2014-11-27 Energy Week

Please note that this post is being developed.

Friday, November 21:

¶   UK farms offer 10 GW of untapped renewable energy potential, according to a report commissioned by the Farm Power coalition.The bulk of the power – three times that of the planned Hinkley Point nuclear plant – would be from ground-based solar and wind, with a smaller proportion from anaerobic digestion. [edie.net]

¶   China’s commitment on carbon-free energy could be met by roughly 1,000 nuclear reactors, or by 500,000 wind turbines or by 50,000 solar farms. The cost will run to almost $2 trillion, holding out the potential of vast riches for nuclear, solar and wind companies that get in on the action. [Bloomberg]

¶   Southern California utility customers will pay $3.3 billion in costs associated with the early shutdown of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, under a settlement approved Thursday by the California Public Utilities Commission. The deal resolves who pays, consumers or stockholders. [U-T San Diego]

¶   Texas transmission and distribution company Oncor is proposing installing energy storage on the Texas grid, with thousands of battery systems ranging from the size of a fridge to a dumpster around the state, having a combined power capacity of 5,000 MW and a combined energy storage capacity of 15,000 MWh. [Scientific American]

Saturday, November 22:

¶   Sir David King, former chief scientist and champion of the nuclear newbuild, says Britain might be able to do without atomic power altogether, and that the real priority should be on developing ways of storing electricity so as to be able to depend on famously intermittent sun and wind. [Telegraph.co.uk]

¶   Walmart has been showing off its green credentials lately. But look a little closer and this emperor’s outfit isn’t all that it appears to be. Only 3% of Walmart’s US power is supplied by its renewable energy projects and special green power purchases, according to data the company submits to the EPA’s Green Power Partnership. [Grist]

¶   The weather may be cold across most of North America this week, but back in October, temperatures were soaring around the world, in some places, reaching record levels over what is normally seen during the month. With the trends seen so far in 2014, this year may take the top spot as the hottest year ever recorded. [The Weather Network]

¶   The market research firm IHS has just projected that the home energy storage market will grow 10 times over from 2014 to 2018, going from 90 MW in 2014 to 900 MW in 2018. Areas of growth are expected to include Germany, Australia, Italy, the UK, California and Hawaii. [CleanTechnica]

Sunday, November 23:

¶   Australian energy provider AGL Energy gave some insight into how it was preparing for solar and storage. AGL plans to launch its own power purchase agreement model early next year that will allow solar and storage to be installed in homes at zero upfront cost. It says it aims to have one million “distributed” customers by 2020. [CleanTechnica]

¶   India’s recently announced target to install 100 GW solar power capacity by 2022 could make it one of the largest solar power markets in the world and put it in direct competition with China. Essentially, India wants to do in five years what China plans to do in 10 years! [CleanTechnica]

¶   Germany is arguably the leading renewable energy market in the world. It’s big in wind energy, biomass energy, and of course solar energy. Professor Doctor Bruno Burger of the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has released a series of charts on the Germany renewable energy market. [CleanTechnica]

Monday, November 24:

¶   The cost of electricity from wind and solar has plummeted over the last five years, so much so that in some markets renewable generation is now cheaper than coal or natural gas. The trend has accelerated this year, with several companies signing power purchase agreements for solar or wind at prices below that of natural gas. [Boston Globe]

¶   A recent study on critical resources for renewable power was performed by the Wuppertal Institute. The conclusion is that the problem of mineral availability for renewable energy technologies is not critical if we choose the right technologies and we are careful to recycle the materials used as much as possible. [Resilience]

¶   A Power-to-Liquids demonstration rig which is the first of its kind in the world was officially inaugurated by Dresden-based sunfire GmbH. The new rig uses sunfire’s PtL technology to transform water and CO2 to high-purity synthetic fuels (petrol, diesel, kerosene) with the aid of renewable electricity. [RenewEconomy]

Tuesday, November 25:

¶   A UK’s long-delayed final decision on whether the French electricity utility company EDF will build two 1.6-GW nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset was due in the new year. Projected costs have risen to  £25 billion ($39.4 billion), leaving the British government considering whether it is a just white elephant. [eco-business.com]

¶   The federal government said Monday that it will hold its largest-ever competitive lease sale for offshore wind development early next year. The area is more than 742,000 acres off the coast of Massachusetts. If fully developed, the area could support as much as 5 GW of commercial wind generation, enough to power more than 1.4 million homes. [Houston Chronicle]

¶   The World Bank will invest heavily in clean energy and only fund coal projects in “circumstances of extreme need” because climate change will undermine efforts to eliminate extreme poverty, says its president Jim Yong Kim. He was alarmed by World Bank-commissioned research from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. [Business Green]

Wednesday, November 26:

¶   “Google engineers say renewable energy won’t solve climate change” Can climate change be solved with technologies like wind and solar energy? No, it can’t, according to a new report by two Google engineers. [Fox News] (You should be aware of this very widely published story. It is about a project Google terminated years ago. The data in it are comically out of date. It is misleading. But they call it “news.”)

¶   NRG Energy, the second-largest conventional power generation company in the US, has broken ground on corporate headquarters touted as not just “green,” but “ultra-green,” and grid-resilient. NRG’s green, co-generation and solar-powered headquarters will showcase the ability of businesses to foster sustainability while reducing grid dependence. [Fierce Energy]

¶   The Vermont Department of Public Service and its Clean Energy Development Fund are seeking proposals from qualified financial institutions with a physical presence in Windham County, Vermont that offer loans to residential customers interested in development of the Windham County Solar Finance Program. [Commons]


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