2014-10-30 Energy Week

Please note that this post is being developed.

Friday, October 24:

¶   European leaders agreed to cut carbon emissions by at least 40% by 2030, in a move that could pave the way for a global treaty on tackling climate change next year. The wording means that the target could be raised to 50% in the event an ambitious emissions reduction deal is agreed in Paris next year. [Business Green]

ew 10-30-14 volcano¶   Japan warned that a volcano in southern Japan located roughly 64 km (40 miles) from the Sendai nuclear plant was showing signs of increased activity that could possibly lead to a small-scale eruption and warned people to stay away from the summit. The government is trying to get the Sendai plant restarted soon. [www.worldbulletin.net]

¶   Since Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey, darkening swaths of the nation’s most densely populated state for days, a microgrid at Princeton University has emerged as a national example of how to keep power running for residents, emergency workers and crucial facilities when the next disaster strikes. [Princeton University]

Saturday, October 25:

¶   Rick Piltz passed away. He was a prominent whistleblower during the George W. Bush administration, leaking internal documents, showing that the administration was actively obscuring climate science. A White House staffer later admitted to editing reports to downplay effects of climate change. [Scientific American]

¶   Nuclear power generation will account for less than 30% of all electricity generated in Japan, according to the newly appointed economy minister. This is the first time a minister has referred to a specific rate for electricity generated at nuclear power plants since the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011. [The Japan News]

image¶   The Ford Focus Electric 2015 edition is getting a significant price cut of about $6000, down to $29,995, according to recent reports – thus finally putting it on competitive terms with the market leader, the Nissan LEAF. This is actually the second price cut for the Ford Focus Electric, which debuted at $39,995 four years ago. [CleanTechnica]

Sunday, October 26:

¶   Masao Uchibori, the only party-candidate running, won the Fukushima gubernatorial election, according to The Yomiuri Shimbun. While all six candidates aimed to decommission the all remaining nuclear reactors in the prefecture, Uchibori was the only one to back restarting other Japanese nuclear reactors. [The Japan News]

¶   According to data published by the China Coal Resource, China’s coal use has dropped this year by 1.28%, a downward trend started in the second quarter of 2014 and continued in the third. This, despite the fact that electricity consumption has actually increased by 4% over the year to date. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Australian Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane says the government hasn’t walked away from a 20% renewable energy target, but a drop in power consumption has required a “recalibration”. The government wants to adjust the RET to a “real 20%”, in effect slashing it from 41,000 GWh to about 27,000 GWh. [Yahoo!7 News]

Monday, October 27:

A man walks his two dogs past Stirling Castle graveyard on December 3, 2012 in Stirling, Scotland. Snow and sleet has hit many parts of Scotland with heavier falls expected over higher grounds.¶   The risk of severe winters in Europe and northern Asia has been dubled by global warming, according to new research. The counter-intuitive finding is the result of climate change melting the Arctic ice cap and causing new wind patterns that push freezing air and snow southwards. [The Guardian]

¶   Solar giant SunEdison made several announcements last week in relation to major solar energy projects in California, as it completes major phases of project development. To date, the company has completed 382 projects in California in total, adding more than 489 MW of solar capacity in the state. [Energy Matters]

Tuesday, October 28:

¶   The states of New York, Connecticut, and Vermont and the Prairie Island Indian Community in Minnesota filed separate appeals to challenge the NRC’s review on nuclear storage. They contend that federal officials did not conduct a thorough analysis of the long-term risks of dry-cask storage. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

¶   New data highlights the catastrophe of the Australian Coalition government’s campaign against renewable energy. In a period when possibly 1,000 MW of solar projects should have been commissioned, just 10 MW of solar projects have been committed in 2014, almost one third of them on IKEA’s rooftops. [RenewEconomy]

¶   A town in southwest Japan became the first to approve the restart of a nuclear power station on October 28, one step in Japan’s fraught process of reviving an industry left idled by the Fukushima nuclear crisis in 2011. Satsuma-sendai, a town of 100,000, has long relied on the Sendai nuclear power plant for government subsidies and jobs. [Asahi Shimbun]

¶   A new Alevo factory in Concord, North Carolina will produce shipping containers loaded with Alevo batteries to provide 2 MW of power (1 MWh of energy) to be attached to grids at strategic locations. These units will also provide a range of services to deliver efficiencies and eliminate waste. [Renewable Energy Focus]

Wednesday, October 29:

¶   “Every­thing is im­pos­sible until it is done,” says an official of the German region of Rhein-Hunsruck. The district uses wind, sol­ar, bio­mass and hy­dro sup­ply 177% of its elec­tri­city, and sells the sur­plus. C02 emis­sions have fall­en by 64% since 1990 and the economy has $50 million per year more than it had. [Edmonton Journal]

¶   The results of India’s latest solar auction are in, and it is bad news for developers of Australian coal projects – solar PV is cheaper for Indian users than the electricity price needed to pay for imports of coal from Australia. The low bids were below $0.09/kWh, at a price at which coal imports are not economically viable. [RenewEconomy]

China Green-Energy Industry¶   China is on course this year to build four times the total wind power installed in all of Denmark as developers push to build the turbines ahead of cuts to incentives originally designed to spur the industry. The nation may add as much as 20 gigawatts of wind power in 2014 and maintain that pace next year. [Businessweek]

¶   Europe is on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 24% by 2020 from 1990 levels, four percentage points higher than its goal, the European Environment Agency reported. The bloc was also on its way to meet the target of having renewable sources account for at least 20% of energy needs by 2020. [Channel News Asia]

Thursday, October 30:

¶   “Wind Power Is Cheaper, More Reliable, Than Natural Gas” There is a lesson to be learned from the debate in Australia and the analysis it produces: Not only is traditional fossil generation intermittent – and dangerously so – but the intermittency of some renewables is simply not a problem. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Germany is considering removing some of its coal plant capacity as part of a raft of new policies to help meet greenhouse gas emissions goals. On 3 December, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet is to decide on a programme that is likely to include steps to boost energy efficiency and possibly reduce coal generation. [EurActiv]

¶   Rooftop solar PV systems have reached grid parity – which means it costs the same or less than getting electricity from the power grid – in 10 US states. According to the latest report of the solar energy analyst at Deutsche Bank, by 2016, solar rooftop will reach grid parity in all 50 US states. [Treehugger]

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