2015-06-18 Energy Week

Please note that this post is being developed.

Thursday, June 11:

  • A new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency shows that 164 countries have now adopted at least one type of renewable energy target, compared to just 43 ten years ago. There are two other countries, Canada and the UAE, with renewable energy targets at the sub-national level only. [SeeNews Renewables]
  • Dozens of the UK’s leading businesses, including Willmott Dixon, Cisco, E.on, John Lewis Partnership, SSE, and BT, have called on the new Government to take decisive action to combat climate change and build a low-carbon economy. The group sent an open letter from the firms to Prime Minister David Cameron. [Click Green]
  • The recently released report by Stanford University showed that the US can go 100% renewable if homes, cars, factories, etc, all run on electricity. And before anyone comments that it is easier said than done, Mark Jacobson, lead researcher in the study, claims that it is feasible in just 35 years from now. [The Green Optimistic]

Friday, June 12:

  • “Microgrid power struggle tests century-old monopolies” – Microgrids that can disconnect from a centralized electric grid and operate independently are sizzling hot these days. Cities vulnerable to storms want them. People interested in lower power bills want them. And now, traditional utilities want them. [Environmental Defense Fund]

New York skyline when half the city was in blackout due to Hurricane Sandy. Photo by David Shankbone. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

  • The US residential solar market grew by 76% in the first quarter of 2015, compared to a year earlier, installing 437 MW, according to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association. The US installed 1.3 GW of solar PV across all market segments, despite one of the worst winters recorded. [CleanTechnica]
  • Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed H. 40, an energy bill into law that promises to create 1,000 new jobs and help Vermonters save on energy costs over a 15-year period. “I think it is the most forward-leaning legislation in the country,” Mary Powell, chief executive officer at Green Mountain Power, said. [vtdigger.org]

Saturday, June 13:

  • Ocean Renewable Power Co has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a two-year extension of its hydrokinetic pilot project license for the 300-kW Cobscook Bay Tidal Energy project in Maine. As a pilot project, licenses are short-term. The company is interested in continuing its research. [HydroWorld]

Photo courtesy of Ocean Renewable Power Co.

  • “How the Pope Could Turn U.S. Climate Politics Upside Down” Pope Francis is about to release a much-anticipated letter to bishops about faith and climate change. If it has the impact he is counting on, it could finally budge a glacier of frozen thinking on the crisis. Here’s how he may pull this off. [Bloomberg]

Sunday, June 14:

  • The countries that are the biggest polluters have offered different solutions, each using its own timeframe and accounting method, for the UN climate plan. Early analyses by climate researchers show the combined impact falls short of the sharp cuts in emissions required to keep global warming in check. [The Sentinel]
  • OCI Solar Power LLC, based in San Antonio, Texas, announced that it had started construction on the 110-MW Alamo 6 solar photovoltaic plant located in Pecos County, Texas. Once constructed, this will be the largest PV plant in Texas and one of the largest dual-axis solar projects in the world. [solarserver.com]

Monday, June 15:

  • Power prices in the UK may fall below zero during some hours before the end of the decade as intermittent renewables output is poised to soar, according to National Grid Plc. Negative power prices, already prevalent in markets from Germany to the Nordic region, occur when supply exceeds demand. [Energy Voice]
  • A peak in global energy-related emissions could be reached as early as 2020 and at no net economic cost, the International Energy Agency said, warning that without stronger action the world could see a temperature rise of 3° C by century’s end. The report identifies potential actions. [International Business Times UK]
  • In its latest Utility Solar Market Snapshot, the US Solar Electric Power Association offers welcome news: solar energy is becoming increasingly attractive to utilities. Solar has become the fastest-growing power source in the nation, and report forecasts 25% to 50% solar market growth in 2016. [CleanTechnica]

Tuesday, June 16:

  • After installing 718 MW of solar capacity in Q1 of 2015, California has become the first US state to surpass the 10,000 MW threshold, a new report shows. California deployed 231 MW of residential, 88 MW of commercial and 399 MW of utility-scale solar plants in Q1 and ended with a cumulative 10,649 MW. [SeeNews Renewables]

Solar park in California equipped by First Solar. Author: Russ Ferriday. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

  • TDI New England announced an agreement with the Conservation Law Foundation. It includes enhanced environmental and public benefits from a project running a 150 mile long transmission line under Lake Champlain, making Vermont part of the development of the New England Clean Power Link. [Rutland Herald]
  • Throughout the country, there are more than 80,000 dams, primarily used for flood control and irrigation. Today, just 3% are equipped to generate power. But that 3% produces nearly 7% of our electricity. Hydropower has huge potential for increased capacity. But there are problems with permits and licences. [The Hill]

Wednesday, June 17:

  • The International Energy Agency has revealed that global energy-related CO2 emissions stopped growing in 2014, halting at 32.2 Gt, unchanged from 2013. The IEA notes that, despite the global economy growing by about 3% across 2014, global energy-related CO2 emissions were able to remain unchanged. [CleanTechnica]
  • Gerard Mestrallet, the chairman CEO of Engie (formerly GDF Suez), a French company, signalled a big push against coal-fired generation, issuing a “call to arms against coal.” Engie happens to own the Hazelwood brown coal generator in the Australian state of Victoria, the dirtiest power station in the country. [RenewEconomy]
  • Canada has celebrated Global Wind Day by announcing it has become the 7th nation in the world to surpass 10,000 MW of installed wind power, enough for over three million homes. More wind energy has been installed in Canada over the past five years than any other source of generation, including coal and gas. [Energy Matters]
  • General Motors showed signs Tuesday that it may take on Tesla Motors in the stationary battery business with a different approach. GM is proposing to power homes, businesses and utilities with recycled used electric car batteries from cars like its Chevrolet Volt, which has both batteries as a gas engine. [USA TODAY]
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