December 10 Energy News

December 10, 2013

Opinion:

¶   “Renewable Energy, an Aging Electricity Grid, and the Solutions that Matter” The grid is old. With or without renewables, we must spend money updating it. One way or the other, we need to make major upgrades to the way we generate, transport, and store electricity. [The Equation: Blog of the Union of Concerned Scientists]

¶   “How Much Are Solar and Wind Really Contributing?” In the end it’s generation that counts. Here are some good-looking charts that show the progress of solar and wind capacity and generation in the United States. [EarthTechling]

World:

¶   As eastern China suffered record high levels of air pollution, Chinese fossil fuel shares slid whilst environmental protection stocks received a boost. The smog has been blamed on coal-burning, factories, car exhausts and weather patterns. [Blue & Green Tomorrow]

¶   India wants to boost its nuclear power-generation to cut dependence on imported fossil fuels, but there’s one problem: global companies don’t want to sell India the equipment it needs to run nuclear power-plants under existing rules. [Wall Street Journal]

¶   Britain has proposed a way to lower the European Union’s 2020 target for renewable energy by counting the contribution from biofuels twice, once in an overall renewable energy target, and once in a transport fuel target. [The Guardian]

¶   This week the UK Government announced a 5% cut in subsidies for onshore wind developments, heralded by many as a damaging blow to the industry. The changes are likely to shift the pattern of demand rather than lead to its demise, according to one expert. [Your Renewable News]

¶   South Korea is looking to scale back plans to rely on nuclear power, but growing energy demand and the shutdown of aging reactors mean it will still likely need to build new nuclear-fired plants in the next two decades. [Reuters UK]

US:

¶   With coal plant retirement news from Maryland and Pennsylvania last week, one-third of all coal-fired power plants in the country are now scheduled for retirement, bringing the total up to 158 of the nation’s 523 coal-fired power plants. [Fierce Energy]

¶   Analysts expect a phenomenal growth for renewable solar power over the next two decades, after huge gains in the past two years: 60% growth in 2012 and 30% on top of that this year. [Times LIVE]

¶   Farmers Electric Cooperative of southeastern Iowa will soon be leading the nation in solar power. A new solar array will bring the to over 1,500 Watts of solar per customer on their system, nearly double the #2 utility. It’s also the most reliable utility in Iowa. [RenewEconomy]

¶   The Union of Concerned Scientists released new findings on viability of US coal generators, showing nearly 59 GW of coal power capacity are not cost competitive when compared with natural gas, and more than 71 GW are uneconomic when compared with wind power. [RenewEconomy]

¶   The price of new power purchase agreements for wind farms and new solar projects in the US continue to defy all expectations, making some energy experts wonder why anyone would contemplate a new fossil-fuel plant. [RenewEconomy]

¶   New England’s governors have signed an agreement committing their six states to an energy initiative they say is designed to bring affordable, cleaner and more reliable power to homes and businesses across the northeast. [Solar Industry]

¶   A study this month by Synapse Energy Economics Inc., finds that 900 MW of renewable energy on the Navajo Nation to replace one-third of the coal-fired Navajo Generating Station will provide as many jobs as are lost at the plant and the mine that fuels it. [Arizona Capitol Times]

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