2015-04-09 Energy Week

Please note that this post is being developed.

Previously missed, but important 

  • “A Reagan approach to climate change” George Shultz says observations of a changing climate are simple and clear, so he concludes that the globe is warming and that carbon dioxide has something to do with that fact. He says those who say otherwise will wind up being mugged by reality, and he proposes a carbon tax. [Washington Post]

Thursday, April 2:

  • The global wind market can expect continued growth for the rest of the decade, according the Global Wind Energy Council. They suggest the market will top 50 GW again in 2015 and reach 60 GW per year by 2018. China will lead growth, the body said, and seems on track to hit 200 GW ahead of its 2020 target. [reNews]
  • In a major new report, global investment bank Citigroup has defined the current battle between cheap oil, and renewables like wind and solar, to be so fundamental it will define the future of energy. But it says renewables will win out because of basic economics, energy security, and environment and issues. [CleanTechnica]
  • Some UK coal-fed power stations are at risk of halting for the summer after the doubling of a carbon emissions levy hurt the profitability of plants run by utilities. The UK carbon price support, designed to help fight global warming, increased by 88% on April 1, causing one measure of profitability to drop 53%. [Bloomberg]

Friday, April 3:

  • According to Red Electrica de Espana, the Spanish peninsula got 69% percent of its electricity generation in March from technologies that produce zero carbon emissions. Nuclear as a whole provided 23.8% of the country’s electricity in March, while 47% came solely from renewable sources. [ThinkProgress]
  • SolarCity continues to beat its own electricity generation milestones at mind-blowing rates. SolarCity just surpassed the 5 GWh/day benchmark. This was just two weeks after reaching 4 GWh/day of electricity generation. And that is an increase of 40% from last year, when it reached 3 GWh/day in April 2014. [CleanTechnica]
  • A new report by the US Energy Information Administration finds in New England electric rates went up an average of 9% last year. Vermont’s Green Mountain Power, however, reduced rates by 2.46%. GMP has kept rates low for customers through a mix of things, including innovative products and services. [vtdigger.org]

Saturday, April 4:

  • The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis estimates that the share of coal-generated electricity in China will decline from 72.5% in 2014 to 60% in 2020. While last year’s drop in coal use may have been a technical blip, Chinese coal consumption is expected to peak very soon, probably next year. [Journal of Turkish Weekly]
  • The sharp drop off of drilling activity in the offshore oil and gas industry, including the UK’s North Sea, means offshore services contractors are now seriously under-employed. Day rates have been dramatically reduced. And industry experts predict the capital expenditures savings could be in the order of 15-20%. [Proactive Investors UK]
  • Since President Obama took office, solar electricity generation has increased 20 fold, doubling last year alone. The solar industry is adding good-paying jobs 10 times faster than the rest of the economy. The Administration intends to drive growth in the solar industry further while also supporting our veterans. [Imperial Valley News]

Sunday, April 5:

  • The UK’s National Trust will begin campaigning aggressively for action to combat the impact of climate change, which it says threatens the quiet landscape and atmosphere it was set up to shield. The Trust’s director general says its charity status does not mean it cannot speak out on the issue. [Kentucky Post Pioneer]
The UK’s National Trust aims to protect the British countryside.

The UK’s National Trust aims to protect the British countryside.

  • The Vermont Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee passed a resolution Friday declaring that human-caused climate change is real and calls on the state to take steps to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels. The resolution has 14 sponsors and is intended to show lawmakers take climate change seriously. [vtdigger.org] (Thanks to Julia Michel of VPIRG for forwarding the article.)
  • California has a giant reservoir to its west that could supply it with water. It is called the Pacific Ocean. With new state policy, desalination plants and related technology are being introduced or revived in the state. The $1 billion Carlsbad desalination plant, south of Los Angeles, is scheduled to open in 2016. [USA TODAY]

Monday, April 6:

  • Coal companies are in trouble because of low prices. They keep pulling coal out of the ground, taking a steady loss rather than one big write-down, in the hope that prices will bounce back. That, of course, is only adding to the supply glut in the US, the world’s second-biggest producer, and driving prices down further. [Bloomberg]
  • One of the more hilarious criticisms of renewable energy is that it costs too much. A report says the economies of China, the EU, and the US could save as much as $500 billion a year in fossil fuel imports alone if they switched to 100% renewable energy. There would be many other large benefits as well. [CleanTechnica]

Tuesday, April 7:

  • Solar PV is already upturning the business models of utilities around the world, yet right now it contributes just 1 per cent of global electricity demand. Imagine what its impact will be when it grows another tenfold in the coming decade. Deutsche Bank expects solar to become a $5 trillion market by 2030. [RenewEconomy]
  • The first grid-connected hybrid flywheel project in Europe has been announced and is to be sited in the Irish midlands. The development in storage will be welcomed by renewable energy industries as the technologies they offer continue to make inroads in affordability, cost effectiveness and grid stability. [PennEnergy]
  • According to a new report from the Solar Energy Industries Association, Vermont added 38 MW of solar energy capacity in 2014. This brings the state’s total installed solar capacity to 70 MW, enough to power approximately 7,500 average homes. $76 million was invested in Vermont solar last year. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

Wednesday, April 8:

  • New York State has issued a $160 million call for clean energy projects. Eligible renewable energy sources include wind farms, solar projects, fuel cells, biomass facilities, renewable biogas and the upgrading of small-sized to medium-sized hydropower projects that provide power to the electric grid. [reNews]
  • London-based solar developer, Lightsource Renewable Energy, has revealed that it connected over 300 MW of PV capacity in March. It energised 27 solar farms prior to renewable obligation support for projects greater than five MW being scrapped. The company has a target of owning 1 GW of UK solar capacity. [Solar Power Portal]
  • By the end of August, solar power should be part of Entergy Mississippi’s electricity-generation repertoire. The utility broke ground Tuesday on one of three solar projects it plans in Jackson, Senatobia and Brookhaven as part of its $4.5 million Bright Future Plan. It’s the first large-scale solar project in the state. [Jackson Clarion Ledger]
  • The growth of microgrid deployment in the US continues, with the latest project seeing a range of distributed generating technologies coupled with smart grid technology and storage. Network operator Oncor has labeled a Dallas area project with four interconnected microgrids the “most advanced microgrid in North America.” [pv magazine]
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