December 25 Energy News

December 25, 2014

Science and Technology:

¶   Bitumen from oil-shale has to be refined by heating it to high temperatures. A byproduct called pet coke contains sulphur, heavy metals, and other impurities, but it is sold to be burned in coal power plants in other countries where pollution regulations are less strict. Its greenhouse gas emissions are worse than coal’s. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶   The Indian cabinet has now officially cleared the way for setting up of 25 Ultra Mega Solar Power Projects across India. Each of these projects will have a capacity of 500 MW or more, totaling 20 GW. They are scheduled to be set up by 2019 and will receive a Central Government financial support of $649 million. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Kyocera Corporation recently announced it had established a joint venture to develop and operate a 13.4-MW floating solar power plant on Japan’s Yamakura Dam reservoir, the largest floating solar installation in the world. The facility will generate an estimated 15,635 MWh annually, enough for about 4,700 typical households. [Energy Matters]

¶   Two Canadian pension funds entered an agreement with Spanish banking giant Banco Santander to jointly acquire a portfolio of renewable energy and water infrastructure assets valued at over $2 billion. The transaction is expected to be closed in the first half of 2015, with  more coming in the next five years. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Despite the shrieking drop in oil and natural gas prices, it is still easy to find legacy energy companies forging ahead with renewable energy. The latest example comes from the French nuclear energy company Areva, which is now working on the Wikinger offshore wind farm, a 350-MW project located in the Baltic Sea. [CleanTechnica]

¶   Medicine Hat, Canada’s sunniest city, now has a way to turn its sunshine into renewable energy. The Alberta city now operates a solar thermal power plant, the first of its kind in Canada. Large curved steel panels reflect the sun’s rays to heat oil inside a metal tube. The oil then creates steam for a turbine at a nearby power plant. [CBC.ca]

¶   One year after commissioning, a plant in the UK is converting 200,000 liters per day of feedstock into renewable energy. This feedstock, including wash waters and 1,200 tons of residual bi-products and ingredients per annum, is waste from a factory operated by global food and beverage supplier Nestlé. [Biobased Digest]

¶   A suspect in the hacking attack on South Korean nuclear reactors has used multiple IP addresses based in China. The Korean defence ministry’s cyberwarfare unit has increased its watch level against attacks after the publication last week of a variety of information about the South’s nuclear power plant operator. [Times of India]

US:

¶   Crews are setting foundations, erecting racks and installing solar panels in a wave of activity at the Silt Water Treatment Plant in Colorado. The 234-kW solar array is slated to be in service and powering the plant by December. 31. The new solar array will offset 100% of the plant’s electrical use on an annual basis. [Glenwood Springs Post Independent]

¶   Greenhouse gas emissions in Washington state dropped by about 4.6% in 2010 and 2011, led by reductions in emissions from the electricity sector, a new state report shows. Emissions are still about 4% higher than in 1990, however. The report comes as Governor Jay Inslee is proposing sweeping policies to combat climate change. [Macro Insider]

¶   A new energy report says America should build on the recent growth in solar energy by setting a goal of obtaining at least 10% of its electricity from solar power by 2030. The report, “Star Power: The Growing Role of Solar Energy in America,” was produced by the Environment America Research & Policy Center. [Phys.Org]

¶   America is facing imminent decline in nuclear generation. With a wave of aging plants slated for closure in the coming years and almost no plans to replace them, some worry that the country will increase its  greenhouse gas emissions. A group of scientists and energy analysts this week urged a rethinking of US nuclear policy. [Energy Collective]

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