If it’s not Sustainable, its condition is Terminal.

July 7, 2015

12,638 links to articles in 1131 regular daily posts 

§ The most recent reported status of US nuclear power plants can be found at the US Nuclear Power Report. It is a distressingly dull digest of information from the NRC, posted most weekdays and Saturdays, most recently on July 7. Latest information is that out of 99 US reactors listed by the NRC, 4 were at reduced output and 1 not operating.

§ Video: Energy Week with George Harvey and Tom Finnell: 7/2/2015 Tom and George talk with guests Daniel Hoviss, Jonathan Teller-Elsberg, and Katrina Wilson about the energy news of the week. Topics include a tipping point we are reaching for community solar, a warning that our civilization could collapse if we do not deal with climate change (NOTE: “IF”), and news that New York has banned fracking.

§ Video: Energy Week Extra: Solarize Dummerston. Tom and George host guests from Solarize Dummerston. Guests Daniel Hoviss, of Solarize Dummerston; Jonathan Teller-Elsberg, of Solaflect Energy; Katrina Wilson, of Integrated Solar Applications; and Peter Thurell, of Soveren Solar, talk about Solarize Dummerston project.

geoharvey is one of George Harvey’s Blogs.

July 7 Energy News

July 7, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ Driverless cars running on electric power can cut greenhouse gas emissions up to 90%, a study from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory says. The reduction in GHG emissions from 5% of 2030 vehicles being autonomous electric taxis would be greater than from 1,000 two-MW wind turbines. [International Business Times UK]

World:

¶ Austria formally filed a legal challenge at the European court of justice against EU-granted state subsidies for a new nuclear power plant in Britain. The announcement came only days after an alliance of 10 German and Austrian energy companies filed a separate legal challenge against Hinkley Point. [The Guardian]

Opponents see Hinkley Point C as an unnecessary show of support for nuclear energy. Photograph: EDF/PA.

Opponents see Hinkley Point C as an unnecessary show of support for nuclear energy. Photograph: EDF/PA.

¶ ReNew Power announced an agreement with Hareon Solar to develop a 72-MW solar power project in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Hareon Solar will supply 234,161 crystalline silicon solar modules with delivery beginning in August 2015. The plant would be commissioned in March 2016. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ New Zealand significantly raised its greenhouse gas emissions reduction target, but said it still wants a climate change policy that was affordable. The plan to cut emissions to 30% below 2005 levels by 2030 will be submitted as part of negotiations on a comprehensive agreement in Paris at the end of the year. [Reuters]

¶ Clearfleau Ltd, a leading UK-based provider of onsite anaerobic digestion systems for the food and beverage sector, has finished the first stage in a major sustainability project at one of the UK’s largest cheese creameries. It will be the first dairy in Europe to feed bio-methane into the gas grid. [Biomass Magazine]

¶ A licence for Oman’s first solar power plant was issued to Bahwan Astonfield Solar Energy Company by the Authority for Electricity Regulation. The 303-kW solar plant is located in the wilayat of Al Mazyounnah in Dhofar Governorate. The power produced will be sold to the Rural Areas Electricity Company. [Times of Oman]

US:

¶ New York Governor Cuomo announced the state’s solar power increased more than 300% from 2011 to 2014, double the US growth rate. Over 310 MW of solar panels had been installed by the end of last year, enough to power more than 51,000 homes. Over 304 MW more is under contract as of May 2015. [Energy Matters]

Omega Center for Sustainable Living at Rhinebeck, New York. Photo by Andy Milford from Dahlonega, GA. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Wikimedia Commons.

Omega Center for Sustainable Living at Rhinebeck, New York. Photo by Andy Milford from Dahlonega, GA. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ The biggest highlight of the US electricity generation capacity market is that 74% of new US capacity added in January through May of 2015 came from wind and solar power. Renewables overall accounted for 75% of new electricity generation capacity. Wind and solar now make up 7.6% of the US capacity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A bipartisan group of mayors from over 250 cities is taking an important stand against “climate change denialism,” calling for the “swift implementation” of climate education in high schools nationwide. This happend at a conference of the United States Conference of Mayors, for cities over 30,000 in population. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Ohio University, located in southeastern Ohio’s coal-mining country, still uses coal-fired boilers to generate steam to heat and cool campus buildings, but officials anticipate changing that by year’s end. A $5.5 million project is underway to build a pipeline to carry natural gas to the university’s power plant. [Columbus Dispatch]

¶ A wind and solar farm in northern Cochise County, Arizona, is expected to start generating power by the end of this month. The farm, belonging to Red Horse 2 LLC, will produce up to 71 MW of wind and solar power combined by the end of July, enough to provide power to more than 13,500 homes. [Eastern Arizona Courier]


July 6 Energy News

July 6, 2015

Opinion:

¶ “SA’s proposed $100bn Nuclear Fleet – driven by arrogance or ignorance?” – Russia is seen as the frontrunner to win the right to build 9600 MW of South African nuclear power plants that may be worth as much as $100 billion. But who is going to pay for the country’s biggest project yet remains a mystery. [BizNews]

World:

¶ The National Trust is to invest £30 million in solar panels, woodchip boilers and innovative technology that can extract heat from a lake, in a bid to supply half of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2020. The investment is an eightfold increase on what the trust has made in five pilot projects. [The Guardian]

A biomass boiler will heat the entire property at Ickworth House, a Georgian mansion, 680 feet long,  in Suffolk, UK. Photograph: David J. Green/Alamy.

A biomass boiler will heat the entire property at Ickworth House, a Georgian mansion, 680 feet long, in Suffolk, UK. Photograph: David J. Green/Alamy.

¶ Twenty subnational governments, with over 220 million people and $8.3 trillion in GDP, have now committed to targeted reductions in carbon emissions through the Compact of States and Regions, a partnership of The Climate Group, CDP, R20, and nrg4SD supported by the United Nations and others. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Brazil’s wind power output reached 2,261 MW average (MWa), in the month of June, which is by 75.1% more than was recorded a year ago, according to InfoMercado, the weekly newsletter of the Power Trading Chamber. The electricity consumption also fell 1.1% year on year to 56,818 MWa. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ Emissions from Australia’s main power sector are rising at an increasing rate one year after the end of the carbon price, with plants in Victoria fired by brown coal the biggest contributors. In the year to June, emissions jumped by about 6.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, or about 4.3%. [Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ Ratch Australia is planning to build a $100 million (Aus) solar plant in Collinsville. Ratch general manager of business management, Anil Nangia, said the recent Federal Government deadlock on the Renewable Energy Target had kept the project on hold. The project is in north Queensland. It begin next year. [ABC Online]

¶ Wind power generated 33% of Scotland’s electricity needs in June, according to analysis by WWF Scotland. This represents an increase of 120% compared with June 2014. WWF also found that homes fitted with solar PV panels typically produced sufficient energy to supply themselves in much of the country. [reNews]

Hill of Towie wind farm in Scotland (reNEWS)

Hill of Towie wind farm in Scotland (reNEWS)

¶ The Czech Republic, biggest electricity exporter in Europe, plans to build two additional nuclear reactors in the country, a senior official said. The government aims to make nuclear energy account for 58% of the nation’s total supply, up from 30%. It also plans to increase renewable energy to 25%. [Korea JoongAng Daily]

US:

¶ Special utility company–provided electric vehicle tariff rates are becoming more and more common in the US, according to a new study from Northeast Group. As it stands now, according to the study, there are 28 different utility companies in 15 different states providing EV charging specific rates. [CleanTechnica]

¶ SunEdison is partnering with Green Charge Networks, which specializes in commercial energy storage, to provide a solar plus energy storage system to utility company Silicon Valley Power. Combining energy from solar PVs with energy allows customers to cut down on utility bills rather substantially. [CleanTechnica]

¶ When Vermont became the first state to ban hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in 2012, Governor Peter Shumlin said the ban was “in keeping with our environmental ethic and our protection of our natural resources.” But now the state seems likely to increase the use of fracked gas from Canada. [Barre Montpelier Times Argus]


July 5 Energy News

July 5, 2015

Opinion:

¶ “Restore Ohio wind-energy provisions that benefit local students” – By turning to wind power, the Lincolnview Local Schools added a revenue stream of $400,000 annually. But the Ohio legislature added onerous restrictions on wind-energy development, making similar projects difficult. This may be changed. [cleveland.com]

World:

¶ The world’s longest underwater electricity cable will soon enable sharing of renewable energy between the UK and Norway. Starting in 2021 power will be able to move as needed, balancing grid loads, thanks to a 730-km (453-mi) underwater cable between Blyth, Northumberland, and Kvilldal in Norway. [Geographical]

A picturesque fjord in Kvilldal, where the Norwegian end of the pipeline will be situated. Credit: Geoffrey Kopp.

A picturesque fjord in Kvilldal, where the Norwegian end of the cable will be situated. Credit: Geoffrey Kopp.

¶ Indonesian President Joko Widodo has asserted that the government will prioritize the development of environmentally friendly power plants to meet its target of generating 35,000 MW more electricity by 2019. The country has a geothermal energy potential of 28,000 MW and this is being studied. [Jakarta Post]

¶ Jordan will construct four 50-MW solar power plants through the country. About 20 companies have been approved to bid on the projects, and the bids are about to be examined. Jordan imports 97% of its energy needs, and its grid is being studied to find ways to integrate more renewable power. [Construction Week Online]

¶ The London Array, the world’s largest offshore wind farm, had its second anniversary of operation. The 630-MW wind project has produced more than 5 TWh of affordable electricity, while mitigating more than two million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. Its power is enough for 2% of all homes in the UK. [Khaleej Times]

US:

¶ After two decades of trying to buy the defunct Eagle Mountain iron mine, in California, the Eagle Crest Energy Company has finally succeeded. The plan is to build a 1,300-MW hydro-power plant, using billions of gallons of water that would be drawn from an aquifer. The plan has a lot of opposition. [The Desert Sun]

The foothills of Eagle Mountain can be seen from the edge of Joshua Tree National Park on Nov. 18, 2014. (Photo: Jay Calderon, The Desert Sun)

The foothills of Eagle Mountain can be seen from the edge of Joshua Tree National Park on Nov. 18, 2014. (Photo: Jay Calderon, The Desert Sun)

¶ The EPA’s Clean Power Plan is poised to change the way electricity is made across the country, moving the nation further away from coal and toward cleaner energy sources. In Virginia, a debate is beginning over whether the state’s largest utility should build another nuclear reactor at North Anna. [Richmond.com]

¶ While the energy history of the US is one of significant change, the three fossil fuel sources have made up at least 80% of total US energy consumption for more than 100 years. The mix is changing among fossil fuels, with natural gas becoming dominant. Renewables are growing, but still small. [The Maritime Executive]

¶ Environmental groups along New York state’s Southern Tier and Hudson Valley are launching campaigns to help home owners and small businesses add solar systems with price discounts. The campaigns are supported with funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. [Oneida Dispatch]

¶ In West Virginia, Appalachian Power Co expects to develop the means to generate more than a fifth of its energy from the sun and wind in 15 years, according to a plan filed with the state this week. At the same time, it foresees reducing reliance on coal for electric power from 72% to just over half. [Bristol Herald Courier]


July 4 Energy News

July 4, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ Solar Impulse, powered only by the sun, has landed in Hawaii after making a historic 7,200km flight across the Pacific from Japan. The distance covered and the time spent in the air, 118 hours, are records for manned, solar-powered flight. The duration is also an absolute record for a solo, un-refuelled journey. [BBC News]

Solar Impulse

Solar Impulse. AP.

Opinion:

¶ “China’s climate pledge for green growth spells doom for coal exporters” – Renewable energy is all go in China, as set out in its climate pledge this week, with huge growth planned for wind and solar. The one big loser is coal exporters who can expect falling sales volumes in coming years. Wake up Australia! [The Ecologist]

¶ “Propelling Pennsylvania wind projects forward through grassroots support” – Despite the environmental benefits, there is still a need for public support for new wind projects. Environmental concerns of residents of Black Creek Township, Pennsylvania, were successfully addressed. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

World:

¶ Djibouti, one of the poorest countries, needs cheap power to fund expansion of its harbors. Ethiopia, Africa’s fastest growing economy, relies on the nation’s ports for most of its exports and imports. Geothermal power is part of Djibouti’s plan to become 100% reliant on renewable energy by the end of the decade. [Onislam.net]

¶ The downturn in the oil and gas industry has prompted fears over 2,000 jobs at three oil rig fabrication yards in Fife and in the Outer Hebrides. These are to be discussed between First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and trade unions that missed out on contracts supported by the Scottish Government. [The National]

¶ A study published in online journal PLOS ONE from the University of East Anglia has revealed the drastic effects of the Balbina Dam on Amazonian tropical rainforest biodiversity. It reveals a loss of mammals, birds and tortoises from most of the islands formed by the creation of the vast Balbina Lake. [Bird Watch]

¶ Solar power supplied 16% of the UK’s electricity demand on one afternoon, as the country basked in sunshine, according to industry estimates. The news comes as solar-powered homes, commercial rooftop schemes and solar farms open to the public on Friday and Saturday as part of “solar independence day.” [The Guardian]

Children inspect panels at a UK solar farm. Photograph: Primrose Solar/PA.

Children inspect panels at a UK solar farm. Photograph: Primrose Solar/PA.

¶ The German Economy Minister says that if the funds by utilities for shutting down nuclear power plants are insufficient, they should be asked to make further payments. Germany’s four nuclear operators have set aside nearly $40 billion (US) for decommissioning and creating a safe waste disposal facility. [Yahoo! Maktoob News]

¶ German utility RWE is considering a restructuring as it battles an industry-wide crisis, a German newspaper reported on Saturday. German utilities are struggling in the face of weak energy demand and a boom in renewable energy sources that have priority over conventional power plants for grid access. [Reuters Africa]

¶ Governments must rethink plans for new coal-fired power plants around the world, which are now the “most urgent” threat to the future of the planet, the head of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development warns. The warning from a “club of the world’s richest countries” is strongly worded. [The Guardian]

¶ The International Renewable Energy Agency released reports for Fiji, the Marshall Islands and Vanuatu, concluding that a combination of solar, wind, geothermal, marine, biomass and biofuel could meet energy needs, decrease electricity costs, increase energy access, and boost energy independence. [Biobased Digest]

¶ Having regulatory approval, Kyushu Electric Power Co will begin loading nuclear fuel into a reactor at the Sendai nuclear plant in Kagoshima Prefecture on July 7 for planned restart in August. The reactor is planned to be restarted in mid-month after Kyushu Electric undergoes a month-long preparation. [Asahi Shimbun]

US:

¶ US developer TradeWind Energy plans to build a 108-MW wind farm in southwest Oklahoma. The Drift Sands scheme will be located in Grady County, about 60 miles southwest of Oklahoma City. The project area encompasses about 10,000 acres of private land under lease from around 25 landowners. [reNews]

Tradewind Energy's Smoky Hills wind farm in Kansas (Tradewind Energy)

Tradewind Energy’s Smoky Hills wind farm in Kansas (Tradewind Energy)

¶ When Tesla announced the Powerwall, its home energy storage product, it was stated that SolarCity would be offering the Powerwall to its customers in Hawaii and California, but details were slim. Now, SolarCity has announced its energy storage for new homes California homebuilders and their buyers.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ Fort Hood is a leader in energy efficiency with the Army’s largest hybrid renewable energy project and vehicle-to-grid initiative, saving the installation money and resources while leveraging green technologies. The electric vehicle buys power from the grid, stores it and sells back what power it doesn’t use. [DVIDS]


July 3 Energy News

July 3, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ Solar Impulse 2 has broken all distance and duration world records for solar aviation (80 hours and 5,663 km, or 3,519 miles). Pilot André Borschberg has also broken the record for the longest solo flight ever. Solar Impulse 2 has proven the vision of reaching unlimited endurance without fuel was not a crazy dream. [CleanTechnica]

Cartoon Credit: Solar Impulse

Credit: Solar Impulse.

