May 17 Energy News

May 17, 2015

Science and Technology:

¶ Compressed air is being studied increasingly as a medium for storing electric energy. While it is not as efficient as many other storage systems, it has the advantage of providing storage over longer terms. It is also expected to be utilized at a fraction of the cost of other systems, possibly as low as 10%. [New Zealand Herald]

World:

¶ Developers of solar farms are becoming increasingly active in Scotland. This is partly down to the fact that prime sites in the south of England have become harder to find due to land prices and grid capacity issues. The head of one company believes the industry could employ 5000 people in Scotland. [Scotsman]

John Forster says the number of people directly employed in the solar power industry in Scotland could grow from around 400 currently to up to 5,000.

John Forster says the number of people directly employed in the solar power industry in Scotland could grow from around 400 currently to up to 5,000.

¶ Ghana’s energy plan is getting financial support. It has four key projects: renewable energy mini-grids and stand-alone solar PV systems; solar PV-based net metering with storage; utility-scale solar PV/wind power generation; and a technical assistance project supported by the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa. [GhanaWeb]

¶ A long-held dream of bringing the large-scale “cloud” data storage industry to rural Scotland has come a step closer to becoming reality. Intelligent Land Investments lodged a planning application for a 10,000 square meter centre in East Ayrshire. It would be 40% powered by six nearby wind turbines. [Herald Scotland]

¶ In Bangladesh, the 2400-MW Rooppur nuclear power project is likely to cost about $10 billion, more than three times the initial estimate of the government. A couple of years ago the government had estimated that the plant would cost between $2 billion and $3 billion. The project is still in design stages. [The Daily Star]

¶ TEPCO has begun removing the cover it installed over the Unit 1 building after the Fukushima Disaster in 2011. This is part of efforts to decommission the reactor.The intent is to clear away radioactive debris on the upper part of the building and remove spent nuclear fuel still stored inside. [HNN Huntingtonnews.net]

US:

¶ After four years of drought, production at some California dams is expected to be less than 20% of normal because of low water levels. The shortfall should not cause brownouts because California relies on dams for power far less than it did in decades past, due in part to the emergence of solar and wind energy. [Los Angeles Times]

Low levels of water in Lake Shasta within the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, California. Photo by Bobjgalindo. Wikimedia Commons. 

Low levels of water in Lake Shasta within the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, California. Photo by Bobjgalindo. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Marshall Wind Energy LLC has signed three individual long-term renewable energy power purchase agreements totaling 65 MW of renewable energy with utilities in Kansas and Missouri. The electricity will be supplied from a 72-MW wind farm in Marshall County, Kansas with 36 Vestas V110 2-MW turbines. [PR Web]

¶ Michigan Governor Rick Snyder outlined a plan during his energy address under which natural gas would represent up to 26% of the state’s electricity mix by 2025, up from 14% currently. Coal represents 59% of the mix now. Snyder expects it to fall to 43% in the next 10 years. The gas will need new pipelines. [Midland Daily News]

¶ Protestors joined hands on the beach at Fort Macon State Park, North Carolina, in a gesture supporting beach preservation and renewable energy and opposing offshore oil and gas drilling. Some carried signs and banners, and large pinwheels were put in the sand, advertising support for offshore wind energy. [Carolinacoastonline]

¶ Thanks to decreasing system prices and state and federal incentives, the number of solar installations in the state of Connecticut rose from 558 in 2008 to more than 10,000 today. Newly available financing is contributing to the increasing numbers of solar projects, even as state incentives are declining. [CT Post]

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