March 25 Energy News

March 25, 2015

World:

¶ According to a study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, the cost of producing power in central and southern Europe will have declined to between 4 and 6 cents per kWh by 2025, and to as low as 2 to 4 cents by 2050.” The study was commissioned by the think tank Agora Energiewende. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The UK low carbon economy was worth £122 billion in 2013 and has been growing at 7% per year, according to government figures. A low carbon investment report from the Department of Energy and Climate Change says the sector supports over 460,000 jobs, or about 1.5% of all UK jobs. [Business Green]

British rooftop solar array.

British rooftop solar array.

¶ A new report published by Australia’s Climate Council has shown just how dramatically Australia is falling behind other leading world economies in renewable energy generation. The failure is due to the current policy uncertainty resulting from the government’s review of the Renewable Energy Target. [CleanTechnica]

¶ EDF Energy has agreed to buy the electricity generated from 104-MW of solar farms in the UK, owned by Primrose Solar. The 15-year power purchase provides for an inflation-linked guaranteed minimum price. The price floor enhances Primrose Solar’s ability to raise capital against the projects. [Clean Technology Business Review]

¶ Gas fueled power plants will soon supply all the electricity in Beijing as China strives to cut down pollution levels there. The last of four coal-fired power plants, an 845-MW plant of China Huaneng Group Corp, is scheduled to be closed in 2016. The gas plants will have double the capacity of the old plants. [India Gazette]

¶ More than a million homes in the UK could be heated using green technology that takes heat from nearby rivers and canals and pumps it into the home. The Energy Secretary is promoting water-source heat pumps, taking heat from 4041 rivers, estuaries, coastal sites and canals the government has identified. [The Independent]

US:

¶ A proposal to build a hydroelectric power plant in the San Vicente Reservoir near Lakeside is going before the San Diego City Council’s Environment Committee. The project would require construction of an upper reservoir that would pour into the existing body of water. The plant would produce 500 MW. [Times of San Diego]

San Vicente Dam and Reservoir aerial view. Photo courtesy of the San Diego Water Authority

San Vicente Dam and Reservoir aerial view. Photo courtesy of the San Diego Water Authority

¶ A Colorado company, Red Rock Biofuels, is planning a $200 million biofuels refinery in Lakeview, Oregon where it will refine jet fuel to be used by Southwest Airlines. The refinery will also produce diesel and naphtha fuel from its wood pulp stock through wood gasification and Fischer-Tropsch catalysis. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The US DOE reported that California is the first state to get 5% of its electricity from large-scale solar power installations. In 2014, solar power plants in California generated 9.9 million MWh, more than all other states combined. The report does not count rooftop systems, which are a large part of the total. [SFGate]

¶ SunPower Corp will build the 15-MW solar array on Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. The $50 million plant will be owned by NV Energy on land leased from the Air Force in the southwest part of the base. Together with an older 13.2-MW solar plant, it will power all base facilities during daylight hours. [Las Vegas Review-Journal]

¶ Carbon Tracker’s report, “The US Coal Crash,” argues that coal demand is in a structural decline that could also befall oil and gas producers world over in coming years. Companies that fail to adapt to technological and policy changes that will ultimately curb greenhouse-gas emissions could lose billions. [Bloomberg]

¶ A measure reducing the amount of renewable energy sources utilities would have to tap to provide electricity for their customers by 2020 has narrowly passed the New Mexico House and is heading to the senate. The current standard increased from 10% to 15% this year and requires 20% in 2020. [PennEnergy]

¶ Enel Green Power has commenced the construction of a new wind farm in Oklahoma. The company plans to invest approximately $130 million to construct the Little Elk wind project, which will have a total installed capacity of 74 MW. The wind farm will generate enough power for 27,000 US homes. [Greentech Lead]

¶ The California Public Utilities Commission failed to probe possible Southern California Edison responsibility for design errors that led the demise of the San Onofre nuclear power plant. Now a California Assembly Committee is asking the commission for review the $4.7 billion San Onofre settlement. [CleanTechnica]

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