deliver reliable power in many countries at a maximum of $70 per MWh by 2035," the commission states in its flagship report.

Bloomberg: Taxes Are No Longer Certain, and That's Disrupting Solar Deals

Even without any specific tax-reform proposals, President Donald Trump’s pledge to revamp U.S. policies is already affecting the solar industry, and not in a good way.

“It’s causing disruptive effects on finance,” Abigail Ross Hopper, president and chief executive officer of the Solar Energy Industries Association, said in an interview Monday at Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Future of Energy Global Summit in New York. “Costs are going up.”

After Trump’s surprise victory in November, clean-energy proponents worried that the prospect of tax reform would slow wind and solar finance. Investors, they said last year, might opt to wait out the uncertainty. Instead, deals may be accelerating -- at least in solar -- as developers and investors rush to get deals done before the corporate rate falls.