January 17 Energy News

January 17, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ 2014 was the Earth’s warmest year on record, according to the National Climatic Data Center, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Average temperatures were 0.07 degrees Fahrenheit above the previous high recorded since record-keeping began in 1880, the agency said. [CNN]

World:

¶ Wind power displaced £579 million of coal and gas imports in the UK in 2013, increasing resilience, according to Cambridge Econometrics. Coal imports were reduced by an estimated 4.9 million tonnes and gas by 1.4 billion cubic metres. Some 56% of the nation’s gas supplies and 79% of its coal were imported. [reNews]

¶ South Africa’s Department of Energy has announced two new concentrating solar power plants to be built in the Northern Cape. The Kathu Solar Park and Redstone Solar Thermal Power project, each of which will have 100 MW capacity, are in the third round of the government’s renewable power program. [BusinessTech]

¶ Scotland’s rural electricity network is to receive its most significant upgrade in decades after Perth-based utility SSE accepted a new £1.118 billion funding proposal for the project. An SSE subsidiary agreed to develop the 1.2 gigawatt Caithness to Moray subsea transmission link with energy watchdog Ofgem. [The Courier]

¶ Australian Greens have launched their Queensland election campaign in Brisbane by promising millions to encourage households to start using solar energy. Greens Leader Christine Milne announced the three-point strategy, saying it removed barriers to installing solar for the people who most needed lower power bills. [Full-Time Whistle]

¶ Spending on renewable energy, which surged 16% in 2014, will remain strong this year, largely unaffected by the slumping oil prices that have depressed their shares. That’s the message from Goldman Sachs’ global head of clean technology and renewables, and Deutsche Bank AG’s renewable-energy analyst. [The News Journal]

¶ An additional 78 MW of energy are expected to be supplied to the Jamaican power grid, through two renewable projects to be undertaken along the nation’s south coast. They are a 58 MW wind energy development in Manchester and a solar facility to generate approximately 20 MW of power in Clarendon. [Jamaica Observer]

¶ Renewable energy consumption is set to grow over the next few years, and according to a new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit, said growth will outstrip growth in the fossil fuel industry. Despite this growth, non-fossil fuels are faced with political challenges that may hamper their ability to flourish. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Cuban government wants to make Granma province 100% renewably powered as a model for the rest of the island. They are well on their way. In 2013, renewables supplied 37% of all the energy consumed in Granma province, and the province currently has 3,664 renewable energy systems in operation. [BillMoyers.com]

US:

¶ The first large-scale wind turbine to be installed in New York City was installed in Brooklyn, built to help power a recycling plant at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal. It was installed by Aegis Renewables, of Waitsfield, Vermont. The turbine was made by Northern Power Systems, of Barre, Vermont. [Greentech Lead]

¶ Michigan Governor Rick Snyder says he wants to look into weaning the state off coal-fired generation. Currently, Michigan sources about 50% of its power from coal-fired plants, but Snyder told the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum that now is the time to look at a long-term transition away from coal. [Platts]

¶ The Virginia administration put out the call this week, asking interested companies to suggest solar projects for state facilities. The state’s not planning to sign contracts immediately. It’s looking for ideas to harness the sun’s power “at, around and/or atop state-owned property,” the governor’s office said. [Daily Press]

¶ A subsidiary of New Jersey Natural Gas, NJR Clean Energy Ventures, has installed solar panels on more than 3,200 homes, making it the state’s third-largest residential solar provider. Including 17 commercial solar projects, the company invested almost $400 million in solar energy in New Jersey. [Asbury Park Press]

¶ With the aim of providing US customers with a single contracting group to manage and deliver nuclear decontamination and decommissioning, Bechtel and Westinghouse Electric Company have announced the formation a partnership between the two that brings more than 100 years of industry experience. [KHL Group]

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