May 16 Energy News

May 16, 2015

World:

¶ Nova Scotia regulators have approved a standard power purchase agreement for developmental tidal energy array projects in the Bay of Fundy. The Utility and Review Board concluded the contract is “reasonable and appropriate” for test projects approved at the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy. [reNews]

Bay of Fundy. Nova Scotia Province photograph.

Bay of Fundy. Nova Scotia Province photograph.

¶ Greenpeace Energy desk reported the figures from China’s National Energy Administration in October of 2014, revealing that China’s coal use dropped by 1.28% in 2014. However, in March of this year, new data from the National Bureau of Statistics of China indicates that coal consumption dropped by 2.9%. [CleanTechnica]

¶ The Nagpur Metro Rail Corporation Ltd has decided to install 30 MW of solar PVs using the metro railway stations as sites for solar arrays. This will meet 40% of the energy requirement including traction power. NMRCL will not spend a penny for generating this power. The project will be executed by an operator. [Times of India]

¶ Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to China has yielded $22 billion worth of memoranda of understanding showing China Inc’s strong interest in the Indian story. They span a wide range of industries including renewable energy, power infrastructure, and small and medium industries. [Economic Times]

¶ The Energy Supply Association of Australia, representing the fossil fuel and renewable energy sector, has sourced data from around the world revealing household solar PV penetration in Australia is way out in front of any other nation. Almost 15% of Australian households have adopted the technology. [Daily News Biotech Wired]

¶ Australian households and small businesses now have access to some of the cheapest electricity in the developed world, despite having grid power costs that are among the highest. An analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance explains how Australia has the most affordable solar systems in the developed world. [Business Spectator]

¶ Virtual power plants for small, distributed power generation have become a fixture of Germany’s electrical grid. While their numbers remain in the low thousands, VPPs withstood a five-year trial period in the electricity market. Now, with falling battery prices, they are beginning to change the grid. [Environment & Energy Publishing]

¶ The UK’s new Secretary of State for energy and climate change, Amber Rudd, spoke of her desire to increase deployment of solar PV. Commenting on her new role, she said: “I want to unleash a new solar revolution – we have a million people living under roofs with solar panels and that number needs to increase.” [Solar Power Portal]

¶ The International Atomic Energy Agency says TEPCO should consider discharging water contaminated by the Fukushima Daiichi reactor meltdowns into the Pacific Ocean. The United Nations agency is pushing for an alternative to holding the tainted water in tanks and offered to help monitor radiation. [Bloomberg]

US:

¶ The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded grants to scientists in five western states to do research in geothermal methods that can develop the region’s huge potential. It has been estimated that geothermal in this region could potentially generate enough electricity to power about 100 million homes. [CleanTechnica]

The Sonoma Calpine 3 geothermal power plant at The Geysers field in the Mayacamas Mountains of Somona County, Northern California. Photo by Stepheng3. Wikimedia Commons.

The Sonoma Calpine 3 geothermal power plant at The Geysers field in the Mayacamas Mountains of Somona County, Northern California.
Photo by Stepheng3. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ On Friday afternoon, the Vermont Senate overwhelmingly approved legislation that will encourage more renewable energy projects in the state. The bill passed by a vote of 22-6. Nevertheless, it has re-ignited a debate over the impact of solar and wind projects on the communities where they’re built. [Vermont Public Radio]

¶ The DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory will collaborate with China’s PV Investment and Finance Alliance on solar photovoltaic asset development in China. NREL will give advice in areas such as documentation standardization, data management, and operations and maintenance. [Renewable Energy Focus]

¶ Consumers Energy Co has received conditional approval to begin a 10 MW community solar program, the first in Michigan, by the state Public Service Commission. Individual and business electric customers will be able to purchase subscriptions in 0.5 kW blocks, reducing their electric bills. [Crain’s Detroit Business]

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