World:

¶ The Philippines is set to be the home to South-East Asia’s largest solar photovoltaic power plant. Real estate developer Gregorio Araneta recently announced that it will set up a 100-MW solar PV power plant in Cadiz City after the successful implementation of a 30-MW project in the Philippines. [CleanTechnica]

¶ In Germany, Siemens has started operations at a plant at Energiepark Mainz, where hydrogen will be produced from excess wind power to be re-used as a general fuel or in natural gas pipelines. The €17 million energy storage project will provide sufficient hydrogen to power about 2000 fuel-cell cars. [Power Technology]

¶ Van Oord has installed the first monopile at the 600-MW Gemini offshore wind farm in the Dutch North Sea. The Aeolus installation vessel placed the first of 150 foundations at the project site, located 85 km off the coast of Groningen. The monopiles range in length from 59 m to 73 m depending on water depth. [CleanTechnology News]

¶ Dong has selected Siemens to supply 7-MW turbines for the 1.2-GW Hornsea 1 offshore wind farm in England. The company will use up to 171 of the next-generation machines at what will be the world’s largest wind farm project. The contract has yet to be signed, and work may begin in 2017 for completion in 2018. [reNews]

¶ DEME, a Belgian company, has awarded Alstom a contract to supply 66 Haliade 6-MW turbines to the Merkur offshore wind farm in the German North Sea. Work on the water some 45 km off Borkum will kick off in 2016 and will be carried out by DEME unit Geosea. Alstom, is in the midst of an acquisition by GE. [reNews]

Image: Alstom

Image: Alstom.

¶ Wind energy company Windlab has started construction of the wind farm at Coonooer Bridge, 80 km northwest of Bendigo, Victoria. The $50 million (Aus) wind farm will be built in northwest Victoria with six of the largest turbines in Australia. Each will generate about 13,000 MWh of electricity each year. [Business Spectator]

¶ Costa Rica produced 98.55% of its electricity through renewable energy sources in the first half of 2015, according to data of state-run utility Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad. The mix includes hydro, geothermal, wind, biomass and solar power. The goal for thermal generation for the year is 2.9%. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ Toshiba developed a small robot in co-ordination with the International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning to explore interiors of the primary containment vessel at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Deployment of the robot will be carried out at the facility’s Unit 2. [Power Technology]

US:

¶ Iberdrola Renewables announced filing a potential 25-year contract to supply Vermont’s largest utility, Green Mountain Power, with wind energy from the permitted Deerfield Wind Farm. GMP would purchase 30 MW from the wind farm, under the contract submitted to the Vermont Public Service Board for review. [AZoCleantech]

¶ Fifteen years ago, California led the way to cleaner transit buses with strict tailpipe emissions standards that effectively ushered out diesel as the primary fuel for buses in the state and replaced it with natural gas. Now, California is taking the lead again by mandating a switch to “zero-emission” buses by 2040. [The Hans India]

Goodbye, natural gas.

Goodbye, natural gas.

¶ The Pennsylvania Utility Commission had proposed limits on anaerobic digesters. After receiving largely negative feedback from farmers and state agencies, it reversed course, excluding some digesters from being regulated. Now, state legislators are pushing a law to prevent limits in the future. [York Dispatch]

¶ Ameren Missouri has hopes for a large new solar array along the north side of Interstate 70. The 70-acre project will be visible from the highway for more than half a mile. The 15-MW solar plant that would produce an estimated 20,655 MWh per year, enough to power roughly 1,500 households annually. [Lake Expo]

¶ Coal is no longer king in America. That’s the latest findings from the US Energy Information Administration, which provides independent statistics and analysis of the energy sector. Coal lost its number one spot as the nation’s top electricity source for the first time on record this April, when it produced less than natural gas. [EcoWatch]

¶ The White House has categorically rejected biomass fuels as carbon neutral, saying the idea flies in the face of sound science. The administration issued a policy statement declaring its strong opposition to a House measure it believes would undermine President Obama’s ability to put environmental reforms in place. [Utility Dive]


July 2 Energy News

July 2, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ Solar Impulse 2 has been in the air, nonstop, for 2 days, 20 hours, and 21 minutes at the time that I write this. André Borschberg, cofounder, CEO, and pilot, is at the controls of the first solar-powered airplane to make this historical oceanic flight, which will last at least 5 days and 5 nights nonstop. [CleanTechnica]

Photo Credit: Solar Impulse

Photo Credit: Solar Impulse

¶ Researchers from the University of Cambridge have developed a coating that can be applied to turbine blades to reduce the amount of sound they make. The material, which is made of 3-D printed plastic, can reduce the noise generated by a blade up to 10 decibels without affecting aerodynamic performance. [Buildings]

¶ German utility RWE is a victim of the so-called “utility death spiral,” with its business based on central power plants losing billions of dollars in Germany’s renewables-rich market. But one RWE vice president says distributed energy technologies and business models could help turn its fortunes around. [Greentech Media]

World:

¶ Vestas Wind Systems has announced orders totalling 860 MW over the space of five days, covering seven orders in five countries. An announcement that Vestas had a 150-MW order from a Texas wind farm being developed by EDF Renewable Energy was followed by seven more orders, totalling 860 MW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners has established a new €2 billion infrastructure fund targeted at renewables. The fund, described as a 20-year ‘buy-and-hold’ fund, has 19 financial investors. It will focus on investments in energy infrastructure in Northern and Western Europe as well as North America. [reNews]

¶ Dong Energy’s 210-MW Westermost Rough offshore wind plant was officially inaugurated off the east coast of England. The project is the first to use Siemens 6-MW wind turbines on a large scale in a commercial project. Each turbine will have an integrated helicopter-hoisting platform at the rear of the nacelle. [reNews]

The Siemens SWT-6.0-154 at Westermost Rough offshore wind power plant (Siemens)

The Siemens SWT-6.0-154 at Westermost Rough offshore wind power plant (Siemens)

¶ The Indian state of Tamil Nadu will sign power purchase agreements for 2,000 MW of solar power by the end of this year. Tamil Nadu is expected to buy 1,000 MW of solar power by the end of July, according to the minister of electricity, non-conventional energy development, prohibition and excise. [Business Standard]

¶ SunEdison, Inc, the world’s largest renewable energy development company, and Gamesa, a global technology leader in wind energy, today announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create a joint venture to develop up to 1 GW of wind energy power plants globally by 2018. [Jakarta Post]

¶ Germany has agreed to mothball about five of the country’s largest brown coal power plants to meet its climate goals by 2020, retaining them as a “capacity reserve” system for power shortages. The decision means Germany could meet its goal of reducing German CO2 emissions by 40% by 2020 compared to 1990. [The Guardian]

¶ Morocco’s Platinum Power, a subsidiary of US private equity firm Brookstone Partners, plans to invest $845 million to build a hydroelectric project in Cameroon, the company said. Platinum Power signed an agreement with the country’s government to build a 400-MW complex in the country’s Center Region. [Reuters Africa]

¶ Greenpeace and nine German and Austrian utilities selling renewable energy say they are launching legal action against state aid for the Hinkley Point C project in southwest England. The aid was approved by the European Commission, but they will argue that the aid would distort prices in mainland European. [Reuters]

US:

¶ Two states recently passed legislation significantly increasing renewable electricity goals. On June 8, Hawaii updated legislation setting a 100% renewable portfolio standard by 2045. On June 11, Vermont passed a bill creating a 75% RPS by 2032. Both targets are higher than any others in the United States. [CleanTechnica]

Source: US Energy Information Administration Note: The figure includes primary renewable targets and does not adjust for additional sub-targets.

Source: US Energy Information Administration Note: The figure includes primary renewable targets and does not adjust for additional sub-targets.

¶ US renewables developer SunEdison Inc says it has obtained the $360 million of financing needed for the 185-MW Bingham Wind project in Maine, and construction is under way. The wind farm will bring the company’s wind portfolio in Main to 552 MW. It will provide power for over 65,000 households. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ The Missouri Public Service Commission voted Wednesday to deny a Texas company’s plan for a controversial $2.2 billion, 780-mile transmission line to carry power from Kansas high plains wind farms across Missouri to eastern power grids. Backers pushed the project as important in the fight for clean power. [Kansas City Star]


July 1 Energy News

July 1, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ Samsung researchers developed a technology that enables coating silicon battery cathodes with high crystal graphene. They can now virtually double the capacity of lithium-ion batteries! This energy density increase could almost double the range of electric vehicles without adding a single pound of weight. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ China has submitted a United Nations climate Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC). The Chinese greenhouse gas emitter’s contribution means plans from the 193 UN nations now cover over half the world’s GHG emissions. China’s plan is to cut the emissions relative to its GDP by 60% by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

Yangtze River, China (cc via travelojos.com)

Yangtze River, China (cc via travelojos.com)

¶ Kyocera TCL Solar LLC, a joint venture of Kyocera Corp and Century Tokyo Leasing Corp, has commenced construction of a 23-MW solar power plant on an abandoned golf course in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. The plant will generate an estimated 26,312 MWh per year, enough for about 8,100 local households. [KSL.com]

¶ Brazil and the United States announced a joint effort to address climate change and boost renewable energy during a visit by Brazilian President Rousseff. Both countries pledged to increase renewable energy targets to 20% by 2030. Brazil will also restore 12 million hectares of forest, roughly the size of Pennsylvania. [ThinkProgress]

¶ Wholesale electricity prices in Ireland will continue to fall over the coming years as the onshore wind building boom gathers pace ahead of the 2017 refit deadline. A Moody’s Investors Service report says wholesale power is likely to fall by between €53 and €58 per MWh over the next three years due to windpower. [reNews]

US:

¶ A transformer fire that shut down Indian Point nuclear power plant on May 9 was caused by a failure of insulation, according to an internal investigation. Entergy Corp, which runs the plant, said the failure lead to the transformer in Unit 3 to short-circuit and catch fire. The fire was put out with water and foam. [CBS Local]

Black smoke billows from the Indian Point nuclear power plant on May 9, 2015. (Credit: @RocklandFires/Twitter)

Black smoke billows from the Indian Point nuclear power plant on May 9, 2015. (Credit: @RocklandFires/Twitter)

¶ An Oklahoma woman who was injured by an earthquake can sue oil companies for damages, the state’s highest court has ruled. This opens the door to other potential lawsuits against the state’s energy companies. Researchers have blamed fracking for a dramatic spike in earthquakes in the state. [Columbus Dispatch]

¶ Vestas has confirmed that it will be supplying 150 MW worth of wind turbines to the Salt Fork wind power plant in Texas. EDF Renewable Energy placed the order for 75 of Vestas’ V100-2.0 MW turbines to go towards the Salt Fork wind power plant, located in the Donley and Gray Counties of Texas. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A statewide ban on fracking is now official in New York State, nearly a year after communities won the right to ban oil and gas development locally. This action concluded New York Department of Environmental Conservation’s comprehensive, seven-year review and completely prohibits fracking. [Environment News Service]

¶ Texas-based community-owned utility Austin Energy has received record-low, firm solar power bids of under $40 per MWh in a recent 600-MW request for proposals. Austin Energy has a goal to source from renewables 55% of its power by 2025, and it is retiring coal-fired and gas-fired power capacity. [SeeNews Renewables]

Solar Farm. Author: Michael Mees meesphotography.com License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic

Solar Farm. Author: Michael Mees meesphotography.com License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

¶ Bill Gates has announced that he will be investing $2 billion in renewable energy initiatives, especially focussing on those that make use of innovative technologies. Gates has become known as a supporter of clean energy and sustainability, investing aggressively in solar power and similar types of energy. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

¶ Annapolis could leap to the front of the green-energy movement if plans for a 16.8-MW solar facility are approved. Annapolis Renewable Energy Park would house the nation’s largest solar energy project installed on a closed landfill. The city’s landfill is 80 acres, and its lease would earn the city $260,000 per year. [CapitalGazette.com]

¶ The US DOE and some state governments have launched funding and other programs to encourage microgrid development. Microgrids can increase renewable and distributed power generation and improve the resiliency of grid systems vulnerable to severe weather events and cyber-attacks. [energybiz]

¶ Duke Energy, Samsung SDI and Younicos are teaming up to upgrade a 36-MW energy storage and power management system at the 153-MW Notrees wind farm in west Texas. The system has been operating since 2012. Its lead-acid batteries which will be replaced during 2016 with lithium-ion technology. [reNews]


June 30 Energy News

June 30, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ This morning, June 29th, 2015, at 3:03 am local time in Nagoya, Japan (6:03 pm GMT on June 28th), Swiss pilot André Borschberg took off in the single-seater aircraft from Nagoya endeavoring to reach Hawaii, in what will be the longest exploration leg of the Solar Impulse’s “Round-The-World” mission. [CleanTechnica]

Photo Credit: Solar Impulse

Photo Credit: Solar Impulse

World:

¶ South Korea vowed Tuesday to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 37% from the estimated business-as-usual level by 2030, raising the aim from previous proposals, but still facing opposition from the involved sectors with criticism that the target is insufficient. One issue is planned use of carbon credits. [The Korea Herald]

¶ A giant solar farm near the English village of Laceby that could power almost 6,500 homes won council approval. The successful application affects 36.66 hectares (90.6 acres) of land and will generate up to 27.14 MW of power. A solar farm of similar size is proposed for the nearby town of Grimsby. [Grimsby Telegraph]

¶ The UK Parliament’s Climate Change Committee published its first report under the new government on the UK’s progress towards meeting emissions reduction targets. It calls for long term investment in renewables, but also reiterates its support for carbon capture and storage and for nuclear energy. [edie.net]

