2015-10-15 Energy Week

Please note that this post is being developed.

Thursday, October 8:

  • Spot shortages in solar panel equipment are lengthening delivery schedules and threatening to stall utility-scale projects for electric cooperatives. Some vendors and manufacturers project lead times for large orders of up to six months, beginning in 2016, and saying their delivery capacity could be completely booked by year’s end. [Electric Co-op Today]
  • Scotland has reached and surpassed its target of generating 500 MW of locally and community owned renewable energy five years early. Scotland’s Energy Minister announced that Scotland has already installed an estimated 508 MW of community and locally owned renewable energy capacity, well in advance of its target of 2020. [CleanTechnica]
  • Volkswagen’s US boss has admitted he was aware early last year of the emissions cheating affecting millions of the company’s vehicles. He said he was told about a “possible emissions non-compliance” in the spring of 2014. The revelation is in testimony due to be presented to a committee of the US House of Representatives. [BBC]
  • While the production of fossil fuels drops in the United States, solar and wind power is skyrocketing as technology and cheaper financing drive down the costs. The federal government expects a surge in renewable energy in the coming year, just as America’s fracking boom is starting to falter and crude oil production declines. [Sacramento Bee]

Friday, October 9:

  • Electricity sent to the National Grid by wind turbines in Scotland was 82% higher in September than the same month last year, analysis by WWF Scotland and data company WeatherEnergy found. The grid took 563,835 MWh of power from Scotland’s windfarms in September 2015, up from 308,301 MWh in September 2014. [Scotsman]
  • SunEdison, one of the world’s biggest renewable energy investors has warned that “draconian” UK subsidy cuts will kill solar power in Britain, blaming policy changes for a pullback that led to the collapse of a big installer and nearly 1,000 job losses. Just two weeks ago Drax said it was pulling out of a £1 billion UK plan. [Financial Times]
  • America’s reliance on renewable sources of energy has reached historic levels and is poised to make even greater gains in the near future, according to report by the Natural Resources Defense Council. The report found that energy sector carbon pollution was lower last year than in 1996, down 10% reduction in the past decade. [solarserver.com]

Saturday, October 10:

  • California Governor Jerry Brown signed bill AB 693, which designates $100 million to solar installations in low-income communities over the next 10 years. The bill should assist installations in 215,000 multifamily housing units. Low-income families using solar power will also be eligible for credits toward utility costs. [Grist]
  • New York may be giving California a run for its money as the most progressive state at transforming the electric grid. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced new goals, increasing the state’s commitment to clean energy. Topping the list is a target to install solar arrays on 150,000 additional homes and businesses by 2020. [pv magazine]
  • The US will add 11 GW of utility-scale solar power plants in 2015 and 2016, doubling the cumulative capacity in that segment, the US Energy Information Administration projects. California, North Carolina and Nevada will get 70% of the expected new solar capacity. About 4.4 GW will be deployed in California alone. [SeeNews Renewables]

Sunday, October 11:

  • A group of 11 leading energy utilities from around the world have published a major report detailing how 50 different electricity technologies could play a role in meeting international climate change targets. It projects costs for solar PVs to fall to $1 per watt, and a new generation of nuclear reactors coming by the 2040s. [Business Green]

Monday, October 12:

  • Following in the footsteps of Burlington, Vermont and Greensburg, Kansas, Aspen, Colorado has weaned its electric power from fossil fuels and is running 100% on renewables. Aspen’s “Canary Action Plan” commits to reducing the community’s remaining greenhouse emissions 30% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. [EarthTechling]
  • For every dollar spent on energy efficiency last year, Michigan ratepayers realized benefits of $4.38, a report from the Michigan Public Service Commission says. Between 2010 and 2014, the overall cost of the state’s Energy Optimization program has been $1.1 billion, but the lifetime savings to all ratepayers will be $4.2 billion. [MiBiz]
  • Every house in Canberra’s newest suburb will have solar panels installed. Denman Prospect will be Australia’s first suburb to have a minimum requirement for solar power installation on all residences; with each house to have a minimum 3-kW system. Each system is expected to generate approximately 4,146 kW annually. [Energy Matters]

Tuesday, October 13:

  • Pennsylvania has seen jump from 100 natural gas fracking wells in 2006 to 8,000 today. A study from Johns Hopkins University suggests that the industry’s growth has come at high price for local residents, especially expectant mothers. Along with increases in fracking have come increases in high-risk pregnancy and premature birth. [CleanTechnica]
  • Europe’s climate change chief says he is astonished at the positive progress by governments towards a global deal on CO2, saying even six months ago he would not have believed such commitments would appear. He warned, though, that the pledges had not yet reached the level needed to prevent potentially dangerous warming. [BBC]
  • Australia’s energy markets are on the cusp of rapid change, but it is not just the prospect of individuals quitting the grid that represents the biggest challenge to industry incumbents. It’s possible whole towns and communities will defect. The creation of micro-grids is seen by many as an obvious community-based solution. [RenewEconomy]

Wednesday, October 14:

  • The Swedish government seeks to become the world’s first fossil fuel free nation. The country says it is laying the groundwork and reinforcing progress at every turn. It will be spending an extra $546 million on renewable energy and climate change action, according to “The Budget Bill for 2016 – Investing in Sweden’s Future.” [CleanTechnica]
  • Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth will close no later than June 1, 2019, its Louisiana-based operator announced Tuesday morning. In its news release Tuesday, Entergy said the exact timing, which depends on several factors, including discussions with regulators, would be decided during the first half of next year. [Fx Report Daily]
  • In 2008 the USGS reported that California has a 99% chance of a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake in the next 30 years. Just last year a 6.0 magnitude earthquake knocked out power to more than 40,000 people in the San Francisco Bay area. The City of San Francisco is not taking chances – they’re preparing with microgrids. [RMI Outlet]

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