2014-03-27 Energy Week

The show can be watched by following this link:

Energy Week with George Harvey and Tom Finnell, March 27, 2014.


¶   An NRC official said in a statement that Entergy staff did not follow proper procedures when they “detonated a suspicious item” that resembled a pipe bomb inside the nuclear power plant compound. [Brattleboro Reformer]


¶   A study published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science concluded it takes more work to make combinations of solar power and storage sustainable than it takes to do the same with combinations of wind power and storage.[RedOrbit]
¶   ”Could a 500-house community go off-grid?” The shift away from a centralised to stand-alone community power solutions could be “quick and dramatic”, with most Australian regional towns able to function economically off-grid as soon early as 2020. [RenewEconomy]


¶   Two weeks ago, it looked like a record winter was over, and a threatened shortfall in natural gas inventories had been avoided. Now, the key question is whether this can be replaced in time for the next heating season or the ones after that. [Resilience]
¶   The government of Pakistan is in process of implementing around 29 different wind power projects as per its plan to enhance power production in the country. Two projects, with capacity of 106.4 MW are already operating. [Business Recorder]


¶   California has set new records for solar energy production on March 8, 14, 15, and 16. The state’s grid operator has concluded it has to change its protocol for announcing them, making announcements on 500-MW increments, rather than 50-MW. [Energy Collective]
¶   ExxonMobil will publicize the risks that stricter carbon emissions rules and limits will have on its business. In doing so, the largest publicly traded international oil and gas corporation in the world became the first such company to do this. [Triple Pundit]
¶   The United Nations believes that by 2050, 40% of the world population will be living in areas with severe water stress. The only way they see out is development of alternate energy systems which require far less water than conventional power plants. [GreenPacks]
¶   March 24 marks the 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, an event that altered the Prince William Sound ecosystem, perhaps forever. The once-robust herring fisheries remain closed. Exxon’s bill, $92 million, remains unpaid.[Anchorage Daily News]


¶   Green Mountain Power based in Colchester, Vermont, and California Governor Jerry Brown were among three to receive a national solar energy award, as Vote Solar announced Friday its 2014 Solar Champion Award recipients. [Vermont Biz]
¶   In new estimates released today, WHO reports that in 2012 around 7 million people died – one in eight of total global deaths – as a result of air pollution exposure. This confirms that air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk. [India.Com Health]
¶   A Federal Energy Regulatory Commission analysis found a fairly easy way for terrorists to knock out all the electric grids in the US. And not just for a short time, but for about a year and a half! Reliance on distributed solar and wind power could prevent this. [CleanTechnica]
¶   The Earth narrowly missed being hit by a massive coronal ejection during the summer of 2012, according to a new study. The effect of such an event could be damage to the electric grid and electronic devices that could take years to repair. [Yahoo News Canada]


¶   A bill repealing renewable energy standards for utility companies won approval in the Kansas Senate with a vote of 25-15. The bill now goes to the House. The current standard requires utility companies to receive 20% of their energy from renewable sources by 2020. [Kansas.com]
¶   Solar energy now costs the same as conventionally generated electricity in Germany, Italy and Spain, a report has revealed. The research has warned, however, that high installation costs are impeding other countries from achieving grid parity. [RT]
¶   Wholesale power prices in Germany have plunged 34% since 2010 amid record output from renewables, while electricity demand last year slumped to the weakest since 2009, according to energy researcher AG Energiebilanzen e.V. [Bloomberg]
¶   Rail power storage is conceptually simple. During low-demand periods, power is used to pull a chain of weighted train cars uphill. And there they will sit, losing no power to degradation, until needed in a high-demand period, when their return downhill produces power. [Environment & Energy Publishing]


¶   First Solar expects its average manufacturing cost to fall by nearly half – from an average $0.63/W in 2013, to $0.35/W in 2018. That will bring the total cost of a module (including racking and inverters) from around $1.59/W to below $1/W by 2017. [CleanTechnica]
¶   A measure to repeal the state’s 2009 renewable energy standards for power generation was rejected Wednesday in the Kansas House by a vote of 77-42 despite critics who argued the requirements drive up utility bills and unfairly push one industry over another. [Greenfield Daily Reporter]
¶   Pacific Gas and Electric Company announced an important milestone for California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard – the utility delivered 22.5% of its power from eligible renewable resources in 2013 and is on track to meet the state’s clean energy goals for 2020. [AZoCleantech]


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