¶ Power prices in Great Britain will remain low through 2020, driven by ongoing demand reduction and growth in interconnectors and renewables, according to analysts at Moody’s Investor Service. The company expects year-average wholesale electricity prices of £42-46/MWh if gas prices remain stable. [EconoTimes]

¶ Moody’s Investors Service expects that German power prices will remain in the range of €30-35 per MWh to 2020. This compares with around €31-32/MWh today, and reflects expectations of continuing trends on coal, the growth of renewable power generation, and efficiency reducing demand. [EconoTimes]

¶ With electricity prices going through the roof and awareness around environmental sustainability intensifying, more and more households are searching for alternative energy sources. The application of solar power is spreading like wild-fire all around the world, and this is especially true in Australia. [Bangalorean]

US:

¶ Philip Anschutz, a conservative billionaire and the son of an oil man, wants to turn his 500-square-mile cattle ranch into the world’s largest wind farm. The project would generate four times more electricity than the Hoover Dam. It would also make him the nation’s most unlikely environmental hero. [Pacific Standard]

¶ A new report from the Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa identifies various scenarios that would allow Oʻahu and Maui to surpass the 2020 goal of 30% renewable energy while lowering electricity costs. Utility scale solar and wind and rooftop solar were considered. [UH System Current News]

Solar energy, including photovoltaics, will contribute to Hawaiʻi’s goals for renewable. (photo credit: John Cole, HNEI)

Solar energy, including photovoltaics, will contribute to Hawaiʻi’s goals for renewable. (photo credit: John Cole, HNEI)

¶ In Georgia, the Solar Power Free-Market Financing Act will go into effect on July 1, opening up solar panel options for Georgia residents and businesses. On the same day, Georgia Power is planning to announce that one of its unregulated subsidiaries is going to get into the solar panel installation business. [RenewablesBiz]

¶ Neste, the world largest producer of renewable diesel, CLP Motorsports, and X-Games and Rallycross champion Tanner Foust made history, when CLP Motorsports’ Superlite Coupe crossed the finish line in Santa Monica, California, after driving across the USA on one tank (37.6 gallons) of renewable diesel oil. [AZoCleantech]

¶ Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who has recently called for the United States to be using 100% clean energy by 2050, said over the weekend in Iowa that climate change is actually a business opportunity that can spur job growth. In fact, he says it is the biggest opportunity in a hundred years. [Washington Times]

¶ Community leaders of Winchester, Indiana, joined EDP Renewables and Indiana Michigan Power officials to dedicate the Headwaters Wind Farm in Randolph County. The wind farm’s 100 turbines are expected to generate more than 600,000 MWh per year, enough to power more than 50,000 homes. [WANE]

¶ Electricity industry representatives and consultants were divided Monday on how much impact the US Supreme Court’s remand of the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards to a lower court is likely to have on power markets and investments. The court did not vacate the standard, but sent it back to the lower court. [Platts]

¶ A new, peer-reviewed article published in the scientific journal Science estimates that 30,000 km² of land have been lost due to oil and gas well pads and associated operations in North America since the year 2000. The DOE says we could get 35% of our energy by using 3,400 km² for wind farms. [Clean Energy News]

 

 


June 29 Energy News

June 29, 2015

World:

¶ The first prototype wave power unit in the Australian state of Victoria is ready to be installed off its south-west coast later this year, with its builders saying it could be the start of a “new era” for renewable energy. The $21-million project is expected to provide 250 kWh of renewable energy annually. [ABC Online]

Victoria's first prototype wave power unit will be deployed in November. (BioPower Systems Pty Ltd)

Victoria’s first prototype wave power unit will be deployed in November. (BioPower Systems Pty Ltd)

¶ Australian economist and climate change advisor Professor Ross Garnaut pointed out that the costs associated with stranded assets are already greater than the costs associated with action on climate change. This was part of a rather direct attack on the economic policy that Australia has taken in recent years. [CleanTechnica]

¶ BMW is still pursuing its plan to convert all of its various model platforms to electric drivetrains (this includes range-extending engines and plug-in hybrids, of course) over the next decade or so, according to recent reports. Even the company’s top-selling 3 Series sport sedans will be plug-in hybrids. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Genesis Energy Corporation, based in London, and SHP Malthe Winje, based in Norway, have signed a memorandum of understanding for Modular Mini Hydro Power that could efficiently and effectively meet Nigerian and other African energy needs quickly and with no negative environmental impact. [THISDAY Live]

¶ In Ethiopia, the 153-MW Adama wind farm has opened its doors, making it the largest wind farm in sub-Saharan Africa to date, reports the AFP. The 102 70-metre high Chinese-built turbines are situated in a range of rocky hills in the Ethiopian highlands 100 kilometres southeast of the capital Addis Ababa. [ESI Africa]

Over 75% of Ethiopia’s 94 million people, mainly those living in rural areas, are not connected to the national grid. Photo credit: Adama Wind Farm. AFP

Over 75% of Ethiopia’s 94 million people, mainly those living in rural areas, are not connected to the national grid. Photo credit: Adama Wind Farm. AFP

¶ Vestas has been awarded a firm contract to provide 56 turbines at Latin America Power’s 185-MW San Juan project in Chile. The Danish manufacturer will supply and install V117 3.3-MW machines at the project in the region of Atacama. Deliveries will begin in 2016, and commissioning is due the same year. [reNews]

¶ Westinghouse Electric Company and eight European consortium partners today announced that they have received €2 million in funding from the EU to establish the security of supply of nuclear fuel for Russian-designed reactors in the EU. Five EU member states are operating a total of 18 such reactors. [Digital Journal]

¶ France is soliciting bids from private companies to provide up to 50 MWh of battery storage for its islands and offshore territories in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, and for Corsica. More than 3,000,000 live on these islands. The projects will have 500 kWh of storage for every MW of solar power installed. [PlanetSave.com]

US:

¶ Thirteen miles off the coast of Rhode Island, Block Island boasts 17 miles of beaches, 365 freshwater ponds, 250-foot bluffs and 150 bird species. It also has electricity costing 50¢/kWh. Now the island is about to become well known for another reason. It will host the first offshore wind farm in the United States. [GreenBiz]

Old Harbor on Block Island, Rhode Island. Photo by Swampyank at English Wikipedia. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Wikipedia Commons.

Old Harbor on Block Island, Rhode Island. Photo by Swampyank at English Wikipedia. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Wikipedia Commons.

¶ If the EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations take effect as proposed, utilities will move quickly from coal to natural gas, with renewable energy picking up in a few years. The EIA analysis forecasts a decrease of more than 600 billion kilowatt-hours in coal generation by 2025 as a result of EPA’s Clean Power Plan. [Electric Co-op Today]

¶ The EPA’s Regional Haze Rule targets visibility in national parks and wilderness areas and would require retrofitting several Arkansas coal plants with scrubbers reducing sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide. Though the rule is only addresses visibility, proponents of the plan have lauded its health benefits. [Arkansas Online]


June 28 Energy News

June 28, 2015

Opinion:

¶ “Solar Power Pros And Cons: Is Solar Power Worth It?” – If it were a disease, we’d have a full-blown epidemic. From $0-down leases to $0-down solar loans, there are easy ways to go solar these days. Even your grandmother can do it. But what are the actual pros and cons of solar power these days? [PlanetSave.com]

 

¶ “Activism fomented by Koch brothers turns against them” – The Koch brothers’ political machine, Freedom Partners, says it will raise and spend $889 million pushing conservative causes in the 2016 presidential election. An emerging champion against the Koch brothers is Tea Party activist Debbie Dooley. [Sydney Morning Herald]

World:

¶ Japan’s SoftBank Corp, together with Bharti Enterprises and Taiwan’s Foxconn, will invest about $20 billion over the next 10 years to generate 20,000 MW of solar power and manufacture solar power equipment in India. The new company intends to participate in the 2015-16 round of solar tenders. [South Asian Link]

¶ Scottish ministers will hold an emergency summit with the green energy sector next month, after the UK Government announced it was to axe a subsidy scheme for onshore wind farms. Industry leader Scottish Renewables has warned the move could put up to £3 billion of investment in Scotland at risk. [stv.tv]

¶ In Ontario, Orillia Power is looking to construct at least three new generating stations. One of them is a hydro-electric project nearby. The other two are projects in other parts of Ontario, and for these it would enter into a joint venture with Shaman Power to form a new company, Bawitik Power. [Orillia Packet & Times]

¶ Wind energy in Mexico is expected to see annual investment of $2 billion during the next 25 years, becoming the most important sector in the country’s energy industry by 2033. Mexican power sector investments are projected to total $159 billion by 2040, and almost a third of it will be spent on wind power. [Mexico News Daily]

Turbinas eólicas en el Parque Eólico La Venta. Photo by Laloixx. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Wikimedia Commons.

Turbinas eólicas en el Parque Eólico La Venta. Photo by Laloixx. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ The single largest rooftop solar power plant in the world is being set up at Amritsar in Punjab to generate 7.2 MW of power, the Punjab Energy Development Agency Director said. At a meeting of the Association of Renewable Energy Agencies States, he said the plant is spread over in an area of 30 acres. [Times of India]

¶ Europe is likely to get over half of its electricity from renewable sources by the end of the next decade if EU countries meet their climate pledges, a draft commission paper leaked to The Guardian says. Currently, renewable power sources supply about a quarter of the electricity in Europe. [domain-B]

¶ Proposals for a 30-acre solar power farm in Little Dunmow, Essex, are being studied by Uttlesford District Council. If approved, it could generate 5 MW, enough to power 1,450 typical family homes and save 2,640 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year. (Little Dunmow has about 950 homes.) [Herts and Essex Observer]

¶ Germany’s oldest remaining nuclear reactor has been shut down, part of a move initiated four years ago to switch off all its nuclear plants by 2022. Bavaria’s environment ministry said Sunday that the Grafenrheinfeld reactor in the southern German state was taken offline as scheduled overnight. [Chicago Daily Herald]

US:

¶ In its second year, the Waste to Wisdom project, in northern California, seeks the best methods to process and transport leftover wood material from timber cuts for use in renewable energy plants. Combining timber operations and biomass would be more efficient and less disruptive to the land. [Eureka Times Standard]

¶ Raciel Juarez founded Texas Green Solar and Wind Solutions, one of the first renewable energy companies in the Rio Grande Valley, nearly a decade ago. He says the first challenge he faced was not the lack of sun, but few local incentives. Now he worries that in 2016, the federal incentives for solar may disappear. [Valley morning Star]


June 27 Energy News

June 27, 2015

World:

¶ A post-2020 climate-control action plan, to be submitted by China to the United Nations by the end of this month, will be a powerful driving force on energy research and innovation, according to the head of the International Renewable Energy Agency. It will see investments estimated to total $6.6 trillion. [ecns]

¶ In her first major policy announcement since taking office five weeks ago, Alberta’s Environment and Parks Minister announced that Alberta’s primary greenhouse gas regulation will be renewed and updated. The Specified Gas Emitters Regulation will be increased in a phased-in manner to 20% in 2017. [JD Supra]

Wildcat Hills Gas Plant. Photo by RAF-YYC from Calgary, Canada. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic. Wikimedia Commons.

Wildcat Hills Gas Plant. Photo by RAF-YYC from Calgary, Canada. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ French renewable power plants operator Voltalia SA has completed a 108-MW wind park in Sao Miguel do Gostoso, Rio Grande do Norte state. The plant was originally scheduled to be finished next month, but the substation tying it to the grid is unfinished, so it is expected to go online in February 2016. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ PT Asian Agri plans to develop 20 biogas-fired power plants within the next five years to produce electricity for its own needs and for the people around the company’s plantations. The power plants are to be fired by biogas produced from palm oil mill effluent, which in the past has been an environmental pollutant. [Jakarta Post]

¶ Nova Scotia Power says a new record has been set for wind power generation in the province. For one hour early Wednesday morning, the utility says 50% of the province’s electricity came from wind. The new record was achieved during a period when demand for electricity is low and winds were high. [Cape Breton Post]

¶ Wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has received an order for 22 wind turbines meant for the Galawhistle project in Scotland. The order was placed by Infinis Energy. Delivery of the V90-3MW turbines is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2016 and the project will be commissioned in 2017. [Greentech Lead]

¶ Shareholders of nine major power firms voted down proposals by fellow owners that the companies withdraw from nuclear plant business or impose strict conditions for restarting nuclear reactors. There were fifteen shareholder proposals to end use of nuclear power at the TEPCO meeting alone. [The Japan News]

¶ Germany’s nuclear power phase out begins its final phase with the closing of the 1.3 GW Grafenrheinfeld nuclear power plant. The plant is the first of the final nine plants scheduled for decommissioning. E.ON is closing it earlier than scheduled for economic reasons. [Nuclear Street – Nuclear Power Plant News, Jobs, and Careers]

US:

¶ Governor Andrew Cuomo announced an ambitious plan to curb New York state’s carbon emissions by 40% by doubling the amount of power it gets from renewable energy to 50%, by 2030. The pollution reduction and clean energy targets would be the nation’s most ambitious, matched only by California. [Long Island Exchange]

The NRG Power Plant, upper left, in Dunkirk. Photo by Ken Winters, US Army Corps of Engineers. Public Domain.

The NRG Power Plant, upper left, in Dunkirk. Photo by Ken Winters, US Army Corps of Engineers. Public Domain.

