October 24 Energy News

October 24, 2014

World:

¶   European leaders agreed to cut carbon emissions by at least 40% by 2030, in a move that could pave the way for a global treaty on tackling climate change next year. The wording means that the target could be raised to 50% in the event an ambitious emissions reduction deal is agreed in Paris next year. [Business Green]

¶   The United States has challenged the Japanese government over moves to ramp up exports of coal-fired power technology and to offer cheap loans to lure buyers, according to a U.S. source with direct knowledge of the matter. Japan’s shipments of the equipment soared to nearly $8 billion last year. [Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide]

¶   DuPont is part of a plan by the government of Macedonia to create a market for cellulosic ethanol in the Pelagonia region of that country. Ethanol Europe and DuPont will work toward building a market for the fuel in Europe, which would support a commercial-scale second-generation ethanol plant in Macedonia. [The News Journal]

¶   Japan warned that a volcano in southern Japan located roughly 64 km (40 miles) from the Sendai nuclear plant was showing signs of increased activity that could possibly lead to a small-scale eruption and warned people to stay away from the summit. The government is trying to get the Sendai plant restarted soon. [www.worldbulletin.net]

US:

¶   For years, the utilities responsible for providing electricity to the nation have treated residential solar systems as a threat. Now, they want a piece of the action, and they are having to fight for the chance. If utilities embrace home solar, their deep pockets and access to customers could be transformative. [Scientific American]

¶   County ballot issues to ban fracking could have a large impact outside those counties. And the campaign money being spent on both sides – but primarily by big energy companies – shows how much is at stake. The highest profile and most contentious ban is the one on the ballot in Denton, Texas. [Resilience]

¶   SunEdison, a leading solar technology manufacturer and provider of solar energy services announced today that it has closed on construction financing. The funds will be used to construct the 26 MW DC Vega solar power plant located in Merced County, California. [AltEnergyMag]

¶   Renewable energy experts Thursday credited Sonoma County with a leading role in the expanding green power industry, a sector combating climate change as it creates jobs – including economic growth fueled locally by one of the state’s first public electricity programs of its kind. [Santa Rosa Press Democrat]

¶   In its 2015 State Solar Panel Rankings Report, solar advocacy group Solar Power Rocks has graded states based on a complex set of criteria. New York and Massachusetts both get A+ grades, and Connecticut, New Jersey and Vermont each get a solid A. The rest of the nation, despite less cloudy skies, is mostly not doing as well. [Mother Nature Network]

¶   Maine’s Supreme Judicial Court upheld approval of the 39-MW Passadumkeag Mountain wind project by the Board of Environmental Protection after an appeal by a local opposition group. The court decision also clarified that the board has a broad power to review the decisions of state regulators. [reNews]

¶   The Solar Community initiative is the first nationwide bulk solar purchase program launched to give homeowners easy access to more affordable, clean, renewable energy. The initiative presents a new approach to purchasing, financing and installing solar panels at a uniform discounted price to anyone in the US. [WebWire]

¶   Wind energy is generating most of the dollars being invested in renewable energy in Michigan, according to a study released by the Pew Charitable Trust on Thursday, October 23. More than $2 billion was invested in renewable energy in the state between 2009 and 2013, according to the study. [The Ann Arbor News]

¶   Since Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey, darkening swaths of the nation’s most densely populated state for days, a microgrid at Princeton University has emerged as a national example of how to keep power running for residents, emergency workers and crucial facilities when the next disaster strikes. [Princeton University]

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