November 20 Energy News

November 20, 2014

World:

¶   Bangladesh has installed 3.1 million new residential solar energy systems since May, with support coming from the World Bank and other various agencies. More than 15 million people now benefiting from these new systems, according to the Bangladeshi newspaper The Daily Star.  The total capacity of the new systems is somewhere around 135 MW. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Amidst national policies in Australia that seem to be growing ever further from reality, the City of Melbourne and several other local councils and businesses initiated a “Request for Information” process intended to seek out “proposals for new projects from the renewable energy sector,” reducing dependence on the coal-powered grid. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Almost 60% of Portugal’s energy needs came from renewable sources last year, a 20% increase from 2012. Not long ago, large utilities were being paid by small consumers. Now families have their own power, and small wind farms, solar farms, small biomass feed power to the grid. In addition, thousands of jobs were created by renewables industries. [Radio Australia]

¶   Coal-powered power stations, starting with Victoria’s most polluting, would be phased out from next year under a plan the Greens party will pursue if it wins the balance of power at next week’s state election. The announcement is the first time the Greens have been specific about their priorities if the party manages to be a pivotal force in a hung parliament. [The Guardian]

¶   A report on global nuclear decommissioning market says nuclear decommissioning is expected to post a compound annual growth rate of 14.1% from 2014 to 2018. The report focuses on the growing competition from renewable energy sources which is edging out nuclear power. The Fukushima Disaster slowed nuclear development and promoted renewable power. [MENAFN.COM]

¶   Amazon has vowed to run its cloud-computing division completely on renewable energy, following in the footsteps of tech giants Apple, Google and Facebook in making a comprehensive environmental pledge regarding its data services. The company said that its web-services segment would aim to achieve 100% renewable energy usage in its global infrastructure footprint. [TIME]

¶   The future of the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant in the UK is under a cloud amid a financial crisis at Areva, a shareholder in the project and the designer of the proposed reactors. Power plants in both Finland and France are massively over-budget and behind schedule, forcing Areva to consider whether it needs an injection of new cash to survive. [The Guardian]

¶   Lockheed Martin and Concord Blue announced a new contract to build a power generation facility that will provide a new renewable energy source to meet the needs of 5,000 homes and businesses in Herten, Germany. The 5-MW power generation facilities will use forestry waste through advanced gasification. [Utility Products]

US:

¶   There has been a lot of controversy around the Ivanpah concentrating solar power plant. Charges range from the idea that it is killing thousands of birds to the idea that it is producing only a fraction of the power it was designed to make. One thing to remember is that you should not believe everything you read in the media. [CleanTechnica]

¶   AES is building a 100 MW, 400 MWh lithium-ion battery for Southern California Edison as an alternative to gas peaker plants. The president of AES Energy Storage called it “the new state of the art.” He added, “This contract marks the emergence of energy storage as a cost-effective alternative to peaking power plants for local power capacity and reliability.” [Energy Collective]

¶   Renewable energy generators in the US have had a revenue boost of 49% over five years. Revenues by hydroelectric, wind, geothermal, biomass and solar power companies rose from $6.6 billion in 2007 to $9.8 billion in 2012. The wider electric power generation sector saw an overall decline of in revenues of 1.2%, dropping from $121 billion to $119.5 billion. [reNews]

¶   As Texas state regulators fret about how President Obama’s effort to combat climate change would affect the Texas power grid, a new study says the rules would be simpler to adopt than those regulators suggest – and that it would save the state billions of gallons of water annually, cutting consumption by 28 billion gallons each year. [Gilmer Mirror]

¶   The US EPA’s proposal to curb carbon pollution from power plants overestimates the electric power industry’s compliance costs by as much as $9 billion, according to a Natural Resources Defense Council report. The report shows the power sector could actually save nearly $2 billion in 2020 while meeting the EPA’s targets. [Click Green]

¶   In Fountain Valley, California, a novel system runs on anaerobically digested biogas from the Orange County Sanitation District’s municipal wastewater treatment plant. A 300-kWh molten carbonate fuel cell uses the biogas to produce heat, electricity and hydrogen—making it a “tri-generation” system. [Scientific American]

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