2014-06-26 Energy Week

The following is a list, with links, of the news items talked about on the BCTV show Energy Week with George Harvey and Tom Finnell, June 26:

Also on BCTV for the week is  Energy Week Extra: SolarFest


¶   “The EPA carbon plan: Coal loses, but nuclear doesn’t win” Assuming that states generally adhere to the prime directive of public utility resource acquisition—choosing the lowest-cost approach—the proposed rule will not alter the dismal prospects of nuclear power. [Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist]

¶   The Renewables 2014 Global Status Report says that 22.1% of the world’s electricity was generated from renewable sources in 2013. That percentage is expected to rise as countries across the globe pour money and resources into alternative, clean energy. [Wall Street Journal]

¶   The nation’s largest companies are leaving Washington gridlock on climate change behind and rapidly embracing renewable energy sourcing and greenhouse gas emissions reduction efforts, according to a new report from Calvert Investments. [Insurance News Net]


¶   Barclay’s rationale for the downgrade they gave the entire US utility industry is their expectation that for more than 20% of US electric consumers, solar combined with electric storage will be at least as cheap as power from utilities within 4 years.[Energy Collective]

¶   Climate change may drive a shift to more wind and solar power generation to conserve water, a US DOE report said this week. Thermoelectric power including gas, coal and nuclear, is responsible for 40% of US water use. [Responding to Climate Change]


¶   “Utilities unsure of future as environmental regs loom” Coal is under fire, gas and wind are blowing up, and consumers may yet wrestle control of power generation from their utilities. There’s a lot on the mind of your average electric company executive these days. [STLtoday.com]

¶   Polling for the Climate Institute shows 72% of Australians want to keep or expand the renewable energy target, which requires that 20% of energy is sourced from renewables by 2020, as the Abbott government considers abolishing the incentive. [The Guardian]

¶   As its nuclear plants increasingly look like an albatross rather than a boon, Exelon is at a crossroads. The so-called nuclear renaissance has not come, and the company would have to play catch-up other new investments. Or it could split off the nuclear generating business. [Crain’s Chicago Business]


¶   The Japan Meteorological Agency reported Monday that March-May was the hottest in more than 120 years of record-keeping. It was also the hottest May on record. This is all the more important because we are still waiting for the start of El Niño. [Energy Collective]

¶   Germany’s windiest area, Schleswig-Holstein, will probably achieve “100% renewable electricity” sometime this year. Schleswig-Holstein has a goal to generate 300% of its electricity consumption with renewables eventually.[CleanTechnica]


¶   The Australian federal government’s case to scrap or weaken the Renewable Energy Target has been dealt a blow, with modelling it commissioned for the review showing consumers will be better off if the target is kept. [The Canberra Times]

¶   At long last, America’s first offshore wind project, Cape Wind, has secured its permits, leases and is finalizing financing. Once turbines are erected, miles off-shore, it will begin producing most of the electricity for Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. [The Hill]

¶   Renewables have supplied 47.83% of new electrical generation in the U.S. since the start of 2012. The share of clean energy is rising, with non-fossil fuel generation accounting for 54% of new capacity from January to the end of May, according to FERC. [pv magazine]


¶   Several developments in the power sector, including growth in smart meters and variable renewable generation, have created an environment conducive to virtual power plants, which Navigant Research expects to be worth $5.3 billion in 2023. [Virtual-Strategy Magazine]

¶   The vast majority of Vermonters want to use less fossil fuel for their energy needs, but the cost to reduce one’s carbon footprint is a perceived challenge, according to a survey the Energy Action Network released last week. [vtdigger.org]

¶   The Northeast Biodiesel Diesel plant in Greenfield, Massachusetts has gotten a major boost toward becoming a reality with a $540,000 grant from the state Department of Energy Resources. The $3.5 million plant has been a work in progress for 10 years. [GazetteNET]


¶   New organic, non-toxic, water-based batteries that last five times longer than their lithium counterparts have been developed. Created by researchers at the University of Southern California, the batteries would also be much cheaper than lithium batteries. [The Conversation]

¶   The use of executive powers to regulate greenhouse gas emissions has been reaffirmed by the US Supreme Court in a ruling issued on Monday. This suggests President Obama’s climate policy has solid legal foundations. [Carbon Brief]


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