¶ A last-minute addition to the final deal between the New York’s legislature and governor would speed the closure of aging plants that are significant polluters. The money could be used to ease the impact of the closures of coal-burning plants that contribute significant tax money to their municipalities. [Capital New York]

¶ A report released by Environment America considers an ongoing battle between electric companies and customers over the value of solar energy. It shows that utilities’ assertions that net metering costs them more than it is worth are false; such systems actually provide benefits exceeding their costs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A draft Environmental Impact Statement has been released for the Great Northern Transmission Line, a 220-mile-long, 500-kilovolt line Minnesota Power proposes to build and use, and is available for public review. The line would be built to import electricity from Manitoba Hydro, at a cost of up to $710 million. [Duluth News Tribune]

¶ A law that could significantly expand access to renewable energy generation in Hawai’i through a new community-based renewable energy program was approved by Governor David Ing on June 8, 2015. The law permits utilities and third parties to own or operate a community-based renewable energy projects. [JD Supra]

¶ Owners of the Salem/Hope Creek Nuclear complex have won a key approval for a site where one or more new reactors could go up in the future along the Delaware River southeast of Augustine Beach. The NRC’s Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards said a site permit “should be issued” for the site. [The News Journal]


June 26 Energy News

June 26, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ An energy storage technology company, BioSolar, has claimed a breakthrough in the field of lithium-ion batteries. In a press release, the company said a technology that it is developing can significantly expand the life, increase the energy capacity, and lower the costs associated with lithium-ion batteries. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Scientific models supported by the UK’s Foreign Office show that if we don’t change course, in less than three decades industrial civilization will collapse due to catastrophic food shortages, triggered by climate change, water scarcity, energy crisis, and political instability. NOTE: “…if we don’t change course, …” [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ RES and GE are to build the 240-MW Ararat wind farm in south-west Victoria. The project, worth $450 million, will use 75 GE 3.2-103 wind turbines and will be the third largest wind farm in Australia, supplying annual needs of 123,000 homes. It will be financed by Partners Group, RES, OPTrust and GE. [reNews]

GE will provide turbines for Ararat wind farm (GE)

GE will provide turbines for Ararat wind farm (GE)

¶ Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son is indicating that he wants to invest $20 billion over the next 10 years, working with Bharti Enterprises Pvt and Foxconn Technology Group, to build about 20 GW of new solar capacity in the country in India. This investment alone could build 20% of India’s 100-GW solar target. [Treehugger]

¶ Bill Gates, co-founder of computing giant Microsoft, has called on governments to step up investment in clean tech research and development in order to deliver a green Manhattan Project or Apollo Project. His comments represent a boost to the recently launched campaign for a new global Apollo Project. [Business Green]

US:

¶ US senators Chris Coons (D-Delaware) and Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), and representatives Ted Poe (R-Texas) and Mike Thompson (D-California) reintroduced their MLP Parity Act. It would allow renewable energy developers to form master limited partnerships, now only available to fossil fuel projects. [Argus Media]

¶ In Manchester, Connecticut, Allied Printing Services Inc, unveiled a massive 4,591 solar panel system on the roof of its 275,000 square foot manufacturing facility. The 1.4-MW system is comprised of 4,591 panels. It will provide about 17% of Allied’s total annual electricity usage, equivalent to 145 homes’ use. [FOX CT]

¶ Google is planning its newest data center, and not only will Google be using renewable energy to power it, but it will do it reusing a retired coal power plant. Google announced the development on its Official Blog. The data center will be reusing the soon-to-be retired Widows Creek coal power plant, in Alabama. [CleanTechnica]

The Widows Creek coal power plant, Jackson County, Alabama, will become a renewably-powered Google data center.

The Widows Creek coal power plant, Jackson County, Alabama, will become a renewably-powered Google data center.

¶ Powered by growth across all solar sectors, the state of Texas recorded its best-ever first quarter results for newly installed solar capacity coming online at with 49 MW, according to the recently released US Solar Market Insight Report compiled by GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association. [AltEnergyMag]

¶ The US wind and solar power generation capacity grew by 1,649 MW and 447 MW, respectively, in January-May 2015. At the same time, the country saw 1,158 MW of natural gas-fired power plants go live. In May, 480 MW of wind farms went online, though only 19 MW of solar parks were commissioned. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ EDF Renewable Energy has placed a firm order with Vestas Wind Systems A/S to supply the 150-MW Salt Fork Wind Project in Texas. The order marks the first draw on the 1,000 MW Master Supply Agreement announced in December 2014. Delivery of 75 2-MW turbines is set for third quarter 2016. [Yahoo Finance UK]

¶ An analysis prepared by Advanced Energy Economy Institute using the models of ICF International, a leading authority on natural gas markets, finds that existing and planned natural gas infrastructure will be able to handle the bulk of future natural gas needs under EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan. [Your Oil and Gas News]

¶ Microgrid capacity in the United States is set to double, exceeding 2,800 MW by 2020, Greentech Media reported in the kick off to its Grid Edge Live conference. The move toward microgrids is driven partly by the declining price of battery storage and renewable power, and partly by a need for energy security. [Utility Dive]

¶ The US DOE has issued the last of three conditional loan guarantees, $1.8 billion for Vogtle units 3 and 4, meaning that the construction of the first AP1000 nuclear power plant in the USA is now fully financed. The DOE says the units’ output should avoid 10 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. [World Nuclear News]


June 25 Energy News

June 25, 2015

Opinion:

¶ “Why are the government’s energy forecasts so bad?” In 2009, the US DOE’s Energy Information Administration forecast that US wind power would grow modestly, reaching 44 GWof generating capacity in 2030. Just six years later, US wind capacity is already up to 66 GW. So what’s up with this? [Politico]

World:

¶ Data released by the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change show that Scotland’s wind farms generated record amounts of power in the first quarter of 2015. Statistics confirmed that Scotland hit record levels of green energy generation in 2014, with 49.8% of all electricity used coming from renewables. [reNews]

Wind projects such as the Farr wind farm in Scotland have contributed to generating record amounts of power (Siemens).

Wind projects such as the Farr wind farm in Scotland have contributed to generating record amounts of power (Siemens).

¶ It’s illegal to knowingly ignore the dangers of global warming, according to a Dutch court. The court ordered the government to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25% compared to 1990 levels by 2020 in order to preserve the low-lying Netherlands and protect its people from the dangers of global warming. [ThinkProgress]

¶ Bullish on a changed economic and regulatory environment, the Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association expects a 52% jump in capacity addition this year. The association expects that 3.5 GW worth of wind energy capacity will be added in the 12 months between April 2015 and March 2016, a new record. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Germany’s transition to renewable energy is being undermined by its continuing dependency on coal-fired power, according to a report from GlobalData. An expected increase in renewable capacity from 86 GW in 2014 to 147 GW by 2025 will be undermined by simultaneous coal-based power additions. [PennEnergy]

¶ Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said the country has put into operation 18,757 MW of renewable energy capacity since it launched a feed-in-tariff program three years ago. By far, the top renewable energy source in the country is solar, which accounted 94% of additions approved. [SeeNews Renewables]

Solar panel installation in Yokohama, Japan. Author: CoCreatr. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

Solar panel installation in Yokohama, Japan. Author: CoCreatr. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

¶ A study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology says about half of European electricity should come from renewable sources by 2030. Greater integration of power systems can help balance out electricity fluctuations, while reducing demands on other parts of the system. [solarserver.com]

¶ Under a new scheme of Ministry of Urban Development, India’s Central government is likely to make it mandatory for buildings to install solar roof-top systems. The proposal is among the initiatives planned by the Government of India to support the massive solar capacity addition target (100 GW by 2022). [The Hindu]

¶ In Germany, average day-ahead electricity prices for May were €25.30/MWh, the lowest monthly average in 12 years, the result of output from wind, solar and hydro. Solar and wind outstripped the energy production of the country’s nine remaining nuclear reactors, showing a 22% increase from last year. [pv magazine]

¶ As part of its plan to focus on renewable energy generation, Swedish state-owned utility Vattenfall AB is disposing of its last fossil fuel asset in Denmark, namely the Nordjylland coal-fired power plant. District heating company Aalborg Forsyning will take over the combined heat and power station. [SeeNews Renewables]

Wind turbines on the coast, Denmark. Author: Tambako The Jaguar. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic

Wind turbines on the coast, Denmark. Author: Tambako The Jaguar. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic

US:

¶ New research from GTM Research forecasts that the US community solar sector is to reach a tipping point soon, growing five-fold in 2015 and regularly reaching 500 GW by 2020. The report forecasts community solar to reach 115 MW installed in 2015, and predicts 500 MW annually by 2020. [CleanTechnica]

¶ SunEdison is set to launch a power purchase agreement product across seven US states. And the initiative is to be financed by Morgan Stanley in a partnership fund with TerraForm Power, owned by SunEdison. Morgan Stanley is to make tax equity financing available for the initiative immediately. [Greentech Lead]

¶ The Ivanpah concentrating solar plant projections have always assumed a four-year ramp rate to 100% capacity. That being said, the plant has seen operating days when it is meeting, and in some instances exceeding, projections for this stage of operations, and the expectation is that it will meet its goals. [Wall Street Journal]


June 24 Energy News

June 24, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ Citing a commitment to the issue of sustainability in product design, SunPower has announced that its E-Series and X-Series solar panels, manufactured at the company’s facilities in France, are Cradle to Cradle Certified Silver (C2C). This is good news for buyers of these solar electricity products for several reasons. [CleanTechnica]

Image credit: SunPower.

Image credit: SunPower.

¶ The impact of climate change is so great that it could undermine the last 50 years of gains in global health. That is the assessment of a new report from the Lancet Commission on Health and Climate, an independent, international and multi-disciplinary research group. Similar findings come from the US EPA. [Voice of America]

¶ A new technology to store excess energy generated by green energy sources could save Ontario up to $8 billion over a 20-year period, according to a study commissioned by NRStor and General Compression. NRStor is developing a 2-MW pilot project to allow Ontario decision-makers to see its benefit. [North American Windpower]

World:

¶ The renewable-energy boom is here. Trillions of dollars will be invested over the next 25 years, driving some of the most profound changes yet in how humans get their electricity. That view is according to a new forecast by Bloomberg New Energy Finance that plots out global power markets to 2040. [Livemint]

¶ The UK government plans to finance the Hinkley nuclear plant through subsidies amounting to €130 for each MWh of power generated for 35 years. Austria plans to file a suit to prevent this in EU court, in what chancellor Werner Faymann said “is also of symbolic value against nuclear power”. [TheParliamentMagazine.eu]

¶ Toy company Lego announced that it plans to invest about $150 million over the next 15 years in a program to develop new “sustainable” materials which will eventually replace the plastic currently used to make its iconic building blocks. Lego also plans to make its packaging more environmentally-friendly. [Huffington Post]

A Lego City. Photo by Michael Monahan. Put into the public domain by the author.

A Lego City. Photo by Michael Monahan. Put into the public domain by the author.

¶ According to a new report published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, wind and solar will supply the bulk of Australia’s electricity in 2040. Bloomberg New Energy Finance conducted a country-by-country, technology-by-technology analysis covering structural changes in the global electricity system. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Legislation to slash the renewable energy target has passed Australia’s federal parliament. A bipartisan deal, agreed to last month after a lengthy political stalemate that hamstrung the clean energy sector, will slash the target from 41,000 GWh to 33,000. Nevertheless, the new target offers investors some certainty. [SBS]

¶ Australia’s new renewable energy target will unlock more than A$10 billion ($7.8 billion) of investment, General Electric Co said. The new target of 33,000 GWh of electricity from large-scale renewable energy projects by 2020 will create thousands of new jobs and increase orders for hundreds of companies. [Bloomberg]

¶ Last year, 59% of capacity addition in the global power industry came from renewable energy. And 164 countries now have renewable energy targets, an increase by 20, in the year. The sector received an overall investment of $301 billion, according to the annual Renewables Global Status Report. [Greentech Lead]

¶ First Solar is to supply its photovoltaic modules for the 200-MW second phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar park in Dubai. The facility will be the largest of its kind in the Middle East and will be powered by over 2.36 million First Solar modules. The plant is expected to be completed in early 2017. [reNews]

US:

¶ This month, Lake Mead, the 112-mile reservoir created by the Hoover Dam, is projected to hit 1,074.73 feet above sea level, the lowest it has been since 1937. Thanks to a 16-year drought and serious over-allocation, Lake Mead is now just 37% full. This means higher electricity costs for 29 million people. [High Country News]

Lake Mead in 2014. Photo by Tony Webster from Portland, Oregon, United States. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Lake Mead. in 2014, showing its low-water bathtub ring. Photo by Tony Webster from Portland, Oregon, United States. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ SunPower began construction of the 102 MWac Henrietta solar power plant in California. The electricity will be sold to Pacific Gas and Electric under a long-term power purchase agreement. The plant is expected to be finished in 2016. It will create about 350 jobs and provide $3.8 million in local tax revenue. [CleanTechnica]

¶ NRG Renew LLC will develop a 20-MW solar system for Cisco’s San Jose headquarters. NRG Solar Blythe II, a 153-acre parcel that has been under development by NRG since 2010, will become a solar installation to help Cisco reach its goal of getting at least 25% of its electricity from renewables by 2017. [pv magazine]

¶ Greenfield is the first community in Massachusetts to adopt strict regulations of biomass plants. An ordinance passed last week prohibits industrial-scale wood-burning plants as well as trash-to-energy plants. It still allows anaerobic digesters, residential wood stoves, and small, clean-burning commercial plants. [MassLive.com]


June 23 Energy News

June 23, 2015

Opinion:

¶ “Nine myths about new energy” – Starting with a myth about renewables put forward by the ‘pro-nuclear, pro-coal, anti-renewable’ advocates circa 2005: 1) “We could never integrate more than 5% intermittent renewables (they meant wind and solar) into an electricity grid.” (Just a little off the mark.) [Business Spectator]

World:

¶ A new facility has been designed to handle up to three million tonnes of wood pellets a year that will be shipped from North America to fuel the Drax power station in North Yorkshire. Graham Construction will work on a new rail loading facility and storage capacity for 100,000 tonnes at the Port of Liverpool. [The Construction Index]

Cooling towers at the Drax power station. Photo by StaraBlazkova. GNU Free Documentation License. Wikimedia Commons.

Cooling towers at the Drax power station. Photo by StaraBlazkova. GNU Free Documentation License. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ In less than a week after the Indian central government broadened the canvas for solar power play, the Tokyo-based telecommunications major, SoftBank, with a market capitalization of about $100 billion, committed to invest $20 billion in India’s solar energy projects with 20,000 MW capacities. [mydigitalfc.com]

¶ The rapidly dropping cost of producing solar power, which is expected to be on par in 2017 with conventional energy, has ignited interest in its potential across India, as the country increases its efforts to encourage renewable energy investment. The target for solar power in India was recently raised to 100 GW. [Rapid News Network]

¶ A British solar startup, Powervault, has decided to take on the Powerwall of the electric vehicle giant, Tesla Motors Inc, in the home batteries market, according to an article in the Financial Times. The news comes as the competition in home batteries market, especially in Europe, gets fiercer. [Business Finance News]

¶ Pan-African firm Eranove Group is to finance, develop, build, and operate a 42-MW hydroelectric project in Mali, 35 km east of Bamako, on the Niger River, after signing a 30-year concession agreement with the country’s government through its subsidiary Kenié Energie Renouvelable. [International Water Power and Dam Construction]

¶ Expecting opposition from the agri-food sector, the European Union is dropping its plan to put a limit on methane emissions, Irish Times reported. Methane is much worse than carbon dioxide, but the EU is scrapping it from the set of air pollutants to be limited as greenhouse gasses. [International Business Times AU]

¶ About 250 planned onshore wind farms in the UK are set to be cancelled because of an earlier than expected end to Government subsidies. The Government has revealed that new onshore wind farms will now be excluded from its subsidy scheme from 1 April 2016, a year earlier than expected. [Construction Enquirer]

¶ The head of France’s nuclear watchdog has upset the industry by taking an increasingly assertive approach that critics say could jeopardise efforts to win more business overseas. Speaking of weak spots found in the steel of a new reactor, he characterized the problem as “serious, even very serious.” [Economic Times]

US:

¶ The mayor of Los Angeles announced that the city will sell its shares in the Navajo Generating Station, a coal-fired power plant, based in Arizona. The sale is part of Garcetti’s pledge to make LA coal-free by 2025. Instead of relying on coal-fired power, the city is turning to renewable geothermal power. [LA Magazine]

The Navajo Generating station emitting flue gas. Photo by Myrabella. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Wikimedia Commons.

