18 June 2017

(1) Despite Trump’s Threat to Eliminate, ARPA-E is a Success
ARPA-E supports the early development of risky energy technologies that have the potential to revolutionize and transform our energy system. It serves a distinct and critical role, bridging the gap between the national labs’ basic science work and DOE programs that support pilot, commercial-scale projects. ... The NAS report closes its findings with “the agency is not failing and is not in need of reform. In fact, attempts to reform the agency… would pose a significant risk of harming its efforts and chances of achieving its mission and goals.” ... Secretary Perry, the Trump Administration, and Congress should heed these recommendations and ensure that the U.S. continues to fund critical innovation and research programs like ARPA-E.
(2a) Scientists Sharply Rebut Influential Renewable-Energy Plan
... the rebuttal ... argues that Jacobson and his coauthors dramatically miscalculated the amount of hydroelectric power available and seriously underestimated the cost of installing and integrating large-scale underground thermal energy storage systems.
(2b) Is 100% Renewable Energy Feasible? New Paper Argues for a Different Target
The paper also said Jacobson assumes that: The U.S. will continuously build out new solar, wind, and hydroelectric facilities at a rate that is six times faster than the fastest single year rate Germany achieved in their energy Construction of vast amounts of energy storage with an output capacity that is two and a half times the entire current U.S. electrical system, nearly all of which (99.7 percent) consists of two technologies that do not yet exist today at commercial scale, and for which there is no reliable cost information. More than 60 percent of all industrial energy demand could be rescheduled within an eight-hour window year-round.
(3a) The Science Behind Arizona's Record-Setting Heat Wave - Pacific Standard
Planes are grounded, tap water comes out hot, and we’d all better get used to it.... A new study released on Monday says that, by 2100, up to 75 percent of people worldwide could be subject to deadly heat waves should global warming continue on its current pace.
(3b) By 2100, Deadly Heat May Threaten Majority of Humankind
“This is what climate change means on the ground,” says Davis. Nor is it surprising there are 60 killer heatwaves a year, he added. Hotter temperatures are driving people to leave their homes and migrate.
(4) The First Official Climate Refugees in the U.S. Race Against Time
Having already lost so much of their land and their tribal heritage to the water, relocation is not just crucial for their personal safety but also for the longevity of their culture and traditions. “At one time, water was our life and now it’s almost our enemy because it is driving us out, but it still gives us life,” Comardelle said. “It’s a double-edged sword. It’s our life and our death.”
(5) Mindful of Water Scarcity, Cost, and Pollution, Tamil Nadu Turns to Sun and Wind Power - Circle of Blue
Having shed much of its allegiance to fossil fuels, India must now prove that it is capable of powering itself with cleaner, water-conserving alternatives. That is no small feat. India’s 2022 renewable energy generating goal is 175 gigawatts, which is 125 gigawatts more than the sector’s current capacity.
(6) Northwest Targets: Communities Threatened by Coal, Oil, and Gas
The Pacific Northwest is at a crossroads. Caught between inland North America’s huge fossil fuel deposits and Asia’s fast-growing energy markets, Oregon and Washington have been inundated by fossil fuel development proposals. Adding as much as 100 million tons of coal per year, a million barrels of oil per day, and staggering volumes of methane gas, the tally of recent proposed projects includes at least six coal export terminals, more than a dozen oil-by-rail facilities, and numerous fracked gas and petrochemical projects.
(7) Corn on the Cob Better than in the Gas Tank, Study Says
The results heavily favored corn as food: the economic value of corn came to $1,492 per hectare, while biofuel actually causes a $10-per-hectare loss in greater economic terms, they conclude. “These results conclude that feed production systems are more energy efficient and less environmentally costly than corn-based ethanol,”