January 10 Energy News

January 10, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ Researchers at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and DVGW have demonstrated that power from wind and solar power can be stored in the form of methane efficiently made from biomass-based carbon dioxide and hydrogen. The DemoSNG pilot plant constructed by the KIT will operate in Sweden. [Phys.Org]

World:

¶ The first Round-The-World flight powered entirely by solar energy has begun with transportation of Solar Impulse 2 — disassembled, in the belly of a Cargolux Boeing 747 — from the Payerne aerodrome in Switzerland to the departure and final landing city of Abu Dhabi, according to the Solar Impulse team. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Following the relatively recent news that China and the US have agreed to stronger carbon-emissions goals, a Chinese entity by the name of Xiang Yang Institute and a US-based company called Focused Sun have announced that they are partnering to develop solar microgrids in China (and elsewhere). [CleanTechnica]

¶ Ireland will soon see its first anaerobic digester driven by agricultural produce, in the townland of Dromkeen. The plant will provide enough electricity to the grid to power all the 1,700 plus homes in the village and parish. In addition to producing electricity, the plant will provide its waste heat to local buildings. [The Kerryman]

¶ The UK Green Party has welcomed plans to turn South Cheshire into a potential hub for geothermal energy, as government funding has been secured for the project. Although the Greens welcomed the news, they are also called for other forms of power to create energy for homes and businesses. [Nantwich News]

¶ A proposed £30 million anaerobic digester for Bucks County, UK, would provide enough electricity to power the Arla megadairy next door. Arla and waste firm Olleco want the digester to process 50,000 tonnes of biomass consisting of waste food from nearby shops, depots, restaurants and canteens. [Bucks Herald]

¶ London Mayor Boris Johnson confirmed yesterday the disused, 108-year-old Greenwich power plant in South London will be fitted with a new combined heat and power unit, with new and cleaner turbines, providing electricity to help run the London Underground and heat to homes and businesses in the area. [Business Green]

US:

¶ In April we reported that seismologists were hot on the trail of a “smoking gun” that would link fracking to earthquakes on Ohio. At the time the experts were a bit cautious, but earlier this week the Seismological Society of America came out with a definitive statement: yes, fracking earthquakes are real. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the Keystone XL’s proposed route through the state can go forward. A supermajority of five judges is needed to strike down a law in Nebraska, but only a simple majority of four judges agreed the state law allowing the pipeline to be built was unconstitutional. [Huffington Post]

¶ The natural gas industry is sparring with environmentalists over whether demand for gas is being exaggerated to boost support for a controversial pipeline project in New England. A lack of pipeline capacity has led to higher energy bills even as wholesale natural gas prices have dropped nationally. [The Daily News of Newburyport]

¶ SunEdison, Inc and TerraForm Power, Inc announced that SunEdison had purchased new turbines that will enable development of up to 1.6 GW of incremental wind energy projects and qualifying for the US federal production tax credit. TerraForm will purchase the projects as they are finished. [AZoCleantech]

¶ Massachusetts awarded more than $18 million to thirteen projects across the state to enhance energy resiliency. The money will go to critical facilities for combined heat and power, battery storage and microgrids. Northampton received $3 million for a microgrid for three key emergency facilities. [Greentech Media]

¶ The company dismantling the closed Zion nuclear plant on Lake Michigan is running out of money to finish the job, according to the site’s owner, Exelon. The project was paid for with $800 million collected from state electric ratepayers over decades, and third-party decomission is a matter of scrutiny. [Chicago Tribune]

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