The Navajo Generating station emitting flue gas. Photo by Myrabella. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ A survey by the financial services firm Wiser Capital indicates roughly two-thirds of large US investment firms plan to prioritize solar energy over the next 5 years. Roughly 80% of the firms queried stated interest in solar energy that was based at least partly on desire “to support a cleaner energy future.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ New York utility providers NYSEG and RG&E bought the 64 million kWh of wind energy, enough to power more than 4,000 typical homes for a year, through the companies’ Catch the Wind program, according to a release. At the close of 2014, more than 18,400 in the two company’s programs. [Henrietta Post]

¶ Presidential hopeful Martin O’Malley, the former governor of Maryland, has proposed an ambitious clean energy plan that would call for the United States to use all renewable sources by 2050. O’Malley tied his proposal to Pope Francis’ recent call to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. [Utility Dive]


June 22 Energy News

June 22, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ A little-known startup energy storage company called UET just announced a major milestone for its latest flow battery project. The company’s CEO says, “The Uni.System’s levelized cost ($/total GWh delivered over 20 year life) is multiple times lower than the cost of lithium-ion systems such as Tesla.” [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ A 34-turbine wind farm in Nova Scotia is now fully operational, making it the largest in the province. The South Canoe Wind Farm in the Municipality of the District Chester was several months behind the original schedule, but is expected to provide enough energy for about 32,000 homes. [TheChronicleHerald.ca]

Wind farm in Nova Scotia. Photo by Dennis Jarvis from Halifax, Canada.  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Wikimedia Commons. 

Wind farm in Nova Scotia. Photo by Dennis Jarvis from Halifax, Canada.  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Japan’s Mitsubishi Electric Corp has received an order from Kyushu Electric Power Co Inc to supply a 50-MW energy storage system for installation at a power plant in Fukuoka prefecture. Consisting of sodium sulfur batteries, the system is expected to be deployed at the site by the end of March 2016. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ Australian start-up RayGen Resources may tap into China’s solar power market through a small deal with renewable energy giant China Three Gorges. A deputy director of China Three Gorges’ solar energy division said RayGen’s technology could prove to be 10% to 20% less costly than normal PVs. [Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ An electric light rail project linking Canberra’s Civic to Gungahlin in the north will be powered by 100% renewable energy. The Australian Capital Territory will provide 90% renewable electricity by 2020, and the rail project’s developer will source the rest the service’s electricity requirements from renewables. [Energy Matters]

¶ In the Philippines, the Mindanao Development Authority’s one stop facilitation and monitoring center, which fast-tracks pending renewable energy projects in Mindanao, has received 290 project applications. Together, the projects could possibly produce almost 3,000 MW of electric generating capacity for the region. [Malaya]

¶ Scotland may not be able to meet ambitious climate change targets following cuts to windfarm subsidies, energy minister Fergus Ewing has warned. He said the target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions was “extremely challenging” under the UK’s plans to axe the main subsidy for onshore wind power. [Herald Scotland]

¶ A group of researchers has found tsunami traces believed to date back to between the 14th to 16th centuries near the Takahama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture. The plant’s operator, Kansai Electric Power Co, said the finding does not affect its tsunami risk evaluation of the plant. [The Japan Times]

US:

¶ A report from the National Institute for Science, Law and Public Policy says the proposed Hudson Valley power line project only serves utility companies and their suppliers. It says New York consumers gain more with locally generated renewable energy sources, and better reliability without the lines. [Public News Service]

Power lines in the Northeastern US. Photo by Famartin.  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Wikimedia Commons. 

Power lines in the Northeastern US. Photo by Famartin.  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ The sixth annual US Clean Tech Leadership Index has been released. The index, prepared by Clean Edge, a research and indexing firm founded in 2000, tracks and ranks clean-tech activities in all 50 states and the largest 50 metro areas in the US. This year, four states in the Northeast are in the top ten. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Developer Silicon Ranch Corporation and clean energy provider Green Power EMC are set to begin work on a 20-MW PV power plant in south-east Georgia. On completion, the project is set to become one of the state’s largest solar projects, according to the companies, generating around 43 million kWh a year. [PV-Tech]


June 21 Energy News

June 21, 2015

Opinion:

¶ “African Utility Companies Struggle to Stay On the Grid” – In South Africa, major cities, including Cape Town and Johannesburg, are subject to regular power outages as electric utility Eskom periodically shuts down parts of its distribution system to take the pressure off the aging national grid. [Climate Central]

Cape Town, subject to regular power outages. Photo by Iwoelbern. Released into the public domain.

Cape Town, subject to regular power outages. Photo by Iwoelbern. Released into the public domain.

¶ “Abbott lets Australia slip behind as renewable energy advances” – In the stage-managed, focus-grouped, world of politics, Tony Abbott’s description of wind power as “visually awful” provided a starkly clear picture of the thoughts of Australia’s leader. It is a dangerous position, both economically and ecologically. [The Age]

¶ New Hope For Avoiding Catastrophic Climate Change” – New hope we can avoid a catastrophe for human civilization and the biosphere comes from two recently-released documents: The Encyclical “Laudatum Si’ ” by Pope Francis, and the data on growth of renewable energy from the Earth Policy Institute. [CounterCurrents.org]

World:

¶ Pledges by institutions and individuals to purchase green power from state-owned Taiwan Power Co far exceeded a goal set by the government for 2015, after several business heavyweights said they would participate. The goal was pledges for 10 million kWh, but 16.53 million kWh of pledges were received. [China Post]

¶ The government of the Australian Capital Territory is on track to reach its 90% renewable energy target by 2020 despite needing to quadruple its current supply in just 4½ years. The current figure of 18.6% is set to dramatically increase over the next two years, with wind playing a dominant role. [Brisbane Times]

Blayney Wind Farm, in New South Wales. Photo by Bren Barnes. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license. Wikimedia Commons.

Blayney Wind Farm, in New South Wales. Photo by Bren Barnes. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Nigeria has selected two sites for the construction of its planned nuclear power plants, as Africa’s biggest economy tries to end decades of electricity blackouts that have blighted its growth. Russia’s state-owned Rosatom confirmed the two sites had been selected and said they would have a total of four reactors. [Reuters Africa]

US:

¶ A new report from the Energy Information Administration has projected that the new carbon emissions rules from the Environmental Protection Agency’s will result in coal-fired power plant shutdowns potentially more than doubling, with a projected 90 GW of coal-fired plants being retired by the year 2040. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy announced $55 million in funding for 18 projects as part of its two newest programs. They are aimed at developing generator technologies for residential Combined Heat and Power, and at developing renewable transportation fuels from biomass. [Yumanewsnow]

¶ Georgia Power announced the latest major international shipment to reach the Vogtle expansion site near Waynesboro. It is the Unit 3 Steam Generator A. The steam generator, which was assembled in South Korea and shipped to the Port of Savannah, reached the site via train earlier this week. [Today’s Energy Solutions]

Source: Georgia Power

Source: Georgia Power

¶ Morgan Stanley has closed on its $500 million green bond issuance , its inaugural green bond and the latest step in its strategy to advance market, based solutions to social and environmental challenges. The bond proceeds will be allocated to various renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects. [The Nation]

¶ Less than 2% of the electrical power for Ellensburg, Washington, comes from carbon-generating sources. Almost 90% of the electricity comes from hydro facilities, but they are maxed out. The city is discussing restructuring the city solar project’s contribution, and one question is why not go the whole way? [Daily Record]


June 20 Energy News

June 20, 2015

Opinion:

¶ “The Pope Is an Energy Wonk. Engineers Agree with His Assessment.” The Pope’s teachings are supported by the most comprehensive engineering analyses of the US power grid. The National Renewable Energy Lab summarized nine in-depth engineering analyses. [The Equation: Blog of the Union of Concerned Scientists]

Science and Technology:

¶ Sixty-five million years ago, the dinosaurs disappeared in what’s known as the Earth’s fifth mass extinction. Today, a sixth mass extinction could be well underway and humans are most likely the culprit, through environmental changes including deforestation, poaching, overfishing, and global-warming. [CNN]

Moho nobilis, extinct. By John Gerrard Keulemans, 1842-1912. Copyright expired in the US. Wikimedia Commons.

Moho nobilis, extinct. Many others will follow. Painting by John Gerrard Keulemans, 1842-1912. Copyright expired in the US. Wikimedia Commons.

World:

¶ The US has organized a Lower Mekong Initiative Renewable and Clean Energy Business Delegation, on the margins of the Asia Clean Energy Forum 2015. Talks focused on how US firms and technology can support clean energy and promote energy security in Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. [Newsroom America]

¶ According to the Carbon Brief, the EU’s energy usage is at 1990 levels despite “a 6% increase in population and a 45% expansion of economic output.” This results from better building insulation and product energy efficiency, uptake of renewables, vehicle fuel efficiency standards and economic changes. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The inauguration ceremony for the world’s 2nd largest offshore wind farm, Gwynt y Môr took place on June 19. The wind farm, located eight miles offshore in Liverpool Bay, includes 160 wind turbines with a combined electric generating capacity of 576 MW. It was built with an investment of $3.3 billion. [EnergyOnline]

¶ Tanzania’s untapped renewable energy potential can provide solutions for the 9 GW of additional power the country will need by 2035, a report says. Tanzania has 2,800-3,500 hours of sunshine per year and the solar sector presents good opportunities. There are also other important resources. [SeeNews Renewables]

Wind turbine. Author: .Martin. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic

Author: .Martin. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic

US:

¶ The NRC has cleared the way for Entergy Nuclear to take $220 million of the $660 million Vermont Yankee decommissioning trust fund to help pay for handling spent nuclear fuel. NRC regulations prohibit such a use of the funds, but the NRC has been granting exemptions to nuclear power plants. [Rutland Herald]

¶ Iowa is one of the leading states for renewable energy, and Heartland Power Cooperative in St. Ansgar is adding to that initiative by introducing their 2706 solar panel display, the largest in Iowa. The 4.5 acre solar farm has the ability to power 125 average size homes, and customers are signing on. [KIMT]

¶ Portland, Maine, has reduced greenhouse emissions in the last five years and is now planning to cut its carbon footprint by relying on renewable energy. The city has plans for five sites that could be used to generate electricity from solar PVs. They include facilities at schools, the library, a fire station, and an airport. [WMTW Portland]

¶ A show-down over budget politics is brewing between New Hampshire’s Democratic Governor and Republican legislature. Renewable energy advocates hope it can be an opportunity to convince budget writers to reconsider taking money away from renewable incentives to fund Homeland Security. [New Hampshire Public Radio]

¶ The utility sector is going through a period of margin compression and market disruption which is challenging for some companies. NRG is using this challenging business environment and the current low interest rates to pivot all of the Company’s businesses to benefit from these trends going forward. [Seeking Alpha]


June 19 Energy News

June 19, 2015

World:

¶ German company Nordex SE said it has received orders to build 55 MW of wind farms in Turkey for two customers. Its turbines are expected to produce 148 GWh annually, for a capacity factor of above 37%. The wind farm’s output is expected to be enough to power about 42,000 households. [SeeNews Renewables]

2.4-MW Nordex turbines. Source: Nordex SE

2.4-MW Nordex turbines. Source: Nordex SE

¶ The annual overview of the European electricity market, from the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity, says 33% of electricity produced in the EU now comes from renewables, of which 18.5% is hydropower and 14.4% “other renewables” (mostly wind and solar power). [CleanTechnica]

¶ In six months, delegates from nearly 200 countries will gather in Paris with the intention of signing the first truly global climate agreement. The talks will not be replay of the fractious talks held in Copenhagen, in December 2009, according to Christiana Figueres, the UN’s top climate diplomat. [Earth Island Journal]

¶ A Canadian Senate committee on energy, environment and natural resources said June 17 in a report, that the territory of Nunavut’s electrical power system is unsustainable. The committee found that 17 of the 25 existing diesel facilities operating in Nunavut are operating beyond their service dates. [Nunatsiaq News]

Ceremony on the occasion of the foundation of Nunavut, April 1st 1999 

Ceremony on the occasion of the foundation of Nunavut, April 1st 1999

¶ Australian strategic metals miner TNG Limited and renewables group Energy Made Clean signed a memorandum of understanding covering evaluation, implementation and installation of a solar array and vanadium batteries. The system would power a mining project in the Northern Territory. [Australian Mining]

¶ Hydropower is the world’s largest source of renewable electricity. With a century-long head start over wind and solar power, large hydropower was 52% of the world’s renewable energy capacity in 2014. But new figures from the International Renewable Energy Agency show the picture is changing. [International Rivers]

US:

¶ The California Senate recently passed SB 350, legislation that sets a goal of 50% electricity from renewables in the Golden State by 2030. The bill doesn’t stop there, though; it also calls for doubling the energy efficiency of buildings in the next 15 years, and cutting petroleum use in transportation by half. [CleanTechnica]

¶ North Elba, New York, has decided to use a small-scale anaerobic digester designed for source-separated municipal food and organic wastes at a regional level. BIOFerm Energy Systems/Viessmann Group will supply the system, the first of its kind in the US. The project is expected to begin this year. [Biomass Magazine]

This small-scale, plug-flow EUCOlino digester will be used at North Elba to generate power from their community food waste. BIOFerm Energy Systems/Viessmann Group photo.

This small-scale EUCOlino digester will be used at North Elba to generate power from community food waste. BIOFerm Energy Systems/Viessmann Group photo.

