April 8 Energy News

April 8, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ A research team at Rice University has just come out with a new study showing that oil-rich algae can thrive on municipal wastewater, which means that biodiesel or “black gold” could also be in the works. The study found cyanobacteria can convert more than 80% of lipids into a type of biodiesel. [CleanTechnica]

Wastewater tanks in experiment at Rice University.

Wastewater tanks in experiment at Rice University.

World:

¶ Solar and wind power are now the cheapest sources of new energy supply in the United Arab Emirates, according to a new report published today. The study was conducted by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Renewable Energy Agency, and Masdar Institute of Science and Technology. [Click Green]

¶ Australia’s power generation and transport fuel use will be left to the market to decide, the Abbott government says in its energy white paper, which does not discuss climate change as a driver of energy policy. The government says it will not push new technologies to try to reduce greenhouse emissions. [The Guardian]

¶ In Australia, the Labor party has announced it is backing the Clean Energy Council’s compromise position on Australia’s Renewable Energy Target. Late last month, The Clean Energy Council proposed a compromise target for large-scale renewable energy in Australia of 33,500 GWh by 2020. [Energy Matters]

¶ Researchers at Germany’s Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg and Japan’s Gifu University are collaborating on a slew of energy projects as part of concerted efforts ranging from intelligent integration of PV into the grid to green power-to-gas energy storage. [eco-business.com]

¶ London-based solar developer, Lightsource Renewable Energy, has revealed that it connected over 300 MW of PV capacity in March. It energised 27 solar farms prior to renewable obligation support for projects greater than five MW being scrapped. The company has a target of owning 1 GW of UK solar capacity. [Solar Power Portal]

¶ According to data collected by the Fukushima Prefecture, 2014 saw 1,232 nuclear-related deaths. The two towns with the greatest number of deaths were both near the Fukushima plant: Namie, with 359 dead; and Tomioka, with 291 dead. A nuclear-related death is from a disease caused by radiation exposure. [Center for Research on Globalization]

US:

Cohocton Wind Farm in New York

Cohocton Wind Farm in New York

¶ New York State has issued a $160 million call for clean energy projects. Eligible renewable energy sources include wind farms, solar projects, fuel cells, biomass facilities, renewable biogas and the upgrading of small-sized to medium-sized hydropower projects that provide power to the electric grid. [reNews]

¶ The American Wind Energy Association points to a “wind rush” in areas such as the Great Lakes states and the Southeastern US. Not only are turbines growing taller to reach higher altitude winds, but wind turbine blades are growing longer, and the price of wind energy is dropping as a result. [CleanTechnica]

¶ TVA has long been under pressure from environmental groups to make more use of energy efficiency as a power resource, but now the agency is seeing some pushback on that idea from some of the power distributors it serves who question the costs of that approach. Of course, efficiency means reduced sales. [Knoxville News Sentinel]

¶ A developer wants to build Maine’s largest solar-electric project at an abandoned Navy radar site, but the venture hinges on the Maine Legislature passing a proposed law aimed in part at creating financial incentives for solar power. The project would be 2.8 MW, enough power for 58,000 homes. [Press Herald]

¶ By the end of August, solar power should be part of Entergy Mississippi’s electricity-generation repertoire. The utility broke ground Tuesday on one of three solar projects it plans in Jackson, Senatobia and Brookhaven as part of its $4.5 million Bright Future Plan. It’s the first large-scale solar project in the state. [Jackson Clarion Ledger]

¶ A Republican push to expand solar power in North Carolina may stand the best chance yet of ending a state ban that prevents independent energy developers from selling electricity directly to customers. The Energy Freedom Act would inject a free-market alternative into the state’s strictly regulated utility market. [Charlotte Observer]

¶ The growth of microgrid deployment in the US continues, with the latest project seeing a range of distributed generating technologies coupled with smart grid technology and storage. Network operator Oncor has labeled a Dallas area project with four interconnected microgrids the “most advanced microgrid in North America.” [pv magazine]

¶ DONG Energy has agreed to take over RES Americas Developments Inc’s newly assigned development project rights off the coast of Massachusetts, which could support production of over 1000 MW. Entering the US offshore wind market earmarks DONG Energy’s entry into the first project outside Europe. [Your Renewable News]

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