January 14 Energy News

January 14, 2015

World:

¶ The South Australian grid operator is recognizing the value of rooftop solar. It says it has pushed the peak back much later in the day, reduced the breadth of peak demand (much to the chagrin of the conventional generators who relied on the peaks for income), and reduced stress on the grid at peak times. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Investment bank Deutsche Bank is predicting that solar systems will be at grid parity in up to 80% of the global market within 2 years, and says the collapse in the oil price will do little to slow down the solar juggernaut. Grid-based electricity prices are rising across the world, and solar costs are still falling. [CleanTechnica]

¶ GDF Suez is the latest European energy giant announcing plans to focus more on renewable projects. The French utility aims to double its power generation capacity from renewable energy in Europe by 2025, with emphasis on marine energies. It will have a renewables capacity of 21 GW by the end of 2015. [Utilities-ME.com]

¶ In Japan, the Abe administration decided to boost efforts next year to promote renewable energy, after the feed-in tariff system ran into trouble only two years after its introduction. The administration is expected to secure ¥130.7 billion ($1.12 billion) for renewable energy programs in the fiscal 2015 budget. [The Japan Times]

¶ The French energy and environment minister says France should build a new generation of nuclear reactors to replace its ageing power stations that provide a majority of the country’s electricity. The comments give the first signal the government will emphasize nuclear in France’s energy production. [Yahoo News UK]

¶ Based on a poll of E2Energy investors in the UK, wind was the most popular and preferred technology choice for investment at 87%, with solar coming second with 85%. The research also revealed 30% of lenders were female and an impressive 87% said they would consider investing again. [Click Green]

US:

¶ A recently released report from the NC Clean Energy Technology Center suggests that in almost every one of America’s 50 largest cities, a solar PV system of typical size offers a better return than the stock market, and for 42 of them, the cost of solar is already less than from their local utility. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Analysis of the impact US tight oil has on global oil markets shows that only around one quarter of the drop in US imports of 1.7 million barrels per day since 2005 to 2006 can be explained by the tight oil boom. Oil imports dropped by about 1 million barrels per day before the tight oil boom even began. [Resilience]

¶ The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation recently wrote a piece highlighting the impressive potential for offshore wind development in the US. The figures say the US has a projected 4,223 GW worth of offshore wind generating potential, with 50 GW from the Ohio waters of Lake Erie alone. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Northampton, Massachusetts may soon join dozens of other municipalities in the state that have turned old landfills into solar farms. And, in what appears to be a first in western Massachusetts at least, solar arrays may pop up at some municipal parking lots, according to the city’s energy officer. [WAMC]

¶ Spanish developer Iberdrola Renewables is laying the groundwork for a 100-MW wind farm in Maine. The Fletcher Mountain scheme will feature 30 to 35 turbines, depending on turbine type and final layout. It would interconnect into utility Central Maine Power Company’s Wyman Hydro substation. [reNews]

¶ Ohio’s two-year timeout on its mandate that utilities get more of their power from renewable and advanced technology sources has dampened investment in what were once booming solar and wind industries in the state, according to a study released Tuesday by the nonpartisan Pew Charitable Trust. [Toledo Blade]

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