2015-01-15 Energy Week

Please note that this post is being developed.

Thursday, January 8:

  • German power sector greenhouse gas emissions fell in 2014, hitting their second-lowest level since 1990, according to German think-tank Agora Energiewende. The sector emitted 301 million tonnes of CO2 last year, down from 317 million in 2013. The previous low was 294 million in 2009 [Argus Media]
  • Fuel subsidies have been a constant issue for the Indonesian government for more than a decade. The growing consumption and the volatility of global oil prices have taken a toll on the state finances, reaching $19.6 billion in 2014, roughly 15% of the state budget. Now, the state is ending the subsidies. [Jakarta Post]
  • Illinois governmental agencies Wednesday issued reports proposing ways to prop up Exelon’s ailing nuclear power plants. The company says that at least three of its nuclear plants in the state could be closed for economic reasons and hopes to have nuclear plants included under a clean portfolio standard. [Morris Daily Herald]

Friday, January 9:

  • Mercom Capital Group tallied $26.5 billion in solar project investment from corporate funding sources during 2014. That’s an astounding 175% increase over 2013, when Mercom counted just $9.6 billion. The reason is that perception of the solar sector has moved from one of high risk to one with low-risk yields. [CleanTechnica]
  • So-called grid batteries could lower the cost of renewable energy by eliminating intermittency problems. Aquion Energy, a Pittsburgh-based startup that makes one such battery, announced that the technology will allow a small electricity grid in Hawaii to run around the clock on solar power. [MIT Technology Review]
  • With gas pump prices near their lowest levels in five years, greener, cleaner alternative fuels are taking a hit. Makers of biodiesel, a fuel made from vegetable oil or animal fats, are slashing prices and margins in a bid to stay competitive with the price of diesel fuel, which is down more than 20% from a year ago. [GlobalPost]

Saturday, January 10:

  • Researchers at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and DVGW have demonstrated that power from wind and solar power can be stored in the form of methane efficiently made from biomass-based carbon dioxide and hydrogen. The DemoSNG pilot plant constructed by the KIT will operate in Sweden. [Phys.Org]
  • The first Round-The-World flight powered entirely by solar energy has begun with transportation of Solar Impulse 2 — disassembled, in the belly of a Cargolux Boeing 747 — from the Payerne aerodrome in Switzerland to the departure and final landing city of Abu Dhabi, according to the Solar Impulse team. [CleanTechnica]
  • In April we reported that seismologists were hot on the trail of a “smoking gun” that would link fracking to earthquakes on Ohio. At the time the experts were a bit cautious, but earlier this week the Seismological Society of America came out with a definitive statement: yes, fracking earthquakes are real. [CleanTechnica]

Sunday, January 11:

  • Noted campaigning organization Avaaz recently sent a petition with the signatures of 2.2 million people to the UN secretary general. It asked all levels of government worldwide to transition to 100% renewable energy. Avaaz is currently aiming to get at least 100 cities around the world to join its campaign. [CleanTechnica]
  • Rochester Gas and Electric Corp has proposed a plan for easing the Ginna nuclear plant into retirement while lessening additional costs to clients. The proposal is part of proceedings to establish whether buyers should pay a premium for electricity from the aging plant, which is losing money. [West Valley News]
  • California, a national leader in advancing energy storage, envisions this technology as a critical component in reducing global warming, improving air quality and promoting energy independence. The state currently has several pilot projects, and is working toward commercialization of energy storage. [Imperial Valley News]

Monday, January 12:

  • Every year, botanists in the UK look for flowers in bloom on New Year’s Day. Even given Britain’s mild climate, it seems surprising that they usually find about twenty or thirty species flowering. This year, however, they were stunned. They found flowers of three hundred and sixty-eight species. [BBC News]
  • Battery startup Aquion Energy made a deal with an off-grid residential estate in Hawaii to supply a 1-MWh Aqueous Hybrid Ion battery. The battery will be combined with the Bakken Hale estate’s 176 kW solar PV system to provide for almost all of its electricity use — allowing for a completely off-grid setup. [CleanTechnica]
  • The latest ultra mega solar power project announced in India is in the state of Gujarat, the state that originated the concept of solar parks. It will also include wind energy installations. The new project announced under India’s ultra mega solar power policy will provide 5 GW of solar and wind power combined. [CleanTechnica]

Tuesday, January 13:

  • In India, SunEdison and Omnigrid Micropower Company Pvt Ltd announced that they have signed a framework agreement to develop 5,000 rural projects, representing 250 MW of electricity, throughout India over the next three to five years. They hope the deal will bring electric power to 10 million people. [Power Online]
  • Market research firm IHS projects growth in the global market for grid-connected residential PV solar installations with energy storage from the current 90 MW to over 900 MW in 2018. Cost reductions for storage, such as lithium-ion batteries, are starting to help drive the installation of solar systems. [SmartMeters]
  • The owner of the Vermont Yankee, nuclear power plant says the fuel has been removed from the reactor and placed in the spent fuel pool. The information was contained in a letter dated Friday from Entergy Nuclear Operations to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. [Greenfield Daily Reporter]

Wednesday, January 14:

  • A recently released report from the NC Clean Energy Technology Center suggests that in almost every one of America’s 50 largest cities, a solar PV system of typical size offers a better return than the stock market, and for 42 of them, the cost of solar is already less than from their local utility. [CleanTechnica]
  • Analysis of the impact US tight oil has on global oil markets shows that only around one quarter of the drop in US imports of 1.7 million barrels per day since 2005 to 2006 can be explained by the tight oil boom. Oil imports dropped by about 1 million barrels per day before the tight oil boom even began. [Resilience]
  • The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation recently wrote a piece highlighting the impressive potential for offshore wind development in the US. The figures say the US has a projected 4,223 GW worth of offshore wind generating potential, with 50 GW from the Ohio waters of Lake Erie alone. [CleanTechnica]




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