March 15 Energy News

March 15, 2015

Opinion:

¶ “Crony Biofuel Politics Wag the Dog” – Failure to back the Renewable Fuel Standards means sayonara to any White House hopes, candidates campaigning in Iowa were told. Appropriately chastened, many normally free market proponents dutifully took to the podium to endorse the mandates. [Eurasia Review]

Science and Technology:

¶ Traditionally, the electricity grid has relied upon dirty “peaker” power plants to balance the load during periods when electricity demand exceeds supply. Today, technology is available that can help fill the need for these peaker plants. This technology, also known as demand-side resources. [Energy Collective]

a1 Have-a-sunny-day

World:

¶ Siemens and the Egyptian government have reached firm agreements to build a 4.4-GW combined-cycle power plant and install wind power capacity of 2 GW. Siemens will build a factory in Egypt to make rotor blades for wind turbines, creating up to 1,000 jobs and nearly trebling Siemens’ footprint in the country. [Utilities-ME.com]

¶ The second day of Egypt’s Economic Development Conference saw the country sign agreements and memoranda of understanding with international companies worth $158 billion. Most of the deals signed on Saturday were concentrated in the field of energy, reaching over $30 billion worth of investment. [Egyptian Streets]

¶ India’s target of coal production for the next fiscal year is estimated to be 700 million tonnes. This production target could be considered India’s biggest annual output growth in Coal. Targets are not always met. The country’s the coal output in the current fiscal may be lower than the target of 630.25 million tonnes. [SteelGuru]

¶ Tens of thousands of people opposed to nuclear energy yesterday gathered in Taiwan in antinuclear parades and rallies, joining an alliance of civic groups to raise awareness about perceived problems with the nation’s nuclear policies. Protesters held banners bearing such messages as “Nuclear Energy RIP.” [Taipei Times]

A solar-powered vehicle from National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences leads an antinuclear energy protest in Kaohsiung. Photo: Ke Yu-hao, Taipei Times

A solar-powered vehicle from National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences leads an antinuclear energy protest in Kaohsiung. Photo: Ke Yu-hao, Taipei Times

US:

¶ Three years ago, the nation’s top utility executives gathered at a Colorado resort to hear warnings that solar panels posed a grave new threat to operators of America’s electric grid. Now, the industry and its fossil-fuel supporters are waging a determined campaign to stop a home-solar insurgency. [Buffalo News]

¶ The largest anaerobic digester in Maine, built three years ago, is among the largest in the United States. It produces enough electricity to power all the homes in a town the size of Boothbay Harbor. Its owners are planning to build a new bio-digester three times as big, to consume 50,000 tons of waste each year. [Press Herald]

¶ Marin Clean Energy, a California-based Community Choice Aggregation program, has signed a new $20 million contract with Calpine Corp that will further reduce the carbon emissions produced by the electricity it sells to its customers. Marin Clean Energy will optionally buy 10 MW to 15 MW. [Marin Independent Journal]

¶ Columbia, Missouri, has an electric system in need of more power. How to best pay for it is the question. Bond issue or drastic rate increase? If it passes, city utility customers would see a 6 percent rate increase over three years. If it fails, rates could rise 20% to 25% to pay for the projects the bond would have funded. [Columbia Missourian]

Electricity travels through distribution lines along Peabody Road on Thursday. Columbia Water and Light operates 70 miles of transmission lines throughout the city, according to the department's website.   |  Jenny Justus

Columbia Water and Light operates 70 miles of transmission lines throughout the city, according to the department’s website. Photo by Jenny Justus

¶ North Carolina’s environmental regulators put business first and the environment second, state Representative Rick Glazier said in a speech. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Department of Commerce are supposed to work together to protect the environment as business grows. [Fayetteville Observer]

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