2014-01-30 Energy Week


¶   Global subsidies for fossil fuels have returned to levels not seen since before the financial crisis in 2008, estimated at $523 billion to $1.9 trillion, according to a new report. This is about five times what all renewable resources get, combined.[FuelFix]

¶   Ottawa-based Iogen Corp. announced it has developed and patented a new method to make drop-in cellulosic biofuels from biogas using existing refinery assets and production operations. [Biomass Magazine]


¶   A preliminary report suggests Wyoming wind power could save California ratepayers $750 million annually. The findings were announced by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory at a meeting of the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority. [Casper Star-Tribune Online]

¶   Germany could be the first European country to penalize the self-consumption of solar energy, something only Arizona has done so far. Spain is also working on a similar plan to ensure small solar power generators help pay for network costs. [Bloomberg]


¶   China’s solar panel industry is showing signs of booming again after a prolonged downturn. Chinese firms are racing to develop multi-billion dollar solar generating projects in the Gobi desert and barren hills of China’s vast north and northwest. [Oman Daily Observer]

¶   It may sound far-fetched to some people, but the US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) reports in the new study Active Power Controls from Wind Power: Bridging the Gaps, that wind turbines actually improve grid reliability. [CleanTechnica]

¶   While Americans deal with a wintery January and try to understand what a polar vortex is, one thing is clear: 2013 was the fourth hottest year since records began in 1880. For the 37th consecutive year, global temperatures were higher than average. [CleanTechnica]


¶   The UK Government has plan to kick-start a community energy revolution. It includes a £10 million scheme to provide neighbourhoods with up to £150,000 each to generate their own renewable energy from wind, solar, or hydro-electric.[Click Green]

¶   Large scale wind and solar farm developers will have to offer a “meaningful share” of their projects to UK communities, as part of a major new government strategy designed to boost public ownership of renewable energy.[Business Green]

¶   ”Community Energy Strategy: the reaction” The UK government has boosted local renewable energy projects with a fund to help communities generate their own power, saving money and cutting carbon. Here is the pick of the reaction to the news … [Blue & Green Tomorrow]


¶   The UK’s Community Energy Strategy outlines an intention to encourage non-conventional forms of finance to fund a huge expansion in community energy projects, ranging from green electricity and heating schemes to energy-efficiency initiatives. [Business Green]

¶   The number of jobs in the US solar sector grew by 19.9% to 142,698 in 2013, according to a study by The Solar Foundation.  Solar employment grew 10 times faster than the national average employment growth rate of 1.9% in the same period. [reNews]

¶   Installed solar power capacity in the U.S. grew by 42.8% in 2013, with the country adding 2.9 GW of large-scale solar energy to the grid, according to the latest Energy Infrastructure Update report from FERC’s Office of Energy Projects. [pv magazine]


¶   Since 2007, electricity generation from coal has fallen 24.9% from 2.02 billion MWh to 1.51 billion MWh in 2012. Meanwhile, over the same time frame wind grew 309% to 140.8 million MWh and solar grew 607% to 4.3 million MWh. [DailyFinance]

¶   Subsidies for renewable energy are partly to blame for Europe’s electricity market “crisis,” according to a French study. It says the system of feed-in tariffs paying above-market rates for renewables should be changed to one based more on market prices. [Businessweek]


¶   Tesla Model S owner John Glenney and his daughter Jill became the first people to cross the country using the Tesla Supercharger network. The trip took a week and 1,366 kWh of electricity to complete, but cost $0 thanks to the free Supercharger refills. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Butanol, the gasoline substitute promoted by billionaire Richard Branson, is headed for its debut at US pumps as soon as next year in a challenge to ethanol’s domination of the $26 billion renewable fuels market. [San Francisco Chronicle]

¶   New Hampshire’s House of Representatives on Wednesday rejected a temporary ban on new wind turbine and electric transmission projects such as the 187-mile power line proposed by Northern Pass. [Seacoastonline.com]


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