January 12 Energy News

January 12, 2015

Opinion:

¶ “Energy firms are waging a price war they might be unable to win” Oil prices have tumbled, dipping to less than $50 a barrel. This reflects efforts of the large established businesses with low production costs, to drive high-cost producers out of a market. But the market’s nature is changing, and the tactic can fail. [RenewEconomy]

Science and Technology:

¶ Every year, botanists in the UK look for flowers in bloom on New Year’s Day. Even given Britain’s mild climate, it seems surprising that they usually find about twenty or thirty species flowering. This year, however, they were stunned. They found flowers of three hundred and sixty-eight species. [BBC News]

¶ Researchers at the College of Engineering at Oregon State University found that large-scale wave energy devices will be able to produce power without putting significant new pressures on the grid to balance out supply and demand. This may make them even less expensive for power than solar and wind. [Business Green]

World:

¶ The latest ultra mega solar power project announced in India is in the state of Gujarat, the state that originated the concept of solar parks. It will also include wind energy installations. The new project announced under India’s ultra mega solar power policy will provide 5 GW of solar and wind power combined. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Uncertainty surrounding the renewable energy target has made the large-scale sector of the industry in Australia “uninvestable”, a clean energy analyst says. A report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance said large-scale energy investment fell 88% to $240 million in 2014 compared to the previous year. [ABC Online]

¶ Pakistan’s Alternative Energy Development Board has issued a Letter of Intent for a $125 million 49.50MW wind power project to M/s Master Wind Energy Limited, a subsidiary of Master Group. The 49.5-MW wind power project will be set up on 1,408 acres of land in Jhampir, district Thatta. [Customs Today Newspaper]

¶ Institutional investors risk missing out on renewables boom, according to new research from indexing firm MSCI. They continue shifting away from carbon-intensive assets but are not moving fast enough to capitalise on the rapid growth of clean tech, and are missing out on potentially attractive returns as a result. [Business Green]

¶ Addressing the 7th Vibrant Gujarat Investors, UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon today termed the year 2015 as ‘the most important year for humanity’ and called for working towards a better and sustainable world with special emphasis on inclusive growth and prevention of climate change. [Day & Night News]

¶ Switzerland-based ABB has commissioned the 500-kV Skagerrak 4 HVDC link between Norway and Denmark. The project sets a new record in transmission voltage using voltage source converters. Two 700MW VSC stations will use semiconductors to convert electricity from high-voltage AC to DC and back. [reNews]

¶ The hacking of South Korea’s nuclear operator means the country’s second-oldest reactor may be shut permanently due to safety concerns, said several nuclear watchdog commissioners, raising the risk that other ageing reactors may also be closed. Nuclear power provides about a third of South Korea’s electricity. [Daily News & Analysis]

US:

¶ Battery startup Aquion Energy made a deal with an off-grid residential estate in Hawaii to supply a 1-MWh Aqueous Hybrid Ion battery. The battery will be combined with the Bakken Hale estate’s 176 kW solar PV system to provide for almost all of its electricity use — allowing for a completely off-grid setup. [CleanTechnica]

¶ It looks as though opposition to the practice of fracking has finally started to coalesce even in the political world, based on recent statements and positions taken in places not known for their environmental boldness and leadership. Recent blunt statements from a Florida state representative stand out. [CleanTechnica]

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