March 3 Energy News

March 3, 2015


¶ “Renewable energy is conquering quirky nature of Britain’s climate” – Clever engineering is smoothing out the peaks and troughs of renewable power in Britain and having a positive effect on the power supply. It looks like this is making the nuclear industry redundant before a new station can be built. [The Guardian]

Science and Technology:

¶ Conversion of biogas into compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) is now frequently considered when penciling out project financials. The US EPA expanded cellulosic fuel pathways to include CNG and LNG from biogas created in landfills and a variety of kinds of bio-digesting systems. [Biomass Magazine]


¶ The news from Kenya about its electricity situation has been quite positive. Electricity costs for both consumer and industrial customers have decreased by about 30%. One estimate says Kenya saves $24 million per month. This favorable shift results from a consistent investment in geothermal energy. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Spain’s Abengoa SA kicked off commercial operations at a 100-MW concentrated solar power plant in South Africa. The parabolic trough plant is expected to generate enough electricity for about 80,000 local households. It has enough molten-salt storage for up to 2.5 hours of power after sunset. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ Suzlon has announced the commissioning of the 65.1-MW Rouar SA’s wind energy farm at Artilleros in Uruguay. The wind park is 170 kilometers east of capital Montevideo and is the first joint wind venture between Brazil and Uruguay. The project has 31 turbines, each with a rated capacity of 2.1 MW. [Greentech Lead]

¶ A documentary examining the deadly effects of smog on China’s population gripped the country after its release online this weekend. The 104-minute film, Under the Dome, explores how China’s noxious smog problem is harming urban residents. It has already been viewed tens of millions of times online. [Mashable]

¶ Rame Energy Plc, a UK-based energy developer, is planning to build 130 MW of wind and solar projects in Chile over the next 18 months. The projects will require about $300 million in investment, some of which will come from Banco Santander SA. The developer is also pursuing other funding sources. [Bloomberg]

¶ Good news! Not only did China’s coal consumption fall by 2.9% in 2014, Glen Peters of the Global Carbon Project calculates that China’s CO2 emissions have also fallen, by 0.7%. So it’s clear that China’s efforts to cut its coal consumption and carbon emissions are not only real, but are already producing results. [Energy Collective]

¶ The European Union is edging closer to its ambitious target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020. The latest annual Eurostat study of the European Commission’s 2020 strategy, found the Member States had already collectively achieved an 18% reduction from 1990 baseline levels. [Click Green]

¶ Economist Jeremy Rifkin says a Digital Europe transition will revolutionize every commercial sector, disrupt workings of virtually every industry, bring unprecedented new economic opportunities, put millions back to work, and create a more sustainable post-carbon society, mitigating climate change. [Materials Handling World Magazine]


¶ North Carolina is one of North America’s fastest growing markets for clean energy. The state’s cleantech sector grossed $4.8 billion in 2014 and, based on previous experience, most companies expect to grow between 30% and 35% this year. Close to ¾ of this money went to building efficiency and solar. [CleanTechnica]

¶ An effort to roll back Colorado’s renewable energy standard in the state Legislature died Monday in a House of Representatives committee. The bill, which passed the Republican-majority Senate last month, would have cut the standard for utilities from 30% back to 15% by 2020. [Denver Business Journal]

¶ Even though Oregon has an ambitious renewable portfolio standard and ranks second in the US for hydropower generation, it still receives a surprising 33% of its overall electricity from coal, mostly from out-of-state sources. A pair of bills in the state legislature would completely ban coal-fired electricity. [Energy Collective]

¶ A new 4.2-MW solar farm will provide up to 5% of the US Virgin Islands’ power needs during daylight hours. The Estate Donoe solar farm will generate clean electricity under a 25-year power purchase agreement with Main Street Power, which will also manage the operations and maintenance of the facility. [Energy Matters]

¶ Oakland Unified School District is celebrating completion of the new high efficiency solar PV at 16 schools at an event this morning. It reported today that SunPower solar power systems at the schools are expected to significantly reduce the district’s annual electricity costs over at least the next 25 years. [PennEnergy]

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