November 9 Energy News

November 9, 2014

Economics and Finance:

¶    A report from the Institute of Self-Reliance says locally owned renewable energy projects create more economic benefits than absentee-owned projects, and they are less likely to encounter community opposition. By enacting policies to support local renewable power, states stand to gain thousands of jobs and millions of dollars. [San Diego Free Press]

Science and Technology:

¶   Inspired by bamboo’s adaptation to wind, University of Vermont engineers developed a low cost micro-wind turbine. The small bamboo vertical axis wind turbine is combined with a solar panel. Bamboo has a tensile strength similar to steel, but without the weight, and it is grown rather than mined. [Energy Matters]

¶   As electricity is more intermittent, fuel-powered plants are kept idling to ramp up quicker when there is a need for more power. They take minutes to respond and, in many cases, it has taken more than 20 minutes to minimize the mismatch between generation and loads. Batteries can respond in seconds. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶   To provide electricity for India’s rural population, the Rockefeller Foundation will provide 65% funding for a $100 million initiative to establish 1,000 mini power grids in the next three years. Generally, each mini power grid would provide power for 150-250 households with about 1,000 people. [indiatvnews.com]

¶   Norther Irish wind energy company, Simple Power officially launched seven new wind turbines on farms this week. This brings the total number of turbines erected over the past four months to nine and marks significant success for the company as it continues to progress with its development strategy. [Farming Life]

¶   The Philippine’s bid to wean itself off fossil fuels and tap its massive potential for renewable energy has received a big boost following the completion of the largest wind farm in Southeast Asia. EDC Burgos Wind Power Corphas commissioned its 150-MW wind project in Burgos, Ilocos Norte. [Yahoo Philippines News]

¶   ACWA Power, based in Saudi Arabia, is looking to secure money to pursue renewable energy projects valued at $7.4 billion. The developer currently has projects operating or under construction in several countries in the Middle East, Africa and southeast Asia, and is bidding for a 100-MW solar power plant in Mecca. [SmartMeters]

¶   ACME Solar has emerged as the largest successful bidder in the recently concluded solar power capacity auction in Andhra Pradesh. With this success on projects totaling 160 MW, the company claims that it is on track to have an installed solar power capacity of 1 GW in India by 2017. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Despite concerns from nearly all neighboring countries, including the European Union, about Armenia’s elderly Metsamor nuclear plant, Armenia and Russia before the end of the year will sign an intergovernmental agreement to extend Metsamor’s service life until 2026. [Silk Road Reporters]

US:

¶   For millions of Americans, and many more worldwide, rooftop solar is already cheaper than electricity from the grid, but until recently, utility-scale solar projects weren’t cheaper than other types of power plants (ignoring externalities, which we shouldn’t really do but we do). That has been changing. [Treehugger]

¶   The solar power industry, viewed more than a decade ago as a game-changing, jobs-producing juggernaut in California, took its lumps during the recession. But now it’s coming back with a vengeance, both here and globally. Some California solar system installers have work backlogs, and new deals are being announced regularly. [Sacramento Bee]

¶   PacifiCorp announced it is participating in an “energy imbalance market” with California’s independent grid operator. This could save customers $10 million to $65 million a year, improve grid reliability, reducing emissions, and enable use of far more renewable energy. It will also pay for itself almost immediately. [The Oregonian]

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