2016-05-05 Energy Week

Thursday, April 28:

Wind turbine in Hull, Massachusetts. Photo by Fish Cop, placed in the public domain by the author. Wikimedia Commons.

Wind turbine in Hull, Massachusetts. Photo by Fish Cop, placed in the public domain by the author. Wikimedia Commons.

  • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission released its monthly Energy Infrastructure Update yesterday, April 27. In the first quarter of this year, 98.6% of all new electric capacity additions in the US have been renewable. This does not include small solar power additions. [Green Energy Times]
  • The Vermont House gave unanimous approval to S230, a bill that aims to give towns a say over where renewable energy projects are sited. While some Vermonters hoped the Legislature would let towns make siting decisions, the bill involves local, regional and state planners. [Vermont Biz]
  • With solar power to equal the output of the Seabrook nuclear plant, along with sufficient efficiency programs and demand response, New England should have more than enough electricity resources to meet demand this summer, even during a heat wave, according to ISO New England. [Concord Monitor]

Friday, April 29:

A small producer in Germany. Photo by Molgreen. CC BY-SA 4.0 international. Wikimedia Commons.

A small producer in Germany. Photo by Molgreen. CC BY-SA 4.0 international. Wikimedia Commons.

  • Next Kraftwerke, a German virtual power plant operator, aggregates small producers and sells their output in lucrative “balancing” markets. The firm stands to place more than 10 TWh on power exchanges this year, up from 9 TWh in 2015 and 5.3 TWh in 2014. [Reuters]
  • “The Untold Grassroots History of Iowa’s Clean Energy Transformation” • In 2006, 75% of Iowa’s electricity already came from coal and more coal was planned. Now, Iowa-based utility MidAmerican says it will be 85% wind power by 2020, without raising electricity rates. [Huffington Post]
Canberra Lake George wind farm

Canberra Lake George wind farm

  • The Australian Capital Territory government, which had a 90% renewable energy target by 2020, said it will in fact get 100% of its electricity from renewable energy by that date. ACT’s climate change minister said the switch to 100% renewables is achievable and affordable. [RenewEconomy]

Saturday, April 30:

A burned out house after a natural gas explosion in Salem Township, Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

A burned out house after a natural gas explosion in Salem Township, Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

  • A 36-inch natural gas pipeline 30 miles east of Pittsburgh exploded. One man got burns as he ran for his life. Towering trees were reduced to blackened poles and siding melted off buildings. A quarter-mile evacuation zone was established. The cause is unknown. [Staunton News Leader]
  • At present, 47% of conservative Republicans now believe climate change is happening. That’s according to a national survey released this week by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication. [CNN]
Wind power plants. Credit Wikimedia Commons.

Wind power plants. Credit Wikimedia Commons.

  • If Nebraska switches from coal to wind energy, it would save the state almost two billion gallons of water a year, according to the Center for Rural Affairs. Nebraska currently ranks fourth in the nation for wind energy potential and 13th for solar power potential, but relies heavily on coal. [HPPR]

Sunday, May 1:

Offshore wind

Offshore wind

  • Global wind power installations are estimated to more than double in the next five years according to a new study, which also spotlights the record global wind growth in 2015, led by China and Germany. Prices continue to decrease and renewable energy is a priority for many countries. [The Climate Group]
  • Greentech Media notes that an average gross cost of a solar energy system in Texas is the lowest in the country, down to $3.21 per watt, while the national average cost is $3.69 per watt. This is based on data in EnergySage’s Second Solar Marketplace Intel Report. [CleanTechnica]

Monday, May 2:

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

  • “Tesla Model 3 Is Changing Auto History” • In its first week alone, the Tesla had amassed, “about $14 billion in implied future sales, making this the single biggest one-week launch of any product ever.” And it’s growing. Last week, Tesla had almost 400,000 orders for the Model 3. [CleanTechnica]
Offshore oil. Nexen image.

Offshore oil. Nexen image.

  • The price per barrel of global benchmark Brent Crude ended April just above $47. Since dipping briefly below $30 in January, it has risen by nearly two-thirds. That sounds a lot. And it is. But it’s worth remembering that the price is still down by 30% on this time last year, and 60% on June 2014. [BBC News]
  • Dubai’s tender for the right to build the 800-MW phase III of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum solar complex has attracted a bid of just $29.90 (€26) per MWh. The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority is now evaluating a total of five bids. The winner is to be announced in June. [SeeNews Renewables]

Tuesday, May 3:

A pre-dawn take-off for Solar Impulse from Moffett Airfield. Solar Impulse photo.

A pre-dawn take-off for Solar Impulse from Moffett Airfield. Solar Impulse photo.

  • Solar Impulse, the zero-fuel airplane, has flown the first leg across the continental US in its attempt to fly around the world. It left Mountain View, California, at dawn on Monday and landed 16 hours later in Goodyear, Arizona. It was the 10th leg of its round the world quest. [BBC]
  • Solar power in New Hampshire cleared a major hurdle Monday after Governor Maggie Hassan signed a bill into law that doubles the state cap for net metering from 50 MW to 100 MW. Net metering is an incentive that lets people sell their excess solar energy back into the grid. [Concord Monitor]
Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe / Bloomberg

Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe / Bloomberg

  • Lawmakers in Massachusetts are drafting a bill that would jump-start the offshore wind industry. The energy bill is expected to require utilities to purchase power from offshore wind farms, according to Representative Thomas Golden, a Democrat, whose party controls the legislature. [Bloomberg]
Wind turbines in Oklahoma. Photo by the US Geological Survey. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

Wind turbines in Oklahoma. Photo by the US Geological Survey. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons.

  • Oklahoma is the latest state to get into the game on community solar. Tri-County Electric Co-op, headquartered in Hooker, dedicated the first community solar project in the state on April 26. TCEC members pay a one-time subscription fee of $340 per share to buy into the project. [Electric Co-op Today]

Wednesday, May 4:

  • According to new information from IHS Inc of Englewood, Colorado, Europe recently reached an important solar energy milestone, installing 100 GW of grid-connected PV power. PV is one of the most competitive forms of energy generation in Europe today. [solarserver.com]
The Farr wind farm in Scotland (Siemens photo)

The Farr wind farm in Scotland (Siemens photo)

  • Scottish wind power jumped 15% in April 2016 from April 2015, putting nearly 700,000 MWh onto the national grid. Figures highlighted by WWF Scotland showed that the country’s turbines generated enough to meet, on average, the electrical needs of 79% of Scottish households. [reNews]
  • “Largest Civil Disobedience in History of the Environmental Movement Begins Today” • Starting today, a global wave of peaceful direct actions lasting for 12 days will take place across six continents targeting the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects, under the banner of Break Free. [EcoWatch]
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