April 7 Energy News

April 7, 2015

World:

¶ Starting in June, defense companies will join NATO to test the military’s ability to use renewable power in combat and humanitarian operations. About 1,000 North Atlantic Treaty Organization soldiers will spend 12 days deploying wind turbines, solar panels and self-contained power grids in Hungary. [Bloomberg]

The solar flower has been developed by Austria’s Smartflower Energy Technology GmbH. Source: Smartflower Energy Technology GmbH

The solar flower has been developed by Austria’s Smartflower Energy Technology GmbH. Source: Smartflower Energy Technology GmbH

¶ Solar PV is already upturning the business models of utilities around the world, yet right now it contributes just 1 per cent of global electricity demand. Imagine what its impact will be when it grows another tenfold in the coming decade. Deutsche Bank expects solar to become a $5 trillion market by 2030. [RenewEconomy]

¶ The Guardian Media Group, publisher of the award-winning newspapers Guardian and Observer, has announced that it will sell off all fossil fuel assets in its £800 million investment portfolio. Neil Berkett, Chairman of the Guardian Media Group, justified the decision citing financial and ethical reasons. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The first grid-connected hybrid flywheel project in Europe has been announced and is to be sited in the Irish midlands. The development in storage will be welcomed by renewable energy industries as the technologies they offer continue to make inroads in affordability, cost effectiveness and grid stability. [PennEnergy]

¶ China is slowly starting to march away from coal power, and a new development could turn that slow march into an all-out run. Renewable energy company UGE International teamed up with financial experts Blue Sky Energy Efficiency to offer the first ever power purchase agreements to customers in China. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Azerbaijan plans to use the windy Caspian Sea to expand its alternative energy potential. The country has started work on the development of the area of the Caspian Sea to create wind farms there. The country’s potential of renewable energy sources exceeds 12,000 MW, of which 4,500 MW is from wind. [AzerNews]

¶ Toshiba announced the opening of the Toshiba Group Hydrogen Energy Research & Development Center in western Tokyo. The center will concentrate on Group-wide initiatives to realize a hydrogen economy. Toshiba Group aims to increase the sales of hydrogen-related business to $1 billion by 2020. [AZoCleantech]

¶ An experimental project is under way in Japan to generate hydrogen from wind power as a step toward achieving a zero-emission hydrogen-powered society. The experiment is at a wind power producing facility in waters about a kilometer off Kabashima island, one of the Goto Islands in Nagasaki Prefecture. [Asahi Shimbun]

¶ Radiation from Japan’s 2011 Fukushima Disaster has for the first time been detected along a North American shoreline, though at levels too low to pose a significant threat to human or marine life, scientists said on Monday. Traces of Cesium-134 and Cesium-137 were in samples collected on Vancouver Island. [Newsweek]

US:

¶ Module installation has wrapped up at the 250-MW Copper Mountain Solar 3 project by Sempra US Gas & Power and Consolidated Edison Development. Cupertino Electric fitted the last of more than a million units at the facility in Boulder City, Nevada. The 1400-acre project broke ground in early 2013. [reNews]

Installation work on the Copper Mountain 3 project (Cupertino)

Installation work on the Copper Mountain 3 project (Cupertino)

¶ According to a new report from the Solar Energy Industries Association, Vermont added 38 MW of solar energy capacity in 2014. This brings the state’s total installed solar capacity to 70 MW, enough to power approximately 7,500 average homes. $76 million was invested in Vermont solar last year. [Hydrogen Fuel News]

¶ Americans are installing rooftop solar power systems at an unprecedented rate, but not everyone can is doing it. In many states, unfavorable rules still make it too hard or expensive for homeowners and companies to go solar. Solar advocates say the utilities are largely to blame for the mismatch in policies. [International Business Times]

¶ NextEra Energy Resources LLC, the biggest renewable-energy power company in North America, is spending another $640 million on two massive new wind farms in eastern Colorado. That’s on top of roughly $2 billion it has already invested in Colorado wind farms collectively generating 1,175 MW. [Pacific Business News (Honolulu)]

¶ After stopping additional solar installations for 18 months, Hawaiian Electric Co now says it can handle more solar and is clearing a backlog of applications from homeowners who have been waiting to get rooftop systems connected. The utility has processed requests from 2,543 customers on Oahu. [Environment & Energy Publishing]

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