¶ Actors Mark Ruffalo and Leonardo DiCaprio joined a large group of people with widely differing backgrounds at a pop-up event in the East Village to launch a national campaign that aims to make clean energy more accessible and affordable for 100% of the people. The campaign is called “100%.” [Satellite PR News]

¶ The 20th Century model of large baseload electricity generation, including nuclear reactors, is in an irreversible decline in the face of the emerging 21st Century decentralized power model relying on renewables, energy efficiency, and demand management, says Mark Cooper of the Vermont Law School. [Fierce Energy]

¶ Exelon, the parent company of Baltimore Gas and Electric Co and the largest owner of nuclear power plants in the United States, notified the US NRC that it found dangerous levels of tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen, in a monitoring well at Peach Bottom nuclear plant in Delta, Pennsylvania. [Baltimore Sun]


June 18 Energy News

June 18, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ A team of scientists working on studies in microbiology at Columbia University have devised tiny engines powered by evaporation. The devices generate electricity from the energy produced by bacterial spores known as Bacillus subtilis, which exhibit strong mechanical responses to changing relative humidity. [Mashable]

Photo from YouTube video Renewable Energy from Evaporating Water by ExtremeBio

Photo from YouTube video Renewable Energy from Evaporating Water by ExtremeBio

World:

¶ Pope Francis has clearly embraced what he calls a “very solid scientific consensus” that humans are causing cataclysmic climate change that is endangering the planet. The pope has also lambasted global political leaders for their “weak responses” and lack of will over decades to address the issue. [National Catholic Reporter]

¶ A new report from GTM Research forecasts 55 GW of solar PV to be installed globally in 2015, up 36% on 2014’s installation figures. The United States will be the third-ranked solar PV market in 2015 behind China and Japan, according to GTM, installing approximately 8 GW, equating to 14% of the global PV market. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Denmark has launched a new tender round for 350 MW of near-shore wind farms off the east coast of Jutland. The turbines must be a minimum of 7 MW, which would provide a capacity factor of 60% and produce low cost electricity. This is in contrast to what would come from the Hinkley nuclear plant. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The UK’s Conservative government is to end subsidies to onshore windfarms from 1 April 2016, a year earlier than set out in the previous Tory-Liberal Democrat coalition agreement. There will be a grace period for projects already having planning permission, the Department of Energy and Climate Change said. [The Guardian]

¶ The Scottish government has warned Whitehall of the threat of a lengthy legal battle if they push ahead with anticipated cuts to subsidy support for the onshore wind industry. Scotland’s Energy Minister said any funding reduction would likely be challenged by an application for Judicial Review. [Click Green]

¶ Record installations for wind power and solar PV helped uncouple global growth from CO2 emissions, according the Global Status Report on the renewable energy industry from REN21. The report finds 135 GW of clean energy capacity was added over 2014, more than coal and gas combined. [Business Green]

¶ AspectSolar announced that the company’s solar energy products will be used to aid disaster relief efforts in earthquake-torn Nepal. AspectSolar’s lightweight, durable solar charging panels and battery systems are being used by high-elevation skiers to bring power to remote villages. [Your Renewable News]

¶ German energy group RWE AG will officially open the 576-MW Gwynt y Mor offshore wind farm near the Wales coast on June 18. The park, worth over £2 billion ($3.2 billion), uses 160 turbines of 3.6-MW each, made by Germany’s Siemens AG. Construction works were initiated in January 2012. [SeeNews Renewables]

View out to sea from the North Wales Path near Llanddulas.  Photo by Eirian Evans. Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.

View out to sea from, solar farm in the distance.  Photo by Eirian Evans. Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike license 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Professor Hans Schellnhuber, head of the highly regarded Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research outside Berlin, told reporters Australia’s reliance on coal exports to China was a “suicide strategy.” Professor Schellnhubner is the adviser to Pope Francis on the effects of global warming. [The Australian Financial Review]

¶ A report says Australia’s “big four” banks have bucked a global trend by heavily favouring investment in fossil fuel projects over renewable energy by $6 to $1 since the global financial crisis. Analysis by Market Forces revealed ANZ led in funding coal, oil and gas projects since 2008, pouring in $12.6 billion. [The Guardian]

¶ Germany’s wind power association BWE is urging the German government to take legal steps against the subsidization of new nuclear power capacity in the EU. The organisation’s president Hermann Albers spoke specifically about planned subsidies for the 3.2-GW Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant. [SeeNews Renewables]

US:

¶ Rocky Mountain Power is hoping to offer customers a way soon to purchase all or part of their power from a solar source without having to put solar panels on their roof. The utility is proposing a Blue Sky subscriber solar program. It’s now seeking approval from the Utah Public Service Commission to supply subscribers. [KUER]

Typical solar farm. RMP's newly proposed subscriber farm will be 15 megawatts in capacity. Photo by Rocky Mountain Power.

Typical solar farm in the Rocky Mountains. RMP’s newly proposed subscriber farm will be 15 megawatts in capacity. Photo by Rocky Mountain Power.

¶ Within two decades, Iowa wind energy could power the equivalent of more than 6.3 million homes. That’s from a new report released by the DOE. The report says the American wind industry can rapidly expand over the next two decades, comprising one-fifth of the domestic electricity market by 2030. [DesMoinesRegister.com]

¶ Nuclear energy is a costly failure, and Ohio and other states should focus on alternative energy, according to a report by the Institute for Energy and the Environment at Vermont Law School. Upgrading old nuclear and coal-burning power plants will cost ratepayers, and ultimately the utilities, more money. [Port Clinton News Herald]


June 17 Energy News

June 17, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ A new conversion efficiency world-record for a full-size, thin-film solar module of 18.6% (aperture area efficiency) has been set by First Solar, according to a press release. The new cadmium-telluride PV module is the first the company has shown that outperforms “the best multi-crystalline module recorded.” [CleanTechnica]

¶ The International Energy Agency has revealed that global energy-related CO2 emissions stopped growing in 2014, halting at 32.2 Gt, unchanged from 2013. The IEA notes that, despite the global economy growing by about 3% across 2014, global energy-related CO2 emissions were able to remain unchanged. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ A solar farm that could power for 6,700 homes annually has been proposed for 102 acres of land outside Cirencester, a town not far from Bristol. Energy company Big60Million wants to build a 23.4MW Cirencester Solar near Witpit Lane, Preston and said the site would benefit Gloucestershire people. [Gloucestershire Echo]

English solar farm. Photo provided by Big60Million.

English solar farm. Photo provided by Big60Million.

¶ Solar Frontier, a noted thin-film solar module producer, will partner with the Germany-based developer New Energy for the World to build 100 MW of new solar energy projects in the UK, according to recent reports. The projects will use Solar Frontier’s CIS solar cells, as well as various other components. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Thailand’s Gunkul Engineering Pcl has plans to invest about 10 billion baht ($296.9 million) this year, mostly to expand capacity of renewable energy at home and abroad. About 4 billion baht will be spent for solar power plants and 5 billion baht for wind power, the assistant managing director for business said. [Reuters]

¶ Gerard Mestrallet, the chairman CEO of Engie (formerly GDF Suez), a French company, signalled a big push against coal-fired generation, issuing a “call to arms against coal.” Engie happens to own the Hazelwood brown coal generator in the Australian state of Victoria, the dirtiest power station in the country. [RenewEconomy]

Hazelwood brown coal generator. Photo by Mriya. GNU Free Documentation License. Wikimedia Commons.

Hazelwood brown coal generator. Photo by Mriya. GNU Free Documentation License. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Sunny India is set to add more solar power than wind capacity for the first time this financial year. Solar installations are set to exceed 2500 MW this financial year (ending March 2016), topping the 2400 MW target for wind, according to officials from India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. [Business Spectator]

¶ The extent solar power has captured the imagination of Australians is evident in the latest Lowy Institute Poll. 43% of the adult population surveyed said solar ‘will be our primary source of electricity 10 years from now,” even though it currently only represents 2% of the nation’s generation capacity. [Energy Matters]

¶ Canada has celebrated Global Wind Day by announcing it has become the 7th nation in the world to surpass 10,000 MW of installed wind power, enough for over three million homes. More wind energy has been installed in Canada over the past five years than any other source of generation, including coal and gas. [Energy Matters]

US:

¶ A dam that once powered a pulp and paper mill on the upper Mississippi River is now producing electricity for Dairyland Power Cooperative. Dairyland is providing the 10 MW of power produced by the facility to its 25 member distribution co-operatives and the 17 municipal utilities it serves in the Midwest. [Electric Co-op Today]

Sartell Dam. Photo by Daveswagon. Put into the public domain by the author.

Sartell Dam. Photo by Daveswagon. Put into the public domain by the author.

¶ New Hampshire House and Senate negotiators deadlocked on proposals to change how the state uses money collected by taxing power plant carbon emissions. The current system will continue; 20% of money collected goes into renewable energy projects, and the other 80% used to reduce electric rates. [The Union Leader]

¶ A Spanish steel company is planning to build a new plant to manufacture wind towers in the Texas Panhandle. GRI Renewable Industries, the industrial wind division of Gonvarri Steel Industries, intends to build a wind tower manufacturing plant in Amarillo that would build 400 towers a year. [mySanAntonio.com]

¶ General Motors showed signs Tuesday that it may take on Tesla Motors in the stationary battery business with a different approach. GM is proposing to power homes, businesses and utilities with recycled used electric car batteries from cars like its Chevrolet Volt, which has both batteries as a gas engine. [USA TODAY]

¶ SunCommon, a Vermont Benefit Corporation, will divest its 401k portfolio from fossil fuels. The announcement was followed by a presentations by Maeve McBride of 350VT and Dan Quinlan of Divestor.org. SunCommon’s legal charter directs the company to attend to the triple bottom line: people, planet and profit. [vtdigger.org]

¶ Former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis was among a throng of activists Tuesday who called for the closure of the Pilgrim nuclear power plant along Cape Cod Bay. In front of a crowd clad in bright yellow “Shut Down Pilgrim” t-shirts, Dukakis spoke of difficulties with evacuating Cape Cod. [WGBH NEWS]


June 16 Energy News

June 16, 2015

World:

¶ The International Energy Agency suggests we have started to work positively on climate change. Solid global economic growth last year failed to increase in carbon emissions. Renewable power types are expected to overtake coal as the world’s largest source of electricity by 2030. [The Australian Financial Review]

The IEA says renewable energy will overtake coal as the biggest source of electricity supply by 2030.

The IEA says renewable energy will overtake coal as the biggest source of electricity supply by 2030.

¶ Adani Group has signed a joint venture agreement with the Rajasthan Government to set up a 10,000-MW solar park by 2022. This will be the largest such integrated facility in India. Adani Renewable Energy Park Rajasthan Ltd., will have a 50-50 equity partnership with the state government. [Andhra Wishesh]

¶ The UK government has completed a 69.5-MW solar farm, the country’s largest, Solar Power Portal reported. The power plant is located at a Defence Infrastructure Organisation site in Lyneham, Wiltshire. There is still a potential for expansion of the solar farm to a maximum capacity of 86 MW. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry of Indonesia is considering increasing the 2016 budget for renewable energy development five times to $824 million. The development of rooftop PV capacity is in particular focus, with solar arrays being planned for government office buildings and airports. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ The UK is not on course to meets its legally binding target to secure 15% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, according to a new industry-backed analysis. The Keep on Track! project found that the deployment of green heat and transport technologies will need to accelerate significantly to meet goals. [Business Green]

¶ The EU is estimated to have reached a 15.3% renewables share in gross final energy consumption in 2014, with 25 member states expected to meet their interim targets. The bloc aims at a 20% share by the end of the decade. The report shows that biomass is the most widely used renewable energy source. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ At Fukushima Daiichi’s No 1 reactor, most or all nuclear fuel inside its pressure vessel has melted through and pooled at the bottom of the containment vessel. In the other reactors that melted down, some fuel is thought to remain in their pressure vessels. Robots will survey conditions to help decide how to proceed. [AsiaOne]

US:

¶ After installing 718 MW of solar capacity in Q1 of 2015, California has become the first US state to surpass the 10,000 MW threshold, a new report shows. California deployed 231 MW of residential, 88 MW of commercial and 399 MW of utility-scale solar plants in Q1 and ended with a cumulative 10,649 MW. [SeeNews Renewables]

Solar park in California equipped by First Solar. Author: Russ Ferriday. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

Solar park in California equipped by First Solar. Author: Russ Ferriday. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

¶ With $4 billion and a new government office, the White House has unveiled its latest clean energy initiative and cast a new role for the federal government: not only is it a funder of new research, of the latest solar converter or biofuel source, but it is also a market builder addressing a need for new investment. [The Guardian]

¶ The DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has allocated up to $6.5 million to support five projects helping the US electric grid handle growing amounts of renewables. The projects come under the Integrated Network Testbed for Energy Grid Research and Technology Experimentation initiative. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ TDI New England announced an agreement with the Conservation Law Foundation. It includes enhanced environmental and public benefits from a project running a 150 mile long transmission line under Lake Champlain, making Vermont part of the development of the New England Clean Power Link. [Rutland Herald]

¶ Throughout the country, there are more than 80,000 dams, primarily used for flood control and irrigation. Today, just 3% are equipped to generate power. But that 3% produces nearly 7% of our electricity. Hydropower has huge potential for increased capacity. But there are problems with permits and licences. [The Hill]


June 15 Energy News

June 15, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ Just days after the US EPA issued its long-awaited fracking report, Stanford University announced that it would undertake a comprehensive research effort aimed at resolving several areas of concern in the natural gas industry. The press release focuses particularly on fugitive emissions or methane leaks. [CleanTechnica]

Courtesy of US EPA.

Courtesy of US EPA.

World:

¶ Veolia has been awarded a €450 million deal to operate a wood-fuelled biomass power plant in Killala, County Mayo, Ireland. The company secured a 15-year contract from Mayo Renewable Power to operate the new 42.5-MW heat and power plant. It will produce enough electricity to supply 68,000 homes. [Irish Times]

¶ Power prices in the UK may fall below zero during some hours before the end of the decade as intermittent renewables output is poised to soar, according to National Grid Plc. Negative power prices, already prevalent in markets from Germany to the Nordic region, occur when supply exceeds demand. [Energy Voice]

¶ Solar energy is expected to change the utility landscape as it could reach as share of 9% to 12% of Europe’s electricity production by 2030, according to a study by consultancy Roland Berger. In Germany, the price of solar PV is already €0.17 ($0.19) per kWh below the retail electricity price. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ In the Philippines, the Maibarara Geothermal Incorporated of PetroGreen Energy, Incorporated said its exploration activities in Sto. Tomas, Batangas showed there is enough steam needed to proceed with an expansion project of an existing 20-MW geothermal power plant, increasing its output by 50%. [Rappler]

Image from PetroEnergy Resources Corporation website

Image from PetroEnergy Resources Corporation website

¶ A peak in global energy-related emissions is possible as early as 2020 and at no net economic cost, the International Energy Agency said, while warning that without stronger action the world could see a temperature rise of 3° C by century’s end. The report identifies potential actions. [International Business Times UK]

¶ Applications for new wind farms in Australia’s state of Victoria will now be simpler due to planning changes streamlining project approvals. The changes will see applications for wind farms and supporting infrastructure assessed together, rather than multiple applications to State and local governments. [Energy Matters]

¶ Problems with a reactor in northern France have triggered deep concern in the British government about the future of the UK’s first new nuclear power station for 20 years at Hinkley Point in Somerset. EDF Energy, the French company behind Hinkley, has years of delay and cost increases at its plant in Normandy. [Financial Times]

¶ More and more companies are turning to wind energy to power their businesses, according to the Global Wind Energy Council. GWEC said wind energy has become fully mainstream and is today one of the fastest growing industrial sectors in the world, attracting $100 billion in investment in 2014. [reNews]

US:

¶ In its latest Utility Solar Market Snapshot, the US Solar Electric Power Association offers welcome news: solar energy is becoming increasingly attractive to utilities. Solar has become the fastest-growing power source in the nation, and report forecasts 25% to 50% solar market growth in 2016. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The New York State Senate passed legislation that would allow municipal landfills and water treatment facilities to offset their energy costs by producing their own energy and feeding it back into the grid. This bill broadens the net metering law in New York State by including energy from such plants. [Madison County Courier]


June 14 Energy News

June 14, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ Solar Impulse is waiting for a weather window to fly from Japan to Hawaii, making it the longest and most dangerous journey ever on sun powered solo airplane. The seventh leg of the plane’s trip around the world, from Nanjing to Honolulu, was cut short because of weather, so the plane landed in Japan. [TechFrag]

Solar Impulse 2

Solar Impulse 2

¶ A report by The Brattle Group for the Advanced Energy Economy Institute says high penetration of renewable generation is not only technically feasible but are already being managed without compromising reliability of electric power service. This supports higher usage of renewable energy. [Windpower Engineering]

World:

¶ The countries that are the biggest polluters have offered different solutions, each using its own timeframe and accounting method, for the UN climate plan. Early analyses by climate researchers show the combined impact falls short of the sharp cuts in emissions required to keep global warming in check. [The Sentinel]

¶ China has approached Bangladesh with a proposal to build waste-based power plants to utilise potentials of the renewable energy sector in the country. The group making the proposal has already completed power plants that generate coal and fuel from garbage with a combined output of 30 MW. [DhakaTribune]

¶ The Chinese Government is going to launch a 50-MW solar powered project in Garissa County, Kenya. Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Xianfa says the project will help provide opportunities such as jobs for the youth who are vulnerable to terror extremism in the largely marginalized county. [Capital FM Kenya]

¶ Google is in talks to invest tens of millions of dollars in the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project, under construction on 40,000 acres in Kenya, slated to be the largest in sub-Saharan Africa. Scheduled for completion in 2017, the project is expected to deliver about 20% of all the electricity produced in Kenya. [AFKInsider]

View of Lake Turkana, Kenya. Photo by Doron. GNU Free Documentation License. Wikimedia Commons.

