2013-12-05 Energy Week (two weeks)


¶   According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Projects, 694 MW of new renewable capacity was added in October, 99.3% of the total. Of new capacity, 72.1% was solar, 17.7% was biomass, and 9.4% was windpower. [Green Building Elements]

¶   Wind and solar were the fastest growing technologies for electricity generation in 2012, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Wind capacity grew 28% to 60 GW in 2012 and PVs were up 83% to 7.3 GW compared to 2011. [Denver Post]

¶   As House and Senate budget negotiators look for ways to lower deficits, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) today introduced legislation to eliminate tax loopholes and subsidies that support the oil, gas and coal industries. [vtdigger.org]


¶   Duke Energy has agreed to pay $1 million over the deaths of more than a dozen protected eagles and other birds at its wind farms. The 14 eagles are not of an endangered species, but are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. [The Hill]

¶   TEPCO has transported 22 fuel assemblies from the Unit 4 of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan to the nearby common pool building at the power plant for safe storage. [Energy Business Review]


¶   The DOEs National Renewable Energy Laboratory has released its 128-page 2012 Renewable Energy Data Book, providing data on renewable energy. Renewable energy now supplies 12.4 % of US demand, and 23% worldwide (4,892 TWh). [Energy Matters]

¶   Nebraska is rated third among the states for its wind-energy potential. And yet a year ago, it ranked only 26th for its actual wind-energy production. Several people familiar with wind energy in Nebraska say this is because of one anti-wind, anti-solar person. [Midwest Energy News]


¶   US: Ecotech Institute has released its Clean Jobs Index, which shows more than one million job postings in the clean energy sector from July 1, 2013 through September 30, 2013. These numbers reveal a 54% increase and the rapid growth of the sector. [Fierce Energy]

¶   Bills pending in the Vermont state House and Senate would have Vermont’s public employee pension funds sell off their investments in any company which has as a principal business the extraction, production, or manufacture of fossil fuels. [Rutland Herald]

¶   The Tasmanian Government has released a climate change strategy aimed at 100% renewable power. The Climate Smart Tasmania plan includes energy reduction targets across government, land use, infrastructure, transport and waste systems. [Yahoo!7 News]

¶   ”As We Consume More Fossil Fuels, Air Quality Actually Improves” For the record, this is sort of thing supporters of fossil fuels want us to believe. Using flawed logic, progress we make in fighting pollution is cynically implicitly credited to the polluters. [Forbes]


¶   Renewable Energy Vermont, a trade group for the solar industry and other renewable technologies, has asked Governor Peter Shumlin to support the state’s net metering program. To avoid standstill, new goals are needed as old goals are met. [Clean Energy Authority]

¶   The president of Taiwan says safety at the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant was enhanced by a system that can destroy the plant to prevent radiation leak. The system would come into operation if a disaster were about to happen. [Taipei Times]

¶   Every source of electricity we have kills some number of birds. And while solar panels may fare better than anything else, it’s actually clear (and uplifting) that wind turbines fare better than nuclear or fossil-fueled power plants on this front. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Central America has launched a range of small clean energy projects to address climate change, high oil prices, and power for remote regions. Now, almost 65% of the electric power supplied to public utilities in the region is from renewable energy sources. [Reuters AlertNet]

¶   LEGO Group has this week published a new set of environmental goals as it seeks to reduce the carbon footprint of its supply chain and move towards sourcing 100 per cent of its power from renewable sources. [Business Green]


¶   BrightSource Energy, a US company specializing in solar thermal electricity generation, is about to inaugurate the largest solar power plant ever built. The new plant of Ivanpah will use 170,000 mirrors to concentrate sunlight on three towers. [Environmental Expert]

¶   A recent GE announcement noted that E.ON Climate & Renewables’ will “PowerUP” 469 of its GE 1.5-77 wind turbines with “Brilliant” technology. The goal is to boost wind turbine output by up to 5%, producing about 20% more profit per wind turbine. [CleanTechnica]

¶   The International Energy Agency now sees wind power supplying as much as 18% of global demand by 2050, much more than the 12% by 2050 share forecast in its previous edition of the “Technology Roadmap: Wind Energy,” published in 2009. [POWER magazine]

¶   Solar PVs are on the rise. Currently, the whole world has installed 130 GW of PVs, a huge increase over the 1.4 GW in the year 2000. But it’s Europe that has really embraced PVs, since they account for 80 GW of that power. [Hydrogen Fuel News]


¶   Tax breaks for wind-power producers are set to expire in a little more than a month, threatening hundreds of manufacturing and energy jobs in Iowa alone if nothing is done. Iowa, already gets 25% of its power from wind, but could be at 50% by 2017. [Quad City Times]

¶   The European Commission is close to concluding that Britain’s nuclear program at Hinkley Point breaches EU state aid rules and may have to be revised, a move that could lead to long delays and even cause the complex deal to unravel. [Telegraph.co.uk]


¶   Two new reports from the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory say financing, permitting, installation labor, and other “soft costs” make up 64% of the total price of residential solar power systems. [Denver Business Journal]


¶   Ontario will defer construction of two new nuclear power reactors; back away from plans to refurbish operating units at Darlington and Bruce Power’s Bruce A site; and may order the shutdown of OPG’s six-unit Pickering plant prior to the units’ scheduled 2020 closing date. [PennEnergy]

¶   A six-mile-long U-shaped seawall costing £756 million is planned to run from Swansea docks to near the site of Swansea University’s new Fabian Way campus. The firm behind it says the scheme could generate 420,000 MWh of energy per year – enough to supply 121,000 homes. [BBC News]

¶   The financial world’s concerns with the ‘carbon bubble’ just became about as concrete as they can get. Bloomberg LP unveiled a new tool that helps investment managers quantify the risks climate change can pose to their portfolios. [Business Spectator]


¶   An alliance of corporations and conservative activists is mobilising to penalize homeowners who install their own solar panels – casting them as “freeriders” – in a sweeping new offensive against renewable energy, the Guardian has learned. [Raw Story]

¶   After suffering a power outage at last year’s game, the NFL looked for new ways to provide power for the 2014 Super Bowl. Energy company PSEG announced they partner with the NFL Environmental Program in order to provide renewable energy for Super Bowl XLVIII. [GetSolar.com]

¶   If the marginal cost of solar and wind energy is close enough to zero (because there is no fuel cost), then the energy price in a 100 per cent wind and solar market is going to be zero – at least in the current market structure. But who would invest? [RenewEconomy]


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