December 9 Energy News

December 9, 2014

Science and Technology:

¶   A new report, issued the same day the latest round of global climate negotiations opened in Peru, highlights the fracking industry’s slow expansion into nearly every continent, drawing attention not only to the potential harm from toxic pollution, dried-up water supplies and earthquakes, but also to the threat the shale industry poses to the world’s climate. [Resilience]

¶   Renewable energy company Acciona has unveiled what will be the first zero emissions electric vehicle to participate in the grueling Dakar Rally. The vehicle features a 220 kW (300 HP) synchronous electric motor that weighs only 80 kg. It has four removable (quick release sliding) lithium-ion battery packs provide energy storage of 140 kWh. [Energy Matters]


¶   The latest update on the Australian PV Institute solar map shows that Australia now has 4 GW of installed PV. Installed capacity has quadrupled since 2011, generating an estimated 5250 GWh per year from the sun. In many suburbs, especially in South Australia and Queensland, more than 40% of households have solar panels. [Climate Control News]

¶   Swedish state-owned Vattenfall wants to continue as a major player in Germany’s energy market even though it intends to sell lignite power plants and mines there, Chief Executive Magnus Hall said on Monday. He added that there will be no changes to the decision to sell the lignite operations in Germany. [Reuters]


¶    Ceres, a nonprofit promoting investor support for efforts on climate change, has sent a letter endorsed by 223 companies to President Obama, in support of EPA’s controversial proposed standard for existing power plants to limit carbon dioxide emissions. Combined assets of the companies is $10 trillion. [National Legal and Policy Center]

¶   Right now only a couple of stations in Oklahoma and Texas are selling $2 gas. But the price of both oil and wholesale gas declined again Monday. Oil is already at a 5-year low, at less than $65 a barrel, and analysts think it could bottom out at $35 next year. Next year’s full-year average could be as low as $53, said Morgan Stanley analysts. [CNN]

¶   Revenues from renewables for electric power generators jumped by 49% to $9.8 billion from 2007 to 2012, while revenues  from the fossil fuel sector fell by 6.7% according to the Census Bureau. But wind, hydro, geothermal, biomass and solar accounted for just 8.2% of all industry revenues in 2012. [Electric Co-op Today]

¶   Massachusetts’ governor is just 30 days from leaving office, but his administration is making one last push to bring more Canadian hydropower to the state. His top environmental aides are working feverishly on new rules that could compel electric utilities to buy a certain amount of energy from Canada’s big hydro plants. [Boston Globe]

¶   Washington Gas Energy Systems, announced an agreement with Southern Company and the Electric Power Research Institute to evaluate battery storage at a 1-MW solar array in Cedartown, Georgia. The project will analyze a 1-MW/2-MWh lithium-ion battery with a specific focus on renewable integration. [RenewablesBiz]

¶   A Maine citizen board has rejected an appeal of Patriot Renewables’ 22.8 MW Canton Mountain wind project, unanimously dismissing complaints about noise impacts and potential effects on property values. The developer proposes to install eight GE 2.85-103 turbines along a ridgeline in Oxford County. [reNews]

¶   Wind power is on track to cut as much carbon pollution in Pennsylvania as four coal-fired power plants, or 3,689,000 cars produce by 2030, according to analysis by the PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center. Growing at its current rate, wind would be able to supply 30% of our electricity needs by 2030. []

¶   Duke Energy has received regulatory approval from the North Carolina Utilities Commission to acquire and construct three solar PV facilities totaling 128 MW (ac) capacity in the state. Duke will own the three solar farms, whose output will help North Carolina comply with the state’s renewable energy portfolio standard. [Recharge]

¶   Two trends in the power sector, the expansion of distributed generation and advances in energy efficiency, could cost US utilities up to $48 billion annually by 2025, according to a new report . The study used models that examined improvements in solar panels, electricity storage and other trends impacting bottom lines of US utilities. [FuelFix]

¶   The Georgia Public Service Commission has warned for at least two years that Southern Co subsidiary Georgia Power is relying on an outdated project schedule for two new reactors at Plant Vogtle in eastern Georgia that contains almost no detail after December 2015, even though construction will continue for several more years. [Access North Georgia]

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