2015-03-05 Energy Week

Please note that this post is being developed.

Thursday, February 26:

  • The UK’s Department of Energy & Climate Change awarded contracts worth more than £315 million to 27 projects. ScottishPower got one to build a 714-MW offshore wind farm, RWE Innogy GmbH won for three onshore wind projects totaling 166 MW, and Lightsource will build a 14.67-MW solar facility. [Bloomberg]
  • SunEdison, the world’s largest renewable energy development company, is planning to supply electricity to 20 million unserved people around the world. The initiative will be led by a company group focused on developing sustainable business models and technologies for renewable energy in rural areas. [AltEnergyMag]
  • Under a new plan by governors of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, electric distribution companies will collaborate with state agencies on a bidding process for proposals for clean energy resources including wind, solar, small hydro, biomass, fuel cells and other low-carbon sources. [Lexington Herald Leader]

Friday, February 27:

  • “We Could Be Turning the Corner on Climate Change” – Efforts to reduce carbon emissions appear to be starting to work, and the link between economic growth and energy consumption is breaking. For example, last year, coal consumption fell for the first time in China, by 2.9% from 2013. [SustainableBusiness.com]
  • The Vermont House has advanced a wide-ranging bill on a Renewable Energy Standard and Energy Transformation program, or RESET. The requirement would be that utilities get 55% of their power from renewable sources by 2017, ramping up to 75% by 2032. Some have met or exceeded those goals already. [Valley News]
  • Massachusetts utility companies are preparing to buy enough renewable energy to power 136,000 homes under the major initiative announced for Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island on Tuesday. The companies may buy up to 817 GWh of electricity per year under a request for proposals. [Boston Globe]

Saturday, February 28:

  • “We Could Be Turning the Corner on Climate Change” – Efforts to reduce carbon emissions appear to be starting to work, and the link between economic growth and energy consumption is breaking. For example, last year, coal consumption fell for the first time in China, by 2.9% from 2013. [SustainableBusiness.com]
  • A redox flow battery designed at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory more than doubles the amount of energy this type of cell can pack in a given volume, allowing it to rival lithium-ion batteries. If the device reaches mass production, it could find use in fast-charging transportation and grid storage. [Gizmag]
  • A report from the International Renewable Energy Agency published in January confirms that onshore wind-generation costs are competitive with those of the fossil-fuel sources. The latter are in the $45-140/MWh range, wind comes in at an average $55/MWh. Irena also confirms that costs are falling. [Windpower Monthly]
  • The Vermont House has advanced a wide-ranging bill on a Renewable Energy Standard and Energy Transformation program, or RESET. The requirement would be that utilities get 55% of their power from renewable sources by 2017, ramping up to 75% by 2032. Some have met or exceeded those goals already. [Valley News]

Sunday, March 1:

  • Water is eating away at the Antarctic ice, melting it where it hits the oceans. As the ice sheets slowly thaw, water pours into the sea — 130 billion tons of ice (118 billion metric tons) per year for the past decade, according to NASA satellite calculations. That’s the weight of more than 356,000 Empire State Buildings. [Huffington Post]
  • The UK’s Liberal Democrats set out plans to double the UK’s production of renewable electricity by the end of the next parliament and make Britain zero carbon by 2050. They say they have already created a low-carbon, pro-renewable, and more energy secure nation less reliant on unstable regimes for energy. [Liberal Democrats]

Monday, March 2:

  • Spain’s renewable energy plants produced 48% of the country’s power in February. Wind power generation produced 27.6% of the total Spanish electricity production for the month. Hydroelectric produced 15.7%. Solar PV and concentrated solar power accounted for 2.2% and 0.9%, respectively. [SeeNews Renewables]
  • National Bank of Abu Dhabi, one of the biggest banks in the oil-rich Gulf countries, says fossil fuels can no longer compete with solar technologies on price. The NBAD report says the most recent solar tender showed even at $10/barrel for oil, and $5/mmbtu for gas, solar is still a cheaper option. [RenewEconomy]
  • According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, new funds invested into clean energy gained 16% in 2014 to reach $310 billion. The record is still $318 billion, set in 2011, but there was a significant upward trend last year. Overall, the world added about 100 gigawatts of solar- and wind-power capacity in 2014. [Investing.com]

Tuesday, March 3:

  • “Renewable energy is conquering quirky nature of Britain’s climate” – Clever engineering is smoothing out the peaks and troughs of renewable power in Britain and having a positive effect on the power supply. It looks like this is making the nuclear industry redundant before a new station can be built. [The Guardian]
  • A documentary examining the deadly effects of smog on China’s population gripped the country after its release online this weekend. The 104-minute film, Under the Dome, explores how China’s noxious smog problem is harming urban residents. It has already been viewed tens of millions of times online. [Mashable]
  • Good news! Not only did China’s coal consumption fall by 2.9% in 2014, Glen Peters of the Global Carbon Project calculates that China’s CO2 emissions have also fallen, by 0.7%. So it’s clear that China’s efforts to cut its coal consumption and carbon emissions are not only real, but are already producing results. [Energy Collective]
  • Economist Jeremy Rifkin says a Digital Europe transition will revolutionize every commercial sector, disrupt workings of virtually every industry, bring unprecedented new economic opportunities, put millions back to work, and create a more sustainable post-carbon society, mitigating climate change. [Materials Handling World Magazine]

Wednesday, March 4:

  • Given the extreme hype over shale oil and fracking, one would expect the enthusiasm to translate into above average share performance for shale operators. This has not been the case. Share performance has actually been at best quite mediocre and in most cases just downright poor. [Energy Collective]
  • The town of Scituate, Massachusetts, has made more than a half-million dollars in less than three years through its agreement with Scituate Wind LLC, owner of a local wind turbine. The town has collected more than $500,000 since the 390-foot-tall wind turbine went online in April of 2012. [The Patriot Ledger]
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