May 15 Energy News

May 15, 2015


¶ New interest is being shown for renewable energy as a viable complementary option for mining operations. Renewable energy sources such as hydropower, wind and solar are being incorporated into broader power supply portfolios in key mining regions, as less expensive alternatives to conventional sources. [Breaking Energy]

Mining operations benefit from renewable power.

Mining operations benefit from renewable power.

¶ Andrew Blakers, who is the director for Sustainable Energy Systems at the Australian National University, told the Australian Solar and Energy Storage conference in Melbourne that his conservative prediction was that Australia would reach 90% renewables by 2040 – just through natural attrition. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Queensland’s new Labor government has confirmed its commitment to getting 50% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2030 and ensuring that a million of its homes had rooftop solar by 2020. The commitment by Queensland means all three Labor states are looking to ambitious renewable energy targets. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Described as the future of power supply, microgrids harnessing renewable energy resources available locally can also be programmed to manage the load. So India’s National Institute of Engineering has sought to collaborate with the University of Wisconsin, US, to establish a microgrid on the institute campus. [The Hindu]

¶ Having electricity could free over a billion people from polluting lighting and cooking methods, improving health and economic development. But simply expanding the conventional grid would more than double carbon emissions in Sub-Saharan Africa and India by 2040. Solar power provides a solution. [CleanTechnica]

¶ In India, as part of the National Democratic Alliance government’s green energy push, state-owned NTPC Ltd will call for bids from solar developers to buy 15,000 MW on behalf of the ministry of new and renewable energy. In addition, NTPC plans to set up 10,000 MW of solar capacity on its own. [Livemint]

¶ This week Finland cancelled its option for a second European Pressurised Reactor as the existing EPR project sinks into an abyss of cost over-runs, delays and litigation. It now looks like the EPR is a failed technology and its owner, French nuclear giant Areva, is fast running out of both money and orders. [The Ecologist]


¶ Montana Senator Jon Tester is aiming to introduce a bill that would set a target of generating 50,000 MW of geothermal energy by 2025. The bill would make it easier for oil and gas companies to produce geothermal energy because they would not have to compete for conventional leases. [Climate Action Programme]

Montana has vast geothermal resources.

Montana has vast geothermal resources.

¶ Lincoln Renewable Natural Gas has filed a petition to construct a renewable natural gas plant at a farm in Salisbury. Gas from a bio-digester would be processed to make purer bio-methane, some of which would be burned to make power and some piped to Middlebury College for use there for fuel. [Vermont Public Radio]

¶ Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper cheered technology giant Intel for making a major investment in renewable power and clean energy at its Fort Collins campus. Intel installed a 963 kW solar array there. It is the largest commercial solar installation in Northern Colorado, the third largest in the state. [The Coloradoan]

¶ ITC Holdings Corp expects to spend about $4.5 billion from 2014 to 2015 to upgrade and expand its power transmission system in the Midwest. ITC put about $510 million into the Michigan Thumb project, which can be a basis for expansion of the area’s wind power from it current 1,000 MW to 5,000 MW. [Reuters]

¶ Competitive Power Ventures announced today that it has received approval from the Connecticut Siting Council to construct the proposed state-of-the-art, 785-MW CPV Towantic Energy Center in Oxford, Connecticut. The Council’s decision was approved by a 5-2 margin at a meeting in New Britain. [PR Newswire]

¶ New York has published a 2,000-page final environmental report outlining why it would be better off without the environmental, climate and public health implications of fracking. The current New York ban, imposed by Governor Cuomo, is an administrative action that could be reversed by a future governor. [Kitsap Sun]

¶ Presidential hopefuls are beginning to gather in Iowa. There, state-based academicians and researchers plan to ask the candidates a simple, but pointed, question: What will you do about climate change? The impetus for the question was raised by Iowa-based scientists in a widely endorsed document. [North American Windpower]

¶ US Senator Angus King (I-Maine) announced two pieces of legislation that would encourage and safeguard the use of Maine’s natural resources to generate renewable electricity. The bills promote the sustainable harvest of biomass and streamline a cumbersome federal licensing process for small hydropower. [RealEstateRama]

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