October 21 Energy News

October 21, 2014


¶   “Oil decline: Price makes the story” When the world’s business editors sent their reporters canvassing to find out what is behind the recent plunge in the world oil price, they looked at normal economics in action. But the issue here has much more to do with politics than with supply and demand.  [Resilience]

Science and Technology:

¶   The technology for managing a distributed energy landscape includes smart inverters, advanced power electronics, other grid edge devices, communications networks and software platforms. Now, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the DOE’s ARPA-E program bring us microsynchrophasors. [Energy Collective]

¶   A new, somewhat clever means of managing and improving the efficiency of the power grid was recently unveiled by a coalition of some of the world’s largest automakers. It is in fact simply a technology that allows for the direct communication of utility companies and plug-in electric vehicles, via the cloud. [CleanTechnica]


¶   A report from the EU on power prices is only the latest of a number coming to the same conclusion. Along with three earlier reports, it proved that “wind energy is one of the lowest cost options for reducing carbon emissions,” with each focusing on a different attribute of wind energy’s performance. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Renewable energy lies at the heart of a dispute between Spain and France: Spanish wind turbines easily produce more power than is needed in the domestic market but that energy is wasted because there are few transmission lines to carry it across the border to France, but France wants to protect its nuclear reactors from competition. [Financial Times]

¶   Global wind capacity could reach 2000 GW by 2030 and meet up to 19% of electricity demand, according to a report released by the Global Wind Energy Council and Greenpeace International. It also says that the sector could create more than 2 million jobs worldwide and cut CO2 emissions by more than 3 billion tonnes per year. [reNews]

¶   According to the Clean Energy Pipeline, global clean energy investment jumped 11% in the third quarter of 2014 over figures a year earlier, clearing $64 billion. The third quarter figures represent a 3% decrease on Q2 2014 numbers, but are still healthy growth over a year earlier. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Dutch power grid operator TenneT has signed a contract for a €150 million ($192 million) loan to finance a grid project to help connect offshore wind farms in the Netherlands. The Netherlands aims to build offshore wind farms with a total capacity of 3,450 MW by 2020. [Energy Live News]

¶   A portion of the Northwest Russian Karelian Republic’s boiler systems will gradually be shifted to local forms of fuel such as peat and lumber production refuse now that the region’s government has decided to transfer 35% (250 MW) of its heat generation to these sources. [Bellona]


¶   In the next Vermont legislature, a renewable portfolio standard could be created to establish how much electricity generated from wind, solar and other renewable resources utilities must sell. Under the current voluntary goal, utilities are allowed to sell renewable power credits out of state to reduce electric rates. [vtdigger.org]

¶   The hot summer was the third in which Southern California went without 2,200 MW from the San Onofre nuclear plant. Drought reduced the state’s hydroelectric output by another 1,628. Despite these events, California did not have any major outages, primarily because of its increased renewable capacity. [KCET]

¶   Minnesota’s highways are poised to become green energy generators with up to five 1-MW PV arrays built on public right-of-way. If the pilot project proceeds as planned it would exceed the capacity of a solar installation expected to go online next fall that is touted as the largest in Minnesota. [MinnPost]

¶   Michigan wind turbines could be erected without regard for some local laws under recently introduced legislation. The bill would amend Michigan’s Right to Farm Act to include wind production. It would allow wind turbines to be constructed on agricultural land without zoning or building permits. [Michigan Capitol Confidential]

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