2015-01-22 Energy Week

Please note that this post is being developed.

Thursday, January 15:

  • “Why the Smart Money is Betting on Renewable Energy – Brewing Solar Power Boom” The price of oil may be down, for a while, but the decline in cost of renewable energy means last year’s investment brought in almost double the clean electricity capacity than what it did only four years earlier. [The Market Oracle]
  • German offshore windpower had 258 turbines totalling 1049.2 MW as 2014 ended. This is more than double what there was the previous year. A further 268 turbines totalling 1218.1 MW are in place but not fully grid-linked by the end of the year, so they are already set to more than double the capacity again this year. [reNews]
  • The Obama Administration is announcing a series of steps to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40% to 45% from 2012 levels by 2025, encompassing both commonsense standards and cooperative engagement with states, tribes and industry to put us on a path toward the 2025 goal. [Renewable Energy Focus]

Friday, January 16:

  • Prices of natural gas prices and electric power are not connected, as a graph from Deutsche Bank comparing them reveals. It shows that while natural gas prices in the US have fallen 88% since 2008, from a peak of $13/mmb to as low as $2/mmb, consumer electricity prices actually rose 20% over the same period. [CleanTechnica]
  • America’s clean energy economy is celebrating. A new report shows the solar industry’s explosive growth is creating new, highly skilled jobs at a rate nearly 20 times faster than the overall economy. One out of every 78 new jobs created in the US over the past 12 months was created by the solar industry. [Click Green]
  • Florida businesses and property owners would be able to sell a limited amount of solar energy under a ballot initiative for a constitutional amendment rolled out Wednesday by a coalition, “Floridians for Solar Choice,” that brings together free-market conservatives, retailers and alternative-energy supporters. [RenewablesBiz]

Saturday, January 17:

  • Wind power displaced £579 million of coal and gas imports in the UK in 2013, increasing resilience, according to Cambridge Econometrics. Coal imports were reduced by an estimated 4.9 million tonnes and gas by 1.4 billion cubic metres. Some 56% of the nation’s gas supplies and 79% of its coal were imported. [reNews]
  • Scotland’s rural electricity network is to receive its most significant upgrade in decades after Perth-based utility SSE accepted a new £1.118 billion funding proposal for the project. An SSE subsidiary agreed to develop the 1.2 gigawatt Caithness to Moray subsea transmission link with energy watchdog Ofgem. [The Courier]
  • The Cuban government wants to make Granma province 100% renewably powered as a model for the rest of the island. They are well on their way. In 2013, renewables supplied 37% of all the energy consumed in Granma province, and the province currently has 3,664 renewable energy systems in operation. [BillMoyers.com]
  • Michigan Governor Rick Snyder says he wants to look into weaning the state off coal-fired generation. Currently, Michigan sources about 50% of its power from coal-fired plants, but Snyder told the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum that now is the time to look at a long-term transition away from coal. [Platts]

Sunday, January 18:

  • European power sector emissions fell by 8% in 2014, and electricity consumption fell by 2.7%. These are fantastic numbers across the 28 member states of one of the most influential power-blocs in the world. This is according to Sandbag, which is dedicated to shining light on tracking emissions trading in the EU. [CleanTechnica]
  • A report from the International Renewable Energy Agency, Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2014, concludes that biomass, hydropower, geothermal and onshore wind are all competitive with or cheaper than coal, oil and gas-fired power stations, even without financial support and despite falling oil prices. [Utilities-ME.com]
  • Economic evaluation of US federal climate policies hinges on a social cost of carbon estimate of $37 per metric ton of CO2 in 2013. Unfortunately, each metric ton of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere causes $220 in economic damages, say the Stanford researchers, a staggering economic problem. [CleanTechnica]

Monday, January 19:

  • The Harvard quinone flow battery got worldwide media attention in early 2014 for its inexpensive non-metal electrolytes. Now, a team of developers at Sustainable Innovations have verified Harvard’s results. This success, with funding from ARPA-E, this cleared the way for building a prototype test battery. [PR Web]
  • Welspun Energy has announced fresh investment plans to expand its solar and wind capacity in India. Welspun Energy has signed agreements with the state government of Gujarat to install 1.1 GW of renewable capacity. The agreement includes 500 MW of wind energy capacity and 600 MW of solar energy capacity. [CleanTechnica]
  • SunEdison has signed yet another landmark deal with a state in India to set up large-scale renewable energy projects. SunEdison will set up 5 GW of solar and wind energy capacity in the southern state of Karnataka. This is the second such deal the company has signed but the first to include wind energy as well. [CleanTechnica]

Tuesday, January 20:

  • Saudi Arabia’s plans to build nuclear and solar energy projects will take about eight years longer to complete than originally intended, according to the head of the agency overseeing the projects. In 2012, the Saudi government said it would install 17 GW of nuclear power and about 41 GW of solar capacity by 2032. [Gulf Business News]
  • Fracking industry claims about job creation in the UK are wildly over-optimistic and any jobs boom would be short-lived, according to a new report. It also found investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy would create up to six-times more jobs than the same level of investment in fossil fuels. [Click Green]
  • Google has unveiled new plan to invest in two renewable energy projects worth more than $1.5 billion, reports Forbes. The first project consists of a $76 million investment in the 300-MW Balko Wind project in Oklahoma. The second is the 104-megawatt Red Hills solar power plant in Utah worth $157 million. [Greentech Lead]

Wednesday, January 21:

  • What President Barack Obama described as the greatest threat to future generations was neither terrorism nor ISIS. It wasn’t nuclear weapons in rogue states either. “No challenge  poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change,” said Obama in his State of the Union speech Tuesday. His statement was met with scattered, muted applause. [CNN]
  • Chile’s combined PV and wind installed capacity almost quadrupled in 2014 to about 1.2 GW. Solar capacity grew from 6.7 MW to 362 MW in the year, and wind capacity grew from 330 MW to 836 MW. Chile’s total installed renewables capacity of 2.2GW and another 1.2 GW is expected in 2015. [Recharge]
  • A Montana pipeline burst and sent 50,400 gallons of oil gushing into the Yellowstone River. The massive oil spill happened when the 12-inch pipeline, which crosses the Yellowstone River, ruptured Saturday about 5 miles upstream from Glendive, Montana. The state’s governor declared a state of emergency. [CNN]



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