May 21 Energy News

May 21, 2015


¶ “Can Regions, Cities become 100% Dependent on renewable energy? Absurd? Not anymore”- Strides are being taken to move entire regions, as well as cities, to 100% renewable energy, according to speakers at the May 13-15 Renewable Cities Forum 2015 in Vancouver. Renewables are transforming policy. [Bloomberg BNA]

Vancouver downtown, winter sunset. Photo by Pmagn. Wikimedia Commons.

Vancouver downtown, winter sunset. Photo by Pmagn. Wikimedia Commons.

Science and Technology:

¶ A project testing combination of solar PV, combined heat and power systems and battery storage at a commercial facility in Germany could be adapted and scaled up elsewhere, according to General Electric, one of the project’s partners. Other partners are solar provider Belectric, and Jenbacher, for CHP technology. [CleanTechnica]


¶ The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group now comprises over 75 of the world’s greatest cities. In this role it represents a quarter of the world’s economy and nearly 8% of its population. Now it is making a new effort to help cities in developing nations to get credit for low-carbon climate-related projects. [CleanTechnica]

¶ Marine energy company Minesto has been awarded a €13 million investment through the Welsh Government. The funding is part of the commercial roll out, including the establishment of Minesto UK Headquarters in North Wales and commissioning of the first commercial Deep Green power plant. [Renewable Energy Focus]

¶ Wind power will play an important role in Chile’s Biobio region, which has 968 MW of approved wind projects and further 572 MW proposed for installation, the energy ministry said Tuesday. Wind power is now the leading renewable energy source in Chile in terms of installed capacity, with 892 MW. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ China’s thermal coal imports are expected to drop by 52 million tonnes or around a quarter in 2015, as the country takes steps to support its domestic producers and address environmental concerns. The expected fall weighs on already historically low prices and exacerbate a supply glut. [Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide]

¶ Investment bank Morgan Stanley has painted a bullish outlook for the home battery storage market in Australia, saying it could be worth $24 billion, with half of all households likely to install batteries to store the output from their solar panels. That will mean more than the doubling the number with solar. [RenewEconomy]

¶ According to the 2015 “Technology Roadmap” from the International Energy Agency and Nuclear Energy Agency, nuclear power can play a modest, but important, role in avoiding catastrophic global warming, if it can solve its various problems including high construction cost without sacrificing safety. [Energy Collective] (If what?)

¶ The venting system designed to release pressure inside the containment vessel of the No 2 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant likely failed during the 2011 disaster, TEPCO said May 20. The discovery was made by a robot deployed last October to a room venting pipes from the reactor pass through. [Asahi Shimbun]


¶ California has sealed a Memorandum of Understanding (“Under 2 MOU”) with 11 other states and provinces in the Americas and Europe to limit their greenhouse gas emissions to 80-95% by 2050 from 1990 levels. The tricontinental pledge, representing 100 million people, is without precedent and very forward-looking. [CleanTechnica]

Wind turbines at the Judith Gap Wind Farm, just outside Judith Gap, Montana. Photo by Nomadic Lass. Wikimedia Commons. 

Wind turbines at the Judith Gap Wind Farm, just outside Judith Gap, Montana. Photo by Nomadic Lass. Wikimedia Commons.

¶ Renewable energy has evolved into a multimillion-dollar industry in Montana. A new report takes a look at the economic landscape during the 10 years of the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard and finds renewable energy has added $17 million to the annual gross state product. Windpower stands out especially. [Public News Service]

¶ With the approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, Xcel Energy will now be able to monitor gas and electricity infrastructure using drone technology. The drones will inspect power lines, power plants, and renewable energy facilities for fallen trees, loose conductors, leaks, and other wear and tear. [WesternSlopeNow]

¶ A successful local lawsuit has ended in a de facto moratorium on fracking in North Carolina. This happened as a bill that would halt progress requirements on renewable energies continues to cycle its way through the legislature, appearing in front of committee on its way to a vote in the senate. [The Guardian]

¶ ACCIONA Windpower, a subsidiary of the ACCIONA Group that designs, manufactures and markets wind turbines, plans to install 805.5 MW of wind capacity in the US, Canada, and Mexico in 2015. Of this, 94% will be with 3-MW wind turbines. All these facilities are owned by third-party customers. [AltEnergyMag]

¶ In Vermont, Stowe Electric Department officials met last week with residents , hoping to assuage concerns over a solar project in their back yard. The project is up for a vote on May 28, as the town needs to get a bond to go ahead with the project. The immediate concerns of the residents may have been allayed. [Stowe Today]

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