January 15 Energy News

January 15, 2015

Opinion:

¶ “Why the Smart Money is Betting on Renewable Energy – Brewing Solar Power Boom” The price of oil may be down, for a while, but the decline in cost of renewable energy means last year’s investment brought in almost double the clean electricity capacity than what it did only four years earlier. [The Market Oracle]

¶ “Can Moore’s Law Be Applied to Power Electronics for Solar and Storage?” – Antoine Paquin, CEO of Solantro Semiconductor, based  in Ontario, Canada and Silicon Valley, believes Moore’s law can lower the cost of solar power electronics. And interestingly, the reasons for this are much the same. [Greentech Media]

World:

¶ The California-based renewable energy company SolarReserve, along with Saudi Arabian ACWA Power, have been given the go-ahead by the South African Department of Energy to build a 100-MW solar power + thermal energy storage project in the country. The Redstone project is expected to come online in 2018. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Finnish scientists believe that renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, will become the cheapest energy for consumers in Asia in next 10 years. A project has successfully modelled comprehensive energy systems based entirely on renewable energy sources for China, South Korea and Japan. [New Kerala]

¶ A new report shows electricity demand in Australia’s National Electricity Market decreased again in 2014. Following a trend that began in 2009, GreenMarkets says consumption fell last year by 1.1%, down 2098 GWh from 2013. The fact that power from roof-top solar PVs is not considered for the tally is relevant. [Energy Matters]

¶ German offshore windpower had 258 turbines totalling 1049.2 MW as 2014 ended. This is more than double what there was the previous year. A further 268 turbines totalling 1218.1 MW are in place but not fully grid-linked by the end of the year, so they are already set to more than double the capacity again this year. [reNews]

¶ China’s ambitions to be a leader in nuclear technology have been dealt a fresh blow, as construction of its most advanced reactor is facing a new delay. The project, which China is developing with Westinghouse Electric Co, faces new development problems and is not expected to start up until 2016 at the earliest. [Wall Street Journal]

US:

¶ It is now common practice in the US coal industry for companies to sell a significant portion of the coal that they mine back to themselves, through the use of subsidiaries. In this way, the coal companies can both increase the amount of money they get from the Interior Department and dodge tax payments. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Goddard College said it has completed its divestment from fossil fuel company investments, making it the third college in Vermont to divest after Sterling and Green Mountain College. Its president said the college has moved its endowment funds into fossil fuel-free accounts at Trillium Asset Management in Boston. [Boston Globe]

¶ The US can increase its use of renewable energy in power generation by more than triple by 2030, according to a new report, “Renewable Energy Prospects: United States of America,” by the International Renewable Energy Agency. Currently, renewable sources provide 14% of US power. This can grow to 50%. [EcoSeed]

¶ The group Floridians for Solar Choice, which consists of several conservative groups and a couple of not-so-conservtive ones, is teaming up with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy to get a solar energy amendment on the state ballot in 2016. It would allow owners of PVs to sell solar power to consumers. [Creative Loafing Tampa]

¶ The Obama Administration is announcing a series of steps to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40% to 45% from 2012 levels by 2025, encompassing both commonsense standards and cooperative engagement with states, tribes and industry to put us on a path toward the 2025 goal. [Renewable Energy Focus]

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