April 9 Energy News

April 9, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ A team of Stanford researchers has developed an aluminum ion battery that offers many significant advantages over the traditional lithium-ion batteries currently used in most electronic devices and today’s electric and hybrid cars. It is lower cost, has longer life, is not a fire hazard, and has environmental benefits. [Planetsave]

World:

Solar power for Uzbekistan.

Solar power for Uzbekistan.

¶ An Uzbek company plans to develop power plants producing solar energy in the country by 2017. Uzbekistan’s joint-stock electro-technical company, Uzeltechsanoat plans to organize the production of PV power plants with a capacity of up to 500 KW. The project may attract direct foreign investments. [AzerNews]

¶ Japan may set a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20% by 2030 from 2005 levels, as part of efforts to strike a new global deal to combat climate change later this year. The International Energy Agency estimates that Japan can reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 24%. [The Japan Times]

¶ A company based in the world’s largest oil exporting nation, Saudi Arabia, has become the new owner of Australia’s second-largest solar plant, the under-construction 72-MW Moree PV project, after buying Spanish solar developer Fotowatio Renewable Ventures and its 3.8-GW global development pipeline. [RenewEconomy]

¶ TEPCO may evaporate or store underground tritium-laced water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant as an alternative to releasing it into the ocean. The removal of hundreds of thousands of tons of water containing tritium is one of many issues facing TEPCO as it tries to clean up the wrecked plant. [The Japan Times]

US:

¶ SunEdison, the world’s largest renewable energy development company, announced the groundbreaking for the 22.6 MW DC Seven Sisters solar project in Southern Utah. The Seven Sisters are seven separate solar power plants, four of which are located in Beaver County and three in Iron County, Utah. [Your Renewable News]

¶ The Obama administration’s plan to lower greenhouse gas emissions from power plants will also lower electric bills for customers, particularly low- and fixed-income households, as well as provide health benefits to those residents, according to a new study from the Natural Resources Defense Council. [NJ Spotlight]

¶ In the second annual survey conducted by national polling firm Zogby Analytics, 74% of Americans polled favored continuing federal tax incentives that support the growth of the solar and wind industries, including 82% of Democrats, two thirds of Republicans (67%), and 72% of Independents. [AltEnergyMag]

Wind farm. Photo by Samir Luther, Creative Commons.

Wind farm. Photo by Samir Luther, Creative Commons.

¶ Commercial and industrial, governmental and educational institutions signed over 23% of wind power purchase agreements last year, for more than 1,770 MW of power. US non-utility groups are increasingly buying wind power as a hedge against rising fuel costs and reduce their environmental impact. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ Washington Governor Jay Inslee proclaimed the cities of Bellevue, Edmonds, Kirkland, Mercer Island, and Seattle, Washington, “Northwest Solar Communities” on Wednesday, acknowledging their various initiatives that have increased residential solar installations by nearly 200% since 2013. [My Edmonds News]

¶ Billionaire Michael Bloomberg says he’s donating an additional $30 million to a Sierra Club initiative working to reduce the nation’s use of coal. The Sierra Club has a goal of replacing half the nation’s coal plants with renewable energy by 2017. Bloomberg had donated $50 million to the program in 2011. [Business Spectator]

¶ Michigan State University president Lou Anna K. Simon announced Wednesday that the school intends to stop burning coal by the end of 2016. A majority of coal buying and burning would end in 2015, largely by transitioning more to natural gas. Currently, the university uses coal for about a quarter of its fuel. [Great Lakes Echo]

¶ Led by solid growth in both the residential and commercial markets, Colorado ranked 13th in the nation in installed solar power capacity last year. According to the US Solar Market Insight 2014 Year in Review, Colorado added 67 MW of solar capacity, bringing its total to 398 MW, enough for over 76,000 homes. [PennEnergy]

¶ Ohio regulators have denied a price stabilization rider Duke Energy said was necessary to ensure a pair of aging coal facilities remain in operation and ensure the state’s electricity supply remains stable. The order closely mirrors a decision in February to reject a similar proposal by American Electric Power. [Utility Dive]

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