December 5 Energy News

December 5, 2014

Science and Technology:

¶   With a global focus on reducing energy consumption continuing to grow, many methods of “going green” are getting increased attention. A new analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that one of these concepts gaining prominence is the net zero–energy building. A net zero–energy building can generate more energy it needs. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶    Shanghai Electric Power said late on Thursday it was in preliminary contact with E.ON over the possible purchase of the German utility’s Italian coal assets, which the Chinese firm said were worth €150 million ($186 million). E.ON is spinning off its nuclear and fossil fuel assets to focus on renewable power. [Reuters]

¶   PV arrays coupled with battery storage systems are becoming the “new normal” in Australia’s wide-open spaces. The number of installations continue to increase as governments and businesses begin to realize the new reality of off or edge-of-grid solar plus storage affordability. A key to change is increasing familiarity with the technology. [RenewEconomy]

¶   China State Grid Corp will spend about 400 billion yuan ($65 billion) this year on its electricity networks as the nation, which last month reached a deal with the US to curtail fossil fuels, copes with an unprecedented influx of clean energy and higher demand. Spending will need to be maintained at current levels for the next five years. [Businessweek]

¶   Start-up company Tempus Energy has gone to the European General Court to challenge the UK Government’s Capacity Market as an unlawful subsidy. The Capacity Market was set up to offer subsidies to reliable forms of power capacity. Tempus Energy says that it prioritizes fossil fuel electricity generation. [Click Green]

¶   Subsidy-free solar in the UK could thrive by the end of the decade, according to a report published by Berlin-based think tank Thema1. The report predicts that all three sectors of the UK solar market (ground-mount, commercial and domestic) will be able to compete without subsidy with traditional forms of energy within the next 10 years. [PV-Tech]

US:

¶   A new report by utility and finance experts contains positive news for the environment, our air and our pocketbooks. The economics of electric power resources have made zero-emissions energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies the most financially attractive options to meet the nation’s future energy demands. [Energy Collective]

¶   Iberdrola, through its subsidiary Iberdrola Ingeniería, has received a contract by Footprint Power for the construction of a 674-MW combined cycle power plant in Salem, Massachusetts. The facility is to replace the existing 63-year old Salem Harbor coal-fired station, which is being decommissioned. [Energy Business Review]

¶   The USDA’s Rural Utility Service’s Energy Efficiency & Conservation Loan Program allows rural utilities to borrow money at low rates – 30 years at 3.3% – for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements at their facilities or properties owned by the customers it serves. Utilities may re-loan the money at a slightly higher rate. [CleanTechnica]

¶   The Badger Coulee Transmission Line, planned to run between La Crosse and Madison, Wisconsin, is one of 17 planned in the Midwest to move wind power through the region better. Without a path to move available wind power, some has to be curtailed, essentially turned off, when it is windy and there is an over-abundant supply. [Madison.com]

¶   The carbon pollution from approximately nine coal plants could be eliminated in New York if wind power supplied 30% of our electricity needs, according to a new analysis by Environment New York. The analysis comes just as Congress considers whether to renew tax credits critical to wind development. [Long Island Exchange]

¶   Ameren’s solar energy center in O’Fallon, Missouri is now in service. The 19-acre operation includes 19,000 solar panels and is currently generating 6 MW of power for the company’s electrical grid. According to papers the company filed with the Public Service Commission, it intends to build a second, larger solar energy center in 2016. [St. Louis Public Radio]

¶   UIL Holdings Corp will install a 3.4-MW fuel cell plant at a Connecticut Natural Gas Corp pressure-reduction facility. The plant includes a 2.8-MW fuel cell and a “turbo expander,” which will produce another 600 kW of renewable power by harnessing energy that isn’t used during the process of reducing natural gas pressure. [Hartford Business]

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