2015-03-19 Energy Week

Please note that this post is being developed.

Thursday, March 12:

  • Figures from the China Electricity Council indicate that non-fossil fuel sources of energy accounted for more than a quarter of the country’s electricity generation in 2014. China’s total generation reached 5550 TWh in 2014; non-fossil fuel generation was 1420 TWh, rising by 19.6% year-on-year. [CleanTechnica]
  • Nicaragua produces no oil, but is a land of fierce winds, tropical sun and rumbling volcanoes. In other words, it’s a renewable energy paradise. Now it’s moving quickly to become a green energy powerhouse, and the vast majority of Nicaragua’s electricity will come from hydroelectric, geothermal, and wind. [NPR]

    Solar panels in Nicaragua. Photo by Max L. Lacayo. From Wikimedia Commons.

    Solar panels in Nicaragua. Photo by Max L. Lacayo. From Wikimedia Commons.

  • What Michigan’s staunch conservatives want is a commitment to continue moving power production to green sources such as wind and solar at the rate of 1% to 1.5% a year; encouragement of micro-grids powered by solar panels and windmills, and a reduction in reliance on out-of-state fuel sources, namely coal. [The Detroit News]
  • As part of the US Solar Market Insight, 2014 Year-in-Review report, the authors provided national solar PV system pricing. Solar system costs fell by 9–12% over the course of 2014, depending on market segment. Total costs for utility-scale and large commercial-scale systems fell below $2.00/W DC. [CleanTechnica]

Friday, March 13:

  • Uruguay’s wind power output jumped 432.9% to over 700 GWh last year, driven by the installation of new plants, the local power market administrator said in its annual report. Excluding hydroelectricity, renewable energy supplies more than doubled year-on-year to 1,364 GWh and covered 13.2% of demand. [SeeNews Renewables]

A1 wind

  • In a refresh to its 2008 Wind Vision report, the DOE said the wind industry had demonstrated an ability to scale up and drive down costs, avoid causing grid disruptions, and not be too big of a pain in the neck to critters or communities – making 35 percent by 2050 “an ambitious but feasible deployment scenario.” [Breaking Energy]
  • Leelanau Township, Michigan, is finalizing its Renewable Energy Community Plan as it moves toward being 100% powered by wind and solar, with efficiency helping. It is one of a number of towns and cities that have done this or are in the process. There is a web site tracking the progress of American communities. [SustainableBusiness.com]

Saturday, March 14:

  • The International Energy Agency announced Friday that energy-related CO2 emissions last year were unchanged from the year before, totaling 32.3 billion metric tons of CO2 in both 2013 and 2014. It shows that efforts to reduce emissions to combat climate change may be more effective than previously thought. [Climate Central]
  • NRG is the biggest privately owned centralized generator in the US, with large nuclear, coal and gas assets in a 50-GW portfolio that nearly matches the size of Australia’s entire electricity grid. Its CEO foresees a “tsunami” of closing polluting coal plants and uncompetitive nuclear, replaced by renewables. [CleanTechnica]
  • Michigan must set attainable energy goals and look towards renewable energy sources to keep energy prices down and avoid widespread outages, Governor Rick Snyder said in a special message on energy. The state’s new goal is to get 30% to 40% of its energy from renewable sources and reduced waste by 2025. [Daily Detroit]

Sunday, March 15:

  • Traditionally, the electricity grid has relied upon dirty “peaker” power plants to balance the grid during periods when electricity demand exceeds supply. Now, technology is available today that can help fill the gap of these peaker plants. This technology, also known as demand-side resources. [Energy Collective]

a1 Have-a-sunny-day

  • The second day of Egypt’s Economic Development Conference saw the country sign agreements and memoranda of understanding with international companies worth $158 billion. Most of the deals signed on Saturday were concentrated in the field of energy, reaching over $30 billion worth of investment. [Egyptian Streets]
  • Three years ago, the nation’s top utility executives gathered at a Colorado resort to hear warnings that solar panels posed a grave new threat to operators of America’s electric grid. Now, the industry and its fossil-fuel supporters are waging a determined campaign to stop a home-solar insurgency. [Buffalo News]

Monday, March 16:

  • China’s National Energy Administration released its General Outline for the Solar Power Disadvantaged Support Implementation Plan (Trial) which envisages a raft of policy measures for expediting the deployment of solar power in disadvantaged communities, including subsidies of up to 70% for the poor. [CleanTechnica]

Rooftop solar in Hong Kong. Photo by Snowacinesy, from Wikimedia Commons.

  • Punjab’s hard-working farmers can look forward to the end of some of their power-cut woes with the state government planning to launch soon a “farm-level solar power generation scheme”. The New and Renewable Energy Minister said farmers will be allowed to set up solar power plants of 1 MW to 2.5 MW. [SME Times]
  • The government of Egypt inked two pacts for the construction of 5 GW of solar parks in the country. Canadian solar firm SkyPower and Gulf Development Companies will build a 3-GW of PV facility, Bahrain-based Terra Sola Group and Tera Nix involves the construction of a 2-GW solar complex. [SeeNews Renewables]

Tuesday, March 17:

  • The $850 billion Norwegian Government Pension Fund has sold the majority of its shares in companies exposed to the Indian coal sector, citing financial and environmental risks inherent in their operations. The fund has also sold shares in US and European companies similarly exposed to the coal sector. [New Kerala]
  • New work from Carnegie’s Rebecca Hernandez (now at UC Berkley), Madison Hoffacker and Chris Field found that the amount of energy that could be generated from solar equipment constructed on and around existing infrastructure in California would exceed the state’s demand by up to five times. [Laboratory Equipment]
  • US solar giant SolarCity today announced the launch of a microgrid product with built in energy storage capability. SolarCity is going after the commercial market, targeting municipalities, which is a segment the company views as underserved. One reason to have municipal microgrids is extreme weather. [Breaking Energy]

Wednesday, March 18:

  • Scientists have raised concerns about a large, rapidly thinning glacier in Antarctica, warning it could contribute significantly to rising sea levels. They say they’ve discovered two openings that could channel warm seawater to the base of the huge Totten Glacier and bring the threat of potentially disastrous melting. [CNN]

Scottish Wind Turbines

  • New polling numbers from Britain’s YouGov has found that 71% of Scottish adults are in favor of the continued development of wind power as part of the country’s energy mix, a number that has increased from 64% two years prior. Wind power produced 146% of Scottish household needs in January of this year. [CleanTechnica]
  • China aims to install 17.8 GW of solar power capacity this year, China’s National Energy Administration said in a document posted on its website. This is up nearly 20% from the original goal of 15 GW of installations and nearly 70% from the 10.52 GW of solar generation capacity China installed last year. [Reuters Africa]



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