November 21 Energy News

November 21, 2014

Science and Technology:

¶   Two of the most repeated oppositions to wind turbines are their impact on wildlife and their supposed “ugliness” (which those of us who love the look of wind turbines don’t really understand). A new report has managed to solve one of these issues while simultaneously making the other issue worse. It says to color them purple. [CleanTechnica]


¶   As China has the worlds largest population and a rapidly growing economy, cutting emissions along the same lines as Western nations like the US would see its economy take a catastrophic hit. However, a new study says “China can achieve economic development, energy security and reduce pollution at the same time.” [CleanTechnica]

¶   UK farms offer 10 GW of untapped renewable energy potential, according to a report commissioned by the Farm Power coalition. The bulk of the power – three times that of the planned Hinkley Point nuclear plant – would be from ground-based solar and wind, with a smaller proportion from anaerobic digestion. []

¶   China’s commitment on carbon-free energy could be met by roughly 1,000 nuclear reactors, or by 500,000 wind turbines or by 50,000 solar farms. The cost will run to almost $2 trillion, holding out the potential of vast riches for nuclear, solar and wind companies that get in on the action. [Bloomberg]

¶   Europe faces power shortages in the next decade unless it balances its drive for low-carbon energy with investment in clean coal and nuclear generation, according to the International Energy Agency. Clean coal is coal-fired power that includes carbon-capture technology. [Businessweek]

¶   According to a report from Mercom Capital, India’s solar power generation capacity has crossed 3,000 MW even as overall capacity addition this year is expected to be lower at about 800 MW than seen in 2013. So far this year, 734 MW solar power capacity has been added. [SteelGuru]

¶   Toko Electrical Construction is building a 10-MW solar project in eastern Japan’s nuclear exclusion zone. Construction is on 14 hectares of unused farmland in the village of Iitate, which was evacuated after the meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi and remains uninhabited. [Recharge]


¶   Texas transmission and distribution company Oncor is proposing installing energy storage on the Texas grid, with thousands of battery systems ranging from the size of a fridge to a dumpster around the state, having a combined power capacity of 5,000 MW and a combined energy storage capacity of 15,000 MWh. [Scientific American]

¶   China and one or two other countries have the capacity to shut down the US power grid and other critical infrastructure through a cyber attack, the head of the National Security Agency told a Congressional panel. The US has detected malware from China on US computers systems that affect the daily lives of every American. [CNN]

¶   Walmart announced it will install up to 400 new solar projects at facilities across the nation over the next four years. The company has a global commitment to drive the production or procurement of 7 billion kWh of renewable energy by the end of 2020 and its goal to be supplied by 100% renewable energy. [Dubuque Telegraph Herald]

¶   SolarCity has entered into contract with Walmart to install new solar projects in up to 36 states. SolarCity has installed energy storage projects co-located with solar power generation at 13 Walmart facilities since early 2013, and will be incorporating ten additional storage projects in the next year. [MarketWatch]

¶   NRG Energy yesterday announced new long-term sustainability targets, which include slashing carbon-dioxide emissions from 2014 levels 50% by 2030 and 90% by 2050. The International Panel on Climate Change has called for an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. [Business Green]

¶   The US Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL ) and SolarCity have entered into a cooperative research agreement to address the operational issues associated with large amounts of distributed solar energy on electrical grids. [Solar Novus Today]

¶   Southern California utility customers will pay $3.3 billion in costs associated with the early shutdown of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, under a settlement approved Thursday by the California Public Utilities Commission. The deal resolves who pays, consumers or stockholders. [U-T San Diego]

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