March 23 Energy News

March 23, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ The Mercedes C 350 e plug-in hybrid electric vehicle possesses full lifecycle CO2 emissions up to 41% lower than the gas-powered Mercedes C 250 when charged with renewable energy sources, and 26% lower when charged with conventional power, according analysis confirmed by TÜV Süd. [CleanTechnica]


¶ A new French law requires the rooftops of every new building in a commercial zone to be partially covered with either solar panels or plants. Environmental activists in France wanted all new buildings to be completely covered by plants or solar panels, but the French government prefered not to be extreme. [CleanTechnica]

Paris Opera

Paris Opera – probably not a candidate for a new roof

¶ China’s top weather scientist warns that climate change could have a “huge impact” on China, reducing crop yields and harming the environment. Zheng Guogang said climate change could seriously threaten big infrastructure projects, and temperature rises were already higher than global averages. [BBC News]

¶ China, the biggest renewable-energy investor, asked local authorities to ensure the purchase of all the clean power generated in the country. The nation has also asked renewable-power plants to run at full capacity, taking into account grid safety and stability, the National Development and Reform Commission said. [Bloomberg]

¶ Australian power producer AGL Energy has put on stream a 25-MW unit of its 102-MW Nyngan solar park in New South Wales. Once fully operational, the $226 million plant, with its 350,000 solar panels, will be able to generate enough electricity for over 33,000 homes each year, according to the developer. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ Two Scandinavian wind-power developers will merge their $3.5 billion investment pipeline of developments across Finland, Norway and Sweden to cut costs. Havgul Clean Energy AS of Norway and Triventus Wind Power AB of Sweden will combine to form a company with 1.6 gigawatts of project plans. [Bloomberg]

¶ Bloomberg reported that European coal prices fell to the lowest in more than 7 years amid a worldwide coal glut, as governments from the US to China boost efforts to shift away from the most-polluting energy source. It is the third straight weekly decline as demand growth slows in China, the world’s biggest consumer. [SteelGuru]

¶ German energy provider Eon has become to the latest major company to move away from the North Sea, as it prepares to sell off its assets in the region. Firms operating in the North Sea have struggled over the past nine months, with a the price of oil plummeting combined with a stringent tax regime. [CITY A.M.]

North Sea oil platform. Photo by Stan Shebs, via Wikimedia Commons.

North Sea oil platform. Photo by Stan Shebs, via Wikimedia Commons.

¶ UK Green Investment Bank, Foresight Group and Zouk Capital are to invest £111m in the construction of Levenseat Renewable Energy’s 12.5-MWe energy from waste plant and adjacent materials recycling facility at Forth by Lanark in Scotland. GIB’s £28.25 million is the eighth investment made by the fund. [reNews]

¶ A new German government report is stoking fears that the country’s energy companies can’t shoulder the cost of a government plan to close the country’s nuclear-power plants. Nobody knows how much it costs to shut and clean up atomic-power plants or exactly how to deal with the radioactive waste. [Wall Street Journal]


¶ Texas Senator Ted Cruz isl entering the 2016 Presidential race. He announced on Twitter that he would seek the Republican Party nomination. Citing Cruz’s sceptical stance on climate change, California Governor Brown said he betokens “a level of ignorance and a direct falsification of the existing scientific data.” [The Independent]

¶ Renewable Energy Trust Capital, Inc announced on March 20 the close of over $200 million in financing for four solar PV projects in the US and Canada. The independent renewable finance platform closed a C$115 million non-recourse debt to support the acquisition of two solar PV facilities in Ontario, Canada. []

¶ A New Hampshire-based company, AgEnergyUSA, teamed with poultry giant Perdue to propose a $200 million plant on Maryland’s Eastern Shore to extract energy from chicken manure, offering its plan as a viable remedy for the farm pollution fouling the Chesapeake Bay. AgEnergyUSA also partners with EDF. []

¶ The American Biogas Council reports, “The U.S. has over 2,000 sites producing biogas: 239 anaerobic digesters on farms, 1,241 wastewater treatment plants using an anaerobic digester … and 636 landfill gas projects.” The ABC says many sites could be developed and it is easy to see the potential for growth. [Mondaq News Alerts]

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