2015-08-13 Energy Week

Please note that this post is being developed.

Thursday, August 6:

  • Planning consent has been given for the construction of the next stage of the giant Dogger Bank offshore wind farm in the North Sea, the biggest offshore wind project in the world. Dogger Bank Teesside A and B will boast up to 400 wind turbines and have an installed capacity of up to 2.4 GW, enough to power the annual electricity needs of two million British homes. [Click Green]
  • A recent poll of Republican presidential primary voters in the early voting states of New Hampshire and South Carolina finds an unexpected result for the seventeen candidates campaigning there. Most of those likely to vote in the Republican primaries in each of these states support regulating carbon pollution, and even support using President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. [ThinkProgress]
  • Don’t believe the naysayers who claim the federal Clean Power Plan is bad for business. Because when you talk to businesspeople, people creating jobs, fostering innovation and driving economic growth all across America, they’re likely to say the opposite. In poll after poll after poll, small business owners, executives and others express widespread support for the Clean Power Plan. [Huffington Post]
  • Electric utilities, oil companies and their allies spent $502 million on lobbying in the year since the Environmental Protection Agency proposed new regulations on carbon emissions from power plants, according to disclosures reviewed by Bloomberg. That’s 22 times more than renewable energy companies and environmentalists spent. But many other businesses support the plan. [Sydney Morning Herald] Post]

Friday, August 7:

  • The United States installed a record of 845 wind turbines, totalling 1,661 MW, in the second quarter of 2015. The turbines were spread out across 12 separate projects in five different states, however it was the state of Texas that blew the competition away in the second quarter, installing a total of 1,226 MW. This brings Texas’ total installed capacity up over 15,000 MW. [CleanTechnica]
  • Demand for Tesla Energy’s revolutionary battery “has been crazy,” according to the company’s founder and CEO Elon Musk. He said there have been more than 100,000 reservations (roughly worth $1 billion) for the batteries, which have sold out through 2016. Musk said, “You can basically, in principle, shut down half of the world’s power plants if you had stationary storage.” [EcoWatch]
  • A letter signed by 16 states opposes the EPA’s recently unveiled Clean Power Plan, requesting an “immediate stay” on a program the opposition says “unlawfully exploits Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.” The Clean Power Plan is opposed by states whose economies are heavily reliant on coal, which fear that conversions to cleaner sources might increase energy rates. [HydroWorld]

Saturday, August 8:

  • Entergy Arkansas Inc proposed what it called “a more reasonable” approach to deal with regional haze in Arkansas, in response to the Environment Protection Agency’s rejection of the state’s earlier plan to improve visibility in wilderness areas. Entergy would shut down its coal-fired operations at the White Bluff Electric Station instead of spending over $2 billion on scrubbers. [KUAR]

Entergy's White Bluff power plant near Redfield. Credit: Arkansas Business

  • Mary Nichols, the chair of the California Air Resources Board, said she hopes to implement new rules in the state that would eventually prohibit the sale of new cars that are equipped with internal combustion engines. The zero-emissions vehicle program California now has in place requires that 2.7% of new cars purchased in the state in 2015 be free of greenhouse gas emissions. [CleanTechnica]
  • Adding to a hydropower bill that he already laid before the Legislature, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has filed a bill to accelerate solar power industry growth in Massachusetts and then adjust incentives. The administration says its bill will help the state meet “well ahead of schedule” its goal of 1,600 MW of solar power by 2020, while lowering costs. [Wicked Local Brookline]
  • One of the Vermont’s most prominent renewable energy developers is proposing to build more wind power in a region of Vermont that has been divided over such projects for years. David Blittersdorf wants to erect two wind turbines on a Northeast Kingdom ridgeline in the 1,100-person town of Irasburg and produce enough electricity to power more than 2,000 homes. [vtdigger.org]

Sunday, August 9:

  • Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $63 million in loans and grants for 264 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide that USDA is supporting through its Rural Energy for America Program. These REAP projects are expected to generate and/or save 207.8 million kWh of energy, enough to provide power demands for more than 13,600 homes. [Imperial Valley News]


Monday, August 10:

  • Anaerobic digesters capture both the smell and the greenhouse gases of manure, providing fuel in the process. The EPA estimates that more than 3 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions were eliminated last year by 247 US livestock farms with biogas recovery systems. There are about 8,000 farms in the US large enough to make a biogas recovery system viable. [Capital FM Kenya]

Cows need no encouragement to make cowpower.

  • A deal that paves the way to build what will eventually be one of the largest solar arrays in the state of Vermont was finalized by the Windham Solid Waste Management District and developer Pristine Sun LLC. The 25-year agreement will have the solar development firm leasing land over a capped landfill from the waste district and financing the 5-MW solar project. [vtdigger.org]
  • The UK’s government wants to kick-start its nascent shale gas industry, with a pointed reminder to planning authorities that ministers wish to see fracking planning applications fast-tracked. Stressing an “urgent need” for development, the guidance will give the energy minister more freedom to intervene in hearing appeals against planning decisions on shale gas projects. [Business Green]
  • Entergy Arkansas intends to pay a little more than 5¢/kWh for electricity from a proposed solar farm. Entergy will buy power from NextEra, which plans to build an 81-MW solar energy farm on a 475-acre site about 7 miles southeast of Stuttgart, Arkansas. NextEra will spend more than $120 million to develop and build the solar farm, according to a spokesman for NextEra. [Arkansas Online]

Tuesday, August 11:

  • Abengoa and Toshiba Corporation have been picked to build the Tees Renewable Energy Plant, a 299-MW CHP project to be sited in Teeside, UK. The project will have a capacity of 299 MW from electricity and steam to be used in combustion and exported to nearby industrial facilities and consumers. The engineering, design, and construction contract is worth over €600 million. [reNews]

Image: an Indiana-based biogas plant (Abengoa)

  • Could the United States be on the verge of a wind energy renaissance? It’s quite possible, now more than ever before. According to a new report produced by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the price of wind energy in the United States is at an all-time low. [Energy Digital]
  • The price of gasoline in some parts of the US could go below $2 per gallon by fall, according to some analysts. The price of crude oil is being pushed lower by concerns about a slowdown in Chinese economic growth, strong oil output from North America and the Middle East, as well as the tentative nuclear deal with Iran, which could bring more of that country’s oil to the market. [CNN]

Wednesday, August 12:

  • Wind power keeps chugging along, with prices falling over time, though not as dramatically as solar, and installed capacity going up. Every new turbine that goes up will keep producing clean power for decades to come at very little cost (basic maintenance, no fuel costs unlike fossil fuel power plants). The US added 4.8 GW of windpower in 2014, 24% of our new capacity. [Treehugger]

Public Domain. National Renewable Energy Laboratory photo.

  • China is now adding one IDLE coal power plant per week. State-owned power companies have continued adding new coal-fired power plants to the grid at a feverish pace, and in the first half of 2015, 23.4 GW of thermal power plants were brought online. But at the same time, thermal power generation dropped 3.2%, and their capacity utilization fell to just below 50%. [Business Spectator]
  • Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort, the largest ski resort in southern New England, will soon be home to the largest community solar project in the northeastern United States, thanks to the construction by Nexamp of a 2.3-MW solar installation on 12 acres of the facility’s property. This project will supply Jiminy Peak with enough energy to offset 90% of its annual needs. [CleanTechnica]

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