2015-08-20 Energy Week

Please note that this post is being developed.

Thursday, August 13:

  • The average price of adding solar to a home or business has dropped by more than 50% over the past years, according to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s eighth-annual “Tracking the Sun” report. Solar prices are falling across America, largely due to industry efforts to reduce solar soft costs (non-module project costs) as government incentives taper off. [CleanTechnica]
  • Solar energy generation surged by around 153% over the last year in the UK, according to analyst company EnAppSys. The new report also notes that, while solar PV generation currently accounts for only 4% of the UK’s electricity supply, that growth in the industry was already causing “oversupply” to the grid, thus contributing to negative market prices during some periods. [CleanTechnica]
  • After a very successful debut in Northern California, in March of this year, Neste’s NEXBTL renewable diesel is now also available to drivers in Southern California at retail stations. Propel Fuels is the first retailer in the world to sell essentially neat NEXBTL renewable diesel to consumers under the brand name Diesel HPR. [IT Business Net]


Friday, August 14:

  • Ask electric vehicle drivers what they don’t like about their electric car experience and the chances are most of them would say charging their vehicles away from home is their least favorite thing. Now, researchers in England are exploring the possibility of making wireless recharging available on some motorways, the English equivalent to our interstate highways. [CleanTechnica]

The possibility of EV recharging lanes is being explored in the UK.

  • India’s Ministry of New & Renewable Energy shared annual capacity addition targets for the National Solar Mission. India aims to have an installed solar power capacity of 100 GW by 2022, including 40 GW of rooftop solar power capacity and 57 GW of utility-scale. Earlier this year, when it had 3 GW installed, it increased the targets to those levels from a target of 22 GW by 2022. [CleanTechnica]
  • Ohio and 14 other states led by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey this afternoon asked the DC federal appeals court to block the US EPA from putting its Clean Power Plan into place until the courts decide whether the EPA can legally force states to limit CO2. This is unusual because a suit has not yet been filed on the legality of the EPA’s enforcement. [cleveland.com]

Saturday, August 15:

  • Fears are growing in South Africa that agreements to build nuclear power plants will made behind closed doors, without the necessary public scrutiny. Among those voicing concern, two government sources say the Treasury is not being included in procurement discussions, despite the massive budgetary implications of a project that may cost as much as $100 billion. [Daily Times]
  • SunEdison announced it will partner with Dominion to create a joint venture around the 420-MW Four Brothers solar project in Utah. The project is currently being developed and constructed by SunEdison, and is expected to become fully operational by mid-2016. Dominion will invest approximately $500 million to acquire 50% of the cash equity and 99% of the tax equity. [CleanTechnica]
  • Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and members of Bristol Community College revealed the largest solar canopy in New England on Friday, a 3.2-MW installation that covers 800 parking spaces over two hectares of land on the college’s Fall River Campus. The installation will churn out 34 million kWh of energy annually and will save over $1.75 million over 20 years. [PV-Tech]

Sunday, August 16:

  • Climate change makes some organisms go extinct, but increases others. According to the author of a newly released study, “it is not so easy to determine the number of wild boars in Europe.” However, in the recent decades, more and more boars have wound up as road kill and in hunting bags – a strong indication that local populations are growing and gaining ground. [Nature World News]

One possible beneficiary of climate change. Photo: pixabay

  • According to the Taskforce on Extreme Weather and Global Food System Resilience, worldwide food shortages, dramatic price increases, and volatile market conditions may take place every 30 years in about 25 years from now, instead of taking place once a century. To cover this and population increase, food production may need to improve by over 60%. [Modern Readers]

Monday, August 17:

  • Renewable power is becoming a political force in Australia. Australian Solar Council launched its latest campaign, on the weekend, urging constituents to “vote solar” in an upcoming by-election in Western Australia, as the Coalition government has repeatedly broken promises on renewable energy. A recent poll found that the Coalition would lose on the back of a 7.5% swing. [RenewEconomy]
  • Scotland’s ambitions to become a zero waste nation were today bolstered with the start of construction of Viridor’s new £177 million energy recovery facility in East Lothian. The site will process 300,000 tonnes of post-recycling ‘residual’ waste per annum to generate 30 MW directly to the grid, enough to power 39,000 homes, and will also offer up to 10 MW of heat. [Process & Control Today]

Tuesday, August 18:

  • A new study has found that China’s air pollution is linked to the death of over 1.6 million people a year or 4,400 people a day. The study was carried out by Richard Muller and Robert Rohde, researchers at Berkeley Earth. They mapped the concentrations of six major pollutants across eastern China, using data from China’s national air quality reporting system. [The Next Digit]

Pollution in China.

  • Engie, the French utility giant formerly known as GDF Suez SA, is said to have plans to sell more than $1 billion of stakes in Asian coal-fired power plants. Engie, a sponsor of the Paris climate-change talks later this year, has shut gas plants and capped coal-fired installations as Chief Executive Officer Gerard Mestrallet steers the company toward renewable energy sources. [Bloomberg]
  • RWE AG has officially commissioned a power-to-gas plant, rated at 150-kW, as part of a system linking together the supply of electricity, natural gas, and district heating in North Rhine-Westphalia. The power-to-gas plant turns unused renewable power into hydrogen, which is then injected into the natural gas network. The gas will be used at a co-generation plant. [SeeNews Renewables]
  • In a recent survey, while 71% of the Southern Californians queried stated that they were highly interested in getting an EV, an additional 13% apparently already had one. Not a shabby percentage, all things considered (and a reflection of the relative wealth of those queried, I assume). Only 16% of those asked were not interested in EVs, according to the results. [CleanTechnica]

Wednesday, August 19:

  •  It probably surprises nobody to learn that coal produces more of the world’s electricity than any other fuel. But it many would be surprised to learn that renewables have taken second place. Electricity generation from renewable sources has overtaken natural gas to become the second largest source of electricity worldwide, the International Energy Agency has announced. [eco-business.com]
  • Scottish Renewables has revealed the latest figures for how the sector fares in the country. Around 42,000 solar schemes, 2,557 small wind projects, 204 hydro-electric schemes are amongst some of the renewable methods being used to power homes. Inverurie in Aberdeenshire is Scotland’s solar capital with the town boasting about 10,000 250-W solar panels. [Energy Voice]
  • The Northern Pass project would transmit power from hydroelectric plants in Quebec through New Hampshire. Eversource Operations, the firm proposing the 192-mile power line, unveiled a new plan. It includes burying an unprecedented 60 miles of transmission lines through the most fragile areas. It would also reduce the transmission capacity from previous goals. [Bangor Daily News]
  • Royal Dutch Shell has been granted a permit to commence deep-sea drilling in the Arctic Ocean. Drilling shallow wells in the area had already begun, but a lack of documentation and precautionary equipment prevented drilling deep enough to strike oil. The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management predicts the possibility of one or more oil spills in the next decade. [Business Finance News]

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