2016-06-09 Energy Week

Thursday, June 2:

UniEnergy Technologies vanadium flow battery.

UniEnergy Technologies vanadium flow battery.

  • UniEnergy Technologies vanadium flow battery.Rongke Power, an affiliate of UniEnergy Technologies, will deploy the world’s largest battery, rated at 800 MWh. The vanadium flow battery will provide peak-shaving and enhance grid stabilization in northern China. More large batteries will no doubt be installed to support renewables. [PennEnergy]
  • The New York State Assembly approved the nation’s most ambitious climate change bill. Under the bill, New York would have to generate 27% from renewable sources next year. While that might sound high, New York got about 28% of its electricity from renewables in February. [InsideClimate News]
San Gabriel Dam in Los Angeles County, 2013. Photo by Shannon1. CC BY SA. Wikimedia Commons.

San Gabriel Dam in Los Angeles County, 2013. Photo by Shannon1. CC BY SA. Wikimedia Commons.

  • The easing of California’s drought has boosted the state’s early spring hydropower generation to its highest level since 2011, helping it to recover from a 15-year low reached last year. But hydroelectricity production is not expected to improve much overall this year. [Bonner County Daily Bee]

Friday, June 3:

  • The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority announced today it will participate in the US Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s auction for a commercial offshore wind energy lease off the coast of Long Island. [Long Island Exchange]
Windfloat turbine. Principle Power image.

Windfloat turbine. Principle Power image.

  • Principle Power’s 2-MW WindFloat prototype floating turbine, installed 5 km off Portugal, completed five years of testing. The company said the prototype has met or exceeded all design expectations. Despite high waves and winds, WindFloat delivered 17 GWh of electricity. [reNews]
  • A raft of new companies have pledged to source 100% renewable energy as part of a RE100 initiative that will be galvanised by a government-led push to promote the renewables revolution to 1,000 businesses. The new campaign is led by Denmark and Germany. [edie.net]
  • According to analysis published this week by Australia’s Clean Energy Council, momentum is building for the country’s renewable energy sector. To meet the 2020 target, approximately 6000 MW of new capacity must be installed; 10,600 MW of projects have been approved, and more is coming. [CleanTechnica]

Saturday, June 4:

Glaciers in the Everest region could shrink by 70% or even disappear. (Representational Image)

Glaciers in the Everest region could shrink by 70% or even disappear. (Representational Image)

  • Scientists say climate change is causing Himalayan glaciers to melt at an alarming rate, creating huge glacial lakes which could burst their banks and devastate mountain communities. The surface area of one lake grew from 0.4 to 1.01 square kilometres between 1984 and 2009. [Deccan Chronicle]
  • Microgrid capacity in the US will reach 3.71 GW by 2020, an increase over GTM Research’s predictions last year which called for 2.85 GW in a base-case scenario. The new estimates, however, exceed even last year’s high-end predictions, Greentech Media reports. [Utility Dive]
The Ivanpah Solar Power Facility, currently the world’s largest. Photo by Jllm06, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Ivanpah Solar Power Facility, currently the world’s largest. Photo by Jllm06, via Wikimedia Commons.

  • The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority announced plans to build the world’s largest concentrated solar project. The site, about 50 km outside the city center, already houses PV technology. The first 200-MW project phase is scheduled to be completed by 2021. [CanadianManufacturing.com]
    As a matter of interest, the irregular dark patch in the upper left of the photo is the Primm Valley Golf Club, which has 36 holes.

Sunday, June 5:

 Hawaii’s shorelines are littered with marine debris, mostly carelessly discarded plastic from other parts of the world.


Hawaii’s shorelines are littered with marine debris, mostly carelessly discarded plastic from other parts of the world.

  • Vast amounts of trash have been washing ashore on Hawaii’s once-pristine beaches. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has been trying to keep critical parts of the ocean clear of marine debris, but more keeps coming, much of it plastic, most carelessly tossed away. [CNN]
Alaska has 18% of the area of the US and 53% of the carbon.

Alaska has 18% of the area of the US and 53% of the carbon.

  • While Alaska’s boreal forest region is expected to see bigger wildfires that send up large amounts of carbon, and while permafrost will certainly degrade to some extent, other parts of Alaska are simultaneously expected to green up. This could make Alaska into a net carbon sink. [NDTV]
  • Falling commodity prices and slowing developing world economies have been hitting equipment manufacturer Caterpillar, resulting in three years of dropping sales, to $47.01 billion last year. For Caterpillar, microgrids now represent a needed avenue for growth. [Crain’s Chicago Business]

Monday, June 6:

Solar panels on trackers. iStock image.Solar panels on trackers. iStock image.

  • Wärtsilä announced that it is to enter the solar energy business and begin to offer utility-scale solar PV solutions. Wärtsilä’s new solutions include solar PV power plants of 10 MW and above, as well as hybrid power plants combining PV plants and internal combustion engines. [Industrial PRIME]
Scientists located 39 unreported sources of sulfur dioxide emissions.

Scientists located 39 unreported sources of sulfur dioxide emissions.

  • Using data from satellites, scientists at NASA, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and two universities have found 39 unreported and significant human-made sources of emission of toxic sulfur dioxide. Sulfur Dioxide is a known health hazard and acid rain contributor. [Maine News Online]
  • Last month, Massachusetts’ highest court ruled the state needed to act on greenhouse gas limits. Lawmakers are considering a carbon tax, which would start at $10 per ton of CO2 and rise $5 per year. Collections would be used for rebates on utility bills. [The Daily News of Newburyport]

Tuesday, June 7:

A wind energy project in Vermont. File photo by Roger Crowley / VTDigger

A wind energy project in Vermont. File photo by Roger Crowley / VTDigger

  • The governor of Vermont vetoed a bill supporters hoped would give communities more say over siting renewable energy projects and bring new sound limits on wind turbines. He said last-minute amendments to the bill would unacceptably slow or halt renewable energy development. [vtdigger.org]
  • Last year was a huge 12 months for renewable energy, with a new global status report on clean energy highlighting how 2015 was a record year for the industry – including the revelation that renewable energy can now satisfy nearly a quarter of the world’s power demands. [ScienceAlert]

Wednesday, June 8:

Hydro dam in Uruguay. Photo by Starbock1948. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

Hydro dam in Uruguay. Photo by Starbock1948. CC BY-SA 3.0 unported. Wikimedia Commons.

  • So far this year, 98% of Uruguay’s electricity has come from sources of renewable energy, according to the president of the state-run electric company UTE. The announcement came at a meeting of business owners, executives and investors in the energy sector. [Latin American Herald Tribune]
  • Opinion: “Can wind and solar make us rich?” • With low-cost electricity storage, Jamaica could cut electric costs by 60%, while cutting of costs for imported fossil fuels by $100 million each month. Finally, free at last! Economic independence attained after 50 years of political independence. [Jamaica Observer]
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