2014-03-13 Energy Week


¶   Cape Cod is one step closer to getting its first offshore wind farm, a project that’s been trying to get off the ground for more than a decade. Now there are indications that it may be commissioned by 2016. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Chipotle Mexican Grill says guacamole and some salsas could become victims of global warming. The restaurant chain, in an annual report, listed drought and global weather change among a long list of business risks faced by the company.[CNN]


¶   Iowa, the top state for wind, is edging close to 30%. Last year it got 27% of electricity from wind, followed by South Dakota with 26%. With 5117 megawatts (MW) installed, 1.4 million Iowan homes are supplied by clean energy.[SustainableBusiness.com]

¶   China’s Premier Li Keqiang has declared war on pollution, outlining significant steps the Chinese government will take to improve air quality. China has suffered from truly epic smog over the last two winters. [EconoMonitor]

¶   Green businesses will drive a third of UK economic growth this year, a UK diplomat has predicted. Bharat Joshi said climate-friendly growth “represents one of the biggest opportunities since the industrial revolution” at an industry conference in Chennai. [Business Green]


¶   More than 90 Illinois cities and towns provide all renewable energy to their utility customers. Five other states allow communities to buy power from sources they choose, but none has matched Illinois for the number buying renewable power. [Herald & Review]

¶   A relatively low-cost means of converting carbon dioxide into methanol has been developed by researchers from Stanford University, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, and the Technical University of Denmark. [CleanTechnica]


¶   America’s energy infrastructure is dangerously vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, according to a new report released by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office. [De Smog Blog]

¶   Solar PV heavyweight SunEdison is expecting a huge surge in the number of large PV power plant projects completed this year, according to recent reports. The company is predicting a 90% increase in project completions in 2014, as compared to 2013. [CleanTechnica]

¶   The installed capacity of solar PV in North and South America will increase more than tenfold over the coming years, jumping from 13.1 GW in 2013 to 138.8 GW by 2030 – according to a new report from consulting firm GlobalData. [CleanTechnica]


¶   A decade ago, scientists predicted the specific, unprecedented change in the jet stream that has in fact caused the unprecedented nature of the California drought. Now, they think the actual situation in the next few decades could be even more dire. [Energy Collective]

¶   An ill-advised splurge on large dams across the developing world is likely to saddle countries with big debts, according to Oxford university researchers who have found such projects typically cost nearly twice as much as first estimated and rarely finish on time. [Financial Times]


¶   At a House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power, one presenter revealed that 36% of the gas by-product from oil obtained by fracking in the Bakken Shale basin was flared off as waste during a brutally cold midwest winter. [CounterPunch]

¶   About 75% of people who want solar can’t get it. They live in multi-unit buildings, rent, or own homes surrounded by shade trees. Increasingly, states are utilizing community solar to solve this dilemma. [Solar Novus Today]

¶   With the launch of a wood-fueled downtown district heating system still six months away, officials in Vermont’s capital city on Monday set the goal of making Montpelier a “net-zero” user of fossil fuels by 2030. [Bennington Banner]

¶   AES Corp says its energy storage division is selling batteries that are actually powerful enough to replace peaking power plants in arrays that range from tens of megawatts to 500 MW, costing $10 million to $500 million.[SustainableBusiness.com]


¶   The spill that contaminated the drinking water of 300,000 West Virginians has reignited debate in the state, not just over chemical and coal industry regulations but how the state’s reliance on these industries affects its people and environment. [ThinkProgress]

¶   California’s hydro plants generated less power in 2013 than they had in 21 years, but the state’s water crisis hasn’t turned into an energy crisis, thanks to a mix of renewable energy, natural gas, and planning. [National Geographic]


¶   PJM Interconnection, the nation’s largest power transmission grid organization, announced last week that wind and solar power could generate about 30% of the electricity for its territory by 2026 without “any significant issues.” [Energy Collective]

¶   Three EU countries have already surpassed their renewable energy goals for 2020. Sweden, Bulgaria, and Estonia met their renewable energy goals 8 years ahead of schedule, fueled by substantial growth in wind power and biomass. [RenewEconomy]


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