November 26 Energy News

November 26, 2014

A Sign of our Times:

¶   “Google engineers say renewable energy won’t solve climate change” Can climate change be solved with technologies like wind and solar energy? No, it can’t, according to a new report by two Google engineers. [Fox News] (You should be aware of this very widely published story. It is about a project Google terminated years ago. The data in it are comically out of date. It is misleading. But they call it “news.”)

World:

¶   Through changing industrial and policy dynamics, India looks set to install 1.5 GW of rooftop solar power capacity by 2018, according to a recent report  by consultancy Bridge to India. The current installed capacity is just under 300 MW. Only 13% of the installed projects have received subsidies from the energy ministry, and this shows the robust economics of rooftop solar. [CleanTechnica]

¶   In Australia, a plan outlined by libertarian (low taxes, minimal government) Senator David Leyonhjelm essentially delivers on the Coalition plan to limit new build renewables to around 26,000 GWh, but has the bizarre inclusion of handing nearly $14 billion in subsidies earmarked for new projects to state-owned hydro plants that were built decades ago. [RenewEconomy]

¶   NextEra Energy Canada has achieved commercial operation at the 149-MW Jericho wind project in Ontario.The project features 92 GE 1.6-MW turbines and has a 20-year contract with the Ontario Power Authority. Borea Construction was the general contractor. Jericho is the sixth of NextEra’s eight-project feed-in tariff wind portfolio in the province. [reNews]

¶   The Australian Senate has given the green light to yet another review of renewable energy – the ninth in just three years. The Senate inquiry will focus on wind farms and include an examination of their economic impact and health effects. Clean energy advocates call the process a destructive waste of taxpayer money. [Energy Matters]

¶   Italian cement maker Italcementi signed an MOU with the Egyptian government to build a wind farm on the Red Sea, part of the country’s effort to mitigate its power shortages through renewable energy. The company will build a facility to generate 120 MW of electricity with an investment of $200 million. [Ahram Online]

¶   TEPCO started work Tuesday to fill an underground trench at the disaster-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant with cement while pumping up radioactive water inside at the same time. The company expects to finish the work by the end of next March. The company will begin next month pouring cement in reactor 3′s trench. [The Japan Times]

US:

¶   Media reports on the American crude oil industry have been uniformly positive in the past few months. But instead of being on the dawn of a new age of plenty, a careful analysis of all available data indicates the probability of near to mid-term trouble even maintaining current levels of production, let alone eliminating the chasm between US production and consumption. [Resilience]

¶   The nation’s first large-scale commercial anaerobic digestion facility, privately owned and operated by Zero Waste Energy Development Company, has proven successful. The facility is capable of digesting and composting 90,000 tons of organic waste per year and is expected to produce 1.6 MW of power and 18,000 tons of compost per year. [ECNmag.com]

¶   The Illinois Commerce Commission unanimously approved an order granting Rock Island Clean Line a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to construct and operate the Illinois portion of a new 500-mile direct-current electric power line. It will deliver 3,500 MW of low-cost wind power from northwest Iowa area to Illinois. [The Rock River Times]

¶   A report by the nonprofit organization Ceres says energy efficiency, distributed (onsite) energy, and renewable energy are enticing investments for utilities because they bring lower risks and will cost less than traditional energy sources, such as large base-load fossil fuel and nuclear plants, which are riskier and more expensive. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

¶   According to a new report from the Environment America Research Policy Institute, solar capacity is growing so fast in the United States that the nation could potentially generate 10% of its electricity with solar power by 2030. This holds true even if the current rate of growth is cut markedly. [Energy Matters]

¶   The Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp has reached an long-term power purchase agreement with the Origin Wind Farm in southeast Oklahoma for 150 MW of wind energy. The energy will come from a 75-turbine, 17,600-acre farm with an expected output of 650,000 MWh, which is enough energy to serve about 50,000 homes. [Arkansas Business Online]

¶   NRG Energy, the second-largest conventional power generation company in the US, has broken ground on corporate headquarters touted as not just “green,” but “ultra-green,” and grid-resilient. NRG’s green, co-generation and solar-powered headquarters will showcase the ability of businesses to foster sustainability while reducing grid dependence. [Fierce Energy]

¶   The Vermont Department of Public Service and its Clean Energy Development Fund are seeking proposals from qualified financial institutions with a physical presence in Windham County, Vermont that offer loans to residential customers interested in development of the Windham County Solar Finance Program. [Commons]

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