January 1 Energy News

January 1, 2015

Opinion:

¶ “Why Closing Vermont Yankee Won’t Raise New England’s Power Bills” – Contrary to the claims of some nuclear advocates, closing Vermont Yankee is an important step in the right direction, and it teaches an important lesson for the bigger picture of electricity sector policy making. [Forbes]

¶ “2014 – A Record Breaking Year For Renewables” Perhaps inspired by clear messages from the world’s scientific community, 2014 brought the sight of politicians across the globe speaking of the need to transition away from fossil fuels, and acknowledging the scale of that challenge. [Green Building Press]

Science and Technology:

¶ An “affordable” flow battery based on high-capacity organic electrolytes is currently under development by researchers at Ann Arbor–based Vinazene Inc, in partnership with Grand Valley State University’s Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center and its Chemistry Department. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ The biggest solar farm in the UK, Landmead, is now connected to the UK’s National Grid in East Hanney. The 46-MW project can power 14,000 average British homes. The site was previously used for grazing sheep, and will continue to be used for that, with the addition of some wildflowers. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Oil took another hit Wednesday, sinking below $53 to a level last seen during the Great Recession. It’s hard to recall that crude oil traded for over $100 a barrel as recently as July. Few saw the energy meltdown coming. Now that it’s here, industry analysts warn another move lower is possible. [CNN Money]

¶ On the back of a disappointing year for investors, financial losses, skepticism about the technology’s supposed environmental benefits, and increasing water scarcity issues, Chinese officials have reportedly begun questioning the intelligence of ongoing support for conversion from coal to gas. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The government of the Indian state of Haryana has decided to usher in the New Year with one of the biggest pushes for solar power in the country. The state has made it mandatory for all buildings on plot size of 500 square yards or more to install rooftop solar power systems by September 2015. [NYOOOZ]

US:

¶ Cheshire, Connecticut is going solar. Just since August, building permits have been issued for the installation of solar panels on all over the town. The projects range in value from $1,410 to $50,000. And now the town is looking at a big expansion of solar energy to power public buildings. [Meriden Record-Journal]

¶ New York’s residential kitchens and yards, supermarkets and restaurants (24,000 in New York City), 600 wastewater treatment plants, $3 billion food processing industry, farms, and many landfills make millions of tons of waste every year. It can all produce renewable natural gas. [Albany Times Union]

¶ Technological advances are making areas like southeastern North Carolina more suitable for wind farms. Changes over the past five to 10 years have allowed wind turbines to create more energy with less resources, according to US DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. [Fayetteville Observer]

¶ The Reid Gardner Power Plant, which is near Moapa, Nevada, has closed three of its four coal-generated units, a symbolic victory for Nevada’s environmental advocates and the Moapa Band of Paiutes. NV Energy, the plant’s operator, says it retired the three 100-MW generators on December 20. [Las Vegas Sun]

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