2014-05-01 Energy Week

These are news items covered in Energy Week with George Harvey and Tom Finnell – May 1:


¶   Africa’s largest wind farm, at Tarfaya in southwestern Morocco, has started generating electricity and will be capable of meeting the electricity needs of several hundred thousand people, officials say. It has a capacity of 300 MW. [Al-Arabiya]

¶   Solar power now accounts for about 1.1% of the total capacity of the US electrical grid, the US Energy Information Administration said in its monthly report on electricity generation in the US grid. Solar power has had a 418% increase in capacity since 2010. [UPI.com]

¶   ConEdison Solutions and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey unveiled one of four new solar installations at Newark Liberty International Airport. It is a 633 kW solar system, the first at any airport buildings operated by The Port Authority. [Renewable Energy Magazine]


¶   “Rooftop Solar — Are The Grids Really Needed?” Being offgrid in the outback makes economic sense, but the bigger question for network operators around the world is whether those in more populated areas, even in the cities, will look to adopt similar measures. [CleanTechnica]

¶   In yet another signal that era of fossil fuels is drawing to a close, a jury has just awarded a whopping $3 million to a Texas family for health and property impacts linked to a nearby Aruba Petroleum fracking operation. [CleanTechnica]

¶   GE Energy Financial Services announced it has exceeded $10 billion in renewable energy investment commitments worldwide to become one of the industry’s leading investors. The projects avoid greenhouse gases equivalent to the annual car emissions in Massachusetts. [Today’s Energy Solutions]


¶   A new report from New York state, where a de facto shale drilling moratorium has persisted since 2008, concludes that unless natural gas prices double, much of the shale gas in the state cannot be profitably accessed by oil and gas companies.[CleanTechnica]

¶   There are choices for biogas projects about what to do with the gas. A developer may produce power for sale to the grid, but there is increasing appeal in using it to replace natural gas, offsetting fuel costs. New chemical processes make that conversion easier. [Biomass Magazine]


¶   In Australia, up to $4 billion worth of gas-fired power stations are in danger of being “stranded” as gas prices explode and the renewable energy target pushes extra generation into a grid already oversupplied with excess power, a new report has found. [The Australian]

¶   Officials in Taiwan say all construction will be halted at the island’s fourth nuclear power plant outside the capital, Taipei, after tens of thousands of anti-nuclear protesters marched through the city to demand the move. [Malaysia Sun]


¶   German and international researchers have succeeded in converting water, carbon dioxide and sunlight into kerosene, in a project that holds the possibility of producing completely renewable jet fuel. [The Local.de]

¶   Green Mountain Power has announced that under a revenue sharing agreement stemming from the sale of Vermont Yankee in 2002, GMP will receive as much as $17.8 million. That money will be directed to GMP customers in the form of lower rates. [Green Energy Times]

¶   Lower natural gas prices and stagnant growth in electric demand will lead to the loss of 10,800 megawatts of US nuclear generation, or around 10 percent of total capacity, by the end of the decade, according to the US Energy Information Administration. [Reuters]


¶   A key part of the Obama administration’s green policies received surprisingly strong Supreme Court support over efforts to curb air pollution. A 6-2 majority of justices issued a decision upholding federal agency rules to control coal-fired power plant emissions from 28 states. [CNN]

¶   The American wind industry continues the construction boom that started 2014, with more than 13,000 MW of wind energy projects under construction at the end of the first quarter [AltEnergyMag]

¶   A new report from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory estimates that there is potential for over 65 GW of new hydropower development across more than three million rivers and streams in the United States. [International Water Power and Dam Construction]


¶   China added nearly 40% less coal- and gas-fired power capacity in the first quarter than it did a year ago mainly due to stronger pollution controls and slower economic growth, according to a senior government advisor. [The Canberra Times]

¶   Platts confirmed CSX Corporation’s train that exploded in Lynchburg, Virginia was carrying sweet crude obtained via hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale basin. CSX CEO Michael Ward has also confirmed this to Bloomberg. [De Smog Blog]



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