January 28 Energy News

January 28, 2015

World:

¶ There is a huge controversy about the level of subsidies in Germany towards renewables as it undertakes its energy transition – “Energiewende” – but the fact is that these subsidies pale in comparison to those that have been paid to conventional technologies, which have been more than twice as great. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Five of the 10 regional power monopolies in Japan will start buying renewable power again under a revised scheme that makes it easier for them to place limits on their intake if they face network limitations. The new rules allow the utilities to decline excessive solar and wind power at certain hours of the day. [Business Recorder]

¶ Bloomberg New Energy Finance has released figures showing that investment in clean energy in India jumped to $7.9 billion in 2014, up from $7 billion the year earlier. However, Bloomberg also predicts that clean energy investment is likely to jump up past $10 billion this year for the first time since 2011.[CleanTechnica]

¶ According to Mighty River Power, one of New Zealand’s largest electricity generation and electricity retailing companies, geothermal energy production is the second most important source of electricity fuel in the country, with hydro power taking the top spot. Geothermal increased 150% over the past decade. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

¶ Global nuclear power capacity increased slightly in 2014. Five new reactors (4.76 gigawatts) began supplying electricity and three were permanently shut down. Nuclear generating capacity increased by 2.4 GW, compared to 26 GW for windpower. Thus a long-standing pattern of stagnation continues. [Business Spectator]

¶ The world can enjoy higher standards of living and more travel, while drastically cutting emissions to avoid dangerous climate change, but only with sweeping changes to our infrastructure, the natural world, and agriculture, and continuation of poverty for many, UK Government analysis has found. [Greenwise Business]

US:

¶ The Pilgrim nuclear power plant in Plymouth, Massachusetts shut down due to the storm after two transmission lines failed. The power lines into Pilgrim are working, but the plant could not deliver the electricity it generated. The plant has a week’s supply of fuel for its emergency generators. [Wicked Local Plymouth]

¶ The Vermont Public Service Department has awarded two Vermont-based companies, Casella Resource Solutions, Rutland, and Grow Compost, Waterbury, with Clean Energy Development Fund grants to build and operate pilot projects to demonstrate the feasibility of anaerobic digestion of food scraps. [Renewable Energy from Waste]

¶ US tight oil production from shale plays will fall faster than most assume. High decline rates from shale reservoirs is one reason. But also, every rig used in pad drilling has approximately three times the impact on the daily production rate as a rig did before pad drilling. Well productivity has decreased by about a third. [Resilience]

¶ With power less than $0.10/kWh throughout Washington state, some customers would not put solar panels on their roofs without the incentive. The state paid out about $19.6 million for incentives in 2013. A Solar Washington study found that every $1 of solar incentives puts $2.46 into the economy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Obama administration released a draft five-year plan for oil and gas lease sales that would open areas of the Atlantic Ocean and offshore Alaska to drilling. The draft plan includes 14 potential lease sales in eight planning areas, ten in the Gulf of Mexico, three off Alaskan coasts, and one off Virginia through South Carolina. [Huffington Post]

¶ Hawaiian Electric has proposed to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission to raise the allowable PV penetration threshold from 120% to 250% of a circuit’s daytime minimum load. With the change, new net-metered PV customers would be paid less for their excess electricity, closer to the utility’s avoided costs. [Business Spectator]

¶ Solar, wind, hydropower, biomass, geothermal and waste-to-energy electricity production could account for 98% of Oregon’s and Washington’s electricity needs in just 15 years, according to two new reports from the Wind Energy Foundation’s Renewable America project, which promotes wind development. [Jefferson Public Radio]

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