2014-04-17 Energy Week

 Energy Week with George Harvey and Tom Finnell – April 17 (Video)


¶   The future for small-scale renewable power projects has been thrown into doubt by changes to European state aid rules, industry leaders have claimed. The European Commission changed its guidance on state aid for renewable energy. [Building.co.uk]

¶   Lord Nicholas Stern, author of a landmark 2006 study on climate change, says his conclusion that global output could dive 5% to 20% without action to curb greenhouse gases was an underestimate. [Sydney Morning Herald]

¶   The UK has successfully lobbied to have an article containing the phrase, “the measure should in principle not reward investments in generation from fossil fuel plants,” removed from the new EU state aid guidelines. [Solar Power Portal]


¶   Eminent bishop and Nobel peace prize winner Desmond Tutu has called on businesses to cut ties with the fossil fuels industry, in the same way as they did with South African companies during apartheid. [Blue & Green Tomorrow]

¶   “Are We Halfway to Market Dominance for Solar?” Electricity output from solar PVs is approaching 1% of total global electricity production, according to the IEA. That may not seem like much, but that 1% is actually halfway to the goal of market dominance. [Greentech Media]

¶   A radical shift from fossil fuels to low-carbon energy would slow world economic growth by only a tiny fraction every year, a new draft U.N. report on tackling global warming said on Friday. [The Japan Times]


¶   The IPCC report says greenhouse gases need to be cut 70% before 2050 to control climate change, and the job will become harder and more expensive unless the transformation is made within 15 years. [Daily Mail]

¶   The IPCC report says catastrophic climate change can be averted without sacrificing living standards. It concludes the transformation to a world of clean energy, ditching dirty fossil fuels, is eminently affordable. [Business Green]

¶   Geologists in Ohio have for the first time linked earthquakes in a geologic formation deep under the Appalachians to hydraulic fracturing, leading the state to issue new permit conditions Friday in certain areas that are among the nation’s strictest. [Huffington Post]

¶   More than 7,000 MW of new wind turbines are scheduled to be built by the end of next year, potentially increasing Texas’ wind power capacity by almost 60%. The amount being installed is greater than any other state already has in place. [Dallas Morning News]


¶   Negotiations between London and Dublin over cross-border trading of onshore wind power have failed, according to the Irish Energy Minister. The breakdown leaves gigawatt-scale ambitions of various organizations unlikely to progress before 2020, if at all. [reNews]

¶   The United States DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has warned that failing to renew the production tax credit could cause growth in the wind sector to fall from 8.7 GW per year in 2008-2012 to between 3 GW and 5 GW per year. [Tax-news.com]


¶   The Czech state-run power utility says it has canceled a tender to build two more nuclear reactors because falling electricity prices have made the multi-billion dollar project less feasible. Westinghouse and a Russian consortium were bidding to build the reactors.  [Utility Products]

¶   About 75% of New Zealand’s electricity comes from renewable sources, and the Government has pledged to raise that to 90% by 2025. But a senior executive from Citigroup told a conference audience the percentage could be greater. [Radio New Zealand]


¶   First quarter clean energy investment rose 9% from last year on surging demand for rooftop solar panels. New investment in renewable power and energy efficiency rose to $47.7 billion, up from $43.6 billion, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. [Bloomberg]

¶   Former Prime Ministers Junichiro Koizumi and Morihiro Hosokawa will establish an anti-nuclear power forum in May to promote research into renewable energy and support anti-nuclear candidates in elections, sources said Tuesday. [The Japan Times]

¶   ISO New England reported today that the volatile natural gas market in this region pushed wholesale electric prices up by 55% last year. We’re already seeing some of this at the retail level, but the real impact will likely be seen in our monthly bills next winter. [Boston Business Journal]

¶   California’s recent revisions to Title 24 put in place ambitious performance goals: all new residential buildings must be Zero Net Energy by 2020, and commercial buildings by 2030. This is likely to have ripple effects through the whole nation’s construction industry. [CleanTechnica]


¶   When the wind blows and the sun shines in Germany, electricity prices in the country plummet. Natural gas peaker plants are not needed, as the peaks are erased and they cannot compete with renewables. But the grid still needs balancing resources like demand response. [Energy Collective]

¶   The IPCC report is positive on renewables’ ability to deal with carbon emissions. It addresses nuclear power as a possible solution, but also underscores considerable barriers for it. The combination illustrates the conclusion that nuclear is largely irrelevant. [Scoop.co.nz]

¶   “No, the IPCC climate report doesn’t call for a fracking boom” Interpretations of the report saying it endorses fracking, urging a “dash for gas” as a bridge fuel to put us on a path to a more renewable energy future are exaggerated, lack context, and are just plain wrong. [Grist]

¶   Over the past months, there has been a bit of a selling spree of Entergy stock. But this sell-off isn’t coming from just anybody: these sales are by corporate top executives. Between December and early April, five Entergy execs sold off large portions of their Entergy stock. [GreenWorld]


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