April 23 Energy News

April 23, 2015

Opinion:

¶ “The Value of Building-Scale Microgrids & Small Wind” Our energy landscape is changing, and there is no doubt of that. A lot of unpredictable factors will yet hit the playing field. One likely possibility that a lot of people in the industry are predicting, is that microgrids will play a much larger part than they do now. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ In northeastern Guangdong, about 10,000 residents of Heyuan (population 2.9 million) protested the development of a new coal power plant. Some of the expressions made by the protesters either verbally or on signs were, “Give me back my blue sky. Go away power plant. Stop feeding people with smog”. [CleanTechnica]

Heyuan, Guangdong, China

Heyuan, Guangdong, China

¶ A consensus of 65 scholars from every province found that Canada’s huge renewable potential could enable it to reach 100% low-carbon electricity by 2035. They issued a report on how the country can decarbonize its electric grid to slow climate change. They unanimously endorsed carbon pricing as a key. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Kyocera Corporation has completed and connected its two floating PV plants in Hyogo prefecture, Japan. One plant has a 1.7-MW capacity, and the other has 1.2 MW. The 255-watt modules will operate at high efficiency because of the cooling effect of the water, boosting the system’s overall production. [RenewablesBiz]

¶ Spain is reportedly planning to auction 500 MW of wind power and 200 MW of biomass power. Europa Press cited Spain’s energy ministry as saying the auction will be the first move since the country approved energy reform. The new capacity will support the ministry’s plans for electricity and gas sectors. [Energy Business Review]

¶ Japan’s nuclear regulator poured cold water on the schedule for the first restart of a reactor under new safety rules introduced since the 2011 Fukushima disaster, a day after a court cleared the way for the resumption of operations. A Nuclear Regulatory Authority Commissioner said it was too optimistic. [Reuters Africa]

US:

¶ SolarCity now has access to a fund that will allow financing more than $1 billion in new commercial-scale solar energy systems (including battery storage systems). The fund is expected to be used for systems at many businesses, schools, and government organizations throughout the country. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative carbon market, which covers nine Northeast US states, raised a cool $1.398 billion dollars in 22 auctions between September 2008 and December 2013. While it made $1.016 billion in green investments, it also generate more than $2.9 billion in lifetime energy savings. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Dynapower Company has expanded the micro-grid system at its company headquarters in South Burlington, Vermont, by adding 375 kW/250 kWh of lithium-titanate batteries by Microvast Power Solutions. The micro-grid system has 100 kW each of PV and of wind power, and 750 kW of other battery storage. [Vermont Biz]

Equipment in Dynapower's micro-grid in South Burlington, Vermont

Equipment in Dynapower’s micro-grid in South Burlington, Vermont

¶ The North American renewables arm of E.ON and GE Energy Financial Services officially opened the 211.2-MW Grandview wind park in Texas. GE’s finance unit invests $1 billion annually in renewables globally. It has committed over $9 billion in more than 14 GW of wind projects worldwide since 2004. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ The Rocky Mountain Institute says the US needs to invest $2 trillion in transmission infrastructure and upgrades by 2030. The cost and its impact can be reduced greatly by turning to largely unused efficiencies, including new smart technology, smaller homes, denser populations and more efficient appliances. [Bloomberg]

¶ North Carolina’s House Public Utilities Committee narrowly defeated an effort to freeze the percentage of retail sales that utilities must create using sources like solar, wind and animal waste and through efficiency efforts at the current 6%. A 2007 law requires 10% of power come from renewables by 2020. [Macon Telegraph]

¶ An expanded tax credit for wind-energy farms won initial approval from Nebraska lawmakers despite arguments that the state shouldn’t invest in the industry. Of all states, Nebraska has one of the greatest potentials to produce windpower, but its policies put it at 26th in installed wind capacity. [Kearney Hub]

¶ California households that use the least electricity would start paying more for it, under a proposal put before state utility regulators intended to bring the prices charged for electricity more in line with its actual costs. California had frozen rates for low-use customers during its 2000-2001 energy crisis. [Bakersfield Now]

¶ SunEdison announced that is has signed an agreement to develop and install a 2.6 MW solar power plant for the town of Winchendon, Massachusetts, on a previously unusable 12 acre town-owned landfill site. The landfill site will be converted under Massachusetts’ Solar Renewable Energy Certificates program. [IT Business Net]

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