2016-03-31 Energy Week

Thursday, March 24:

Horns Rev 2 (Dong Energy)

Horns Rev 2 (Dong Energy)

  • Siemens has unveiled a new solution for the protection of offshore wind turbine rotor blades against leading edge erosion. The protection layer is designed to absorb the impact energy from rain drops and other particles and thereby protect the leading edge from fatigue damage. [reNews]
  • US renewables, excluding hydropower plants, now hold a combined share of roughly 9.5% of the country’s total available installed generating capacity according to FERC. The country’s total wind power capacity totals 74.6 GW, while its operational solar plants are 15.6 GW. [SeeNews Renewables]
© PA

© PA

  • Scotland’s huge Longannet power station is to produce its last electricity on March 24, ending coal-fired generation north of the border. Scottish Power said the 2,400-MW power station on the banks of the Forth in Fife would burn through its remaining coal stocks by about 3:00 pm. [Financial Times]

Friday, March 25:

  • Chinese media reported that the country’s National Energy Administration ordered 13 provincial governments to suspend approvals of new coal-fired power plant projects until the end of 2017. Another group of 15 provinces was ordered to delay new construction of projects already approved. [EcoWatch]
The University of Toronto has developed a catalyst that could improve energy storage. (Marit Mitchell/University of Toronto)

The University of Toronto has developed a catalyst that could improve energy storage. (Marit Mitchell/University of Toronto)

  • A colorful goop, developed at the University of Toronto, could be a real-life blockbuster. When spread on a strip of metal and subjected to an electric current, it can break apart molecules of water at about three times the rate and far more cheaply than any substance currently available. [The Globe and Mail]
  • A report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory is the deepest dive on solar’s potential since 2008. It examines the country’s potential for rooftop solar power. According to the report, we could get bout 39% of the country’s electricity consumption, at current levels. [Grist]

Saturday, March 26:

The US DOE will participate in the Clean Line transmission project.

The US DOE will participate in the Clean Line transmission project.

  • The US DOE will participate in the Clean Line transmission project, to bring 4,000 MW of low-cost electricity from wind farms in Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle to the Southeast. The project will bring enough affordable wind power for more than 1.5 million homes. [EcoWatch]
  • The Indian government has a new goal. Come 2030, and every car user in India could have an electric vehicle. Under the plan, the vehicles will be given without an upfront payment and will be paid for by users over a period of time from the savings made on fuel, according to the energy minister. [Livemint]
Harvest Power’s energy garden in Orlando. Photo by Harvest Power.

Harvest Power’s energy garden in Orlando. Photo by Harvest Power.

  • At the end of 2014, Europe had 17,240 biogas plants, with a total installed capacity of 8,293 MW. The electricity they produced stood at 63.3 TWh, enough for 14.6 million European households. The numbers are growing fast in such places as the UK, where they doubled in just one year. [Biomass Magazine]
  • Investment in renewable energy hit a record $286 billion (€256 billion) in 2015, a UN report says. For the first time, over half came from developing countries. New investment in cleaner energy has exceeded $2.3 trillion since 2004, when investments totaled less than $50 billion. [Daily Sabah]

Sunday, March 27:

The site of the Mulshi solar plant run by Tata Power

The site of the Mulshi solar plant run by Tata Power

  • In India, Tata Power’s Mulshi solar plant shows how energy needs do not have to be met at the cost of the environment. Suitable plants will be grown immediately below the solar panels so that all the available land there can be utilized to its fullest, with its fertility maintained. [Daily News & Analysis]
  • The number of energy loans in danger of default is on course to extend above 50% this year at several major banks, including Wells Fargo & Co and Comerica Inc, according to bankers and others in the industry. Oil prices remaining at around $40 a barrel would be bad news for the banks. [morningstar.com]

Monday, March 28:

The canal connecting the Ganges to the power station dried up.

The canal connecting the Ganges to the power station dried up.

  • Authorities in the Indian state of West Bengal were forced to suspend generation at the 2,300-MW plant because the canal carrying cooling water to it went dry. The township it was in lost water, residents had to be given bottled water to drink, and the whole area had electricity shortages. [BBC]
  • China is aiming to triple its solar PV generation capacity by 2020, bringing it up to 143 GW, its National Energy Administration says. The plan is to add between 15 GW and 20 GW of PV capacity a year, investing about $368 billion in types of grid infrastructure at the same time. [CleanTechnica]
  • Power generators are resisting Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s plan to tap Canadian hydropower to meet the state’s energy needs. His plan, which hinges on lawmakers’ approval, calls on the utilities to import 1,200 MW to 2,400 MW of hydro-electricity. [Gloucester Daily Times]

Tuesday, March 29:

Energy storage on rails. ARES photo

Energy storage on rails. ARES photo

  • Advanced Rail Energy Storage said its proposed commercial-scale gravity-based rail energy storage project has been granted a right-of-way lease by the Bureau of Land Management. The 50-MW project, on 106 acres of public land in Nevada, will help stabilize the electric grid. [AltEnergyMag]
  • The Vermont Senate is due to consider legislation this week that proponents say will give municipalities a say over where renewable energy projects get built. To have that say, towns and regions would have to write energy development provisions into their regional and town plans. [vtdigger.org]
  • Rooftop solar panels could meet 74% of California’s electricity needs, and the country could get about 39% of its, according to a new study from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. In 2008, NREL estimated that the nation could get 21% of its power from solar. [The Desert Sun]

Wednesday, March 30:

Oklahoma oil well and wind turbines. Creative Commons via BBC World Service on Flickr

Oklahoma oil well and wind turbines. Creative Commons via BBC World Service on Flickr

  • Wind energy reduces a variety of health-harming air pollutants, including smog-causing oxides of sulfur and nitrogen. This helps reduce rates respiratory diseases such as asthma. Electricity generated by wind in 2015 represented $7.3 billion in avoided health costs last year alone. [Green Energy Times]

03-30 ok-drilling-earthquakes

  • About 7.9 million people are now at risk from earthquakes scientists believe are caused by fracking, including certain regions in Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Arkansas, the US Geological Survey said. The earthquakes don’t factor in building-code maps, but do create a hazards. [CNN]
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