February 3 Energy News

February 3, 2015

Opinion:

¶ “Battery storage – the growing spectre of grid parity” In a study published this month, IRENA provides a global scope. One of the most interesting presentations in the study is a table showing what battery storage costs in Germany. It shows the point of grid parity for solar+storage as coming this year. [RenewEconomy]

¶ “Low Carbon Fuels: How Clean Fuels Can Power the West Coast and Beyond” As California prepares to readopt their 2010 Low Carbon Fuel Standard, we are seeing clear evidence that diverse types of clean fuel can make a significant contribution to cutting fossil fuel use. [The Equation: Blog of the Union of Concerned Scientists]

¶ Grid operators in New England have multiple options to offset the loss of generation from closing the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, and they will most likely use several of them in combination. One way is to expand transmission capacity into New England. Another is to reduce demand. There are others. [PennEnergy]

Science and Technology:

¶ While fossil energy use produces much more greenhouse gas emissions than other causes, land use alteration is another major source (roughly a quarter of all global emissions). GHG emissions arise from deforestation, peatlands, methane from cattle, nitrogen from overfertilization, and other human activities. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Chinese renewable energy giant Hanergy Holding Group says it will unveil three to five solar-powered cars using its thin-film PV technology in October. The cars will have six square meters of PV modules on their frames. In theory, four hours’ sunshine could power a one-ton car to run 80 to 100 kilometers. [ecns]

World:

¶ Hong Kong-based GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Limited has plans to build 2 GW of solar power plants in China in 2015. If all goes well, the company could achieve 3 GW by 2017. Many of these projects are utility-scale, with some distributed generation. The company connected 52 MW to the grid in January. [CleanTechnica]

¶ More wind and solar plants raised Poland’s renewable energy installed capacity to 6,029 megawatts (MW) in 2014 from 5,511 MW a year earlier. Wind farm capacity rose 13% to 3,834 MW, while solar power capacity grew to 21 MW from 1.9 MW. Poland’s economy generates around 90% of its electricity from coal. [EurActiv]

¶ The Philippine government is keeping up its push for renewable energy projects to diversify energy sourcing and boost power supply in the country. At the of end of 2014, 638 renewable energy projects had been awarded with a total potential capacity of 10,041 MW, of which 2,584 MW were up and running. [eco-business.com]

US:

¶ Newly announced support from San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has the city kicking its potentially 100% renewable-energy power program, CleanPowerSF, into high gear. CleanPowerSF is a proposed city-run power program that would provide solar, wind, small hydro and other renewable energy to San Francisco. [San Francisco Examiner]

¶ A recent report by Environmental Entrepreneurs, a national environmental policy group, notes that in the third quarter of 2014, North Carolina ranked fifth in the nation for new clean energy job creation. That’s due in large part over 200 companies focused on smart grid, water, and transportation technologies. [CleanTechnica]

¶ President Barack Obama’s proposed fiscal 2016 budget would make federal renewable energy tax credits permanent and provide billions of dollars for climate change initiatives, while eliminating almost $50 billion in fiscal incentives for the fossil fuel industries. He faces stiff opposition from Republicans. [Recharge]

¶ A bill in the Oregon Legislature this session would require electric companies to stop delivering coal-fired power to Oregon customers by 2025. Only coal-fired power from out of state would be effected, as Oregon’s only coal-fired power plant in Boardman is scheduled to be retired in 2020. [Jefferson Public Radio]

¶ The year 2014 may just shape up to be the best renewables have ever had in the United States. Data in the US Energy Information Administration’s Monthly Energy Review points to 2014 continuing an upwards trend in renewable energy production. At this time, data has only been released up to October 2014. [Energy Digital]

¶ Rocky Mountain Institute announced the launch of the Business Renewables Center, a collaborative platform to accelerate corporate renewable energy procurement. The BRC’s goal is to add another 60 GW of wind and solar by 2025 by decreasing costs and the complexities of installation for businesses. [AltEnergyMag]

¶ Apple will build a $2 billion global command center in Mesa, Arizona, with 150 full-time employees. The tech giant said it would be one of the largest investments it has ever made. Apple has pledged to completely power the facility with renewable energy, building out solar projects in the process. [Yahoo!7 News]

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