2015-11-05 Energy Week

Please note that this post is being developed.

Thursday, October 29:

  • UK Prime Minister David Cameron is poised to launch an ambitious project that could see Britain harnessing the power of Iceland’s volcanoes within the next 10 years. The plan would involve the construction of 750 miles of undersea cabling, allowing the UK to exploit Iceland’s long-term, renewable geothermal energy. [The Independent]
  • In the first three quarters of 2015, the US wind energy industry has installed more than double the capacity it did in the first three quarters of 2014. There is now over 69,470 MW of installed wind capacity across the US. A near-record of more than 13,250 MW of wind capacity is under construction, with more coming. [Sun & Wind Energy]
  • Billionaire Tom Steyer’s super PAC NextGen Climate launched an aggressive campaign against Republican presidential candidates who deny the existence of man-made climate change. Steyer, who spent $70 million on 2014 elections, has pledged to spend “what it takes” to elect candidates that will act on climate issues in 2016. [Greentech Media]

Friday, October 30:

  • In a Chilean auction to procure 1200 GWh of power, wind and solar projects took 100% of the contracts even though there were no subsidies for renewable energy. In the prior tender 80% went to fossil fuels. Two thirds of the power under the latest auction will be supplied by two wind farms, and the rest will come from three solar projects. [Courier Mail]
  • TDI-New England, which is financing the New England Power Link, received a favorable assessment from federal regulators in their final environmental impact statement. About 98 miles of the power line will run under Lake Champlain and 56 miles will extend overland to grid connections in Ludlow, Vermont. [The Boston Globe]
  • After tropical storm Sandy, Hoboken, New Jersey, examined grid security issues. The result was the Resilient Microgrids Toolkit, which provides stakeholders with the resources necessary to establish and maintain a clean and resilient microgrid. The toolkit can be used by any city looking to establish a clean microgrid. [Microgrid Knowledge]

Saturday, October 31:

  • An independent examination of two struggling coal-burning power plants in western New York has found that neither is needed to maintain reliability of the electrical grid, which could pave the way for their closure. The state’s Independent System Operator said the plants can be replaced by transmission system upgrades. [Capital New York]
  • The UN released its assessment of national plans to limit climate change, submitted by 146 countries. Officials say the submissions, in their current form, won’t keep global temperatures from rising by more than the 2° C danger threshold. However the UN report says the plans are a major step and the 2° C goal is “within reach.” [BBC]
  • The United States Department of Agriculture has announced a round of funding, in the form of loans and grants, to more than 1100 rural renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide. These are aimed at helping small businesses and agricultural producers reduce both their energy use and costs. [CleanTechnica]
  • DuPont has celebrated the opening of its cellulosic biofuel facility in Nevada, Iowa, with a ceremony including Iowa Gov. Terry Brandstad and many other dignitaries. The biorefinery is the world’s largest cellulosic ethanol plant, with the capacity to produce 30 million gallons per year of ethanol from agricultural waste. [Hydrocarbon Processing]

Sunday, November 1:

  • Utah Red Hills Renewable Park is a solar power generating facility being developed by Scatec Solar in Parowan, Utah, with an estimated investment of $188 million. It will be Utah’s biggest power generating facility and will be one of the biggest solar power plants in the country. It should be completed in December of this year. [Power Technology]
  • Battery prices are dropping, but utilities aren’t quite fully comfortable with them yet, as revealed by Southern California Edison’s recent proposal to buy electricity from a new natural gas-fired power plant in Stanton, California, rather than install additional battery capacity as ratepayer advocates and environmentalists want it to. [OCRegister]

Monday, November 2:

  • Around 8.5 million diesel vehicles sold by Volkswagen over the past few years in Europe will be recalled, following the testing scandal of a few weeks ago, according to reports. A recall timeline has bee approved. The company is apparently currently considering the option of simply buying back affected vehicles in the US. [CleanTechnica]
  • The Scottish government has approved Statoil plans for the 30-MW Hywind 2 floating offshore wind project some 25 km off Peterhead. The Norwegian company was issued with a marine licence to build five Siemens 6-MW turbines on spar foundations. Statoil plans for final commissioning of the project before end-2017. [reNews]
  • Africa’s largest solar car park opened recently at the Garden City Mall in Nairobi. It aims to cut carbon emissions by 745 tonnes annually from non-renewable energy sources. The car park has a total of 3,300 solar panels, which are capable of generating 1,256 MWh of electricity annually. It also provides shade to the cars. [The Straits Times]

Tuesday, November 3:

  • The company behind the Keystone XL pipeline asked the US government to put its review of the controversial project on hold. TransCanada says the pause is necessary while it negotiates with Nebraska over the pipeline’s route through the state. The move came as a surprise as TransCanada executives have pushed hard to get approval. [BBC]
  • A study published in Nature by scientists at Stanford and UC Berkeley has made waves for its finding that thus far we have badly underestimated the damage human-caused climate change will do to the global economy. It says wealthy countries are nearly as vulnerable to temperatures warming beyond 13°C as poorer countries. [CleanTechnica]
  • Entergy Corp, which owns two nuclear plants in New York, said Monday it will close the James A FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant near Syracuse. Entergy said it would close the Oswego County plant late next year or early 2017. State officials, including Governor Cuomo, vowed to fight the company’s plans. [Rochester Democrat and Chronicle]

Wednesday, November 4:

  • As November begins, promises from individual countries to the United Nations have addressed nearly 90% of the world’s current greenhouse gas emissions. The world consensus aims to reduce and stabilize them in order to keep earth’s temperatures from climbing higher than two degrees Celsius by 2100. [CleanTechnica]
  • Still reeling from the diesel emissions scandal, VW said it had set carbon dioxide emissions and fuel consumption figures too low when certifying some models. It said about 800,000 mainly diesel vehicles were affected, and put a preliminary estimate of the cost to the company of the new admission at about €2 billion. [CNN]
  • US Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have announced the formation of a Senate Energy and Environment Working Group that will focus on ways to protect the environment and climate while backing clean energy innovation that helps drive job creation. [CleanTechnica]
  • In Vermont, a solar array proposed for Brattleboro’s closed landfill, an installation that would be Vermont’s largest by current standards, could lead to a big payoff for Windham County municipalities. Estimates show that a typical town signing on to the project could see electric-bill savings of more than 60% by the end of a 20-year contract. [vtdigger.org]
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