March 11 Energy News

March 11, 2015

Opinion:

¶ Today, the 11th of March 2015, marks the fourth year since beginning of one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters: the triple reactor core meltdowns and catastrophic containment building failures at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. It’s a nuclear crisis that, unfortunately, continues to unfold. [Greenpeace International]

Science and Technology:

¶ NuScale Power has successfully installed a full-length test version of its small modular nuclear reactor in Piacenza, Italy. NuScale plans to submit the project for approval in 2017 and begin operations in late 2023. In late 2013, the US Department of Energy selected NuScale for a commercialization project. [Next Big Future]

The solar-powered plane Solar Impulse 2 takes off from Muscat airport in Oman

The  Solar Impulse 2 takes off from Muscat airport in Oman.

¶ Solar Impulse 2 landed in India late on Tuesday, completing the first major sea leg of its epic bid to become the first solar-powered plane to fly around the world. The aircraft touched down in Gujarat at 11.25 pm to finish its second leg in a little less than 16 hours after taking off from the Omani capital Muscat. [Hindustan Times]

World:

¶ A group of experts is expected to finalize details this week of a road map to install 160 GW of battery storage worldwide by 2030. The International Renewable Energy Agency is developing the plan, which is due to be launched this summer following feedback next week from worldwide experts. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Germany’s E.ON suffered its biggest ever annual loss after booking billions of euros in charges on its ailing power plants, clearing the way for it to spin off these assets hit hard by ultra-low wholesale prices. Europe’s power companies are suffering from low oil prices and a surge in renewable energy capacity. [Reuters UK]

kenya¶ A group of decision and policy makers and independent power developers, who met in Kenya’s capital Nairobi recently, said mini grids, utilizing solar PV and wind have capacity to generate up to 40% of sub Saharan Africa’s new power capacity with the region’s mini-grid market showing potential to grow to $4 billion per a year. [Solar Novus Today]

US:

¶ Renewables contributed 13.4% of all US electricity generation in 2014, when a CleanTechnica estimate for rooftop solar is added in (that is, solar PV projects under 1 MW in size… which are primarily rooftop solar power projects). The figure in 2013 was 13%, so the basic news is… we’re inching forward. [CleanTechnica]

a1 solar NC¶ North Carolina has one of the fastest-growing solar industries in the country, and the evidence suggests the clean energy sector has helped boost the state’s economy. Now solar has taken another step forward with Principal Solar’s announcement that it will build a 73 MW solar farm in Fayetteville. [CleanTechnica]

¶ GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association released the US Solar Insight 2014 Year in Review report, and it shows how far the industry has come in a short amount of time. The U.S. solar industry had another record year in 2014, with 6.2 GW of solar installed, 30% more than a year ago. [Motley Fool]

a1 ucs¶ Many US electric utilities are doubling down on natural gas to generate power as they retire old polluting coal plants. While this shift does provide some near-term benefits, dramatically expanding our use of natural gas is an ill-advised gamble that poses complex economic, public health, and climate risks. [Clean Energy News]

¶ The Vermont House passed H.40, a bill designed to reduce residents’ carbon footprint, despite complaints from Republicans who fear the new renewable energy targets will come at an unforeseen cost. The RESET program increases percentages for renewables from 50% of sales by 2017 to 75% by 2032. [vtdigger.org]

Source: US Energy Information Administration, Electric Power Monthly

Source: US Energy Information Administration, Electric Power Monthly

¶ In 2015, electric generating companies expect to add more than 20 GW of capacity to the power grid. The additions are dominated by wind (9.8 GW), natural gas (6.3 GW), and solar (2.2 GW), which combine to make up 91% of total additions. Nearly 16 GW is expected to retire, including 12.9 GW of coal. [Business Spectator]

¶ New York State is poised for a much-needed breakthrough in the development of offshore wind power technologies to harness the vast renewable, carbon-free wind resources off its shores, according to a new report from prepared by the University of Delaware’s Special Initiative on Offshore Wind. [Natural Resources Defense Council]

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