April 16 Energy News

April 16, 2015

World:

The Burgar Hill wind farm has been in operation for 13 years and faces the windiest conditions in the UK

The Burgar Hill wind farm has been in operation for 13 years and faces the windiest conditions in the UK

¶ A wind turbine in Orkney has become the first in the UK to generate more than 100,000,000 kWh of electricity. It sits on the island’s exposed Burgar Hill, the windiest location for a wind farm in Europe. It was erected as a prototype in 2002, and produces enough power, on average, to supply 1,400 homes. [Scotsman]

¶ A coalition of 900 Dutch citizens has taken the Netherlands’ government to court for its inaction on cutting greenhouse gas emissions and addressing climate change. This represents (arguably) the first time a national government has been taken to court over existing human rights with regard to climate change. [CleanTechnica]

¶ In its proposal to the United Nations climate conference in Paris this year, Brazil will propose ambitious new targets to reduce destruction of the Amazon rainforest, boost reforestation and increase solar, hydro and wind energy. To do so, it will need foreign capital and technology, the Environment minister said. [Bloomberg]

¶ United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on business leaders to expand investment in low-carbon growth and opportunities to advance sustainable energy for all and tackle climate change, in a statement to The Future of Energy Summit 2015, organized by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. [Big News Network.com]

¶ Three wind farms were announced by BC Hydro for the Okanagan region of British Columbia. They will add 45 MW of capacity to the BC Hydro system, enough to power about 14,000 homes. One farm will be near the northeastern BC community of Taylor, one near West Kelowna, and one at Summerland. [The Province]

¶ The Rockefeller Foundation has made a commitment to invest $75 million in India to power 1,000 villages in the country. The project will be focusing on providing electricity through the ‘smart power’ grid to villages located across Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, according to the foundation’s president. [Moneycontrol.com]

US:

Wind farm. Author: Samir Luther. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

Wind farm. Author: Samir Luther. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

 

¶ The US wind industry generated $12 billion in private investment in 2014 and added 23,000 jobs, the American Wind Energy Association says in a new report. There are nearly 20,000 workers in wind manufacturing and 53,000 jobs in project development, construction, operations, and other industry areas. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ California might just have broken another solar record, with 6,000 MW of solar power flowing into the state’s grid over about four hours on Wednesday. That’s according to a graph generated by computers at the California Independent System Operator, which manages most of the state’s power grid. [KCET]

¶ America’s power generation fleet has changed so much since the 1950s, and especially over the last decade, that the amount of carbon we emit per MWh of electricity produced has dropped to its lowest point in recorded history. In fact, 2015 could be the cleanest ever for our power industry. [Environmental Defense Fund]

¶ The DOE will provide $7 million in funding for the research and development of innovative technologies for low-impact hydropower systems. The funding will help advance hydropower drivetrains and structural foundations that will minimize environmental impacts and reduce the lifetime costs of hydropower. [PennEnergy]

¶ Greenpeace USA just released “Carbon Capture Scam (CCS): How a False Climate Solution Bolsters Big Oil,” a report explaining why support for carbon capture and sequestration must stop. The CO2 from burning coal ultimately still gets into the atmosphere after an expensive, long, inefficient detour. [Huffington Post]

¶ Arkansas County’s Grand Prairie will soon become home to an 81-MW PV facility, according to Entergy Arkansas. It will be the largest solar power plant in the state. The project will cover nearly 500 acres and will be capable of generating enough clean energy to power about 13,000 homes. [PennEnergy]

¶ The Dow Chemical Company announced new sustainability goals, to be accomplished by 2025, which include creating products that offset three times more carbon dioxide than they emit throughout their life cycle and delivering $1 billion in cost savings or new cash flow by valuing nature in business decisions. [Environmental Leader]

¶ The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rejected a rate schedule proposed for the Ginna nuclear power plant, which supporters say is needed for reliability in western New York. The FERC ordered hearing and settlement proceedings. New York’s Public Service Commission is also reviewing the matter. [RTO Insider]

¶ Three bills introduced in the US Senate are “aimed at improving the safety and security of decommissioning reactors and the storage of spent nuclear fuel.” The bills’ sponsors include Senators Edward Markey of Massachusetts and Barbara Boxer of California, both Democrats, and IBernie Sanders of Vermont. [Platts]

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