View of Lake Turkana, Kenya. Photo by Doron. GNU Free Documentation License. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ The government of India has launched an insurance pool to the tune of 1,500 crore rupees ($234,668,000) which is mandatory under the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act in a bid to offset financial burden of foreign nuclear suppliers. Several projects that have been held up may now move forward. [The Hans India]

US:

¶ OCI Solar Power LLC, based in San Antonio, Texas, announced that it had started construction on the 110-MW Alamo 6 solar photovoltaic plant located in Pecos County, Texas. Once constructed, this will be the largest PV plant in Texas and one of the largest dual-axis solar projects in the world. [solarserver.com]

¶ sPower, of Salt Lake City, Utah, announced that it has successfully secured 20-year power purchase agreements for three new solar PV projects in California. The three PV facilities will be completed and generating solar power in 2016. Together, they will generate enough solar power for more than 2,500 homes. [solarserver.com]

¶ As reported earlier, Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association is buying the entire 76-MW output of the Twin Buttes II Wind Project. It is also fighting to preserve a supply source for a coal-fired power plant in Craig, Colorado, and awaits a decision from a federal judge. [Casper Star-Tribune Online]


June 13 Energy News

June 13, 2015

Opinion:

¶ “How the Pope Could Turn US Climate Politics Upside Down” Pope Francis is about to release a much-anticipated letter to bishops about faith and climate change. If it has the impact he is counting on, it could finally budge a glacier of frozen thinking on the climate crisis. This is how he may pull this feat off. [Bloomberg]

World:

¶ A planned £300 million green energy facility in Islandmagee could help transform Northern Ireland’s economy. Dublin-based renewable energy company Gaelectric plan to build a compressed air energy storage facility, the first of its kind in the UK and only the third such project anywhere in the world. [Carrickfergus Times]

Ballylumford and the power station at Islandmagee, in rural Northern Ireland. Photo by Kenneth Allen. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.

View of Ballylumford and power station at Islandmagee, in rural Northern Ireland. Photo by Kenneth Allen. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.

¶ China-based Solar Power has formed a joint venture with KK Uniroot, a diversified Osaka-based corporation, to develop 500 MW of solar power in Japan. SPI Solar will do the funding, construction, and equipment procurement. Uniroot will see to site acquisition, regulatory approvals, and selling power. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told a broadcaster that wind turbines were “visually awful”, noisy, and caused health problems. When he was asked if he had ever visited a wind farm, he admitted to being near one turbine on one occasion. It was funded by the previous government of his own party. [Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ In Australia’s Southwest, cattle farmer Hamish Officer lives closer to wind turbines than most people. Five of them stand within 750 metres of the home he shares with his wife and two daughters. He disagrees with Prime Minister Abbott, saying they are not troublesome and “add to the landscape.” [Warrnambool Standard]

¶ According to media reports, integrated oil major Royal Dutch Shell plc is willing to leave Ukraine by stepping out from its exploration activities at its last well in the country. Shell is not the only company leaving. Last year, another Chevron Corporation cancelled a shale gas deal worth $10 billion and left in the country. [Zacks.com]

¶ A lack of customers is hurting Australian coal-fired power stations. A Grattan Institute energy expert says while some factors that led to Alinta Energy’s decision to close two coal-burning power plants were specific to the company, it could also lead to marginal coal producers reducing supply. [The Australian Financial Review]

¶ In British Columbia, the Metro Vancouver Waste-to-Energy Facility says since the beginning of 2015, emissions have been reduced by 53% due to an updated emission control system, equivalent of removing about 20,000 vehicles from the road. The technology was developed by Covanta, of New Jersey. [Renewable Energy from Waste]

¶ Ethiopia submitted a climate deal that included a green house gas cut of 64% by 2030 and an intention to sell carbon credits over the 2020-2030 periods. Ethiopia became the third African country to unveil its plan to cut carbon emissions as part of a global pact, and the 40th country to post a plan for the UN. [StarAfrica.com]

¶ The South Korean government has started its first decommissioning of a nuclear plant. At a meeting in Seoul presided by the Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, the National Energy Council voted to recommend that the operator decommission the No 1 reactor at Kori Nuclear Power Plant. [The Hankyoreh]

US:

¶ Ocean Renewable Power Co has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a two-year extension of its hydrokinetic pilot project license for the 300-kW Cobscook Bay Tidal Energy project in Maine. As a pilot project, licenses are short-term. The company is interested in continuing its research. [HydroWorld]

Photo courtesy of Ocean Renewable Power Co.

Photo courtesy of Ocean Renewable Power Co.

¶ A new solar agreement marks a key milestone for South Carolina customers in the Duke Energy service area. Enhancing Duke Energy’s Distributed Energy Resource programs, the new proposals are designed to grow solar capacity in the Duke’s South Carolina service area from about 2 MW to about 110 MW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Federal buildings in the Washington area might be seeing more solar power systems, under a new solicitation by the General Services Administration. The agency is looking for a power purchase agreement that would extend across multiple buildings in the Washington area, according to a solicitation. [Federal Times]

¶ Los Angeles city will not be purchasing power from Bechtel Corp’s planned 358-MW Soda Mountain Solar Project in the Mojave Desert. The news comes shortly after the Bureau of Land Management suggested that the project’s capacity be cut by a quarter for reasons ranging from environmental to visual. [SeeNews Renewables]


June 12 Energy News

June 12, 2015

Opinion:

¶ “Microgrid power struggle tests century-old monopolies” –
Microgrids that can disconnect from a centralized electric grid and operate independently are sizzling hot these days. Cities vulnerable to storms want them. People interested in lower power bills want them. And now, traditional utilities want them. [Environmental Defense Fund]

New York skyline when half the city was in blackout due to a power failure during Hurricane Sandy. Photo by David Shankbone. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

New York skyline when half the city was in blackout due to Hurricane Sandy. Photo by David Shankbone. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

World:

¶ Solar power now covers more than 1% of global electricity demand. In Italy, Germany and Greece, solar PV supplies more than 7% of electricity demand. This is reported by Solar Power Europe (previously EPIA – European Photovoltaic Industry Association). China is the fastest growing market. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A draft decree shows Spain’s energy ministry is to introduce a new fee for the owners of grid-connected solar power system with energy storage. The move is to discourage the use of batteries. Under the draft legislation, such systems will also receive no payment for power they send to the grid. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ The pace of change in China’s energy policy means that the targets it has set for cutting greenhouse gases are likely to be achieved sooner than expected, a study says. China had promised its emissions would peak in 2030 and subsequently decrease. It could now be five years ahead of schedule. [eco-business.com]

¶ The Scottish government published proposals aimed at developing the country’s energy efficiency potential, with district heating to take a vital role. The policy statement details measures to supply heat efficiently and at the lowest cost to consumers, as part decarbonisation. [Cogeneration & On-Site Power Production Magazine]

¶ Aurora Wind Power, a venture of Engie (formerly GDF SUEZ, France), Investec Bank Limited, and KTH, announced that it has started commercial operation of the 94-MW West Coast 1 wind farm. The wind farm’s site is located in South Africa’s Western Cape Province, near the town of Vredenburg. [Cape Business News]

¶ Tohoku Electric Power Co plans to postpone restarting two of its idled nuclear reactors by around a year, officials with the regional power utility said Thursday. The No 1 reactor at the Higashidori plant in Aomori Prefecture and the No 2 reactor at the Onagawa plant in Miyagi Prefecture will be delayed. [The Japan Times]

¶ South Korea’s oldest nuclear reactor may fail in its second bid for a life extension in the face of strong opposition as people have learned an important lesson from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis: Anything can happen at any time. The Kori-1 reactor was built in the southeastern port city of Busan in 1977. [GlobalPost]

US:

¶ Iberdrola Renewables LLC announced it has signed a 25-year deal to supply Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc, of Westminster, Colorado, with the entire 76-MW output from a new wind farm Iberdrola will build on the state’s eastern plains. The project is to be finished in 2017. [Denver Business Journal]

Iberdrola wind farm. Photo by Iberdrola.

Iberdrola wind farm. Photo by Iberdrola.

¶ The US residential solar market grew by 76% in the first quarter of 2015, compared to a year earlier, installing 437 MW, according to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association. The US installed 1.3 GW of solar PV across all market segments, despite one of the worst winters recorded. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed H. 40, an energy bill into law that promises to create 1,000 new jobs and help Vermonters save on energy costs over a 15-year period. “I think it is the most forward-leaning legislation in the country,” Mary Powell, chief executive officer at Green Mountain Power, said. [vtdigger.org]

¶ Northwest Energy Innovations has successfully deployed its Azura wave energy device at the United States Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site near Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Hawai’i. The device will be deployed for 12 months of grid-connected testing as part of a program to commercialize the Azura technology. [AltEnergyMag]

¶ DTE Energy Company received the NRC approval to construct and operate a nuclear unit, Fermi Unit 3. The company can build Fermi Unit 3 at the existing 1,170 MW Fermi Unit 2 plant site, near Newport, Michigan. The new reactor will be the fifth in the US to complete the NRC’s combined license process. [Nasdaq]

¶ Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA is investing more than $6.7 million in 544 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide. The move will include grants that will help farmers, ranchers and small business owners use more renewable energy, reducing carbon footprints. [agprofessional.com]

 


June 11 Energy News

June 11, 2015

World:

¶ Lekela Power, a joint venture between Actis and Mainstream Renewable Power, is on track to achieve its goal of installing 1 GW of wind and solar parks across Africa in the next five years. The company already has 860 MW of African projects under construction or due to start construction next year. [SeeNews Renewables]

Wind turbine foundation in South Africa. Courtesy of Mainstream Renewable Power - www.mainstreamrp.com

Wind turbine foundation in South Africa. Courtesy of Mainstream Renewable Power – http://www.mainstreamrp.com

¶ A new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency shows that 164 countries have now adopted at least one type of renewable energy target, compared to just 43 ten years ago. There are two other countries, Canada and the UAE, with renewable energy targets at the sub-national level only. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ In Australia, Alinta Energy has revealed it will close its Port Augusta power stations and the Leigh Creek mine as early as March next year, with 440 jobs lost. The company says it plans to close the operations by March 2018, but they could be shut down earlier date as they become increasingly uneconomic. [The Guardian]

¶ As Pakistan struggles with the rising risks of floods and melting glaciers, it is crafting a plan to cut its planet-warming emissions under a new global climate deal expected in Paris in December. The nation is currently considering a goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% from 2008 levels by 2025. [The Nation]

¶ BP has threatened to widen a rift between European and US oil companies over how to respond to global warming by urging political leaders to deliver a “substantial” deal at international climate change talks later this year. The CEOs of American oil companies call approaches being considered unworkable. [The Guardian]

¶ A unit of Chinese solar producer ET Solar Energy Corp has commissioned a 13-MWp ground-mounted PV plant in the UK for renewables investor Belltown Power. The Park Farm solar plant, in Leicestershire, is expected to generate enough power to meet the needs of about 3,900 local households. [SeeNews Renewables]

UK solar park. Author: Robert Pittman. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic

UK solar park. Author: Robert Pittman. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic

¶ Green energy now accounts for a record 6% of global power generation according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy. The report shows shifts in global energy production and consumption have had profound implications for prices, for the global fuel mix, and for global carbon dioxide emissions. [Click Green]

¶ Dozens of the UK’s leading businesses, including Willmott Dixon, Cisco, E.on, John Lewis Partnership, SSE, and BT, have called on the new Government to take decisive action to combat climate change and build a low-carbon economy. The group sent an open letter to Prime Minister David Cameron. [Click Green]

¶ Japan’s industry minister, Yoichi Miyazawa, told a Lower House committee session on economy and industry that Japan needs to have 35 nuclear reactors in operation by 2030. This is in order to achieve a government goal of getting 20% to 22% of the country’s electrical energy from nuclear plants. [Asahi Shimbun]

US:

¶ General Electric announced the city of Rexburg, Idaho, has selected its new anaerobic digestion technology to treat biosolids at its wastewater treatment facility. The Monsal anaerobic technology treats biosolids, creating “Class A” biosolids, while generating electricity and heat. [Renewable Energy from Waste]

GE anaerobic digester.

GE anaerobic digester.

