2015-2-5 Energy Week

Please note that this post is being developed.

Thursday, January 29:

  • Large-scale wind projects are the most cost-effective way for Vermont utilities to meet proposed new renewable energy requirements being considered by the Legislature, according to testimony. A bill backed by the Shumlin Administration would have 55% of the power come from renewable sources by 2017. [Vermont Public Radio]
  • IKEA this week revealed demand for its greenest products jumped 58% last year to over €1 billion as consumers purchased such products as LED lighting, solar panels, and water-saving taps. Products that help customers achieve “a more sustainable life at home” are a major growth area for the company. [Business Green]
  • A UK village made famous after strong anti-fracking protests has installed the first community-owned solar panel project. Residents from Balcome, West Sussex set up an energy co-operative after the protests. The co-op has installed a total of 69 panels on the roof of a cow-shed at a nearby family-run farm. [E&T magazine]

Friday, January 30:

  • Germany’s newly installed onshore wind power capacity rose by a record 4,750 MW in 2014, marking what is likely to be a peak annual gain as the country gears up for a nuclear-free future. The increase production is roughly equivalent to one nuclear plant. It is a 58% percent bigger increase than 2013’s. [Reuters]
  • Countries from Mexico to Germany and Malaysia are increasingly taking advantage of cheap oil by trimming fossil-fuel subsidies, easing the way for renewable power that can help the environment. The IEA’s latest report says fossil fuel producers were paid $548 billion in 2013, a $26.5 billion decline. [Bloomberg]
  • New figures released by GTM Research show that the Latin America solar PV market grew by 370% in 2014, installing a total of 625 MW. In the fourth quarter of 2014 alone, Chile installed double the amount of Latin America’s annual solar PV total in 2013. Projections are for 2.1 GW of PV installed in 2015. [CleanTechnica]
  • Renewable energy production has outperformed natural gas resources, contributing nearly half of new generating capacity in the US in 2014. Various renewable energy sources such as biomass, geothermal, hydroelectric, solar and wind contributed 49.81% of new capacity. Natural gas accounted for 48.65%. [Greentech Lead]
  • The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board denied the state of Vermont’s request for a hearing designed to force Entergy Nuclear Vermont Yankee and Entergy Nuclear Operations to maintain an operational status regarding its Site Emergency Plan. [Nuclear Street – Nuclear Power Plant News, Jobs, and Careers]

Saturday, January 31:

  • Eos Energy Storage will be making its MW-scale Aurora system commercially available starting in 2016 at a price of $160/kWh, according to a recent press release. The company’s standard offering is a containerized 1-MW DC battery system that can provide roughly 4 hours of continuous discharge for cost-effective energy storage. [CleanTechnica]
  • Delays and cost overruns are piling up for a new plant in Georgia that was supposed to prove nuclear energy can be built affordably. Instead, the companies building first-of-their-kind reactors at Plant Vogtle expect they will need an extra three years and $1 billion to finish construction. [Savannah Morning News]

Sunday, February 1:

  • On Friday, 62 Senators approved Keystone XL. Fourteen of the 62 had voted for an amendment acknowledging that humans contribute significantly to climate change (the vote was 50-49). And nearly all of them had voted to acknowledge that climate change is no hoax and is happening now (98 to 1). [Scientific American]
  • Solar power has become the poster child of renewable-energy champions, leaving power sources such as biomass, hydro and wind in the shade. Small hydro isn’t dead, however, and small hydro projects can supply both energy and income through net metering, where the circumstances are right. [The Durango Herald]

Monday, February 2:

  • The two largest German power producers, RWE AG and EON SE, are keen to sell their gas-fired plants, rendered uncompetitive by the rise of renewable energy on the one hand and record low coal prices on the other. They will take them apart, move them by truck and ship and reassemble them elsewhere. [BizNews]
  • SMart Wind has handed in its planning application to the UK authorities for the second phase of the 4-GW Hornsea offshore wind project. Plans for the 1.8-GW phase are built around a layout of 360 Siemens turbines installed 90 kilometers off the Yorkshire coast. The 1.2-GW first phase was approved in December. [Recharge]
  • In order to curb pollution in the National Capital, Prime Minister Narendra Modi- led NDA government has approved plans to make Delhi free of petrol and diesel generators, according to the Power, Coal and Renewable Energy Minister. He also said a programme to transmit 7400 MW to Delhi has been approved. [indiatvnews.com]

Tuesday, February 3:

  • President Barack Obama’s proposed fiscal 2016 budget would make federal renewable energy tax credits permanent and provide billions of dollars for climate change initiatives, while eliminating almost $50 billion in fiscal incentives for the fossil fuel industries. He faces stiff opposition from Republicans. [Recharge]
  • Apple will build a $2 billion global command center in Mesa, Arizona, with 150 full-time employees. The tech giant said it would be one of the largest investments it has ever made. Apple has pledged to completely power the facility with renewable energy, building out solar projects in the process. [Yahoo!7 News]
  • Newly announced support from San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has the city kicking its potentially 100% renewable-energy power program, CleanPowerSF, into high gear. CleanPowerSF is a proposed city-run power program that would provide solar, wind, small hydro and other renewable energy to San Francisco. [San Francisco Examiner]

Wednesday, February 4:

  • Frustrated by its lack of influence in the siting of solar projects in town, the Rutland Town Select Board is distributing a resolution asking all Vermont municipalities to call for more municipal involvement in the Certificate of Public Good process required in permitting renewable energy projects in the state. [Vermont Public Radio]
  • A major Midwest utility holding company is teaming up with a Massachusetts equipment maker to create a statewide series of microgrids, including one in the Albany, New York Region. Microgrids using locally supplied power, including from renewable sources, can operate even during overall grid disruptions. [Albany Times Union]
  • European day-ahead electricity prices went sharply lower in January as wind power generation posted new records in Germany and the UK. The Platts Continental Power Index fell 7.44% in January to €35.81/MWh compared to December’s €38.69/MWh. The Index was down 11.12% from January 2014. [Your Renewable News]
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