May 7 Energy News

May 7, 2015

Opinion:

¶ “Tesla Powerwall Price vs Battery Storage Competitor Prices (Residential & Utility-Scale)” – Tesla Powerwall competes on price, while offering numerous benefits (it’s much smaller per kWh, requires much less maintenance, is much prettier, can be hung on the wall, can discharge deeper, and more.) [CleanTechnica]

¶ “Oil Prices Are Rising Again, But Will They Keep Going Up?” – Oil prices hit a new high for the year Wednesday, closing at just under $61 a barrel. They’ve been rallying for a month, but nobody’s predicting $4-per-gallon gasoline anytime soon. Some analysts say weak demand will send oil prices down again. [North Country Public Radio]

World:

¶ A recent report shows that renewable energy adoption is growing in the world’s emerging economies nearly twice as fast as in industrialized nations. Not only can renewable energy technologies now compete with fossil fuels on cost, they are often more reliable, safer, and at times cheaper than grid power. [CleanTechnica]

Off-grid village power plant.

Off-grid village power plant.

¶ India’s installed renewable capacity jumped by 12.9% during the 12 months to 31 March 2015, latest data released by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy shows. India added 4,089 MW renewable energy capacity in financial year 2014-15, which is 8.5% more than the targeted figure of 3,770 MW. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said countries were ahead of schedule in negotiating a global agreement on curbing greenhouse gases that can be adopted at a Paris summit in December. Technology has changed things since a similar effort failed in 2009. [Chippewa Herald]

¶ US-based SunEdison has won an 86-MW DC solar PV project in the fourth bid round of South Africa’s renewable energy independent power producer procurement program. The company will operate and maintain the facility, which will generate enough energy for about 45,000 households in South Africa. [CleanTechnology News]

¶ Red tape is hobbling France’s quest to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30% in 2030 compared to 1990 levels. Even more galling, Europe’s biggest agricultural producer had 185 on-farm methane plants at the end of last year, compared to about 7,700 in Germany. Complicated French approval systems can take years. [Bloomberg]

¶ Despite warnings from climate experts, global banks collectively financed $144 billion for coal mining and coal power companies in 2014, compared to $145 billion in 2013, according to the annual coal finance report card released today by Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack and the Sierra Club. [Business Green]

Some banks are investing in coal.

Some banks are investing in coal.

US:

¶ UPS has been experimenting with renewable power for its trucks. Their latest initiative is to power a fleet of 400 trucks with renewable natural gas. It’s basically biomethane derived from renewable sources, such as decomposing organic waste in landfills, wastewater treatment plants, and agricultural sources. [Treehugger]

¶ Nebraska, the nation’s only completely public power state, has decided the public should not subsidize wind power. A bill to provide $75 million in production tax credits for renewable energy, was successfully filibustered by two senators, who suggested the state consider nuclear power instead. [McCook Daily Gazette]

¶ Exelon is amping up its threat to close three nuclear power plants unless it gets government help. The company says it’s not a bailout and instead argues it’s trying to level the playing field. Illinois already gives some incentives for renewable sources and nuclear proponents say nuclear power deserves that. [Peoria Public Radio]

¶ Hawaii looks set to be the first US state to put a firm use-by date on carbon intensive energy generation. The new compromise bill sets targets of 30% renewables in 2020, 70% by 2030 and 100% renewables by 2045. It has passed in the legislature, and is now just awaiting Governor David Ige’s signature. [Energy Matters]

¶ Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina on Monday blamed environmentalists for what she called a “man-made” drought in California, which has led to the state’s first water restrictions. She said they were to blame because no new reservoirs have been constructed despite population increases. [Huffington Post]

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