March 10 Energy News

March 10, 2015

Opinion:

¶ “Rethinking the Addison pipeline” $154 million is a lot to spend on Vermont Gas Systems’ Addison County pipeline. That same amount of money could be much better spent weatherizing homes and businesses, installing more efficient heating systems and installing solar photovoltaic systems. [Barre Montpelier Times Argus]

World:

¶ At the RE-Invest 2015 summit in India last month, banks, financial institutions and the private sector offered commitments to shift the country’s power supply to clean, renewable resources. What didn’t come along with this was any explicit roadmap for how the grid would support such changes. [Energy Collective]

a rwe windfarm¶ RWE Innogy has started construction of the Sandbostel wind farm in the rural district of Rotenburg in Lower Saxony, Germany. The wind farm will consist of five wind turbines, each with a capacity of 2.35 MW and a total installed capacity of 12 MW. The wind farm is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2015. [Renewable Energy Magazine]

¶ Six community energy projects in northern New South Wales have been awarded grants by the NSW government, including a range of solar, bio-gas and mini-hydro projects, as the state pushes to assist community energy projects. One project is to take a whole village of 300 people off grid with renewables. [RenewEconomy]

¶ Germany continues efforts to expand its renewable energy capacity, with two German energy companies awarding separate contracts to Gamesa and Vestas for utility-scale wind power projects. Germany installed 4,750 MW of onshore wind generation capacity in 2014, a 58% increase in new capacity over 2013. [PennEnergy]

a1 fundy¶ Canada’s Halcyon Tidal Power has reaffirmed its commitment to construct an 1100-MW tidal range lagoon in the Bay of Fundy, although the company admits the timetable has slipped. Completion of the C$3.5 billion Scots Bay project in Nova Scotia was initially slated in 2020 but has been pushed back two years. [reNews]

¶ A $10 million pilot biomass plant will be constructed in the Western Australian Capital of Perth, to use pyrolysis. This produces hydrogen, carbon monoxide, methane, methanol, turpentine, and a lot of tar, all of which are fuels. Also produce is biochar, which can improve the soil while sequestering carbon. [CleanTechnica]

 

Public Domain, from Voice of America, downloaded from Wikimedia Commons. Photo Steve Herman.

Photo by Stever Herman. Public Domain, from Voice of America, downloaded from Wikimedia Commons.

¶ A Japanese report shows the number of deaths by radiation from the country’s Fukushima Disaster increased by 18% last year. The Japanese newspaper Tokyo Shimbun published figures, from authorities in Fukushima Prefecture, showing a total of 1,232 deaths in 2014 were linked to the nuclear disaster. [Press TV]

US:

¶ One Hickory, North Carolina, business has cut its energy bills by 90%. The Snyder Paper Corp cut its monthly energy bill from approximately $15,000 per month to about $1,500 by installing a new solar power system, new insulated and reflective roof, and LED lighting in its Hickory production plant. [Hickory Daily Record]

¶ According to New York System Operator, the state reached a power milestone when electricity generated by wind power hit a record. At 1 pm March 2, the 1,524 MW output provided 7% of the 20,894 MW of the state’s total system demand. One MW is about the amount of electricity required to supply 800 to 1,000 homes. [Auburn Citizen]

¶ A bill that would give large electric utilities an alternative way to comply with a state law requiring more energy from renewable sources passed the Washington Senate after a long fight over whether climate change is real and if humans contribute to it. It would give the utilities alternatives for cutting carbon emissions. [Fox Business]

"Just stick it in the sand, fellas. What you can't see can't hurt you." Photo by Fwaaldijk, dowload from Wikimedia Commons.

“Just stick it in the sand, fellas, and everything bad goes away.”
Photo by Fwaaldijk, download from Wikimedia Commons.

¶ A report from the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting suggests state environmental officials were directed not to use the terms “climate change,” “global warming,” or “sustainability,” after Florida’s Republican governor, Rick Scott, took office in 2011. Scott denies that any directive of the sort was issued. [CNN]

¶ While local renewable energy and energy efficiency are both proving to be near-existential threats to electric utilities in the early 21st century, the trends aren’t the same. The rapid rise of renewable energy is big news, but energy efficiency may now be the more persistent threat to electric utilities. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Net electrical generation from non-hydro renewable energy sources increased by 10.9% in 2014 over the previous year, according to the US Energy Information Administration. The solar contribution to net generation increased by 102.8%, while wind grew by 8.3%, biomass by 5.7%, and geothermal by 5.4%. [Domestic Fuel]

¶ The DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has used a simulation Tool to confirm that energy storage for demand-charge management can deliver attractive economic benefits. Absent incentives, small battery systems reducing peak demand by 2.5% offer the most attractive return on investment. [RealEstateRama]

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