November 24 Energy News

November 24, 2014

Opinion:

¶   “Keystone, Schmeystone: US Marines Want More Portable Solar Power To Fight The War Of The Future” We have been hearing a lot about the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline from members of Congress who should know better. If they really do “support our troops,” then they would push for 21st century technology for the DOD. [CleanTechnica]

¶   “Can the U.S. Government Revive Nuclear Power?” The Obama administration has said it’s committed to reviving nuclear power. The last new nuclear power plant entered service in 1996, and while a handful of new reactors are planned in the next few years, retirements of older ones also are expected. Three experts debate what is holding it back. [Wall Street Journal]

Science and Technology:

¶   A recent study on critical resources for renewable power was performed by the Wuppertal Institute. The conclusion is that the problem of mineral availability for renewable energy technologies is not critical if we choose the right technologies and we are careful to recycle the materials used as much as possible. [Resilience]

¶   A Power-to-Liquids demonstration rig which is the first of its kind in the world was officially inaugurated by Dresden-based sunfire GmbH. The new rig uses sunfire’s PtL technology to transform water and CO2 to high-purity synthetic fuels (petrol, diesel, kerosene) with the aid of renewable electricity. [RenewEconomy]

World:

¶   Germany could close eight additional coal-fired plants as it seeks to reach ambitious climate change targets. Reuters reports that the government is drafting legislation that would force energy companies to shut the plants down, as it looks to trim 40% from its carbon emissions by 2020. [International Business Times UK]

¶   China can increase its use of renewable energy from 13% to 26% by 2030, according to a new report released today by the International Renewable Energy Agency. The growth in renewable energy use would represent nearly a fourfold increase in the share of modern renewables between 2010 and 2030. [Commodities Now]

US:

¶   The cost of electricity from wind and solar has plummeted over the last five years, so much so that in some markets renewable generation is now cheaper than coal or natural gas. The trend has accelerated this year, with several companies signing power purchase agreements for solar or wind at prices below that of natural gas. [Boston Globe]

¶   According to the latest monthly infrastructure report from FERC, wind power provided 68.41% of new U.S. electrical generating capacity in October, with 574 MW of new capacity. Biomass provided 102 MW, 12.16% of new capacity, and solar provided 31 MW, 3.69%. Natural gas came in at 132 MW, 15.73%. [Today’s Energy Solutions]

¶   Today the results of a post-election poll send what environmental advocates call a “clear message” to North Carolina’s elected leaders. The Sierra Club survey finds a majority of voters, including members of both parties, want their new governor to support efforts to protect their communities from climate change. [Public News Service]

¶   Congress can while away the hours debating over EPA regulations. It seems some congresspeople would rather see a broken government than a useful one. However, they should note that a strong majority of Americans support strict limits on carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, even existing plants. [CleanTechnica]

¶   A 60-MW biomass power plant is providing 100% of the electricity for Fort Drum, in northern New York, starting this month. It’s the first green energy project to come online since the Pentagon’s 2012 commitment to developing 3 GW of renewable energy on Army, Navy and Air Force installations by 2025 for energy security. [Poughkeepsie Journal]

¶   The indictment of a former coal mining CEO over safety violations sent a “strong message,” said the United Mine Workers of America. Don Blankenship faces up to 31 years in prison for alleged safety violations at mines operated by Massey Energy, which he headed from 2000 until his retirement in 2010. [Energy Collective]

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