Earlier this week, the massive methane leak spewing from an underground natural gas storage facility in California’s Aliso Canyon passed a symbolic milestone: its duration exceeded BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Now, a growing number of environmentalists, engineers and industry watchdogs say the disaster on the outskirts of Los Angeles could happen elsewhere. There are more than 400 underground natural-gas storage sites spread across 31 states, and, like Aliso Canyon, decades-old equipment is deteriorating at many of them.NPR: California Regulators Order Company to Permanently Close Leaking Gas Well
When Southern California Gas Company finally manages to seal a natural-gas storage well that's been leaking for months, the company will have to shut the well down permanently, California regulators say.
And in the meantime, the company will have to minimize air pollution from the ongoing leak and fund an independent study on potential health impacts on the surrounding community.Guardian: Solar Impulse Pilot Defends U.K. Subsidy Cuts
Bertrand Piccard, the pioneer of a solar-powered attempt to fly around the Earth, has defended a decision by David Cameron’s government to cut subsidies for householders installing solar panels by 65%.
A cap on subsidies has fanned industry fears that the rate of domestic solar panel installations is set to halve, and the government admits that more than half the U.K. solar industry’s 32,000 jobs could be lost.
But Piccard, a high-profile entrepreneur, pilot and chairman of the Solar Impulse project, said that cutting solar subsidies could be a clever way of directing money to more profitable means of cutting emissions.Reuters: China Cuts Green Car Subsidies
China will maintain plans to gradually phase out subsidies for green energy vehicles until they are fully eliminated in 2021 and allow the market to determine the direction of green car development, Finance Minister Lou Jiwei said on Saturday.
But auto executives speaking alongside Lou at an industry conference in Beijing laid out differing visions as to which technology the market will favor: Tesla-style pure electrics or plug-in hybrid cars currently favored by Volkswagen AG and others.Forbes: China Plans a Floating Nuclear Power Plant
China is working on a floating nuclear power plant that could sail to specific sites and anchor offshore to produce power for various needs.
China General Nuclear expects to complete construction of this small modular offshore multi-purpose reactor by 2020, and demonstrate its utility for a variety of purposes. Construction of the first floating reactor is expected to start next year, with electricity generation to begin in 2020.