2016-05-26 Energy Week

Thursday, May 19:

Solar power in Germany. Shutterstock image.

Solar power in Germany. Shutterstock image.

  • “Europe keeps hitting clean energy milestones” • May has been a good month for clean energy in Europe. Coal plants have faltered and wind farms are thriving, and not just in Denmark, the continent’s shining example of renewable energy. We’re whizzing by milestones right and left! [Grist]
  • Vermont’s renewable energy sector exceeded growth projections in 2015 by 3%, meaning an additional 1,400 employees, for a total of 17,700 renewable energy-related jobs in the state, Governor Peter Shumlin said. Green energy employs about 6% of the state’s workforce. [vtdigger.org]
  • New York State officials discussing the state’s proposed Clean Energy Standard. The proposed plan calls for the state to generate 80% of electricity from renewable power by 2050. Incredibly, however, the proposed plan includes subsidies for four nuclear power plants. [The River Reporter]

Friday, May 20:

LEEDCo wind turbine and barge. Howard Tucker, Grossi Public Relations.

LEEDCo wind turbine and barge. Howard Tucker, Grossi Public Relations.

  • The DOE is advancing another $3.7 million to the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp to continue engineering work on a proposed wind turbine project in Lake Erie about seven to 10 miles northwest of downtown Cleveland. DOE grants to LEEDCo now total $10.7 million. [cleveland.com]
  • Europe’s biggest oil companies, reeling from losing billions in the two-year oil market rout, are intensifying their push into renewable energy as they hunt for new sources of future revenue. Shell, Eni, Total and Statoil have announced green energy investments totaling $2.5 billion. [Daily Times]
  • Pennsylvania’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission unanimously rejected the state’s Public Utility Commission’s controversial rules that would have capped surplus sales to utilities through a net metering system at 200% of a customer’s annual consumption. [Tribune-Review]

Saturday, May 21:

Apple's solar farm near Newton, North Carolina. Mark Hames mhames @ charlotteobserver.com

Apple’s solar farm near Newton, North Carolina. Mark Hames mhames @ charlotteobserver.com

  • According to GlobalData, the uptake of smart metering systems in the EU, where at least 80% of existing electricity meters are to be replaced by smart meters, could reduce EU emissions by up to 9%, and cutting annual household energy consumption by a similar amount. [CleanTechnica]
  • Conservatives for Clean Energy commissioned a poll of 800 North Carolina voters on attitudes towards energy sources. It found deep support among both Democrats and Republicans for solar and wind energy, but less enthusiasm for nuclear power and offshore drilling. [Charlotte Observer]

Sunday, May 22:

 Solar Impulse's flight from Tulsa was fairly short, compared to some earlier stages. EPA.


Solar Impulse’s flight from Tulsa was fairly short, compared to some earlier stages. EPA.

  • Solar Impulse has landed in Ohio following the 12th stage of its circumnavigation of the globe. The zero-fuel aircraft arrived in Dayton at 21:56 local time having flown from Tulsa, Oklahoma. The 1,100-km journey took about 16 hours to complete, a relatively short hop for the plane. [BBC]
  • Authorities say misaligned mirrors caused a small fire that shut down a generating tower at the world’s largest solar power plant. San Bernardino County fire Captain Mike McClintock says a malfunction focused sunbeams wrong, causing electrical cables to catch fire. [KTNV Las Vegas]

Monday, May 23:

The AK-1000 tidal energy turbine is prepared to be loaded onto a barge

The AK-1000 tidal energy turbine is prepared to be loaded onto a barge

  • Proton Power Systems has sealed a deal to work on the Orkney Islands “Surf and Turf” green energy project. The Newcastle-founded firm’s fuel cells are used in vehicles and buildings; now the group’ expertise has been called upon for the Scottish renewables scheme. [ChronicleLive]
  • Energy prices are to remain low and fuel supplies high this summer, according to federal energy experts. More than 18 GW of generating capacity will be added to the grid this summer, mostly from new wind and solar projects, though the first nuclear plant in 20 years is expected. [Electric Co-op Today]
  • Britain is turning to a new way to make sure it doesn’t run out of power. So-called aggregator firms get commitments from businesses to reduce power usage. For example, supermarkets can turn down refrigerators by a few degrees for a short period without any impact. [euronews]
A computer simulated model of the Teddington & Ham hydro project, which could produce electricity for 600 homes. Image courtesy of THH.

A computer simulated model of the Teddington & Ham hydro project, which could produce electricity for 600 homes. Image courtesy of THH.

  • A community hydropower scheme on the Thames at Teddington lock and weirs won planning permission and defeated a judicial review from the Lensbury club, but the club is now seeking to appeal against the judicial review decision. The Lensbury club is owned by oil giant Shell. [The Guardian]

Tuesday, May 24:

Renewable energy programs aim to bring power to remote locations. File picture: CIRCA

Renewable energy programs aim to bring power to remote locations. File picture: CIRCA

  • The private sector is leapfrogging inefficient state-owned utilities in Africa to deliver electricity to rural people, according to a report by consulting firm PwC. An estimated 80% of those without electricity live in rural areas, where transmission are excessively expensive. [BDlive]
  • MGM Resorts International said it plans to leave NV Energy in the fall and pay an $87 million exit fee to do so, while Wynn Resorts is planning a similar move. The casino giants filed paperwork with the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, after months talks on costs. [PennEnergy]
  • A solar array approximately 60 to 80 times more powerful than any currently in the state may be coming to hundreds of acres in Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire. Ranger Solar of Yarmouth, Maine, is proposing to install a solar array of 60 to 80 MW on privately held property. [The Keene Sentinel]
  • TVA’s Watts Bar Unit 2 reactor achieved initial criticality Monday, beginning its first sustained nuclear fission reaction. Meanwhile, the NRC is holding a public meeting today to discuss TVA’s response to a letter the NRC wrote over working conditions a the plant. [Knoxville News Sentinel]

Wednesday, May 25:

Windpower could supply 10% of US electricity by 2020.

Windpower could supply 10% of US electricity by 2020.

 

  • By continuing to advance technology and lower costs, windpower will stay on pace to grow to supply 10% of U.S. electricity by 2020. The ongoing cost cuts have led zero-emission wind energy to become one of the biggest, fastest, cheapest ways to cut carbon pollution. [Windpower Engineering]
  • Growth of the Chinese electrochemical energy storage market over the past 5 years has eclipsed the global average, a report says, with a CAGR (2010–2015) of 110%. That’s about 6 times the global figure. The lithium-ion battery market accounted for about 66% of that market. [CleanTechnica]

From May 14:

Lilium electric jet

Lilium electric jet

  • A German startup, Lilium Aviation, is working on a 100% electric jet that may fulfill the promise of the flying car. It says the jet can land or take off from an area the size of a typical garden, can fly about 500 km (310 miles), and recharges overnight from a standard household outlet. [BBC]
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