March 31 Energy News

March 31, 2015

Science and Technology:

concentrated solar photovoltaic project

Australian concentrated solar photovoltaic project

¶ A fully grid-connected, first of its kind, concentrated solar photovoltaic power tower was unveiled in Newbridge, Victoria, Australia. Some believe it could reduce the cost of solar-based electricity around the world. The project has an ultra efficient concentrated photovoltaic receiver and a heliostat collector field. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Cheap oil will do “little to derail” the long-term growth of renewable power, according to Citigroup. Oil generates about 5% of global electricity and doesn’t generally compete directly with wind and solar. Only 11 countries get more than 20% of their electricity from oil, mainly in the Middle East and the Caribbean. [Bloomberg]

¶ Doctors and other health professionals have urged the UK government to impose an immediate moratorium on fracking for shale gas and oil after a report showed the controversial drilling technique generates “numerous” public health risks. The Medact report warns of cancer, birth defects and lung disease. [Business Green]


¶ In a poll ahead of the general election, 79% of Scottish adults believe the next UK Government should implement policies to continue to develop renewable energy. Just 26% back fracking for shale gas, 45% support new nuclear power stations, and 49% in favour building or extending coal and gas-fired plants. [Your Renewable News]

¶ Italian developer Enel Green Power has secured a €160m loan with KfW IPEX-Bank to finance the 111-MW Gibson Bay wind farm in South Africa. Gibson Bay, sited in Eastern Cape, will feature 37 turbines and generate some 420 GWh a year. Enel won rights to 513 MW of wind projects in bidding in 2013. [reNews]

¶ Moody’s Investors Service says that the impact of carbon reduction policies is rising globally, creating credit risks in carbon-intensive industries but, at the same time, driving significant innovation and change across many industrial sectors. However, even the most affected sectors enjoy some mitigating factors. [Business Standard]

¶ Rich nations provided around five times as much in export subsidies for fossil-fuel technology as for renewables over a decade, data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development says. The figures on export credits are central to a debate on targeting funding ahead of UN climate talks. [Independent Online]

¶ UK renewable energy investment company Low Carbon has commissioned five new solar parks with a combined 84.3 MW of capacity, bringing the company’s portfolio to 157.7 MW. The installations are set to produce enough electricity to power more than 25,300 UK homes and avoid 36,000 tonnes of CO2 a year. [Business Green]

¶ Simply Blue Energy, an Irish offshore energy company, is the developer of an offshore wave energy park expected to cost about £45 million. The venture will see around 200 generators off the coast of Cornwall, providing a 10-MW generating capacity. This will make it the largest wave energy park in the world. [Irish Independent]

Irish offshore energy company Blue Energy, seen here working off the coast of Sweden last year, lands major UK contract.

Irish offshore energy company Blue Energy, seen here working off the coast of Sweden last year, lands major UK contract.


¶ When the city council of Fort Collins, Colorado voted to reduce carbon emissions 80% by 2030 and be carbon neutral by 2050, it seemed the local utility might be doomed. But the utility decided to employ a new integrated utility services model, which provides on-bill financing and other services. [GreenBiz]

¶ The Interior and Energy Departments and the Army Corps of Engineers have extended their Memorandum of Understanding for Hydropower for another five years. The MOU’s extension aligns with goals for increasing renewably energy generation by improving the federal permitting process. [Your Renewable News]

¶ Green Mountain Power installed a Vermont-built Northern Power 100-kW wind turbine at a family farm as part of its commitment to generating more local, small-scale renewable energy in Vermont. It can produce about 155,000 kWh per year, equal to the amount of electricity used by 25 homes. []

¶ The Platte River Power Authority, a wholesale power generation company owned by Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont and Loveland, signed an agreement with Boulder-based Juwi Solar to develop, design, build and operate the 22-megawatt solar energy facility at the Rawhide Energy Station. [The Coloradoan]

¶ Austin Energy will seek up to 600 MW in utility-scale solar contracts next month. The city’s municipal utility is facing a 500 MW shortfall identified last year in its resource and reliability plan, the newspaper reported. Austin has set a goal to meet more than half of its demand through renewables by 2025. [Utility Dive]

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