May 3 Energy News

May 3, 2015

Opinion:

¶ “Is Solar Power About To Crush Big Oil, Big Coal And End Global Warming?” – Something amazing has happened in the energy market. The cost of solar power has fallen to the point where, in a growing number of places, it’s cheaper than the electricity that utilities deliver from their coal-fired power plants. [Investing.com]

¶ “Fracking Could Be More Dangerous Than We Realize” – British Columbia has no regulatory requirement for groundwater monitoring at hydraulic fracturing sites unless specified by a permit. And earthquakes are caused by fluid injection during hydraulic fracturing in proximity to pre-existing faults. [CleanTechnica]

Science and Technology:

¶ The Chevy Volt is in a class of its own compared to other plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The Volt emits significantly less smog-forming pollution than other PHEVs, according to a GM study presented to the Society of Automotive Engineers. The Volt has far fewer engine starts than other PHEVs. [CleanTechnica]

¶ A new type of wind turbine from a startup company, Vortex Bladeless, relies on an aerodynamic phenomenon called vorticity, in which wind flowing around a structure creates a pattern of small vortices or whirlwinds called a Kármán vortex street. No problema as long as they are relatively small. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ Following a call Friday by General Electric, a coalition of peak industry, manufacturing, and business groups, have joined in to demand an end to the stand-off on the renewable energy target, which began over a year ago when the government reviewed the target and tried to have it drastically scaled back. [The Australian Financial Review]

¶ Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pushed for expediting projects in the areas of irrigation, affordable housing, at a high-level meeting on infrastructure with focus on rural development, power, coal, renewable energy and petroleum and natural gas. He reviewed the status of stalled infrastructure projects. [Press Trust of India]

¶ As the cost of electricity from South Africa’s utility, Eskom, rises and frustration with load-shedding increases, companies are forking out millions to generate their own power – and even cemeteries are turning to renewable energy. Private cemeteries run by property group Calgro M3 convert to solar power. [Times LIVE]

¶ A minor leakage of radioactive water has been detected at Fukushima Daiichi. A total of 40 millilitres of water was discovered, according to TEPCO. The company stated that it placed bags of sand around the tank to prevent water from contaminating other areas. [RT] (40 millilitres is less than 3 tablespoons. So they are putting down sandbags?)

Slogan sign "nuclear (power generation), a bright and future (source of) energy" in Futaba town, Fukushima pref. Photo by Hohoho, Wikimedia Commons.

Slogan sign “nuclear (power generation), a bright and future (source of) energy” in Futaba town, Fukushima pref. Photo by Hohoho, Wikimedia Commons.

US:

¶ New York’s Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation recently flipped the switch on a 50-kW solar PV system at Fort Niagara State Park. The solar energy system is expected to save $9,100 annually and bring a clean, modern source of energy to the park, enhancing energy efficiency efforts. [Buffalo News]

¶ SolarCity Corporation announced on May 1 to offer Tesla Motors Inc’s newly released solar energy storage home battery unit, Powerwall. The company will be offering Tesla Powerwall, 10 kWh model, for $5000 under a nine-year lease plan, or the customers can buy the battery pack for $7,140 flat. [Business Finance News]

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