Februayr 8 Energy News

February 8, 2015

Power Investments:

¶ “Will This Ruin $124 Billion in Natural Gas Investments? (Hint: It’s Not OPEC)” – A new process for manufacturing ethylene developed by Brazilian chemical leader Braskem could be the biggest global threat to the natural gas industry. It’s secret ingredient? That would be bio-ethanol derived from sugar cane. [Motley Fool]

¶ “Nuclear Energy Renaissance Takes Another Blow and May Never Recover” – Setbacks like the Vogtle Nuclear Plant faced this week have become all too predictable in the nuclear industry, and they’re the reason a nuclear renaissance is unlikely in the US. Costs are simply too high, and competition too strong. [Motley Fool]

World:

¶ The premier of South Australia revived the nuclear debate when he announced a Royal Commission to investigate the costs and benefits of involvement in the nuclear industry. The commission would consider nuclear power stations, uranium enrichment plants, and a nuclear waste dump in the state. [The New Daily]

¶ There has been a surge in renewable energy uptake in the UK since the introduction of Feed-in Tariffs almost five years ago. Industry estimates suggest there is still as much as 20 GW of untapped generating potential on UK farms. But changing government support requires careful planning. [FarmersWeekly]

¶ Punjab is expected to achieve 2,500 MW renewable power generation with France pledging to become a partner in solar and biomass power sector in the State providing technologies along with investment by major French renewable energy companies. Special emphasis will be on Solar and Biomass projects. [NYOOOZ]

¶ Two Egyptian banks are moving into green lending with an initiative to finance rooftop solar power systems for residential consumers. National Bank of Egypt and Banque Misr are offering loans within specific areas of Cairo, with plans to expand into Egypt’s other governorates. Interest range from 4% to 8%. [Green Prophet]

US:

¶ The Columbia, Missouri Water and Light Department generated 7.22% of its energy for utility customers using renewable sources, exceeding the 5% goal for 2014 and nearly halfway to the 15% objective by 2018. At the end of 2014, the city had spent $1.12 million of the $3.29 million allotted. [Columbus Telegram]

¶ New York state is encouraging community-based microgrids through NY Prize, a $40 million first-of-its-kind competition announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The competition was discussed before an audience of a hundred at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at SUNY Poly last week. [Troy Record]

¶ Wyoming and Montana are among the country’s top coal producers, and both rely on coal for most of their electricity generation, but they have opposite approaches to the Clean Power Plan. Wyoming intends to fight the plan. Montana will comply with it. There are implications for the states’ economies. [Flathead Beacon]

¶ Solar power in Arkansas received a boost this week with the announcement of an agreement between a new Arkansas Electric Cooperatives subsidiary and an innovative Minneapolis solar panel company called tenKsolar to create the largest solar initiative for the electric company, which has 100,000 customers. [Times Record]

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