2015-03-26 Energy Week

Please note that this post is being developed.

Thursday, March 19:

  • Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin, who were among the authors of a new study published this week in the journal Nature Geoscience about the huge, fast-melting Totten Glacier in Antarctica, say it contains enough ice to raise the global sea level by at least 11 feet (3.4 meters). [CNN]
  • DNV GL, a large international testing body, gathered views from over 1,600 energy sector participants across more than 70 countries. Eight out of 10 respondents believe that the electricity system can be 70 percent renewable by 2050. Almost half of them believe this can be achieved in the next 15 years. [Your Renewable News]
  • A decision by the US IRS to give wind developers an extra year to bring projects online and still collect the $0.023/kWh production tax credit sets the stage for two years of robust growth. Prior to the decision, windfarms delayed by lack of congressional action had to be finished by the end of the year. [Windpower Monthly]

Friday, March 20:

  • If you live on the East Coast of the United States, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has just released some statistics that may surprise you: Globally, this has been the hottest winter on record, topping the previous record (2007) by 0.05°F. Only the East Coast of the US was below average. [ThinkProgress]
  • The Latin American country of Costa Rica has achieved the milestone of generating 100% of its energy from renewable resources, with a combination of hydropower and geothermal, for 75 days in a row. About 13% of the energy came from geothermal in 2010, and the country is building more plants. [CleanTechnica]
  • Growing by 105%, New York had the seventh most new solar capacity added last year in the nation, according to the recently-released US Solar Market Insight 2014 Year in Review. New York added 147 MW of solar electric capacity, bringing its total to 397 MW, enough to supply about 70,000 homes. [AltEnergyMag]

Saturday, March 21:

  • Global solar PV capacity is expected to increase by 177% from 2014 levels to reach 498 GW by 2019, according to new research from IHS. Alongside increasing capacity, IHS notes that “the large number of discrete country markets at the gigawatt-level will help reduce demand volatility.” [CleanTechnica]
  • UAE-based Masdar and Morocco’s Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau Potable signed a partnership to provide 17,670 solar home systems across 940 villages in the North African country. This and other initiatives, will result in 99% of rural Morocco having access to electric power by the end of 2017. [ArabianBusiness.com]

Sunday, March 22:

  • “The global coal boom has started to slow, as more plans for new power plants are now being shelved than completed. The number of cancelled coal projects across the world has outstripped those completed at a rate of two to one since 2010. [CleanTechnica]
    … I do not usually comment in the middle of the news, but in this case I will. As I consider the data in the article above, I have assembled my thoughts at a web page, “A Comment: the Future of New Coal Capacity.” In my view, this is not merely a slowdown. [geoharvey]
  • Emissions capped by Europe’s carbon market fell 3.7% in 2014, driven by higher output from renewable power producers and lower electricity consumption, according to analysts at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon. [Customs Today Newspaper]
  • Google and SolarCity teamed up to create a $750 million fund to promote affordable residential solar installations. The new fund will cover the upfront cost of solar panel installations in specified states, to bring the cost of solar power below fossil fuels. [Solar Love]
  • California risks a huge decrease in hydro-power as the dry spell is not going to end anytime soon. The state starts the fourth successive year of dry season that, most specialists say, is a consequence of the environmental change. [States Chronicle]

Monday, March 23:

  • China, the biggest renewable-energy investor, asked local authorities to ensure the purchase of all the clean power generated in the country. The nation has also asked renewable-power plants to run at full capacity, taking into account grid safety and stability, the National Development and Reform Commission said. [Bloomberg]
  • German energy provider Eon has become to the latest major company to move away from the North Sea, as it prepares to sell off its assets in the region. Firms operating in the North Sea have struggled over the past nine months, with a the price of oil plummeting combined with a stringent tax regime. [CITY A.M.]
North Sea oil platform. Photo by Stan Shebs, via Wikimedia Commons.

North Sea oil platform. Photo by Stan Shebs, via Wikimedia Commons.

  • A New Hampshire-based company, AgEnergyUSA, teamed with poultry giant Perdue to propose a $200 million plant on Maryland’s Eastern Shore to extract energy from chicken manure, offering its plan as a viable remedy for the farm pollution fouling the Chesapeake Bay. AgEnergyUSA also partners with EDF. [CapitalGazette.com]

Tuesday, March 24:

  • Germany’s Energiewende clearly has social license. Their electrical mix is already 27% renewable and Die Welt reports that 92% of the respondents in a new poll approve of the transition to renewable energy. 70% of the respondents to that poll said this transition was “Very or exceedingly important.” [CleanTechnica]
  • Earlier, we learned from the state-run Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) that Costa Rica got 100% of its energy from renewables for 75 days straight this year. Now the ICE says reliance on renewables has prompted the country to lower electricity rates by 12%, and the rates will probably continue to drop. [Greentech Media]
  • For the American Legislative Exchange Council, defections keep on coming. Now oil giant BP has left it. Among earlier organizations leaving is Google, whose Chairman Eric Schmidt denouncing ALEC for “literally lying” about global warming. Facebook, eBay, Yahoo, and Occidental Petroleum have also left ALEC. [SFGate]

Wednesday, March 25:

  • A Colorado company, Red Rock Biofuels, is planning a $200 million biofuels refinery in Lakeview, Oregon where it will refine jet fuel to be used by Southwest Airlines. The refinery will also produce diesel and naphtha fuel from its wood pulp stock through wood gasification and Fischer-Tropsch catalysis. [CleanTechnica]
  • The US DOE reported that California is the first state to get 5% of its electricity from large-scale solar power installations. In 2014, solar power plants in California generated 9.9 million MWh, more than all other states combined. The report does not count rooftop systems, which are a large part of the total. [SFGate]
  • Carbon Tracker’s report, “The US Coal Crash,” argues that coal demand is in a structural decline that could also befall oil and gas producers world over in coming years. Companies that fail to adapt to technological and policy changes that will ultimately curb greenhouse-gas emissions could lose billions. [Bloomberg]
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