¶ Montana’s Renewable Portfolio Standard was signed into law ten years ago. Now, Montana is a clean energy success story, with $1 billion invested by the wind industry alone. Wind projects generate low-cost, local renewable power, produce local tax revenue, and spur job creation. [Your Renewable News]

¶ Amazon Web Services Inc, the cloud computing unit of US e-commerce group Amazon.com Inc, will support the construction and operation of an 80-MW solar farm in Virginia that will generate electricity for its data centres. The company has a goal of 100% reliance on renewable power for its web servers. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ The recently released report by Stanford University showed that the US can go 100% renewable if homes, cars, factories, etc, all run on electricity. And before anyone comments that it is easier said than done, Mark Jacobson, lead researcher in the study, claims that it is feasible in just 35 years from now. [The Green Optimistic]

¶ High penetrations of variable renewable generation can be manageable without compromising reliability. In fact, it’s been proven in Texas and Colorado. A new report finds that high penetration levels of renewable generation are not only technically feasible but are being managed without sacrificing reliability. [Fierce Energy]


June 10 Energy News

June 10, 2015

Opinion:

¶ “Australia isolated on climate after G7 meeting” – Many countries can see the writing on the wall. After the G7 nations announced a goal of moving away from fossil fuel dependence, a question arises: Could Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his Government be any more out of step with the world on climate policy? [SBS]

Energy Brix Power Station, Victoria, brown coal fired power station and briquette factory. Photo by Marcus Wong. Wikimedia Commons.

Energy Brix Power Station, Victoria, brown coal fired power station and briquette factory. Photo by Marcus Wong. Wikimedia Commons.

 

World:

¶ On Monday, renewable energy development company SunEdison was awarded an additional five solar photovoltaic power projects in South Africa under round 4.5 of the country’s procurement program. The five projects will be located in the North West Provinces and will have a total generation capacity of 371 MW. [ESI Africa]

¶ Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay got planning consent from the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change for construction of the £1 billion tidal lagoon project in Swansea Bay, Wales. The company will start construction of the 320-MW project next year, after of a guaranteed price for power is established. [Energy Business Review]

¶ A new roadmap released today at the International Renewable Energy Agency’s ninth IRENA Council meeting has set out a pathway for advancing renewable energy supported by battery storage. They call for 150 GW of batteries and 325 GW of pumped storage to be brought online by 2030. [pv magazine]

¶ Mercedes-Benz has unveiled a personal energy cell that, like Tesla’s Powerwall, uses batteries to charge up during off-peak hours. The German car manufacturer revealed that each pack holds 2.5 kWh of electricity. Combined, eight of them to can hold 20 kWh to cover grid failure or backup solar power. [Daily Mail]

¶ The Japanese government and TEPCO are planning to push back the start of removing spent fuel at the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex by two to three years from the current schedule. Work to begin removing the spent fuel from the Unit 3 pool is expected to be delayed until fiscal 2017. [The Japan Times]

US:

¶ Renewable energy accounted for 9.8% of US energy consumption in 2014. This marks the highest renewable energy share since the 1930s, when wood was a much larger contributor to domestic energy supply. In 2014, slightly more than half of all renewable energy was used to generate electricity. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Michigan utility DTE Electricity has asked regulators to let it cut monthly residential electricity rates because wind energy costs are falling. DTE is working to comply with the state’s 10% by 2015 renewable portfolio standard, and the result is a decline in energy costs as more windpower goes online. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbine at farm.

Wind turbine at farm.

¶ The US is expected to install 7.9 GW of solar PV capacity in the full 2015, according to GTM Research and SEIA. They expect the residential solar segment to grow the most. The US PV capacity expanded by 1,306 MW in Q1, including 225 MW of non-residential and 644 MW of utility-scale installations. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ Advanced Microgrid Solutions announced plans to install up to 500 MWh of Tesla’s Powerpack batteries over the coming years. That would make it Tesla’s biggest single battery customer yet. The plans are based on contracts with Southern California Edison and the expectation of more to come. [Greentech Media]

¶ The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed an attempt by more than a dozen states and other entities to block US EPA from finalizing its greenhouse gas standards for power plants. The court said it could not rule on standards before they were finalized. [Environment & Energy Publishing]

¶ Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Monday asked utility executives to partner with his company to deliver more reliable power to homes and businesses. Musk said utilities could use the larger-scale Powerpack batteries to be better able to use renewable sources, improve power delivery and defer infrastructure upgrades. [Manufacturing.net]

¶ Northern Power Systems, located in Barre, Vermont, and MCM Energy Labs sri, of Italy, announced they will partner to deliver hybrid power systems for both grid-connected and off-grid applications. Offerings are expected to include multiple source power generation with advanced power technology solutions. [Stockhouse]

¶ Cape Cod Bay Watch has generated a report they say documents marine destruction and pollution of Cape Cod Bay by Entergy’s Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant. An attorney with Cape Cod Bay Watch said the crux of the problem is what they call “a once-through cooling system” that kills marine life. [95.9 WATD-FM]


June 9 Energy News

June 9, 2015

World:

¶ A record 40 GW of new solar power was connected in 2014 according to a new report from SolarPower Europe, formerly the European Photovoltaic Industry Association. The group said that 2014 was a “tipping point.” Its executive advisor pointed out that in 2014, renewables produced more power than nuclear. [reNews]

Photo by Rama. Wikimedia Commons. 

Photo by Rama. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Essel Group and the state government of Rajasthan announced that the two have entered into an agreement to set up a joint venture company that will oversee development of 5 GW of solar power capacity over the next few years. They will build at least two separate solar parks, at Bikaner and Jaisalmer. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The top seven industrialized countries (G7), whose carbon dioxide emissions total 25% of the world’s output, decided at a meeting in Germany today to phase out their use of fossil fuels by the end of this century. It’s a breakthrough move on climate change and a strong signal to the rest of the countries in the world. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The wind power segment of Gestamp Renewables has won a 20-year contract for the 102-MW Copperton wind project in South Africa’s Northern Cape province. Gestamp plans to start construction by the first quarter of 2016. The $169.7 million project is expected to start commercial operations in late 2017. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ SunEdison has been awarded five solar more photovoltaic projects in South Africa, totaling 371 MW DC. The five solar power plants will be located in the Northern Cape and North West Provinces and are expected to produce enough energy to power the equivalent of more than 200,000 South African homes. [AZoCleantech]

¶ Irish renewable energy company Mainstream Renewable Power expects construction to be completed on two large-scale wind farms in South Africa by the end of 2017. The wind farms, which will have a with a total generation capacity of 250 MW, represent an investment of about €420 million. [Irish Independent]

¶ The 270-MW K2 Wind Power Facility in Ontario has started commercial operations. Having 140 Siemens 2.3 MW wind turbines, K2 Wind is currently the largest such facility in Ontario in terms of capacity. It is expected to generate adequate electricity to power 100,000 average households in Ontario. [Greentech Lead]

¶ American Capital Energy & Infrastructure is investing in a 151.8-MW wind power project in Senegal in west Africa. The total cost of the facility, which will be the largest in West Africa, is estimated at €305 million, with ACEI expecting to provide an estimated €76 million of equity, with the rest from other investors. [reNews]

¶ Norway’s Parliament voted Friday to ratify a decision made by the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund’s finance committee to divest of coal industry holdings. The fund will sell stakes in mining and power companies that directly, or indirectly, base 30% or more of their revenue on coal. [Environment & Energy Publishing]

US:

¶ Hawai’i is now the first state in the nation to adopt a 100% renewable energy requirement for electricity generation, as Governor David Ige signed the measure into law. That goal is to be achieved by 2045. Representative Chris Lee introduced the measure partly as a step to reduce electricity costs. [Hawaii Public Radio-HPR2]

A Mitsubishi 250 kW wind turbine of the Kama'oa Wind Farm in Ka Lae. Photo by Harvey McDaniel from Naalehu, HI. Wikimedia Commons

A Mitsubishi 250 kW wind turbine of the Kama’oa Wind Farm in Ka Lae. Photo by Harvey McDaniel from Naalehu, HI. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ The California Public Utilities Commission is working to replace the current four-tier structure, in which greater users of electricity pay higher rates, with a two-tier or a three-tier structure. They are also shifting to time-of-use rates, which would charge more for electricity at high demand times, by 2019. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A Republican entrepreneur is putting a whopping $175 million behind a campaign whose message will have some party stalwarts seeing red: The GOP needs to deal with climate change. Among Republican presidential candidates, only Lindsey Graham admits to believing human activity causes climate change. [Politico]

¶ An Oklahoma electric cooperative will offer its members stakes in a community solar project with help from an Arkansas co-op that designs and develops solar arrays. Tri-County Electric Cooperative plans to deploy a 1-MW solar array and give members the option to purchase individual panels. [Electric Co-op Today]

¶ Researchers at Stanford University and UC Berkeley have outlined how each state can achieve a complete transition to renewable power by 2050. The plans call for aggressive changes to both infrastructure and energy consumption habits, but also show conversions that are economically possible. [Stanford University News]

¶ The state of California has already set 14 solar records this year, including the latest high of 6,078 MW of simultaneous solar generation, but don’t expect that high mark to be the record long. Experts expect a steady clip of new records over the next few months, as sunny summer weather kicks into full gear. [The Desert Sun]


June 8 Energy News

June 8, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ Sungrow, one of the leading PV-inverter manufacturers in the world, has released a series of inverters with 99% efficiency. The string and central inverters with a peak efficiency of 99% were developed by Sungrow’s in-house R&D team, with certification from the Austrian Institute of Technology. [Your Renewable News]

World:

¶ Increased capacity and strong winds saw Scottish wind power generation rise 83% year-on-year last month, setting a record for May. The turbines generated enough for 101% of Scottish households. WWF Scotland said on Monday as it called on the UK government to rethink its plans to curb onshore wind. [SeeNews Renewables]

Wind park in Scotland. Author: Ian Dick. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

Wind park in Scotland. Author: Ian Dick. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.

¶ Indonesia plans to review local coal mines which do not have “clean and clear certification,” and possibly consolidate the country’s coal industry, according to the mining and energy minister. Around 4,000 mines will be reviewed because they do not have proper certification and they could be consolidated. [Platts]

¶ US-backed Mayo Renewable Power is planning a €180 million electricity generating plant for Killala, the construction of which will create up to 350 jobs. It will be Ireland’s largest independent biomass power plant. It will be fueled by woodchip biomass and produce enough electricity to power 68,000 homes. [CareersPortal]

¶ A fully renewable energy system, including all energy consuming sectors, is not only a possible but a viable solution for Finland, according to a new research by researchers from Lappeenranta University of Technology. Results show that a fully renewable energy system represents a competitive solution for Finland. [AZoCleantech]

¶ South Korea has axed plans to build four coal-fired power plants and will boost its nuclear reactor fleet by two more units, as it looks to increase the share of nuclear and gas in power generation and cut reliance on coal. The new plans would take the number of planned nuclear reactors to 36 by 2029. [Economic Times]

¶ A joint venture between UK’s SSE Plc and US-based Wheelabrator Technologies Inc has secured a £75 million ($114.6 million, €102.7 million) off-take contract for a 68-MW waste-to-energy plant in West Yorkshire, England. Its annual output would be enough to power around 160,000 households. [SeeNews Renewables]

Chipped wood. Author: Douglas O'Brien. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.

Chipped wood. Author: Douglas O’Brien. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.

¶ SunEdison Inc. plans to invest $15 billion in India by 2022, a top executive said, as the renewable-energy company seeks to deepen in its foothold in a country where power producers have struggled to meet demand. The company plans to install a total of 15 GW of wind and solar power capacity in India. [MarketWatch]

US:

¶ Three large shipping containers in an industrial park in Boothbay, Maine have batteries storing enough electricity to run 100 homes for a day, New England’s first utility-scale electricity storage system. They are part of a pilot program aimed at meeting peak demand at a fraction of the cost of new transmission lines. [Press Herald]

¶ The oil and gas industry in the US and its environmental critics are each finding reasons to hype a new EPA study on the impact of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water. The EPA found fracking has not resulted in widespread, systemic damage to drinking water, but potential vulnerabilities do exist. [USA TODAY]


June 7 Energy News

June 7, 2015

World:

¶ Hydro Tasmania is bracing for the effects of a looming El Nino. Drier than normal conditions have been blamed for lower hydro generation in other Australian states, while the weather bureau warns a strengthening El Nino in the Pacific should bring below average rainfall for south-eastern Australia. [Perth Now]

Hydro Tasmania’s Gordon Dam on Lake Gordon in the South-West of Tasmania. Picture: Peter Mathew/Hydro Tasmania.

Hydro Tasmania’s Gordon Dam on Lake Gordon in the South-West of Tasmania. Picture: Peter Mathew/Hydro Tasmania.

¶ Curbing global warming will be among many items on the agenda when G-7 leaders meet over the weekend. Japan may find itself odd man out, as the government favors coal, gas and nuclear power over green energy despite rapid growth of investment in renewables since the Fukushima Disaster. [News Watch International]

¶ India’s National Institute of Engineering, one of the oldest institutions in the country, is set to establish a renewable energy-based micro grid. Its Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies will collaborate with the University of Wisconsin, US, to establish a micro grid on the institute campus. [Web India]

¶ Pakistan’s climate change minister says reduction in taxes on clean energy would lessen Pakistan’s heavy dependence on coal, oil, and natural gas. In the new financial budget for 2015-16, the government has exempted solar panels and certain related components from sales tax and customs duty for a year. [DAWN.com]

¶ To hear the oil ministers of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait talk about it this week, the race to develop massive solar power arrays in the world’s sunniest nations is nearly as important as the current battle for oil market share. At a major OPEC conference , both took time to hail their nascent solar power efforts. [Trade Arabia]

¶ Africa can boost its capacity to generate power, economic growth, and jobs, without precipitating catastrophic climate change, argues Kofi Annan. The Africa Progress Panel, which he heads categorically rejects the idea that Africa has to choose between growth and low-carbon development. [Front Page Africa]

Solar panels in Senegal. Photo by Fratelli dell'Uomo Onlus, Elena Pisano, Wikimedia Commons. 

Solar panels in Senegal.  Photo by Fratelli dell’Uomo Onlus, Elena Pisano, Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Right at this very moment 621 million Africans, two-thirds of the continent’s population, live without electricity. A kettle boiled twice a day in the United Kingdom uses five times as much electricity as someone in Mali uses in a year. With current trends, the lack of power will last until long after 2030. [Times of Oman]

US:

¶ Columbia Water and Light, the municipal utility of Columbia, Missouri, plans to test biofuel pellets that are not made from wood in a power plant boiler later this summer, after the Missouri Department of Natural Resources approves a temporary permit. The pellets are made from such materials as corn stover. [Columbia Daily Tribune]

¶ Ohio’s growth of green energy jobs is slowing down because of government policies, according to a study conducted by Environmental Entrepreneurs. The study, Clean Jobs Ohio, says there are now 89,000 Ohioans working in the clean energy field, but the government believes clean energy is unaffordable. [Cincinnati.com]

¶ With more than 280 buildings and 13 million square feet of indoor space, green energy would seem elusive if not impractical at the University of Utah. And yet, the US EPA this week ranked the school eighth in the nation and first among Pac-12 schools in the College and University Green Power Challenge results. [Salt Lake Tribune]


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