March 6 Energy News

March 6, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ Raytheon Company and its partners, the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Primus Power, and Advanced Energy have successfully demonstrated an advanced microgrid system capable of islanded (off-grid) operation using stored and high penetration renewable energy. [Your Defence News]

World:

¶ The European Union and international NGO Adventist Development and Relief Agency announced a three-year program to expand renewable energy access in Somalia. The project will provide affordable and sustainable renewable power to 100,000 homes across Somaliland, Puntland and South Central Somalia. [ESI Africa]

¶ There are more indications that the world is reaching a tipping point, and it is firmly toward renewable energy and away from fossil fuels. A line from a report by the National Bank of Abu Dhabi is illustrative: “Going forward, almost all investments in the power sector will be in renewable energy.” [SustainableBusiness.com]

¶ China, the country that is building the most nuclear reactors, continued to get more electricity from the wind than from nuclear power plants in 2014. This came despite below-average wind speeds for the year. The electricity generated by China’s wind farms in 2014 was 16% more than the year before. [InvestorIdeas.com]

¶ “Lifting India out of poverty and pollution” India’s air is cutting 660 million lives short by about three years, while nearly all of the country’s 1.2 billion citizens are breathing in harmful pollution levels. Coal and nuclear have failed to provide 300 million Indians with electricity. Renewable power is an answer. [SBS]

US:

¶ Despite gas prices at the lowest point in years, new numbers show that using public transportation can be a money saver. The average annual savings for public transit riders in February is $9,238 ($770 per month), according to the American Public Transportation Association’s February Transit Savings Report. [CleanTechnica]

¶ In Texas, where consumers can buy electricity through competitive power plans, renewable energy plans are among the cheapest available. In a review of the state-run website PowertoChoose.org, three of the ten lowest-priced plans offered in Dallas this week were advertised as 100% renewable. [Dallas Morning News]

¶ Buoyed by tens of thousands of petitioners seeking to breathe new life into the Cape wind project, demonstrators took to Boston Common on February 28 to ask utility National Grid to rekindle its financial relationship with the project. Then about 96,000 more people signed online support petitions. [Barnstable Patriot]

¶ Raleigh-based Conservatives for Clean Energy commissioned a poll that shows overwhelming support for renewable and clean-energy sources, even among Republicans and self-described conservatives. Smaller numbers support oil and gas exploration, but a majority of those polled oppose fracking. [Charlotte Business Journal]

¶ Iowa generates 27% of its electricity from wind. It has 4,000 wind-related jobs. And wind companies pay farmers millions each year to host turbines. Now, for this Saturday’s caucus vote, Republican presidential candidates will have to answer for their position on the federal wind production tax credit. [U.S. News & World Report]

¶ New York is seeking to redefine the roles of electric utilities and change the regulatory framework to facilitate much larger use of distributed energy resources, such as energy efficiency, demand response, energy storage, and distributed generation, including on-site wind turbines and rooftop solar. [North American Windpower]

¶ Employment in the solar industry jumped 21.8% in 2014, adding 31,000 new jobs in that time for a total of 174,000 solar workers nationwide, and it is expected to jump by another 36,000 workers this year. Though not requiring special education, the jobs pay well. The average solar installer makes $24 an hour. [The Herald Journal]

¶ Cambridge, Massachusetts, currently purchases the electricity that powers its municipal buildings from TransCanada, Keystone XL’s parent company. But now its city council has passed a unanimous resolution advising the city manager not to do further business with the company and switch to renewable power. [EcoWatch]

¶ Jaffrey, New Hampshire, is pursuing a solar project. If it goes forward, town officials plan to have it built at the closed Jaffrey landfill. The town would use the energy generated to power the municipal wastewater treatment plant, leading to more than $1 million in savings over the course of 20 years. [The Keene Sentinel]

¶ A battle is brewing as Michigan Governor Rick Snyder prepares this month to lay out a new energy plan for the state and appoint Michigan’s first czar to oversee it. Michigan gets 62% of its electricity from coal and 31% from nuclear reactors. Its utility rates are above the Midwest and national averages. [The Detroit News]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: