2013-12-12 Energy Week


¶   UniStar Nuclear Energy is completely withdrawing its application to build a third nuclear power plant at Nine Mile Point on Lake Ontario. The company told the NRC that the reason was because Nine Mile Point 3 was not selected for federal loan guarantees.

¶   Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) took to Washington’s streets on Thursday to push for the reform of a government biofuel program. The EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard increases the price of corn, Welch says, which has impacts on food and energy prices across the country.

¶   President Obama has set all US government agencies a 20% renewable energy generation target by 2020. Agencies must draw not less than 10% of their electricity from renewables by 2015, 15% in 2016 and 2017, 17.5% in 2018 and 2019 and not less than 20% by 2020.


¶   Vermont-based municipal utility Burlington Electric Department (BED) has reached an agreement with renewable energy company First Wind to buy power from the planned 54 MW Hancock Wind project near Ellsworth, Maine.

¶   Burbank Water and Power, a municipal utility, aims to obtain 66% of electricity from renewable sources by 2025. To meet the state goal, BWP is building a single integrated system to manage forecasting, generation, voltage and switching to optimize available resources.


¶   The average price for a new car in November 2013 (in the US) was $32,769, according to Kelley Blue Book. After the federal tax rebate of $7,500 (yes, it makes complete sense to include this), almost every plug-in electric car on the market is actually cheaper than that.

¶   Chinese state news has announced that the country’s on-grid solar power capacity will reach 10 GW by the end of 2013, a 200% increase from a year ago, based on figures forecast by the National Energy Administration.

¶   Australia has passed through another significant solar milestone, reaching 3 GW of solar PV this month, as Queensland nudged the 1 GW mark and states such as South Australia reached household penetration rates of 25 per cent.


¶   Britain’s coal-fired power producer Drax opened its coal-to-biomass conversion plant as part of a £700 million project to clean up emissions from the country’s biggest coal power station. The plant will have three of the six generating units converted to burn biomass in place of coal.


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

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

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

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


¶   Duke’s Energy’s will have the Crystal River nuclear plant “placed in a safe, stable condition for 60 years until decommissioning work is completed in 2074,” according to a plan submitted to federal authorities for tearing down the troubled facility.

¶   Over the next two decades, natural gas and renewable energy, particularly wind and solar, will provide all new power generation for the primary electricity grid in Texas , a new study predicts.

¶   The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has announced that it will be introducing a new strategy to help countries switch from coal as a source of energy to cleaner, renewable technologies.


¶   So far, 10,752 Indian villages have been electrified using various renewable energy systems. Over 29 GW of renewable capacity has been installed in India, including nearly 20 GW of windpower, almost 4 GW each of small hydro and bio energy, and 2 GW of solar.

¶   No fewer than 98,000 Nigerian women die annually from smokes inhaled during cooking with firewood, an official of the Federal Ministry of Environment, Bahijjahtu Abubakar, has said.

¶   International environmental group Greenpeace is urging Filipinos to make the world’s biggest fossil fuel companies answerable for adverse climate change impacts causing extreme weather conditions such as super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).



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