2014-05-22 Energy Week

These are the news items discussed in Energy Week with George Harvey and Tom Finnell on May 22, 2014:


¶   The Collaborative Commons is the first new economic paradigm to take root since the advents of capitalism and socialism. The Collaborative Commons is already transforming the way we organize economic life, with profound implications for the future of the market. [MarketWatch]

¶   The Global Sustainability Institute has done research indicating Britain has just 5.2 years of oil, 4.5 years of coal and three years of its own gas remaining. This would increase the UK’s dependency on countries like Russia, Norway and Qatar. [Fresh Business Thinking]

¶   The Obama administration is considering ways to cut greenhouse-gas emissions by as much as 25% by reaching beyond the power plants themselves and encouraging owners expand to renewable energy, improve the grid efficiency or encourage customers to use less power. [Businessweek]


¶   Last year Japan invested more than any other country in solar energy.  In 2013, 6.7 GW of solar capacity was approved for the feed-in-tariff scheme. Almost half of this was utility-scale solar. This year, it will be over 10 GW, with more than half of this being utility-scale solar. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Aberdeen-based Pilot Offshore Renewables aims to moor eight floating wind turbines ten miles off the Kincardineshire coast of Scotland. This would be the world’s first floating wind farm. Semi-submersible platforms would cut construction and installation costs. [Scotsman]

¶   An energy tax incentive bill, which failed to clear a procedural vote in the Senate May 15, may be revived. Largest among the energy tax credits in was an extension of the production tax credit of 2.3 ¢/kWh for generating new renewable electric power. [Bloomberg BNA]


¶   Ukrainian police stopped a group of armed men from entering Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, located in southeastern Ukraine. In video footage allegedly showing the attempted break-in, the men say they are members of the Right Sector group. [RT]

¶   Vermont Technical College will launch a bachelor’s degree program in renewable energy this fall. David Blittersdorf, renewable energy entrepreneur and president and CEO of Williston-based AllEarth Renewables, has committed $120,000 to support the new program. [Valley News]


¶   A NOAA-led study finds the location where tropical cyclones reach maximum intensity has been shifting toward the poles at roughly 35 miles per decade. Scientists attribute the shift to human-caused greenhouse gases, stratospheric ozone depletion, and increases in pollution. [Energy Collective]

¶   China intends to accelerate its deployment of solar power, after setting a new target to more than triple installed capacity to 70 GW by 2017 as part of its drive to cut its reliance on coal. The new solar target is double the previous one set for 2015. [Business Green]

¶   Global investment bank UBS says solar is likely to account for 10 per cent of global electricity capacity by 2020, as production costs continue to fall, and demand soars in the world’s major economies and in other markets. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Dutch trains will start running on wind energy from next year and the country’s entire rail network could be fully powered by green electricity by 2018. Wind farms in Holland, along with some in Belgium and Scandinavia, will supply 1.4 TWh for the trains. [Business Green]


¶   India will have to invest $834 billion in the two decades ending 2030 to reduce its emission intensity to gross domestic product by 42% over 2007 levels, according to a Planning Commission expert group. [Economic Times]

¶   US has announced charges against five Chinese military hackers for cyber espionage targeting the US private sector for commercial gain. The group allegedly conspired to target information in industries ranging from nuclear power, to renewable energy, to steel. [PennEnergy]

¶   Green Mountain Power has announced a new initiative called “eHome,” a first in the nation holistic home energy services program. The first home in the program is in Rutland and is called the Energy Home of the Future. GMP will establish 99 such homes as models. [Green Energy Times]


¶   Once again, the world hit record heat levels. The average global temperature last month tied the hottest April on record four years ago. It was 1.39° F (0.77° C) warmer than the average last century. [Huffington Post]

¶   Narendra Modi, India’s new prime minister, has promised to bring solar power to the 400 million Indians currently without electricity. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party – which swept to power on May 16 – has prioritized solar power in its energy strategy. [Blue & Green Tomorrow]

¶   Mexico announced a goal to increase its share of renewable energy to 32.9% of installed electricity generation capacity by 2018 at the Fifth Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM5) in Seoul. [solarserver.com]

¶   A regional Japanese court has ruled that two reactors of Ohi nuclear plant could not be restarted – at least for the time being. It’s the first time that a lawsuit brought by anti-nuclear plaintiffs has been successful in Japan’s forty-year history of nuclear power. [Deutsche Welle]

¶   New Mexico environment officials say more than 500 barrels of waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory were packed with kitty litter suspected of causing a chemical reaction and radiation release at the government’s underground nuclear waste dump. [El Paso Times]


¶   Good Energy released data showing that the UK now imports over 60% of the fuel it used to generate electricity in 2012, up by 12 percent since 2011. However, solar, wind, and other renewable technologies provided over a quarter of all the UK-based electric power in 2012. [Renewable Energy Magazine]


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