2013-12-19 Energy Week


¶   With critical federal tax incentives set to expire on December 31, Environment New York, the National Wildlife Federation, and over 230 other organizations and elected officials urged the Obama administration to take action to facilitate the development of offshore wind power.[Long Island Exchange]

¶   A full-scale investigation is being launched into whether Britain’s deal with French nuclear giant EDF, backed with money from Chinese nuclear generators, to build new stations at Hinkley Point in the west of England, is illegal state aid.[eco-business.com]

¶   NIB and UPM-Kymmene Corp. have signed a €50 million loan agreement to construct the world’s first industrial biorefinery producing wood-based renewable diesel in Lappeenranta, Finland. [4-traders]

¶   China is looking to switch the emphasis of its booming domestic solar market towards the “distributed” market – essentially rooftop and small, local, plants – rather than large, utility-scale solar farms. [CleanTechnica]


¶   Solar panels were installed on more American residential rooftops in the third quarter of 2013 than any other quarter in history, pushing US installed solar capacity over the 10-gigawatt (GW) milestone and potentially ahead of Germany for the first time. [Energy Collective]

¶   Nobel laureate Dr. George Olah and Surya Prakash, director of the University of Southern California’s Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute, hope to use solar power to create methanol efficiently from carbon dioxide and hydrogen, making it the alternative fuel of the future. [Green Car Reports]

¶   According to Nobel prize winner Carlo Rubbia, the sort of risk analyses that is used for nuclear power are simply insufficient. The analyses are based on probabilities. But Fukushima showed that these calculations simply don’t work in the real world. [Ars Technica]


¶   According to a new survey from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and Consumers Union, 42% of current American drivers can use EVs with little change to driving habits or costly home charging infrastructure. [CleanTechnica]

¶   The average American family spends about $10,000 a year for transportation, according to Author Elly Blue’s new bookBikenomics. By biking, walking, and riding public transportation, a great deal of money could be saved by consumers. [CleanTechnica]


Japan is incapable of safely decommissioning the devastated Fukushima nuclear plant alone and must stitch together an international team for the massive undertaking, experts say, but has made only halting progress in that direction. [The Recorder]


¶   Siemens will supply 448 wind turbines — its largest onshore order even — to Billionaire Warren Buffett’s MidAmerican Energy in the US. Each of the wind turbines supplied by Siemens has a nominal rating of 2.3 MW, making the total slightly more than 1020 MW. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶   Vermont’s Department of Public Service has unveiled a progress report on the “Total Energy Study” that will, by sometime next summer, lay out a road map for supplying the state’s energy needs with solar, wind, hydropower and other renewable technologies. [Barre Montpelier Times Argus]

¶   A new report from the Australian Energy Market Operator forecasts 100% of new power in Australia will be generated from renewable energy sources through 2020, with wind power providing 84%, followed by solar, at 13%, and biomass at 3%. [PennEnergy]

¶   In China, the growth of its electric power system is now being powered more by renewables than by fossil fuels and nuclear combined. Wind and solar are growing at a great rate, while nuclear is barely moving. [Business Spectator]


¶   The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Tuesday that the facility, the Omaha Public Power District’s Fort Calhoun nuclear plant, is safe to restart. Fort Calhoun, which is on the Missouri River about 20 miles north of Omaha, has been closed since April 2011. [New York Times]

¶   Several Michigan Republican leaders have formed a conservative group aimed at promoting renewable energy. The Michigan Conservative Energy Forum will push the state to reduce its dependence on coal and increase investment in renewables and efficiency. [MLive.com]

¶   The operator of Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant said on Wednesday that it will decommission two reactors at the troubled site that escaped major physical damage from the 2011 tsunami. [Independent Online]

¶   NOAA reported that last month set a heat record as the warmest November on record, across Earth, since record-keeping began in 1880. They said it was the 345th straight month with above-average temperatures. [Huffington Post]


¶   Solar Frontier, a Japan-based thin-film solar technology company, has reportedly broken the CZTS (copper, zinc, tin, and sulfur or selenium) solar cell efficiency record, in partnership with IBM and TOK. The efficiency record of 12.6% was set on a solar cell of 0.42 square centimeters. [CleanTechnica]

¶   After six years on the drawing board, a Perth-based company has finally started building the world’s first wave energy farm off the West Australian coast. Carnegie Energy is building the plant five kilometres off Rockingham and will supply electricity and desalinated water. [ABC Online]

¶   The United States Enrichment Corporation, the leading US nuclear fuel supplier, plans to file for bankruptcy in the first quarter 2014 in order to restructure. The company will repay convertible bonds in October 2014 with $530 million raised from new equity and debt. [RT.com]


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