March 1 Energy News

March 1, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ Water is eating away at the Antarctic ice, melting it where it hits the oceans. As the ice sheets slowly thaw, water pours into the sea — 130 billion tons of ice (118 billion metric tons) per year for the past decade, according to NASA satellite calculations. That’s the weight of more than 356,000 Empire State Buildings. [Huffington Post]

World:

¶ Algeria is the leading natural gas producer in Africa and is the second-largest supplier of gas to Europe, but that is not slowing down the North African country’s plan to ramp up solar power generation. The country’s energy minister has announced a plan to install 13.5 GW of solar PV capacity by 2030. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Presenting the General Budget 2015-16 in the Indian Parliament, the Finance Minister said, “Our de-facto ‘Carbon Tax’ on most petroleum products compares favourably with international norms.” He said with regard to coal, there was a need to find a balance between taxing pollution and the price of power. [Day & Night News]
… It was widely expected that Budget 2015-16 would include a lot of goodies for the renewable energy sector. But apart from a passing mention of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy’s well-publicised target of 175,000 MW of renewable energy capacity, the Budget had absolutely nothing for the sector. [Hindu Business Line]

¶ The UK’s Liberal Democrats set out plans to double the UK’s production of renewable electricity by the end of the next parliament and make Britain zero carbon by 2050. They say they have already created a low-carbon, pro-renewable, and more energy secure nation less reliant on unstable regimes for energy. [Liberal Democrats]

¶ South Korea’s nuclear commission decided to extend the operations of the country’s second-oldest nuclear reactor till 2022 despite growing concerns over safety. The 679-MW Wolsong-1 reactor completed its 30-year life span in 2012 and was turned off. The decision will extend its life for 10 more years. [EastDay.com]

US:

¶ Although the Eureka, California, City Council voted to participate in the clean-energy financing program known as Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, in January, the council may take a second look after learning that the Federal Housing Financing Agency is actively opposing the measure. [Eureka Times Standard]

¶ A series of bills that would repeal New Hampshire’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and Renewable Portfolio Standard are going before the New Hampshire House and Senate. The Governor Hassan indicated she will likely veto the RGGI bill but has not indicated any executive action on the RPS bills. [Seacoastonline.com]

¶ In an about-face from his first term, the governor of Wisconsin wants to eliminate funding for a University of Wisconsin-Madison renewable energy research center. He proposes cutting $8.1 million from a bioenergy program that was a key in landing one of the university’s biggest government grants ever. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

¶ Colorado rural electric cooperatives want state lawmakers to rewrite parts of a new state law that essentially requires them to produce 20% of their power from renewable sources. The co-ops have drafted Senate Bill 46, which doesn’t attack the 20% requirement, but would change some of the ways co-ops can reach it. [Pueblo Chieftain]

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