April 25 Energy News

April 25, 2015


¶ “N.E. Governors Fixated on More Natural Gas” – New England’s governors agreed at a recent energy summit to work collaboratively on energy issues facing the region, principally by supporting the development of more natural-gas pipelines. The purpose of development is to keep the price of gas low. [ecoRI news]

Natural gas pipeline under construction. Photo by Monster4711. Wikimedia Commons

Gas pipeline under construction. Photo by Monster4711. Wikimedia Commons

Science and Technology:

¶ Dutch researchers at Wageningen University patented a process of collecting electricity from plants in 2007. The patents now belong to a Dutch company called Plant-e, which is developing ways to commercialize the invention. They say a square meter of garden can produce about 28 kWh per year. [Huffington Post]

¶ Researchers at the UK’s University of Bath and the US’ Yale University produced a new water-splitting catalyst that has excellent endurance and is highly efficient at performing the crucial oxidation half reaction. Their molecular iridium catalyst adheres to an electrode surface and has minimal degradation. [tce today]


¶ Energy giant NTPC signed a power purchase agreement with distribution companies in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh for 250 MW of solar power. The solar plant being developed under the first phase of the 1,000 MW ultra mega solar power project planned by the public sector major in the state. [The Hans India]

¶ (This blog is not usually concerned about the workings of corporations unless it has something directly bearing on energy, but GDF Suez is important enough that some may be confused if not informed of this change.) French power utility GDF Suez said on Friday it was changing its name to “Engie.” [Wall Street Journal]

¶ Three hundred delegates from 20 countries that produce uranium came together at a meeting in Quebec on Earth Day and called for “a worldwide ban on uranium exploration, mining, milling and processing, as well as the reprocessing of nuclear waste, and the irresponsible management of radioactive waste.” [Truthdig]

¶ Energy storage company Princeton Power Systems made moves to expand its efforts in the Caribbean and developing island nations, leveraging its base of operating projects in Jamaica, Haiti, the Bahamas and Bermuda, with an eye toward building collaborations in Cuba. A focus of the efforts is on microgrids. [PennEnergy]

¶ In India, with encouraging national and Odisha state policies, Odisha Hydro Power Corporation has proposed experimenting with canal top solar power plants. Chief engineers of irrigation projects have been asked to provide lists of suitable canals on which solar panels could be installed over water surfaces. [The Hindu]

A canal should have at least 10 metre width and minimum length of 750 metre to be selected for solar power projects.

A solar PV installation over an irrigation  canal

¶ The world’s largest coal consumer could be dramatically transformed in its energy profile in the coming decades, a report says. China could get 85% of its electricity from renewable resources by 2050, according to the China 2050 High Renewable Energy Penetration Scenario and Roadmap Study. [ThinkProgress]

¶ Yasuo Yamamoto, an unemployed 40-year-old, faces obstruction charges after turning himself in to local police in Fukui prefecture. Operations at Abe’s Tokyo office were disrupted on April 22 when the drone, which carried a small container marked with a radioactive danger sign, was discovered. [Bloomberg]


¶ Tucson Electric Power is seeking bids for the design and construction of a utility-scale energy storage system that would be operational by the end of 2016. The company, which has 414,000 customers, is seeking a project partner to build and own a 10-MW storage facility under a 10-year agreement. [Yahoo Finance UK]

¶ Alliant Energy Corp is proposing construction of a $750 million combined-cycle, natural gas-fueled power plant of about 650-MW near Beloit, Wisconsin. It will be powered, in part, by solar energy. The company expects to begin construction in the summer of 2016 and complete the facility in early 2019. [Milwaukee Business Journal]

¶ In Farmington, Illinois, the Farmington Central Schools are moving closer to the completion of the project with 2,520 300-watt solar panels installed on their roofs. When the project is completed, it will be the largest solar array in a public school in the US, according to Farmington Superintendent Dr John Asplund. [Canton Daily Ledger]

¶ The Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria is installing a California Tribal renewable energy microgrid system this summer in Loleta, California. The Bear River Band’s new microgrid combines wind energy, solar energy, and energy storage. The microgrid will provide 30 kW of electric power. [PennEnergy]

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