2015-2-12 Energy Week

Please note that this post is being developed.

Thursday, February 5:

  • Energy use in federal post offices, court houses and military bases has dropped to its lowest level on record. The sharp decline is largely thanks to a Bush-era push to slash electricity and fuel consumption in thousands of facilities and vehicles. The total was the lowest since record keeping began in 1975. [Investing.com]
  • The electric power industry is turning away from coal, and clean energy is growing again in the US as investments in renewables increased in 2014 after a three-year decline. The 2015 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook report says US as second in the world behind China for clean energy investments. [Climate Central]
  • In the current legislative session, Republicans who control the Washington state senate jumped into the discussion of how to reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases. Senators from both parties outlined a plan for promoting such “carbon reduction investments” as electric-vehicle chargers and efficiency. [Bellingham Herald]

Friday, February 6:

  • On Wednesday new figures showing the “incredible strength” of Scotland’s renewable energy industry were announced by World Wildlife Fund Scotland. In January 2015, wind turbines alone produced enough average daily electricity to meet the needs of 146% of Scottish households, a 27% increase from 2014. [Blouin News Blogs]
  • The governor of West Virginia has approved a law repealing the state’s controversial 2009 Alternative and Renewable Energy Portfolio Act, which required the state to generate 25% of its electricity from renewables or alternative energy sources (including some coal-based technologies) by 2025. [World Coal]
  • An investment management firm, InfraRed, has announced its agreement to invest in the £1 billion Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon in Wales. The project is designed to generate around 500 GWh of electricity every year for 120 years, enough to provide nearly all of the domestic electricity for the Swansea region. [ITV News]

Saturday, February 7:

  • An engineer has devised a system to convert the power of the wind directly into heat in an invention which could rid Scottish roads of frost in the winter and allow certain crops to be grown for 365 days a year. He believes one of the systems could heat up to 250 acres of farmland and also generate electricity. [Herald Scotland]
  • Northern Ireland has one of the best wind resources in Europe. Nevertheless, until now they haven’t been able to make full use of them. That’s all about to change with AES’ plans to install Europe’s biggest electricity storage battery, a 10-MW lithium-ion battery array, at a site next to Kilroot power station. [Belfast Telegraph]
  • The National Hockey League today announced that it is ranked Number 17 on the US EPA’s National Top 100 list of the largest users of green power, making it the first professional sports league ever to achieve the distinction. The league has a number of significant green power achievements that it can point to. [NHL.com]

Sunday, February 8:

  • The Columbia, Missouri Water and Light Department generated 7.22% of its energy for utility customers using renewable sources, exceeding the 5% goal for 2014 and nearly halfway to the 15% objective by 2018. At the end of 2014, the city had spent $1.12 million of the $3.29 million allotted for renewable energy. [Columbus Telegram]
  • New York state is encouraging community-based microgrids through NY Prize, a $40 million first-of-its-kind competition announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The competition was discussed before an audience of a hundred at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at SUNY Poly last week. [Troy Record]
  • “Nuclear Energy Renaissance Takes Another Blow and May Never Recover” – Setbacks like the Vogtle Nuclear Plant faced this week have become all too predictable in the nuclear industry, and they’re the reason a nuclear renaissance is unlikely in the US. Costs are simply too high, and competition too strong. [Motley Fool]

Monday, February 9:

  • After decades of studies and field surveys, India has finally decided to focus on tapping clean and renewable geothermal energy. The Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has drafted a national policy, which would make India a global leader in the sector, generating 1,000 MW in phase one, by 2022. [Daily News & Analysis]
  • A report by international energy research company Wood Mackenzie says solar PV has the capacity to disrupt the US energy landscape with speed and tumult similar to the shale industry. It may even directly impact natural gas markets in the near future, as it has already begun to in California. [pv magazine]
  • India has resolved US concerns about its existing nuclear liability regime, setting the stage for commercial negotiations to generate atomic power. However, the foreign ministry categorically stated that India’s nuclear liability law and its associated rules would not be changed, maintaining liability for reactor builders. [Economic Times]

Tuesday, February 10:

  • The European wind sector installed more new capacity than gas and coal combined in 2014. The industry connected a total of 11,791 MW to the grid while coal and gas added 3305 MW and 2338 MW respectively. The coal and gas industries retired more capacity than they commissioned last year. [reNews]
  • Firms in Norway and Germany on Tuesday signed an agreement to build an over 600-km long power cable linking the electricity networks of the two countries, with 500 km under water. The Nordlink project is estimated to cost up to €2 billion ($2.2 billion) and is expected to go online in 2020. [Europe Online Magazine]
  • Desert Sunlight Solar Farm, a 550-MW farm that is the largest on public lands managed by the federal Bureau of Land Management, has begun operating and will provide enough energy to power more than 160,000 average California homes annually, according to the CEO of the farm’s developer. [Los Angeles Times]

Wednesday, February 11:

  •  In Australia, the Bulli Creek solar project received approval from the Toowoomba Regional Council for building up to 2,000 MW over the next eight years across 13,000 acres of cattle grazing land. It has the option of building out the site in manageable stages of 100 MW to 500 MW or more per stage. [Renew Economy]
  • New figures released by the Global Wind Energy Council show that the global wind industry grew by 44% in 2014, installing over 51 GW. The figure indicates a “solid sign of the recovery of the industry after a rough patch in the past few years.” The cumulative total worldwide was about 369,500 GW at year’s end. [CleanTechnica]
  • Vermont Gas Systems has abandoned its plan to bring natural gas under Lake Champlain to a New York paper mill after the plant withdrew its financial support. The pipeline, proposed to go from Middlebury under the lake to the International Paper facility in Ticonderoga, New York, proved too expensive. [vtdigger.org]
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