2015-1-29 Energy Week

Please note that this post is being developed.

Thursday, January 22:

  • A project called Second Life Batteries is bringing Bosch, the BMW Group, and Vattenfall together to interconnect used batteries from electric vehicles to form a large-scale energy storage system in Hamburg. As part of a virtual power plant, its energy is available within seconds to help keep the power grid stable. [Autocar Professional]
  • Dubai has more than doubled its target for renewables in its overall energy mix given the falling cost of solar power. The change comes days after the emirate upsized a planned solar after receiving what the consortium building the scheme said was the cheapest cost ever proposed to generate solar power. [Gulf Business News]
  • The US DOE announced an incentive program for developers adding hydroelectric power generating capabilities to existing non-powered dams throughout the United States. According to the DOE, equipping non-powered dams with generating capabilities could provide up to 12 GW. [Renewable Energy Focus]

Friday, January 23:

  • Vermont is considering legislation changing its energy policy. It would end a practice critics say double-counts benefits of its renewable power sources. It would also allow utilities to count for credit weatherization or efficiency projects they sponsor, such as new windows, insulation, biomass heat, or heat pumps. [San Francisco Chronicle]
  • “Why utilities across the nation are embracing community solar” – The shared renewables movement is catching on, and 2015 could be community solar’s year. Utilities and private sector players are immersed in plans. Regulators from California to the District of Columbia are working on program designs. [Utility Dive]
  • Powerful fossil fuel companies and energy utilities have taken control of key renewable energy lobby groups in Europe in an effort to slow the transition to clean energy, according to industry insiders. They have majorities on the boards of the European Wind Energy Association and European Photovoltaic Industry Association. [The Guardian]

Saturday, January 24:

  • Mexico will add 66 GW to its power grid over the next 15 years, with investments of $90 billion expected in renewables, according to a high-ranking Mexican energy official. The energy reform will create a competitive market and encourage use of renewables by awarding clean energy certificates. [Business News Americas]
  • Efforts to combat climate change will figure prominently in talks between Prime Minister Modi and President Obama this weekend. India wants more private sector partnerships and technology to support a drive to expand its use of clean energy from the US. The US wants a global climate change deal in 2015. [Bharat Press]
  • Ohio utilities are asking for sweeping bailouts for aging coal and nuclear power plants, to the tune of $3 billion. And Ohioans are asking why they should shell out billions to prop up harmful fossil fuels, when they could instead create thousands of good clean energy jobs, protecting their health and prosperity. [Huffington Post]

Sunday, January 25:

  • More than 800 MW of small-scale solar energy capacity was installed in Australia in 2014, according to recent figures released by Green Energy Markets. This 800 MW of new small-scale capacity was split amongst 185,950 different systems, with the average size of these systems being about 4.4 kW. [CleanTechnica]
  • President Obama and the new GOP-controlled Congress face showdowns over climate change, health, and environmental safeguards. But new public opinion research shows a strong majority of Americans, including Republicans, in five key states support existing protections and tougher environmental enforcement. [Investor Ideas]
  • The SunZia project, a proposed $2 billion transmission line that would carry renewable electrical energy generated by solar and wind resources in New Mexico and Arizona to markets across the West, is a single step closer to being in service following final federal approval. The line is to be 515 miles long. [National Review]

Monday, January 26:

  • The Indian government is looking to set a target of 100 GW under its national wind energy mission. While the mission is being mulled for almost a year it could be launched within months, if not weeks. The plan is to add 10 GW per year of windpower for seven years, adding to the country’s current capacity of 22.5 GW. [CleanTechnica]
  • The world’s largest oil exporter has chosen not to cut production, counting instead on lower prices to stimulate consumption, because consumption is declining, according to a former adviser to Saudi Arabia’s petroleum minister. The Saudis are watching investments in fuel efficiency and renewable energy. [Malay Mail Online]
  • Gas and electricity prices spiked last winter in New England. So far, this winter is different. In December, wholesale electricity and natural gas prices were down 55% and 64% from last year, respectively. January saw some price increases on cold days, but much less than last year. [Foster’s Daily Democrat]

Tuesday, January 27:

  • A new study has found that wave energy production, once the infrastructure is in place, would be a reliable, steady, and dependable source of electricity—even cheaper than wind power. Along the US coastline, it could make 1,170 TWh per year. That is enough to supply half the United States’ annual electricity demand. [TakePart]
  • The underlying theme of the agreements the US made with China and India, and the position taken by the leaders of the world’s three most influential national economies, is that coal no longer rules. The “all of the above” credo that once dominated their thinking on energy is morphing into “anything but coal.” [RenewEconomy]
  • The UK Government has been forced to perform a U-turn and concede to a number of Opposition amendments to squeeze through legislation that will allow shale gas development to go ahead. Ministers had to accept the 13 conditions laid out by Labour watering down fracking laws to pass them through Parliament. [Click Green]

Wednesday, January 28:

  • Global nuclear power capacity increased slightly in 2014. Five new reactors (4.76 gigawatts) began supplying electricity and three were permanently shut down. Nuclear generating capacity increased by 2.4 GW, compared to 26 GW for windpower. Thus a long-standing pattern of stagnation continues. [Business Spectator]
  • The world can enjoy higher standards of living and more travel, while drastically cutting emissions to avoid dangerous climate change, but only with sweeping changes to our infrastructure, the natural world, and agriculture, and continuation of poverty for many, UK Government analysis has found. [Greenwise Business]
  • The Vermont Public Service Department has awarded two Vermont-based companies, Casella Resource Solutions, Rutland, and Grow Compost, Waterbury, with Clean Energy Development Fund grants to build and operate pilot projects to demonstrate the feasibility of anaerobic digestion of food scraps. [Renewable Energy from Waste]
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