March 9 Energy News

March 9, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ If the “true costs” of emissions — increased rates of premature death, illness, increased loads on the healthcare system, lowered crop yields, missed work days, etc — are factored in, a gallon of gasoline would cost you roughly $3.80 more at the pump than it currently does, according to Duke University research. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES) is a technology with almost negligible energy losses. A SMES system stores energy in a magnetic field, and can instantly release it. It is hence considered ideal for short duration energy storage, such as maintaining the quality of a power supply. [Virtual-Strategy Magazine]

World:

¶ Solar Impulse 2 took off from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates en route to the Omani capital Muscat at the start of a five-month journey of 35,000 km (22,000 miles) organised to focus the world’s attention on sustainable energy. The flight will be the first around the world in a solar-powered plane. [Reuters Africa]

¶ Construction of the first wind power farm in Viet Nam’s Central Highlands was kicked off in Dak Lak Province’s Ea H’leo District. The wind power farm is designed to generate 450 million kWh per year, according to HBRE Wind Power Solution Ltd, the investor of the $280 million wind power project. [VietNamNet Bridge]

¶ The Indian government formally confirmed the solar power capacity addition target for 2022 as 100 GW, bringing it to 25% of installed capacity. Currently, solar power capacity stands at around 3 GW, or about 10% of total renewable energy capacity, and just over 1% of the total power capacity of the country. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The UK’s largest biomass combined heat and power plant was officially opened. It promises to slash Scottish greenhouse gas emissions by up to 250,000 tonnes a year. RWE Innogy cut the ribbon on the Markinch Biomass CHP Plant in Glenrothes, Fife. It replaces a coal and gas-fired CHP power station. [Business Green]

¶ Byron Shire, in New South Wales, is aiming to become the first region in Australia to become “net zero emissions”, with a goal to reduce emissions from energy, transport, buildings, waste and land use to zero within 10 years. The town is following a plan created by the think tank Beyond Zero Emissions. [RenewEconomy]

¶ Nuclear power is risky and unprofitable, according to Mycle Schneider, an expert on nuclear energy. He expects bankruptcy in the nuclear industry and “substantial security risks,” because costs for nuclear energy continue to increase each year, as costs of other technologies, especially renewables, decline. [Deutsche Welle]

¶ Areva, France’s iconic nuclear power builder, reported a massive financial loss for 2014. The state-owned company revealed that it lost €4.9 billion ($5.6 billion) in 2014, an enormous decline from the €500 million loss it posted the previous year. The high cost of new nuclear reactors is one serious problem. [OilPrice.com]

US:

¶ With the purchase of electricity generated on giant wind farms in the Great Plains expected later this year, public officials in Aspen believe they will be able to claim consistent 100% electrical generation from renewable sources for the city’s electrical utility, one of just a handful of US cities that can do so. [Mountain Town News]

¶ Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has proposed a $30 billion budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year. In part of it, Wolf would fund several energy initiatives by issuing $675 million in bonds. He would pay the interest on the bond money with $55 million from a proposed severance tax on oil and gas drillers. [Tribune-Review]

¶ Clean energy and transport projects across the US created 47,000 new jobs last year, according to a new study from business group Environmental Entrepreneurs. Analysis confirms that the US has created more than 233,000 clean energy and clean transportation jobs nationwide over the past three years. [Business Green]

¶ The owner of the shuttered Vermont Yankee nuclear plant wants an exemption to use money from the plant’s decommissioning fund to pay for guarding spent nuclear fuel. The state, saying this violates federal regulations and could delay decommissioning, sent a letter to the NRC calling for a hearing. [Valley News]

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